Embrace the growing trend of family-friendly road trips to take with an electric vehicle, and discover five amazing destinations that you and your loved ones can enjoy while traveling in your E.V.
Family road trips are undergoing something of a revival. In recent years, road trips have consistently topped the list of escapes for eager travelers, including more than a few families. This also includes families traveling in electric vehicles.
The infrastructure required to make E.V. family road trips effortless has been increasing, which is fantastic news. Although most of this infrastructure is located on the east and west coasts, the country’s interior is becoming increasingly passable by E.V. as the number of charging stations increases nationally. According to the USA Facts website, there are about 56,000 EV charging stations in the United States that supply around 148,000 charging connections.
ChargeHub and other interactive travel planning websites provide information on the locations of these charging stations from coast to coast.
The conclusion? E.V. family road trips are on the rise, and there’s little stopping you from charging your battery, getting your family into the car, and hitting the open road – unless you don’t know the best E.V. routes for your family.
More good news? A vast number of tempting options provide entertainment suitable for all ages and interests of travelers. E.V. road trips beckon from New York to Virginia, South Carolina, California, and (almost) everywhere else. Here are five family vacations worth considering.
From Washington, D.C., to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
In 2022, Christina Grance (founder of Live a Wilder Life), an Idaho-based family travel writer, was planning her family’s next road trip during the height of the gas price changes. Grance, intimidated by the prospect of spending hundreds of dollars on petrol, borrowed an electric vehicle from a family member. She estimates that the move saved her family at least $500.
While traveling with children, the use of an E.V. proved to have additional advantages. Grance states, “We were traveling with a 4-year-old.” “And it can be challenging to have children in the car for an extended period of time. Utilizing an electric vehicle offered us a solid incentive to stop every hour to recharge the car, get something to eat, and stretch our legs.”
The family’s electric vehicle plan included traveling south from Washington, D.C., through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, and finally to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The family discovered an abundance of charging outlets along the route, including free charging stations within Shenandoah National Park. Also, the park offered numerous child-friendly nature explorations.
“There are several kid-friendly walks, including ones with waterfalls where you can swim at the base of the falls in the summer,” explains Grance. Also, you can collect wild berries, which is another enjoyable activity.
In Myrtle Beach, a destination with a reputation for entertainment, the Grances were similarly entertained. Consider an unending beach, many types of mini-golf, and numerous other kid-friendly activities. In addition, Grance claims that E.V. chargers were easily accessible at this location.
Grance concludes that the family’s E.V. road trip was a success and one they would gladly repeat. “Adjust your expectations and recognize that it will take a bit longer (than with a gas-powered vehicle). You must plan to halt as necessary, “says Grance. “But, parents who are really adept at this sort of thing can organize stops near playgrounds and green spaces.”
State of California, Pacific Coast Highway
California leads the nation in E.V. ownership (approximately 39% of all E.V.s in the United States as of mid-2022). Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the state has abundant charging stations. This means that families can travel virtually everywhere in the diverse and picturesque state without concern.
The Pacific Coast Highway, notably between Big Sur and Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, and San Diego, offers some of California’s most iconic coastal views and family-friendly activities. (There are so many E.V. charging stations along this route, and the tourist sites are so highly regarded that InsureMyTrip called the Pacific Coast Highway the finest road trip you can take in the United States with an electric vehicle.)
Where should families go? The possibilities are absolutely limitless. Don’t miss the iconic beach boardwalk amusement park in Santa Cruz. Spend some time visiting the many stunning beaches in Big Sur, including Pfeiffer Beach, where the legendary and frequently photographed Keyhole Rock is located. In Santa Barbara, family-friendly options include the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the Wolf Museum of Adventure + Innovation. In Monterey, one of the country’s best and most memorable aquariums is located.
Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee
The second-ranked option, according to InsureMyTrip, is the 444-mile-long Natchez Trace Parkway, which runs through Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Eighty-three percent of the chargers along this route are free, which is a significant benefit for families on a budget. Also, around 58% of the charges are level 3 (meaning the fastest chargers).
The historic route, which purports to display 10,000 years of North American history, is an important highway of the Old Southwest and offers a wealth of family-friendly attractions.
Visitors may enjoy anything from treks to historic sites along the path, which has also been designated a National Scenic Byway. The Sunken Trace (milepost 41.5 in Port Gibson, Mississippi) is one of the most photographed spots along the parkway and should not be missed. Visitors will locate “The Trace,” a subterranean road that is believed to have been traversed by thousands of individuals over many generations. At milepost 122, family can explore Cypress Swamp, a self-guided route where alligator sightings are possible.
Route 66, Illinois and Arizona
Route 66 is a well-known piece of Americana and a rising star in the genre of E.V. road trips. Throughout the renowned roadway, destination management groups have been busy announcing EV-friendly routes.
For instance, Illinois Tourism has just released its first E.V. road trip, Zero Emissions on Route 66. From Chicago to Springfield and Collinsville, the 302-mile travel can be completed in one to three days.
Jan Kemmerling, former acting deputy director for the Illinois Office of Tourism, explains, “We chose to highlight Route 66 because it is an iconic road trip that highlights everything Illinois has to offer.” “Along Route 66, the schedule includes a range of family-friendly sights and restaurants. During the route, thirteen separate E.V. charging stations are conveniently positioned near notable landmarks.”
Consider visiting the renowned Wrigley Field (the second-oldest major league stadium) and the Navy Pier entertainment area in Chicago. At Lincoln, families may view the world’s largest covered wagon, which is handcrafted from three tons of oak and steel and features a 12-foot-tall statue of Abraham Lincoln. You may even continue the Lincoln-themed attractions in Springfield, beginning with the burial site of the popular president.
Arizona also provides family-friendly Route 66 electric vehicle (E.V.) road trips. Visit Flagstaff has built a dedicated webpage with an interactive map of E.V. charging stations throughout the state to aid with trip planning.
Clara Cordova, a middle school teacher from Phoenix, and her family recently traveled through Route 66 in an electric vehicle. “Route 66 is such a fantastic family experience because there are so many small towns and so many places to stop and explore.” All of the kitsch along the route is very entertaining.
New York City to New York’s Niagara Falls
On the InsureMyTrip list, New York State is also a leading option. The website suggests a journey from New York City all the way to the Canadian border at Niagara Falls. You may like to spend some time along the trip enjoying the scenic Sullivan Catskills region, which also has a plethora of charging stations and family-friendly activities.
Roberta Byron Lockwood, president and CEO of the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association, explains, “Charging stations are strategically placed around the county, so families can enjoy the plethora of activities in the Sullivan Catskills without having to worry about recharging.”
Villa Roma Resort in Callicoon, Catskills, has E.V. charging stations and year-round enjoyment, for example. Families can enjoy ice skating, tubing, paintball, bowling, and a large indoor pool in the winter, as well as zip-lining, volleyball, go-karts, tennis, golf, basketball, outdoor pools, hiking trails, rock-climbing walls, and fishing in the summer.
In Roscoe, New York, visit the popular and family-friendly Roscoe Diner, where charging stations are also available.
The Kartrite is a resort and attraction near Monticello that should be considered for a family road trip. Not only is the property a perennial favorite due to its expansive indoor waterpark, but it also features other noteworthy amenities. Byron Lockwood explains, “It is an all-suite hotel with eight bars and restaurants, six miles of hiking trails, daily events, a full arcade, and a ropes course.”
Let the E.V. Road Trip Preparations Start!
These possibilities for family-friendly road trips are only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The InsureMyTrip ranking contains thirteen alternatives, representing practically every region of the nation. Also, you can plan your own route using ChargeHub.
As the popularity of road trips increases, families should anticipate that E.V. road trip planning will become easier. And destinations are doing their best to highlight the compatibility of attractions and E.V. charging stations.
“As E.V. use becomes more prevalent and the number of charging stations continues to increase, accessibility to charging stations will become an even more significant criterion for tourists when determining which sites to visit,” adds Kemmerling.
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