If you are looking for some great road trip family vacation ideas, you have come to the right site! Everyone needs a break from dieting and fitness at some point in time. Family time plays a very important part in being healthy!
This was the most awesome trip my boyfriend could have ever planned for us! We traveled a total of 1800 miles is 7 days and visited a lot of great places. In this post I will describe each place we visited in detail.
Best Road Trip Family Vacations
Every year we try to plan a trip that we can all enjoy, but this time we wanted to make it a little more special. Not only did we see a lot, we also got to spend hours of quality family time together! This will be a trip I don’t think any of us will ever forget!
We lived, loved, and laughed the entire time we were away from home. Of course, the kids did a lot of sleeping during the travel times, but they had to rest up for the great adventures.
Heading from North Carolina, this was our route; Busch Gardens in Williamsburg Virgina ==> Amish Country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, ==> Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania ==> Statue of Liberty in New York ==> Niagara Falls in New York and in Canada. (Don’t forget your passports if traveling to the Canadian side.)
Don’t forget about the tolls….
You do pass through several tolls, so it’s best to have small change on hand for easy access. Rolls of quarters worked well for us. We paid anywhere from .40 cents to $4.70 per toll. I lost count of how many, but it was at least 5 or 6. Also, don’t mess up and get in the “EZ-pass” lanes. They cost a lot more. We made that mistake once and it cost $12.00!!
Busch Gardens, Virginia
Busch Gardens is one of the most beautiful amusement parks that I’ve ever been to, outside of Disney World of course. Enjoy great rides, beautiful gardens, entertaining shows, animal encounters, and awesome foods and sweets. You will want to spend at least 2 days here, so that you have time to ride everything and enjoy all the shows and entertainment.
There is fun for everyone of all ages at this park. The park is sectioned off into different countries; Germany, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, France, and England. The food and types of entertainment depends on which country you are in.
I highly recommend getting the meal plan. With the meal plan, you can eat up to every 90 minutes if you want and includes your drinks. Meals start around $12-$18 each and drinks are pretty pricey as well.
In the hotter months, visit the Oktoberfest in Germany; Das Festhaus for one of your meals. Options include German food like sausage, and potato salad, hot red cabbage and seasoned corned beef piled high on freshly baked rye bread. For desert, you must try their torte cake! It’s a large, 3 slices of moist chocolate cake in one serving.
This place is a huge indoor air-conditioned restaurant with live entertainment while you eat. There aren’t very many indoor places to eat, so this is a good option in 90-100 degree weather.
Need something sweet?
Try Wilkommenhaus Ice Cream, where you can choose from a selection from the menu or design your own delight. Delicious soft-served ice cream in a waffle cone.
Click here for a map of the park and ticket information. This amusement part is located in Williamsburg, Virginia and Tampay Bay, Florida.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania – Visit the Amish Country
Visiting the Amish country was a special treat. Step back into time and take the Amish horse and buggy tour. During the tour your guide who is also your driver, explains every part of the town and farmlands as you pass through them.
Lancaster County of Pennsylvania has America’s oldest Amish settlement. My guide even stopped at an Amish home where we were offered homemade cookies, root beer, and lemonade. The lemonade was absolutely delicious!
Thousands of Amish people still live the “plain” lifestyle with very little technology and no power. Some now have power and even cell phones, but still live as peaceful Amish people. Horse and buggy are their primary form of transportation. The state has even provided horse and buggy lanes on both sides of the roads so that they can safely travel without interference with automobiles.
They survive from their own agricultural sources…
They eat what they grow and they sell it. Hand-crafted soaps, quilts, and other treasures along with their cookies, root beer, and lemonades are made and sold regularly.
During the tour you will see farmlands, dairy cows, orchards full of peaches and apples, crops full of soy and corn, and places of business and one room school houses. You will also see some of their homes and their way of living.
Many Amish do their work barefoot!
I seen for myself, a young girl around the age of 12 or 13, in a dress, bonnet, and barefoot push mowing a yard. Not something you see on regular bases.
There are many Amish stores throughout Lancaster. Quilting is one of their most famous crafts and sold in many places, but they can be pretty expensive. Keep in mind, they intend on them lasting a lifetime. Everything they make appeared to be of great quality!
Hershey, Pennsylvania – Hershey’s Chocolate World Tour
Hershey’s Chocolate World was a wonderful surprise for me. The tour is free and very cute. It’s similar to getting on a moving car in an amusement park; each car holds 4 people, 2 in the front and 2 in the back.
As you go through this sweet journey you can smell the chocolate being made, watch the cocoa beans move down a conveyor belt and then transform into Hershey’s famous chocolate. The smell alone will make you not want to leave. No worries though, they do give you a free sample at the end of the tour as well.
FREE admission, no tickets required and lines move quickly…
Tours run continuously during operating hours; (9am-11pm). The tour last for about 30 minutes if you take the time to read the walls along the way to the automated cars. They also provide wheelchair access!
View Hershey’s animated cows in Hershey’s Farm and moving/talking animation and audio showing and explaining the process when making chocolate candy. I especially thought the moving and talking Hershey Kiss and Reeses Cup were pretty impressive.
After the tour, you can visit the Hershey Chocolate World’s souvenirs, candy, and gifts in their Hershey’s Store. Some items can only be found in that store and no where else.
Other things to do at Hershey’s Chocolate World everyday (Ticket purchases include bundle specials):
- Create your own candy bar
- 4-D Chocolate Mystery Show
- Take a tour on the Hershey trolley tour
Events during the year (Dates may slightly change each year):
- September 1st-November 30th – Flavors of Fall Fest at Hershey’s Chocolate World
- The month of October – Trick-or-treat trolley at Hershey’s Chocolate World
- October 19th-November 4th – Trick-or-Treat Adventure at Hershey’s Chocolate World
- October 19th-November 2nd – Full Moon Fridays at Hershey’s Chocolate World
Here is a video from my tour. The sound is a little distorted, but you can at least get an idea for what to expect:
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Statue of Liberty, New York | “Liberty Enlightening the World”
This beautifully designed and massive statue, originally titled “Liberty Enlightening the World,” by the one who designed it; Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue was a gift to the United States from the people of France.
“She arrived from France in 350 pieces, packed in 214 crates aboard an ocean liner”. The island where shes stands was originally known as the Bedloe’s Island (after a Dutch settler). In 1956, it was renamed Libery Island.
Every wonder why she is green?
Green is not her natural color. The Statue of Liberty is made of copper, believe it or not. She weighs 204 metric tons and her skin is the thickness of a 2 copper pennies; 3/32 of an inch. She was originally copper brown, but as the copper oxidized over time, it turned completely green by 1906.
The pedestal she stands on is not just an ordinary pedestal. It is actually a large granite fort, known as “Fort Wood,” and shaped like an 11-pointed star. This fort was used by Army troops to protect the New York harbor in 1811. Today it is a museum!
This is only some facts about the liberty that most people do not know. There is so much still to learn about the Statue of Liberty, so when you visit, please be sure to take the “tour with audio”.
You will be issued a hand held audio device similar to a large cordless phone, where you can listen, learn, and discover everything about her as you tour liberty.
Here’s a little video taken from my tour:
During your Statue of Liberty Tour, visit Ellis Island that lays just behind her. It is an historic island where millions of immigrants have passed between 1892-1954. Here you will also be issued the audio device so you can listen as you tour and learn more about the history of the island and what took place there on Ellis Island.
Niagara Falls – New York and Canada
Explore these beautiful fall’s year round. Don’t have a passport? No worries… You can still enjoy the scenery and adventures from the New York side.
These great fall’s straddle the Canadian border and can be viewed from both Canada and from New York State. You can view all 3 waterfalls from the provided observation tower at Prospect Point. I think it was $1.50 per person.
Here’s a short video to give you an idea of how beautiful it is:
The Canadian side has what’s known as the “Horseshoe Falls” and are a site you won’t forget. They are especially beautiful at night when they are lit up.
Here’s a video taken from the Skylon Tower Restaurant:
While you visit, take a little trip on the “Maid of the Mist”. This coal-powered steamboat tour, brings you up close to the base of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. It was a great adventure and I’m glad I didn’t miss it!
Here’s some Videos from my “Maid of the Mist” tour:
Venturing out and a little off-key from what my site is all about, but I hope you enjoyed the little break from everyday stress, diet, and fitness from exploring my “Best Road Trip Family Vacations” post. I love to travel and couldn’t resist the opportunity to share my trip with you. If you love this, you may also be interested in “Fun Activities that Burn Calories”.
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Thanks and have a great day, today and every day!