Road trips can be so much fun. My family and I always have a blast and truly bond when we go on one. One of our absolute favorite routes is visiting the northeastern United States. Here are some of our favorite places on that route, with an itinerary your family may love as much as we did.
If you asked me how I like to travel when with family and friends, I’d say by car. Whenever we can, we rent a car and take off exploring. We always have an amazing time. It almost forces us to talk and share stuff that we normally don’t.
One region that I have traveled to a lot is the northeast region of the United States. I think you’d nee at least two weeks of road trip time to really enjoy the fun sites there. It is a region where we have been able to do tons of interesting stuff, so take your time!
If you are doing this trip with kids, I would recommend having “drive only” days when you do just that. This will give you time to stop along the way as often as you want. You can also get settled in your hotel and get familiarized with your surroundings instead of just being stressed to get to your next tour.
After a day of driving, take two days to explore each city. This will prevent the kids from getting bored in one place. At the same time they won’t be too tired.
So let’s start this virtual road trip.
Road Trip in the Northeast USA: Suggested Itinerary
It all begins in New York City. Just exploring that city can take two weeks or more. But when time is limited, there are a few things I think you shouldn’t pass up. On the morning of the first day, take Circle Line Boat tour, if you have time, and arrange the visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
For dinner you might want to check out one of the many themed restaurants that offer all sorts of different shows. We visited the Jekyll and Hyde Club. A truly cool experience for all ages.
On the second day you might want to visit Central Park Zoo and take a Pedicab tour of Central Park. To finish off your visit to New York, take a walk along Times Square or check out one of its many museums.
Now it is time to move on to Newport, Rhode Island. The drive there will take you about 3.5 hours.
New York City to Newport, RI
In my opinion Newport, a town on the Atlantic Ocean in Rhode Island, is one everyone should visit while in the area. It is a tiny, quaint town that will definitely make you feel in another world, especially after your visit to the bustling metropolis of NYC.
For the first day in Newport, I would recommend taking a sailboat tour. It is a fun and relaxing morning activity that I bet the whole family will love. Afterwards, you can take a short walk along Fort Adams, which was once an incredibly important spot for protecting the region. To finish up your day, take the afternoon trip on the Ice Cream Train.
On the second day, take your time to walk around the town and visit some of its museums. There are at least 10 beachfront mansions that were turned into museums. One of the most popular and well known, The Breakers, once belonging to the Vanderbilt Family.
Time to move on! The next day, eat a hearty breakfast, get everything packed and head your car towards Boston. The drive will take a little over two hours.
Newport to Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is such an important place for the history of the US that most of the activities involve some kind of history lesson. The first thing I will recommend is going on a trolley bus tour. It will give you a good overview of the city. You can do the hop on and off options, deciding where to spend more time and where to eat. It will basically allow you to hop off, enjoy a visit to whatever landmark that you like, and continue later with the bus tour. Take full advantage of this tour and visit as many places as possible.
For the second day, take a guided tour of the Freedom Trail. You will visit lots of historic places and the guide (often an actor in costume) will tell you everything about the sites. Then you can go for a visit to Fenway Park, the oldest baseball stadium in the US. Other options include visiting Quincy Market or touring a local brewery.
The drive to Burlington, Vermont, takes about 4 hours.
Boston to Burlington, Vermont
Burlington is a tiny city of approximately 25,000 inhabitants. It’s also home to one of the oldest universities in the US, the University of Vermont. This is anther quaint city, the smallest capital in the US, where you will be able to rest and forget all about the large city you just left.
The first day, go out to Church Street. This is a waterfront pedestrian mall-like area where there is always something happening. When I visited the area with my family, we spent the whole day there. We enjoyed the nearby small parks and the local restaurants. It was a chill day that we appreciated after coming from a busy city.
The second day, wake up late and rent a bike. You can explore the city and take the ferry across the lake to get to the islands where you can bike along farms. You can have lunch at Allenholm Farms. They have fresh and local food, ice cream and a petting farm.
Time to drive over to Smugglers Notch. This ride will take about an hour.
Burlington to Smugglers Notch, Vermont
Smuggler’s Notch National Park has several ways to enjoy staying with them. One of them (and the one I recommend) is camping by the park or in a nearby campground. We stayed at Brewster River Campground and found a spot with the river behind.
In the area, you can hike the national park’s trails, visit Arbortrek for a fun canopy tour and get a day pass for Smugglers Notch Resort. That way you are able to enjoy the pools and allow your kids to play in the Fun Zone.
Driving to Stowe will only take you about one hour, so you can spend more time in Smugglers Notch and have an early start at Stowe.
Smugglers Notch to Stowe, Vermont
Just the drive from Smugglers to Stowe is an attraction in itself. The views are extremely gorgeous and I bet you will want to stop several times along the way for photos.
Stowe is located at the base of Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield, the tallest peak in Vermont. It is a perfect place for nature adventures. Going on one of the nearby trails is a must! Personally, I prefer hiking, but with my adventurous son and husband, biking was the better option. You can also drive to Mount Mansfield Toll Road for some stunning views.
The next day, go for a visit to Stowe Mountain Resort. Those guys offer tons of tours for all ages; our favorite were the kayaking, climbing and horseback riding. As you can see, most are targeted towards more adventurous and active people, but if you prefer something more relaxing, golfing is also an option.
By this time I bet you are tired, happy and ready to go home. I know my family was.