Monday, January 23, 2012

Mom & Kids Summer road trip -- Idaho to Orlando

Hi Road Tripper --

I have been looking at your blog. I am hoping for suggestions.

My three children (ages 14, 12, and 10) are planning a road trip from Southern Idaho to Orlando, Florida and back. I am thinking about going up the east coast and then returning home. Any suggestions for us along the way? I am mostly looking for ways to stay inexpensively but nice. How will I know which hotels are in safe areas?

Some of our goals are White Sands National Monument, cliff dwellings, Disney World, Mt. Vernon, Hershey, Pennsylvania, the St. Louis arch, and some history sights of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Are there any other can't miss sights? Which sights are not worth adding the miles? What is there in Louisiana and Alabama and Georgia for us to see?

Thank you.



Hi Karen --

Many thanks for your message, and sorry it took me a while to get back to you.

You have an interesting range of places you want to see -- and I think you and your family will find the "cliff dwellings" of Mesa Verde National Park, and nearby Canyon de Chelley, to be completely fascinating. I know I do. I'd also add in Carlsbad Caverns, which is very close to White Sands.

Your kids will probably want you to hurry along to Disney World, so I would save some of the more "historic" sights for the way back. But across Louisiana and Alabama, take time to savour the sights and god food of Cajun Country, near New Orleans, and to ponder the history of Montgomery Alabama -- capital of the Confederacy, center of the Civil Rights era, and home of my fave songwriter, Hank Williams.

Montgomery also has a great AA baseball team, the Biscuits, who play from April - September in a nice new downtown stadium:

Hotels in the South tend to be comparatively inexpensive -- at least compared to my home state, California...

On your way home from Florida, St Louis and the Gateway Arch is definitely worth a day for sure -- and just up the river you can explore the historic LDS sights of Nauvoo, which is very pretty and very interesting.

Back east, Mount Vernon and Hershey are more out of your way, so if you wanted to save some $$ I would suggest saving them for another trip. That said, Washington DC is a great place for family history lessons -- and all the Smithsonian Museum are free, and fascinating, so maybe you can add all of these to your itinerary.

Hope these ideas help you plan a great trip, and if you have get a chance, I hope you'll check out the Road Trip USA book, which has lots of fun ideas, maps and pictures too!

Thanks again for writing, with best wishes for a happy New Year,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA

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