Articles in Expert Itinerary
While you could make it from Asheville, NC to Nashville, TN in four to five hours on the Interstate, taking the scenic route offers opportunities for unique stops that make a memorable family road trip.
Joshua Tree National Park, located about two hours east of Los Angeles, is a perfect example. Located on the border of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, it’s home to some of the strangest and most spectacular scenery in America. Visit in the spring, and you’ll be treated to spectacular wildflower blooms that transform the otherwise parched landscape into an explosion of color. Visit in the fall, and you’ll enjoy balmy temperatures perfect for hiking or rock climbing. Not summer? Not a problem. Joshua Tree awaits!
Two-thirds of the way up the craggy coast of Maine lies Mount Desert Island, home to granite mountains, picture perfect harbors, and Acadia National Park. Mount Desert Island is the crown jewel of coastal New England—the only place on the East Coast where the mountains literally meet the sea. Nearly 40% of the island has been permanently protected as Acadia National Park, and it’s home to some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in America.
Nestled deep in the heart of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite National Park is one of America’s most spectacular sights. Its alpine scenery is bursting with superlatives: the highest waterfall in North America (Yosemite Falls), the most famous vertical rock face in the world (El Capitan), and the largest organisms of all time (giant sequoia trees). But no statistic can ever capture the park’s staggering beauty.
One mile deep. Ten miles wide. One hundred and sixty miles long. Covering 1.2 million acres in northern Arizona , Grand Canyon is a breathtaking act of geology. Teddy Roosevelt called it “the one great sight every American should see.”
The Mt. Hood Territory region of Oregon is one of the most beautiful road trips in the US. You can explore the region with less than 100 miles of actual road trip distance and it’s great for a weekend or partial-week trip. The scenery is world-class, but the region is also so flexible that each season offers different attractions and opportunities to explore the area, that you could return several times a year and take a totally different trip. We love it for families because of that flexibility and the short driving distance between each point.
School may be back in session, but the beach is still calling your name. An ideal destination for your family’s beach road trip is Florida’s Northwest Gulf Coast. Known as “THE Beach”, it stretches 227 miles from Pensacola to Apalachicola in the Florida Panhandle and features miles of georgeous white sand beaches and charming seaside villages.
You love sports. And, before the kids you used to travel to sporting events at will. Now, it takes more planning, sure, but there are things your kids should see with you, before they get too old to want to be seen with you.
For this month’s expert itinerary, I reached out to Janet Chapple, author of the book Yellowstone Treasures: The Traveler’s Companion to the National Park. The updated third edition just came out in April, and our family will be spending a couple of weeks there this summer, so I wanted to get some expert advice on how to tackle the park.