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Hi there!  Tanya here. 

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Best Road Trips in the USA & Around the World

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Family road trips that are unforgettable

Hey Fellow Road Tripper!

Chances are you’re reading this because you love hitting the open road and exploring wherever she may take you.

You’ll pull over and treat your family to the World’s Best Chile Cheeseburger and Prickly Pear Lemonade*, no matter the time of day. And you’re always wondering just what’s around the corner.

“Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip.” – Jon Bon Jovi

To help you choose your next road trip, we’ve rounded up family-approved road trips from fellow family travel bloggers across America and around the world.

Road trips across the USA

Las Vegas to Phoenix

zion-national-park

Why go?

This route is perfect for a road trip because not only are the stops along the way amazing, but the drive itself offers unbelievable scenery.

Where to go and what to do?

Zion National Park  This park offers hikes for all abilities, as well as camping and rock climbing. Our family had many options for easy kid friendly hikes and we did the Riverside Walk trail.

Page, Arizona We took a tour through Antelope Canyon and saw Horseshoe Bend. Lake Powell is also great to visit during the warmer months.

Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim) Whether you choose to hike down into the canyon, or just stick to the rim trail above, the sights are something that you just need to see in real life to understand.

Sedona, Arizona Sedona is a great city to have the luxury of staying at a nice resort, but also the access to great hiking. The red rocks are so awe inspiring, and even better if you can take a Pink Jeep tour to see them up close.

Scottsdale, Arizona This area of Arizona is great for choosing a luxury resort and just focusing on swimming and relaxing. The restaurants in Scottsdale are amazing too!

Where to stay?

Learn more here from Patsey Family Travels.

Pacific Northwest (Portland, Seattle, Vancouver)

pacific-northwest-road-trip

Why go?

The Pacific Northwest is a stunning part of the U.S. with lush greenery and a gorgeous coastline.

Where to go and what to do?

Portland, Oregon Start your quirky road trip here. We like to stay at the Inn at Northrup Station because it's right on the street car line. Plus, they have tons of candy and board games in their lobby!

In Portland, grab donuts at Blue Star, go shopping at Powell's Books and then play at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI.) The next day, tour the city either on foot with a walking tour or by electric tuk tuk, and then explore the Oregon Zoo.

Seattle, Washington (Via Olympia) On your drive up to Seattle, plan on stopping at the Hands On Children's Museum in Olympia, WA. It's one of the coolest children's museums in the Pacific Northwest!

In Seattle, we like to stay at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. It's within walking distance to the major attractions and their customer service is outstanding!

Walk down to Pike Place Market early in the morning and grab coffee and pastries from Storyville. Kids will love the free airplane cookies! Then head down to the waterfront and ride the Seattle Great Wheel and Wings Over Washington. Depending on weather, either hit up the Seattle Aquarium or take the Argosy cruise over to Tillicum Village and experience a traditional Native American feast!

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada As you head up to Vancouver, BC, stop at the Imagine Children's Museum in Everett, WA to let your kids get their wiggles out. We also like to stop at Bow, WA to get blueberry ice cream and fresh bread and treats at Breadfarm.

In Vancouver, we like to stay at The Sutton Place Hotel because there's a JapaDog stand right out front for a quick meal. Plus, it's right around the corner from Robson Street with tons of shops and restaurants.

The coolest thing to do in Vancouver with kids is run around at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. It can easily take up an entire day! Head to Stanley Park to ride their mini-train, do a horse-drawn carriage ride of the Park and explore the Vancouver Aquarium. Pop over to Granville Island and take the little ferry boats around the harbor before spending the rest of your day at Science World.

Squamish, British Columbia If you have time, end your road trip here and enjoy the West Coast Railway Heritage Park and the Sea to Sky Gondola!

Learn more here: Marcie in Mommyland.

More rad road trips and tips across the USA:

(just click on the image to take you there)

Road trips in Europe

Edinburgh to Isle of Skye, Scotland

road-trip-scotland

Why go?

One of our family’s most favorite road trips has been the road from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye. First of all, there is something incredible waiting for you at both ends of the trip. If your kids are Harry Potter fans, they will love Edinburgh for all its quirky and magical-looking streets and alleyways, as well as its castle that partially inspired Hogwarts.

Where to go and what to do?

Along the road from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye you can stop and see some incredible things, like the town of Inverness and Loch Ness, home to the Loch Ness Monster. You can also see Culloden, where one of the most important historical battles in Scotland took place. While you’re there you can stop by the Clava Cairns standing stones.

This road trip offers many opportunities to see exciting things along the way, like hundreds of sheep, highland coos (cows), stone bridges, and lakeside castles! It’s like driving through a real live fairy tale.

Once you arrive in the Isle of Skye, kids will love the quaint towns, even MORE sheep, and the beautiful sites at every turn. The roads are all one-lane, so you need to be sure to pull over when cars approach. The tiny winding roads are so much fun to drive on. But if you have any car sick riders, bring some Dramamine!

Learn more here from Wanderlust Crew.

Check out places to stay in Edinburgh here.

Germany’s Castle Road

heidelberg-castle-road-germany

Why Go?

Germany has among the best road trips for families.  One of the most famous and beautiful routes to take is the Castle Route.  Stretching from Mannheim, Germany and ending in the picturesque Prague City, the Castle Route has over 70 castles to visit.  

Along the route, one experiences the olden days from the romantic landscape of the Rhine River castles to the old gothic quarters, learning about the history of kings and queens. Medieval and baroque styles are common among the castles on the route.  

What to do?

Tour Prague Castle, visit the fortified imperial walls in Bad Wimpfen, delve underground in Felsengange underground tunnels and even visit a UNESCO old quarter heritage site in Bamberg. The majestic Castle Road has something for every member of the family.  

Some castles have specialty programs for children and others have tours for families in a variety of languages.  It’s easy to be enamored at each location when tour guides transform into historical figures, or a market sells historical antiquities or even when traditional performances transpire along the castle walls. 

Where to stay?

Every stop has a nearby city or town, with a collection of small family hotels or bed and breakfasts awaiting tourists.  Some castles you can even be a part of history by staying the night, such as at Colmberg Castle!  Each city is equipped to handle the numerous tourists and families coming to enjoy the historical sites along the route.   

Learn more from the Elusive Family.

Ireland

Ireland-wicklow-mountains-road-trip

Why go?

One of our most successful family roads trips to date and the one we recommend over and over again to all our travel loving friends, is a self drive tour around Ireland.

Ireland is an exceptionally family friendly destination and is a country with attractions likely to steal the heart of both adults and kids. If you love nature, Ireland will spoil you with its windswept, green landscapes: the East coast has beautiful mountains with great family hikes, while the West has a dramatic coastline with the famous Cliffs of Moher and vast, stunning sand beaches perfect for long walks and body boarding.

Where to go and what to do?

Culture loving families will find in Ireland dynamic towns such as Dublin and Galway, and many medieval sites including impressive castles and monastic sites.

When sightseeing gets too much, kids will love the many petting farms and adventure centres dotting the country and offering opportunities for all ages to cuddle animals or go zip-lining above treetops!

All of this can be easily seen with a road trip around the county: 7 days are sufficient to see some of the most famous sights but I recommend taking 2 weeks, to include the stunning Northern Ireland coast.

Where to stay?

Ireland is generous of accommodation options for families. Depending on your needs, you can choose a local B&B where you will experience the famous Irish hospitality, or you can opt for a family hotel such as the Delphi Adventure Centre or even family-friendly Waterford Castle.

Learn more from Learning Escapes.

Normandy, France

Mont-Saint-Michel

Why go?

The Normandy Region of France is a beautiful country, overflowing with World War history and a gorgeous coastline.

Where to go and what to do?

Don’t miss France’s divine coastline: especially the White Chalk Cliffs of Etretat and the famous old harbor of Vieux Basin in Honfleur.

There is so much history to explore here as well. Visit Rouen to see the exact spot where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, or visit to William the Conquerors tomb in Caen.

As you drive through this region in France, the pastoral beauty will leave you entranced, especially as you drive up to the amazing Mont Saint Michel. This Gothic Abbey floating along the Couesnon river is one of the most stunning places in France.

Of course you can’t miss the World War 2 sites, such as the D-Day landing beaches, Omaha Beach in particular, and the American Memorial cemetery. Experience the aftermath of the battle at Pointe du Hoc and step into the actual bombing craters and bunkers. It was so surreal to see this place up close!

Where to stay?

During a road trip through Normandy, we stayed in a few places and used them as our base. Honfleur was a great base when exploring the coastal towns, and Rouen while visiting the Northern part of the Region. Bayeaux, however, is located centrally and is probably the best place to stay if looking for one place from which to explore the region.

Learn more from Skylararia’s Adventures.

Check out these rad international road trip itineraries:

(just click on the image to take you there)

What was your most recent road trip? Which road trip above is on your list, in America or abroad?

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