What’s the best part about the summer season? There’s no easy way to answer this question. Of course, the bright and warm sun rays offer much-needed respite after the freezing cold winter months. You feel more energized and motivated to explore the outdoors.
It’s the perfect time to hike the nearby trails or parks, or take a refreshing stroll at the closest beach or lake. Then there’s the string of afternoon picnics and backyard BBQ parties that you get to enjoy with friends and loved ones. For a lot of people, the summer months often translates to family time.
With most schools offering summer break spanning 10 or more weeks, this is the ideal opportunity for family bonding. And what better way to spend quality time with your family than enjoying a fun-filled road trip? Whether you enjoy the beaches, mountains, or wildlife, you’ll find a cornucopia of road trip destinations across the country, or even close by.
Planning the Perfect Family Road Trip
If you’ve tried organizing a road trip for your family, you’d know that it’s easier said than done. To begin with, you need to choose a destination that satisfies everyone’s travel preferences. Also, you need to have a fair idea of the route and create an itinerary that ensures fun for everyone. You may even have to accommodate for plenty of interesting pit stops to keep the fun and excitement going.
Music is another indispensable element of every memorable road trip. The right songs can go a long way to set the tone for your road trip and fill any spells of silence during the journey. That’s why curating a good playlist with everyone’s favorite tracks is essential for enjoying your family road trip.
In this blog, we’ll shortlist the top destinations you should consider for your family road trip this summer. We’ll also provide you with the tools to build the ultimate playlist for your upcoming trip. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started.
Best Summer Road Trip Destinations
A road trip is one of the most enriching experiences your children can have during their summer break. It’ll also give them something to talk about with their friends once schools reopen. Here are our tops picks for road trip destinations you should consider this summer:
1. Pacific Coast Highway
When it comes to road trips, the journey is often more rewarding than the destination. The Pacific Coast Highway is the perfect embodiment of this sentiment. It gives you a thorough glimpse of the picturesque West Coast and is highly recommended if your kids have an affinity toward beaches.
If you’ve got a few days to spare, you should consider covering the entire length of the highway. Otherwise, you’ll have to choose between the Pacific Coast Highway 101 and Pacific Coast Highway 1 routes. Make sure you take plenty of breaks and explore various gems, including San Luis Obispo, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Hearst Castle.
2. Route 66
The original Route 66, which connected Chicago and Los Angeles, has been replaced by the Interstate highway system. Nevertheless, it continues to offer the most quintessential American road trip experience. Replete with old highway towns and desert plains, it’s going to be a historically enriching journey for you kids.
It offers a vivid glimpse of the country’s Midwest, Great Plains, and Southwest. Start your journey in Chicago and head to Albuquerque via Tulsa and Amarillo. Don’t forget to visit the one-of-its-kind Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. Next, head towards the Californian Coast, stopping at Los Angeles to explore the city’s attractions. Conclude your trip with a Ferris wheel ride at Santa Monica Pier.
3. Grand Canyon National Park
Are you looking for a road trip that’ll let your family marvel at the astounding landscape of Arizona? Then it’s high time you pack your bags and head to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon National Park. The sun kissed city of Tucson is the perfect base to start your journey. Make your way to the ethereal desert town of Sedona via Scottsdale before heading to the Grand Canyon.
4. Maine Lobster Trail
If you’re looking for an offbeat road trip experience this summer, the Maine Lobster Trail is your best bet. Strewn with dainty villages and a plethora of eateries, the trail gives you an intimate glimpse of the American East Coast. Also, you get to embark on a mind-blowing gastronomical journey with your family. It might be just the cheerful weekend trip you need to have a blast with your kids.
5. Blue Ridge Parkway
Do you want to treat your kids to the ultimate summer road trip? Does the idea of a 469-mile-long road trip connecting two scenic national parks sound exciting to your family? Wouldn’t it be great if the route was also strewn with a picture-perfect assortment of multi-hued wildflowers?
Have you answered “yes” to any of the above questions? Then a road trip along the Blue Ridge Highway is just what you need. It connects the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Don’t forget to stop mid-way to marvel at the scenery and explore the surrounding hiking trails.
Summer Road Trip Playlist Ideas
It’s difficult to put together the ultimate summer road trip playlist that’ll suit everyone on your trip. Instead of relying on a Google search, make it a point to involve your trip companions in the process. Ask each person to pick their favorite songs and build a playlist that caters to different tastes.
Make sure you cover different genres, including rock, pop, country, etc. Also, don’t forget to add a few of your go-to karaoke favorites to show off those pipes.
Here are a few recommendations for your playlist:
- Firework – Katy Perry
- Rolling in the Deep – Adele
- Moves like Jagger – Maroon 5
- Rocket Man – Elton John
- Imagine – John Lennon
- Tambourine Man – Bob Dylan
- Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas
- Summer of ‘69 – Bryan Adams
- Mamma Mia – ABBA
- Fireflies – Owl City
Apart from music, you should also consider listening to a new podcast, or catching up on your favorites. Alternatively, you may also enjoy listening to an audiobook, such as Alice in Wonderland or the Harry Potter series.