Since the pandemic began, thousands of parents of young children tried RV travel with kids. Today, they’re still having a blast roadschooling along many of our favorite RV road trip routes for families. If you’re thinking of doing the same, check out these 10 best road trip ideas for kids and parents.
RV road trip with your family is a great way to make lifetime memories. As you plan your next vacation there is a lot to keep in mind. What do your children like to do? Are they science geeks who can spend hours in a museum, or are they outdoor enthusiasts who like to bike, hike, and do water activities? Whatever the case, check out the best RV road trip routes below and you are sure to find something to entertain every member of your family.
RV Travel with Kids Along These 10 Best RV Road Trip Routes For Families
1. Great Smoky Mountains
From the Biltmore Estates in Asheville, North Carolina to the Blue Ridge Parkway, there is something for every family member in and near the Great Smoky Mountains. The Blueridge Parkway is a 469-mile scenic drive beginning at the southern end of the Shenandoah National Park, near Waynesboro, Virginia, and winding along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains all the way to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is considered one of the best scenic drives in the United States. Be sure to do your homework before taking off with your RV in tow. Most of the parkway is fine with RVs but click on the link below for some tips to make the most of your trip.
SkyLift Park reopened in 2019 with a walk-in-the-clouds known as the SkyBridge. SkyBridge is a must-see as it’s the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. Walk across glass panels to view the canyon below or look up for the best views of the Smokies.
2. Oregon Coast Highway 101
The Oregon Coast, another one of our best RV road trip routes for families. One popular way to sightsee is to drive Oregon Coast Highway 101. This route is one of the best ways to roadschool when you’re trying RV travel with kids.
With so many things for RV families to see and do, you’ll want to come back again and again. Exploring tide pools, whale watching, fishing, and just watching the sunset are some of the ways you can spend the day as a family.
A great destination along the 101 is Depoe Bay, considered one of the best small towns on the Oregon Coast and known as the whale-watching capital of Oregon. As you travel Highway 101, be sure to pull over and check out the resident wildlife when you need to stretch your legs.
Near the city of Cannon Beach don’t miss the iconic Haystack Rock, a 235-foot testament to the region’s volcanic past. The city itself is family-friendly with arcade parlors, themed restaurants, and many summer events.
3. National Parks in the Southwest
Colorado and the surrounding states of Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona have an abundance of national parks. Taking a route through Colorado to New Mexico and Arizona, and your RVing kids will see a plethora of natural wonders, beautiful scenery, and historic landmarks. Don’t miss the Painted Desert Petrified Forest in Northern Arizona, known for its brilliant and varied colors. Another attraction is the Petrified Forest, named for its large deposits of petrified wood and covering about 346 square miles.
Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve and interpret the archeological heritage of the ancestral Pueblo people. The park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings.
Take in Rocky Mountain National Park’s 415 square miles and see some great mountain views. With more than 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and more, you won’t want to miss a minute.
Grand Canyon National Park is definitely a must-see on this list of the best RV road trip routes. Theodore Roosevelt visited the Grand Canyon several times and advocated for its preservation. There is plenty to do here, including rafting, mule trips, hiking, and educational opportunities.
4. RV with Kids on the California Coast
From the San Diego Zoo to Ghirardelli Square and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, there is much to see and do along the California coast. You must check out the home of the tallest trees on the planet. Located in Northern California, Redwood National Park boasts some 140,000 acres to explore.
A pit stop in Santa Cruz will provide some great surfing or lounging on the beach. Unwind and take in the views in Big Sur and spend the night hiking and camping. Stop and check out Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Of course, the kids won’t want to miss Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Knott’s Berry Farm in Anaheim. Take a side trip to Palm Springs or Joshua Tree before heading to the beach cities of Santa Monica, Venice, and Malibu.
5. Northeastern Florida
Exploring Florida is another awesome road trip route for RVing with kids. You will make memories at every turn on one of the best RV road trip routes on the east coast. Start with Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island in northeast Florida.
Work on your tan or book a horseback ride on the beach. You can also check out some amazing state parks, bike island trails, or explore the barrier island by kayak or canoe. Plan a sunset river cruise, take part in an educational shrimping eco-tour, or visit the Cumberland Island National Seashore to see wildlife such as dolphins, manatees, sea otters, alligators, and wild horses.
As you travel south, be sure and stop at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens or visit the Kingsley Plantation. At the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, you can see tigers, lions, leopards, pumas, servals, bobcats, foxes, and coatimundis.
Check out the St. Augustine Alligator Farm where you can see wildlife shows and even zipline over the park. You can also take a St. Augustine trolley tour and visit several of the city’s historic museums.
More Road Trip Routes for Families
Still don’t know where to take your family on your great American Road Trip? Here are five more routes for RV travel with kids that everyone will love.
6. Route 66
From Illinois to California, Route 66 encompasses eight states and nearly 2,448 miles. Even if you only want to experience part of this epic road trip, there is still plenty for a family to see and enjoy.
A few highlights include the “Chain of Rocks Bridge” in St. Louis. This famous bridge was a mile long and more than 60 feet above the Mississippi River. It is a significant landmark for travelers who drove down Route 66. Today, the bridge is linked to more than 300 miles of trails on both sides of the river and has become part of the Route 66 Bikeway.
The original western terminus of Route 66 was in downtown Los Angeles, but the route was extended to Santa Monica in 1935. A sign at the end of the Santa Monica Pier marks the “End of the Trail,” with a Ferris wheel, arcades, street performers, and plenty of restaurants and bars.
In New Mexico, the Route 66 Scenic Byway is a great opportunity to roadschool during RV travel with kids. This route offers spectacular views and allows you to experience the real Route 66 as it ran through New Mexico in its heyday.
Along the way, take in high desert landscape with red-hued cliffs or pine-wooded hills and valleys. New Mexico Route 66 RV parks, motels and 1950 diners with restored neon signs line portions of Route 66. Wind through the wooded foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to soak up the gorgeous scenery.
7. The Gulf Coast
Wind your way from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to the Florida Keys. This is one of the best RV road trip routes during winter. Take in beaches, beaches, and more beaches as you escape cold climates. Spend a few days in New Orleans shopping at the French Market, check out Bourbon Street, or sweeten your life at Café du Monde. Check out Champagne’s Cajun Swamp Tours on Lake Martin outside of Lafayette and see cypress trees, Spanish moss, birds, snakes, and alligators.
Tour the factory that makes Tabasco sauce and see how they age and bottle the sauce. Get free recipes and visit the 170-acre Jungle Gardens, designed by the son of the Tabasco Sauce inventor more than 100 years ago.
Pensacola, Florida is home to the National Naval Aviation Museum, the largest museum of its kind in the world. Learn about the history of aviation, try out a flight simulator, or view more than 150 restored aircraft. You can even have a front row seat to watch the Blue Angels practice.
Check out the 26 miles of white sand beaches in South Walton County Florida. Grayton Beach has been called one of the best beaches in the US. Spend an afternoon on a self-guided nature trail through sand dunes, the coastal dune lake, pine flatwoods, marshes, and miles of beach. The laid-back beach town is a great place to relax at the end of the day.
8. Adirondacks (NYC to the Finger Lakes)
If you and your family are feeling adventurous, the nearly 6 million acres of the Adirondacks will provide more than enough hiking and biking trails, historical sites, and quaint villages.
Plan your RV trip to tour the vineyards in the Finger Lakes wine region. Drive through New York state’s rolling hills and enter the village of Aurora where you can check out the calming waters of Cayuga Lake. Check out the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum in Seneca Falls or see the spectacular falls at Taughannock Falls State Park.
Watkins Glen State Park is 778 acres and features a 400-foot-deep narrow gorge cut through rock by Glen Creek. The park also features numerous waterfalls, as well as the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, comprised of 31 wineries.
9. Amish Country Ohio
At just 76.2 miles, one of the shortest routes on this best RV road trip routes list is the Amish Country Byway. It’s a great way to try RV travel with kids, and enjoy the rolling hills and back roads of central Ohio. Together as a family you can learn about how the Amish settled the area in 1808.
From Interstate 77, take the Dover exit and travel west along SR 39 where the byway begins just past Sugarcreek, also known as the “Little Switzerland of Ohio.” While in Sugarcreek, take a buggy ride, learn about Amish ways, see the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock, or visit one of the many shops and farmer’s markets.
Berlin, Ohio is the heart of Amish Country with much to see and do, including Amish Country Theater and Schrock’s Heritage Village. Tis the Season, Ohio’s largest year-round Christmas shop, features both traditional and unique Christmas décor. Don’t miss the many artisan shops and historic sites of the Amish and German homesteaders.
Heini’s Cheese Chalet is a third-generation, family-owned business where you can watch the cheese-making process. Up to 12 tons of cheese can be made in a day and more than 25 varieties are offered. An average of 50,000 pounds of cheese is made in a week.
10. South Dakota (Black Hills to Wyoming)
As the Black Hills rise from the Great Plains in western South Dakota, this small mountain range extends into Wyoming. Start your historic RV travel with kids journey in the area of Mount Rushmore.
This is where you can see the iconic mountain sculpture of U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. The memorial is 5,725 feet above sea level and is scaled to the size of a man who would stand 465 feet tall. Approximately 30 miles from Rapid City, you can also visit the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center & Museum, the Carver’s Café, Memorial Ice Cream Shop, and the Mount Rushmore Bookstores.
Wall Drug Store, located in the town of Wall, South Dakota, is adjacent to Badlands National Park. The store, opened in 1931, offers a collection of cowboy-themed gifts, art, and even an 80-foot brontosaurus sculpture. This tourist attraction is draws about two million annual visitors.
Give RV Travel with Kids a Try
Many families who try RV travel with kids decide to make it a permanent way of life. This is one of the most affordable ways to explore the country together. Plan your RV trip and help your kids appreciate the outdoors. You’ll build a lifetime of happy camping memories they will pass on to their family.