We are all ready for a family road trip right about now. You don’t have to go far for your next adventure together. My family visited each of these places, and we’re ready to share our best-kept secrets. Keep scrolling for the best spots within a day’s drive of the DC area.
Virginia’s Eastern Shore
Usually thought of as a summer destination, the Eastern Shore is beautiful year-round. Our favorite finds are Kiptopeke State Park and Cape Charles. Oddly enough, we love the seaside in the off-season. It isn’t insanely hot, and the touristy areas aren’t crowded.
Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania
I highly recommend visiting during the holiday season. The light display at Longwood Gardens is spectacular, and the Santa Express is a blast for all ages. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, and my kids couldn’t believe there was a candy bar in the lobby. I won major mom points for that one.
The children’s museum here is really cool, and Braehead Farm is a working farm full of tons of fun for your kiddos. You can take an old fashioned trolley ride through downtown and learn more about where George Washington grew up. Check out my article about the resort where we stayed. It is beautiful.
Fayetteville, West Virginia
I never thought of visiting this area until recently, and I’m so glad we went. Fayetteville is heaven for any outdoor enthusiast, but there are beautiful sights for the whole family. The waterfalls, rushing rivers and the 13th highest bridge in the world make this town a must-visit.
Mill Creek, Pennsylvania
We also love Lancaster, PA, but our favorite stop was Airydale Retreat. Our family glamping adventure was filled with intentional family time and some beautiful days in nature. Our hike in Trough Creek State Park was amazing, and the swimming hole at Greenwood Furnace State Park was refreshing and my kids loved playing in the sand.
Peanuts, peanuts and more peanuts! Southampton County is known for its peanut farms, peanut shops and peanut museums. Sorry if someone has an allergy. The quaint town has cute restaurants and a fun LOVEworks sign for a family photo op. We loved our stay there because we got to sleep on a working farm. We ate farm-to-table every night and got to feed the animals with the owners.
Catskills, New York
We visit two beautiful resorts in the mountains. Pine Ridge Dude Ranch gives your whole family the cowboy experience. Family-style meals, daily horseback rides and tons of on-site amenities. If you’re looking for something a little more upscale but family-friendly, Winter Clove Inn is the place for you. The grounds are gorgeous, and we felt like we were on a 50’s family getaway.
I’m always happy when we find a place to stay with water nearby and a full kitchen. That’s basically all my kids need for a week away. Lake Wallenpaupack is beautiful, and the resort we stayed in is great for the whole family. Stop by a local hotel, Ledges, to see a gorgeous waterfall while you’re there.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
This town is worth the drive. My husband described it as little country Vegas. Lights, shows, rides and yummy food abound, and Pigeon Forge is within driving distance of Gatlinburg and Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Bonus, our resort has a waterpark attached. How cool is that?