Wanna Take a Family Road Trip? 10 Spring Destinations Ideas (+ a Playlist)

A Girls Guide To Cars | Wanna Take A Family Road Trip? 10 Spring Destinations Ideas (+ A Playlist) - Screen Shot 2019 01 18 At 7.52.39 Am

Your New Year goals include more travel, right?

Then it’s time to get a jump on your spring family road trip planning with these 10 spring road trip ideas. March and April might seem far off, however, the ideal spring road trip planning time is January – right now.

I’ve tried to stay away from the more “obvious” road trip destinations because you probably don’t need a list of ideas to tell you Disneyland or Walt Disney World might be great places to road trip. Here are just a few ideas

1. Palo Duro Canyon State Park (Amarillo Texas)

Amarillo is in the Panhandle of Texas and enjoys temperate weather in the spring but summers are hot-hot-hot, making spring the perfect time to visit. Winters in North Texas are unpredictable…might be snowing, might be 100 degrees.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers hikes at all levels and beautiful scenery. Don’t forget to make a visit to the nearby Cadillac Ranch and make your mark.

Further reading: Tech to make your road trip a connected success

Wanna Take A Family Road Trip? 10 Spring Destinations Ideas (+ A Playlist)

Washington DC has so many places to explore. Photo credit: Adeina Anderson

2. Washington D.C.

Spring in our Nation’s capital brings good walking around weather and cherry blossoms. There’s lots of history and photo opps. You can stay in Alexandria or Fairfax Virginia or in nearby Baltimore (where the traffic is less crazy and the hotel rates are more reasonable) and commute in.

There are a lot of great outdoor things to explore in the D.C. metro area, however, weather can still be cold, so make sure you plan some indoor activities, too. There are tons to choose from.

Wanna Take A Family Road Trip? 10 Spring Destinations Ideas (+ A Playlist)

Asheville has many stunning waterfalls…but there’s so much more in this city to explore. Photo credit: Meg Harrell/Meg for It

3. Asheville North Carolina

Asheville has been called “The Portland of the South.” It’s surrounded by nature that will make you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, however, downtown has a quirky, hipster vibe.

If you enjoy hiking and outdoor activities, this is your place but if you are looking for more of a city break, this is still your place.

Further reading: This road trip car has you covered for all your destination driving.


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The Alamo, the Riverwalk…San Antonio has it all. Pictured here: The Hotel Valencia on the Riverwalk. Photo credit: Jill Robbins

4. San Antonio Texas

San Antonio is THE best place for a spring road trip because early spring offers you the very best of the Alamo City.

The weather is (usually) warm, sometimes warm enough to swim, therefore making outdoor activities, like strolling along the Riverwalk not only bearable but fun. San Antonio is lovely all year around, however, summer brings sweltering hot temps that are no fun, especially if you are not used to heat and humidity.

Further reading: Food containers that are perfect for road trips–and keep your car crud free!

Wanna Take A Family Road Trip? 10 Spring Destinations Ideas (+ A Playlist)

Spring might be a little chilly in Rochester NY, so the Strong Museum of Play is a great indoor option. Photo credit: Jill Robbins

5. Rochester New York

There are tons of things to do in Rochester New York. Spring will probably still be pretty chilly but not uncomfortable to be outdoors, if you’re bundled up properly.

Rochester is also a great place to stay if you’re planning on visiting nearby Niagra Falls, because you can easily establish charming Rochester as a base camp and day trip to Niagra Falls. More trip planning ideas here.

Are You Ready To Hit The Road With Your Family This Spring? Here Are Some Great Spring Family Road Trip Ideas (+ A Playlist) To Help You Get To Planning!

6. Chicago

The Windy City has tons of appeal for a spring road trip. Museums, shopping, culture and most importantly, lots of delicious food.

Consider staying in Arlington Heights, Lincoln Park, Elk Grove Village, Wheeling, or Palantine if you want to save money and not deal with the downtown Chicago traffic.

7. Port Aransas Texas

Texas beaches have brown sand and greenish water, therefore not the most picturesque beaches that ever were. However, they get the job done for road trippers in Texas and the Southwest who want to dip their toes into some salt water.

Be warned, though, because this is a popular spring break destination for the college crowd, so you may want to be especially discerning in your choice of hotels, so you don’t accidentally choose partay central.


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Alien culture is everywhere in Roswell. Photo credit: Jill Robbins

8. Roswell New Mexico

Roswell is exactly in the middle of nowhere so it’s not really a spot you can stop on your way to city XYZ. Nope…you really have to be intentional about going to Roswell.

There’s a really fun Alien Museum and the entire town is dedicated to Alien Culture. If you don’t see aliens on every corner then you aren’t paying attention.

9. Santa Fe New Mexico

I always thought of Santa Fe as kind of an artsy “grownup” town but there’s plenty to do and see with kids. There are a lot of interactive museums, hiking opportunities and, the coolest thing ever: Meow Wolf. Meow Wolf is really hard to explain. It’s part museum, part playground, part conspiracy theory. If you visit Santa Fe with kids, everyone in town will ask you if you’re planning to go to Meow Wolf, so that should tell you something.

Road Trip Tip: We drove from Santa Fe to Roswell (about three hours and the most un-scenic and boring driver everrrr and then from Roswell to Carlsbad (NM not CA) which took about an hour and a half.

10. Tuscon Arizona

There is more to in Tuscon and the surrounding area than you have time to do in one pop. Besides that, spring is a wonderful time to visit the Southwest. It’s warm but not too hot. We visited in late June and had to plan all of our outdoor activities super early in the morning.

Our favorite places in the Tuscon area were Biosphere 2 and Catalina State Park.

Family Road Trip Playlist:

And, what would a road trip be without a playlist? Our road trip play list is a combination of songs kids love that don’t make grownups want to stab themselves in the eye with a fork. There is a balance, people.

We want fun songs that everyone can enjoy, besides that, no one wants to listen to silence or “she’s touching me” the entire trip. To the best of my knowledge, these lyrics are fairly clean and things I’d listen to with my kids in the car, although opinions on that vary from family to family.

This is a collection of upbeat songs across all genres, so use this list as a guide. And certainly, feel free to add songs you like and delete ones you don’t.

1. Jump|Kriss Kross

2. Rapper’s Delight|Sugar Hill Gang

3. A.M. Radio|Everclear

4. How Far I’ll Go|Alessia Cara

5. Hold On|Wilson Phillips

6. Perfect Day|Hoku

7. Uptown Funk|Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars

8. Happy|Pharell Williams

9. In this Place| Julia Michals

10. Zero| Imagine Dragons

11.All Star|Smash Mouth

12. Shut up and Dance|Walk the Moon

13. Hey it’s All Good|M.C. Hammer

15. Cheap Thrills|Sia

16. You’ve Got a Friend in Me|Randy Newman

17. The Greatest Showman|Hugh Jackman

18. This is Me|Keala Settle

19. I Wanna Rock n’ Roll All Night|KISS

20. Beverly Hills|Weezer

21. Buddy Holly|Weezer

22. These Boots are Made for Walkin’|Nancy Sinatra (NOT the Jessica Simpson version)

23. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) |The Proclaimers

24. Somebody To Love| Queen

25. King of the Road|Roger Miller

26. Ring of Fire|Johnny Cash

27. Nine to Five|Dolly Parton

28. Mambo Number 5|Lou Bega

29. Bye Bye Bye|NSYNC

30. Party in the U.S.A.|Miley Cyrus

31. Achy Breaky Heart|Billy Ray Cyrus

32. Call Me Maybe|Carly Rae Jespen

33. Cheerleader|Omi

34. Pumped up Kicks|Foster the People

35. Life is a Highway|Rascal Flats

36. Roam|B-52’s

37. Hit the Road Jack|Ray Charles

38. Joyride|Roxette

39. Tell me Why|Backstreet Boys

40. The Lion Sleeps Tonight|The Tokens (because we all just need to Wemoweh sometimes, right?)

Does this get you in the mood to plan a spring road trip or what? I hope we’ve given you some great ideas.


Jill is the oldest mom with the youngest kids pretty much everywhere she goes. She has a 29-year-old daughter... More about Jill Robbins