Ideas for Fun, Summer Road Trips

The summer offers one of the best opportunities to pack up a bag and hit the road with some friends—whether you’re trying to get away from the work grind, or you have a break between semesters, the warm weather and open road beckon a little more intensely during the summer months.

Oftentimes, the most memorable moments of a road trip aren’t the destination, they’re the journey—the feeling of packing the essentials into a car with some close friends and hitting the road is one of pure freedom—you can go anywhere and do anything!

Below is a list of some of the best road trip ideas in the country.

Going-to-the-Sun Road

The 50-mile stretch of road in Montana is the only one that takes you to Glacier National Park—it wraps around the mountain, and affords several stunning visuals, including a picturesque view of Lake Mac Donald, as well as Saint Mary Lake, which has a stunning view of the 100-foot waterfall.

You’ll also drive through lush forests and snow-covered mountains in a series of truly breathtaking scenes.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The 469-mile span of the road in Virginia connects Shenandoah National Park to Great Smokey Mountains National Park in North Carolina.

The Blue Ridge Parkway will provide a road-trip experience, unlike many others due to its ban on billboards and commercial vehicles as well as the lack of any commercial towns along the route.

It also provides a view of nearly every natural wonder mother nature has to offer—from a view of the mountains to crashing waterfalls to sprawling forests of sourwoods.

It’s important to note the speed limit is capped at 45 mph, so you must be prepared for a long drive.

Brandywine Valley

If you’re looking for a shorter road-trip adventure, the 19 mile stretch of road takes you through Southern Pennsylvania and Northern Delaware.

The route follows the Brandywine River, and provides spectacular views of the water, along with the wildflower-lined roads. It takes you under overhanging oak and tulip tree branches and feels as if you’ve escaped to a forest straight out of a storybook.

To make the most out of the trip, be sure to stop at Longwood Gardens along the way, which has an outdoor topiary, 20 indoor gardens, and several spring-fed lakes.

Cape Cod

The 57-mile stretch of road from Sandwich to Brewster, Massachusetts will take you past several natural sights you won’t see anywhere other than the East Coast.

From the sand dunes Cape Cod is famous for, to historic villages established as far back as the mid-17th century, to sandy beaches, to scrubby pine and oak forests, to the fresh-water ponds of Nickerson State Park the road’s final destination is Provincetown—known for numerous art galleries, quaint restaurants, and lively night clubs.

Route 66

If you’re looking for a longer road that will allow you to spend some time traveling, Route 66 takes you from Chicago all the way to LA—2,451 miles.

Taking you through the vast, desert plains; past a myriad of historic, highway towns; and past several major cities—there’s plenty to see along this historic journey.