The Best Road Trip Routes for Your Summer Vacation
Ready for a road trip this summer but not sure where to head? Gas up your car, because our list of some of the best summer road trip routes will inspire you to hit the open road, whether you have a weekend, week or month to roam.
Before You Go
You want your time on the road to go smoothly. You want to have a plan, but leave some room for spontaneity. Most of all, you want to have fun. With a little bit of preparation beforehand, you can have a carefree journey.
Have roadside assistance services in place before you leave: Fingers crossed, you won’t have any problems on the road, but why not have a plan in place just in case it does? Make sure your dues are up to date and you have the number in a convenient place.
Buy an actual paper Atlas: You never know when your electronic device will run out of power, so make sure you have a no-fail backup. Bonus: Atlas books are great for picking out spontaneous side trips and can help you kill a few hours playing “name that state capitol.”
Brush up on the rules of the road: Every state has slightly different traffic rules (Did you know it’s illegal to make a right turn on red in New York City?), so make sure you are familiar with the laws in the states you’ll be visiting. If you decide to take a New England trip with a stop in Boston, you’ll want to be aware of the latest Massachusetts laws.
Hitting the Open Road
It doesn’t matter how much time you have, as you can always find a memorable road trip that fits your interests. Here are three examples of trips that would take about a weekend, a week, or a month to inspire you to find your perfect getaway.
- A weekend on the Colorado River Waters Scenic Byway.
- A week in Coastal New England.
- A month discovering the Great River Road.
This 80-mile road will take you through Colorado’s beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park from State Bridge to Grand Lake. As you wind through the park, check out one of the high-lying lakes for fishing, or stretch your legs on one of the many hiking trails in the area.
A great overnight idea is the town of Hot Sulphur Springs. Take a dip at the Hot Sulphur Springs Spa, which lives up to its name with 23 different mineral spring pools, perfect for relaxing after a long day in the car. Stay overnight at the Aspen Canyon Ranch and arrange for a half-day rafting trip before you head off the next day.
Summer in New England is a magical time. Take a week to travel the 400 miles from Mystic, Connecticut, to Bar Harbor, Maine, on U.S. Route 1. Any trip starting in the charming seaport town of Mystic, with its galleries and historic ships, and ending in the majestic Acadia National Park is sure to be memorable.
But following the New England coast gives you the option of stopping in any one of dozens of great places, from historical and thriving cities like Newport, Rhode Island; Boston; and Portland, Maine to picturesque seaside towns like Bath, Maine, or Seabrook, New Hampshire.
For a longer journey, follow the Mighty Mississippi River 3,000 miles from Minnesota down to Louisiana. You’ll travel through 10 states and understand the region that inspired everyone from Mark Twain to Bob Dylan.
There are more than 70 Great River Road Interpretive Centers along the way to help you get a sense of the history of the Mississippi. For a great overnight stop with amazing live folk music, check out the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, Arkansas.
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Share your journey
Use your mobile device to capture tips and ideas that you find add value to your journey, and then share it with your network. Be an inspiration, communicator, and informant. Your stories will be the ultimate guide for future road warriors.
What are your best tips for planning a great road trip experience?
Surprise and delight are what makes dreams come true.
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