Trip with my two kids (11 and 7)...any ideas for interesting stops along the way?

  1. They also do zipline tours in there if your kids would enjoy something like that. It says they do some especially for kids weighing more than 35 lbs. My husband and I really enjoyed it:)

  2. Yes! We just drove from Texas to Ohio and Mammoth Cave was the best stop. Make sure you get tickets for a tour in advance. And do one of the tours that goes in the main entrance, not one of the ones you have to take a bus.

  3. Your route isn’t going through Mammoth cave, and it would be a long detour to get there. Ruby Falls is also a great cave, however, and along with Rock City, the Chattanooga Aquarium, the kids science museum and the Chattanooga Choo Choo, it’s a great place to spend some time in.

  4. Chattanooga has really great kids stuff- Tennessee aquarium, duck boat rides, Rock City, Ruby Falls is SUPER COOL for a kid. Gem mining and cave exploring. You could spend a whole weekend in Chattanooga alone.

  5. The National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton is pretty cool if you've never been. Lot's of space stuff and several of the retired Air Force One planes that you can go inside of. There's also a great spot for breakfast/brunch in Lexington, KY called Wild Eggs that my kids absolutely loved. The waitress brought them these tiny little cups of hot chocolate when we finished breakfast. Chattanooga is a cool city - my kids especially loved the aquarium.

  6. Norris Dam State Park is in northeastern Tennesee along that route, if your kids want to see a big dam.

  7. Thanks for these recs! Not OP but I’m road-tripping in the fall and spending three days in Chatta with one planning to be in Knoxville for the day.

  8. Great Smokey Mountains National Park, TN Mammoth Cave National Park, KY Louisville, KY take them to get baseball bats Cincinnati has a decent aquarium

  9. Huntsville, AL: NASA Space and Rocket Center Birmingham, AL: Vulcan park and Museum Leeds, AL: Barber Motorsports Museum (if they like cars and motorcycles this place is incredible for everyone) Franklin, TN: the little down town is fun to walk down Scott, LA: the best stop supermarket (delicious Boudin and cracklins!)

  10. Also, there's a little village called Mentone in Alabama that is really cute (I passed through there for the first time on the way back from caving).

  11. Abita mystery house in Abita springs, Louisiana as well as the Abita brewery. Stop and check out Billy’s in Scott, Louisiana for some good cracklins and boudin

  12. I can’t tell what main cities you are going to hit or what your kids are into, but the Cincinnati Aquarium was pretty neat. I’ve also done Louisville Slugger and Churchill Downs all really neat tours.

  13. Not sure exactly how far off the route this might be, but visiting the Red River Gorge including Natural Bridge State Park should be on your list

  14. It looks like you’ll pass right through Cincinnati, OH. I’d recommend checking out the Cincinnati Zoo and the Cincinnat museum center. The zoo is home to a Cincinnati favorite, Fiona the Hippo, she was born premature and was something of a medical miracle. The exterior of the Museum center was the inspiration for the Hall of Justice. It has some neat local exhibits and currently has a special Pixar exhibit.

  15. Gatlinburg is a crap town. Dollywood was pretty awesome, though!! If you have an entire day, Dollywood is perfect for that age. I took my 8 & 6 there in June. Gatlinburg was mega-touristy. “Big Johnson” t-shirts and weed leaf neck tattoos. Not a place I would recommend for them.

  16. I am not familiar with much of Ohio or Kentucky, but you will pass by Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN. Definitely worth a little detour, especially if the kids like rides and theme parks. Chattanooga is also neat, can explore Lookout Mountain and Rock City. If you're into hiking, Buck's Pocket State Park in AL has some cool views. Noccalula Falls in Gadsden, AL was also neat. Stennis Space Center, in Kiln, MS, is a decent museum.

  17. If your kids like amusement parks and rides, Kings Island is around Cincinnati. Basically Cedar Points underrated little brother. Well worth spending a day there

  18. start early and stop often. any state or township park will be an interesting place for a picnic lunch or a hike. i try to get miles behind me early in the morning when traffic is light and kids are sleeping, that way if you see a sign for a stop you can get everyone out to walk around. if you can get the travel time in by late afternoon you can find some adventure in the area where you are spending the night. have fun, happy trails! i hope you make lots of great memories!

  19. Cloud land Canyon state park in NW Georgia is almost directly under your “B”. Nice short hike down into a bowl shaped depression with a beautiful waterfall.

  20. Grandpa's Cheesebarn, Der Dutchman restaurant (good pies and doughnuts), Cosi in Columbus, Air force museum outside Dayton (free), EnterTRAINment Junction outside cinci, Kings Island, Newport Aquarium.

  21. Natchez Trace Parkway starts just outside Nashville and goes to Natchez. Very beautiful and scenic drive and good way to get off the highways.

  22. I did a similar trip in 2015, but we left from Indiana. The trips I take with my sister are not destination-type trips; we drive each day doing random stops and stay in a different city each night. I have a LOT of options, but wouldn't recommend doing everything on my list :)

  23. May as well see Cincinnati if you haven't already. Louisville is a nice city from what I heard. And it looks like you are skipping NOLA in the map but I'm sure you plan to visit it, it'd honestly be the highlight of the trip over the destination.

  24. Plan to spend a lot of time in Chattanooga. Rafting on the Ocoee river, hiking to Sunset Rock, waterfall hikes in Cloudland Canyon, and more. Excellent outdoor adventure town. As you continue South stop by Little River Canyon near Fort Payne Alabama. Not far off i59 and a beautiful waterfall.

  25. Great starter. Grandpas cheese barn. It's on 71 between Cleveland and Columbus. There's cheese, nuts, fudge and candy....free samples! Oh and ice cream.

  26. Roadside America app on the iPhone has a TON of awesome places to see along a road trip. IE: biggest ball of twine, odd statues, weird buildings, ghost towns… the list goes on and on.. check it out. I always use in on road trips

  27. NASA Space Museum in Huntsville, AL…they have a full scale Saturn V Rocket that was used for a vibration test…a re-entry vehicle, moon rocks, etc. It’s a really good exhibit if you or your kids are in to space things.

  28. Horse farms / Keeneland / KY Horse park around Lexington, KY. Could also check out the Red River Gorge and the natural bridge state park

  29. Rabbit hash Kentucky. Two buildings, dog mayor, biker stop, can see all three states at the same time and chill as hell, looks like you are going pretty close to there anyway so I would go, grab a soda from the general store and just sit for a minute and enjoy the view.

  30. Nah. Just wait until you get to New Orleans. Just kidding. Lots of good suggestions. I'm partial to the Louisville, KY suggestion since I grew up there. The science museum rocks, the Louisville Slugger museum is really cool, and you could catch a Louisville Bats game at a very pretty triple A minor league park. Lots of good places to eat, too right next to the Ohio River which can be very pretty.

  31. Definitely go out of the way to NOLA for a day, check out the city (French Quarter, food, river walk, etc), when you get to Hattiesburg grab lunch at Mugshots or The Keg (both great burger joints), there will not be much in MS the rest of the trip. And I cannot help with the rest, best of luck!

  32. If you head to I10 from Hattiesburg, there's the Stennis Space Center. Some interesting things to see there and maybe able to see the rocket engine tests.

  33. Definitely stop at mount Mitchell in NC and drive some of the blue ridge parkway. That’ll be better than anything you’re passing on the way scenic wise

  34. Go to your local museums, probably the science museum. See if their annual pass has reciprocal agreements. I did this in Orlando with my kids, and the pass could get us into something like 150 museums of all types (science, history, children's) all over the world for free. We did a roadtrip up the east coast and through the midwest (also through Ohio and Cleveland). I think we stopped at about a dozen museums for free.

  35. The Gibson Factory in Nashville might be cool! I remember going to see that at a young age and it kick started a wonderful adventure I get to enjoy as an adult.

  36. You can stop in Big Bone state park in Ky. There is a little museum and live buffaloes. It’s not very big and it’s free. Down the road from there is Markland dam and has a viewing area to watch barges go through locks. Also free. Won’t take you too far out of your way.

  37. You should have went to Memphis Tennessee from Kentucky instead of the Knoxville area . We have one of the Best Zoos in the Country . Panda and Grizzly Bears , an all day excursion . Also an all day at the Children’s Museum . The Largest Bass Pro Shop with live fish in streams , and Nature video games they would love . So much to do with kids that age

  38. If you go through Harrisburg, MS stop at Ed’s Burger. Burgers are fine but their milkshakes are divine!

  39. You're going to go right by Cloudland Canyon in far Northwest Georgia. You can also visit Chattanooga and see Rock City, Lookout Mountain, and Ruby Falls which is always a blast. The Incline Railway is cool, too.

  40. In Louisiana look up the following; Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refugee and Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge. They are both drives that around some Karachi/swamp areas and you can see some wildlife. Alligators and different types of water birds and birds of prey. For both of these you don’t have to get out of your car. You stay in the car and on the provided road. You would just have to make sure that you take care of bathroom breaks before you start the drive. And there will be lots of mosquitos. But if you stay in the car, that shouldn’t be a problem. There are some of these NWR southeast of Houston also. If you want some beach time, Holly beach is very chill. Not much as far as restaurants or anything like that. It’s just a small community with good beach access. If you just want to get off the main highway, after lake Charles you can take 27 south to the coast, then 82 west. You will come to a ferry (free) that will cross you over to Texas and you can get to port Arthur/ Beaumont from there.

  41. Stop at the bass pro shop in Memphis. Its about the tenth largest pyramid on earth and the inside is something to see!

  42. Tempted to say skip New Orleans and go to Cajun country or do a swamp tour instead … not really a great city to visit with kids in my experience

  43. Check out the USS Alabama battleship in Mobile (stay on I-10 then swing up north. There’s also a cool park with WWII and Vietnam planes nearby.

  44. Hey friend! I'm from Cleveland and live in Houston! I've taken the drive countless times but always take 71 down to Louisville, then 65 to Nashville, 40 to Little Rock, 30 to Texarkana, then 59 all the way to Houston. Saves about an hour and a half.

  45. Chattanooga for sure, with all of the other recs. The Incline Railway 🚃 is absolutely cool if your kids are more adventurous (and not acrophobic). The aquarium is top notch and includes a lot of info about the rivers in the area, as well. If rates aren’t too high, see if you can stay the night in a railcar at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel! Terminal Pizza and brewpub is just across the street and fantastic. Lots of great childhood memories for me, here! Hope your family has fun.

  46. Not sure if you’ll pass it but there’s a giant Longaberger building that looks like a basket. Newark, OH.

  47. Looks like you'll be close to Gatlinburg I would recommend the national park it's beautiful and the strip has a lot of fun little family things to do

  48. Nothing to see in Kentucky. WV is where it’s at for kids. Rafting etc. skip Ohio altogether. Head to state college home of Penn State University.:) Then Hershey Pa Done

  49. I know you’re already driving a crazy ass amount, but you’ll only be about an hour and a half away from Cedar Pointe in Sandusky, OH. Lots of awesome ass roller coasters if that’s your thing and don’t mind the extra commute. Enjoy the trip!

  50. I’m not sure if this has already been said, and I know it’s already been a minute! I hope your trip hasn’t already happened! I actually saved your post 18 days ago so I could track down the name of this website and forgot until now.

  51. Directly on that route you have Noah's ark and creation museum (if you're the type) in northern KY, horse farm tours in central KY, the original KFC and museum in southern KY. Cincinnati, Chattanooga and NOLA are great too.

  52. You can spend at least 3 days in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN with Dollywood, Anakeesta, The Island, and all the tourist traps in that area.

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