A road trip is the perfect way to wrap up your summer. Whether you prefer to travel by bicycle, motorcycle, or car, here are a few budget-friendly road trips you should enjoy before summer comes to a close.
End-of-Summer Road Trips by Bicycle
San Juan Islands, Washington
For the eighth year in a row, the League of American Bicyclists ranked Washington as the most bicycle-friendly state in the country. The San Juan Islands, an archipelago that is just a short ferry ride off the coast, is one of the state's best places to ride a bike -- temperatures hover around 70 degrees in the summer, and the air is refreshingly clean.
Orcas Island is the largest island of the archipelago and offers fabulous bicycling opportunities ranging from relatively easy to quite strenuous. Moran State Park is located on Orcas Island and has many mountain biking trails. It is also home to Mount Constitution -- an awesome challenge for road cyclists. The 30-mile route can be grueling, but once you reach the peak, you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of an island-dotted sea. You can choose to camp or treat yourself to a stay at the nearby Doe Bay Resort and Retreat.
The City of Brotherly Love is a fabulous place to ride a bike. Pennsylvania boasts approximately 1,800 miles of rail trails -- defunct railroad lines that have been turned into bike paths. A popular and scenic stretch of rail trail runs for 20 miles from downtown Philadelphia, follows the Schuylkill River, and ends at Valley Forge National Historical Park.
The trail offers numerous access points to businesses and public transportation. It also connects with the popular Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, which is a great place to take a break and snap a few pictures of Philadelphia's skyline. Farther along the Schuylkill River Trail, at Betzwood, you can link up with the Perkiomen Trail. This 19.5-mile trail takes you through parks, wooded areas, and town centers, and much of the route parallels Perkiomen Creek. Once you reach Valley Forge, jump on the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail and explore the park.
End-of-Summer Road Trips by Motorcycle
Skyline Drive, Virginia
If you're looking for another motorcycle road trip to add to your bucket list, you'll love Skyline Drive -- a National Scenic Byway that traverses Shenandoah National Park. The 105-mile mountain road runs along the Blue Ridge Mountains from Front Royal to Waynesboro, Virginia. It offers more than 75 scenic overlooks where you can stretch your legs and take in gorgeous views.
This is a great out-and-back ride, but we suggest breaking it up into two days. Take your time enjoying Skyline Drive's twists and turns -- which require the speed limit to be 35 miles per hour -- and be on the lookout for wildlife. Because of the road's high elevation and tree canopy, you'll stay cool on this ride even during summer. Spend the night at one of the park's campgrounds, or at a biker-friendly establishment like the Iris Inn Bed & Breakfast.
Scenic Byway 12, Utah
Scenic Byway 12 spans 124 miles through some of America's most remote and rugged landscape. There are several points of interest along this route, including Red Canyon and Boulder Mountain, so plan on dedicating a full weekend to riding and exploring. Make sure not to miss Calf Creek Recreation Area. Part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, this desert oasis offers campsites and a stunning 126-foot waterfall.
Scenic Byway 12 offers an impressive number of things to see and do. To get in as much adventure as possible, we suggest riding the byway from west to east, starting at the historic town of Panguitch and ending in Torrey, Utah. When you're hungry, stop at Hell's Backbone Grill located in Boulder, Utah. Be prepared for a journey like no other!
End-of-Summer Road Trips by Car
Lake Champlain Byway, Vermont
The Lake Champlain Byway in northwest Vermont runs for 184 miles from Alburgh to Orwell, Vermont. It passes through the state's largest city, Burlington, and bisects many other quaint New England communities. The byway provides endless photo opportunities of Lake Champlain, the Adirondack Mountains, and Vermont's Green Mountains.
Outdoor recreation abounds along the Lake Champlain Byway. Hiking, boating, and fishing are popular at Grand Isle State Park, and just east of the byway is Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, a bird watcher's paradise. If you enjoy the beach, make sure to stop at Alburgh Dunes State Park.
Florida's Presidential Trail
Starting in Pensacola and ending in Key West, Florida, the Presidential Trail is full of history, intrigue, and beauty. This road trip is over 1,000 miles, so it will take several days -- but it's a great way to celebrate the end of summer and kickoff the election season. Highlights include dining at former president Warren Harding's home in Daytona Beach, visiting the Presidents Hall of Fame in CIermont, and touring former president Harry Truman's Little White House in Key West.
Factor in enough time to visit Dry Tortugas National Park, located 70 miles west of Key West. On the island is Fort Jefferson, where Dr. Samuel Mudd was held prisoner because he was believed to be part of former president Lincoln's assassination. Make sure to rent a snorkel and fins -- the Dry Tortugas has some of the best underwater scenery in the world.
We hope these amazing end-of-summer road trips have inspired you to get out and enjoy one last adventure before the season comes to a close. Which one are you tempted to try?