8 Mother-Daughter Road Trips to Take This Year
Just imagine—you, your mama, and the open road. You’re singing Dolly Parton, snacking on her pimiento cheese, and heading somewhere new. If that sounds like just what the doctor ordered, look no further than these mother-daughter road trips. (And she really is guaranteed to bring the best snacks.)
When life is throwing too many this, that, and what-have-yous in the way, nothing should sound better than grabbing your forever gal pal and setting your sights on a getaway. Whether you’ll end up listening to country music at a divey honkytonk in Tennessee, tasting sweet Georgia wine in the mountains, or munching on a breakfast taco in the middle of Texas, you’re guaranteed to have good time on vacation with mom. These mother-daughter trips are calling your name…are y’all going to answer or what?
North Georgia Mountains
For the mountain adventurers
There’s a lot to love about this mountain region of Georgia, including that it’s the perfect place to take in fall foliage. Start with one of the South's most iconic stretches of asphalt: the Blue Ridge Parkway. Cozied up to the Chattahoochee National Forest, the town of Blue Ridge offers the rustic appeal of trout-studded streams, lush hiking trails, and breezy train rides. Head over to Helen, Georgia, to experience an authentic Bavarian-style town complete with steeply pitched roofs, quaint cross-gables, and colorful half-timbering—and all of the schnitzel, bratwurst, and potato pancakes you could dream of. Less than an hour away, Dahlonega offers its charming town square, local wineries, and historic gold mines. See, what’s not to love?
For the beach bums
Meander your way down Florida’s scenic highway A1A, and you’ll find yourself taking in cotton candy-colored skies at both dawn and dusk, with the rest of your day spent in sleepy beach towns that certainly make you want to stay awhile. Start in Fernandina Beach and drive as far as Key West. If ambitious enough, you could hit Amelia Island, St. Augustine, Daytona Beach (birthplace of NASCAR), and Miami before it’s all said and done. Or just post up in two or three of the quirky small towns. There aren’t any rules here!
Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
For the cowgirls-at-heart
Pick this road trip, and you’ll be embarking on something that’s part quintessential Texas sightseeing, part full-fledged taco tour. Between Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin, you’ll be hitting the trifecta of Texas towns to visit if either you or your mother have never been to the Lone Star State. (If it’s both of your first times there, hold onto your cowboy boots, sister. It’s going to be a wild one.) Each town is worth a visit: Dallas offers that “Big City” feel, Austin comes with the quirky style, and Fort Worth touts the true Texas attitude, ten-gallon hats and line dancing included. As for the famous Tex-Mex taco stops, swing by Revolver Taco Lounge in Dallas and Velvet Taco in Fort Worth. Austin might be the most taco-crazed town in America, and your trip won’t be complete without ordering breakfast tacos at Valentina’s.
For the small town girls
The South is full of hidden gems, and the Mississippi Delta might be more chock-full of these than anywhere else. Grab your mama, and go after them! Only a couple hundred miles long and less than that wide, this chunk of Mississippi is full of small towns, incredible hidden spots—including ruins, abandoned towns, and historic antebellums—and amazing eats (try Delta Meat Market and White Front Café). Keep going all the way to the Blues Highway if you want to feel the magic only the birthplace of blues can conjure. But you can’t leave the Delta until you’ve stopped at the easy-to-miss Scott’s Hot Tamales in Greenville. The red-and-white shack is barely the size of a snow cone stand, but it’s been serving up famous tamales (beef brisket, corn meal, and a whole bunch of spices wrapped in corn husks) since the 1950s.
For the music lovers
Give yourselves a taste of country music and honkytonks with a little bit of “Big City” life sprinkled in. This road trip will bring you to Nashville, the Southern music epicenter, where you can spend your driving breaks listening to live music at The Bluebird Café, The Ryman Auditorium (home of the Grand Ole Opry), and The Basement at Grimey’s. If so inclined, escape the hustle and bustle by venturing down to Alabama—to the historic Muscle Shoals or the Standard Deluxe in Waverly just a few hours away.
Walt Disney World
For the Mickey enthusiasts
You’re never too old to head to the “Happiest Place on Earth” with your mama. And these parks will be just as fun (maybe even more) as an adult. Spend your days enjoying the theme parks and your nights exploring Disney Springs. The best time to embark on this road trip would undeniably be anywhere from late August to mid-November when Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival is underway. Talk about an adult theme park…it’s any foodie and Disney lover’s dream.
For the Derby fans
Dive into Bourbon Country—and get bonus points if you ladies head there during Derby season. Imagine zooming past bright green rolling hills with galloping racehorses and bourbon tasting rooms scattered amuck. That doesn’t sound too shabby, eh? We think mom will agree. Depending which month you go, you might be able to get a first-hand look into the iconic Keeneland race horse auctions (they occur only four times per year). Last year, 27 horses sold for over $1 million in the September auction. Don’t forget to experience all of Lexington and Louisville along the way, too.
For the history buffs
It’s never a bad idea to drive through your country’s history. (Just not from sea to shining sea, am I right?) Head up to Virginia and D.C. for a hefty dose of historical monuments, sights, and museums packed within a couple hours of driving. From the historical colonial gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia to the National Mall in D.C., this road trip will turn back time, if only for the weekend.