Spring break is the perfect time to pile everyone in the car and hit the road. No matter how many miles you drive, it’s great to just be together and see beauty unfold mile after mile. Travelocity Ambassador Kirsten Maxwell of Kids Are A Trip has taken countless road trips with her family and shares some favorite spring break road trips to take with your family.
Family Spring Break Road Trip Ideas
1. San Diego to Los Angeles (120 miles one way)
San Diego is one of our all time favorite spring break getaways. Spend part of the day at the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park, then head to Coronado Island for one of the best beaches in the county. Other not to miss sites in San Diego include Torrey Pines State Park, the USS Midway Museum, the seals and sea lions in La Jolla, and LEGOLAND California.
Head north on I-5 and in less than two hours you will be at Disneyland and California Adventure in Anaheim. There are many other theme parks in this area if your family enjoys them: Knott’s Berry Farm (Buena Park), The Wizarding World of Harry Potter/Universal Hollywood (Universal City), and Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia). If coaster thrills aren’t your thing, there’s still plenty to explore in Los Angeles.
LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) has plenty of hands-on experiences that kids will enjoy, and next door is the La Brea Tar Pits, which is perfect for dinosaur lovers. Griffith Park and its observatory are all about the stars (not the Hollywood ones), and they provide a beautiful setting for hiking and seeing the city. Of course there’s visiting downtown Los Angeles to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the TCL Chinese Theatre. If you find yourself needing beach time, head to Santa Monica where you can walk the boardwalk and play games at the pier.
2. Phoenix to the Grand Canyon (225 miles one way)
One of the best times of year to visit Phoenix is during spring break. Visitors are almost guaranteed good weather and it’s spring training time, which means 15 different Major League Baseball teams come to town to play. If sports aren’t your thing, head to the Arizona Science Center, Phoenix Zoo, or Rawhide Western Town.
It is possible to drive non-stop to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix, but why not make an overnight stop in Sedona? Take a Pink Jeep Tour or hike through the red rock formations, or drive to Jerome where you can explore an Old West ghost town.
The Grand Canyon can have snow at spring break, so come prepared. It will be quite a bit colder than Phoenix. The South Rim of the canyon is open year round so it is possible to hike a bit and take it all in. It’s definitely worth the drive if you’re in Arizona for spring break.
3. Chicago to Indianapolis to Louisville (270 miles one way)
We live in Chicago, so we have taken many spring break road trips. One our kids love is heading from Chicago to Indianapolis to Louisville. It’s an easy drive from Chicago to Indianapolis, and there’s a ton to do there with kids.
One of my favorite places is The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and their Sports Legends Experience (think every possible sport in miniature for kids: golf, tennis, race cars, hockey, basketball, etc.) which will entertain kids for an entire day. There’s also the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum which presents the history of the sport and since it’s adjacent to the Indy 500 Speedway, it’s fun to take a tour or even a lap around the track. Don’t miss White River State Park with the Indianapolis Zoo and multiple museums, as well as an opportunity to take out a paddle boat on the river.
After your time in Indianapolis, hop on I-65 and head south to Louisville. One of our kids’ favorite stops is the Louisville Slugger Museum where you can see the process of wooden bat making and try some hands-on baseball games. There’s also an amazing cave system called Mega Caverns, where visitors can zip line or run a ropes course. Churchill Downs is also in the city, and its Kentucky Derby museum is a fun stop with kids too.
4. Miami to St. Augustine (309 miles one way)
Running 330 miles along the eastern coast of Florida is State Road A1A, one of the most scenic drives in the United States. Starting at the southern part in Miami, families will love South Beach (yes, the beaches are family friendly), the Frost Museum of Science, and a food tour of Little Havana. Kids might enjoy taking a walking tour of the Wynwood Art District followed by delicious treats at Mr. Kream.
Heading north from Miami, there are plenty of beaches to visit along the way. We recommend Fort Lauderdale, Delray Beach, and Melbourne Beach. Don’t miss a stop at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, where everyone will enjoy learning about the history of the space program and the hands-on exhibits.
The final stop on this road trip is St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. Castillo de San Marcos, is the main attraction and the oldest masonry fort in the United States, built in the 17th century. Make time for the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum, the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, and the Alligator Farm. After your day of exploring, be sure to hit the local beaches and soak up the sun.
5. New York to Washington, D.C. (227 miles one way)
Most of the drive between these two major destinations is fairly direct on I-95. If you want to make the trip a bit longer, consider spending a day or two in Philadelphia where the kids can learn about our nation’s history. Start with the The Liberty Bell Center, The National Constitution Center, the Betsy Ross House and Independence Hall. After everyone is done with the history lessons head to the Please Touch Museum or Adventure Aquarium. With little kids you might want to make a stop at Sesame Place; take the older ones to Tree Top Quest Philly so they can climb the trees and burn off some energy.
Washington, D.C. has an endless amount of family-friendly adventures. Take a walk or bike ride along the National Mall and visit some of the free museums. We would recommend the National Air & Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, the National Archives (just north of the mall), and the National Museum of the American Indian. There are many other fabulous free museums, so just find the one that suits your family, and head off to explore. Other favorite things to do with kids in Washington, D.C. include touring the United States Capitol and White House (both must be booked in advance), visiting the monuments on the Mall, checking out the International Spy Museum, and a cruise on the Potomac. If time allows, consider a visit to Arlington Cemetery or Mount Vernon.
Kirsten Maxwell of Kids Are A Trip is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity.
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