DC vs. NYC – Which City is Best to Visit with Kids?

Have you been thinking about taking your kids to a city destination, but you aren’t sure which one is best? I am here to help! I’ve had the opportunity to take my boys to both Washington, DC and New York City twice now, and I have tons of tips and recommendations. Both cities are truly remarkable in their own way, so keep reading to learn more about which city is best for you to visit with kids!

I have always wanted to take my boys to New York City, but my husband wasn’t really sure it would be a great idea when they were younger. We decided to try Washington, DC with them first, just to see how they’d handle long days of walking and riding public transportation. We had traveled to DC together, just the two of us, so we had a good idea of the city layout and points of interest before venturing there with our boys.

I truly feel that Washington, DC is a great “starter city” to try out with your children, especially if they are younger. My boys were six and nine on our first family trip to DC.

Washington, DC

We have visited Washington, DC over our fall break in November and also over our spring break in March. We loved the fall colors, but there’s also something magical about the cherry blossoms in the spring! The weather was awesome during both of our visits. We did spend more time in DC over our fall break than we did in the spring. The city is less crowded over the week of Thanksgiving, as businesses usually close for the holiday and people leave to visit their families. The downside is that the White House is closed for tours this week because it’s being decorated for Christmas.

Washington, DC Highlights

  • Family-friendly
  • Educational
  • World class museums
  • Walkable
  • Historical monuments and statues
  • Theatre and shows
  • Amazing outdoor parks
  • Nearby day trips
  • More affordable

What We’ve Done in DC

You’ll never run out of things to do in Washington, DC! My boys were so excited to learn more about the Presidents and early American history since they were also studying these things in school. And I will admit, it is really cool seeing the things that I grew up learning about in person. I mean, I got to see the actual Declaration of Independence, the original US flag, the bed that Lincoln died in, plus so much more!

Visit the National Mall

Monument Tour at Night

White House Tour

Ford’s Theatre & Petersen House Tour

Day at Mount Vernon (George Washington’s House)

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

National Archives Museum

Arlington Cemetery

Went to the Top of the Washington Monument

Capital Building Tour

Cherry Blossoms

Click here for my complete guide to visiting Washington, DC!

Click here for tips on securing a White House tour!

New York City

We also visited New York City over our fall break this past November and in the summer, too. We absolutely loved our fall visit because we got to experience the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and we got to see all of the amazing holiday décor around the city! The only downside to visiting during this week is that it’s crowded! So many people are here to either watch the parade or be in the parade. The Rockefeller tree is also not complete, so that is one of thing that I will have to return to see in person! This city does the holidays BIG and that was our favorite part! We even witnessed Elton John perform outside of Macy’s, right in the middle of the street, for their holiday light display. This was an experience that I will never, ever forget!

New York City Highlights  

  • Family-friendly
  • Educational
  • World class museums
  • Walkable
  • Excellent nightlife
  • Fantastic shopping
  • Amazing playgrounds
  • Theatre and shows
  • Holiday décor/events

What We’ve Done in NYC

It is true, you will never be able to do all of the amazing things you have on your New York City bucket list in one visit! My boys thought it was so fun to see those famous landmarks and the NYC skyline that are often featured on television and in the movies! I was so excited to go inside of the Statue of the Liberty for the first time on our past visit. There are still several things on our list that we just didn’t have the time for. I hope we’re able to return soon to knock those things off the list!

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty Museum

Times Square

Empire State Building

9/11 Museum & Memorial

Top of the Rock

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Floats Inflation

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (from hotel)

Central Park

American Museum of Natural History

Christmas Outside Radio City Music Hall

Naked Cowboy

Click here for my complete guide to visiting NYC with kids!

Click here for my complete guide on visiting NYC over Thanksgiving break!

Our Take Away

There are several factors involved when planning your trip besides just all of the touristy things that your family will want to explore. Along with activities and experiences, you need to consider costs for lodging, food, and transportation. Also, the ease of maneuvering around each city is also a factor. Below, I’ve broken down our biggest considerations that we discussed when deciding the best time to visit both Washington, DC and New York City!


In our experience, visiting DC has been a little more budget friendly than our trips to New York City. This goes for flights, hotels, dining, and activities!

Lodging – We stayed in a great place in Washington Circle in DC that had once been an apartment complex that was converted into hotel rooms. (I’m not linking this property because it’s undergoing renovations right now, but will update soon.) Here, we had a living room, bedroom, two bathrooms, and a kitchen for the same rate as a traditional hotel room. Lodging in NYC is often older, smaller, and pricier depending on what time of year you’re visiting and what area you’re staying in.

Transportation – I will say that both cities are both walkable and you do not need to rent a car to experience either destination. We found that we mostly walked everywhere in DC. Occasionally, we would use an uber, mostly at the end of a long day when our youngest would get tired. In New York, we also mostly walked, but did use the subway several times, too. It was a little quicker to venture around NYC using the subway system and much cheaper than taxis or ubers.

Activities – Both cities are jam packed with amazing activities that anyone can enjoy! We never ran out of ideas on things to do. In fact, we usually found ourselves running out of time to get everything accomplished that we wanted to see and do in both places. I love both DC and NYC, but in my experience, we found that most of the touristy things we decided to do in DC were free!

Free Activities

Speaking of those free activities, DC has tons of free things to do and see! The Smithsonian Museums are free and so are all of the historical memorials and monuments. We enjoyed walking around the National Mall and taking in the historical sites, both during the day and at nighttime. And of course, touring the White House is also free and a must do activity if you’re in the city!

Click here for a list of the best free things to do in DC!

You can also enjoy free activities in NYC. Times Square is one of my boys’ favorite places in the city and it’s free to walk around and take in the lights and different street performers. Central Park is another free location in NYC. And on Monday afternoons, you can visit the 9/11 Museum for free as well, if you request tickets the same day and early in the morning. The Staten Island Ferry is free and you can take in the Statue of Liberty from the boat ride. And there are also other free museum days here, too!

Click here for a list of the best free things to do in NYC!

Getting Around

Again, you can visit both cities without needing to rent a car. In fact, I have actually driven in both cities and I don’t recommend it! We did a lot of walking in both destinations, I am talking about eight to ten miles each day. So, I highly recommend making sure that your kids can handle that. We did find that walking around DC was less crowded and easier for us to maneuver. There just didn’t seem to be the same amount of people or vehicles to watch out for in DC as there is in New York.


Both DC and New York have so many amazing restaurants to choose from! We had no problem finding places to eat at either destination. We didn’t particularly enjoy everywhere we ate, you know kids can be kind of picky. I do think we saw more fast food places in New York than I remember seeing in DC, which came in handy for us with the boys. We also found ourselves grabbing donuts and random snacks in NYC, even pretty late at night!

More Tips

  • Travel during the slow season.
  • Find hotels that offer free breakfast.
  • Hotel rates are more expensive on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Have a plan for both destinations – some places will need reservations ahead of time.
  • You can visit both cities over a weekend or for a whole entire week.
  • Read travel blogs (like roadtripqueens.blog) for inspiration.
  • Make sure to plan for the right weather, check the forecasts ahead of time & pack accordingly.
  • Allow some down time during a visit to the city. Kids (and adults) can experience some sensory overload in all the hustle and bustle.
  • Expect some crowds and wait times.
  • Keep a positive attitude & have fun!

I truly feel that you cannot go wrong with either destination. Both cities are extremely family-friendly and you’re guaranteed to make memories that will last a lifetime! I asked my boys which city that liked the best, and they both said New York City! I am not sure if this because we visited just a few months ago and it has been a few years since we’ve traveled to DC. They both agreed that they love both cities, they just really had a great time in NYC!

If I were traveling with my kids to a new city, I would probably choose Washington, DC first and wait until my kids were a little older for New York City. If this is a once in a lifetime trip for your family, then I would probably choose to visit New York City, there’s just no other place like it!

I hope you find these tips and personal experiences helpful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

Washington, DC or New York City?

30 Awesome Things to do in Galveston – Plus More Tips, Like Where to Stay & What to Expect!

Galveston, TX is one our closest beaches and one of our favorite family road trip destinations! We like to venture down to the coast at least once a year, but we’ve been known to make the drive several times in under a year, too. Traveling to Galveston brings so much joy to my family and this destination holds such a special place in my heart. Growing up, I looked forward to our annual summer vacation to Galveston and I’ve kept the tradition going with my boys! Keep reading to learn more about these 30 awesome things to do in Galveston.

30 Awesome Things to do in Galveston

Be sure to click on each link for more information!

Go to the Beach

You can’t make the trip to Galveston without visiting the beach! We love spending the days splashing in the ocean and lounging under an umbrella while our boys play. There are several different beach areas in Galveston, the most popular seems to be along the Seawall Blvd.

Pleasure Pier

If you’re looking for a change of scenery, head to the Historic Pleasure right on the Seawall. There are restaurants, rollercoasters, rocking bands, and more! We love to go at nighttime when the sun goes down and the rollercoasters are all lit up with bright lights!

Rent Bikes

If you feel like a bike ride along the Seawall with views of the ocean next to you, then check out the four to six seater bike rentals right on the Seawall!

The Strand

The Strand is the downtown area of Galveston and known as the heart of the island. Here, you can find even more restaurants, bars, shopping and entertainment. I love walking along the streets, admiring the ornate buildings dating back to the 1800s.

Build a Sandcastle

For some reason, Galveston is the one place that I can build really good sandcastles! If you’re headed to the beach, bring some sand buckets and shovels for the kiddos! Be sure to check out the sandcastle competition if you’re visiting in August!

Shop at Murdoch’s

Murdoch’s is my favorite souvenir shop in the whole world! And I am being completely honest about this. This was one of my favorite shops to visit as a child and I love taking my boys here, too. They sell everything from beach gear to t-shirts, shoes to toys, and even alcoholic beverages! You may even come home with a hermit crab or two!

Go Crabbing

We have never found crabs at night like the ones we’ve caught here in Galveston! Grab a flashlight and head to the sand, you’ll be sure to find a few. If you wade in the waters, you might even stumble across some really big ones, so keep your eyes open!

Watch Dolphins

I don’t think I’ve ever been to Galveston and not seen at least one dolphin! We’ve watched them from our condo balcony, from the beach, and at dinner! Last weekend we watched them play in the bay right outside of the restaurant we were at (Fisherman’s Wharf).

There are also several different dolphin watching boat tours in the area, as well. Research shows the best time to spot dolphins in Galveston is June-September, but again we saw several in April!

LaKing’s Confectionery

If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, then look no further than LaKing’s Confectionery! From old fashioned sodas, to candy, to ice cream, they have it all. You can even watch salt water taffy being made here or try a new flavor if you’re feeling adventurous!

Fishing Pier

My boys have loved each time we’ve taken them fishing on the Pier! We haven’t been lucky enough to catch anything too big, but it’s always fun to watch the regulars around the pier reel in something!

Deep Sea Fishing

Galveston offers several deep sea fishing charters! It looks like so much fun, however I would be way too seasick to try this one out!

Historic Mansion Tours

I haven’t gone on a mansion tour since I was a kid, but I still remember the time we did this! These mansions are very impressive and well kept. I highly recommend a tour if you’re looking for something historical away from the hustle and bustle of the beach!

Ride a Trolley

For just a dollar (kids free), take a ride around Galveston on a trolley! There are two loops, one around downtown, the other travels from Stewart Beach to Moody Gardens!

Take Photos Around the Island

There are so many fun photo ops around Galveston! We love the Galveston postcard down near the Strand! The link above has several photo op recommendations for the best instagramable spots around the island!  

Pirates Legends of the Gulf Coast

This is a quick and fun activity for anyone that likes pirates! Here, you’ll learn all about the myths and legends of some of the pirates that were once in Galveston!

Moody Gardens

This is the perfect place to visit if there’s a rainy day at the beach or you’re recovering from a sunburn! Here you’ll find an aquarium, a rainforest, dining options, and more! We especially enjoyed the sharks, stingrays, and the jellyfish!

Eat Fresh Seafood

My favorite activity anywhere on the coast is eating fresh seafood! There are so many dining options in Galveston! Our favorite is Fisherman’s Wharf! We love to come here for dinner and take in the sunset and watch dolphins play in the bay!

Watch the Sunrise or Sunset

There is nothing better than a Texas sunrise or sunset! The link above has the best spots around Galveston to take one in!

5D Shark Attack Experience

My boys really enjoyed this a few years ago! I sat it out because I get super motion sick, but they had a blast. It also makes a fun photo op at the beach! This is located across the street from the Pleasure Pier and this is also where we purchased the tickets!

Watch a Cruise Ship Depart

Several cruise ships depart from the port in Galveston. Sunday is a popular day to watch the cruise ships depart. Head to the port area or grab an outdoor dinner and watch one set sail!

Go Surfing

We haven’t surfed in Galveston ourselves, but we’ve watched several try it out! We prefer to boogie board. Whether you surf or prefer to chill on a boogie board, the waves here in Galveston are excellent to ride!

Hunt for Seashells

If you visit Galveston, you’re sure to find some shells on the shore! The photo above is what we found on a February visit to the coast!

Magic Carpet Mini Golf

Mini golf at the beach is one of our absolute favorites! This course is so much fun and we love all of the fun beach themes. Plus, the views of the ocean while you’re playing can’t be beat!

Get a Massage

I love being pampered on vacation. If you’ve spent the day at the beach, treat yourself to an evening massage or spa treatment!

Schlitterbahn Water Park

Waterparks are some of the best summertime entertainment options, especially in the Texas heat. Rent a cabana and have a blast on the many waterpark rides while beating the heat!

Galveston Historic Seaport

Take a walk around the historic seaport and tour the 1877 Elissa. My boys loved exploring the tall ship! If you like history, you’ll love this stop. The Texas Seaport Museum is very educational, too!

Seawolf Park

You can find Seawolf Park on Pelican Island. This park has a fishing pier, picnic areas, and a playground. You can also see a WWII submarine, the USS Cavalla!

Galveston Helicopters

If you want to see Galveston from above, check out the Galveston Helicopters Tours! They fly right over the ocean on their seven mile tour!

Ferry to Bolivar Peninsula

The ferry to Bolivar Peninsula takes about 18 minutes and is completely free! It’s a very peaceful ride and you might even spot dolphins on the journey! You can hit the beach in Bolivar, hunt for shark teeth, and even shop or enjoy the local restaurants!

Galveston Naval Museum

Tour a submarine and destroyer from WWII right at the Galveston Naval Museum! Tickets are $13.00 for adults, $8.00 for kids.

Where to Stay

We love to stay at Seascape Condos when we visit! We’ve been staying here for over ten years and I can’t imagine visiting Galveston and staying anywhere else. These condos sit right on the beach side and are so spacious and well kept.

Click here for my latest review on Seascape Condos for more information and photos!

What to Expect

It’s very true that Galveston Island is not known for white sand beaches and clear blue waters. It’s often pretty hot and humid here in the summers, it is Texas after all. But, it is still a fun family destination! We’ve taken our boys to beaches all across the US and even in the Caribbean. They will tell anyone that asks that Galveston is their number one favorite beach destination! It can get really crowded in the summertime, especially around the holidays (Memorial Weekend, July 4th, and Labor Day Weekend). I prefer visiting in April, when the humidity is lower and the crowds are smaller. My boys like the summer better because the water is warmer! This is a place that is fairly close to us, so we keep going back year after year. I have forty years of cherished memories here and hope to make many more! If you haven’t been, you should give it a chance. Just lower those expectations, Texas doesn’t have beaches like Florida does.

Seascape Condominiums – The Best Place to Stay in Galveston, TX

Galveston Island is the closest beach to us in north Texas. We like to travel down to the coast a couple of times a year. And we only stay at one place, Seascape Condominiums! It’s the best place to stay in Galveston!

The view from the balcony!

We’ve been staying at Seascape for over ten years now. Our first visit was when my oldest was almost two. Now he’s twelve! My boys LOVE this place. It holds so many special memories for us.

Galveston is our happy place!

What Makes Seascape So Great?

Beach Access – The location to the beach is the absolute best! If you’re familiar with Galveston, then you know that most of the hotels are located across the street from the beach. So on beach day, if you’re staying anywhere else, you have to lug all of your stuff across the busy Seawall to get access to the beach. Seascape Condominiums is actually one of the few places that sits right on the beach side! That means, you simply walk outside and over the boardwalk, and you’re on the beach!

The boardwalk from the grounds to the beach!

I love the convenience of being just a short walk back to our room or the restrooms by the pool. I cannot imagine having to go back and forth across the four lane road. There’s many reasons that we love Seascape Condos, but the location right on the beach is number one for me!

Seascape Condos sits right on the beach!

Space – Staying in a condo is always much more spacious than a hotel room! The units have several different floor options, but the one we return to year after year has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and full kitchen, plus two balconies! It’s very spacious for our family of four and we’ve even stayed there with friends and have easily slept up to eight with the bunk beds in the hallway and the sleeper sofa!

One of the two balconies in this unit!

Living room


Bunks in the hallway

Master bedroom

Master bathroom


Second bedroom


An added bonus is having a washer and dryer! I don’t particularly like doing laundry on vacation, but having a dryer is a game changer! We use the dryer for our beach towels, so each day they are nice and dry for us. We sometimes even throw our swimsuits in the dryer to remove sand and dry them for the day. There is nothing worse than putting on wet swimsuits in the morning!

Washer and dryer in the master closet

Pools – Our favorite place at Seascape Condos is the pool area! There is a large swimming pool and it’s even heated in the winter! There’s a kids pool and two hot tubs. One hot tub is open to anyone above the age of six. The other hot tub is more secluded and is only for adults age twenty-one and older. The landscape around the pool is beautifully maintained and there are plenty of lounge chairs and picnic tables! You’ll also find restrooms and vending machines near the pool area.

We love the pools!

I’ve taught both of my boys how to swim in this pool!

Safety – Finally, we always feel really safe when staying here! There is a guard that is stationed at the entrance of Seascape. These guards are on sight twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. They monitor the vehicles coming in and out and only registered guests or condo owners are permitted. They also walk the grounds several times per day to ensure that everyone is safe and behaving appropriately.

You cannot get onto the grounds without a special gate code!

The pool area and beach area are only accessed with a special gate code that you receive upon check in. So, the beach in front of the hotel is essentially only used by guests from Seascape Condos. And guests are required to wear a bracelet while staying at Seascape to ensure that only registered guests/owners are on site and using the facilities and pools.

View of the pools and beach from the room

Seascape Condominiums Information

  • Website: Seascape Condos
  • Address: 10811 Termini-San Luis Pass Rd, Galveston, TX 77554
  • Phone Number: (409) – 740 – 1245

If you’re looking for the best place to stay in Galveston, be sure to check out Seascape Condominiums! This is one of the few destinations that we keep returning to. The units are the perfect size for families of all sizes. The grounds are stunning and the location on the beach is ideal!

If you plan to visit Galveston, Texas, you should check out Seascape Condos! It's the BEST place to stay on the island!
Nothing is better than a gorgeous Texas sunset at the beach!

How to Take Advantage of School Breaks Part 2: Tips for Squeezing in Travel When the Kids Are Not in School

Tips for Traveling Over a Week Long School Break

Week long school breaks are my absolute favorite! I love the time we have off together and the memories we are able to make. For us, we have a fall break, winter break, and spring break.  These have been fantastic times to travel for our family! Even though we don’t have as many week long breaks during the school year as we do long weekend breaks, I still try to plan some kind of getaway for each of them. Some things to keep in mind for week long travel is the weather, especially if you’re traveling in the winter (snow/ice) or spring (rain/thunderstorms). Week long breaks can also draw more crowds, so keep that in mind when choosing your destination!

More Things to Consider for Travel Over School Breaks:

  • Fall break tends to be a more budget friendly time to travel
  • Winter/Spring break travel tend to be more expensive
  • Pay attention to the weather during all seasons of travel & pack accordingly
  • Expect airports, roads, destinations to be more crowded during holiday travel
  • Week long travel equals more time exploring your destination
  • You can visit farther away destinations over week long breaks
  • Week long travel allows a day or two of down time before returning to school/work

Fall Break Destination Recommendations:

The week during Thanksgiving break is an excellent time to take a quick trip with the family! We like to head out over the weekend and return on Thanksgiving Day so that we don’t miss any time, or delicious food, with our families. Traveling during this week seems to be very budget friendly and the locations are not as crowded, either!

For us, returning home on Thanksgiving Day has worked out very well! We try to avoid those busy airports and road conditions the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We like to book morning flights on Thanksgiving Day. We make it home in the early afternoon, just in time for dinner! Below are some of our favorite fall break travel destinations.

Our first family trip to DC!

Washington DC – Visiting DC over Thanksgiving break was a dream come true for my family! The weather was amazing and the crowds were small. I hear that a lot of people that work in DC leave the city for the holiday, so it’s an ideal time to visit. This is one of my most favorite family trips to date! We packed in so much during the week and saw so many historical sites. The only downside to traveling to DC during this week is that the White House is closed to tours because they are decorating for Christmas.

We couldn’t wait to show the boys all the monuments!

Click here for my complete guide to visiting Washington DC over Thanksgiving Break!

It really is grand!

Grand Canyon, AZ – Another fantastic destination for fall break is Grand Canyon National Park! It’s a lot less crowded this time of year since it’s considered the off season. We didn’t have to fight many crowds at the viewpoints and the lodging was a lot less costly in November. We really enjoyed the weather and cooler temps while hiking, too!

We were all so excited to finally see the Grand Canyon in person!

Click here for my complete guide to visiting Grand Canyon National Park!

We even got to go inside the statue!

New York, NY – Visiting the Big Apple over fall break is the most ideal time to go! Not only did we get to explore the entire city and all the famous landmarks, we also got to check out the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons being inflated, we got to watch the parade from our hotel room, and the entire city was also decorated for Christmas! I feel like we got the best of both worlds in regards to Thanksgiving and Christmas. This trip was truly magical and we made some memories that we will never forget!

I can’t believe we got to see the parade floats this close!

Click here for my complete guide to visiting New York City!

Winter Break Destination Recommendations:

Traveling over the two week winter break can be a fun change of scenery and sometimes our trips are even a part of our Christmas gifts to our family! We love to hit the slopes and snowboard, but we’ve also traveled to other parts of the US over the holiday break and had tons of fun! Below is one of our favorite winter break destinations.

It never looks like this at Christmastime in Texas!

Winter Park, CO – Since we live in Texas, I love to hit the road and head north to the mountains to get that feel of having a white Christmas! We also love to snowboard together and my boys are having a blast learning each year we visit! Winter Park has some excellent ski and snowboarding conditions, plus there’s plenty of activities like tubing, snowshoeing, snow mobile rentals, and even dogsledding! If you’re looking for a fun winter getaway, this is the place to go!

We spent New Year’s Day snowboarding together!

Click here for my complete guide to visiting Winter Park!

Spring Break Destination Recommendations:

Spring break is one of our favorite times of the year to travel! Usually for us, spring fever has set in and it’s so fun to get away with the family to regroup and recharge! We’ve traveled to several destinations over this school break, but below are my three favorites!

Utah rocks!

Moab, UT – Moab has been on my bucket list forever and I am so, so happy that we decided to visit over our spring break a few years ago. The weather was a little chilly, but it was perfect since we did a lot of hiking! We didn’t have to worry about timed-entry permits for Arches National Park and there weren’t too many crowds at all. This was our first trip Utah and it definitely won’t be our last!

This is another top favorite family trip!

Click here for my complete guide to visiting Moab, UT!

Baker Beach in San Francisco

California to Oregon – We spent an unforgettable week traveling from San Francisco to Cannon Beach over spring break last year. It was everything we hoped it would be and more. On our road trip, we explored San Francisco, Redwoods National Park, and Cannon Beach, Oregon. We got really lucky and had gorgeous weather the entire week. I highly recommend road tripping along the Pacific Coast Highway and I think spring break is an excellent time to go! Nothing was crowded at all and I cannot even describe the landscapes in each of these places!

The views along the Pacific Coast Highway!

Click here for my complete Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip guide!

This week at the beach was a dream!

Orange Beach, AL – Our most recent family trip was to Orange Beach, just last month! Again, we got extremely lucky with unseasonably warm weather so early in the season. This trip was so relaxing, we didn’t do much besides play at the beach and eat delicious food at night! If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, check this beach destination out!

These boys had the best time!

Plan Like a Pro!

Whether you’re traveling over a weekend or for an entire week, you should plan your trip like a pro! Here are some ways to do that!

  • Read travel blogs (like roadtripqueens.blog) for inspiration.
  • Check out Pinterest for more information specific to your destination.
  • Google search free activities or “best attractions” at your destination.
  • If you’re visiting a city, look into the CityPASS for additional savings.
  • Have a plan in mind, choose at least one thing to do or see each day.
  • Make sure you pack for the right weather, check the forecasts ahead of time.
  • Allow some down time, either before, during, or after your trip.
  • Expect some travel delays and keep a positive attitude.
  • Take tons of photos!

I hope you have found these tips helpful and that you’re able to squeeze in some amazing adventures over the next school break! Be sure to check out Part 1 – Traveling Over Long Weekend School Breaks!

How to Take Advantage of School Breaks Part 1: Tips for Squeezing in Travel When the Kids Are Not in School

Since Jereme and I both work, and our kiddos keep us busy with school and sports, we aren’t a full time traveling family. But, I have become an expert at taking advantage of school breaks! I have several tips for squeezing in travel when the kids are not in school that I hope you find helpful!

We’ve created so many wonderful family memories traveling over school breaks!

Now, I’m not saying that you have to travel every single time your kids are on a school break. Sometimes it is so nice to rest and recharge at home. But there are several different times throughout the school year that taking a trip might be fun for you and your family, besides just during the summer! Below, I’ve included some tips and things to keep in mind when traveling over a long weekend. I’m also sharing some of our favorite travels over different school breaks that we’ve recently taken!

Tips for Traveling Over a Long Weekend

Finding the time to travel over a long weekend does involve some planning ahead, but it can be a lot more budget friendly than a longer trip! So, first things first. Get your school calendar at the beginning of the school year and take note of when you’ll have long weekends for possible travel and start making plans. When thinking about the destination you’d like to visit, the biggest consideration will be the amount of time that will be spent on the travel days. Do you have time for a road trip or will flying be the better and faster option? There are several pros and cons to weigh when traveling over a long weekend. One pro is that you don’t have to pack as much, but a con is not having a ton of time in the location you’re visiting! Below are more things to think about when taking advantage of school breaks and traveling over a long weekend.

  • Choose closer destinations to reduce the amount of time spent on traveling
  • Plan a Staycation
  • Take a day trip
  • Camping can be a fun and easy weekend getaway
  • Keep it simple – don’t try to pack in too many activities
  • Off season travel (fall/winter) can be less crowded & more budget friendly
  • Think about the weather at your destination
  • Remember that attractions are typically busier on weekends
  • Hotels can be more expensive on Friday and Saturday nights
  • Visit a National or State Park

National Parks also have free entrance on certain days throughout the year. Below is the list of days for the year (2023) that you can visit the Parks for free!

  • Jan. 16 — Martin Luther King Day.
  • April 22 — First day of National Park Week.
  • Aug. 4 — Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act.
  • Sept. 23 — National Public Lands Day.
  • Nov. 11 — Veterans Day.
Weekend travel bonus: The shorter the trip, the less you have to pack!

Weekend Travel Destination Recommendations:

I really have become an expert at planning weekend trips! We’ve taken advantage of several school breaks and squeezed in some amazing places, just over a long weekend. Below are some of my favorite long weekend getaways!

We had no idea just how amazingly unique this National Park is!

Winter: Carlsbad Caverns, NM – This is our most recent long weekend family trip that we were able to make over our school break for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday! This is the perfect weekend destination because you don’t need too many days to really explore these impressive caverns and the temps inside the caverns stays the same year round!! The drive for us was about seven hours, so we left out early on Saturday morning and arrived in the early afternoon. Then we explored the caverns for most of the day on Sunday and drove back home on Monday. We all were amazed inside the caverns and Jake participated in the Jr. Ranger program while we were there and earned a badge.

Inside the caverns is like what I imagine being on another planet is like!

Click here for my complete guide about visiting Carlsbad Caverns National Park!

Chicago is such a fun city!

Spring: Chicago, IL – Chicago is a great weekend destination! I’ve been lucky to find reasonable airfare to the Windy City using both Google Flights and Skyscanner. I also feel like this destination can be more budget friendly since you don’t need to rent a car! I’ve visited Chicago over the weekend, both with my boys and on a girl’s trip! The city in the spring is absolutely wonderful, the weather is perfect and the flowers are in bloom everywhere. There are so many great places to eat, some of the most impressive museums I’ve ever visited, and so many fun outdoor adventures.

I really couldn’t get over the flowers that were everywhere!

Click here for my complete on visiting Chicago!

Love that Dallas skyline!

Anytime: Dallas, TX – Our Dallas Staycation has been one of my favorite weekend trips to date! We’ve lived close to Dallas my whole life, and I had no clue how much fun exploring our nearest city would be. My family took advantage of the CityPASS and it made exploring Dallas not only fun, but extremely easy! With the CityPASS, we got ideas of where to go and then were able to skip all the entry lines with the PASS. This trip was also extremely budget friendly, since it was so close and didn’t require a lot of gas to get there. Plus, we went with friends and split the cost of parking and the hotel.

These kids thoroughly enjoyed a “fancy” hotel with a rooftop pool!

Click here for my complete guide on visiting Dallas!

Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park really is a dream!

Fall: Estes Park, CO – Last fall, I traveled to Estes Park, CO on a solo road trip to the mountains. Even teachers need a break sometimes, and the long weekend we had off in October was just the time I needed to recharge. I met up with some of my girlfriends there, and together we spent our weekend hiking, watching wildlife, and being pampered! I highly recommend this destination for a long weekend getaway, either with your family or with your friends!

Emerald Lake in RMNP!

Click here for my complete guide on visiting Estes Park & the Rocky Mountains!

Plan Like a Pro!

Whether you’re traveling over a weekend or for an entire week, you should plan your trip like a pro! Here are some ways to do that!

  • Read travel blogs (like roadtripqueens.blog) for inspiration.
  • Check out Pinterest for more information specific to your destination.
  • If flying – find flights under 2-3 hours max.
  • If driving – don’t go farther than 4-6 hours unless you’re a road trip pro!
  • Google search free activities or “best attractions” at your destination.
  • If you’re visiting a city, look into the CityPASS for additional savings.
  • Have a plan in mind, choose at least one thing to do or see each day.
  • Make sure you pack for the right weather, check the forecasts ahead of time.
  • Allow some down time, either before, during, or after your trip.
  • Expect some travel delays and keep a positive attitude.
  • Take tons of photos!

I hope you have found these tips helpful and that you’re able to squeeze in some amazing adventures over the next school break! Be sure to check back soon for more tips about traveling over longer school breaks!

Favorite Family Beach Destinations & Why We Love Them

There’s nothing like a trip to the beach, especially for a busy family! While we love adventuring, hiking, and exploring, it’s sometimes really nice to plan a low-key vacation to a beautiful destination. And then, when you get to that beautiful destination, it’s perfectly alright to do absolutely nothing except enjoy where you are and who you’re with! I think that’s why we love going to the beach. It never involves too much planning and we usually return feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. I’m including some of our favorite beach destinations, both in the US and south of the border. This doesn’t cover every beach we’ve visited, but it’s a nice start if you’re getting ready to plan a trip to the beach!

United States

The US has some fantastic beach destinations, some more unique than others! I am fascinated with the different landscapes from coast to coast. Below are just a few of our favorite beaches in the United States and why we love them!

Orange Beach, Alabama

Beautiful beach sunset

This is our most recent beach vacation, and even though we’ve been traveling to Orange Beach for over twelve years now, we still enjoy each and every visit! This is one of those places that has beautiful white sands, emerald waters, delicious food, and isn’t very crowded if you plan your trip out right! The past two visits to Orange Beach have been in March and April and the crowds were basically non-existent. It looks a little different during those peak summer months, though. We love Orange Beach because we keep it super low-key and chill. You can find us hanging out at the beach, boogie boarding on the waves, warming up in the hot tub, and trying new seafood restaurants each evening. The boys love that we start each day with no major plans!

My favorite boys at one of our favorite places!
Those waves though!
Our most recent family photo, Orange Beach 2023.
These boys stayed in the ocean for basically three days straight!

Things to do in Orange Beach:

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Jereme walking along the tide pools at Haystack Rock

I have wanted to visit Cannon Beach for forever and I finally got the chance last March over our spring break. We visited as part of a Pacific Coast Highway road trip and we all agreed that we wished we would’ve had more time here at this beach. We adored the little beach cottage we stayed in and the town is super quaint and welcoming! The tide pools made my whole life and the boys still talk about having bonfires on the beach in the evenings. We have big plans to return to Cannon Beach and stay at the exact same cottage one day!

The first ever tide pools and starfish I’ve seen in nature!
We were all amazed at the marine life!
It was a little chilly at this beach, but we still loved it!
Bonfires on the beach at night!

Things to do in Cannon Beach:

Folly Beach, South Carolina

Under the pier right next to the hotel

Folly Beach was our first ever trip to South Carolina and it was a great one! We loved the hotel we stayed at and I highly recommend it for families! Folly Beach is also known for amazing finds, like shark teeth and shells. So if you have kiddos that love sharks or shells, check this destination out! I also loved the proximity to Charleston and some of the plantations and historical sites in the area. Overall, this is a really fun family destination. South Carolina is such a beautiful state!

Sandcastles are always fun
These boys love swimming!
Our first full day in South Carolina!

Things to do in Folly Beach:

St. Pete’s Beach, Florida

That water & rainbow!

This destination has it all! You can visit just to relax at the beach all day, but there’s also a vast amount of water sports, shopping, & dining! We visited a few summers ago and the boys still ask to go back. We had a blast parasailing, sliding on some of the inflatable slides outside of the hotel, relaxing, and eating amazing seafood! The water is also stunning and so blue! It was a little crowded, but we were there during the peak summer months, so that’s to be expected when you’re visiting just about any beach in Florida! The hotel really made the stay worthwhile and we didn’t even leave this resort much because it truly had everything! We also really enjoyed the beach’s proximity to Tampa.

Parasailing right outside the resort
The boys loved these slides!
We made s’mores on the beach every night!
And spent the days in the water!

Things to do at St. Pete’s Beach:

Galveston, Texas

There’s nothing better than a Texas sunset!

If you live in Texas, then visiting Galveston is a must since it’s in our state! Even though Galveston is not known for white sand beaches and clear, blue waters, it’s still my kiddos’ favorite beach destination! We always have such an awesome time when we visit. I think my boys love it so much because it doesn’t require a lot of driving to get there and it holds such special memories for us. We’ve visited for just a weekend and even stayed once for ten days!

Annual Galveston family photo
We always stay at Sea Scape Condos!
Mini Golf at Magic Carpet Golf

Things to do in Galveston:


There’s something really special about those all-inclusive beach resorts in the Caribbean and our family has had many wonderful experiences visiting Mexico! So far, we’ve had the chance to take our boys to Cozumel, Cabo, and Cancun. Each destination offers many excursions and activities that are fun for all ages! The resorts in Mexico make it so easy for travelers and usually have people assisting you upon arrival to find the perfect excursions for you family!

Cozumel, Mexico

Love the water and those palm trees

We really love this little island. Jereme and I have traveled to Cozumel at least five times on our own and with our kids. The people are amazing and we have made many special memories exploring the island. I cannot get over the water! It’s so clear and you can literally see fish swimming everywhere, right from the shore!

Iberostar Cozumel Resort
Shopping in town
Chicken nuggets on the beach

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Grand Fiesta Americana

Cabo is one of my personal favorite destinations in Mexico! I love the how the desert meets the ocean here. And watching whales right from our hotel balcony was a truly amazing experience. It’s not always the best place to swim in the ocean and finding a hotel where this is available involves some planning. But it’s such a beautiful destination and there’s something here for everyone to enjoy!

Look at these fish right off the shore of the resort
My boys loved swimming with them!

Cancun, Mexico

Family photo in Cancun!

Cancun is a wonderful place to visit, especially since the international airport is located here! We’ve actually only stayed in Cancun once as a family, but it has been one of our favorite vacations to date! On our first night here, we were able to help a local group release baby sea turtles back into the ocean and this experience is one that I will never forget!

Swimming in Cenote
Day at the resort
Swimming with dolphins
Mayan Ruins

We use the fabulous travel agent, Alexa Spahr to book our trips to Mexico and beyond. She comes highly recommended and has helped us book several trips. She really works within your budget and travel dates and it’s always been such a smooth and easy process with her help. You can contact Alexa via email at alexa@travelwithalexa.com and be sure to check out her website www.travelwithalexa.com. If you reach out to Alexa, please let her know I sent you her way!

As you can see, beach destinations can be a low-key and relaxing trip, but there are also a ton of activities to explore! We like a nice balance, so we’ll usually spend a day at the resort and then a day packed full of excursions and continue that pattern! If you’re interested in planning a trip to the beach and are in need of any ideas or recommendations, please reach out! I’m happy to answer any questions you may have, so leave me a comment. I’d also love to hear about your favorite family beach destinations!

18 Presidential Sites That Aren’t Just for Old People!

If you follow along on our adventures, then you might know that we love a good historical site! This honestly didn’t start with me, although I highly encouraged it. My boys became fascinated with the things they were learning about in school and therefore, their curiosity got the best of them, and they wanted to visit some of the places that they were studying in social studies class! And of course, I’m also an elementary teacher so I would never discourage their love of learning and I jumped right on board and started planning US history trips across the country! It’s worked out great because my kids are learning and I am bringing valuable knowledge back to my classroom at the same time.

We’ve had the opportunity to explore several different historical destinations in the country, but I’m mostly focusing on Presidential sites that we’ve visited in different states. This is a small list compared to every site that is open and available to visit. I have a lot of destinations on my list that we just haven’t gotten to yet, so remember that I’m only sharing those that we’ve actually ventured to today. Keep reading to learn about some wonderful places to visit that people of all ages can enjoy!

Historical Sites to Visit for President’s Day Weekend

Washington DC

Washington DC. – Obviously Washington DC is a great place to start if you’re interested in exploring historical sites. There are so many fascinating places in DC, it’s one of my favorite cities to visit in the entire US! You can also add in museums, a Capital Building tour, eat some amazing food, and more!

So cool being behind the White House gates!

The White House – You can’t visit DC without seeing the White House! It took us three different trips before we were able to get tickets to go inside for a self-guided tour! If you can, I highly recommend a visit inside. How cool is it to say you’ve been in the President’s house?

This is the view from inside the White House looking out at the Washington Monument!

Click here for my complete guide for getting tickets to the White House!

Washington Monument – The Washington Monument is easily one of the most recognizable monuments in DC. But did you know that you can go inside and ride an elevator to the top? Jett really wanted to do this while we were visiting, so we looked into getting tickets. They do offer some online to reserve, I believe the cost is $1.00. Otherwise, you can wait in line when the visitor center out front opens and grab free tickets for the number of people in your group! Jett and I woke up early one morning and waited in line for about an hour (maybe a little under) and got tickets for our family of four for later in the day. It’s really cool inside and the views from the top are great!

Posing with the Washington Monument behind us!

National Mall – The National Mall is also a must see destination in DC. It’s a wonderful area to walk around, take in the sights, and play or relax on the grassy area if the weather is nice! We really enjoyed taking a nighttime guided bike tour of the monuments along the National Mall! I highly recommend this activity! If you would rather do your own tour, there are plenty of maps online and in the area and you can explore all of those monuments and statues on your own! I suggest visiting the National Mall both during the day and at night!

The Lincoln Memorial, one of our DC favorites!

Ford’s Theatre/Petersen House – Abe Lincoln has always been a favorite of ours, so we just had to visit Ford’s Theatre and the Petersen House across the street. Ford’s Theatre is sadly where President Lincoln was shot and the Petersen House across the street is where he was taken and later died. Both are open for tours and even though it’s sad, it’s very informational. Ford’s Theatre has a small museum that you visit first before going inside the theatre. Lincoln’s seats have been memorialized, but you’re able to view them and then listen to a Park Ranger share the events that led to this fateful assassination. We were all so engaged in this Ranger led talk, even my five year old was completely interested in the story. Once the talk is over, you go across the street and can see the bed that he died in and more artifacts from that era.

These are the balcony seats Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated.

Click here for my complete Washington DC travel guide!


Mount Vernon – George Washington lived at Mount Vernon, which sits right on the Potomac River, about 13 miles from Washington DC in Alexandria, Virginia. This is an amazing day trip from DC if you’re in the area. We spent about half a day here, touring the house and the grounds. I loved the colors and décor inside the home and sitting outside on the back porch. I can only imagine how it really was back in those days so long ago. We learned a lot on the visit, good and bad. We also visited George and Martha Washington’s tombs on the property, as well as, the slave quarters and the slave cemetery. The best part was exploring the museum, which actually had a pair of George Washington’s false teeth on display!

Posing in front of George Washington’s home!

Monticello – Thomas Jefferson has such a unique home outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s filled with treasures and artifacts mostly brought back from Lewis and Clark’s expedition. It was fascinating, his home was more like some kind of exotic museum! Pictures inside the home are not allowed, but trust me its super cool! We also got some insight on some of his own personal inventions that are in the home. Needless to say, we really enjoyed the guided tour and learning more about our 3rd President! The grounds are great to explore and also very educational. There is a special video inside of Sally Heming’s slave quarters, be sure to check that out if you’re able to visit. And don’t forget to stop by his gravesite on the property, too.

Posing in front of Thomas Jefferson’s home!

The Ruins of Presidents Park – This is such a unique place to visit! Long story short, there was a Presidents Park in Virginia that went out of business around 2010. The park included huge busts of all the presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush. These busts were moved to a new location outside of Williamsburg, Virginia and were basically ruined in the process. Now they sit in all their eerie glory and you can visit! We really enjoyed exploring the busts, it was such a fun and different experience than most of our travels! We also really loved the presidential trivia at the end.

The Ruins of Presidents Park!

Click here for my complete travel guide to the Ruins of Presidents Park!


Philadelphia – Not only is Philadelphia an amazing city to visit, there’s so many historical sites that you can see, as well! Around the city you might see people dressed up in time period clothing and you should definitely be on the lookout for tour guides dressed as Ben Franklin or George Washington! My kids really enjoyed this part.

I can’t believe we were inside of the room that the Declaration of Independence was signed in!

Independence Hall –Independence Hall is known as the birth place of our country. Y’all, the actual chair that George Washington sat in is still there! I might have a cried a little on our tour. I am just so fascinated with this part of our nation’s history and the Park Rangers there do a great job of sharing what they know! I left there with more knowledge and respect for some of our founding fathers. How cool is it to see the room that the Declaration of Independence was signed in?

We really enjoyed the people dressed in time-period clothing!

Congress Hall – Right next door to Independence Hall is Congress Hall, which is the building that housed the first two presidential inaugurations. The Ranger Led talk about the first inaugurations was very informative. I highly recommend checking this out if you plan to visit the area.

Click here for my complete travel guide to Philadelphia!

Washington Crossing Historic Park – This was such a random stop for us on the drive from Delaware to New York City, but we all had fun! I don’t recommend centering a trip around this destination, but if you happen to be in the area, then you should definitely make the stop! Basically, this site preserves the spot that George Washington crossed the Delaware River. This image is extremely iconic, so it’s really cool to say that we’ve been here! It was a nice stop to get out and stretch our legs and explore the preservation of the area!

Fun stop on our road trip!

Click here for my complete Delaware to NYC travel guide!


Lincoln’s Home – If you find yourself near Springfield, Illinois you should totally stop by Abe Lincoln’s home! This was our first president’s home to ever visit and my boys and I sure did love it! You can stroll along the streets surrounding the home and it feels like stepping back in time. A Park Ranger will give you a guided tour of the home if you have tickets. You can purchase these at the Visitor Center, which is right by the parking lot.

I just adore this home!

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library – Down the street is the Presidential Library and Museum, which is fantastic for kids! This museum was truly great for all ages, but I really marveled at how well done it was to keep kiddos engaged. Abe Lincoln has always been a favorite of mine, so it was really fun to explore the different artifacts in the museum and learn more about him! Springfield is just a really cool city with lots of different things to explore related to our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln!

This Presidential Museum was fascinating!

Click here for my full Springfield, Illinois travel guide!

Galena, Illinois – We traveled to Galena, IL this past August and I basically knew nothing about this place until we started planning our Midwest road trip. Let me tell you, this little town is so patriotic and rightfully so! It’s the former hometown of President Ulysses S. Grant. Here, you can explore Grant Park and even take a guided tour of his home! It was really interesting learning about him, I don’t feel like he was a president that I knew much about until touring his home. From all accounts he was a great general and a very interesting man.

Ulysses S. Grant’s home in Galena, IL


Lincoln’s Boyhood Cabin – Another fun stop for my family was Lincoln’s Boyhood’s National Monument in Lincoln City, IN. The actual cabin is not still standing, but there is a memorial in place where it would’ve been located. There are other cabins in the area that were built to recreate the Lincoln farmstead and the grounds are gorgeous. We did some easy walking along the Trail of Twelve Stones, just imagining what life would’ve been like for a young Abe Lincoln. This trail has different markers that review the major events in Abe Lincoln’s life. The Visitor’s Center looks very interesting, too. But unfortunately it was closed when we visited during the pandemic.

Can you believe how small the cabin was?


George W. Bush Presidential Center – We had the opportunity to visit this presidential library and museum in Dallas this past summer and had a wonderful time! I had forgotten how funny George W. could be until we visited and saw different videos of him in the museum. The artifacts were very interesting, my boys were really excited to see how much his family loves baseball! There wasn’t a lot here geared for kids, but we all still enjoyed the visit!

This was one of our favorite rooms in the museum!

Click here for complete Dallas, TX travel guide!

If you visit Dallas, be sure to check out The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. I can’t believe that we haven’t gone to this museum yet, but it’s definitely on my list! Here you will learn more about President JFK’s assassination and you can see the exact spot that he was shot. There’s also a memorial for JFK in the area.

South Dakota

Mount Rushmore – For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to see Mount Rushmore in person. We finally had the chance a few years ago and this trip is still one of my favorites! The entire park had way more than I was expecting! It was really fun to walk along the trails through the Black Hills and see the monument from different vantage points. We also enjoyed the informational plaques along the hiking trails that gave more insight on the monument, the construction, and facts about each of the represented presidents!

Amazing views!

Click here for my complete South Dakota travel guide!

As you can see, there are several different presidential sites across the US that are really interesting! If you love learning, if you love history, if you love this country, then I highly recommend checking some of these destinations off your list. President’s Day makes for a great, long weekend to explore some of these places and you might just learn something new at the same time! Happy travels, my friends!

The Ultimate Guide to Planning an Unforgettable Girls Trip

I like to think of a girls trip like a little recharge button. The trips I’ve gotten to take with my girlfriends have been so good for my soul! I cannot recommend getting away with the girls enough, even if it’s only for a night. In this post you’ll find ideas about planning the perfect trip, activities, destinations, and more!

Steps for Planning the Perfect Girls Trip

Choose Your Destination – This is the part that I love! It’s so fun to find out where your girlfriends want to explore and to bounce ideas back and forth. Plus, you can use trip planning as an excuse to get together for brunch or a girls night. Start with the destination, then it will be easier to figure out the rest!

Pick a Date – Often times, planning a girls trip can be tough! With so many different work schedules, kid schedules, etc. it can be hard to find the time. I suggest choosing your dates after deciding on the destination. My girlfriends and I usually go for a long weekend. But if you’re a mom, you know that there are so many moving pieces that follow. Do you have childcare while you’re gone? Do your kids have events that they will need to get to? Can you take the time off work? This is always the hardest part, so get that out of the way quick!

Budget – Next, set a budget, respect where everyone is financially, and stick to it! This doesn’t mean you have to share your financials with your girlfriends, but be mindful that everyone might not be in the same position as you. Don’t feel bad to speak up if you just simply can’t afford what others are suggesting. There are so many budget friendly options out there!

Think About the Activities – Once you have picked your dates and set the budget, then it’s time for the fun part! Create a wish list of activities that you would like to do at your chosen destination. My girlfriends and I usually always have something outdoorsy, some kind of pampering, and something relaxing on our lists. And these ideas might change, based on the time of year you’re able to travel together. Be open minded and brave enough to try out some new activities that might not be on your list.

Girls Trip Activities:

  • Spa treatments & pampering
  • Get outdoors and take a hike
  • Hit up a beauty bar for a makeover
  • Go wine tasting
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Relax on the beach
  • Take a road trip
  • Explore a new city
  • Go dancing or sing karaoke
  • Watch a sunrise or sunset
  • Visit a quaint town
  • Take a yoga class
  • See a show or concert
  • Go on a ghost tour
  • Have a quiet wine & movie night
  • Go to a fancy restaurant

Designate a Leader – If someone in your group has more of a take charge personality, designate them as the group leader! We all need someone to keep us on track with our schedule and reservations, especially when we get together with our best friends!  

5 Epic Destinations for Your Next Girls Trip

These are some of the girls trip destinations I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of! I can’t recommend these locations enough!

Estes Park, Colorado

Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

My most recent girls trip was to Estes Park this past October. It was such a wonderful fall weekend, spent hiking in the mountains during the day and relaxing in the evenings! I will always suggest traveling to the mountains when you need a little reset.

Mimosas are always a good idea!
Fall in Colorado is simply stunning!

Estes Park Highlights:

Click here for my full Colorado Girls Trip guide!

Snowbird, Utah

Sunrise hike to Cecret Lake

One of my most memorable girls trips was to Snowbird, Utah. My best friend and I did some intense hiking, but also made time to relax at the spa and take a yoga class. But, what I enjoyed the absolute most was the day we ordered room service for every single meal and watched true crime documentaries the whole day!

Thelma and Louis photoshoot!
Fall meets winter!

Snowbird Highlights:

Click here for my full Utah Girls Trip guide!

San Francisco, California

You gotta get that iconic Golden Gate Bridge pic!

San Francisco is always a good time, especially so when you’re with your girls! There are so many different options to explore when you’re visiting this city. But my favorite activity is probably eating, the more fresh seafood the better!

Hiking Lands End Trail
China Town!

San Francisco Highlights:

Chicago, Illinois


My first ever trip to Chicago was several years ago on a girls trip! I didn’t really know what to expect here, but we ended up having an absolute blast! I tried some new foods that I wouldn’t normally pick, took in all the sights, danced the night away, and have returned to Chicago several times since. It’s a really great girls trip option, there are so many things to do and see! Late spring, early summer is a wonderful time to visit, the city is bursting with flowers!

Love these girls and that Chicago skyline!
Loved all the tulips, too!

Chicago Highlights:

New Buffalo, Michigan

St. Joseph Lighthouse

Fall in Michigan is breathtaking! This Texas girl was thrilled to see what fall is actually like in other parts of the country! I can still envision walking along the quaint waterfront towns and wanting nothing more than to move there. Even though it was a quick weekend getaway, it was so memorable. Grab your girlfriends and your cutest sweaters and booties and make the trip this fall!

These quaint waterfront towns are to die for!
Girls trip are good for the soul!

New Buffalo Highlights:

Click here for my full Michigan Girls Trip guide!

Destinations and Activities on My Girls Trip Bucket List

More Tips for an Unforgettable Girls Trip

  • Don’t try to pack too many activities into one trip.
  • Rent a cool car, I suggest a convertible!
  • Use the Splitwise app to split the cost of the trip/activities.
  • Don’t spend the whole time talking about your kids or your job or your hubby!
  • It’s perfectly okay to order room service for every meal & watch true crime tv all day!
  • Plan a Staycation in your nearest city if you’re on a budget and tight schedule!

Just remember, it’s not always about the destination, but rather the people that you’re with! Chances are, no matter where you end up, you’re going to have an amazing time with your best girlfriends! I do hope that you find this information helpful. I’d love to hear your favorite girls trip destinations and activities, so leave me a comment. Happy travels, my friends!

How to Plan a Memorable Romantic Getaway

Day to day life is just flat out hard these days, so making the time to get away with your significant other is highly recommended! Jereme and I try to get away together once a year, but it can be hard to find the time with our busy schedules. I thought I would share some helpful tips for planning a memorable getaway with the one you love the most. After all, it is the season of love!

Planning Activities

For starters, I recommend creating a list of activities that you’ll both be interested in trying. Before I plan a destination, I usually think about what it is I’m craving in the moment. Some days I want to relax on the beach, while other days I want to climb a mountaintop! Once I’ve figured out just what we want to do the most, I start researching destinations that offer those activities. Jereme can be a little more adventurous than me, so I try to include things that we’ll both enjoy! For example, I might prefer cozying up in a cabin surrounded by snow, but I know Jereme is going to want to snowboard. If we decide to head to the mountains together, we’ll go boarding a few days and then hang around the cabin together the other days. It’s a win-win!  

Romantic Vacation Activities You’ll Both Enjoy:

  • Spa treatments
  • Take a hike
  • Go snowboarding or skiing
  • Wine Tasting
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Relax on the beach
  • Take a hot air balloon ride
  • Go camping
  • Take a road trip
  • Go kayaking or canoeing
  • Explore a new city
  • Watch a sunrise or sunset
  • Go snorkeling
  • Take a cooking class
  • See a show or concert
  • Go to a fancy restaurant
  • Go sailing
  • Visit a National Park

This is a fairly small list of activities for a romantic getaway. I’ve spent many hours researching ideas for us, and there are some lists that go on and on. Ultimately, you know yourself and your significant other best. I absolutely know that Jereme would never want to take a dance class together, so I would never plan for that on one of our trips. I am all about trying new experiences, but know your interests and your limits. After all, this is supposed to be a fun getaway!

Amazing Destinations for Couples

Who even are these babies? Photo circa 1998.

You might not know that Jereme and I are high school sweethearts! I love sharing our story. We started dating at fifteen years old and now have spent more of our lives together than apart. Traveling is something that we started doing together over twenty years ago. We were married for six years before we even thought about having kids, so we’ve had countless trips together! The following destinations are some of our favorite places that we’ve visited fairly recently together.

South Lake Tahoe, California

Secret Cove Beach

Lake Tahoe is an amazing destination for a memorable romantic getaway! The location itself is absolutely stunning and there are so many outdoor adventures and places to explore. I have honestly never seen a lake so beautiful in my entire life!

Secret Cove Beach view from the hiking trails
Kayaking at Emerald Lake State Park

South Lake Tahoe Highlights:

  • Hiking to Secret Cove Beach
  • Kayaking at Emerald Lake State Park
  • Exploring Heavenly Mountain Resort

Click here to for our entire South Lake Tahoe guide!

We had such an amazing weekend away!

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The Arch!

Our first trip out of the country without kids was to Cabo San Lucas for our anniversary. I cannot recommend this place enough! We stayed at an amazing All-Inclusive resort that I never wanted to leave. The food, the drinks, the views were unforgettable! So much so, we ended up returning to the exact same resort the next summer!

We had the best time at the beach!
This resort is amazing!
And the food was the best part!

Cabo San Lucas Highlights:

Full disclosure – I spent a lot of time puking on this boat ride, I was so seasick. Jereme had fun LOL!

Winter Park, Colorado

The views here are gorgeous!

The truth is, we haven’t gone on a ski trip together without our kids in a quite some time. We used to go every winter together before we had them. It was the one trip a year that I knew we would make sure to plan for and we just continued that tradition once we had our boys. We have taken grandpa on several of our recent trips, which gives us some alone time to spend together on the mountain! This is such a great destination for couples that are adventurous. And it doesn’t get more romantic than being tucked away in a cozy ski lodge together!

Finally boarding together by ourselves!
I still got it!

Our Winter Park Highlights:

  • Snowboarding
  • Hot tubbing
  • Ice skating
  • Tubing
  • Snowshoeing on the Frasier River Trail
Can you tell the mountains are our happy place?

Washington, DC

I went to the White House on my birthday!

Remember when I mentioned to find activities and destinations that everyone will enjoy? Well, Jereme totally took one for the team when we visited DC a few years ago for my birthday! He knows that history is totally my thing, even though it’s not really his. But, we both ended up having a wonderful time! It was so much fun exploring a new city together for the first time. And we really both enjoyed the historical sites around DC and the museums and monuments are amazing!

This bike tour was so much fun!
I highly recommend seeing the monuments and memorials at night

Our Washington DC Highlights:

  • Eating all the lobster rolls & clam chowder
  • Nighttime bike ride tour of the monuments
  • Seeing the White House for the first time
  • Smithsonian Museums
  • Massages
We really enjoyed this trip!

Romantic Destinations and Activities on Our Bucket List

We have so many trip ideas on our bucket list! Here are a few destinations and activities that I hope we get to do together, just us!

More Tips for a Memorable Couples Trip

  • Go in the slow season
  • Book a room with a view
  • Splurge on a nice meal
  • Get room service
  • Take a nap
  • Do lots of day drinking
  • Plan a Staycation
  • Unplug from social media

I hope you find these ideas and recommendations helpful for planning the most memorable romantic getaway! Check back soon to see where Jereme and I end up exploring this year. If you have a destination that we should add to our list, I’d love for you to leave a comment! Happy travels, my friends!

7 EPIC Spring Break Destinations

I absolutely love taking advantage of school breaks and have found that the spring season is such a fun time for adventures. I’m an elementary teacher and let me just say, spring fever is a real thing! Getting away for the week has become a favorite of ours. The weather is getting warmer, the days are longer, and the crowds aren’t as busy as those in the summer. I have included a list of the most epic spring break destinations that I believe your family will love just as much as we do!

Moab, Utah

Those views through Canyonlands National Park

I have some mad love for Utah! Our first visit to this state was a few years ago over spring break and we have plans to return again this coming up break. Moab is the perfect destination for adventurous families! Our highlights included exploring two National Parks and going on a guided UTV excursion.

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

UTV riding through the Sand Flats

What makes a trip to Moab so great in the spring is the weather! Spring and fall are the best times to visit. In the spring, you’ll find temps in the 70s. Although it was a little chillier for us in early March and even snowed one day! We loved that we didn’t need timed-entry reservations for Aches National Park when we visited, like is required in the summer.

Arches National Park

Dead Horse Point State Park

Click here for our full itinerary to Moab, UT!

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach just might be my new favorite beach destination! I was just flat out giddy during our spring break visit last year. The views, the food, the beach bunnies, the tide pools! Ah, this place is amazing! We decided to squeeze in a few days in Cannon Beach during our Pacific Coast Highway road trip last minute. We all agreed that out of everywhere we visited on the trip, we wished we had more time here!

The sunsets were impressive!

This was the view right outside of the beach cottage

My oldest absolutely loved playing with the beach bunnies that were often hanging outside the cottage we were staying in. Did I mention that we spent a few days in the cutest little cottage right on the beach? It was just perfectly adorable. We strolled along the beach, ate amazing seafood, finally saw tide pools in real life, and built campfires on the beach at night. I cannot wait to go back, it truly is a magical place!

Sea Sprite Inn at Haystack Rock

Our first time seeing tide pools!

These tide pools are at Haystack Rock

Beach campfires at night are a must!

Washington, DC

Washington Monument in the spring

The history buff in me adores this city just about any time of year! We made the trip over spring break a few years ago and had an amazing time seeing the cherry blossoms, touring the White House, seeing all the monuments, and exploring the museums.

The Capital Building

The White House after our visit!

Springtime temps in DC are pleasantly in the 50s-60s in March. The earlier in the month you visit, the less crowded you will find it! The best times to visit this city are September-November and March-May.

Our favorite stop in DC, the Lincoln Memorial!

We were all so excited to be going inside the White House!

Click here for tips on getting a White House Tour!

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Hunting Island State Park

Our first cross-country road trip led us from Texas to South Carolina over spring break several years ago. I loved just about every single part of this trip, but Saint Helena Island was my absolute favorite! I really hope that we can head back to that area in the future. From the food to the landscape, this place is truly unforgettable!

More at Hunting Island Beach

My boys loved climbing on the trees!

What I loved the most was the unique beaches and rugged coastlines that Saint Helena Island offers. I’ve found over the years that I enjoy visiting the beach in cooler seasons more so than when it’s hot and muggy. I know, it probably sounds odd to most. But there’s just something so special about exploring the coast and truly taking in all the sights without the crowds. Saint Helena is a great place for relaxing, exploring, and eating excellent seafood!

Chapel of Ease Ruins

Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Click here to read all the details about our Texas to South Carolina Road Trip!

Redwood Forests, California

So amazed with the size of these trees!

If you’ve never visited the Redwoods National & State Parks, then you must add this to your list fast! We were blown away at the sheer size of these trees. Our spring break visit last year was perfect and filled with plenty of adventures! The weather was fantastic, not too cold or too hot. And it felt like we had the whole entire forest all to ourselves!

Stout Memorial Grove Trail

The drive through the Redwoods is gorgeous!

We enjoyed exploring Jedediah Smith State Park by car and on foot, walking along the rugged California coast, and hiking through groves of giant trees in the forest. If you have kids, or a husband that sometimes acts like a kid, then I’m sure they will love climbing on trees and crawling through downed tree trunks! It was such an amazing adventure that we will never forget.

Climbing for days!

And crawling, too!

Enderts Beach looks like a postcard come to life!

Click here to read about our entire Pacific Coast Road Trip over spring break!

Historic Triangle, Virginia

This is the view from the main street through Colonial Williamsburg

The first time I ever visited the Historic Triangle was over our spring break in March and I loved it so much I returned again that same year over Christmas break. I thoroughly enjoy learning about our country’s history and those early days before our country was even established. They really do a fantastic job of bringing history to life in the Historic Triangle! But, I don’t think that means that you have to be a history buff to enjoy all of the things this special place has to offer!

Behind us are stores and shops that are set up like they were in Colonial days

You can take a horse drawn carriage ride through Colonial Williamsburg

We packed in so much during our spring visit! We walked the cobblestone streets of Colonial Williamsburg, visited the Jamestown Settlement, and also ventured to Yorktown and explored the beach there. My boys had the best time learning about these places that they had studied in school and my teacher heart loved the learning that we all experienced! If you enjoy visiting museums, then I believe you’ll especially love these amazingly recreated living-history museums!

Jamestown Settlement was my favorite!

Even the kids will enjoy the living history museums and relics in the Historic Triangle

Native American homes in Jamestown Settlement

Battleground in Yorktown

Click here to read about our day in Colonial Williamsburg

Click here to read about our day in Historic Jamestown

San Francisco, California

Baker Beach

San Francisco is another destination that I have enjoyed many different times of the year. We traveled there last spring break on our Pacific Coast Highway road trip and it was the perfect starting point of our journey. I’ve always loved the vibe of this city and was so excited to take my boys there for the first time!

We also hiked up to the Golden Gate Bridge

There are so many different activities to do in San Francisco! I know there is something here for everyone. My boys loved playing on the beach after hiking up to the Golden Gate Bridge. They also wanted to go to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf almost every single day we were there! And I especially enjoyed eating all the fresh seafood dishes in the area!

Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 area

Beach cave at Baker Beach

So many clams on the rocks at Baker Beach!

Spring Travel Tips:

Weather – Spring weather can change at the drop of a hat. Be prepared for thunder storms or even snowstorms, depending on where you’re going! Severe weather can cause travel delays, so be sure to monitor conditions before and during your travel dates.

Travel Insurance – I don’t always purchase travel insurance, but I usually do when we travel in the spring. Like I mentioned above, severe weather can happen and cause travel interruptions. It’s better to be prepared in case of an emergency!

Safety – Always stay alert and vigilant, no matter what time of the year you decide to travel. Don’t share too much on social media, especially if you’re traveling solo, until you return home. Avoid first floor hotel rooms, these can be a target for thieves. Practice appropriate water safety if you’re headed to the beach. Talk to your kids about stranger danger. Protect your skin and wear sunscreen! Do your research beforehand and make sure that there are no travel advisories for the area you plan to visit.

Travel Documents – I always recommend printing a copy of your confirmation number for lodging and excursions that you’ve reserved, just in case your reservation is missing upon arrival. Take a photo of your passport and driver’s license in case it gets lost.

Leave No Trace – Always practice leave no trace principals. Leave the area you visit just like it was when you arrived. Pack your trash out, leave what you find, and respect all wildlife.

Happy Travels!

Whether you find yourself staying close to home, road tripping across the country, relaxing on the beach, or hiking trails through the forest, I hope you have an amazing spring break! Be sure to check back in to see what we’re up to over the break. If you have a favorite spring destination, I’d love for you to share about it in the comments so we can check it out, too!