Hello! Heading out this summer on road trip going cross country with family( 3 kids 19,15,13). Any suggestions on places to stop I would love to hear them. We will be in RV so any cool camping areas too would be great! Thanks!
Vermont Route 100 is one of New England's most scenic drives, offering perfect diversions for long, warm days—hiking trails, swimming holes, farm stands, and classic general stores. It's now at the top of my bucket list, then a trip to the Maine coast for some fresh lobster and a bit of surfing.
I've spent a forty year career in the NPS and it is nice to see that they are so appreciated, In my old age, I am still a volunteer on various projects, so I am certainly not opposed to visiting National Park areas, but I must day, what are your interests? Focus on them and do some checking. Park websites will give you a good accurate overview of the park and current local conditions. Parks near or on the Navajo Reservation are currently closed because of Covid, for example.
Be sure you don't overlook other worthwhile destinations - consider South Dakota's Black Hills with Mount Rushmore and Wind Cave National Park. Actually more impressive is adjacent Custer State Park with the Needles (superb rock climbing and hiking) and Jewel Cave National Monument, which is actually larger than Wind Cave (roughly third largest cave system in the world, last time I checked and still under active exploration).
These area designations, state or national, park or monument, are all the result of various governmental decisions, some rather flippant and casual, and subject to redesignation as the result of all kinds of political tides. Nobody sat down at the beginning and thought through a rational process of designation.
Thank you! I will definitely research some of these areas for our trip! I agree with you, some of my favorite parks have been state parks that don’t get enough recognition because of titling. Less crowds too, which is always nice:)
State Parks always (I think) have showers too--unlike the National Parks. Some of them charge extra for the showers and charge extra to out-of-staters to camp there.
Fossil Buttes outside of Kemmerer Wyoming is really, really cool! It's been a few years since I've been there but last time I was there people were able to dig up fossils. Check it out and see what you think.
The town is really cute too, although I may be bias since I'm named after it. From there you can actually head to Utah pretty easily. It's amazing on the drive to see how the mountain ranges change when going from Wyoming to Utah.
California has so many awesome places It's hard to pinpoint but a favorite is Muir Woods. The redwoods are breathtaking. And if you're around Bodega Bay there is a restaurant Fishertarian Market that has GF clam chowder AND bread bowl and is AMAZING! (it's also dairy free!). They have reg clam chowder and bread bowl as well.
Have a great trip!
The family has done the east to west (and west to east) a number of times. One of the places that we found by accident, that we really enjoyed, were the Badland in South Dakota. Really special.
Summit County in Colorado is another great place to spend some time.
What type of activities are you looking to do, Hiking, biking?
Don’t see yellowstone without seeing the Tetons. Make sure to see the Grand Canyon as well as lake Powell and the Colorado River. The southwest is getting hot this time of year but will only get hotter. The SoCal coasts are beautiful but with covid you need camping reservations at least 24 hours out; no drive ups. Some places are even a week out earliest. Don’t be scared to dock it on BLM land either as soon as your west of the Mississippi. There’s so many places to see and explore, and no there are no wrong options. Good luck
Be super careful to book your timed entry tickets early. I am going out west with my friends this summer and Glacier, Zion, Rocky, and Yosemite are requiring reservations to enter. Also, the app HipCamp is a great resource to find campsites.
I'm envious of families with the interest and wherewithal to tackle cross country road trips. I am originally from an "hour outside of Philly" (near Valley Forge) like a previous commenter and then spent the bulk of my married life in south central PA...as a kid I never ventured west of Gettysburg, north of the Poconos, east of the Jersey shore or south of Norfolk, VA. I applaud families taking their kids on "road trips". Contrary to my early years my wife and I (no kids) have explored the country and the world but have really only scratched the surface. We made a conscious decision several years ago to relocate in the west to give us even greater access to this part of the country. National parks are a treasure, but are becoming increasingly crowded and unfortunately there are many visitors who don't leave them as they were before their visit. We now live in Tucson - yes, in the Sonoran Desert, amongst the giant Saguaros - with Saguaro National Park on both sides of the city - a park that is not as dramatic as a Yosemite or Grand Canyon but equally as unique. We're having fun exploring Arizona and highly recommend looking into it as part of any road trip.