For Condé Nast Traveler, by Meredith Carey.
A whopping 79 percent of Americans are planning to hit the highway this summer for a road trip, according to AAA, and the options for where to go are nearly endless across our 50 states. But some places lend themselves to road trips better than others, thanks to low gas prices, summer weather, high numbers of national parks and scenic byways, and more. Weighing up 22 contributing factors, WalletHub has pulled together a list of the top states for road trips, from coast to coast.
We’ve spent many an article extolling the beauty of Oregon’s Highway 101. Gas prices may be high, but a drive along the coastal highway, with stops at Cannon Beach, Cape Perpetua, and Astoria, is an item everyone should add to their road trip bucket list.
Honestly, the Amangiri resort, where rooms start at $1,000 with outdoor lounges that frame the desert landscape, is worth a drive through Utah alone. But the desolate beauty of the Beehive State (bet you didn't know that was its nickname) is all part of the charm. Save time for a boat tour of Lake Powell and for a stop at the mystical Antelope Canyon.
Gas prices are some of the highest in the country, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring Washington. You can hit a temperate rainforest in Olympic National Park, a still-active volcano at Mount St. Helens National Monument, and one of the U.S.'s tallest mountains, Mt. Rainier, at 14,000 feet.
4. North Carolina
One of the nation’s most iconic road trips is along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs over 400 miles through North Carolina and Virginia. Make Asheville your foodie home base and drive through the misty mountains with caution. And don’t forget to actually get out of the car on this road trip — hikes to Chimney Rock and the Blowing Rock are not to be missed.
Louisiana is home to one of the friendliest cities in the U.S., while driving through swampland on elevated highways offers some pretty astounding natural views. Head to Atchafalaya, America’s largest swamp, for alligators, Spanish moss, egrets, and some damn good Cajun food.
See the rest of The Best U.S. States for Road Trips on CNTraveler.com
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