We’re big fans of the open road–there’s nothing more nostalgic than loading up the car and gathering the family for a road trip in the Summer sun. There are so many beautiful places to explore by car in the United States, and we’ve put together a few popular road trips to inspire you to plan your own this summer. Have a spot that you and your family head each year? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook page.
1. California’s Route 1
The Pacific Coast Highway runs along the Northern California coast and is quite the adventurous drive with hairpin turns and mountains plunging into the Pacific Ocean. Dotted along the drive are fun coastal towns like Monterey and Carmel where you can grab lunch and do a bit of shopping! The best resource for planning your route? Trip Advisor, where you can hear from those who’ve made the drive where the must-see locations are.
2. Hana Highway, Hawaii
Hana is a small town connected to Central Maui by the infamous Hana Highway. Running on the Eastern coastline of one of Hawaii’s most serene islands, the route offers stunning island views with a few surprises along the way. Beautiful waterfalls, one lane bridges, and access to the town of Hana make this trip a must-see. Once you reach Hana, you can head to Waianapanapa State Park’s black sand beach for some great snorkeling or visit Hale Piilani, Hawaii’s largest Hawaiian temple, for some interesting history.
3. Florida Keys Oversea Highway
Welcome to one of the most awe-inspiring 113-mile drives in the US, Highway 1 from Key Largo to Key West in Florida. The road, a bridge connecting the Florida Keys, is surrounded on both sides by teal waters and tidal flats. Little towns throughout the drive offer a taste of classic Americana with fun gift shops and burger joints. Once you arrive in Key West, head to some of the best snorkeling in the United States with shallow waters and plentiful wildlife. Don’t forget to grab a slice of Key Lime Pie while you’re there!
4. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Historic sites, great trails, and beautiful views are abundant along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. 469 miles of road cruise through North Carolina, with exploration into the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Park. Along the route sits the Folk Art Center, home to some of the best traditional and contemporary artwork from the South Appalachians and Craggys Gardens, a floral oasis with rhododendrons lighting up the area in June and July. One of the best resources for this drive? The Blue Ridge Parkway Mobile App that will make sure you don’t miss a single sight on your drive.
5. Million Dollar Highway, Colorado
The Million Dollar Highway in Colorado offers 70 miles of breathtaking views and intriguing sights along the way. Scattered ghost towns, rock tunnels, and old mines line the path from Durango to Ouray on a road touted as going across the top of the world. Not for the faint of heart, this path features huge drop offs but the anxiety is well worth the payoff. For more information on how to enjoy this drive, check out how others have made it here.
Where are your favorite road trips? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.
Images compliments of Trip Advisor, Hawaii Tourism Board, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Fla-Keys.com.