It’s safe to say that most of us aren’t traveling as much as we used to, but you can bet we’re daydreaming of all of our future trips. One of our top future travel plans? No, it’s not jet-setting overseas, but taking an epic road trip around the country.
The best part about traveling is taking in new experiences, and nothing says “slow down and check out the scenery” like a road trip. It’s the perfect opportunity to discover parts of the country you wouldn’t see otherwise. You may be surprised at what you find. From scenic views to supporting charming local businesses, it doesn’t take much to convince us to pack up the car or rent an RV and hit the road.
But with the coronavirus pandemic, you’re going to want to consider the risks if you’re thinking of traveling. If you decide to make the trip, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for domestic travel. Also, make sure to check for any travel restrictions in the state or states you’re planning on driving through. And most importantly, do your best to keep yourself and others safe!
Now, if you’re searching for destinations for a future road trip, chances are you’ve probably heard of some of the most popular routes like the Pacific Coast Highway, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Route 66. But how about taking the road less (or lesser) traveled? Check out the road trips we’re dreaming about (and where you can stay!) below.
Craving seafood and stunning coastal views? Add Maine to your road trip bucket list. A drive along Maine’s over 5,000-mile coastline will give you all of the opportunities to see 65 historic lighthouses and indulge in some of the state’s best lobster.
We also can’t forget one of Maine’s most iconic attractions: Acadia National Park. The park covers 47,000 acres of land so you can explore, hike, fish, and simply enjoy the great outdoors. Want to make the most of this scenic drive? Plan to set aside three to five days (depending on your itinerary) for this road trip.
Where to stay: Cabin in Southwest Harbor, Maine
Accommodations: 4 guests, 1 bedroom, 1 bed, and 1 bath
Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire
New Hampshire’s National Scenic Byway—also known as the Kancamagus Highway—is a 34.5-mile drive from Lincoln to Conway (or vice versa). The drive takes you through New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, which is especially popular in the fall for its gorgeous foliage.
The drive only takes around two to three hours, but makes the perfect road trip when you check out all the area has to offer. In the White Mountains, not only can you check out breathtaking mountain views, but you can also visit dozens of New Hampshire’s historic covered bridges and natural wonders.
Where to stay: The Overlook House in Carroll County, New Hampshire
Accommodations: 7 guests, 2 bedrooms, 5 beds, and 2 baths
Scenic Byway 12 in Utah
Also known as “A Journey Through Time Scenic Byway, Utah’s Scenic Byway 12 covers around 123 miles of territory and is named one of the country’s All-American Roads. The drive starts at one national park (Dixie National Forest) and ends in another (Capitol Reef National Park), so you can imagine all the fun stops you can make in-between. On the Scenic Byway 12, you’ll find one breathtaking view after another, including the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Kodachrome Basin State Park.
If you’re looking for something more rugged, the scenic backways in Utah can offer a remote, but rewarding, experience. However, it’s recommended to come as prepared as possible and opt for “high-clearance and/or four-wheel drive vehicles” to tackle the roads.
Where to stay: Home with Views in Torrey, Utah
Accommodations: 4 guests, 1 bedroom, 1 bed, and 1 bath
San Juan Skyway in Colorado
It’s no secret that Colorado is home to beautiful nature views. With 26 scenic and historic byways, you can bet that there are an endless amount of drives you can take to get the off the beaten path road trip you’ve been looking for. One of the scenic drives is the San Juan Skyway, a 236-mile loop in southwestern Colorado, that can check off all the boxes for a nature-filled road trip.
The drive — which can take around seven hours — will take you through the San Juan Mountains, historic towns, over 14,000-foot summits, and, depending on the time of the year, lush wildflower meadows. The drive can take around seven hours, so it makes the perfect day trip. Otherwise, you can extend your southwestern Colorado adventures across several days to fully experience the wonders of the San Juan Skyway.
Where to stay: Main Street Retreat in Durango, Colorado
Accommodations: 6 guests, 2 bedrooms, 3 beds, and 1 bath
North Shore Scenic Drive in Minnesota
Drive along Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes of North America, when you take a road trip via the North Shore Scenic Drive (also known as Highway 61 and an All-American Road). From Duluth to Grand Portage, you can experience seven state parks filled with nature trails and waterfalls, local seafood, beaches, lighthouses (including the historic Split Rock Lighthouse), and more during the 154-mile drive.
If you’re looking for even more of an outdoor experience, the Superior Hiking Trail can offer over 300 miles of footpath and over 50 trailheads for hikers, runners, or backpackers up for a challenge. You’ll also find 94 free campsites every five to eight miles along the trail.
Where to stay: Beachside Bungalow in Duluth, Minnesota
Accommodations: 4 guests, 2 bedrooms, 2 beds, and 1 bath