Family Road Trips That Are Fun for Everyone

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With summer right around the corner, families all over the country are planning out how they’ll be spending some quality time together in the coming season. If you’re looking for an epic American adventure, here are a couple of options that are bound to leave your entire family happy.

Visit the Mountain States

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Have you ever wanted to see Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, and the Grand Tetons? Well, planning a road trip to check out the national parks and monuments of South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming is a great experience for the entire family. There are roughly 391 natural gems from Acadia to Mt. Zion that are rich with history. Begin in Rapid City, South Dakota and enjoy Black Hills National Forest. There’s also a family-friendly waterpark, the Journey Museum and an indoor jungle called Reptile Gardens. About 47 miles southwest of that spot is Mount Rushmore National Memorial. There, you’ll find a walking trail, a 2,500-seat amphitheater, a visitor center, a museum, a foodservice facility, and a gift shop. Continue heading in the same direction for more of America’s great parks such as Custer State Park, where herds of bison roam freely over 71,000 acres.

Then consider moving southeast toward Badlands National Park, and along the way you can stop at Mammoth Site, an ongoing dig with 26,000-year-old bones of woolly mammoths that lived in the area. You can check out Evan’s Plunge to experience the healing waters of natural mineral fed pools, or stop at Wind Cave National Park. As one of the longest cave systems in the world, it’s made of ancient limestone and is home to plenty of wildlife.

Into Wyoming, on your way to Yellowstone National Park, is a town called Cody. Here, you can visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Buffalo Bill State Park or stay on a dude ranch and have some fun with riding and rodeos.

If you choose to go through Montana, you can stop at Crow Indian Reservation in Billings. Visit the site of General Custer’s Last Stand and check out one of the guided tours offered by Native Americans and Park Rangers. Montana’s Little Big Horn is only 130 miles away from Old Faithful. Yellowstone National Park covers two million acres of land and is home to truly the most awesome parts of nature. From steaming geysers, hot springs and other geological wonders, to wildlife and all sorts of activities, you’ve got plenty to do with the five regions of this incredible site.

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Just south of Yellowstone Grand Teton National Park. With the wildlife and scenery and an exquisite mountain range that stands 12,000-feet above sea level, you’ll find opportunities for hiking, fishing, and rafting.

PCH: The California Coast

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Pacific Coast Highway stretches from Orange County to Mendocino County and spans over 655 miles of breathtaking views. State Route 1 is the perfect means of travel when you’re looking to take in California’s coast. The trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles provides families with the ultimate scenic adventure. You’ll find whale watching in Half Moon Bay and surfers in Capitola. Santa Cruz has a seaside amusement park with two historic roller coasters and plenty of games.

As you make your way south, stop in Monterey. Head to Fisherman’s Wharf where you will find the Museum of Monterey and Cannery Row. From shops and restaurants to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, families can spend plenty of time here.

The drive from Carmel to San Luis Obispo is about 150 miles. Big Sur offers the best cliff side views to stop and take photos. Just south is Andrew Molera State Park where you can hike or go horseback riding. And at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, you can actually picnic in the middle of the coastal redwoods.

From San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles, you’ll have the opportunity to discover Sycamore Mineral Springs, where families are welcome to soak in hot tubs and use the heated swimming pool. You can visit Pismo Beach for a swim. Explore Solvang for a taste of the Danish life; from windmills to Danish pastries and other Scandinavian specialties, this charming town will win any family’s heart. After that, you’ll want to hit up every beautiful beach in sight—don’t miss out on Santa Barbara, Malibu, Zuma, Santa Monica, and Venice.

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