Road Trip! The Top 3 Family-Friendly U.S. Vacation Destinations

Top 3 Family Friendly US Vacation DestinationsNo one gives much thought to how awesome our nation's highway system is, but when you really think about it, the extensive arrangement enables us to go anywhere in North America, provided we have a decent vehicle and gas money. A multi-day road trip can be an exhilarating, so why not round everybody up and explore some of the country's hidden treasures?

Las Vegas to Denver: Enjoy the Geographic Diversity of the West

Setting out from Las Vegas on I-15 toward Salt Lake City, you may question your decision to take your road trip in the American West. The desert landscape is serene but desolate, and the heat becomes nearly unbearable in the summer months. Pack plenty of water and basic repair supplies in case of an emergency.

Soon, however, the flat road gives way to spectacular mountains and cliffs of beautiful, reddish rock. Turn off on Hwy. 9, just past St. George, Utah, to take in the splendor of Zion National Park and explore a bit of canyon country. Next, continue heading north to I-70, which heads toward the Rocky Mountains. Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, is a must-see for its unique landscape and delicate arched rocks. Lodges and other accommodations abound in the area around Moab. As you continue on I-70, the hills and desert landscape gradually turn into lush forests and unparalleled Rocky Mountain scenery. Finish your trip in Denver, home to great microbreweries and enough outdoor activities to whet an adventurous appetite.

Midwestern Farm Country

The Midwest is often overlooked as a road trip destination in favor of flashier areas of the country. However, there is a quiet charm and understated beauty to the region. Begin in Madison, Wisc., with a trip to the Dane County Farmers Market, the largest in the country, to stock up on fruit, baked goods and Wisconsin cheese. Head north on I-90 to the Wisconsin Dells, a lovely community that is home to 20 world-class waterparks. Stay at one of the Wisconsin Dells waterpark resorts to get the classic Dells experience.

Next, follow I-90 toward La Crosse, Wisc, before heading north on Hwy. 35. This highway hugs the Mississippi River, providing opportunities for wildlife watching and plenty of small cafes and bars along the way. Finish your journey in the Twin Cities for a glimpse into Minnesota’s surprisingly hip nightlife and foodie scene.

Historic Florida

Most Florida visitors immediately flock to Disney World or the beaches of South Florida, missing some spectacular highlights of the rest of the state. Southern Living recommends taking in historic Florida by beginning in Jacksonville and taking Hwy. A1A south. Visit St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., to admire its cobblestone streets and historic fort. Farther south, the Flagler Beach pier is a great place to take in scenery of the Atlantic Ocean. End your journey at the popular beach destinations of Daytona Beach or Ft. Lauderdale. Alternatively, keep heading south on Hwy. 1 to go all the way to Key West to take in artistic neighborhoods and relaxed beach life.

Photo by Flickr user C.G.P. Grey