Activate family road trip planning and plan your trip across the northern United States. We’re showing you how we logged 7,000 miles and 23 states in 21 days of summer vacation.
Tips you Need for a Successful Family Road Trip Across the U.S.A.
- Comprehensive Camping Guide Every Mom Needs for Survival
- Ways to Save Money on a Family Road Trip
- 10 Products You Need if You Plan to Prep Food in Your Hotel
- Tips for Buying Food on a Family Road Trip (on budget!)
- Tips for Transportation on a Family Road Trip (on budget!)
- Tips for Lodging on a Family Road Trip (on budget!)
- Snack Ideas for Your Next Family Road Trip
- Smart Packing Tips to Make Family Road Trips Easier
- Tips to Enjoy Affordable Family Vacations
- How to Choose the Right Hotel for Family Vacation
- 4 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling
Hold onto your suitcases because we had an adventure-packed family road trip. With stops at local attractions, businesses, and restaurants, National Parks, hotels, and camping, there’s a little something for every traveler on this family road trip across the Northern USA.
Don’t forget to check out my tips for how to pack for a family road trip with less stress!
What to See and Do on a Family Road Trip across the Northern U.S.A.
We started our 21-day family road trip across the northern USA at our home base in Manchester, NH. Our destination? Union Gap, Washington. After that, we turned around and headed back, dropping down a state from the border where possible. As you will see, we hit up quite a few of our gorgeous National Parks. We could have spent more time in all of them but it was a great trip to experience with our kids and gives them incentive to go back someday.
Vermont – No stops! We lived here a couple years AND already enjoyed a fabulous New England road trip.
New York – No stops! My husband lived in Upstate New York most of his life and I lived there for enough years. You can check out some of our other family road trips for Western New York destinations like JELL-O Museum, Rochester, and Niagara Falls. You can also grab some tasty poutine at Nail Creek Pub and Brewery.
Ohio – we recently visited Sandusky, Ohio, which you can read about.
Michigan – Agri-tour of a Celery and Onion Farm
Illinois – The Spice House, and hopefully Split-Rail, a nut allergy free restaurant
Wisconsin – We stopped at the Wisconsin State Fair to contribute to the annual average of 350,000 cream puffs consumed this year! We also visited Discovery World and The Spice House.
Minnesota – We wanted to visit Runestone Museum but our tight travel schedule didn’t allow us to wait until they opened so we settled for breakfast and a visit with Big Ole the Viking along with an eclectic Make-Your-Own Roadside Attraction Trail.
North Dakota – As an avid reader and history lover, I just had to add Theodore Roosevelt National Park to the list for North Dakota. We are also driving along the Enchanted Highway and stopping at Fort Abraham Lincoln Fort.
Montana – Of course you want pictures of Glacier National Park. I threw in some tips you’ll want to know before visiting too.
Destination: Union Gap, WASHINGTON STATE!
Washington – We spent a few days in Union Gap, Washington as this was our ultimate destination. As a result we have a nice little list of things to do in Union Gap. We were hosted at the Best Western Plus Ahtanum Inn. I’m also going to add some things I did on a follow up trip on a fun girls’ getaway with my favorite Alaskan, Laurar at Little House Big Alaska.
- Central Washington Agricultural Museum
- Los Hernandez Tamales (best tamales in PNW!)
- Where to Eat in Union Gap, Washington
- Agri-tour of a Peach Orchard and Peach Packing Facility
- Agri-tour of Rainier Fruit Blueberry Fields and Packing Facility
Oregon – Newport Beach for dinner and the Pacific Ocean and Crater Lake
Idaho – Travel roads along the Oregon Trail until you reach Craters of the Moon in Idaho. Seriously go check it out!
Nebraska – After driving across the country, Pioneer Village was a good educational and yet fun place to stop to learn about pioneer life.
Iowa – We drove past a lot of cornfields in Iowa but did make a couple stops. Here are some great impromptu places to see in Iowa – hint: outlaws and artists
Missouri – We were hosted for a meal at Padavan’s NY in St. Charles – Pinball and NY Style pizza. What’s not to love?! Get the scoop on our meal at Padavan’s.
Indiana – tune in for more details soon
Ohio – Columbus Zoo and Jenni’s Ice Cream stop
Pennsylvania – Surprise visit with family and a trip to Lancaster, PA
New Jersey – No stops! We’ve spent many days at the shore before and at Tuckerton Seaport.
If camping is part of your family road trip, be sure to check out my comprehensive camping guide for mom’s survival.
Have any stops to recommend along the way? Drop a comment to let us know what we can’t miss.
Road Trip Sponsors
The sponsor that put this road trip in motion: Union Gap, WA