It’s that time of year again to quote the always dapper Alice Cooper - “School’s out for the summer.” Summer break is an occasion to slow down, get a few projects done around the house, and maybe even take a road trip with the family.
So please forgive my self-indulgence, but I thought I would give a few memorable road trip ideas that our family has taken in summers past:
Tour the South
A couple years ago we completed a tour of the South and had a great time. We had beignets in New Orleans, ate barbeque in Memphis, toured the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, hiked Asheville, and had a detestable drink called the Beverly at the Atlanta Coke Factory. You might gain a few pounds but you will certainly enjoy them.
Last year I took an in-state road trip with my youngest son, Robby, and had a blast. We started with an airboat ride in Everglades City. Bouncing around at really fast speeds might be a better way to put it, and if you can think or hear anything it can also be somewhat informative. About an hour drive east to South Beach was our next stop – the Art Deco, Lamborghini’s, and “huge waves” quickly made Miami my son’s favorite city.
Hiking the Smokies
One of the oldest mountain ranges in the world offers endless amusement. My kids always complain about hiking, but I think they secretly enjoy it. Chimney Tops is a fun 2 mile hike that has rock climbing at the top and swimming when you’re done. Charlie’s Bunion is about a 10 mile hike down the Appalachian Trail with spectacular views. Alum Cave Bluffs is filled with creeks to swim in, bridges to climb across, and if you keep going you’ll hit the only hotel in the Smokies on the top of Mount Leconte.
No, not Gainesville but Washington D.C. - our nation’s capital, a thriving city, and who’s going to complain about so many free Museums? Not your typical Museums either – the Hope Diamond, the Wright Brothers’ airplane, Dinosaur fossils, and the 1st edition of the Gutenberg Bible make for a very memorable road trip. My favorite spot in DC though is probably Ford’s Theater. A bit morbid but you’ll see the bloody pillow on which President Lincoln rested his head, the actual gun used by Booth, and learn a ton of Civil War history.
I hope this blog finds you with an engrossing book on a quiet beach, or you may be pulling your hair out wondering how you’re going to make it with these “crazy kids” for two months. Either way the summer will be over before you know it, and the trips you take, the memories you make during these two short months may end up being some of your most fond.
P.S. – For other ideas, post memorable road trips your family has taken in the comments.