Family road trips are back in style since air travel became a less popular choice in 2020. It’s a different way to vacation because it makes the journey the trip rather than the destination. Because of that, it’s an ideal way to engage kids in the world around them. As a family, you are thrust into a variety of environments that you typically would skip without a second thought.

Some routes in America are destined for family fun and these US family road trip ideas top our list.

family road trip ideas Oregon trail
📸 PicMonkey

The Oregon Trail

The original Lewis and Clark expedition relied largely on traveling the rivers of America. However, each state from Missouri to Oregon has its own roadmap and guides to their distinct portion of the cross country trek. You can dial in your family road trip to these smaller sectors, or you can take a broader tour of the pioneer’s journey from Independence Missouri to the Oregon coast. Along the way, there are dozens of historic sites, national and regional landmarks, and plenty of museums for kids to discover.

Related: The 2021 VW Atlas SEL: Family SUV For Americans Who Love Volkswagen

Family road trip Big Sur Pacific Coast Highway
We enjoyed the views driving through California’s Pacific Coast (Big Sur) 📸 Kim S.

Pacific Coast

The Golden State alone is one amazing road trip, especially for kids who love theme parks. Although the pandemic poses a problem, for the most part, California is still the ideal playground for kids to explore. Just California’s coastline is a diverse showing of natural landmarks and man-made monuments. You can take the Pacific Coast Highway from Seattle’s Space Needle to the Golden Gate Bridge, passing towering redwoods and a vast blue horizon as you go.

Related: Top 5 Things for Families to do in Monterey County, California

Liberty Bell Family road trip
Liberty Bell 📸 NPS.gov

Colonial America

Freedom Trail in Boston, Gettysburg, and the Liberty Bell, Williamsburg. These are just a few of the historic stops that bring history alive for your kids. A trip along the Eastern Seaboard offers many stops and opportunities to explore Colonial America and the American Revolution. Get face to face with colonists portrayed by actors and witness the home of the legendary Paul Revere. From the Virginia settlements of Jamestown and Williamsburg to the Mayflower II at Plymouth Rock, there is plenty of edutainment for kids that might be the next best thing to an actual time machine.

Shenandoah National Park - Sunset from Timber Hollow Overlook
Sunset from Timber Hollow Overlook 📸 NPS.gov

Appalachian Trail

This long hiking trail is famous, but there is another way to explore this vast mountainous region with kids. Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway are just two fantastic picks that allow families to take in the gorgeous natural settings of Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains. The Appalachians run from Georgia to Maine, but Virginia is the sweet spot for cruising the mountainous territory with your family. Along the way, visit pristine lakes roadside family attractions, and take historic tours through Civil War-era sites.

Santa Monica Route 66
📸 PicMonkey

Route 66

The greatest American Roadtrip is a drive along historic Route 66. The winding cross country trail is heavily depicted in the Pixar film Cars, and pointing out the references is only the start of the fun kids will have along with the many roadside attractions and unique stops you will be able to make. Route 66 stretches from Los Angeles California to Chicago Illinois, but as long as it is, It’s best not to rush this one.

What are some of your favorite family road trip destinations for family vacations?

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Kim S.
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Kim is a 30-something-year-old wife and do-it-all mom of two beautiful daughters; her rainbow babies. Kim uses Beauty and the Bump NYC, to share her perspective about the things that she loves most and finds beautiful: family, travel, cars, food and more. As a contributor to A Girl’s Guide to Cars, Kim shares her love for cars through providing helpful tips and car reviews from the perspective of a modern working mom.