The road trip. A time-honored tradition. They can be relaxing, revitalizing, and really fun. Some people even consider them spiritual journeys and rites of passage. So while we’ve all heard that the journey is half the fun, there’s no journey unless you choose a destination. Or at least a direction. Here are RightTurn’s top 10 road trip destinations in no particular order. Take it from this road trip veteran, pick any of the 10, and you’ll be headed in the right direction when your journey begins. But before you hit the road, particularly for long trips, getting your vehicle checked out is a must, especially your tires. The last thing you want is to be broken down on the side of the road hundreds of miles away from home. Just imagine getting a flat because you’re riding on old tires, opening your trunk to pull out the spare, and finding out it’s not even there. And that’s one of the less serious things that could go wrong if your vehicle isn’t in good working order from the roof to the tires.
Click on each destination to read more.
1. Las Vegas
This destination may be obvious. Las Vegas has been the endpoint of road trips pretty much since road trips have been a thing. But in recent years Las Vegas has become a great destination for more than just bachelor parties and busloads of geriatrics (although you can still expect to see plenty of these 2 groups). Vegas has become a family-friendly entertainment hub. It’s no longer just casinos. There are great shows, restaurants, and resorts that make the city a great place for anyone to visit.
2. The Grand Canyon
If you’ve never set your eyes on the spectacular sights of the Grand Canyon, you need to get in your car right now and drive. Seriously, right now. Don’t even worry about packing. There are plenty of places to buy a toothbrush along the way. It’s hard to even put into words how amazing The Grand Canyon truly is, and I like to talk. The best I can say is that there is nowhere else in the world like it. Literally.
3. Burlington, Vermont
A small, resort city with a very relaxed vibe and a lot to offer. During the mild summers you can watch the sailboats skim across Lake Champlain with the spectacular Green Mountains as a backdrop. Hotels are relatively sparse in the area, which means you’ll likely have to stay at one of the many quaint bed and breakfasts. If you take a winter road trip, Burlington is close to the best skiing on the East Coast. The colors of the changing leaves alone are reason enough to head to VT in the autumn.
In the words of Tennessee Jed, “Tennessee. There ain’t no place I’d rather be.” For true music lovers, it’s hard to disagree with that statement. But it’s not just music that makes Nashville popular amongst road trippers. There’s plenty of other entertainment. The weather’s almost always nice, and everything is steeped in that comforting Southern charm.
Go visit our neighbor’s to the north. No matter what direction you come from, the drive to Toronto has great sights to offer. Toronto is often called “the most multicultural city in the world.” The multicultural makeup of the city means there’s a lot of variety there, and variety is, as they say, the spice of road trips (or something like that). It won’t be hard to find exactly what you want to do in North America’s 5th largest city. Just make sure to bring your passport. It’s required to get across the border.
6. Montreal, Quebec
If you like the idea of a Canadian road trip, but want to experience something totally different, head for Montreal. The French Canadian heritage makes it feel as if you’ve driven all the way to Europe. There’s something for everyone here. History buffs will love the landmarks and museums. Foodies can get their fill of delicious baked goods on nearly every corner. Fun seekers won’t have any problem finding the nightlife.
You’re probably thinking, “Cleveland?! Yeah right.” Of course I’m partial because this is my hometown, but just hear me out. It actually has a lot to offer. First of all, it’s really inexpensive. There are lots of places to get a world-class meal for the price of a street vendor hotdog in the Big Apple (just ask Iron Chef Michael Symon; he’s a local). We have The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, which is a delight for music lovers. It’s constantly bringing in megastars to perform and give live interviews. We have a casino, nearby beaches, and we’re close to the world’s greatest amusement park, Cedar Point. Just give it a try. You might find it tough to leave. And how many people can say that they’ve taken a road trip to Cleveland?
Miami must be a pretty cool city if a Clevelander is touting it shortly after the Heat won the NBA Finals. It has beautiful beaches, outstanding weather, and an atmosphere that can make anyone feel like a celebrity. Because it’s so far south into Florida, there’s a good chance the road trip there will take a while. The result: the palm trees and sea breeze will be a perfect welcome after all those hours in the car.
9. San Francisco
Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz. Those are just a few of the many draws in San Francisco. Live entertainment abounds in this beautiful city that’s surrounded by water on 3 sides. Because the public transit is great in San Fran, you’ll be able to park your car once you get there and give it a well-deserved rest. It’s hard not love a city with a “come one, come all” feeling like San Francisco.
Known for its coffee culture and its greenness, Seattle is a dream come true for nature lovers and health nuts. It’s one of America’s most bike- and hike-friendly cities. Whether you’re visiting museums, touring public gardens, or dodging cod at Pike Place Fish Market, you’re bound to have fun. And a road trip there can take you through the awe-inspiring Olympic Mountains.
So there you have it. The Right Lane’s top 10 road trip destinations. No matter which one you set out for, or if you’re gutsy enough to head somewhere else, remember to get your vehicle inspected before you leave. That way you only need to worry about one thing, having a good time.