text.skipToContent text.skipToNavigation

Summer is the Perfect Time to Hit the Road and Explore

Summertime is the perfect time to explore the unknown. Road trips are a time-honored tradition of bonding with your fellow passengers, exploring landmarks and experiencing the rich history of the United States.

A road trip can be anything you want it to be - from a major trip across the country, to a day trip beyond your hometown, or taking a random adventure by turning your drive to a destination into a journey.

If you’re planning a major trip, it’s best to figure out the areas of the country you are interested in exploring, how far you want to go from home, and how much you want to spend. Classic road trips include Route 66, the Atlantic Coast, or the Pacific Coast.

Route 66 is the traditional road trip everyone thinks of when exploring America. The 2,500-mile trip from Chicago to Los Angeles peaked in popularity in the late 40s and early 50s before being retired in 1985. It is still travelable today with a little planning you can hit many of the original landmarks which are still open. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico and Arizona are now recognized as "Historic Route 66."

'American Road Trip Explore Banner'

Plan A Cross-Country Road Trip

'American Road Trip Landmarks Banner'

The Historical Route 66 Hotel

The Pacific Coast road trip takes you down the Pacific Coastal Highway from Olympic National Park in Washington State to the coasts of San Diego, California. Traveling this route will give you views of scenic forests to open coastline and everything in between. This 1,500-mile trip consists of mostly two-lane routes along a mostly accessible coastline that is open and undeveloped.

Exploring the East Coast takes you through 15 states down the I-95 corridor. Beginning in Maine and ending in Key West, Florida, this trip gives you a taste of what life is like on the East Coast, from the seafood and fishing industries in Maine, to the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Capital in Washington, D.C., the history (and cheesesteaks) of Philadelphia, through the Carolinas, Georgia to Key West, the southernmost point in the continental U.S.

Once you decide on an area of the country, map out how many miles you can drive per day, where you plan to stay, points of interest and any areas you might want to spend a little more time in. Creating a loose timeline is best in case you fall in love with one area and want to stay a little longer than you planned.

If you’re just looking for an easy one-day trip, there are tons of ideas available based on what city you’re in or closest too. There are many websites and blogs dedicated to interesting day trips in your area of the country. These trips are ideal for getting away from your local scene and exploring something close by, but unfamiliar. Just need to pack up your car, grab your friends, get you tunes cued up, pack some snacks and hit the road to begin your adventure.

Above all, a road trip is all about creating memories. You can do your best job planning, but it’s best to be flexible and open to the bumps that you may encounter along the way and make the best of them. You will probably get a great story out of it!

You can even turn a boring trip to your vacation spot into an epic road trip by stopping at roadside landmarks along the way. It might increase your travel time, but it will definitely help break up the chorus of 'are we there yet?' from the backseat. You can pick one spot in each state or different exits along the highway and go exploring.