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Spring Break Road Trips for Families: The Ultimate Guide for Memorable Adventures in 2023

Spring break is just around the corner, and families everywhere are planning their getaways. Road trips are a classic way to spend this much-awaited break, offering a chance to bond and explore the great outdoors together. In this article, we’ll share some fantastic spring break road trip ideas that will make lasting memories for you and your loved ones.

We’ve compiled a list of four amazing destinations, each offering a unique experience for families to enjoy. So buckle up, and let’s embark on this journey to discover these wonderful places. Don’t forget to check out our other articles for more vacation ideas, like Best Mini Getaways for Families in 2023 and Fun Spring Break Trips for Families in 2023.

1. Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a fantastic choice for a spring break road trip. This picturesque destination offers breathtaking views and a variety of activities for the whole family. Take a scenic drive through the park, and don’t forget to stop at popular spots like Cades Cove, Clingmans Dome, and Newfound Gap.

Hiking is a favorite activity in the Smokies, with over 800 miles of trails to choose from. Families can opt for easy trails like the Laurel Falls Trail or challenge themselves with the more strenuous Chimney Tops Trail. While you’re exploring, keep an eye out for the park’s diverse wildlife, including black bears, elk, and various bird species.

After a day of adventure, consider camping at one of the park’s many campgrounds or stay in a cozy cabin in nearby towns like Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. These towns also offer family-friendly attractions such as Dollywood and the Titanic Museum. For more East Coast ideas, check out our Best East Coast Family Vacations in 2023 article.

2. Discover the Wonders of Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a must-visit destination for families seeking an unforgettable spring break experience. With its unique geothermal features, diverse wildlife, and stunning landscapes, Yellowstone is a true natural wonder.

Begin your journey at the park’s most famous attraction, Old Faithful Geyser, and explore the nearby boardwalks that lead to colorful hot springs and bubbling mud pots. Don’t miss the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, where you can marvel at the powerful Lower Falls.

Wildlife enthusiasts will love spotting bison, elk, and even wolves in the Lamar Valley, often referred to as the “American Serengeti.” For more incredible family vacation spots, take a look at our Top 5 Hidden Gems: Lesser-Known Vacation Spots for Families article.

After a day of exploration, relax at one of the park’s campgrounds or lodges, or venture to nearby towns like West Yellowstone or Gardiner for a comfortable stay. Remember to pack layers, as spring temperatures in Yellowstone can be unpredictable.

3. Experience Coastal Charm on a New England Road Trip

A New England road trip offers families the perfect blend of coastal charm, history, and natural beauty. Begin your journey in Boston, where you can explore historic sites like the Freedom Trail and the USS Constitution. Head north along the coast to visit picturesque destinations such as Salem, Rockport, and Portsmouth.

Continue your journey to Maine, where you can visit the breathtaking Acadia National Park, home to Cadillac Mountain, Jordan Pond, and Thunder Hole. Enjoy a leisurely hike on the park’s numerous trails, or take a scenic drive along the famous Park Loop Road.

Finish your trip with a stop in Portland, Maine, known for its vibrant culinary scene and stunning lighthouses. For more coastal vacation ideas, check out our Best Coastal Vacation Spots in 2023 article.

4. Embark on an Epic Midwest Adventure

For families seeking a truly epic spring break road trip, look no further than the Midwest. This vast region offers an array of memorable experiences, from exploring the Great Lakes to discovering the charm of small-town America.

Start your adventure in Chicago, where you can visit iconic attractions like the Willis Tower, Millennium Park, and the Field Museum. From there, head to the Indiana Dunes National Park for a day of hiking and beachcombing along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Next, venture into Michigan and visit charming coastal towns like Traverse City and Petoskey, or explore the stunning natural beauty of the Upper Peninsula with stops at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Tahquamenon Falls. Don’t miss out on our Ultimate Midwest Road Trip Ideas for Unforgettable Adventures in 2023 for more inspiration.

Wrap up your journey in Wisconsin, where you can tour the scenic Door County Peninsula, enjoy the bustling city life in Milwaukee, or take in the tranquil beauty of Devil’s Lake State Park.


No matter which destination you choose for your spring break road trip, the most important aspect is spending quality time with your family and creating unforgettable memories. Each of these four destinations offers a unique experience, catering to various interests and preferences.

Remember to plan ahead, pack wisely, and stay flexible during your journey. Embrace the unexpected and cherish the moments spent together on the open road. For more family vacation ideas, don’t miss our Best Tropical Vacations for Families in 2023 article.


When is the best time to plan a spring break road trip?
The best time to plan a spring break road trip is typically between March and April, depending on your school’s or workplace’s scheduled break. Keep in mind that some destinations may have different peak seasons, so be sure to research the best time to visit your chosen location.

How can I ensure a safe and enjoyable road trip experience for my family?
To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, make sure your vehicle is in good condition before hitting the road. Plan your route in advance, but also be prepared for detours and unexpected stops. Pack essentials like first aid kits, snacks, water, and entertainment for the kids. Finally, take regular breaks to stretch, rest, and recharge during your journey.

What should I pack for a spring break road trip?
Packing for a spring break road trip depends on your destination and the activities you have planned. In general, pack clothing that can be layered, as spring weather can be unpredictable. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, hats, and comfortable walking shoes. Additionally, pack a cooler with snacks and drinks, a GPS or maps, and entertainment options like books, games, and music.

How can I save money on a spring break road trip?
To save money on your road trip, consider traveling during the off-peak season or choosing a less popular destination. Plan and book accommodations and activities in advance to take advantage of discounts and deals. Pack your own snacks and meals to minimize dining out expenses, and research free or low-cost attractions and activities at your chosen destination.

Q: How can I keep my kids entertained during a long road trip?
Keeping kids entertained during a long road trip can be challenging, but with some planning and creativity, it’s possible to make the journey enjoyable for everyone. Consider the following ideas:

  1. Bring along a variety of age-appropriate games, books, and puzzles.
  2. Create a road trip playlist or download audiobooks and podcasts for the whole family to enjoy.
  3. Plan stops at interesting attractions, parks, or rest areas to break up the drive and give kids a chance to stretch their legs and burn off energy.
  4. Encourage kids to participate in planning the trip, and let them help choose destinations, activities, and meals.
  5. Pack a travel journal for each child, and encourage them to document their experiences and memories during the journey.

Remember, flexibility and patience are key to a successful family road trip. Embrace the unexpected and focus on the quality time spent together as a family.

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