Epic Back to School Road Trip

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If you’re anything like me you can take the simplest things and turn them into an awesome road trip. So, if you have to take the kiddos back to school shopping and you need one last family vacation then this might be the perfect road trip for you! If your just a road trippin’ shopaholic then this itinerary was made for you! You will hit 19 states on this fast paced, see it all road trip.

If you don’t already have a Scratch off USA Map order this one from Amazon before your road trip! You’ll get to scratch off these 19 states; Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. This USA Map looks great on hanging on the wall at home or in your RV. The kids will love scratching off each state as you travel through, and if you are trying to see all 50 states before your kids graduate this is a perfect road trip.

Get ready for a fun packed adventure. Feed a zebra out of your bare hand, see 7 states from one location, visit the world’s largest cave system, see the tallest monument in the National Park system, shop the biggest mall in the United States, go to one of the most thrilling water parks in the USA, you will tilt out over 1000 feet above the Magnificent Mile, go through one of the best zoos in America, tour a closed haunted once famous prison, visit one of the best piers in America, see street performers, live music, relax on the ocean, drive one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World, and see a town that is made for tourists. Did I mention you have a chance to stay in a teepee (yes with a bathroom :)).

Day One

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St. Augustine

St. Augustine, Florida

Arrive: 8:00am Depart: 7:00pm

Plan to spend an entire day exploring St. Augustine; an old town filled with amazing things to do. You can go shopping on St. George Street. Make sure to check out the Castillo De San Marcos National Monument. Downtown has Old Town Trolly Tours. This tour is the best way to see all of St. Augustine in the shortest time possible. Click here to see the full list of attractions in St. Augustine. Read More

Drive: about 3 hours to your hotel room

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Spend the Night

You’re about half way to Pine Mountain, Georgia. Stop for the night and get some sleep. Here are a few Hotel options…

Arrive: approx. 10:00pm Depart: approx. 7:00am

Day Two

Photo By Alice Daniels

Wild Animal Safari Inc

1300 Oak Grove Rd, Pine Mountain, GA 31822

Arrive: 10:00am Depart: 12:00pm

Drive: 3 Hours

This drive thru safari will have the whole car laughing! I highly recommend a GoPro so you can record everyone in the car. This dash camera is a good one too. You will want proof of this plain ole good time. You can buy feed when you get your tickets, then drive through and see Zebras, Giraffes, maybe even baby pigs, and much much more! There is also a walk thru section as well. Read More

Photo Courtesy of Rock City

Rock City Gardens

1400 Patten Rd, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

Arrive: 3:00pm Depart: 5:00pm

Rock City Gardens is an awesome attraction. They have a ton to see including a swing bridge you can walk across or around. You can go to the lookout and see 7 states at once. Then you can take a walk through the needles eye and get to the fairy cave where you will be amazed at the skill of the artists in their wonderful work. This is a place that has a surprise around every corner. Read More

Drive: 3.5 hours to hotel

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Hotels Near Mammoth Cave

Arrive: 8:30pm Depart: 8:30am

Drive: 0.5 Hours

Day Three

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Mammoth Cave National Park

1 Mammoth Cave Pkwy, Mammoth Cave, KY 42259

Arrive: 9:00am Depart: 4:00pm

Mammoth Cave National Park has one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World; the World’s longest known cave system. This cave is amazing and should be on everyone’s bucket list! You can take a guided tour or a self guided tour. Either way this is a must see! Read More

Drive: 5 hours

Day Four

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The Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO 63102

Arrive: 9:00am Depart: 10:30am

Take a ride to the top of the arch. This is the Number 1 attraction in Missouri, and the tallest monument in any National Park. Going up in the arch is an awesome experience, but looking at the arch from a distance is pretty cool too. Read More

Drive: till you can’t drive no more

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Hotels on the way

Day Five

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Mall of America®

60 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425

Arrive: 10:00am Depart: 7:30am

The Mall of America is boasting 5.6 million square feet, is 4 floors high, hosts 520 stores, has an amusement park; that includes 5 roller coasters, and an aquarium! This is the ultimate shopping experience. Read More

Drive: 3.5 hours

Day Six

Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Arrive: 11:00am Depart: 7:00am

Wisconsin Dells is a huge amusement town. They have everything you could think of. There are amusement parks, wineries, distilleries, museums, tours, ziplines, a safari, spas and a casino. There is so much more to do here, the whole family will have a great time. Wisconsin Dells is such an awesome town everyone should visit! See More

Drive: 3 Hours

Day Seven

Skydeck Chicago

233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606

Arrive: 10:00am Depart: 11:00am

Go to Chicago’s Famous Skydeck where you can go on Tilt and get tilted out over the Magnificent Mile to see the unforgettable view. Over 1000 feet in the air the views from here are amazing. After that you can walk the Magnificent Mile and check out the Bean and more. Read More

Walk: 0.5 Hours

Photo by Alice Daniels

Cloud Gate

201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL

Arrive: 11:30am Depart: 5:00pm

Come see the Big Bean! With awesome 360degree reflections and great photo opportunity this is a must see while you are in Chicago. Check out more on the Magnificent Mile before hitting the road. Read More

Drive: 4.5 Hours

Day Eight

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Detroit Zoo

8450 W 10 Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48067

Arrive: 9:00am Depart: 1:00pm

Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums the Detroit Zoo is one of the best zoos in the country. The Detroit Zoo is 125 acres with more than 2,000 animals and more than 245 different species. Read More

Drive: 9:00 Hours

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Day Nine

Photo by Alice Daniels

Eastern State Penitentiary

2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Arrive: 10:00am Depart: 12:00pm

Eastern State Penitentiary is a former prison in Philadelphia; known as America’s most haunted prison. Take the awesome prison tour, where you can see how things might have been when the prison was open. The walls are crumbling and the feel in here is just something else. You can even see Al Capone’s old cell. Read More

Drive: 1.5 hours

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Wildwood Boardwalk

3500 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260

Arrive: 1:30pm Depart: 8:00pm

Wildwood Boardwalk in New Jersey is a very happening place. There is so much you can see on this 2.5 mile boardwalk. There are amusement parks, water parks, casinos, food, and a ton more. The atmosphere here is amazing and well worth checking out! Read More

Drive: approx. 2.5 Hours

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Hotels on the way to Virginia

Day Ten

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Virginia

Arrive: 9:00am Depart: 10:00am

Come drive across one of the one of the seven engineering wonders of the modern world. This is an awesome bridge that turns into a tunnel and back to a bridge. This is a great experience while you’re in Virginia. Read More

Drive: 30 minutes

Photo By Alice Daniels

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Arrive: 10:30am Depart: 8:30am

Come hang out on the beach and relax for the day. Once evening hits be ready for the buskers. They have many shows that go on for a few blocks. They have live music, dancing, and more. There is also an amusement park and some great shopping. The vibe here is something that will have you wanting to come back. Read More

Drive: 4.5 hours

Day Eleven

South of the Border
Photo By Alice Daniels

South of the Border

South Carolina 29547

Arrive: 1:00pm Depart: 5:00pm

Come see a town made for tourists. This is a cool little stop. The perfect spot to get gas and look around at all the photo opportunities. Walk up to the top of the Mexican Hat to take in the view of the whole town. The hat is 200 feet up in the air. There are also motels if you chose to stay here. Read More

Drive: 1.5 Hours

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Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Arrive: 6:30pm Depart: 2:00pm

Myrtle Beach is known for great weather, loads of fun, sensational sunsets, spectacular food and ocean view accommodations! Have some fun in the sun, relax on the beach, and take a stroll down the boardwalk. Read More

Drive: 6.5 hours

Day Twelve

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St. Augustine

St. Augustine, Florida

Arrive: 8:30pm

We end our road trip back in St. Augustine. Spend another day exploring before heading home. Grab some dinner, and take a ghost tour before turning in for the night at one of the beautiful nearby accommodations. Read More

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