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Top 10 End Of Summer Road Trips In The U.S.

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As the summer draws to an end, it is the perfect time to go on one last adventure before the fall comes. Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled day trip or a final family getaway, here are 10 memorable road trip suggestions for travelers in the United States.

Top 10 End Of Summer Road Trip Ideas

1. Cruise the Pacific Coast Highway

If you’re looking for some stunning coastal views and seeing all California has to offer, consider a trip down the historic Pacific Coast Highway. It takes around 10 hours to drive the entire Pacific Coast Highway, but taking a few days to make your way down the coast will allow you to truly enjoy this trip. Starting in San Francisco, you will wind your way down the coast to the equally gorgeous San Diego. Some notable potential stops include Big Sur and Santa Cruz.

Pacific Coast Highway

2. Explore The Olympic Peninsula

Looking for a Pacific North West road trip idea? Consider exploring Washington State’s gorgeous Olympic Peninsula. The area is home to Olympic National Park, which includes memorable spots like the Hoh Rainforest and Ruby Beach. Once you’re done exploring the great outdoors, consider a stop in Port Angeles for some great food and shopping. Or, head over to Forks, WA to see some fun Twilight-related tourist stops. The trip could be done in a day, but spreading it out over a few days would allow you plenty of time for hiking, shopping, and fully taking in the area.

Olympic Peninsula

3. Travel The East Coast

If you're looking for a bit of a longer road trip or one that will truly allow you to see the east coast, consider road-tripping from New York to Florida (or vice versa). The trip takes approximately 17 hours of driving, so it could easily be split between a few days with time for stops. Passing through other notable places such as Washington D.C. and New Jersey, this is a great road trip to take your time exploring on as you make your way to your destination.

East Coast

4. Explore Hudson Valley

If you’re looking to see more of New York than just New York City, consider heading out to Hudson Valley. Full of scenic countryside and farmlands, the area is also ripe with history. Consider stopping at some of the valley’s historic sites, such as The Rockefeller Estate or Phillipsburg Manor. Many of the tours that are generally offered of such sites are on pause due to the pandemic, but you can still view the buildings from the outside.

Hudson Valley

5. Traverse the Historic Columbia River Highway

Another great option for those looking to experience the Pacific Northwest. This highway takes you through the gorgeous Oregon countryside – right past popular sightseeing spots such as Multnomah Falls. In total, the highway spans 70-miles. This makes it a great choice for those looking for a day trip. If you’re looking for a longer trip, though, you could also add ample hiking and exploration time to your journey, and there are plenty of camping sites in the area.

Historic Columbia River Scenic Highway

6. Take On Route 66

No list of road trip suggestions would be complete without at least a mention of the iconic Route 66. This historic, at its full length, spans over 2,400 miles. Beginning in Illinois, and ending in California, this road trip could take as long as three weeks if you’re looking to both go the entire length and make ample stops along the way. If you’re looking for a shorter trip, however, you could instead opt to only travel a segment of the road.

Route 66

7. Travel the Alaska Highway

Looking to truly get away from it all? Consider a road trip down the Alaska Highway. Early September can be a great time to do this, as the days haven’t begun to fully shorten yet and vibrant purple fireweed is often in full bloom. If you’re traveling in an RV, you won’t have to worry about making advance lodging reservations as much. If you’re traveling by car, however, last-minute lodging can be scarce, and you may want to consider planning ahead with reservations as much as possible.

Alaska Highway

8. Enjoy Blue Ridge Parkway

This scenic drive spans 469 miles from Virginia to North Carolina. A great way to take in the scenery of areas such as Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the road will showcase beautiful foliage and pass through several cozy towns. A word of caution – there are currently two closures on the road due to storm damage, meaning visitors in the near future may have to take a detour or opt to travel a shorter segment of the road.

Blue Ridge Parkway

9. Travel the Outer Banks Scenic Byway

Outer Banks isn’t just the name of a popular tv show – it’s also a possible upcoming road trip! Located in North Carolina, this scenic road winds through several villages and along gorgeous stretches of scenery. If you’re looking to go the entire length of the road, two ferry trips are also required – the byway spans several islands as well. Another road trip that is great for both a day trip or a longer trip of a few days, this is a great end-of-summer option for relaxation.

Outer Banks

10. Cruise The Overseas Highway

Experience a one-of-a-kind road trip by traversing Florida’s Overseas Highway. Spanning 113-mile, the highway features stretches of gorgeous scenery, as well as its most notable attraction, the 7-Mile Bridge. Its shorter length makes it perfect for a fun day trip with friends or family.

Overseas Highway

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