Few things in life are more liberating than a road trip. Hitting the open road with the windows down and the music turned all the way up. Sure, smartphones have all but rendered maps and cd collections obsolete— but one essential question remains: where are you heading? So pack the car, prep your playlist, and hit the open road.
12 All-American Summer Road Trips Ideas:
1. Coast-to-Coast on I-90, Massachusetts to Washington. 3,024 miles
If you’re going to drive across the country, you might as well take the longest route possible: I-90, which connects Boston to Seattle.
2. Route 66, Illinois to California. 2,451 miles
The quintessential American road trip, everyone knows you need to get your kicks on Route 66.
3. Great River Road, Minnesota to Louisiana. 2,069 miles
What better way to appreciate the power of the mighty Mississippi River than driving its length on the Great River Road?
4. The Southern BBQ Trail, South Carolina to Texas. 1,224 miles
Work up an appetite and pace yourself for the best BBQ the South has to offer.
5. Pacific Coast Highway, California, Oregon, and Washington. 656 miles
Just about anywhere from Santa Barbara to the Canadian border on this road will produce jaw-dropping scenery of the Pacific Ocean and coastal mountains.
6. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina. 469 miles
Connecting two national parks—Virginia’s Shenandoah and North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains— this trip will appeal to nature lovers of all kinds, whether you’re into fishing, hunting, cycling or hiking.
7. The Loneliest Road, Nevada. 409 miles
Follows the Pony Express route, this uninhabited section of US 50 passes through old mining camps and crossing mountain ranges covered with juniper and pine forests.
8. George Parks Highway, Alaska. 387 miles
The absolute best way to see the Last Frontier. The George Parks Highway is an expanse of wilderness so large it will top anything you’ve seen in the lower forty-eight.
9. The Big Island Loop, Hawaii. 300 miles
Name another place where you can play in the ocean before and summit a snow-covered volcano— all in the same day on this 300-mile tour of paradise.
10. Route 12. Utah, 112 miles
One of the most stunning roads in the world runs from Capitol Reef National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park. The route has some pretty significant altitudes (9,000 feet) and goes through several geographic transformations from forested mountains to bald mountains to red canyons.
11. Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming. 69 miles
There is a reason Charles Kuralt called this the most beautiful highway in America.
12. Tail of the Dragon, North Carolina and Tennessee. 11 miles
One of the most famous roads there is in degree of difficulty and road excitement terms. The official road is just a mere 11 miles, but within those 11 limes are 318 hairpin turns. Have fun!