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5 Fun U.S. Road Trip Destinations this Summer

by Aoife O'Riordan

May 17, 2023

© Jerry Quebe

Destinations / North America

Family travelers can’t go wrong with a road trip, and the United States teems with scenic routes and fun-filled destinations. This summer, consider these five road trip destinations for an unforgettable vacation the whole family can enjoy.



© Jeff Adkins


Great Smoky Mountains National Park abounds with rich animal and plant life and is a hiker’s and mountain lover’s paradise. With more than 800 miles of maintained trails, hundreds of miles of scenic roads and countless waterfalls and overlooks to geological features and historic buildings, there’s too many reasons to make this a road trip hub. Looking for even more driving inspiration in this area? Cades Cove is an 11-mile, one-way look with various hiking opportunities within the park. This loop also features buildings dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries and boasts beautiful views of the mountains.



Nebraska may not be the first state that comes to mind when thinking of a road trip, but the state actually features nine scenic byways. To the west, Carhenge, Chimney Rock and Geological Park await, while Valentine in northern Nebraska features Niobrara River and the chance to stargaze at Merritt Reservoir, recently named one of the darkest places in the world. In eastern Nebraska, Omaha and Lincoln offer a plethora of activities, such as the award-winning Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and Fontenelle Forest.


New Mexico

© Albuquerque

New Mexico

Embark on America’s most iconic drive along Historic Route 66 through Albuquerque and beyond. Start the trip at Tingley Beach, where you can keep an eye out for wildlife, go hiking and visit ABQ BioPark. This park features a zoo, aquarium and botanic gardens. Through Old Town Albuquerque, you’ll find a blend of the Old West with the new, including shopping, dining and entertainment options.


© Walton County Tourism Department


Down in South Walton lies the postcard-perfect 30A highway. This highway passes relaxed beach towns with unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean. While in South Walton, head out on a fishing charter excursion at Grayton Beach State Park, or take photos in front of classic pastel beach houses in Seaside (fun fact: The Truman Show filmed here). In Blue Mountain Beach, the whole family can rent bikes, explore Timpoochee Trail and end the day with some ice cream at Blue Mountain Beach Creamery.



With several cities and towns sharing names with European counterparts, this unique road trip makes for great stories and memories. In Indiana’s little Milan, you’ll find the ‘54 Hoosiers Basketball Museum and Swiss Heritage Village. Over in Warsaw, explore its many scenic lakes and parks. In Oldenburg, often called Village of Spires,  this German-style town features festivals, beer and restaurants with German flair. Other German eateries across the state include Schnitzelbank in Jasper, Gerst Haus in Evansville and Moser’s Austrian Café in New Carlisle.


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