Close quarters, car games, sing-a-longs and miles of pavement on the horizon are a few classic themes of the quintessential family vacation. What else screams road trip? Being able to discover cool and unusual things along the way. Whether you’ve already got a bucket list of stuff to do and see, or if you want to start one with your crew ASAP, scroll down for the ultimate list of what you need to do and see with kids in each of the 50 states.

photo: Kate Loweth

Explore Cathedral Caverns State Park
. Spend time with one of the world’s largest stalagmites in the world while wandering through a cave that’s stroller-accessible.

Watch bears fish for salmon at Park Creek in the Tongass National ForestIt’s just a short floatplane ride from Juneau to Park Creek, and worth the effort. Park Creek boasts one of the highest densities of brown bears in North America.

Stay the night at Wigwam Village in Holbrook. You’ll be nostalgic for days of yore, and your kids will be stoked to check out a place that looks an awful lot like where Lighting McQueen was holed up in Cars.

Check out the Merman and pet an alligator at the Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo on your way to Hot Springs.

Hang with the giant, ancient trees in Yosemite. Your kids will be in awe when they find out how old each one is. 

Surf the dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park. Cool off in Medano Creek in between runs.

photo: kristina moy

Check out the Mystic Aquarium. It’s one of the best in the country and is home to several animal conservation programs.

Stroll the boardwalk in Rehoboth. Even if it’s not summer, there’s plenty of off-season fun. 

Get the ultimate family beach experience at one of Florida's pristine beaches. Wondering which one is best? Check out one of our favorites here.

Head to Jekyll Island's famous Driftwood Beach. Everyone will marvel at the twisted live oaks that wash up on the sand during storms. The twiggy parts are wind-worn away so the trunks make great climbing structures for kids.

Go snorkeling in the
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. The colorful fish and coral are spectacular and because it was created by a collapsed volcano crater, the waves are mellow— perfect for the tiniest tykes.