Spring break road trip destinations for the whole family

With the kids soon to be out of school for a full week during spring break, there isn’t a better time to take a vacation. The weather is pleasant and there are great deals everywhere. However, finding a family vacation spot that’ll satisfy everyone is no easy task – we all have vacation horror stories we’d sooner forget.

In hopes that you have a family vacation that ranks in the ‘best ever’ category, we’ve chosen three destinations, all reachable by car, that are a combination of fun, adventure, and memory-making.

Remember to service your car before you embark on any long-distance drive, and we hope you have a fantastic spring break!

South Padre Island

South Padre Island

South Padre Island, TX

South Padre Island offers the relaxation of the tropics without the extravagant cost or travel distance. You can nap all day in a hammock or take the kids out for one of the many outdoor activities available, including surfing lessons, parasailing, sailing, treasure hunting (you can rent a metal detector), and diving.

Adults can brush up on their golf swing at the South Padre Island Golf Club, the finest in the Rio Grande Valley, while kids can enjoy an educational and fun trip to Gladys Porter Zoo, located in Brownsville. There’s even an animal contact yard where children can touch and interact with some of the animals.  An alternative is the Sealife Center, located at the Light House Square in Port Isabel, which employs presentations on sea life and conservation as well as touch tanks to teach children the importance of being eco-friendly. You can even go on boat tours and nature trail walks that address trash issues.

Island hotels offer discount packages for spring break if you buy early.

M&M's World at Las Vegas

M&M’s World at Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV

Most folks consider Las Vegas an adults-only vacation destination, but this gem of the desert also makes for an enormously exciting family vacation.

Share a sweet tooth with your child? Then wander over to M&M’s World, next door to the MGM Grand. Four stories of M&M’s memorabilia and souvenirs – as well as M&M’s candy in 22 colors, like lime green and hot pink – will make you feel like you’ve died and gone to chocolate heaven.

Once you’ve fueled up with sugar, head to the Circus Circus, which hosts the U.S.’s largest indoor theme park. Your kids can test their ability to hold down dinner multiple times on Canyon Blaster, a roller coaster with four inversions, or the Sling Shot, a ride that propels you up with 4Gs and then immediately free falls. Not to be outdone, down the street at Stratosphere Tower you can ride Insanity, which suspends you 69 feet over the edge of the 1,149-foot tower.

If your kids find roller coasters queasiness-inducing, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at Luxor is just as exciting without causing physical trauma. The exhibition features over 300 artifacts from the doomed ship and is supposedly haunted. If you’re traveling with teens who aren’t easily impressed, the Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas is a fascinating exploration of crime and criminals that doesn’t leave any of the gore out. You can see the brick wall from the infamous Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, where Al Capone allegedly gunned down seven members of the North Side Irish gang. And exhibits on the rise and fall of figures like Al Capone and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, who actually helped build Las Vegas, are sure to entice the entire brood.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World

Orlando, FL

It takes about a day of driving from Moriarty to make it to sunny Orlando, Florida, but the journey is worth it: Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, and Legoland are all within about an hour of each other. This gives you lots of options for play – we dare you to choose just one!

However, if you’re going to visit Disney World, plan to be there the whole week. Disney World consists of four different parks and two water parks (to give you a sense of scale, Disneyland is 160 acres and Disney World is 25,000 acres).  That’s an awful lot of walking, so bring comfortable shoes!

If you’ve never been to Disneyland before, the Magic Kingdom park in Disney World is close to a Disneyland replica. Epcot is a futuristic park featuring the iconic Spaceship Earth structure, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios transports you onto a Hollywood movie set, with rides like the Tower of Terror and the Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster (soundtrack provided by Aerosmith). Meanwhile, the Animal Kingdom park lets you go on fossil digs, an African safari, and dinosaur-themed rides.

About eight miles away at Universal Studios, fans of Harry Potter will double over at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter park in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, where you can fly on a hippogryph and enjoy the legendary sweets at Honeydukes. For the older set, Universal’s Islands of Adventure also hosts many thrilling rides, like the Incredible Hulk Coaster.

If your kids are animal lovers, they will delight in the one-on-one experiences with animals, lagoons, and aquariums at Sea World. And younger children are bound to have an unforgettable spring break at Legoland, where they can learn to drive lego boats and cars and test their daring on Aquazone Wave Racers and miniature coasters like Project X.

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~ by 2ndtononeservice on February 28, 2014.

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