Family vacations are always fun, and I-95 passes by some great destinations, but finding things to entertain everyone along the way is crucial to pulling off an unforgettable family-friendly vacation. Take the whole family on this road trip down I-95 filled with lots of things to see and do.
Waterparks are great for families (kids can slide and swim to their hearts' content while parents can unwind with a good book in a beach chair) and the Aquaboggan Waterpark in Saco, ME is not too far off I-95. It has attractions appropriate for smaller kids and older teens, and is a great way to spend an afternoon!
Rt 1, New York, NY, US
Zoos are awesome, and so are amusement parks... so a zoo/theme park is bound to be a good time for everyone! Yorks Wild Kingdom offers paddleboats, mini golf, a petting zoo, family rides, snacks, and tons more. Whether you're just looking for a quick break while on the road to keep the kids entertained, or you want to wear them out, this is a great stop.
74 Curzon Mill Rd, Newburyport, MA, US
Nothing like a hike to keep kids from getting too antsy during long stretches in the car! Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, MA is loaded with history (in the form of a 19th century family home) and scenic beauty (pine forests, meadows of flowers, and easy trails). Bring along a picnic and make an afternoon of a trip here!
400 West St, Rocky Hill, CT, US
What kid doesn't love dinosaurs? What adult doesn't, either, for that matter? Connecticut's Dinosaur State Park features a trackway of preserved dino footprints and fossils, plus great interpretive exhibits about the creatures that once ruled the Earth and the formation of fossils!
1875 Noble Ave, Bridgeport, CT, US
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! The Beardsley Zoological Gardens features all kinds of animals, from leopards and sloths to monkeys and snakes, and so much more. The keepers really care about the creatures, and have loads of fun facts about them, plus there's a carousel and some other fun little attractions here worth checking out!
Playland Parkway, Rye, NY, US
A different way to see wildlife (other than a zoo) is to check out a place like Rye's Edith G. Read Natural Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. Once part of a massive amusement park called Playland, it's now a natural reserve where birds and other native creatures can hang out. Lakes, fields, forests, and more are criss-crossed by trails, so you can spot animals as you hike along! This is a great place to get a taste of nature before I-95 takes you into New York City.
2300 Southern Blvd, NY, US
The Bronx Zoo is pretty famous (it's the world's largest urban zoo, after all) and it's definitely worth a stop if your kids are fans of animals. There are 600 different species here, so if you do visit, budget plenty of time and pick out a few of your family's must-see exhibits out on a map so you can go in with a plan and keep everyone happy!
72 East 161st Street, New York, NY, US
Take the kids out to the ballgame! New York is a baseball town, and for many kids, seeing a game at Yankee Stadium is a special memory. The new ballpark still retains some of the historic look of old Yankee Stadium, but is super modern and features tons of cool amenities and features. Cheer on the Yankees and enjoy a hot dog!
3555 Victory Blvd, NY, US
This indoor amusement park in Staten Island has a little something for everyone. Kids and a play place for the little ones, laser tag and batting cages for older kids, and bumper cars and an arcades for anyone in between. Buy some tokens and set the kids free in here for an afternoon of fun!
Log Cabin Road, New Brunswick, NJ, US
Rutgers Gardens has tons of beautiful nooks and crannies to explore, but the Bamboo Forest is one of the coolest places to visit. Originally intended to be a winter home for honeybees, the bamboo took over and grew into a dense woodland, which makes for a cool hike. You'll have to remind yourself that you're in New Jersey and not some far-off locale!
915 Nj-73, Ramblewood, NJ, US
You're going to have to find a few hotels to stay at during your trip down I-95, and CoCo Key is one of the most kid-friendly. That's because it's got a sweet waterpark attached! Slides, pools, splash pads and more, plus an arcade and some great onsite dining make this a great place to stay with the family.
10907 Pulaski Highway, White Marsh, MD, US
As you make your way into Maryland, treat the kids to a chance to sit behind the wheel... on a Go Kart, that is. They have a junior track for the younger kids, a family track for everyone, and a drift track for the more adventurous, and you'll get to take 10 thrilling laps on whichever you choose. Plus there's an arcade and mini golf, so you can wind down the adrenaline before getting back in the car and on the road.
333 W Camden St, Baltimore, MD, US
If your kids loved the Yankees game, then they'll probably love seeing an Orioles game at Camden Yards, too. Baltimore is another town that loves its baseball, and the crowd here is sure to add to the experience of watching an Orioles game! Plus, the adults can find Maryland specialties, like crab cakes, here.
501 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD, US
Located right on the Chesapeake Bay, the National Aquarium of Baltimore is a must-see for families with kids. It's the third-largest aquarium in the US, so plan to spend some time here. Their dolphin shows are especially fun!
6592 Springfield Mall, Springfield, VA, US
If you're traveling with picky eaters, diners can be a life-saver. The menus are almost always kid-friendly and the fun atmosphere, with tabletop jukeboxes and bright decor, is always entertaining. Plus, the menu at Silver Diner features classic American grub, but it's healthy and locally-sourced!
2200 Princess Anne St, Fredericksburg, VA, US
Treat the kids (and yourself) to something sweet at Carl's Ice Cream in Fredericksburg. It's a local institution for a reason: it's cheap and it's delicious! Ask for a swirl on a cone with sprinkles, or get crazy with a shake or sundae.
16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, VA, US
As far as theme parks go, Kings Dominion is one of the best. And, since it's just off I-95, if your kids are really into roller coasters, it's worth spending a day exploring. There are huge coasters with loops and drops, Planet Snoopy and Dinosaurs Alive for the younger kids, even a Splash City! If you have really little ones, there's a "family house" that's super quiet with changing tables, high chairs, even TVs and couches!
1001 North Lombardy Street, Richmond, VA, US
Donuts make perfect road trip snacks, so stock up at Sugar Shack in Richmond. Kids will love the candy- and sprinkle-topped donuts, and grown-ups will appreciate the full espresso bar with locally-roasted beans.
415 N 1st St, Richmond, VA, US
Introduce kids to soul food at Mama J's Kitchen. If you can't talk them into sampling catfish, candied yams and collards, they'll love the mac and cheese, fried chicken and cornbread. Everything here is delicious, and you really can't go wrong ordering any of it... but don't fill up so much that you don't have room for dessert, because their cakes and bread puddings are incredible.
769 N Main St, Emporia, VA, US
As you drive I-95 further south, you'll only find more delicious and authentic restaurants. Emporia is home to Wilson's BBQ & Grill. It's only a few minutes off the highway and it might look humble, but their food packs major flavor. The Carolina-style pork sandwich is a must, as are all of the many sides. On weekends, you'll find a full bar and live music, too!
111 Carolina Crossroads Parkway, Roanoke Rapids, NC, US
The Hilton Garden Inn in Roanake Rapids is a great little place to spend the night, and their onsite eatery, the Great American Grill, is the perfect place to enjoy dinner (with seafood and veggie-friendly options in addition to the burgers) or even a full breakfast come morning.
910 N Winstead Ave, Rocky Mount, NC, US
Or, cruise a little further down I-95 until you reach the Highway Diner. The authentic 1950's atmosphere, huge menu, and quick service make it a great place for a sit-down meal, but if you're in a hurry and want to eat on-the-go, they have a takeout menu as well.
125 Douglas Street S, Wilson, NC, US
Inspire artsy kids at Vollis Simpson's Whirligig Park! Vollis didn't start crafting his famous wind-powered kinetic sculptures out of found objects until after he retired, but he still managed to gain a lot of attention for his work in his 60s and 70s. The whirligigs are whimsical and are sure to enchant and entertain!
201 East Hill Street, Benson, NC, US
Introduce kids to a stay at a historic B&B for something a little different. The cottages here can accommodate families, and the history of the place just oozes from every brick. The period furnishings and luxurious decor are a refreshing change of pace from bland chain hotels!
821 Lazy Acres St, Fayetteville, NC, US
Or introduce the kids to sleeping under the stars, if you're traveling in an RV! Lazy Acres has a pool, a fishing pond, a playset, wi-fi, and tons of other great amenities for those looking to RV down I-95.
3346 Hwy 301 N, Hamer, SC, US
You've probably been seeing signs for South of the Border along I-95 for awhile, so pull over and see what the fuss is about! It's an attraction with a motel, restaurants, shops, a small amusement park, and more, all done up in a kitschy Mexican theme. Kids will definitely be amused by the atmosphere... but probably keep them away from the fireworks store!
Lynchburg, SC, US
Explore the marshy, boggy, forested landscape of Carolina's bays at Woods Bay State Park. Trails on elevated boardwalks keep you (and your kids) out of the mud as you enjoy the unique landscape. If you're looking for a longer excursion, rent canoes and paddle out onto the water. And, either way, kids will love looking for alligators!
251 State Park Rd, Santee, SC, US
Hiking, biking, and fishing are popular at Santee State Park, but if you're looking for a quick adventure that will keep everyone engaged, try taking a pontoon boat tour of the lake. Plus, tent camping and cabins are available here!
Highway 15, Walterboro, SC, US
These Edisto River treehouse cabins aren't easy to reach (they're only accessible by canoe) but seriously... who wouldn't want to spend the night in a treehouse? Book them via Carolina Heritage Outfitters and pack up your gear if you want a really unique place to spend the night.
102 W Hall St, Savannah, GA, US
I-95 then reaches Savannah, Georgia. This city is rich in history and Southern charm, and there's no better place to soak it all in than at the city's famed Forsyth Park. Stroll among the Spanish-moss-laden oaks, cool off in the mist of the fountain, and enjoy it!
2 Canebrake Rd, Savannah, GA, US
The lovely Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden is a peaceful place for a relaxing stroll. The water garden and butterfly garden are exceptionally lovely, and there's even a pick-your-own berry field!
370 Zoo Pkwy, Jacksonville, FL, US
As you follow I-95 into Florida, you'll reach Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in the city. The walk-thru safari, sting ray encounter, and kid-friendly features, as well as the fact that they always seem to be adding something new and exciting, make this a fun stop for the family if you're looking for something other than the beach.
601 Earl St., Daytona Beach, FL, US
Go karts, mini golf, laser tag, arcade games, rock climbing and more make this waterpark more than just... well, a waterpark. Waterslide, a wave pool, and a lazy river round out this epic family attraction, and make for a great way to cool off in the Florida heat!
8225 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne, FL, US
The Brevard Zoo has, of course, tons of animals to see, but what makes it different from every other zoo along I-95 are the many ways you can explore it! Paddles boats, kayaks, ziplines, train rides and more are all available here. Plus, you can feed the giraffes and parrots and enjoy a rhino encounter!
350 US Hwy 1, Vero Beach, FL, US
The ponds and trails enhance the beauty of the McKee Botanical Garden. It feels more like exploring an untouched patch of jungle than strolling through a manicured garden, with 10,000 tropical plants, countless water lilies and bamboo buildings.
2500 Jupiter Park Drive, Jupiter, FL, US
Bald eagles, panthers, bears, gators, bobcats, river otters, turkeys, and more all call the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary home. Hike the trail, check out their weekly programs, and explore their online kids activities before you visit!
1301 Summit Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL, US
The Palm Beach Zoo is another great place for animal-loving kids. They offer the chance to feed and pet sloths and meet a giant Aldabra tortoise, trained bird shows, and talks on some of the zoo's coolest animals, which include koalas, flamingos, spider monkeys, jaguars, and more.
3501 W Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL, US
Smaller kids will love Uncle Bernie's Theme Park. Nothing here is too intense, and since admission inside is free and you only have to pay for the rides you actually go on, it's good for a quick stop.
980 Macarthur Cswy., Miami, FL, US
Castles, cruise ships, construction sites, and ocean zones are just a few of the places kids can explore at the Miami Children's Museum. They'll be endlessly entertained as they explore everything the museum has to offer, and will be having so much fun that they won't even realize that they're learning as they play!
There's no better way to end your family trip down I-95 than at the incredible Biscayne Bay National Park. The park is mostly covered by water, but the coral reefs and ocean views are unbeatable. Take a boat tour, or find your way out to one of the park's islands for swimming, hiking, and camping. Or, just check out the visitor center to learn about this special marine habitat!
There's plenty of fun for the whole family along I-95! From New York City to small towns in South Carolina, the kids will get to experience all kinds of new and exciting things along the way.