Road trips in the Southeast can be “easy breezy lemon squeezy” with the right road map. That means planning, preparation, and persistence. But no perspiration! Don’t sweat it because Traveling Moms have logged some serious road trip miles. Our list of road trip ideas for families spans from Florida to Virginia.
Published: December 31, 2017
By: Sherry Boswell
Author Website: Click to Visit
So start your engines – not for racing, but for a fun, family road trip!
Ahh, Florida. It’s a Traveling Mom favorite. Sure, we have a whole directory devoted to Walt Disney World (https://www.travelingmom.com/disney/) as well as Universal Studios. But there’s much more to the Sunshine State outside of Orlando.
You can visit the great resorts in St. Pete Beach and Naples, see the manatees at Blue Spring State Park and Cuban cafes in Miami, or if you crave the sun and sand, investigate Mexico Beach and Sanibel and Captiva Islands. The Sanibel Thriller speed boat tour brings out friendly dolphins to play in its wake.
Love luxury? Then this Sarasota County guide (https://www.travelingmom.com/family-vacation-destinations/southeast-destinations/sarasota-county-florida-guide-for-the-luxury-loving-family/) shares where to stay and play. On the opposite end of the spectrum, learn how to budget travel in Southwest Florida. (https://www.travelingmom.com/family-vacation-destinations/southeast-destinations/southwest-florida-budget/)
The Tarheel state wows with mountains and metropolitan cities like Charlotte and Raleigh.
No one puts Lake Sure in a corner. It was one of the locales for the filming of “Dirty Dancing.”
Another water destination families will love is whitewater rafting and kayaking in Bryson City.
Asheville is another hotspot, with a tour of Biltmore Estates and plus hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or visiting any of their regular free festivals.
Other can’t miss destinations include Charlotte, Mount Airy (aka the town that inspired Mayberry) and Outer Banks, where wild horses roam free.
My home state boasts some of the most fascinating travel spots. Charleston was just named Best Southern City by Southern Living magazine.
The Carolina coast has some of the best beaches around. Not sure which one to choose? Check out Myrtle Beach, where you can zipline and jet ski. Popular coastal destinations include Hilton Head, or Charleston area beaches like Folly Beach and Isle of Palms.
Don’t miss the upstate area, especially Greenville, where the mice play on Main Street, the views slay from the suspension bridge over Falls Park, and the BMW’s fly on a performance test track.
Fun facts about Louisiana: Did you know that Breaux Bridge is known as the “Crawfish Capital of the World” and that Louisiana is the only state that divides up into parishes instead of counties? Louisiana also has the tallest state capitol building in the United States (34 stories).
We can’t talk Louisiana without a special shoutout to New Orleans, which is filled with fun things for families to do. Northshore and Shreveport/Bossier are other destinations the TravelingMoms recommend.
You could say that Virginia is for (travel) lovers. From visiting Thomas Jefferson’s home in Monticello and to visiting historic sites in Monticello, Charlottesville and Williamsburg, history buffs will delight in the immersion that transports visitors back in time.
Alexandria has some serious allure because of its cobblestone streets, restaurants, and unique shops along with kid-friendly play spots. Other popular cities with TravelingMoms are Hampton and Yorktown.
It’s hard to not have Georgia on your mind when you’re planning a Southeast road trip. Whether you are trying to choose one of Georgia’s many beach destinations, like St. Simons Island or Tybee Island, a Southern charmer like Savannah, or the thriving metropolis of Atlanta is sure to enthrall. Craving thrill rides and roller coasters? Six Flags Over Georgia awaits!
From the Panhandle region, with its popular beaches, to the civil rights steeped town of Montgomery, Alabama is a hub of history. We loved the family friendly activities in Birmingham, the foodie and shopping finds in Fairhope, plus Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
Pigeon Forge is a popular destination nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains. Synonymous with the area, Dollywood has 150 acres of theme park fun that attracts almost 3 million visitors a year.
Our TravelingMoms also highly recommend Memphis, Chattanooga and the Music City of Nashville.
Can’t decide between all these awesome options? Start with our Southeast Destinations page (https://www.travelingmom.com/family-vacation-destinations/southeast-destinations/) Scroll through the list and a destination (or two or three) will emerge.
A version of this story first appeared online at TravelingMom.com, the leading family travel website.