Road trips are a great family bonding activity, but it's always nice to have the option for some grown-up fun, too! Planning a route that passes through cities with culture, awesome foodie scenes, and fun nightlife can give adults the chance to enjoy the vacation while still keeping the kids happy. Book a space at a family-friendly campground outside a bigger city like Charleston, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, or Savannah and enjoy the wide variety of fun offerings. And, of course, lots of kid-friendly activities along the way add to the fun, making this a trip the whole family will love.
You and your family will sleep like American royalty at the Mount Pleasant / Charleston KOA Campground. Located on the grounds of a real antebellum plantation, the campground has endless opportunities for fun. Rent a boat and head out to fish on the lake, take a hike on the 1.5-mile nature trail, and on the weekends, take a free hayride tour of the grounds. The campground is a great location for touring historic Charleston as well as Fort Sumter National Monument.
Home to one of America's oldest living trees, Angel Oak Park is a testament to the natural beauty that our planet has to offer. Angel Oak is estimated to be between 400-500 years old, making it one of the oldest trees on the East Coast, and it has a circumference of 25 feet... the tree's branches are so huge and heavy that they touch the ground, twisting and winding their way around. The park is free to the public and is a bit off the beaten path, so you won't find it to be too crowded. The gift shop is a tree-hugger's delight, with tons of tree-related souvenirs.
Home to one of the most popular beaches in South Carolina, Hunting Island State Park is a haven for you and your kids to stretch your legs after a long day on the road. Make sure to check out the Hunting Island lighthouse, which is the only lighthouse in the state that is open for the public to climb. The beautiful lagoon is a great place to surf, go fishing and explore the pier. The park even has a Marshwalk, where scenes from Forrest Gump were filmed!
Saint Helena Island, SC
Guiding boats safely to shore since the 1700's, the Tybee Island Lighthouse and Museum is the perfect place to take your kids to learn about our nation's nautical past. The lighthouse and surrounding town look like scenes from a storybook, and you can actually climb to the top to see the view! The museum is home to a variety of paraphernalia dating back to the Civil War and paints a picture of Tybee Island throughout history.
Built in 1949, the Smallest Church in America is a cool stop for you and your family to see a charming and wonderful roadside oddity from the days of Americana past. Created as a place for meditation and rest for tired travelers, the church seats six on each side and has beautiful stained glass windows from England. The church is open seven days a week, and admission is free. Check out the non-denominational service every third Sunday for the true experience!
With 11 acres of splishin' splashin' fun, Summer Waves Water Park is a great place for your family to cool off during the hot Southern summer. The park is home to six waterslides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and a kiddie area for young kids. Admission is $20 per person ($16 for kids under 48") and the park even has a "Night Splash" option during the hottest summer nights. Make sure to check out nearby Jekyll Island for beautiful hikes and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center!
With a whopping 2,000 animals to look at, you and your family will have a great time at the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens. The zoo has tons of activities for kids and kids at heart alike to enjoy. Check out the jaguar exhibit, where your kids can explore lost statues and hidden temples. When your feet are tired, hop on the zoo train to get a tour of the entire park. Don't forget to bring your swimsuit and towel- the zoo recently opened a water park that your kids will love!
Located on Anastasia Island, the St. Augustine Beach KOA gives you premier access to the historic town as well as the beautiful beaches America's oldest city has to offer! The campground is only a 3/4 mile walk to the ocean and even offers paddleboats and a swimming pool on-site. For those of you traveling with a four-legged friend, the site has Kamp K9, where Fido can run and play without having to be on a leash. This KOA offers plenty of RV hookups, and you'll be able to feel right at home with the amenities offered here. To add to the experience, Thor Industries makes an RV for every kind of traveler, including plenty of options big enough to fit the whole family.
From exploring the rich history and culture in Charleston to splashing at a giant water park, this family vacation will be anything but ordinary. You will feel like a kid again and help create the memory of a lifetime for your own kids, all while enjoying the beautiful Southern sun!