Memorial Day Family Road Trip


According to AAA, automobile travel will be up 5.4 percent this Memorial Day. It’s always a road trip holiday, and with gas prices this year expected to stay under $3/gallon, it is affordable for families to hit the road, especially if you do a one-tank trip. Our favorite one-tank trips involve national and state parks with lots of options so families have breathing room on crowded holidays like Memorial Day. But, we always like a variety of options for all budgets and age groups.

Here’s a quick look at our favorite resources and destinations this year:

California Coast
The California coast is road trip heaven. There are unlimited pit stops and the scenery doesn’t get better. A great family weekend destination is Crystal Cove State Park. Located between Corona del Mar and Laguna beach, the park’s historic district is an enclave of 46 cottages built in the 1920’s and 30’s. There are 3.5 miles of beach and undeveloped woodland for hiking and horseback riding. The park also offers a Junior Ranger program (always a huge hit with kids), Family Art Club and Shorty’s Historic District Fun Tour.

Find Your Favorite Scenic Byway
No matter where you live, there’s probably a National Scenic Byway close enough for a weekend getaway. Spend the Memorial Day holiday wandering and meandering and find a new favorite. Regardless of whether you’re on a budget or want to enjoy a hobby like fishing, hunting, golf or shopping, there’s a byway adventure just waiting to be explored. After finding the byways close to you, be sure to research the recommended stops and tours on the site, as well as the experiences other families have had. There’s always that little gem that makes the trip and this is a great site for finding those gems.

The Adirondacks
This region in northern New York State is known for over 3,000 lakes and ponds, 2,000 miles of hiking trails, more four-diamond resorts than any other destination in the state, nearly 100 campgrounds, and of course, the Adirondack mountains. The mountains themselves are a mecca of outdoor and indoor recreation. The nation’s largest trail system is just waiting to be hiked, and there’s a trail for any family. Paddle, swim or fish not only the lakes but over 1,500 miles of rivers and streams. An easy drive from much of the east coast, the Adirondacks make a perfect Memorial Day getaway.

Royal Gorge, Canon City, Colorado
The Royal Gorge is just two hours south of Denver and 45 minutes southwest of Colorado Springs. It’s an easy day trip but makes a fun weekend when paired with camping or a stay at one of the family-friendly hotels. The main attraction is the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, one of the most scenic railroads in the world. The Royal Gorge Bridge is over 1,000 feet above the river below and offers spectacular views at sunset. It’s also thrilling enough that kids will talk about it for years to come. You can also raft the Arkansas river, go rock climbing or kayaking or just relax.