Best Places to Take a Roadtrip With Friends: 7 Must-See Destinations
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Perhaps the freedom of the open road beckons — or maybe you can’t stomach the thought of sitting surrounded by strangers at 31,000 feet. Either way, you decided to spend your summer holiday on a road trip. Where should you go?
The United States was made for vehicular heaven. While you can find scenic byways in every state, the seven destinations below are sure to take your breath away. Consider these adventures as you plan the best road trip ever with your friends this summer.
Pacific Coast Highway, CA
If you have a long vacation planned, you can drive from Seattle to San Diego along the Pacific Coast Highway, which stretches for 1,675 miles. However, you don’t have to traverse the entire west coast. You can create memories on a single drive from San Francisco to San Diego.
Give yourself time to traverse the Golden Gate Bridge. Stop in Santa Barbara to sample the charm — and the fresh seafood. When you end your journey, save a day for exploring the San Diego Zoo.
Brandywine Valley, PA
If you love to gaze at historic mansions, you will adore touring Chateau Country. The geocentric east coast location through Pennsylvania and Delaware makes this an affordable trip for folks from Vermont to South Carolina. You can also fly into Philadelphia International Airport and rent a car from there.
This drive is gorgeous at any time of year, but if you can’t get away until the fall, you are in luck. The changing leaves transform the many gardens into a photographer’s dream in October.
Blue Ridge Parkway, VA
This road trip to take with your friends also lies along the mid-Atlantic coastline, making it another friendly halfway point to meet up with your Raleigh pals if you call New York City home. You’ll wind your way through the Smoky Mountains. Pack a tent if you have a mind and rough it camping for an evening instead of booking a pricey hotel room. If you don’t like sleeping on the ground, you can rent a cabin at Explore Park Camping and Cabins at Mile Marker 114.
Olympic Peninsula, WA
For the ultimate blend of mountain and ocean views, head to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. Stop to stretch your legs as you hike through Olympic National Park, which is world-renowned for its delicate ecosystems. Make sure to stop at the Waterfall Trail for a “mist”ical experience. Stop at the Port Townsend Farmers Market to pick up some organic greens and other fresh goodies for lunch.
Red Rock Country, AZ
If you live in a coastal town, a road trip with your friends through the desert southwest can make you feel like you took a SpaceX journey to Mars. Head to the Grand Canyon and dine at the historic El Tovar hotel. Get your spiritual psychic vibe on in the nearby town of Sedona, where you can wash away the trail dust at Slide Rock State Park or sit and absorb the vortex magic. You can then head back north to Monument Valley to round out your serving of red rock formations.
San Juan Skyway, CO
While you won’t meet Cartman or Kenny, the small towns dotting the San Juan Skyway in Colorado will make you think of “South Park” all the same. Many of the hotels are relatively pricey, but you will find numerous campgrounds if you have a limited budget. Stop to slake your thirst at an authentic western saloon in Rico.
Jackson to Yellowstone, WY
For more western charm, head to Jackson, WY, where you will still see folks in cowboy hats when you stop for lunch. Save time to spend a day exploring Grand Teton National Park. If you like birds, stop by the Teton Raptor Center in Wilson, Wy. Once you reach your destination, take in the grizzly bears and Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park.
Feed Your Traveling Bone With These Seven Road Trips to Take With Friends
You don’t need to board a plane — why not plan the ultimate road trip with your friends this summer? You’ll experience firsthand the destinations that make this nation so unique.