10 Amazing Summer Road Trip Destinations

This article is not about driving across country for a week to California or Florida or Grandma’s house.  These are general ideas that lie within 2-5 hours of just about anywhere in the United States.

Where can you go with 1 tank of gas or less? When you just want to get away from it all for a few days or a long weekend, the Drive Now Network has some suggestions for you.

Many don’t even require reservations. When the mood strikes, drive today and hit the road.

The Beach

Who doesn’t love the beach? According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, 39% of Americans line in counties on a coastline.  [http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/population.html] Some studies show that nearly 2/3 of Americans live within 100 miles of a coastline.  That is a perfect distance for a road trip.

Pack up your new car. Relax in the sun.  Take a dip in the ocean or gulf waters.  Perhaps take in a sunset.  Life can’t get much better than this.

The Lake

If you aren’t near an ocean, go to the lake! Growing up in St. Louis, going to “the lake” seemed to be written into the law as a mandatory summer activity.

Fresh water. Fishing.  Swimming.  Water skiing.  The possibilities are endless.


Spend a few nights with Mother Nature, roughing it under the stars. Make sure you bring mosquito spray to go with the tent and sleeping bags.  You may even want to consider a fishing pole to catch some dinner.

Transport yourself back in time to days of S’mores and hot dogs by the campfire, scary stories, or just sitting back and enjoying time with close friends.

Canoeing – Float Trip

Do you have a small river within a few hours drive? Spend a lazy day floating with family and friends.

In college we switched from canoes and and rented rafts instead. More people in the boat lowered the cost.  No tipping over, and it’s a little more comfortable.

Helpful Tip: Pack plenty of Zip-Lock bags though for your phones and electronics!  Some large D-Clips can help keep those bags valuables locked in place so they don’t float away.  Maybe attach them to the handle of a cooler so you don’t forget it?


A perfect solution for a “guys weekend”. Tee times, sunshine, and perhaps some cold beer with the boys for good measure.  Take an Uber or Lyft to and from the course for safety if you don’t get a place to stay within walking distance.

Sure, you have familiar tracks where you live, but why not make a weekend out of it and try someplace new? Unfamiliar surroundings make for new adventures.


Whether it’s a ladies weekend or a road trip with your special lady, you can’t miss with a winery trip. Find one near a scenic spot within a few hours’ drive to make things even more memorable.

Book the hotel in advance to make sure you have somewhere to stay and to ensure you can all enjoy what the winery has to offer. Please drink responsibly.

Spa Trips

If wineries or alcohol aren’t your thing, make it a spa day road trip.

Once again, find a scenic area within 2-5 hours from where you live, type it into the www.TripAdvisor.com search bar, and find yourself  the destination of your dreams.

This is one vacation where you come home relaxed and ready to take on the world.

Kids’ Tournament

This may take a bit more planning, but the memories can last a lifetime. Do your kids play baseball, softball, soccer, or another summer sport?  Ask the other parents what they think and get the ball rolling.  Some parents who can not make the trip will welcome the chance to let their kids make an out of town trip without them.

If your kid’s team can’t make a trip, pluck a few players from other teams in the league and make a local “All-Star Team”. Meet some new parents and help your kids make some new friends.

Adventure Trips

The nature of the adventure can vary from where you live. In Colorado and out west, you have no end to the variety of white water rafting destinations.  Most areas have hiking options.  Zipline and biking trail parks can be found all over the country.  In South Florida, head down to the keys for one of the most incredible skydiving experiences in the world near Key West!

Baseball Trip

Are you a sports fan? Go to an out of town baseball game!  Follow your home team for a road game to rattle opposing fans or see a game from the other league.

And don’t sleep on Minor League Baseball for smaller crowds, intimate ballparks, and a truly unique sports watching experience