Satisfy your wanderlust this summer with an epic road trip. From where to go and what to eat, we’ve pulled together a shortlist of ideas to get your imagination going.
Head to Big Sur along the Old Coast Road for an eye into California’s remote coastal forests. The original land route into Big Sur, the Old Coast Road takes you through redwoods into a working ranch and across the Little Sur River. End your drive at Andrew Molera State Park to explore the bluffs and sandy beach below.
Take a trip north to Eureka and experience the charm of this old Victorian logging town. Along the way, drive through the Avenue of the Giants, a 32 mile stretch highway lined with redwoods. Make a pitstop on your way back in Ferndale and enjoy the unparalleled views of the Eel River in this remote village.
Drive down Route 66, once called the “Main Street of America” and explore the Red Carpet Corridor, a 90-mile linear museum between Joliet and Towanda. End your trip with a visit to the Cahokia Mounds to explore the remains of the largest prehistoric city north of Mexico. Be sure to grab a picture in front of the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle in Collinsville.
Located on the Illinois River bluff, Starved Rock State Park boasts some of the state’s most unique natural formations. Hidden in the 2,630-acre forest are sandstone bluffs, deep canyons, and rushing waterfalls. Just south of Starved Rock is Matthiessen State Park whose many mineral springs provide a salt lick spot to the large deer population.
Travel back in time along the Historic National Road. Start in Baltimore and head west toward Garrett County. On the way, stop in Frederick for a quick visit to its historic downtown. Then drive through the last remaining toll house in La Vale. Be sure to take a tour of Tomlinson Inn, constructed in 1818 by the Revolutionary War veteran, in Little Meadows.
Head to Shenandoah Valley for some old-school gems, guaranteed to induce nostalgia for another time and place. Visit the Natural Bridge in Rockbridge County to see the historical landmark deemed one of Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Before you leave, wander around Roanoke and make a stop at the Butterfly Habitat.
Take a trip along the Historic Columbia River Scene Highway from Portland to the Dalles. Stop in Corbett and take in grand basalt cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge. Continue onto the five rushing waterfalls that line the highway: Latourell, Shepperd’s Dell, Bridal Veil, Wahkeena, and Multonomah. Be sure to visit the Bonneville Lock and Dam and say hi to Herman the Sturgeon at the Visitors Center.
Head to Bend in Oregon’s high desert and experience the area’s unique natural and historical landscape. Wander around the Old Ironworks District and take in the art created by local makers. If you’re feeling adventure, hike the Green Lakes Basin and wind through the waterfalls of Fall Creek to an ash canyon and finally to the lake basin.