Life on the road is about making your dreams of traveling come true and it would be awesome to share it with your kids. Whether you are a family of four with kids, a couple with fur babies, or a couple who are kids inside cleverly disguised as adults on the outside- any modern family will enjoy these family RV trips that will create memories that will last a lifetime! That is, after all, why you bought or rented the RV.
1. San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld: San Diego, San Diego, California
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The San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld San Diego is the perfect vacation trip for those Safari lovers and underwater wanders who are curious about the animal world.
A single day’s pass that includes a visit to the San Diego Zoo and all regularly scheduled shows inside the zoo costs $58 for adults and $48 each for children. Seaworld San Diego admits children for $74 and adults for $94 each. If you do plan to visit both the zoo and the aquarium, there are multi-park tickets available that are cheaper than when they are bought separately.
Nearby Attraction: Balboa Park. This huge park that surrounds the San Diego Zoo offers so much that it becomes a great destination for those who want a more natural theme, one without cages and enclosures.
This clean and green park has lots of open space areas perfect for picnics and a lot of running around for the little ones. It also has lots of gardens and green belts for those nature lovers interspersed therein are walking paths where you can lose yourself in. For those interested in the arts, Balboa Park also has several theaters and even museums if that tickles your fancy.
2. Smithsonian Museums: Located in Washington D.C.
Take a trip back into history and be amazed at how the world has evolved from what it was to what it is today. Smithsonian Museum is a must-see for those families with curious kiddos. This trip ultimately feeds the curiosity of both the kids and their designated adults. After this trip, you’ll feel smarter than you already are.
Admission for all Smithsonian museums and the zoo in Washington, D.C., plus the American Indian Museum’s George Gustav Heye Center in New York is free!
RV Park Near Destination: Cherry Hill Park. This amazing RV Park has all you ever wanted and a lot more extra!
Aside from the basic amenities and all-year-round RV hook-ups, this park has two solar-heated pools, a splash park, and bathhouses. A café is also there to fill your tummies while an exercise room and a dance ballroom are available to trim your love handles down. A unique amenity in Cherry Hill Park is the Gaga Pit, which is a version of dodgeball for kids and kids at heart.
If ever you’re the type to go around and do some exploring, the RV Park offers over 40 miles of off-road trails. There are tours around the area, too. You could even go through some areas riding a tractor! Glamping and cabins are also other options for accommodations if you want to try something new.
Nearby Attraction: International Spy Museum. Close to the Smithsonian Museums is the International Spy Museum.
This multilevel museum celebrates the art, science, and passion for being a spy, moreso, an international one. Even if our concept of being a spy comes from the movies we watch, it is still not so far from real life. Real-life James Bond? Totally tickles anyone’s fancy.
The museum opens at 9:15 am with a $25 entrance fee for adults. Children under 6 years old get to enjoy the museum for free while teens have discounts.
3. Georgia Aquarium: Located in Atlanta, Georgia
Awaken your dreams of exploring the ocean and taking a great big dive with the fishes and the turtles in the safest possible way. Holding the title of ‘The Largest Aquarium in the World’, they weren’t kidding about how massive this aquarium is! Big enough to impress even the least enthusiastic about sea creatures in the family, that’s for sure.
According to the zoo’s website, general admission tickets are usually priced at $32.95 for adults (ages 13 to 64), $28.95 for children (ages 3 to 12) and $30.95 for seniors (aged 65 and above). Prices are reduced by up to 30 percent after 4 p.m.Parking costs an additional $12 but there are reduced prices for purchasing aquarium tickets and parking fees ahead of time.
Nearby Attraction: The World of Coca-Cola. Enter the highly satisfying world of Coca-Cola! This museum features the rich history of the fizzy, thirst-quenching, addictive drink, and so much more! As to writing, their website states that standard tickets are priced at $17 for adults, $15 for seniors and $13 for kids ages 3 to 12. An Atlanta CityPASS will also cover your entry to the museum.
Military personnel and little ones aged two years and younger get in for free.
RV Park Near Destination: Atlanta Marietta RV Resort Park. A great RV resort park when visiting Atlanta is the Atlanta Marietta RV Resort Park. This park offers all the basics one could ask for when RV camping. The resort park has a paved walkway and is lined by trees which makes you feel like you’re actually living in a well-kept park!
Hook-ups are available for when you want to refill and recharge your RV. Showers and a laundromat are present, too, to address your hygiene needs. The RV park has a pool open during the summer or when the weather allows it and definitely is dog-friendly, which is a big plus for us pet parents.
4. Disneyland: Located in Los Angeles, California
Image Source: discoverlosangeles.com
Welcome to ‘The Greatest Place on Earth!’ where you can spin around in teacups like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, tag along with Indiana Jones’ expeditions, cool off in Splash Mountain, say ‘Aye!’ to the Captain at Pirates of the Caribbean, and so much more!
This might even be the greatest place on earth, too, for RV families looking to forge memories that they will remember ‘till years to come.
One day passes retail upwards of $153 up to $200 each, depending on where and when you buy them. With that note, it is wise to bring light snacks and drinks to lower the cost of the trip. You are, after all, going to need that energy to enjoy the theme park to the fullest. Expect a lot of walking around. It is quite a massive theme park after all.
Image Source: “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: This Way To Hogwarts” by Scott Smith (SRisonS) is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Nearby Attraction: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Whether you’re a cunning Slytherin, a daring Gryffindor, a hard-working Hufflepuff, or a witty Ravenclaw, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Universal Studios is the perfect world to experience magic in.
Access to this theme park is included with a Universal Studios park ticket, which ranges from $105 to $116 depending on when you visit on a weekend or a weekday.
RV Park Near Destination: Anaheim RV Park. This is an excellent RV Park which is only a 6-min drive to Disneyland, which is totally walkable. Madame Tussaud’s Wax museum is only half an hour away and Universal Studios around 40 minutes away.
According to Google Reviews, the staff of this RV Park are so professional and welcoming that they even have a dog walking service while the pet parents are at Disneyland. They take your fur babies and walk them all over the park for 30 minutes and sometimes leave a cute report card on how their walk was. They’ll give the pups water and food and give them treats as long as you leave a few around.
5. Maui Ocean Center: Located in Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii
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I know what you’re thinking, ‘But Maui’s an Island, how would I get an RV there?’ Simple. Rent one.
There are campervans for rent on the island for $100 per day or even less. With an RV rental, you get to go around and see the island in all its beauty with all your essentials with you, not having to waste precious vacation time commuting from, say, a hotel to where you want to go. You’re in paradise, after all, soak up in it.
The Maui Ocean Center is centered around marine life that is endemic to Hawaii. It is known as ‘The Aquarium of Hawaii’, which says a lot since Hawaii is already a big aquarium on its own, but this attraction is sort of a safer option to see endemic marine life in Maui without the risk of being eaten by sharks or stung by rays.
According to their website, the Maui Ocean Center admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost $27.95, while a popular guided tour starts around $9.99 per person.
Maluaka Beach, Maui
Maluaka Beach is a 1 hour, 20 min scenic drive from the Hosmer Grove Compound. Locals fondly call Maluaka Beach ‘Turtle Town’ and is the best snorkeling beach in the area. This picturesque landscape has tranquil blue waters teeming with colorful marine life and of course, lots of green sea turtles!
Nearby Attraction: Haleakalā National Park. Haleakalā is home to the dormant Haleakalā Volcano and habitat to the endangered endemic Hawaiian geese. Both the Leleiwi and Kalahaku Overlook have views across the West Maui Mountains that would take your breath away.
There are also lots of rugged trails in the Summit District that were formed by cinder cones, volcanic ash, and lava flows. Mother Nature at her rawest. The Pools of Ohe’o in the coastal part of Kīpahulu offer freshwater pools and waterfalls in the middle of a bamboo forest.
Image Source: “starr-120329-3996-Pinus_pinaster-habitat_and_campground-Hosmers_Grove_HNP-Maui” by Starr Environmental is licensed under CC BY 2.0
RV Campground Near Destination: Hosmer Grove Campground. The Hosmer Grove Campground is a straightforward mountainside tent campground with drinking water, pit toilets, BBQ grills & picnic tables. As per Google Review, van camping is permitted and doable but the parking spots are very tilted. So you have been warned. A solution to this dilemma is just to park on the road shoulder instead.
It is over an hour’s drive to the Maui Ocean Center.
6. World’s Largest Toy Museum: Located in Branson, Missouri
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Reminisce with your family those olden days of endless playing and running around with your BB gun or a Raggedy Ann doll that attended every one of your tea parties.
The World’s Largest Toy Museum in Branson, Missouri carries tons of old historic toys that are sure to strike a nostalgic chord inside. Open up and share this experience with your partner or your kids and watch as they get to know you even more.
Admission costs $21.24 per adult, $14.52 for children ages six to 13 years, and kids younger than six years old go in for free.
While in Branson, you could set lots of side trips to supplement your family getaway. Branson is filled with water parks, amusement parks, lakes, streams, and you could even go fishing.
Nearby RV Park Destination: Branson Shenanigans RV Park. The Branson Shenanigans RV Park, despite the name, is a very relaxing, no-nonsense RV park with helpful, friendly owners. They help you get tickets to great shows and attractions around Branson and even deliver the tickets to your camper door.
As to amenities, bathrooms are superb, clean, and warm while the campgrounds are surrounded by woods, so it is quiet, airy, and cool. It is very accessible and you don’t have to worry about a curfew on the premises if you plan to spend a night out in the town.
7. San Antonio Zoo: Located in New Braunfels, Texas
The San Antonio Zoo is a massive 35-acre zoo has a collection of over 3,500 animals representing 750 species! Talk about variety!
Admission prices start at $19.99 for adults and $15.99 for children for the standard admission tickets that can be bought online to skip the long queues. Annual Passes are also available but this only makes sense if you want to visit a couple of times a year. A family annual pass can retail upwards of $90. San Antonio residents will be able to go to the zoo for a discounted price on ‘Locals Day’.
Image Source: roverpass.com
Nearby RV Park in Destination: Traveler’s World RV Resort. Traveler’s World RV Resort has had great Google Reviews from actual guests who had stayed in the resort. One even claimed that it is the ‘Best of Texas’, and it might be true as it has a lot to offer.
This RV Resort lies next to River Walk, a city park with a network of walkways beside the San Antonio river, imagine that pleasant afternoon walk. It is also a great location as you can go anywhere by bus. The RV resort is immaculately clean and is well taken care of with lots of activities and amenities to offer. What more can you ask for in an RV resort?
The kids will love their stay as the resort has a ping-pong area, a pool, a good-sized gym, air hockey tables, and nice bike trails close by that overlooks the river and refreshing scenery.
It is a quick 12 min drive to the SA Zoo and a 40-min drive to Schlitterbahn Waterpark.
8. California Academy of Sciences: Located in San Francisco, California
The California Academy of Sciences is the must-see for the science buffs in the family. It has an aquarium, a planetarium, a rainforest simulation, night school for learning about fungi and designing a coral reef among other topics, a natural history museum which takes you on a journey of the past, present, and future of our planet, and to top it all off, you can even meet the scientists themselves!
Admission for the Academy varies a lot. Individual tickets can be purchased online through their website. There are free and low-cost admission opportunities as they encourage field trips and other access programs to make the Academy open to all. They also have free days and discounts all year round.
San Francisco is a lovely place to go around in. From the California Academy of Sciences, one could have a quick 6-minute drive to the Golden Gate Bridge, take photos and go around the Golden Gate Park.
Grow those calf muscles and walk up that steep, crooked Lombard Street which is a few minutes away from the Golden Gate Bridge. Another popular site in San Francisco is the infamous Alcatraz Island. If you’re curious about the island, there are cruises available in the area when you get to the port.
Image Source: roverpass.com
Nearby RV Park in Destination: Marin RV Park. Marin RV Park has the basic amenities of an RV Park which includes water and electricity hookups and free Wi-Fi. It is a pet-friendly RV park with a pool open when the weather permits, a laundromat, and cable TV. It is just 20 min away from the California Academy of Sciences, passing the Golden Gate Bridge.
9. Kennedy Space Center, Orlando, Florida
Image Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration – Kennedy Space Center, Public Domain
3… 2… 1… Blast off!
Have a blast at the Kennedy Space Center with their numerous exhibits and experiences like the Space Shuttle Atlantis- an actual space vehicle of NASA, the Rocket Garden- literally a garden full of rockets, the Shuttle Launch Experience- the closest thing to a real space shuttle launch, and an Astronaut Training Simulator. Best of all, you get the chance to meet an actual Astronaut, which can be pretty cool!
As is what is on their website, the admission price for visitors aged 12 years and older starts at $57. Children between the ages of three and 11 are charged $47.
Orlando is a jackpot location for RV families as it is full of theme parks like Seaworld Orlando, Crayola Experience Orlando, Gatorland, Universal Orlando Resort, and of course, Disney World! The difference between Disneyland and Disney World is that the latter has four theme parks and two water parks and the former has only two theme parks. But sometimes, more isn’t better.
Image Source: roverpass.com
Nearby RV Park in Destination: Indian River RV Park. The Indian River RV Park is the perfect park to stay in when in Orlando. This relaxed RV Park is equipped with the basic RV Park hookups for water and electricity with bathing facilities and free Wi-Fi on-site. They have a very nice theater with 16 screens, 3D, and Imax. As to accessibility, it is an easy walking distance to restaurants and the waterfront. It is a close 18-minute drive to the Kennedy Space Center.
10. Niagara Falls State Park: Located in New York
Image Source: “Visit to Cave of the Winds (Niagara Falls State Park, New York)” by cseeman is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Like most state parks, it is free to enter Niagara Falls State Park and enjoy the views, take hikes, and lounge around the designated picnic areas. But if you do wish to experience the Falls in all its awesomeness, there are lots of local tour packages available.
According to the U.S. News Travel, the best time to visit Niagara Falls is June to August. Summer is peak season and with good reason. Mists and breezes from the waterfalls can make the area feel cooler in the grueling heat of summer.
Image Source: koa.com
Nearby RV Park in Destination: Grand Island KOA Holiday. If you want a proper RV Park near Niagara Falls, try the Grand Island KOA Holiday. It is extremely clean and spacious with nice camping grounds and the basic hookups an RV Park can provide. All this, and more!
Situated only eight miles from Niagara Falls, this stunning place has lots of activities to offer you. They have endless picnic grounds and they also sell wood for starting a campfire or cooking at designated areas. If you don’t want to cook, a pizza place is just really close by. Bike paths are also available in that wide piece of landscape. Also, since it’s so close to the water, you could go fishing in the Niagara River. But if you’re there to just relax, they also have a pool in the resort for you to wade and float on.
11. Denali National Park: Located in Alaska
This national park located in the central area of the Alaska Range is best-known for its geologic feature, Denali, formerly known as Mount McKinley. ‘Denali’ means ‘the high one’, for good reason as it is the highest mountain in North America. Tours are available in the area and usually operate mid-May to mid-September, except for those going into Denali itself which runs mid-June up to the end of August.
Denali has a minimal entrance fee of $15 per person or $45 each for an annual pass.
Image Source: roverpass.com
Nearby RV Park in Destination: Denali RV Park and Motel. The Denali RV Park and Motel is a mere 9-minute drive to the national park. It offers free wifi, free parking, a self serve laundry, and all the basic amenities one needs for RV living. Nearby attractions include the Mt. Healy Overlook Trail, the Sled Dog Demonstration, and Music of Denali Dinner Theater.
12. Yosemite National Park: Located in California
Image Source: “Yosemite national park – California, United States – Landscape photography” by Giuseppe Milo (www.pixael.com) is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Although Yosemite National Park is popular for its waterfalls, the park also has deep valleys, magnificent meadows, ancient giant sequoias, towering granite monoliths, a vast wilderness area, and so much more. The best times to visit Yosemite are in May and September, when the park is accessible but not too crowded also, a lot of roads and trails in Yosemite are closed for the majority of the year because of thick snow.
As RV owners, it is important to note that within Yosemite National Park, you may not sleep in your car or RV except in a campsite that you’re registered to stay in (except at Camp 4, where sleeping in cars is not allowed because it’s a walk-in campground). Sleeping in your car along the side of the road is also not allowed. But fear not, because Yosemite has nine campgrounds that accommodate RVs.
According to their website, within the vast protected wildlife area, American black bears can be found in Yosemite National Park. Seeing one of the approximately 300 to 500 black bears in Yosemite can evoke excitement, awe, and fear, maybe depending on how far you are from where the bear is at.
But if you do spot a bear while in the park, it is a black bear. Black bears are known to be more timid than their polar or brown cousins. Also, chance upon rattlesnakes. How exciting is that? Maybe the Yosemite has areas that aren’t really family-friendly after all.
Visitors can enter the park using an in-park camping reservation that you could get online. Daily fees for use of the campground costs $12 to $26 depending on the location of the lot.
Image Source: yosemitethisyear.com
Nearby RV Park in Destination: Yosemite Lakes RV Resort. Yosemite Lakes RV Resort is actually a 2-star hotel with complete RV amenities and is literally within a stone toss of an amazing waterfront, hence, the name. Going fishing here is fantastic not to mention that it is a good place for trailer camping. It’s pet-friendly and kid-friendly, too.
One drawback a visitor has posted in Google Reviews though is that their website sometimes doesn’t work for reservations. But you can always use third-party booking apps to help you with this problem.
13. Yellowstone National Park: Located in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho
Image Source: “Black Pool – West Thumb Geyser Basin (Yellowstone National Park)” by @CarShowShooter is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Yellowstone is known for its world-famous Old Faithful Geyser. The geyser erupts at regular intervals, hence the name. Within a distance from the Old Faithful lies Mammoth Hot Springs with endless pools of hot water and lime formations.
Another beauty in this area is the West Thumb Geyser Basin. This pool is a collection of different shades of blue and aquamarine and it seems so deep that it feels like you’re looking into a bottomless pit. Maybe it is.
One curiosity that caught my attention is the Big Cone Geyser. This cone-shaped wonder is literally like a volcano but unlike the real thing, it spews out steam and hot water instead of magma. The great thing about this is that it is an easy walk for littles and a great introduction to the park if you start your adventures from the east.
One of the numerous places to see here is the dynamic Mud Volcano. Compared to the calm West Thumb, this area is full of energy and movement. That, and of course the fun egg smell brought about by the sulfur. Fun for those who love eggs.
According to the Yellowstone National Park website, private, non-commercial vehicles can be issued a 7-day pass to Yellowstone National Park that costs only $35 per vehicle and does not include entrance into nearby Grand Teton National Park.
The Grand Teton National Park, home to the mighty Grand Teton and other rugged peaks, on the other hand, also charges $35 per vehicle for entrance. Visitors entering Yellowstone’s South Entrance will be traveling through Grand Teton National Park first and so will pay both entrance fees.
An annual Yellowstone Park pass is also available if you plan to visit multiple times a year and it costs $70 per vehicle. Active military personnel receive free annual park passes for themselves and their dependents when they show a military ID. Travelers under 16 years of age, as well as those visiting parks for educational or scientific purposes, also receive an entrance waiver. Persons with a permanent disability who show documentation get in for free and get a discount on camping.
Image Source: roverpass.com
Nearby RV Park in Destination: Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park. The Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park is an ideal getaway for the whole fam with its accessibility to both the town and the national park. Walk a few blocks from this RV park and you reach the nearby town and get access to restaurants, shops, the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, an IMAX Theatre, a museum, and historic Center as well as an exciting aerial ropes adventure course.
Just four blocks from this RV Park is the Yellowstone National Park west entrance gate. Drive through it and in a few minutes, you get to the nearby Gallatin National Forest with lots of lakes, rivers, and streams in the area. Here, you can fly fish, ride your mountain bike, take a hike, and even go horseback riding.
All this accessibility and more from the RV Park. All the basic amenities are available with water and electricity hookups, super clean bathrooms, clean laundry quarter machines, decent cable channels, and friendly staff. They even have free coffee and cocoa in the morning!
Although it is very well maintained, one drawback a Google Review said was that in the RV Park were lots of pesky mosquitoes. But it is the outdoors, so maybe it just adds to the experience.
If you want to know about destination trailers, here is an article that I have written for you.
Every family has its quirks. Each family has a dynamic that is unique to only them. That said, it is essential to try to come up with an itinerary that matches the family’s interest. However a lot of the success of a trip also goes with loads and loads of research and planning to make the most of the time you have together. After tons of research, create an itinerary, pack your bags, hit the road, and have a hell of a good time!