I’ve had this dream for awhile now of packing up an RV with our necessities and our kids to head out and explore our great country.
Unfortunately there are things called ‘work’ and ‘money’ (or lack thereof) that might not allow this dream to become a reality. At least I don’t see us taking a full-blown tour of the country anytime soon, but perhaps we can take some smaller road trips here and there.
I’m one who likes to plan and prepare, even yeeeeeeaaars in advance. Years ago (like before Pinterest), I started a little travel notebook of places I’d like our family to visit one day. That notebook has become quite packed, messy, and even lost a few times, so I thought it would be a good idea to put it all on the computer instead. So, I started a file on my computer to keep track of places, then I started a travel board on Pinterest, and now I’m writing a post of must-see places around the United States to share with my readers.
I thought it would be fun to pick 5 things to see and do in each of the 50 states. I wanted to get the input of people that actually lived (or have lived) in each state, so I asked 10,000+ other homeschooling moms from around the country for their input and opinions. Between their suggestions and a little research of my own, this is what I have come up with.
I hope this lists gives you some good ideas if you are planning a road trip of your own!
- US Space & Rocket Center
- DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park
- Old Alabama Town
- USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
- Dismals Canyon
- Mount Roberts Tramway
- Valdez Glacier Hike
- Kenai Fjords National Park
- Whale Watching Adventure
- Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
- Grand Canyon
- Sedona / Oak Creek Canyon / Slide Rock State Park
- Saguaro National Park
- London Bridge – Lake Havasu City
- Crater of Diamonds State Park
- Eureka Springs
- Hot Springs National Park
- Arkansas Air & Military Museum
- Historic Washington State Park
- Redwood National Park / Trees of Mystery
- Golden Gate Bridge / San Francisco Fire Engine Tours
- Alcatraz Island
- Monterey Bay
- San Diego Zoo / San Diego Zoo Safari Park
- Pikes Peak Cog Railway
- Garden of the Gods
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
- Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
- Soaring Tree Top Adventures
- Historic New Castle
- Hagley Museum and Library
- Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
- Cape Henlopen State Park
- Delaware History Trail
- Dolphin Research Center
- Kennedy Space Center
- St. Augustine
- Silver Springs State Park / Glass Bottom Boat Rides
- Everglades National Park
- World of Coca~Cola
- Stone Mountain
- Cumberland Island
- Andersonville National Historic Site
- Tallulah Gorge State Park
- Akaka Falls State Park
- Pearl Harbor
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park / Crater Rim Drive Tour / Thurston Lava Tube
- Na’alapa Stables
- Road to Hana Maui
- Shoshone Falls
- Float on the Boise River
- Hells Canyon / Jet Boat Tours
- Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve
- Lava Hot Springs
- Starved Rock State Park
- Shawnee National Forest
- Navy Pier
- Museum of Science and Industry
- The Super Museum
- Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
- Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
- Fair Oaks Farms
- Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
- Amish Acres
- Lake Okoboji
- Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad
- National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
- Grotto of the Redemption
- Pikes Peak State Park
- Tall Grass Prairie National Preserve
- Oz Museum
- Strataca – Kansas Underground Salt Museum
- Old Cow Town Museum
- Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Museum
- Kentucky Horse Park
- Creation Museum
- Mammoth Cave National Park
- Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory
- Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
- New Orleans Plantation Country /Oak Alley Plantation / Evergreen Plantation
- Avery Island – Tabasco Pepper Sauce Factory Tour
- Audubon Nature Institute
- Steamboat Natchez
- Swamp Tour
- Portland Headlight
- Fort Knox and the Penobscot Narrows Observatory
- Old Fort Western
- Baxter State Park / Mt. Katahdin
- Acadia National Park
- Assateague Island National Seashore
- Ocean City Board Walk
- Star Spangled Banner House
- Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
- Crystal Grottoes Caverns
- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
- Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
- Henry Ford Museum
- Mackinac Island
- Windmill Island Gardens
- Mall of America
- Spirit Mountain
- Minnehaha Falls Regional Park
- Mill City Museum
- Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
- Vicksburg National Military Park
- Natchez / Natchez Trace Parkway
- Beauvoir – The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library
- Antebellum Mansion Tours
- Gulf Islands National Seashore
- Silver Dollar City
- Gateway Arch
- Titanic Museum
- The Magic House – St. Louis Children’s Museum
- City Museum
Donna Pheneger says
Our family was blessed to be able to just this – travel and home school in an rv. We did this close to four years – my dh and me, three kids, four cats and a dog. We were able to see many of the things on your list. Our kids are grown and have their own families now but still talk about our trip. Once we retire, we plan to go back out on the road. It’s a hard bug to get rid of!
I now home school my two grand daughters – I enjoy your site.
Thank you Donna! What a blessing to be able to travel like that; I’m sure many fond memories were made! Lord willing, we will be able to take some trips in the future.
[email protected] says
This list is amazing. I too dream of traveling the USA with the family and always have but I do realize all 50 will probably never happen. I like this list because I can at least start with some of the states near us. Actually, I will begin with our own state, New York. I never even heard of Letchworth State Park and it has been awarded the best state park in the USA.
I would take the lighthouse boat tour and see 10 lighthouses around Narragansett by boat! Get a history of navigation through a fun fast trip on a boat!!
Linda Hill says
For Alaska, I would recommend seeing Denali National Park. Also, Chena Hot Spring is a nice place to visit for the day. If you like fishing, there are plenty of great fishing spots.
In Louisiana, I would recommend the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. In Lafayette, I would recommend the Alexandre Mouton House, Acadian Village and St. John’s Cathedral. The food is great there, too.
Linda – Thanks so much for the recommendations!
I know you were limiting to 5 per state, but there are so many more educational opportunities in Colorado. In Denver there is the US Mint. In Colorado Springs there is Cave of the Winds and the Manatee Cliff Dwellings. Up I-70 from Denver there are many gold mines. There is Dinosaur National Park in the Northeast corner and Bent’s Old Fort in LA Junta.
These are just a few of my kids’favorite field trip destinations in our lovely state.
Heather – I appreciate your suggestions! I want people to comment with more ideas! It was definitely hard to narrow it down to just 5 for some states! I’m already thinking of doing a follow up post with even more ideas! Thanks for sharing!
Randi Spinks says
I love this post! Makes me want to take off in an RV and see these places right now! Saving this list for a spring trip!
I hear ya! After I made the list, I was ready to hit the road!!
I am working on putting together a bucket list for each state as I begin my road trip threw the states! I absolutely love this list because some of them I have been to, but there are a lot of them that I haven’t heard of! Excited to get started and blog my entire trip through it!
Hey Sarah!! Your site is so awesome! Thanks for sharing Killgore Adventures as the Must-Do Attraction in Idaho. Jet boating through the heart of Hells Canyon should be on everyone’s bucket list! We are going to share your link on our social media today. Thanks again, and please let us know if you ever want to collaborate in the future.
The Killgore Adventures Team
Great list! I’m in Indiana so of course had to see what you listed. Amish Acres is awful “touristy”. If you want to see more real, authentic Amish living, take the back roads around Middlebury, Shipshewana and LaGrange. “Shipshe” (ship-shee) as its known round these parts, has a flea market, a “mall” with an indoor carousel and tons of little shops with quilts, clothes, crafts, candy, a music store, and there’s a great bulk foods store as well as The Cheese Factory (I think it’s in Shipshe – you can watch them making cheese and sample tons of different cheeses) and lots of little Amish general/grocery stores all over the countryside.
LOVE this post as we are 10 states in of taking our family to all 50 states before they leave for college. A lot of these are on my ongoing list. A few I’d like to add Montana: Drive the Beartooth Highway. Love the town of Red Lodge too right by it so grab a bite, walk around and drive up the Beartooth Hwy! Michigan you nailed, but I’d like to add Tahquamenon Falls-great hikes so well kept and gorgeous views. Can’t wait to explore some of these places!
Thanks for the suggestions! How fun that you are visiting all 50 states! It’s my dream to go on a nationwide field trip with our kids; not sure if we will hit all the states, but would love to try!