Summer is also known as the road trip season. There are few adventures that allow families the quality time and the cool experiences it takes to create epic memories that last a lifetime while strengthening existing bonds. Road trips do just that! If you are looking for the perfect family getaway, here are some perfect locations for families looking for cool destinations to explore during the hot summer months.
The unparalleled beauty of Alaska draws vacationers from all over the world. The drive to Fairbanks alone is guaranteed to be beautiful regardless of where you are coming from. Once you have arrived, your itinerary should include the following stops:
- Pioneer Park: This 44-acre city park celebrates and shares the area’s history with multiple museums and historical displays. While there, check out the Pioneer Air Museum, the Native Museum and the Tanana Valley Railroad. The park is also home to a carousel, playgrounds, the Crooked Creek & Whiskey Island Railroad and plenty of shopping and dining options.
- Fairbanks Ice Museum: Your kids are sure to be equally impressed by this museum’s ice sculptures and the nightly aurora shows. Imagine slides, houses, mazes and playgrounds all made of ice! It’s a perfect way to stay cool, even on one of the area’s warmest days.
- Georgeson Botanical Garden: Located on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, this five-acre garden area will please all of the flower and plant enthusiasts in your family. It’s a perfect location for a low-key picnic and it’s only $5 for admission.
Photo via LakeChelan
If Manson isn’t on your radar, it’s time to add it to your bucket list of places to visit in the PNW. Located on the shores of Lake Chelan, this gateway community gives visitors access to the lake’s stunning views and water-related activities. Bring your boat for an afternoon of fun on the water, or spend the day wine tasting and enjoying scenic views.
There are an array of wineries throughout the downtown and surrounding areas to explore, but before you partake in an afternoon of wine tasting, make sure to drive the Manson Scenic Loop which takes you through stunning apple orchards and beautiful vineyards while offering up spectacular views of the Lake. End your day strolling through the downtown area where you will find plenty of shops and restaurants to peruse.
Mt. Vernon, WA
Located at in the center of Skagit County, halfway between Seattle and Vancouver, BC, Mt. Vernon provides visitors with over 50 trails to explore. Wander through city parks or climb your way up to spectacular mountain views. There’s something for every skill and ability level. Along with hiking trails, the area has wonderful biking options as well. Little Mountain Trails offers nine miles of family-friendly paths, and the Cascade Trail will take you on a 22.5-mile adventure.
Beyond hiking and biking, with the Skagit Wild and Scenic River System nearby, the Mt. Vernon area is perfect for families who want to boat, fish and camp as well.
Coeur d’Alene, ID
Photo via CDA Resort
If outdoor recreation is your family’s passion, then Coeur d’Alene is the perfect road trip regardless of where you are located in the Pacific Northwest. Imagine a trip packed with white water rafting, golfing, boating, biking and camping. All of the best outdoor adventures are at your fingertips here. You can even add a little adrenaline to your visit with a trip to Silverwood: the Northwest’s largest theme park!
If you enjoy the outdoors but prefer to spend your nights indoors, the downtown area has over 100 shops and restaurants for you to explore.
Best known for its fantastic festivals, Woodburn is just a short drive from the greater Portland area. If you are looking for an afternoon filled with touring vineyards, gardens, and farms, this is the place for you. During the spring, the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is a huge attraction that draws families and photographers from across the state. During the summer months, the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm holds wine tastings and wagon rides for the 21 and older crowd.
Bauman’s Farm & Garden is a must-visit when you are in the area. Along with a bakery, produce and garden center, they also have a petting zoo and kid’s play area for young ones to enjoy.
For an experience your crew is sure to remember for years to come, schedule a hot air balloon ride over the area with Woodburn Balloons rides. There’s nothing quite like catching a glimpse of the area’s stunning landscape from 1,500 feet up in the sky.
Summer is the perfect time for family fun and adventures. Check out more of our PNW road trip ideas to make this your best summer yet!