Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cost Plus World Market and includes affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.
Take your family on a fun road trip across the United States this summer — without ever leaving the house — with these staycation ideas that combine fun family activities with regional-inspired cuisine.
Our family has always dreamed of spending a summer road tripping across the country, visiting this great land of ours.
Our big road trip isn’t in the budget this year. So, we’re doing the next best thing and enjoying a road trip at home all summer long, while enjoying family activities and regional cuisine inspired by popular vacation destinations. If you don’t have a vacation planned this summer, stay tuned for some foodie, family fun staycation ideas that will make you forget you’re at home.
And don’t miss the chance to enter Cost Plus World Market’s Taste of America Road Trip Sweepstakes at the end of this post for a chance to win an adventure to one of America’s favorite food cities, plus other prizes.
To kick off our staycation, we decided to revisit some of the places we’ve traveled in the past.
First up, we “traveled” to Amish country in Pennsylvania with a trip to a friend’s farm.
We also headed to a local lavender farm to harvest some flowers, partaking in simple activities in the spirit of the Amish.
Later, we made yummy homemade pretzels for a snack.
We used the Kathi German Pretzel Mix from World Market and served them with melted butter, cinnamon sugar and Beaverton Sweet Hot Mustard, the same way we’d enjoyed them in Lancaster, Pa., a few years ago.
The selection of gourmet food and drinks at World Market makes it easy to enjoy regional cuisine at home. We found so many delicious foods, ingredients and road trip snacks there that worked with our staycation ideas.
We also bought a Visiting the 50 States Journal, and we’ve been coloring it in and filling it out as we revisit our favorite vacation destinations. We plan to take this journal on real trips, too, to record highlights of our journeys and favorite travel memories.
From Pennsylvania, we “road tripped” to Maine and hiked in the woods to pick blueberries.
We loaded our buckets with lots of ripe berries.
And brought them home to make muffins and pie and blueberry-basil mojitos!
We also read our copy of “Blueberries for Sal,” a classic children’s storybook, after picking the blueberries.
The last time we were in Maine, I was 6 months pregnant with Jackson.
This time, I was glad to be able to enjoy a cocktail. Perfect on a hot summer day.
When you road trip at home, you don’t have to worry about things like geography or travel time or crossing oceans. The next destination is as close as your next adventure or meal.
That explains how we were able to jaunt from Maine to Hawaii for a luau, complete with some silly hula dancing and a daddy wearing a grass skirt! Alas, there was no fire dancing.
Always eat like the locals!
World Market has so much fun tropical decor and serving pieces to give our luau an authentic feel. I love the Pineapple Cutting Board and the Pineapple Serving Bowl, as well as the Palm Leaf Placemats and the Aegean Melamine plates and serving bowls.
And those tiki glasses are great for homemade Hawaiian POG juice.
Or you can serve up tropical frozen lemonade with pineapple-infused rum.
For dessert, we recommend Coconut Patties, available in World Market stores.
For the next leg of our tour, we headed to the southwest — Texas!
Everybody knows you don’t mess with Texas!
We played some horseshoes at a local park before settling in for a feast of fajitas made with Frontera Marinade.
We washed it down with Dublin Texas Root Beer and Peach Soda served in cowboy boot mugs.
While our family played horseshoes to celebrate our stay-at-home road trip to Texas, there are so many other staycation ideas that would work for this destination. Horseback riding, a trip to a rodeo, a river walk and checking out some live music are just a few other ideas.
The Visiting the 50 States Journal has a lot of fun facts about each state to spark your travel plans.
For the latest leg of our road trip staycation, we stayed close to home and “visited” the South Carolina Lowcountry.
We don’t have a beach in our backyard, but we are members of a pool. So, we kicked back and relaxed poolside all day before coming home for a traditional low-country boil.
This type of feast isn’t fancy, but it sure is tasty. Just throw some newspaper or paper on a picnic table, tuck a paper towel into your shirt collar and dig in.
And making a lowcountry boil couldn’t be simpler. Just fill a big pot with water, toss in potatoes, corn, sausage, shrimp and Old Bay seasoning and boil! (I’ll be sharing the exact recipe soon.) Don’t forget the melted butter, cocktail sauce and hot mustard for dipping!
For dessert, we recommend saltwater taffy. (You’ll find several varieties available in World Market stores.)
Our summer-long road trip at home isn’t over yet. We’ll be visiting more places soon, and I’ll be heading to my local World Market store in Winston-Salem, N.C., to stock up on road trip snacks and travel inspiration. Find your local World Market store here.
The staycation ideas are already percolating. For the next leg of our road trip at home, I’m thinking we may visit the west coast and enjoy some California wines. For our activity, we may take a hike in the hills or catch the latest Hollywood blockbuster. For our staycation trip to New York, we’ll take in some culture with a play and a visit to an art museum before dining on a variety of international foods from World Market.
Where else should we visit on our virtual road trip? What are you favorite staycation ideas?
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