16 Weekend Road Trip Ideas for Summer Adventures

Try these weekend road trips to get you out of the house this summer!

If you’re looking to escape the daily grind, consider a weekend road trip. These brief getaways require minimal planning, are budget-friendly, and can be tailored to suit your interests. Whether you’re drawn to breathtaking landscapes or vibrant city scenes, we’ve got the perfect destinations for you. Here are some of the top quick road trips that promise big adventures in just a couple of days.

1. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina and Virginia

Paved Road and Tunnel Between Tall Green Trees along Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina MSN
Image credit: TallyPic/Depositphotos.

Explore Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile highway known as “America’s Favorite Drive.” This road passes through the Appalachian Highlands, offering expansive views, walking trails, quaint towns, and stunning natural landscapes.

2. Highway 1, California

Paved Highway 1 at Big Sur California Central Coast with Scenic Mountain View and Blue Skies MSN
Image credit: pandionhiatus3/Depositphotos.

The iconic coastal route Highway 1 runs from the tip of San Francisco to the southern edges of California. It’s a stretch filled with cliffside ocean vistas, beaches, and unique attractions like Hearst Castle. Pit stops at cozy towns like Carmel-by-the-Sea add charm to the journey.

3. Route 66, Illinois to California

Flagstaff Arizona City Mountain Town along Route 66 MSN
Image credit: ake1150sb/Depositphotos.

Get a taste of classic America by driving chunks of Route 66 over a weekend. This famous road has old gas stations, diners, and shops that keep the old road’s spirit alive. Also, take advantage of the fabulous car museums and old-school motels.

4. Hana Highway, Hawaii

Paved Road to Hana with Tall Trees MSN
Image credit: MNStudio/Depositphotos.

The 64-mile road to Hana Highway in Hawaii is a tropical paradise. You’ll pass by waterfalls, beaches, and stunning sea cliffs. The road may be curvy, but rich scenes and fragrant air make it a delightful drive. Remember to try some fresh tropical fruits and local food in roadside stalls.

5. Overseas Highway, Florida

Route 1 Overseas Highway in Florida Keys MSN
Image credit: Buurserstraat38/Depositphotos.

Imagine a highway skipping over the ocean—the Overseas Highway does just that, connecting the Florida Mainland with Key West. Each bridge offers views of the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Also, watch for dolphins and sea birds as you make your scenic journey.

6. Columbia River Highway, Oregon

A Beautiful View of Columbia River During the Day MSN
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The Columbia River Highway is a historically significant road dotted with waterfalls. Waterfalls like Multnomah Falls will catch your eye, and the loud river and beautiful views will also grab your attention. Try some local fruit at the quaint roadside stands along the way.

7. Skyline Drive, Virginia

Daytime view from Skyline Drive in Virginia with Mountains and Blue Sky in the Background MSN
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Watch for wildlife as you cruise Shenandoah National Park’s majestic 105-mile drive. This route offers four seasons of splendor, but autumn’s colorful foliage is a true standout.

8. Pacific Coast Highway, Washington to California

Pacific Coast Highway United States MSN
Image credit: focqus/Depositphotos.

The Pacific Coast Highway on the West Coast shows you the ocean, tall trees, and mountains. Stop in small towns or state parks and enjoy the Pacific’s raw beauty. Also, watch for whales and surfers as you travel along this breathtaking coastline.

9. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

Paved Sun Road During Daytime in in Montana with a Tall Tree Blue Skies and White Clouds MSN
Image credit: mkopka/Depositphotos.

Running through Glacier National Park, Going-to-the-Sun road is famous for pristine wilderness views. The road is an engineering wonder, and the scenery of spiked peaks is unmatched. Remember to stop at the lookout spots to see the beautiful valleys and animals.

10. Pikes Peak Highway, Colorado

View of Pikes Peak summit and a Paved Road Blue Sky MSN
Image credit: Emson/Depositphotos.

Pikes Peak Highway leads to the summit of Pikes Peak, one of America’s most famous mountains. This mountain is part of the Rocky Mountains, located in Colorado Springs. The journey up Pikes Peak Highway offers stunning views of green forests, alpine lakes, and the unique geological formations of the Garden of the Gods along the way.

11. Bluebonnet Trail, Texas

A Dirt Road and a Field of Texas Bluebonnet Wildflowers During Daytime MSN
Image credit: rickmcmillin/Depositphotos.

In spring, the Texas Hill Country is covered in bluebonnets, the state flower. If you’re driving on the Bluebonnet Trail, you’ll see blue flowers all around you. This is a beautiful and typically Texan sight, which you might want to capture on camera. Don’t forget to take pictures of the flower fields against the Texas sky; they make great photos.

12. Kancamagus Scenic Byway, New Hampshire

A View During Daytime on The Kancamagus Highway With Mountains Trees and Clouds MSN
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New England displays its colors in the fall along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway route. The winding 34-mile drive is known for covered bridges, old forests, and running rivers. The road also features multiple hiking trails for those seeking an adventurous detour. You might spot animals and find lovely places to eat outdoors, making the trip even better.

13. Route 100, Vermont

Paved Highway During Autumn in Vermont USA MSN
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Route 100 embodies all the charming, small-town qualities typically associated with New England. Sweet small towns meet vast landscapes of mountains and grasslands. 

Every stop along this Vermont route is a delight. Along the way, you’ll also find comforting cafes and shops, perfect for a quick bite or finding souvenirs.

14. Great River Road, Minnesota to Louisiana

Curved Road Along the Mississippi River MSN
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The Great River Road is a road trip alongside the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana. This path lets you see how the area and towns near the river differ from the North to the South.

You can enjoy local music and try special foods like spicy Cajun meals in Louisiana. This journey will also show you how the Mississippi River influences agriculture and businesses in the towns you visit.

15. Natchez Trace Parkway, Tennessee to Mississippi

Double Arch Bridge at Natchez Trace Parkway During Daytime With White Clouds and Blue Skies MSN
Image credit: PixelsAway/Depositphotos.

The 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway is steeped in history, tracing ancient travel routes used by Native Americans and early Europeans. You can explore historical sites, enjoy the rolling hills and deep forests, and appreciate colorful wildflowers and old cemeteries.

16. United States Route 101, Oregon Coast

Pacific Coast Highway United States MSN
Image credit: focqus/Depositphotos.

With rough cliffs, coastal towns, and lighthouses, this route is a spectacle of the Oregon coast. The dramatic coastline is an open invitation for photographers and nature lovers alike. Along the way, you can explore antique shops, eat fresh seafood, and dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean.

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