Of all seasons, summer is probably the most highly anticipated by everyone. It’s usually when most people take their vacation. Summer means warm sun; school is out and the time for that long-planned vacation is about to come. One of the most popular vacations is the road trip.

There is somewhat a feeling of freedom while you are driving on the road, whether by your lonesome or with friends or family – you can go wherever you want, roll down your windows, bask in the sun, explore new places, take your time and relax. Not to mention making some stops at quaint roadside cafes or fruit stands.

While driving, there are so many unexpected and beautiful places that you might have passed by if you weren’t in a car, and planning a road trip is one of the best ways to see them up close. From peaceful nature, stunning beaches, and yummy food, here are some of the best road trips to take in the summer.

7 Finger Lakes, New York

Just a quick drive from the busy East Coast, Finger Lakes in Central New York is one of the best road trip destinations with numerous outdoor adventures. A planned trip in this region would involve some refreshing dips into a few of its eleven crystal clear lakes, and a loaded day of sampling through their breweries and distilleries.

You can also visit a few of the over 130 wineries in the region just by following their wine trails, and you can taste test some of their homemade ice cream and local cheeses too. If you are traveling with friends or family, you can also rent out one of the units at Aurora’s Inns and have a retreat at their lakeside with maximum privacy.

6 Pacific Coast Highway

Stretching along the coast of California, this road provides a glimpse of parks, cities, and the stunning Pacific Ocean shoreline. Make a quick stop at Muir Woods and experience the outdoors being welcomed by giant redwood trees and Big Sur’s marine wildlife.

Not only that, this long highway offers more than you can imagine such as Hearst Castle and Point Loma’s old lighthouses. Moreover, making a quick stop at Venice Beach lets you experience the surfer and skater life, and when you want to amp things up and get some luxury, you can swing through Santa Barbara.

5 Destin-Fort Walton Beach

Located in the panhandle of Florida, planning a road trip to Destin-Fort Walton Beach is easy as it is conveniently located near the border of Louisiana, and Alabama. A unique destination for most travelers, it provides various interesting water activities that you and your companions will surely enjoy.

The place is so inviting that you will certainly indulge yourself in their beaches’ cloud-white sands, warm weather, and clear waters. It is also a place where road trippers can enjoy nature, interact with locals, and be served fresh Gulf-to-table food.

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4 Route 66

This historic highway is probably one of the most popular roads in the world. Open your window and let in all the fresh air on this picturesque route. Stretching from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, the famous Route 66 offers many scenic stops along the way, including the Petrified Forest, Meramec Caverns, and the Grand Canyon.

At the end of the trail, you will be greeted by the popular and gorgeous beach of Santa Monica, which is frequented by a lot of locals and tourists. Across from the beach, you’ll find boutiques, malls, and restaurants to dine in while you watch the surfer community pass by.

3 Reno-Lake Tahoe

For the ultimate summer and road trip experience, take a drive to Reno, Lake Tahoe in Nevada. Popularly known as “Biggest Little City,” you can drop by in mid-June and experience live music, local food stalls, and whitewater competitions during the Reno River Festival. You can try your luck at the many casinos as well.

If you do not have the time in June, the following month has Artown, another festival for arts featuring hundreds of artists specializing in theater, dance, music, visual arts, and more. If you are up for more adventure, you can also visit Lake Tahoe and take a dip into its clear waters.

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2 A1A Florida

A1A is a paradise for beach lovers. The road stretches from Miami nearly up to Georgia’s state line where you can enjoy the tastes of Miami, take “turtle walks” at Fort Lauderdale or live simply and visit Delray Beach.

On the other hand, if you want to experience luxury, you land on Jupiter Island, explore the arts in Vero Beach at the J.M. Stringer Gallery of Fine Art or visit centuries-old St. Augustine City.

1 Newport, Rhode Island

For those on the East Coast, Newport offers a road trip like no other. This drive will fill your eyes with wonderful sights like great museums, islands, mountains, and other scenic attractions. Without traveling far, you can experience the culture, heritage, and beauty by touring the coasts of New England.

You can stay at The Chanler hotel at Cliff Walk, and come across a stunning Atlantic Ocean view. The former Newport mansion was transformed into a luxurious boutique hotel. It is hailed as one of the dreamiest hotels in America and is the lone hotel situated on a cliff walk. It is also home to The Café, a New England-themed restaurant that offers casual dining and the more luxurious Cara restaurant.

The summer months are indeed the best time to take a long-awaited road trip. Aside from the sun warming your cheeks and the wind rushing your face, it is also the time where the scenery is the brightest and the drives become more memorable.

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