6 Best Spring Road Trips 2023: The Ultimate Guide
Work, carpools, help with homework, make dinner, do laundry, sleep, repeat. A typical week leaves no time for rest, and preparing for spring break in a few days is the cherry on top of the gigantic sundae that is life as a parent.
Trying to plan a family vacation with a hundred things already on your plate can be stressful. We hope this guide can help you plan a last minute spring break road trip for the whole family to enjoy. So pack your bags, hop in your car and let’s get going!
Niagara Falls, New York
Starting off strong with this upstate wonder! Located about thirty minutes north of Buffalo, New York, Niagara Falls was voted the #1 destination in the Buffalo Region by U.S. News.
A popular attraction in Niagara Falls is the Maid of the Mist journey (this is weather dependent, so check reports about ice conditions). The Maid of the Mist begins at the Observation Tower, where guests board the tour boat with a rain poncho in hand. The boat leads guests through the whitewater and rock formations, creating a one-of-a-kind experience.
Another experience that gets you right into the action is the Cave of the Winds. Open daily, ride an elevator 175 feet deep into the Niagara Gorge. Be prepared to get splashed on the famous “Hurricane Deck” just twenty feet from the Bridal Veil Falls. If you are lucky, you may even see a rainbow!
Beyond the water, water, and even more water (yes, there are three waterfalls in Niagara Falls) there are plenty of other activities to enjoy. Niagara Falls State Park is open 365 days a year, and visitors can walk through the glorious trails and historical sites for free anytime!
You can ride a trolley around town and take a stop to visit the Aquarium of Niagara: home to more than 1,500 aquatic animals! In addition, there is fishing, shopping and plenty of land to explore. To learn more about dining options and hotels nearby, visit the More To Do page.
Boston is known as “America’s Walking City” for a reason. If your family likes to spend time outside, this destination may be perfect for you. Walking tours are extremely popular in this city: Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Lexington, Cambridge, the historic Freedom Trail full – I could go on forever.
Discover the ins and outs of Boston this spring by visiting food halls. Check out the newly opened High Street Place in Downtown Boston. This indoor/outdoor market has six entrances, about twenty different food and beverage vendors, and plenty of seating. The creativity and artwork throughout the space is sure to please your curious children.
Additionally, Quincy Market is a must-see. This historic food hall serves up Boston classics like clam chowder, Boston cream pie and lobster rolls. There are plenty more food halls to discover in the city.
After your family is properly fed, there are many historical sites and neighborhoods to explore. Newbury Street is a great place to start! Also, if your family is into sports, catch a game or take a tour of Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox and iconic Green Monster wall.
You cannot leave Boston without hopping aboard the famous Boston Duck Tours! A charismatic ConDUCKtor will narrate your whole tour.
From land to sea, the WWII style amphibious landing vehicle will take you through the highlights of Boston. You will see the House to the Boston Common, the North End of Newbury Street, Quincy Market and the Boston and Cambridge skylines. Your children may even have the opportunity to drive the boat!
There is so much to explore in Boston, spring break won’t even be enough; but it is a great place to start!
It’s cherry blossom season and springtime in Washington, DC. The National Cherry Blossom Festival (ends April 16, 2023) creates a “City in Bloom.”
The celebration features performances, art exhibits, local businesses, and entertainment events across the capital. Be sure to go to the ANA Performance Stage at the Tidal Basin to see local, national and international performances during the first four weeks of spring.
The event centers on the nearly three thousand blossoms in bloom while celebrating Japanese culture. It is definitely a highlight of spring in DC!
In addition, explore the National Mall to feel the magic of the Washington Monument, U.S. Capitol Building and Lincoln Memorial, to name a few. Furthermore, if your family is interested in touring the White House, visit this link to get more information.
DC is also home to many museums. There is something for everyone, from the National Museum of Natural History, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History and so much more.
For a night out, take a stroll through Georgetown to enjoy exquisite dining, beautiful cobblestone streets, and the iconic Georgetown Cupcakes.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
This peninsula in southeastern Massachusetts is bustling with family fun. In mid-April, whale watching season begins!
Go whale and seal watching along Stellwagen Bank, one of the world’s best whale feeding grounds. Whale watching in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is among the top ten places on the planet to see whales in their natural habitat. Make sure to bring a camera!
Charter and tour boat companies transport thousands of visitors out into the waters surrounding Cape Cod. Water activities include fishing, sightseeing, swimming, kayaking and relaxing in the beautiful Cape Cod marinas.
Cape Cod has about 400 square miles of terrain, making it the perfect location for outdoor hikes and bike rides. Based on your family’s comfort level, there are mountain bike trails, scenic byways, and dedicated paved trails throughout the peninsula.
To narrow down which bike trails are best for your children, take a look at the 5 Perfect Family Bike Rides, which suggests the ideal trails for children. If your family prefers hiking over biking, you’re in luck. Cape Cod has a plethora of well-maintained nature trails waiting to be explored.
If outdoor hikes and bike rides are not your family’s thing, don’t worry: there’s still plenty to do in Cape Cod! Cape Cod is flourishing with independent shops and national retailers.
Immerse yourself in Cape Cod by discovering the charming antique shops and alluring bookstores on the historic Route 6A. There are also plenty of art galleries and museums in Cape Cod. Go see for yourself!
Along Cape Cod’s 500 miles of coastline are some of the most gorgeous beaches in the U.S. This gives your family an excuse to go back to Cape Cod this summer when it is hot and sunny.
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island is home to nine breathtaking New England towns. When visiting The Classic Coast this spring, there are many activities to enjoy.
Are you a family of foodies? Look no further – Newport Restaurant Week (April 14 – 23, 2023) where local restaurants offer discounts and deals that will have your mouth watering.
Also, many restaurants offer promotions for the whole family; you won’t want to miss out on the incredible food and prices in Newport this April.
Newport’s Daffodil Days is celebrated all month long. The whole area is decorated with over a million bright yellow daffodils in store windows, restaurants, and just outside your hotel room.
Speaking of hotels, Newport has many historic and unique places to stay. The Rose Island Lighthouse B & B is a working lighthouse that was built in 1870 on the coast. The incredible views inside and outside the lighthouse are a unique part of the experience.
This one’s for the adults only: Newport Beer Festival (April 29, 2023) is returning for its tenth year! With forty craft beers, food for purchase and live music, this festival serves as the ultimate parent getaway.
If you end up liking this festival, head back to Newport for the Newport Oyster & Chowder Festival (May 20 – 21, 2023). Held on the waterfront all weekend long, enjoy locally grown oysters that will have you coming back for more. What better way is there to taste the Ocean State?
Rochester, New York
Did you know Rochester is the third largest city in New York State? Me neither! With over 75 family-friendly attractions, Rochester is a great option for your next vacation.
Feeling wild? Spend an afternoon in downtown Rochester at the Seneca Park Zoo. The Seneca Park Zoo is home to Masai giraffes, red pandas, California sea lions, African elephants, and more.
Plus, a visit to the Seneca Park Zoo can help save animals from extinction and can contribute to conservation efforts worldwide.
After the zoo, head to Parkside Whispering Pines Miniature Golf. This miniature golf attraction is not ordinary, as it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest miniature golf course in the U.S.!
If your family has even more energy, visit The Strong National Museum of Play. This interactive museum includes The National Toy Hall of Fame, which is home to creative beloved toys that have inspired generations.
Additionally, check out The World Video Game Hall of Fame to reminisce on your favorite arcade, console, and handheld games from the past.
If your family is up for an adventure, Rochester is home to amusement and water parks, like Seabreeze Amusement Park. The park has an assortment of family rides, kiddie rides, and thrill rides, in addition to a water park! Plan your visit today.
While in Rochester, experience the Erie Canal. This canal connected the eastern seaboard and western frontier, thus establishing New York City as one of the largest shipping ports in the world!
If you are interested in getting out on the water to get a closer look at the marvelous canal, look into the Sam Patch and Colonial Belle tour boats.
As May approaches, Rochester is preparing for the annual Lilac Festival. This festival will bring you a taste of Rochester with local favorites like Abbott’s Frozen Custard and plenty of deep fried goodies.
Listen to live music while browsing through artisan shops that feature ceramics, graphics, jewelry, sculptures, and more made by more than a hundred artists. It will surely be a weekend to remember!
Psst… want to get ahead and plan a family road trip for the summer? Seek inspiration from Family Road Trips: Summer 2022