Make memories to last a lifetime this spring break when you choose a van life vacation with your loved ones. From rugged wilderness experiences to exciting theme park visits, we’ve compiled eight destinations that lend themselves to a van trip with kids in tow. With such a wide range of attractions, there’s something for every family on this list.
Traveling in a camper van gives you the freedom and flexibility to change plans as needed, which is a perk since we all know youngsters can be unpredictable. You’ll have a comfortable and consistent living space where you can cook nutritious meals and retreat for midday naps and snacks. You can also keep kids’ blankies and stuffed animals safely tucked in on board. These comfort items are proven to help children branch out and experience new things more readily. We’d argue that the level of stability offered by a home on wheels has a similar effect. Better family travel–unlocked! Read on for our top family van life destination picks.
Los Angeles, California – Click Here for Additional Van Life Guides to California
With a plethora of kid-friendly museums, amusement parks, botanical gardens, sun-soaked beaches, and other activities, Los Angeles could easily keep your crew occupied for multiple weeks. Narrow down the options for Spring Break 2023 based on your children’s interests. Movie-loving little ones will go wild for all of the fandoms represented in the rides and attractions of Universal Studios Hollywood. The Santa Monica Pier is also popular for its iconic Ferris wheel, carnival games, and mouth-watering treats like churros and tamales. If your kiddos can’t get enough of nature and animals, try taking a horseback ride to the Hollywood sign or a day trip to Catalina Island.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – Click Here for Additional Van Life Guides to South Carolina
For similar beachy attractions in a smaller, more affordable city, head to the Palmetto State. At Broadway on the Beach, a wide range of family-friendly attractions awaits, including exciting shows, an aquarium, a race park, and a zipline and ropes course. One of the highlights of Broadway on the Beach is WonderWorks, dubbed “an amusement park for the mind,” where kids can have fun and learn at the same time. After some entertainment-filled days, enjoy a relaxing beach day making sand castles, then catch a baseball game in the evening. Kids will also appreciate the opportunity to run wild and make new friends at Savannah’s Playground, which is a large and top-notch ADA-compliant park with tons of free activities.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Click Here for Additional Van Life Guides to Wyoming
Looking for a spring break itinerary for adventurous kiddos? Head to Jackson Hole for rugged and thrilling experiences in the great outdoors. Kids won’t be able to stop talking about zorbing, or rolling down a hill in a giant inflatable ball, when they get back to school. They can also regale their friends with tales of dude ranch escapades including archery, horseback riding, and campfire singalongs. The entire family will appreciate some R&R at Astoria Hot Springs, where day guests can soak in five man-made hot spring pools of different temperatures on the banks of the Snake River.
Orlando, Florida – Click Here for Additional Van Life Guides to Florida
When it comes to a spring break destination that feels like a summer vacation, you can’t go wrong with sunny Orlando. This city is known for its world-renowned theme parks including Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. Lesser-known but equally intriguing options include Gatorland, where you can marvel at the scaly reptiles and even zipline over them, and the Kennedy Space Center, which offers exciting simulations and educational programming for galaxy-minded youngsters. Orlando is not a spring break destination for the faint-hearted, but the shrieks of delight from your little ones will make all the theme park craziness worth it.
Sedona, Arizona – Click Here for Additional Van Life Guides to Arizona
Nature-lover families will also be drawn to stunning Sedona. The red rock formations that make this area so unique can be marveled at from afar or close up through multiple hikes that are easy enough for little legs to keep up. Check out Slide Rock State Park, where an algae-covered section of Oak Creek serves as a natural waterslide. Brave souls do utilize the slide and wading areas in spring, but you can also just enjoy the sights and a picnic lunch. For other adventures straight out of a Magic Treehouse book, try a safari at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park, take in panoramic views from the Verde Canyon Railroad, or book a bouncy backcountry tour in a bubblegum pink Jeep.
Mammoth, California – Click Here for a RecVan Adventure Guide to Mammoth
If you prefer the adrenaline of gliding down a snowy mountain over the freefall of a rollercoaster, we recommend Mammoth. Whether your kids are pros at snow sports or first-timers, they’ll have a great time hitting the slopes at Mammoth Mountain, where good conditions last through the spring. For something a bit easier, head to Woolly’s Tube Park to innertube down the glistening lanes of snow. Then reward yourselves with hot cocoa at the ski resort and a tasty dinner at one of the many family-friendly restaurants in town. There are also plenty of easy and flat trails around the lakes in the area.
Zion National Park, Utah – Click Here for Additional Van Life Guides to Utah
Another strong contender for wilderness-loving families is Zion National Park. Here, you can explore majestic landscapes endlessly with plenty of hikes suitable for children. One attractive option is the Lower Emerald Pool Trail, a pleasant short hike with a waterfall that you can walk behind. Zion National Park also caters to families with shuttles that can accommodate strollers, scenic picnic areas, and a good Junior Ranger program. Check out the park’s schedule for ranger-led events for youth including nature center programs and evening storytellers programs. Out in the desert, you and your crew can disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other. Treats roasted over an open fire only sweeten the deal. Get inspired with “Ten Mouthwatering Campfire Cooking Desserts.”
New York City, New York – Click Here for Additional Van Life Guides to New York
You might not think of the Big Apple as a van life destination, but the city offers multiple well-located RV parks and enough public transportation to avoid needing to drive much once you get settled. We recommend the Liberty Harbor RV Park if you want to be closest to the action. Curious kids will love the scavenger hunts put on by Watsons Adventures, which can enrich the experience of popular attractions like Central Park, Grand Central Terminal, and multiple museums. Catch a Broadway show or indulge in a walking food-tasting tour. Little ones will light up when met with the dazzling displays of stores like FAO Schwarz and Dylan’s Candy Bar. This hub of art and culture also has many museums designed specifically for families, from the colorful Children’s Museum of the Arts to the interactive SPYSCAPE.
Looking for more exciting van life destinations? Check out “The Best Van Life-Friendly Amusement Parks in the U.S.,” “10 Immersive Art Attractions to Add to Your Road Trip Bucket List,” and “8 Road Trip Destinations for Movie Lovers.”
If you’re just beginning to consider van life as a family-friendly travel option, we also have resources for you. Get started with “Tips for Van Travel With Kids” and “How to Plan a Summer Van Vacation for the Whole Family.” For the camper van to take you there, visit RecVan.