Last year for spring break, our family took a road trip to Canada. We drove from our home in Florida to Niagara Falls, then took a different route back home. Our family was somewhere different every night, but we got to see a lot of the country with our boys. (We are slowly making our way to all 50 states.) Even more fun, we got to catch up with several friends and family members we don’t always get a chance to see. If you’re planning a spring break family road trip, too, you might like to see what we did. Feel free to share your spring break family road trips with us on The Pack’s Facebook page.
Day 1. Picked up the kids from school and drove up the coast to Ormond Beach, Florida. Met up with friends there for dinner.
Day 2. Drove to Savannah, Georgia, and visited the Georgia State Railroad Museum. Walked around the historic downtown area and had a delicious and filling lunch at Lady and Sons, which a friend had told me about way back in the 1990s. Stayed in nearby Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Day 3. Drove to Charlotte, North Carolina, for a late lunch/early dinner with old friends. Continued on to Wytheville, Virginia, for the night. This is where we got into a spring snowstorm. Roads shut down while we waited for a plough, and we were afraid we’d be stuck on the road. The next day, though, our Florida boys loved playing in the snow!
Day 4. Drove to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Saw the city a bit and had dinner.
Day 5. Visited Carnegie Science Center. We all liked the robotics exhibit and touring the USS Requin submarine behind the museum on the Ohio River. Then we got to glimpse Lake Erie as we drove to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. We stayed at the Embassy Suites hotel with a great view of the falls!
Day 6. Drove across southern Ontario. We wanted to stop at Pelee Point National Park along the way to look for migrating birds and see the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan. But we got into some bad weather, and instead we learned about the magic of Tim Hortons on a cold, wet Ontario day. We stopped for the night in a little town called Grayling, Michigan.
Day 7. Onward to the Mackinac Bridge, which connects the “hand” of southern Michigan to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, with Lake Michigan on our left and Lake Huron on the right. We stopped at Tahquamenon Falls State Park to hike in the snow and see the falls there. We also wanted to see Munising Falls but ran out of time. So we continued going around Lake Michigan to Green Bay, Wisconsin, and caught up with a childhood friend for dinner.
Day 8. Got to the Chicago area for dinner with family. We had hoped to stop and visit the Field Museum, but there was no parking. (Sometimes it’s hard to find a place to park our adventure van, which doesn’t always fit into parking garages.) We had considered going to Indian Caves/Bourbonnais Geologic Area and a nearby cemetery where family is buried (a side of my family was part of the Quebecois migration to the Kankakee Valley), but our Chicago-area family didn’t want to. So we just relaxed with them.
Day 9. Made it to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and saw the Indiana state capital a little. My husband tried White Castle for the first time! We also stopped in at a cat cafe. Then we caught up with a different side of our family to visit the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky, and have dinner together. We stayed the night in Georgetown.
Day 10. Continuing south, we met up with friends at the Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. The kids had a blast here! We had dinner with our friends, then went on to Hiawassee, Georgia for the night.
Day 12. Farther south, we popped into Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, then continued on to home.
So far, our long family road trips have been quick-paced, so we can see the most that we want to see. We don’t always get to spend as much time in each place as we’d like. But we always seem to have enough time to stop at places we didn’t expect to come across, which is always fun. As we make our way around the country, I’m sure we’ll find places that become our new favorites, which we can go back to later when we can take our time.