Road trips are the ultimate “must-do” of the summer. Taking a weekend or even just a day to drive around and enjoy the scenery is always a great idea. No matter where you live, there’s bound to be an epic road trip route near you. If you’re in need of a destination for this summer, take a look at this list. There are long drives, short drives, trips with ocean views, trips with mountain views - you name it!
U.S 1 to the Florida Keys, Florida
If you’re located in or around the East Coast, why not go down to the Florida Keys for a weekend? The southernmost leg of the U.S. 1 highway (also known as “The Highway that Goes to the Sea”) will take you from Florida’s mainland to the many islands collectively referred to as “the Keys.” With gorgeous ocean views all around you, this road trip won’t disappoint.
Hana Highway, Maui
If you’re Hawaii-bound for the summer, or already live there (jealous) and need something to do for the day, consider taking a trip down the Hana Highway in Maui. Just a short plane ride from the state’s most popular island of Oahu, Maui offers lush greenery and gorgeous scenic views. The 51-mile road trip will take you to many beautiful spots, like Honomanu Bay, Hanawi Falls, and Wai’anapanapa State Park.
Columbia River Scenic Highway, Oregon
This 75-mile route was built nearly a century ago, and offers grand, beautiful views of the Columbia River. America’s “first scenic highway” lies east of Portland and provides its visitors with views of waterfalls and mountains as they drive down the winding road to The Dalles, Oregon. A frequent nominee on the lists of the best road trips in America, this trip is a definite “must-do.”
Probably one of the most well-known road trips in the country, the Pacific Coast Highway (also known as Highway 1) offers sweeping views of cliffs and beaches overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This road trip is a great option for a large group, because the many stops along the way offer a little something for everyone. Along the 100-mile road, you can find antique shops, restaurants, and viewing areas to stop and take in the ocean views.
Anchorage to Valdez, Alaska
For those of us who live away from the continental U.S., there’s the opportunity to see glaciers, mountain peaks, and waterfalls on this road trip. Starting in the coastal city of Anchorage, you will travel 300 miles to get to the town of Valdez. This trip offers many stops along the way, such as Thunderbird Falls, Eklutna Lake, and the Matanuska Glacier, so plan on your trip probably taking more than the expected 6-7 hours.
Great River Road, Minnesota to Louisiana
If you’re currently living in the Midwest, there might not be ocean or mountain views around, but there’s still a road trip for you! The Great River Road runs all the way down the Mississippi River, and offers many different landscapes along the way. Visitors will see great plains, farms, swamps, cliffs, forests, and meadows on their trip down the ten states bordering the 2,320-mile river.
San Juan Skyway, Colorado
Located in southwest Colorado, the San Juan Skyway is a 236-mile road trip that will take visitors around national parks and deserted mining towns, and provide sweeping mountain views. While road trips are usually taken in the summer, consider taking this trip in the fall, too. The San Juan Skyway has been noted to be one of America’s greatest fall-color drives because of the aspen trees’ brilliant colors.
Route 66, Illinois to California
It’s almost impossible to not sing “Get your kicks on Route 66 …” when you hear about this highway. Probably the most popular road trip in America, Route 66 will take you all the way from Chicago to Los Angeles. This 2,451-mile-long road is lined with kooky roadside attractions, like The World’s Largest Catsup Bottle in Illinois and the Cadillac Ranch in Texas. This famous road trip offers man-made attractions, as well as natural wonders, and will definitely not disappoint.