Ait travel is not the best way right now but we can still hit the road!
Road trips are a rare time for families to bond. Half of the fun of going to new destinations was the trip getting there. Some of my favorite memories are of singing along with my siblings as we drove across the country (my kids are always shocked when I remind them that built-in DVD players and cell phones didn’t always exist). And some of my favorite road trips were on the East Coast.
Just because our technology has been updated doesn’t mean we have to lose the charm of a road trip. Now that families are closer together, it’s the perfect time. Because we all deserve a little escape, especially after 1,300,554 days in quarantine.
East Coast: Five Road Trips to Take with Your Family
Explore Virginia: Air & Space to Night Sky Stargazing
One of the trips that I’ve been looking forward to taking with my family is a road trip through Virginia. Start in Washington, DC and drive to Hampton, Virginia. After spending the night in Hampton, explore the Virginia Air and Space Center – NASA Langley Visitor Center in Hampton, Virginia.
Next up is Williamsburg. You can do a calm day exploring Colonial Williamsburg or a thrill seeking adventure at Busch Gardens. Either way you go, spend the night in Williamsburg before taking the drive to Shenandoah National Park. Once at Shenandoah, drive along Skyline Drive to Big Meadow Lodge.
Skyline Drive is 105 miles of twists and turns along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The route goes through the Shenandoah National Park and is known for its sweeping vista views. Big Meadow Lodge is located in a meadow perfect for viewing night skies and offers a rustic experience in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Finish your week in Virginia by driving back to Washington, DC and exploring the area a little more.
East Coast Road Trip: Coastal North Carolina
Beach fun doesn’t only happen in Florida. Consider a road trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The closest large cities to Kitty Hawk are Raleigh and Norfolk, VA. Choose either as a starting point and head off to Kitty Hawk. As the home of first flight, the Wright Brothers National Memorial pays tribute to the area’s history with exhibits including a replica of the first plane.
Kitty Hawk is home to the largest sand dunes on the East Coast. So have a bucket list level adventure and fly off the sand dunes on a hang glider with Kitty Hawk Kites. They’ll teach you how to fly solo so you can experience a first flight as well.
Kitty Hawk is just one part of the North Carolina Outer Banks. There are more than 100 miles of barrier islands that make up the Outer Banks. Along the outer banks are lots of opportunities to explore both the sea and the marshlands. Fishing, surfing, shell collecting, kayaking – the activities have something for everyone.
East Coast Road Trip: New York City to Niagara Falls with Games Along the Way
New Yorkers might want to try a trip to Niagara Falls. Start out early in the morning and stop at Harriman State Park. It’s the second largest New York State park and just 90 minutes from NYC. Inside the parks are hiking trails, fishing holes, and two beaches for family fun.
Drive a little further and spend the night in Binghamton. In Binghamton, gamer families have to visit Robot City Games. With pinball games from as early as 1974 and a massive collection of video games, Robot City is a gamer’s paradise. They not only have games for play but also rare games for purchase. Even if you’re not a huge gamer family, it’s a fun place to visit for the historical games.
From Binghamton, you can head to Niagara Falls or you can stop along the way in Buffalo or Rochester. Both cities have unique attractions to explore. Once you’re at Niagara Falls, visit the Niagara Falls State Park. It’s on the US side of the Falls and offers plenty of attractions to learn about the Falls and even see them up close.
Boston Tea Party to Martha’s Vineyard Beaches
For a trip to Martha’s Vineyard, start in Boston and spend the day exploring the city. Venture out the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. The ships have a guided one hour tour. Tour guests can even throw their own tea over the side of the ship in a reenactment of the events that planted the seed for America.
After a day in Boston, drive out to the Cape Cod National Seashore. Explore the lighthouses and the beach but just beware of sharks! Lifeguards are stationed on the beach and will watch for the sharks. Great white sharks are just one part of the ecosystem; there are also seals, birds, fish and many other animals. A good way to learn more about the area is by taking a ranger guided tour.
After Cape Cod, head over to Martha’s Vineyard. One of the best parts about the trip is the Ferry. It’s the only way to reach the island and offers a chance for a different type of transportation. On the island, you’ll find adventures from beach fun to film festivals and cultural events. Don’t forget the seafood lovers paradise. With the variety of activities to explore, Martha’s Vineyard is a true family-friendly attraction.
World of Coca-Cola Atlanta to Hilton Head Sweet Tea
Atlanta is a perfect destination to start a trip to Hilton Head. Take a day and explore Atlanta. From the World of Coca Cola to the Birthplace of Martin Luther King, there is plenty of history and entertainment to be found.
Hit the road from Atlanta and drive to Savannah, GA. Savannah is an operating port city with ships arriving and departing daily through the harbor. There’s a free ferry that goes from the riverfront to the island across. It’s a quick ride and great way to experience the water. By night, Savannah is known for its amazing ghost tours. There are even family friendly ones so you don’t have to worry about scaring the kids.
After a scary night, drive over to Hilton Head the next morning. While it’s a short drive from Savannah, it’s a world of difference. There is no large working port. Instead, there are beaches, trails for bike riding, golf courses and tennis courts – all meant for people to relax. Off the beach, foodies will enjoy the fresh seafood and history buffs will love learning about the Gullah culture.
Tips for traveling during these times:
- Before heading to certain tourist spots, call to make sure they are open or see what the rules are.
- Carry hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, facemasks; etc
- Pack enough food and snacks to avoid any unnecessary stops.
- Pack your own chairs, towels- anything personal that may not be available to you.
- Have FUN!