The Best Places to Travel with Teens in 2021

girl in the back of a car looking at a map planning family road trips

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We have all been hit hard with how 2020 has limited us in terms of travel and other activities. I know that everyone has felt it in different ways, but my newly 16 year old felt it a lot. This was supposed to be his year of independence. Driving on his own, maybe traveling more, hanging out with friends, etc. It certainly limited my travel with my teens. That’s why we’re looking forward to more travel in 2021, once we feel it’s safe. The following destinations are places my teenagers and I have picked out as the perfect places to travel with teens.

Route 66

Photo by Morten Andreassen on Unsplash

If you have teenagers that can drive, why not take them for a drive on the most iconic road in the US. While teens may not know a lot of history behind Route 66, they’ll appreciate driving the laid back road without a lot of traffic or big trucks. Plus, if they were raised on Disney’s Cars, you can certainly point out many of the locations that served as inspiration for the movie. True, as teens they may have outgrown the movie, but you know deep down they’ll appreciate seeing something from their childhood.

Related: See why Route 66 tops my list of US places to visit in 2021 here.

World’s Largest…

Best places to travel with teens include things like the world's largest fork.

This one can go hand in hand with a road trip along Route 66 above. Take your teens on a trip to visit the Worlds Largest…whatever! Search Roadtrippers for the World’s Largest and map out a plan to visit as many as you can. Or take a look at this list on Wikipedia for the world’s largest items.

Are these places cheesy? Yes. But do they make great photos? Also yes! convince you’re kids these are fun Instagram photo opportunities. Heck, call it an Instagram trip and see how many murals and walls you can fit into the ‘Gram as well.

In particular, I like the World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Version of the World’s Largest Things.

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Hoh Rainforest

usa, america, tree, hoh rainforest a best place to travel with teens
Photo by USA-Reiseblogger on Pixabay

I love that we have rainforests in the United States. I know most people often think of rainforests next to the Amazon River, the Hoh Rainforest is next to the Olympic National Park, allowing you to get in another National Park off your bucket list too.

The Hoh rainforest gets over 14 feet of rain a year, so pack accordingly. It’s lush, green, mossy, and exotic. The hiking trails are varied between .8 miles and up to 17.3 miles. Read about the different hiking trails here.

Stay in the campground for direct access. Search RVShare or Outdoorsy for RV and trailer rental if you don’t have one of your own.

Volcanoes National Park Hawai’i

volcano national park
Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

The other National Park on the list for travel with teens is Volcanoes National Park in Hawai’i. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park encompasses two of the world’s most active volcanoes. It’s nature’s wonders of the world at it’s best.

Recently, the Kilauea volcano erupted, creating incredible fountains of lava. If you are planning on visiting in 2021, be sure to plan ahead and check park restrictions. The Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is open 24 hours a day, so consider a night visit for your teenagers. Imagine the stories of adventure.

Dallas, Texas

aerial view photography of city skyline
Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

If your teens are fans of the Umbrella Academy on Netflix, they may enjoy a visit to Dallas, Texas. While season two did take place in the past, your kids will enjoy imagining The Boy walking the streets near the famed grassy knoll. Plus, you could actually sneak in some 1963 history facts.

Truthfully, that’s what I love most about traveling with my teenagers. Taking a pop culture destination and expanding our knowledge and world view about the history surrounding the events mentioned in shows such as The Umbrella Academy.

However, know that much of the show is not filmed in Dallas. In fact, many locations in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada serve as the story fronts and street scenes. You can find filming locations here.

Salem

Salem Massachusetts Witch Museum
Photo courtesy of Salem Witch Museum

Taking a cue from another popular Netflix series, travel with your teens to Salem, Massachusetts to look for witches. While the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina takes place in the fictional Greendale, your teenagers will appreciate the many references to witches in Salem. The Netflix film, Hubie Halloween, took place in Salem and your teens will recognize the Salem Witch Museum as one of the filming locations.

Learn all about witches past and present at the Salem Witch Museum and on a Witch Walk walking tour and then visit the Salem Witch Trials Memorial.  Adults will appreciate walking through Salem and seeing Hocus Pocus and Bewitched filming locations.

Make sure you visit the Witch Dungeon Museum, the House of the Seven Gables, Peabody Essex Museum, and the Witch Trials Memorial, too.

Check out Viator for guided and self guided walking tours.

Yale

Yale courtyard

Yes, I’m telling you to travel with your teens to an Ivy League School. While it may be a few years since Gilmore Girls was on the air, the fact is this popular show still endears mothers and daughters. Any Gilmore Girls fan would appreciate a visit to Yale.

This is a trip to plan for late in 2021, when the risk of COVID-19 will hopefully remove some of the visitor’s restrictions currently in place. Plus, visiting Yale in the Fall is better anyway!

When you can visit, take a campus tour to learn about Yale’s history, architecture, and campus life. Dine in one of the dining halls. We did that and it was surprisingly cheap and delicious. Check out the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. While Rory doesn’t mention it, you can imagine her dreamily walking through a library of old books.

Where will you travel with your teens this year? What are their interests? Leave me a comment and let me know when you’ll feel safe traveling and where you’ll go!

Need more ideas on types of vacations to take with your teens? Take a look at these 20 types of vacations to take with your teenagers this year.

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