Last year was one for the books. We traveled to so many cool places and visited four new states. The kids and I spent 7 weeks this summer exploring northern states – Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and Maryland. It was a great reprieve from the Florida heat and we got to hang out with our family up north. We made so many memories in the places we visited.
Overall, we explored 10 states and traveled over 10,000 miles. Our goal is to visit all 50 states with our kids before they graduate. In 2021, we checked off Alabama, New York, Delaware, and Maryland. Of all the places we visited, these are my top favorite destinations.
My favorite destinations from 2021
I’ll admit, Mobile was not at all what I expected. I had total Hart of Dixie expectations and it definitely was not that. However, it turned out to be one of my absolute favorite places we visited last year. We went to Alabama to attend a wedding and left with the coolest experiences.
We visited Mobile, Alabama at the end of May, shortly after all Covid restrictions had been lifted. The same weekend we were there, they were commissioning the USS Mobile combat ship. To celebrate, the city held a Mardi Gras style parade. The city was decked out in Mardi Gras decor, restaurants had Mardi Gras inspired menus, and the parade was the most epic thing I’ve ever experienced. Because their Mardi Gras parade had been cancelled for two years in a row, they had two years worth of beads, treats, memorabilia, and fireworks to use. And boy did they!!
Now, I know that doesn’t happen everyday. But, the city is still worth visiting. Mobile is known for it’s pub crawls and po’ boys. If that’s not your thing, visit the USS Alabama. Explore the ship, the museum, submarine, and park grounds. We learned so much and gained a really cool experience.
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is by far my favorite city. It is bursting with history and excitement. There is so much to do and something for everyone. We’ve been there multiple times and still haven’t seen or done everything. You can head to Anastasia Island and relax on the beach, something we’ve never done. Or you could spend days sighting around the historic downtown.
Two trips really stand out in my mind from this year. Our end of summer stop in SA and our Christmas trip. We’ve been to SA at Christmastime a handful of times and it gets even more magical every year. The city is decked out in lights and Christmas spirit. The vibe is something I can’t explain. You just have to experience it. We stayed at the St. George Inn, right downtown and it was the perfect location. It’s in the middle of all the excitement and a great spot for people watching.
We ended our summer trip with a couple of days in St. Augustine and it was the perfect end to our summer adventures. We stayed at Villa 1565, which is an older hotel and definitely not the same quality as the St. George Inn. But, it is a great place for a low-key visit. It’s a little on the outskirts of town, but there is a trolley stop literally in the parking lot. Super convenient with little kids. But what I really loved about this trip was our morning routine.
Each morning we got up, walked over to the Fountain of Juice and enjoyed the view underneath the beautiful Magnolia trees. The girl working remembered us from the Christmas before and we caught up like old friends. We stay outside, drank our breakfast, and enjoyed each other. It was slow and perfect.
I could do a full blog series on St. Augustine…maybe I will!
Long Island, New York
Long Island, New York may be one of the most relaxing places we’ve been this year. The weather in June was PERFECTION. Chilly mornings, warm days, cool evenings. It was everything we love wrapped up in one place. We rode bikes around Montauk, had picnic lunches on the beach, and strolled the streets of Westhampton. It was slow and relaxing.
You get the best of both worlds in Long Island. You are minutes away from the beach and slow summer living. But you could also be in the city in no time to enjoy all the hustle and bustle of NYC. It’s definitely a picture of ‘how the other side lives’! Mansions, drivers, yachts, oh my!
Lion Country Safari, Palm Beach, Florida
Lion Country Safari was my favorite family activity by far. Not only did we love the park, but we also stayed at the KOA! It was our first RV trip with the fifth wheel, so it was even more memorable. Where else can you go and hear lions roaring from your living room?!
We stayed at Lion Country KOA for the weekend and got annual passes to the park. Friday was the best day for the safari because there were less cars going through. Saturday it was like sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. Not ideal with little kids who have short attention spans. The water park was amazing! There is a splash pad section that was perfect for our littles. They also had big water slides and a pool area that would be great for big kids. It really is fun for the whole family.
It was a great place for our first RV trip. Palm Beach was close enough to home in case we had any issues and there was so much to do there. You could spend the whole weekend there and never need to leave the facility.
Nashville pretty much speaks for itself. What made it really great, though, was that it was an adults only trip. We went with Logan’s brother, Kenny, for a long weekend. There really is nothing better than eating, drinking, and sightseeing around a new city. In my opinion, it was definitely not a kid-friendly destination.
We ended up getting a Sightseeing Pass and squeezed as much as we could into three days. We toured Ryman Auditorium, Country Music Hall of Fame, Madame Tussauds, and the Belle Meade Mansion. My favorite was riding segways around the Belle Meade Estate.
There we a ton of riding tour options as well. Most of them were party buses, where you could drink around the city. I was surprised that these went ALL DAY LONG. We did a golf cart tour around the city one night. It was cool to see the city all lit up, but it was freezing!
Ocean City, Maryland
I grew up going to Ocean City, Maryland with my family. It was our annual beach trip for a few years. But, it was definitely not what I remembered as a kid. Maybe I’ve gotten used to the luxury of Florida beaches, but it was definitely not clean and as family-friendly as I thought.
Even so, it was one of my favorite trips of the year, because it was the only solo trip Logan and I took. We got to get away for a night, just the two of us. That made it all worth it. We walked the boardwalk, checked out the beach, and relaxed at our resort. I got to show Logan a glimpse into my childhood. It was much needed time to reconnect.
2021 was a good travel year!
2021 was a good travel year for us. We got to visit some really cool places, add new states to our list, and make a lot of memories. Our summer of fun was something I’ll never forget. I’m not sure how we will top last year, but we will certainly try! Here’s to more adventures in 2022!
We are 8 days into the 31 day blog challenge and there is so much more to look forward to. Up next is our travel plans for 2022 and our travel tips for planning, budgeting, and executing family adventures. Check back in each day for new content. We will be ending our series answering all of your questions. So, leave a comment or head over to instagram to ask your questions. Don’t forget to follow our social media platforms so you never miss our content.