Mapping out kid-friendly road trip?
June 1, 2015 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Is there an app or online tool that helps map out kid-friendly pit stops if you give it a general route? (In our case, Western Mass. to Morgantown, WV)

We are driving round trip from Western MA to Morgantown, WV later this month with a 1.5 year old. Gettysburg, PA is an automatic stop, probably both ways. But we'd love to have easy access to know where there are nicer rest stops, playgrounds, quirky roadside attractions, maybe even malls, anywhere that the toddler can safely blow off steam and we could enjoy a sight or two. Any advice for places along the way or an easy way to figure them out without putting in a lot of our own time researching? Thanks!!
posted by wannabecounselor to Travel & Transportation around Morgantown, WV (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Can you please provide your proposed travel route, with route numbers? I have some Central Pa. suggestions, but they're dependent on which highways you're taking.
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:37 AM on June 1, 2015

Three good resources:

Roadside America is an exhaustive collection of the quirky and offbeat roadside stuff. It's crowd-sourced, so there may be a lot to wade through, but you can pull up maps and see what kinds of attractions hit your route.

Atlas Obscura has a similar database of offbeat stuff, but it also has "kid-friendly" as one of the possible tags to search for near a given location. (Disclaimer: I have written for Atlas Obscura.)

Road Trip USA is more curated and only focuses on a handful of specific routes, but it's exhaustive and has a lot of options for Things To Do along those routes. However, it also breaks each route into sections, so it's easy to mix and match.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:10 AM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

Since you're going to Gettysburg, you might also be interested in Harpers Ferry, which is not too far out of your way. The setting at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers is dramatic, the grounds and old town are well-kept and there is plenty of space for a kid to run around.

If you take the I-95 to I-78 route you will go near Easton (the Crayola Experience), Hershey and Shartlesville, PA. The latter is the home of Roadside America, the attraction, from which the Roadside America travel guide took its name. A toddler won't get much out of it but the tour, of a miniature, early 20th-century small town only takes 20 minutes or so.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:51 AM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's not specifically kid-friendly but I'm a big fan of the Waze app for trip planning, both for while on the road and beforehand. It's pretty detailed so, if you're using it for real-time directions, it's safer and easiest for another passenger to read them to you. You can see user-posted traffic updates, communicate with the drivers around you, etc.
posted by smorgasbord at 11:49 AM on June 1, 2015

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