Do you have a family? Well, we have a road trip. Family road trips can get tedious pretty quickly, with the backset squabbles and multiple pee breaks, but whether you are driving cross-country or flying with the kids, we’ve found five destinations all over the country that your family will love.
Hershey Park, Hershey, PA
If you live in the northeastern US, you probably know about Hershey, the town that produced the original Hershey’s chocolate bar. But what you may not know is that besides a factory tour, an amusement park, and a quaint town, Hershey, PA is now a destination for resort spas. Activities for kids are paired with golf courses, horseback riding and built-in fun. Kids will find even more to do at the nearby, vast amusement park.
Hershey is one of the best family road trips because it is located centrally, close to the state capitol, Harrisburg, and near the Susquehanna River. For many, it’s a day’s drive. If you live in northeast or Mid-Atlantic States, Hershey is probably a day away down a scenic road.
The Original Krispy Kreme Factory, Winston-Salem, NC
Krispy Kreme doughnuts became a national craze about ten years ago, then the low-carb craze set in and the economy tanked. Some say KK overreached, but that’s all water under the bridge because the company is back on its feet and now going beyond doughnuts to gourmet coffees.
Since, 1947 when the KK factory owner cut a whole in the wall of the factory to sell his doughnuts directly to the public, they’ve offered tours. At tour’s end, you will be dining on a variety of doughnuts, so take the children (and their friends).
Winston-Salem is one of those convenient family road trips for North Carolinians but also within reach for those living eastern Tennessee, southern Virginia, and much of neighboring South Carolina.
The Circleville Pumpkin Festival, Columbus, OH
For great family road trips, take a trip to Circleville for small town living. Anyone from Ohio should check out this state gem, but most road trippers in Kentucky, Indiana and even Michigan are only a day’s drive away. In fall, you’ll find the roads much less crowded.
If you are looking for an affordable, food-centric vacation, mark off a few days in the middle of October for the best-kept vegetable-centric secret of the Midwest. For four days in October, a small Ohio town becomes pumpkin central and attracts tens of thousands of festivalgoers. Pumpkin judging to find the “world’s largest”, a pumpkin pie the size of a swimming hole (don’t worry—it doesn’t go to waste: they feed it to the pigs) and a “Miss. Pumpkin Show” contest are only the beginning.
The festival includes a parade, amusement park and best of all, free admission.
Tillamook Creamery, Oregon
Tillamook is the perfect match for a road trip up the west coast. Highway 101 is a popular drive, still wild, and great for camping. A trip to Tillamook isn’t far from the windy asphalt of iconic 101.
Recently (2019) redone, the Creamery in Tillamook is great day trip for those living in the Portland area as well as Highway 101 road trippers. The Creamery offers tours for cheese lovers and ice cream fanatics.
It’s perfect for kids because in addition to cheese, yogurt and ice cream, the Creamery offers a full restaurant. Kids who don’t like ice cream (do any exist?) or are lactose intolerant can still scarf down a burger and fries after the tour. The Creamery is huge and makes a perfect all-day outing with kids of all ages.
The Food Trucks in Austin, TX
Great family road trips usually head through the state of Texas. Embrace Texas: it’s beautiful and has what are arguably the nations best for low-cost camping in its plentiful state park. We recommend the Austin scene for amazing food. Austin is a music town that is booming with young talent, including University of Texas students and hordes of software engineers, and the result is a foodie scene that is out of this world.
With kids, Austin has unique restaurants to enjoy—but the food trucks are way more fun, cheaper and give kids a chance to enjoy the outdoors. We recommend The Picnic Food Trailer Park for its signage and great selection, and the South Austin Trailer Park and Eatery for variations on tacos.