There’s nothing like taking a road trip in summer. That wonderful time of year when temperatures are warm and the days are longer – a great time to take long drives and discover the cities and countryside near you.
Whether taking a summer road trip is your family tradition or a trip you take occasionally, here are our five family-friendly road trips that are short and fun:
1. Atlanta to Chattanooga
It’s only 118 miles from Atlanta to Chattanooga, close enough for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Which means, there’s no need to find a hotel or restaurants on your way there.
Leave at around 9 am, and you’ll be in Chattanooga for lunch. Stay at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and enjoy on-site train-themed activities, museums, shops, gardens, pools, and restaurants. Choose either a room at Pullman Train Cars or MacArthur Building.
Park your vehicle at the hotel and get on the free Downtown Electric Shuttle from Chattanooga Choo Choo to the Tennessee Aquarium. From the aquarium, go for a walk to Tennessee Riverwalk, walk across the Walnut Street Pedestrian bridge to Coolidge Park. Enjoy the Riverwalk and head back to the hotel with the electric shuttle. You can do all these activities in a day or spread it out to two days.
2. San Francisco to Yosemite National Park
A road trip from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park is ideal for families wanting to combine a tour of San Francisco and Yosemite National Park. First, enjoy all the great attractions in San Francisco including riding on the iconic streetcars, walking on the Golden Bridge and visiting Alcatraz Island.
It’s 192 miles from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park. We suggest staying at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel. You can quickly get to Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and Glacier Point from the hotel. Go hiking, horseback riding, biking, fishing or join a guided tour and see the natural wonders of Yosemite National Park.
Some popular tours at Yosemite are Glacier Point Tour, Yosemite Valley Floor Tour, and Moonlight Valley Floor Tour.
3. Cincinnati to Lexington
Families who like horses and pulled pork with bourbon barbecue sauce may enjoy a road trip to Lexington, the Horse Capital of the World. And if you live in Cincinnati, Lexington is only 96 miles away.
When in Lexington check out:
1. Keeneland – the world’s largest thoroughbred auction house
2. The Kentucky Horse Park – visit the world-renowned International Museum of the Horse, enjoy the Horse-Drawn Tour and live equine shows throughout the day (only in summer).
3. Horse farm – take a horse farm tour with Horse Farm Tours Inc, Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Farm Tours or Unique Horse Farm Tours.
We recommend the family-friendly Embassy Suites Lexington for your stay in Lexington. It’s close to the main attractions, and the rooms are spacious.
4. Boston to Portsmouth
A drive from Boston to Portsmouth, a quaint seaport in New Hampshire only takes around an hour. Kids and adults will love Water Country, New England’s largest water park. Go tube sliding, body sliding, swimming and more. Families with young kids (below 48 inches tall) will love the kiddie section at Water Country.
Other fun attractions for the whole family in Portsmouth during summer months:
- The Prescott Park Arts Festival at the riverside city park in downtown Portsmouth for family entertainment
- Portsmouth Historical Society for arts and history of New England
- Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse
When in Portsmouth stay at Homewood Suites by Hilton. It’s an apartment-style hotel suitable with a fully-equipped kitchen.
5. Salt Lake City to Zion National Park
Salt Lake City and Zion National Park is about 309 miles apart. You can drive straight to Zion National Park or visit Fishlake National Forest, a natural mountain lake suitable for fishing and bird watching before heading to Zion. It’s a park where elk, deer, black bear, cougar, wild turkey, mountain goats and moose roam.
Zion National Park is where you can see the massive sandstone cliffs of red, pink and cream and experience the narrow slot canyon. Utah Tourism Board recommends a list of things to do which you can get at Utah.com.
While in Zion National Park, stay at the Cable Mountain Lodge, located near the cliffs and in the heart of the park.
Are you taking a road trip with your family this summer?