In Miami we were able to see my oldest perform with the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive. My husband was able to fly in just in time to be there too. The day after the performance we picked up our daughter from Joffrey and went to the Florida Keys.
Along the way we stopped at the Biscayne National Park (I needed my passport stamp after all). This park is mostly underwater, so we didn’t visit much of it. We only stopped at the visitors center.
From Biscayne we headed straight for Key West. The views along the road through the keys were spectacular. When we got to Key West we went to the Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. My parents toured the fort while the rest of us swam in that beautiful clear water.
After the swim we drove around the town a little, and of course stopped by the Southernmost Point for our photo op. The line wasn’t too long and we even managed to find a nearby parking space.
We only had one day to spend, that’s how roadtrips go sometimes, but we had a lot of fun. what are your favorite things to do in the Florida Keys.
We left Mississippi to continue eastward through Georgia. Around lunchtime we were near Atlanta, but we didn’t want to wait quite that long. Instead we stopped at Pine Mountain Gold Museum. First we ate lunch out on their picnic benches. Then we went inside to see the museum and get tickets for their train ride. The ride was fun, and the breeze was especially nice on the hot humid summer day.
The train conductor was fun and informative. Then we went for a little hike along their trails and saw the mines up close. There are also the remains of the old house you can walk around in.
At Atlanta we turned south again, on the I-75 then I-95, and headed straight for Miami. It took another day to get there, but the scenery was nice.
In Arkansas our only stop (other than gas stations) was Hot Springs National Park.
We drove through the little town, stopped at the visitor center and took the tour. There were lots of neat things to see in the baths. Even the kids enjoyed it.
After the tour we drove up to the watch tower. The view from the top is amazing. We spent a long time up there. For a quick trip it was great. We have really been loving our National Park Pass, we got it free through the “Every Kid in a Park” program because we have a kid that just finished 4th grade. Has anyone else used the free pass? Did you get good use out of it?
After the national park we headed due east, across Mississippi and stopped the night in Fulton. We were trying to make good time, so we didn’t make any other big stops along the way.
After Nebraska we turned south. We drove through Kansas City Missouri and into Kansas. We passed Fort Leavenworth and headed down the Frontier Military Scenic Byway to Fort Scott. We stopped at the fort for Lunch. There was some construction going on, but we could still see the places.
It’s also a great place to fill up water bottles and get some old fashioned candy. We picked up some lemon drops and black licorice. I think we were the only ones out that day. It was in the middle of the day in the middle of the week, and we had the place to ourselves (aside from the workers of course).
After Fort Scott we continued south into Arkansas. Along the way we made sure to pass Pittsburg, Kansas (where some of my family lived for a time, thinking it was Pittsburgh, PA…it’s a long story). And thus ended the next day of our cross country road trip.
After Rocky Mountain National Park we headed north to Scotts Bluff in Nebraska.
There is a road that goes up to the top, through a couple tunnels (so double check before taking a RV up there). From the parking lot at the top there are several small trails that you can take. We took one out to the tip. The view is great up there.
From the base there are places you can still see wagon tracks.
After Scotts Bluff we drove down to Chimney Rock. There is a little visitorscenter and museum. The center is free, but the (very small) museum has a fee. It was such a hot day the air conditioning in the center was a nice break. I picked up some nice brochures of the area, like the pioneer trail information.
The rest of our day was driving along the Western Trails Scenic Byway and the Lincoln Highway Scenic Byway on the way to Lincoln Nebraska. And boy were there a lot of corn fields. Nothing against Nebraska, but I feel like it is just all corn.
If you know of any other cool things in Nebraska (that I obviously missed) let me know!