Family Road Trips

Our Top 10 Family Road Trips USA awards go to the original family vacation: the road trip by car. Nearly 80% of Americans have said they consider road trips “a rite of passage” for their children, probably because they did them with their parents. While families looking for relaxation today may choose the beach to kick back and refuel, others will venture onto hiking or biking trails, mountain slopes, roller coasters or cruise ship decks in pursuit of their ideal vacation.

Looking over car dashboard to a tunnel on Blue Ridge Parkway.
Cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway in autumn. Photo by Riccardo for pexels.

Most of us will, at some time, pack the car and hit the highway for a traditional American road trip. We may go because the country is diverse and beautiful and “getting there” adds to the memories… or simply because driving is the easiest way to reach a favorite beach, wilderness area, mountain or themepark. So, despite sky-high gas prices, browse our list below.

Need a car or SUV or family minivan to make your family road trip a reality? Check out these discount car rental rates from

These top 10 driving itineraries are the most popular ones among family travelers, and we celebrate them by taking a new look at what each has to offer.

Family Road Trips Northeast

Horse and buggy on a farm road through the Amish countryside of Pennsylvania.
You’ll have to slow down on a Pennsylvania road trip when an Amish horse and buggy pass by.

Did you know that Americans surveyed say the ideal road trip includes 13 total hours of driving?

An American History Tour Through Pennsylvania
Leaf Peeking in New England

Family Road Trips Southeast

A Florida highway lined with palm trees, seen at dusk.
A quiet length of Florida’s AiA at dusk. Photo by Nout Gons for pexels.

We also learned that most people think five days is plenty for a family road trip.

The Blue Ridge Parkway From Virginia To Tennessee
Florida US1 From Jacksonville To Key West

Family Road Trip Mountain States

The carved Presidents' heads on Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota.
Mount Rushmore is oe of the best known attractions on a USA road trip through the Western states.

When you’re thinking about how to travel with, keep in mind that most drivers say the way to go is with a total of four passengers in a roomy SUV or Crossover vehicle.

Great Sights Of The West – Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone And The Grand Tetons

Family Road Trips Southwest

Our kids don’t like to sit still for very long, so we’ve broken down all these itineraries into several manageable days. Expect to keep under a few hours’ driving time per day.

The Grand Canyon From Phoenix To Las Vegas
Exploring The Diverse Cultures Of New Mexico

Family Road Trips West

A roadway llined with lava fields on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Black lava fields line many of the roadways on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Some of the most legendary Western road trips are the longest distances. Of course, you can pick and choose among the many suggested stops and detours, and stay for as long as you’d like in any one place. Make them your own.

The Pacific Coast Highway From San Francisco To Los Angeles
Around and About The Big Island Of Hawaii
The Pacific Northwest From Portland To The Olympic Peninsula

Here’s the video done by team member Jillian Ryan when we first rolled out our picks for the Top 10 Roadtrips. Although gas prices were 28% lower back then, it’s still a fun and brief look at what these trips have to offer.

Planning the Top Family Road Trip Journey on Your List

Today, more than two-thirds of Amerians surveyed say they plan to go on more road trips than prior to the pandemic. Please try out a few of our itineraries.

We offer all the resources you’ll need to download a map so the kids can learn to read one, and your navigator can find a place to stay each night.

Find discount family-friendly hotels for your next family vacation road trip here.

Make sure to have snacks and amusements on hand for the backseat set. And don’t forget to play some of our favorite backseat games en route. We hope that frequent stops, amazing sights, and colorful detours will help you avoid too many muttered “Are we there yets?”

Prefer a vacation rental or condo for your stay? Check-out options from

Drive safe (here are some safety tips) and have a wonderful adventure! (And leave comments about favorite stops you’ve found so others can follow the fun.)

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11 Replies to “Top 10 Family Road Trips USA”

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  • Anonymous

    Hi, we just booked a week at a resort/hotel in Myrtle Beach in mid Aug for a week.  We are leaving from Burlington, Ontario (one hour from the Fort Erie/Buffalo NY Border), so we will be in Buffalo by Thursday or Friday morning (we can take two or nights to get to Myrtle Beach.  What I am interested in are the following

    • The best route to take (Google Maps says either – (I79 South PA, WV, VA, NV, SC) OR I95 (PA (through the poconos, lots of turns), MD, to I95 straight down to Myrtle beach. There is only a difference of 1 hour in time, but which route is best, anyone know/have traveled these?
    • any interesting noteworthy stops either way (we might do this on the way back)
    • Also, any suggestions on hotels (hotel deals) OR hotels/chains to stay away from.  Our family: my wife and I(35 & 37) and our children are 3 and 5 – so a pool is a must for us for them unwind for being on the road all day. also must have complimentary breakfast (doesn't have to be hot, just something, don't want to have to worry about it).  We get a deal (I think 20% off) with our our auto plan with choice hotels, we did this last year and it saved us a bit.  Just wondering if anyone knows of any other deals/great hotels at reasonable prices (we don't want to spent a lot $80-120,)
    • Finally, any suggestions on activities in Myrtle Beach.  We have looked at Family Kingdom, it looks good (we have never been their)
    • THANKS
  • Anonymous

    Bangor Maine 1 week road trip any suggestions on where to go from there.  Some hiking some leisure and to the coast


  • Anonymous

    The road trips are always a good experince. In road trips we not only enjoy holiday destinations but the     journey is also an amazing experince. I think the roadtrip with kids teach them various things around them. — Hotels in alibaug


  • Anonymous

    I know this is an older post, but I just saw it. My kids are 6, 7 and 15 and old pros at road trips. I LOVE road trips and have been known to take "road trip" vacations in which no video games/dvds/electronics are allowed and we pack the tent (to save money on hotels) and just drive to random spots and camp out along the way. If you pack a cooler it can be an affordable vacation if you only pay for gas, food from the supermarket and a few odds and ends. Historic landmarks, national parks, or places like Washington D.C. are full of fun cheap spots to bring the kids! My kids love this and handle being in a car forever very well, we play games, sing, talk, etc. Plus we aren't afraid to take deters and go see things like the worlds biggest chair! It's a bunch of fun! 

    • todobigo

      Sounds like you know how to have fun, and like your kids really get along well.  that's the biggest challenge we find in a long trip with a crowded backseat. When everyone starts to 'express' themselves it can get hairy!I love the idea of picking random spots to camp out in. You must be really resourceful!

      I love the idea of picking random spots to camp out in. You must be really resourceful!
      thanks for sharing your experiences very inspiring!

  • liz

    When my son was 10 we went on a road trip for the first time of many, we took his friend along for company for him and never had one moan out of either of the kids during all the hours we spent on the road, we all played road games, and even learned all the words to a Patsy Cline CD, singing along to it on the top of our voices lol. They laughed and played together even when it took 8 hours to drive through the Smokey Mtns. They didn't have video games just a pack of cards, but we kept them entertained and had plenty of stops at places of interest along the way. Our last trip with the family was when my son was 16 and he didn't want to go away with us anymore. I know that he and the friends we took along with him enjoyed every moment, and we still laugh at the Patsy Cline singing.


    Went to Florida last year and driving around was amazing. Would love to go back. The problem is its the kind of holiday where you need a holiday when you get back!

    Will def check your suggestions and would love to travel to the US again.

  • Carole

    Goodness these people haven't lived, you may as well be teaching them how to become really good couch potatoes & stay @ home with them feeding them snacks & watching dvd's. Teach them about life outside the windows include them in games get them to come up with ideas for games to include you in, or is it really you who does not look forward to travelling with children? People have been travelling with children for hundreds of years & survived, the children have more often than not come away better educated about the wide world around them. Learn something about the area you are travelling together before you go & see how many of these special things you can cover on your trip. Get them to help organise an itinerary with you & take turns on each day doing something each person would like to see or do. Go on get out there & live & be prepared to get down to their level at times, you know you may even enjoy it too!

  • Johnny Lee Luther

    Kids never "get it". You have to drag them away from the video games and immerse them in travel and culture then hope by the time they're your age they will at least remember something. It's your only chance

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