Five Road Trip Spots You Won’t Want to Miss Near Military Installations
There are so many benefits to living on or near a military installation:
- There is always something to do, like movie nights, concerts and social gatherings.
- Other military families live close, so you have a great support network.
- You can find resources for your family that may be harder to find in town for military families.
Those are just to name a few, of course. History is all around us when we move to a new area. When was the last time you got out and explored around your new installation?
Road trips can be a blast – sightseeing, family time, and being in control of where you are going. Whether you live on or off base, you can almost always find some amazing sights nearby, or just a small road trip away.
So how about taking a road trip, and exploring your area or neighboring state? You’ll be surprised how many cool places are within a reasonable driving distance from your military installation.
So pack up the car, throw the family in, and buckle up for a fun road trip!
Howes Cave, NY
Nearby Military Installations: Fort Drum, Fort Dix (aka McGuire Dix Lakehurst Joint Base), Fort Hamilton
What is Howe Caverns? Howe Caverns is a cave located in Howes Cave, New York. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions, and has been the must-see spot for many road trip families passing by. If you’re stationed in the Tri-State area, it surely is worth the drive. While visiting the cave, visitors have a sense of caving or spelunking, without any of the equipment or training that is usually associated with this type of adventure. It is also rated the second most visited natural attraction in New York State. Be sure to ask for your military discount because they do honor it!
Rocky Mountain National Park
National Park, Colorado
Nearby Military Installations: Fort Carson, Buckley Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base
It doesn’t matter whether you are taking a road trip in the winter or summer season, Rocky Mountain National Park offers a breathtaking sight year round. It was named among the top 10 most-visited National Parks, according to National Geographic, a drive well worth it. Best part? NO CHARGE! You will surely get your money’s worth on this road trip.
Shenandoah National Park
National Park, Virginia
Nearby Military Installations: Fort Myer, Fort Belvoir, Joint Base Anacostia/Bolling, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Andrews Air Force Base, Fort Detrick, Joint Base Andrews, Navy Fort Meade
Since Shenandoah is a National Park, it is also free of charge. While I have personally never been, all of my friends in the Virginia/DC and Maryland area says it is a must-visit park. With some of the most amazing sights they have ever seen, there are long trails, hiking, waterfalls and beautiful picnic spots for the family. Doesn’t this sound like a great place to stop and stretch your legs after a long drive in the car?
San Diego, California
Nearby Military Installations: Beale Air Force Base, Edwards Air Force Base, Fort Irwin, Camp Pendleton, Naval Air Station Lemoore, Naval Base Coronado, Naval Base San Diego, Travis Air Force Base
What isn’t there to do at Balboa Park? A destination that has been on my bucket list for years, you will not be bored and will find something for everyone in the family. Balboa Park has 15 museums, performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo. There is also a calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts, and classes. All of my San Diego friends say it is a must see, and don’t forget to ask for that military discount.
Pine Mountain, Georgia
Nearby Military Installations: Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, Fort Stewart
Known for its beautiful gardens, Callaway Gardens is a home away from home with myriad activities such as trail walks, water sports, balloon festivals, fishing and so much more! They offer many discount packages for military families. This is a perfect opportunity to head out on a road trip.
Where did you last road trip to?
Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, mother of two, freelance writer, published author and branding expert. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, and she is also co-founder of SpouseTalks. As a branding and digital influencer, she has created content for A&E, Lifetime Network and PBS. Currently, Angela serves as a Community Manager for USAA, writing about her experiences in deployment and military life.