We are planning to travel to USA next April and will spend 6 weeks touring. We have an 11 and an 8 year old boy. Where shall we go?
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Sounds like a lovely trip! Do you have any thoughts on which parts of the US you’re likely to be in, or what activities you’d like? It’s such a huge country, you can really find anything! In our new Rough Guide to the USA we suggest six different itineraries which might give you some ideas, from a National Parks route to a trip up the West Coast, taking in everything from Disneyland to giant redwoods!
You might also find some inspiration in our things not to miss gallery (http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/north-america/usa/things-miss/#/0), and we recommend a good site for kids’ activities in the US on our USA travel essentials page (http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/north-america/usa/travel-essentials/), as well.
I hope this helps, and good luck planning your trip!
It’s been so great to get a few trips from experienced travellers. I am pretty keen on starting with the West coast and Yellowstone, Yosemite , Disneyland and other theme parks. My son wants to see the snow so not sure where we will head for that. The tips so far are great and I look forward to reading further advice to help our planning.
April is a great time to be traveling in the US. As @RebeccaHallett mentioned, the country really is so vast–might be helpful to know if you have a general idea for where you want to go (for example, West Coast vs. East Coast), or if you are thinking of doing a cross-country trip.
The national parks out west truly are natural treasures and great places to camp, but keep in mind that April can still be cold in the mountains and some roads may be closed, depending on the winter’s snowfall. May will be a safer bet for parks such as Yellowstone.
In addition to the links that Rebecca included, you might take a look at websites like Trekaroo.com that are specific to family vacation planning. (Here is a link to their blog with road trip resources: http://ow.ly/ywCwY)
Let us know how your trip planning goes, and happy planning!
Six to eight weeks is a fabulous amount of time to spend in the USA and would allow you plenty of time to explore different parts of the country.
I’d really recommend spending some time in the southwest, where there’s an abundance of awesome landscapes just begging to be explored. Monument Valley in particular is even more amazing in the flesh – you can drive through the valley in your own vehicle, with plenty of opportunities to stop and soak up the views, or on a guided tour, but there’s also an easy walking trail around one of the mittens which is a real highlight, and which I’m sure your boys would love. From Monument Valley you could head north to the amazing Arches National Park in Utah, or west to stunning Antelope Canyon. The Grand Canyon is also easily reached from Monument Valley, and there’s plenty in the park to keep you all busy for a few days. From here, you could continue west with a brief overnight stop in Las Vegas – it’s a bit of a adult playground but the kids should find its architecture and general OTT-ness amusing at least – before heading to LA for beaches and theme parks. As you’ve got plenty of time, you could then drive up the famous Highway 1 to San Francisco, or head inland to Yosemite National Park. The Oregan coast is also supposed to be stunning, and little explored, so potentially you could think about continuing north to Portland, or even Seattle and the San Juan Islands.
Another great option with kids is New Orleans – there’s music on practically every corner, and some of the best food in the whole country, and you could do an easy day trip out to the Bayou. I can really recommend taking a long distance train for at least part of your trip – we loved the journey from New York to New Orleans, which took a little over a day, and it’s a great way to cover a fair amount of ground but seeing more than you would on a plane. There’s something really exciting about long-distance train travel, especially when you can book your own sleeping compartment (meals are included in compartment prices, and are generally pretty good). The train west from New Orleans to LA is supposed to be one of the best routes in the country – one option would be to get off in San Antonio and pick up a car to explore the southwest from there.
Just a few ideas based on my favourite places there – but to be honest, I don’t think you can go too wrong in the USA. If you are driving, I’d recommend not doing more than a few hours each day, just so that you all have time to relax and to stop the four of you from going stir crazy.
Have an amazing time!