We’ve rounded up our favorite out-of-town destinations, from a beach trip to a National Park hike

Not everyone likes to mix colder temps and outdoor fun, but you can change that this winter season. We’ve rounded up some fun winter road trip stops and there’s something for everyone in your crew to love. From exploring a small town like Wilmington, DE to hitting the slopes at Shawnee Mountain Ski Area, this winter road trip list checks off all the boxes. Skip the winter blues, and hop in the car to start enjoying the coolest season of the year.

1. Visit The Beach


Charleston, South Carolina boasts some pretty spectacular beach spots with great off-season weather, but the drive out of town to Botany Bay is one worth taking. Photographers include this "tree boneyard" on their bucket lists, and little ones will flip over the thousands of shells washed up along the shoreline. To get to the beach, you'll walk through lush wetlands until you step out on one of South Carolina's most hidden gems. Just remember, you can't take the shells home with you. 

Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve/Wildlife Management Area
Botany Bay Rd.
Edisto Island, SC
Online: dnr.sc.gov

2. Hit the Slopes


What is a DMV winter without a little (or a lot) of fun in the snow? At Shawnee Mountain, kids are the stars. With morning, afternoon, and full-day children’s programs, your kiddos will make life-long memories at this Pennsylvania-based ski area. They even have a mommy-and-me program for your tiniest snow-lover. Don't worry! The helmet is included at no extra charge.

Shawnee Mountain Ski Area
401 Hollow Rd.
East Stroudsburg, PA
Online: shawneemt.com

3. Go Hiking


Crabtree Falls, the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River, is a spectacular sight and you won't have anything to block your view in the winter months. The first overlook is just a few hundred feet from the parking lot along a paved path making it an excellent stopover for travelers of all ages and abilities. The more adventuresome hiker may continue along the 3-mile trail to four other overlooks.

11581 Crabtree Falls Hwy.
Montebello, VA
Online: virginia.org

4. Explore a National Park


Don't miss the most visited National Park in the United States. Great Smoky Mountains National Park sits between North Carolina and Tennessee. Your family will love the lush forests and wildflowers that bloom year-round. Streams, rivers, and waterfalls dot portions of the Appalachian Trail. There's something for everyone at this gorgeous national park.

Online: nps.gov

5. Stroll Through a Small Town


You probably don't think of a winter wonderland when you think about Wilmington, DE, but you might be surprised by all the winter fun to be had there. As if tax-free shopping isn't enough of an incentive, the Enchanted Woods at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, and the riverfront Delaware Children's Museum certainly are. If you are feeling adventurous, you and your gang can stop at nine small Delaware towns along the statewide Discovery Trail. Each stop offers a fun photo op with an original wall mural.

Online: visitwilmingtonde.com

6. Stop at a State Park


Bundle up and head over to the Balanced Rock Viewing Area at Trough Creek State Park in Pennsylvania if you want to see a few waterfalls, some cool natural stone steps, and a huge balanced rock on the side of a mountain. Your little adventures will love to make the suspension bridge sway back and forth over the creek. Grab a picnic table in front of Copperas Rock or picnic in your warm car parked across the street, but don't miss one of the most breathtaking rock formations around.

16362 Little Valley Rd.
James Creek, PA
Online: dcnr.pa.gov

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