5 road trip destinations to mark on your map

If you’ve been dying to get away and feel like you’ve been stuck inside for ages, what seems like the perfect getaway to you? Are there any family road trip ideas you’ve been batting around? What do you do when you’ve been to all those touristy spots with bazillions of people and you really just feel like sightseeing by yourself or with a few friends and family?

Well, the good news is that America has many unbelievably gorgeous locations off the beaten path, which you can lose yourself in without seeing another soul for miles. Check out these five road trip destinations that go far beyond the typical vacations to amusement parks, skylines, and national preserves.

Coconut Trees
Photo by Nextvoyage/Pexels

Hit the road

North, south, east, or west — wherever you live and wherever you want to go, there’s an amazing road trip destination for you. These are our favorites.

Drive down Florida’s over-sea highway…

Most people think that you need to have a sailboat or a yacht to enjoy the Florida Keys. However, that’s anything but the truth! If you’ve never driven across Florida’s Overseas Highway, then you’ve missed out on a unique drive that hits some of the most prominent vacation spots in Florida. However, that’s not the exciting part of the trip!

Along the 113-mile journey, you can go snorkeling at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park or go swimming with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key. However, the not-to-miss sight is the Seven-Mile Bridge, which many consider to be the highlight of the island-hopping route. You definitely won’t want to miss its jaw-dropping view of the sea and its beautiful turquoise color.

…or Hawaii’s Hana Coast Highway

Many people think of Hawaii only as a romantic getaway, and for some, it is. However, there are places on the islands that are perfect for those who crave adventure and the excitement of a sudden adrenaline rush. We’re talking about the Hana Coast Highway on the island of Maui — and its super scary twists and turns. Most of the highway runs along the edges of towering cliffs, and the wrong turn of the steering wheel or an unexpected case of bad breaks could send one wavering uncomfortably and getting quite the scare. (Thankfully, the speed limit is only 25 miles per hour.)

Having said that, the “Divorce Highway” features sights (besides the cliffs and sheer drop-offs) like black sand beaches and stunning waterfalls.

South Dakota’s Black Hills and Badlands

The Badlands National Park and the Black Hills in South Dakota provide visitors with over 5 million acres of forest, grasslands, and rock formations. That’s a lot of scenery to take in! This is one family road trip idea that you’ll want to act on, but it’s recommended that you take a few days to enjoy the view.

Just some of the sights to take in are the jagged geographic deposits on the Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway. They’re millions of years old! You can follow that up by driving north to Spearfish Canyon, where you’ll find breathtaking waterfalls and pink limestone that reaches for the sky.

Minnesota’s North Shore Scenic Drive

One of the more remote destinations to mark on your map is the drive along Lake Superior’s coast. Minnesota’s 142-mile North Shore Scenic Drive provides an excellent opportunity to get away from the trappings of civilization. In fact, there are places along the route with little to no cellphone coverage and the chance to see wildlife that’s hard to see anywhere else.

Some of the exciting things to see outside of nature are the many lighthouses and the Sawtooth Mountains in the distance. Be sure to take warmer clothing if you decide to make this drive since the hottest temperatures along the coast of Lake Superior average only 65 degrees Fahrenheit!

Don’t forget the Texas BBQ Trail!

Yeehaw! There’s something on this road trip for just about everyone. That is if you like trying out different kinds of barbecue! All along this 245-mile route, restaurants offer their own unique take on the perfect BBQ sauce, meat, and more. From the Southside Market, the oldest BBQ joint in the state, Franklin’s BBQ and Iron Works BBQ in Austin, The Salt Lick in Driftwood, and Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart, there’s literally something for everyone on this trail.

Black And White Texas Sign
Photo by Mizzu Cho/Pexels

Get out of the house!

Many people throughout America have never been beyond the borders of their county — or even their state. Of those who have, most stick to the tried-and-true places that everyone sees, like The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or Niagara Falls. Yet, America is teeming with some of the best places for road trips ever! If you’re looking for destinations that are mostly open and outdoors, get out of your house and start down the roads that are less traveled by.

Editors' Recommendations