Hit the Road :: The Best Family Road Trips From Pensacola


Are you starting to think about summer travel plans?

Maybe Spring Break has caught you by surprise this year?

Have no fear; Pensacola Mom Collective and KIA Autosport Pensacola have you covered with this list of family-friendly road trips…all within driving distance of Pensacola!

Fun for the entire family that won’t break the bank!

And be sure to check out our “mom hacks” for keeping kids entertained in the car:

We are grateful to our sponsor, KIA AutoSport of Pensacola, for supporting our mission of educating, encouraging, and empowering local moms through the lifelong journey of parenthood.

New Orleans

View of New Orleans streetI have many fond family memories in New Orleans and love taking my children to sample this unique and historical gem, just three straight hours on I-10 from our front door here in Pensacola (about 200 miles). From the food, music, people, and culture, there’s really not another place on the planet like her.

The great thing about New Orleans is that you can go back time and again and never have the same experience. You can enjoy a romantic, upscale weekend or a casual, affordable time with kids.

Florida Springs

Shhhhhh! I have a secret!

A secret I don’t really want to tell.

In fact, men killed over this secret.

They died for it, too.

The Fountain of Youth, some called it.

The Springs of Eternal Life.

Middle Florida is pocked with sinkholes and springs bubbling with crystal clear water, a constant refreshing 68 degrees, surrounded by cypress trees drooping with Spanish moss– all just a car trip from Pensacola. 

Cape San Blas

Despite living in our very own beach community here in the Pensacola area, there is something inherently wonderful, if not different, about the Cape. It is well worth the 90-mile drive east from Pensacola to bask in some well-deserved (and highly overdue) rest and relaxation.

Whether you make it a day trip or a stay-and-play vacation, you will be pleasantly surprised with this slice of heaven!

Blue Ridge, Georgia

Theoretically, we could go anywhere and do anything … but with small children (ages two and four), our options were obviously somewhat self-limited.

We weighed the possibilities and took the bold plunge to go somewhere totally new for us.

That’s how we settled on Blue Ridge, GA.

Blue Ridge fell right into that sweet spot at a reasonable six-hour drive. The idea of a fun, accessible mountain adventure with cool mornings and evening bonfires after a grueling hot summer: perfection!


If you want to escape to the mountains, look no further than Chattanooga!

A six-hour drive from Pensacola, Chattanooga is the perfect long weekend destination for a family road trip.

You will not be at a loss for things to do in Chattanooga! In fact, you should just start planning your SECOND trip! From the more well-known attractions to museums and hiking trails, there are so many things to do!


A five-hour drive from Pensacola, Atlanta is a fun destination for various age groups, with a number of options for inclement weather. There are enough activities that you can create a fun-themed weekend for play, sports, history, or science.

Here are some highlights and favorites, but be sure to check out our friends at Atlanta Mom Collective for all the inside scoop from the “locals” on more fun family things to do in the area!


Downtown MontgomeryLess than three hours from Pensacola, Montgomery offers a rich, moving, and incredibly important perspective on the Civil Rights Movement.

Montgomery is also home to several other attractions that allow you to balance the important history lessons with a bit of fun.


While 30A has become increasingly popular in recent years, it remains to be one of my family’s favorite vacation spots. 30A is a group of beaches, or communities, nestled in between Panama City and Destin.

You get the same sugar-sand beaches of elsewhere on the Emerald Coast, but a more local and slower-paced experience. In this guide to 30A, you’ll find everything you need to know about where to stay and the best ways to enjoy this incredibly family-friendly destination.

With world-class beaches, picturesque architecture, amazing food, and so much to do, it truly checks every box and is only a short two-hour drive from Pensacola.

Lake Martin, Alabama

Taking a short three-hour drive (if you ask me, if you ask my father-in-law, it’s four hours), winding up through the back roads of inner Alabama, you will find a sprawling lake filled with bass for fishing, quaint local restaurants you can pull your boat up to, and a feeling of checking out that one can only do while on vacation.

Not only is the proximity to Pensacola a plus, but it gives you a new setting and change of scenery as well. In Pensacola, we are surrounded by beautiful beaches with white sand and emerald waters to swim. Up at the lake, you will get deep, cool, steady waters that are perfect for tubing, fishing, or just taking a sunset cruise. So while familiar, it is also a vastly different experience for Southerners than the beach.

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

If you haven’t taken the short trip from Pensacola to visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you are truly missing out on an exceptional family-friendly spot less than an hour from home.

This area of LA (lower Alabama) boasts beautiful beaches, delicious restaurants, arcades, shopping, and an amusement park. While it can be done as a day trip, I highly recommend making a long weekend out of it and really “getting away.”

two lounge chairs with a blue umbrella on beach in gulf shores, alabama

Be sure to follow the “On the Road with PMC” series sponsored by KIA. We are adding more destinations in the coming months!

family road trips




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