Even if it’s the dead of winter, it’s never too early to start planning a road trip with your family or friends this summer to create some lasting memories. During the trip, you can see exciting sights and find different activities, depending on the route you have chosen. We’ve compiled 10 of the best summer road trips in America so you can create great memories and have fun at the same time!
Pro tip: Be sure to check out our general road trip tips guide to help you prepare for your road trip.
- High Road to Taos
- Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway
- Fort Collins to Las Vegas
- Portland to Seattle
- Moab to Lake Powell
- Miami to Fernandina Beach
- Pacific Coast Highway
- LA to Chicago on Route 66
- Turquoise Trail
- Great River Road
1. High Road to Taos
A trip from High Road to Taos, New Mexico, a distance of 56 miles, is one of the best summer trips in the US because it offers great memories for any traveler. Driving from Taos from High Road will give you an opportunity to experience scenic desert and mountain views. Travelers can also find several art galleries along this route. During this road trip, you will also have a chance to see the numerous small towns and Pueblo villages located along this route. Renting an exotic car of your dream is a great idea so you can take a group on a tour of some of the city’s many attractions.
2. Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway
The 25-mile Million Dollar Highway, aka Highway 550, stretches from Silverton to Ouray, Colorado. Along the way you’ll find a range of sights to see and things to do. The Million Dollar Highway is mountainous, giving you a great sense of adventure and recreation. One of the popular stops you can make during this trip is at Molas Lake. You can also enjoy a great forest view by making a stop for some hiking in the San Juan National Forest. Your journey will be comfortable with a sturdy 4-wheel drive SUV for the mountain roads.
3. Fort Collins to Las Vegas
A summer trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, from Fort Collins, Colorado, is almost a rite of passage to the people who live in Colorado. You will begin your trip by driving through the Rocky Mountains and southwestern Colorado before reaching the desert of Nevada. There are several popular stops along this route, including Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, which is the largest mineral hot springs pool in the world.
4. Portland to Seattle
With plenty of exciting stops in between, the 3-hour trip from Portland to Seattle will give you an opportunity to see several natural and manmade features. You will enjoy seeing parks and natural vistas along the way. Depending on what route you take, you can explore cities, forests, mountains and coastline. For a hike or picnic, stop at Silver Lake, which is just off Interstate 5 on Highway 504. From the lake, you can get great views of Mount St. Helens volcano.
5. Moab to Lake Powell
Consider taking a road trip from Moab, Utah, to Lake Powell in Arizona this summer and have a chance to relax with some recreation and adventure. This road trip gives you access to Arches National Park in southeast Utah, which is popular for its serene environment. You will also be able to see the Monument Valley and Valley of the Gods. For those who love wine, you will have a chance to enjoy it at the Spanish Valley Vineyard and Winery.
6. Miami to Fernandina Beach on Florida’s A1A
The beach views along this route are reason to consider a drive from Miami to Fernandina Beach on Highway A1A this summer. This is particularly the case for beach enthusiasts who would like to spend some time or have some photography by the beach. One of the popular stops for travelers along Highway A1A is Fort Lauderdale’s Sea Turtle Oversight Protection Headquarters, where you have a chance to see some of the creatures. A stop at the J.M Stringer Gallery of Fine Art in Vero Beach will give you a chance to experience fine art. The historic city of St. Augustine is a great place to spend time during this trip on your way north to the last stop at the Georgia state line: Fernandina Beach, Florida.
7. Pacific Coast Highway
Your summer trip along the Pacific Coast Highway in California will start at Port Townsend and end at US 101 in Mendocino County. The 656 miles stretch has everything for everyone, making it a popular trip in the U.S. You will have a chance to see cities and towns, amazing views over the Pacific Ocean, beaches and parks. Make a stop at Big Sur for an opportunity to witness marine life and for amazing views. Another popular stop you can make along this route is Muir Woods, just north of San Francisco, where you will be able to see giant redwood trees.
8. Los Angeles to Chicago on Route 66
A road trip on historic Route 66 from Los Angeles to Chicago will give you an opportunity to explore a lot of the country. You can make a stop at the Grand Canyon and witness its grandeur. Another popular stop along this route is the Petrified Forest. In addition to these stops, the Meramec Caverns is a great place to explore with your family or friends.
9. Turquoise Trail
Your summer trip along the Turquoise Trail in New Mexico will begin at Santa Fe and ends in Albuquerque. There are several exciting stops along this route. For instance, you can stop at art galleries and see some unique New Mexican artwork. Your trip to the Southwest might also call for a stop at a cowboy boot shop along the way.
10. Great River Road
Starting at Itasca State Park in Minnesota and ending in New Orleans, Louisiana, the 36-hour journey along the Mississippi River on the Great River Road will give a chance to drive through 10 different states. You will have a lot of things to experience and see during this trip, including the culture of New Orleans and the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi.