America’s best long-weekend escapes



Slide 1 of 39: Road trips don’t need to be stretched over a fortnight to be epic and vacations needn’t last forever (much as we’d like them to). You can pack plenty of fun into a long weekend, making the most of national holidays or just making your annual leave work extra hard. There are endless possibilities for mini-breaks and twin-center holidays across the US, but we’ve picked out a few favorites to get you started. Now you just need some wheels and a sense of adventure.
Slide 2 of 39: This probably isn’t one for the height of summer (no amount of air con will keep you from melting). But the drive between these two cities, both of which ooze their own version of Wild West charm, is perfect in spring and fall, and still balmy in winter. Scottsdale’s downtown streets, lined with olive trees, are home to steak restaurants and art galleries. Stop at Taliesin West, former home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, before hitting the road.
Slide 3 of 39: You’ll pass through Phoenix and cacti-filled Desert Botanical Garden before reaching Yuma – one of the sunniest places on Earth. There’s more to it than the weather though. The Sonoran Desert city is packed with railroad history and is home to the fascinating Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, a 19th-century prison that’s now a museum.
Slide 4 of 39: Follow the well-trodden Hollywood escape route taken by the likes of Presley, Sinatra and Monroe, who flocked east from LA when they needed a break from the pressures of fame. After exploring the nightlife, endless dining choices and frenetic energy of the City of Angels, feel the crowds and traffic fall away on the drive to retro-heaven Palm Springs, where you can wander palm-dotted streets and peer at mid-century modern homes. Check out our brilliant guides to Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

Slide 5 of 39: Life is even more laid-back and peaceful in Joshua Tree National Park, less than an hour’s drive from Palm Springs. Its inky, unpolluted skies draw stargazers and photographers year round. We defy anyone not to feel a little overawed by the twinkly skies and the landscape dotted with gnarly Joshua trees and huge, smooth boulders.
Slide 6 of 39: How much fun can you possibly pack into one weekend? This trip will push it to the limit, starting with jazz, jambalaya, blues and brunch cocktails in the Big Easy. Follow your ears to find the music (clue: it’s everywhere) and your nose to find the delicious Creole cuisine (clue: it’s everywhere). Then head north and east, passing the tangled trees and soupy swamps of Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge before skimming along the Gulf Coast. Find our full guide to New Orleans here.
Slide 7 of 39: You’ll cut through Mississippi’s coast, edged with incredibly white beaches. Pretty Bay St Louis and Biloxi, home to sparkling beaches, casinos and fishing piers, are worth stopping for, as is Gulf Islands National Seashore, with views of barrier islands. Arriving in Mobile is like returning to New Orleans, albeit a smaller, quieter version. Visit a museum dedicated to the original Mardi Gras, shuck locally harvested oysters and walk around streets lined with Creole and shotgun architecture.
Slide 8 of 39: College town Wilmington blends old-fashioned Southern charm with dramatic coastal beauty – it's laced with beaches, marshes and barrier islands. Try to catch sunrise over Wrightsville Beach where lilac, orange and pink swirls cast dramatic light on the pale sand, before heading inland on a trip that takes you through some of the state’s most beguiling destinations.
Slide 9 of 39: Potential stops include Raleigh (known for its restaurants and craft breweries), garden-filled Chapel Hill and historic Winston-Salem. But the main event is the wine. Taste it at JOLO, whose award-winning reds include vintages made with native grapes, or Divine Llama Vineyards, which really is home to llamas – around 60 of them in fact. There are three dozen or so wineries in the Yadkin Valley, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Discover more of America's best wineries you can visit

Slide 10 of 39: There isn’t too much driving on this trip, though it packs in more urban and natural attractions than many longer journeys. Start off in Tampa, whose downtown is a refreshing blend of local-centric bars, diverse dining, art galleries and cool souvenir shops. Stroll the Riverwalk, a raised walkway along the Hillsborough River, at sunset before hopping on the free streetcar to Ybor City, founded by cigar magnates in 1885 and still steeped in Cuban culture. Find what else to do in Tampa here.
Slide 11 of 39: The drive up to Crystal River takes around two hours if you take the coast-hugging scenic route, passing mangroves, swamps and wildlife preserves like Chassahowitzka. It’s all leading up to the best natural attraction of all: swimming with manatees. Crystal River is the only place in the US where you can swim with the mammals in the wild and snorkeling in the presence of these gentle, seagrass-munching giants is a humbling, surprisingly peaceful experience.
Slide 12 of 39: Sure, you can hop on a ferry to reach P-Town (as locals, and anyone cool enough to pull it off, call Provincetown). But where’s the fun in that? Take the longer route instead and you get a trip that combines the history and modern charms of Boston with coast-skimming roads and broad, burnished beaches.
Slide 13 of 39: Cape Cod curls around the bay like a flexed arm. Pretty much anywhere is a good place to stop but we recommend catching sunset at LeCount Hollow Beach and cycling past cranberry bogs and pine trees on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. After you've worked up an appetite, head into funky, dune-backed P-Town for lobster mac ‘n’ cheese at The Canteen or charcuterie and cocktails at Strangers & Saints.
Slide 14 of 39: Hip (and hoppy) Portland has plenty to fill a weekend. In fact, you could spend days sipping craft beer and barely make a dent in the session IPAs, or taste even a fraction of the menu at Voodoo Doughnut. Not to mention the art scene, food trucks, vintage stores and acclaimed organic restaurants... but Oregon’s stunning coastline is worth leaving town for.

Slide 15 of 39: Drive past swathes of thick state forest to reach Seaside, a fun surf town and the perfect gateway to the area’s dark honey beaches, bluffs and sea stacks that rise dramatically from the ocean. Watch surfers and feast on fresh seafood in Seaside, hike trails at Ecola State Park, or just plonk yourself in the sand and revel in the crowd-free beauty of it all.
Slide 16 of 39: This is the ultimate escape for music lovers – or anyone who likes their road trips to come with equal doses of culture and fun. Start off by walking on Beale Street, whose fizzing neon signs beckon passersby into blues bars, BBQ joints and record stores. Graceland is also a must, whether or not you’re a fan of the King. Elvis’ mansion lives up to the hype thanks to a stylish tour that takes visitors past the Jungle Room and to the singer’s grave.
Slide 17 of 39: Continue the music pilgrimage on the road, down the Blues Highway as Route 61 is known. It wiggles down through Mississippi to Clarksdale, where Morgan Freeman co-owns Ground Zero Blues Club next door to the small yet sweeping Delta Blues Museum, and continues to Jackson, home to blues clubs and juke joints like Blue Front Cafe, just outside the city.
Slide 18 of 39: You could drive in any direction from Salt Lake City and hit some truly gorgeous scenery. This is Utah, after all. Breathe in the hip, high-perched city’s crisp air and take in the mountain views – so perfect they look like stage backdrops – before motoring south.
Slide 19 of 39: The road passes peaks and hiking trails, should you feel like stopping to stretch your legs with a steep climb. Take the slower, scenic route through Manti-La Sal National Forest and stop to explore aspen groves, sandstone canyons and mountain lakes. It’s a good way to build up for setting eyes on Bryce Canyon – this jagged sprawl of red and apricot hoodoos, towering above stretches of alpine forest, is jaw-droppingly beautiful.
Slide 20 of 39: You’ll want to spend a little time exploring the galleries, markets and Pueblo revival architecture of New Mexico’s enchanting state capital, where centuries-old plazas and chapels sit comfortably alongside contemporary art installations and murals. Then, take the High Road – quite literally. The route winds and curls through thick forest that opens up to views of the red-and-gray Jemez Mountains.
Slide 21 of 39: The road continues to the traditional weaving village of Chimayó and El Santuario de Chimayó, a church dating back to 1816 whose “miraculous dirt” is believed by some to have healing properties. Tour Taos Pueblo, whose 1,000-year-old adobe buildings are still occupied, before returning to Santa Fe via a different route. The Low Road loops back from Taos and unveils entirely different landscapes, weaving down to the banks of the Rio Grande and ducking through a narrow canyon.
Slide 22 of 39: The George Parks Highway, or Parks Highway, joins Anchorage and Fairbanks, slicing through 323 miles of wilderness, rivers and lakes, with sightings of North America’s tallest peak, Denali, along the way. Allow time to explore Anchorage’s galleries, museums and live music scene, but the drive really is the star of this trip.
Slide 23 of 39: The highway follows the eastern edge of Denali National Park before cutting across a corner of the vast wilderness, which sprawls over six million acres. The park’s alpine forest and mountain slopes are home to curly-horned Dall’s sheep, wolves, grizzlies and black bears. Fairbanks’ forested riverbanks and downtown offer further adventure. Visit in summer for the midnight sun, or from August to April for a chance to see the sky swirl with the Northern Lights.  Discover more unexpected places to see the Northern Lights
Slide 24 of 39: The excitement of New York City’s buzzing streets and the wide-open, natural beauty of the Finger Lakes are a classic combination. Gaze at Manhattan’s gleaming skyline, explore the glamorous nightlife and pound streets lined with brownstones and boutiques. Then swap it all for a landscape of skinny, jagged lakes, wineries and wildlife. Check out our guide to the Big Apple to make the most of your time there.
Slide 25 of 39: The traffic thins out and life slows to a leisurely pace at Cayuga Lake, one of 11 spindly stretches of water that make up the Finger Lakes. They’re all beautiful but Cayuga’s two dozen wineries – some of which can be accessed via boat or kayak – make it stand out. An 86-mile road skims the lake’s edge and passes parks, villages with art studios and Montezuma Wildlife Refuge, home to bald eagles and waterfowl.
Slide 26 of 39: Combine a Cali classic with an underrated beauty on the Northern California coast. The journey is as lovely as the cities on either side, beginning with a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge. Then there’s a tough choice: wine country or coast. You can drive through Sonoma County, stopping at charming towns like foodie Healdsburg, or hug the coastline on the Highway 1.
Slide 27 of 39: Highway 1 will take a little longer but with views of salt marshes, driftwood beaches and, further up, coastal redwoods, you’ll hardly care. Especially when you hit Mendocino, a natural coastal beauty that rivals California’s famous Big Sur. Cliffs curl around honey-sand beaches strewn with driftwood, while Anderson Valley’s boutique wineries line forested Highway 28.
Slide 28 of 39: You could motor between these two Texas Hill County cities in just over an hour. And, from Austin’s hip nightlife, music scene and beloved BBQ joints to the restaurants and art that flank San Antonio’s Riverwalk, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. But adding in Fredericksburg really completes the triangle. Check out our complete guide to Austin here.
Slide 29 of 39: The German-settled town of Fredericksburg, surrounded by wineries, combines proud heritage with modern twists on its past, from food to art. Take a detour to hike up the huge granite boulders of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area before looping down to San Antonio, where disused brewery Pearl is the place to hang out. The micro-district, just off the Riverwalk, has boutiques, a food hall, restaurants and a hotel in buildings once dedicated to brewing beer. Discover more reasons to visit San Antonio here.
Slide 30 of 39: There are only around 40 miles between these two coastal beauties but you’ll want to take your time meandering down roads that skim past bays, beaches and breakwaters. Portland itself is wonderfully walkable, with the liveliest stretch of restaurants, bars and restaurants tucked along the cobbled streets of the Old Port by the waterfront. Allow time to explore the art scene, including works by Warhol and Monet at the Portland Museum of Art.
Slide 31 of 39: Stop at Cape Elizabeth to see the lighthouse and walk out onto the craggy rocks, stroll on the sandy beaches of Kennebunkport and hike around the salt marshes of Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. In Ogunquit, watch the lobstermen of Perkin’s Cove pull in their catch then try some of the sweet seafood at one of the town’s shacks or waterside restaurants.
Slide 32 of 39: Cities don’t come much more stylish than Chicago. Public art installations, including the famous Cloud Gate sculpture or "The Bean”, have become as integral to the landscape as the Art Deco skyscrapers, water views and deep-dish pizza.
Slide 33 of 39: Loop around a corner of vast Lake Michigan en route to Ann Arbor, which has been stealing some of the limelight from Detroit recently. The University of Michigan Museum of Art has a collection covering everything from African architecture to Picasso, while – like many university cities – its food scene is drawing attention too, from trendy brunch spots to classics like Zingerman’s Deli, which also runs food tours.
Slide 34 of 39: Savannah wears its Southern charm like its majestic oak trees are clothed with soft Spanish moss – with pure, old-fashioned elegance. Wander streets of Georgian mansions, sip craft beer and browse art in old cotton warehouses by the waterfront, and stroll around cemeteries with sculptures and tall mausoleums.
Slide 35 of 39: Jekyll Island, an easy, scenic drive along a coastline laced with beaches, marshes and barrier islands, packs up the same charm and elegance and takes it to the seaside. One of Georgia’s Golden Isles, it’s accessible by car but feels cut off from the rest of the world. Windswept oaks and tangles of driftwood form a backdrop to soft-sand beaches, while trails wind into the woods.
Slide 36 of 39: From beautiful people strutting on South Beach to free-range cockerels strutting on Duval Street, Miami and Key West are both the same – and eons apart. Both cities share a free spirit and a strong sense of fun but, while Miami wears its character like a slick designer jacket, Key West wears just whatever it feels like at any particular moment. In other words, it’s weird and proud of it.
Slide 37 of 39: Driving on the Overseas Highway, which soars over the water, is alone worth the trip. Stop at Islamorada, Bahia Honda State Park and Marathon’s adorable and thought-provoking Turtle Hospital before arriving in quirky Key West, where the party rarely stops. Seek out the buoy which marks the southernmost point in the continental US. Find more tips and plan the ultimate south Florida road trip here.
Slide 38 of 39: There are two main routes from Seattle to Olympic National Park, each of them as scenic as the next. One involves catching a ferry from the port city and driving on roads that soar between forested islands with waterfront homes and tiny towns. Another is to circle south, skimming past the coastal inlets and stopping in Olympia, the cool state capital. Either way, it’s a perfect excuse for stocking up on treats from Pike Place Market before hitting the road. Find our guide to Seattle here.  For more road trip inspiration, check out the most beautiful RV journeys in the US
Slide 39 of 39: Once you reach the vast park, whose landscape ranges from glacier-capped mountains to sandy beaches, you can take the 329-mile Olympic Peninsula Loop around its edges – or choose an area or two to explore in more depth. One of the most beautiful pockets is Hoh Rain Forest where old-growth trees are cloaked with emerald moss.  Now take a look at stunning photos of America's most scenic roads

Easy getaways

Scottsdale to Yuma, Arizona

This probably isn’t one for the height of summer (no amount of air con will keep you from melting). But the drive between these two cities, both of which ooze their own version of Wild West charm, is perfect in spring and fall, and still balmy in winter. Scottsdale’s downtown streets, lined with olive trees, are home to steak restaurants and art galleries. Stop at Taliesin West, former home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, before hitting the road.

Scottsdale to Yuma, Arizona

You’ll pass through Phoenix and cacti-filled Desert Botanical Garden before reaching Yuma – one of the sunniest places on Earth. There’s more to it than the weather though. The Sonoran Desert city is packed with railroad history and is home to the fascinating Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, a 19th-century prison that’s now a museum.

Los Angeles to Joshua Tree, California

Follow the well-trodden Hollywood escape route taken by the likes of Presley, Sinatra and Monroe, who flocked east from LA when they needed a break from the pressures of fame. After exploring the nightlife, endless dining choices and frenetic energy of the City of Angels, feel the crowds and traffic fall away on the drive to retro-heaven Palm Springs, where you can wander palm-dotted streets and peer at mid-century modern homes. Check out our brilliant guides to Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

Los Angeles to Joshua Tree, California

Life is even more laid-back and peaceful in Joshua Tree National Park, less than an hour’s drive from Palm Springs. Its inky, unpolluted skies draw stargazers and photographers year round. We defy anyone not to feel a little overawed by the twinkly skies and the landscape dotted with gnarly Joshua trees and huge, smooth boulders.

New Orleans, Louisiana to Mobile, Alabama

How much fun can you possibly pack into one weekend? This trip will push it to the limit, starting with jazz, jambalaya, blues and brunch cocktails in the Big Easy. Follow your ears to find the music (clue: it’s everywhere) and your nose to find the delicious Creole cuisine (clue: it’s everywhere). Then head north and east, passing the tangled trees and soupy swamps of Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge before skimming along the Gulf Coast. Find our full guide to New Orleans here.

New Orleans, Louisiana to Mobile, Alabama

You’ll cut through Mississippi’s coast, edged with incredibly white beaches. Pretty Bay St Louis and Biloxi, home to sparkling beaches, casinos and fishing piers, are worth stopping for, as is Gulf Islands National Seashore, with views of barrier islands. Arriving in Mobile is like returning to New Orleans, albeit a smaller, quieter version. Visit a museum dedicated to the original Mardi Gras, shuck locally harvested oysters and walk around streets lined with Creole and shotgun architecture.

Wilmington to Yadkin Valley, North Carolina

Wilmington to Yadkin Valley, North Carolina

Potential stops include Raleigh (known for its restaurants and craft breweries), garden-filled Chapel Hill and historic Winston-Salem. But the main event is the wine. Taste it at JOLO, whose award-winning reds include vintages made with native grapes, or Divine Llama Vineyards, which really is home to llamas – around 60 of them in fact. There are three dozen or so wineries in the Yadkin Valley, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Discover more of America’s best wineries you can visit

Tampa to Crystal River, Florida

There isn’t too much driving on this trip, though it packs in more urban and natural attractions than many longer journeys. Start off in Tampa, whose downtown is a refreshing blend of local-centric bars, diverse dining, art galleries and cool souvenir shops. Stroll the Riverwalk, a raised walkway along the Hillsborough River, at sunset before hopping on the free streetcar to Ybor City, founded by cigar magnates in 1885 and still steeped in Cuban culture. Find what else to do in Tampa here.

Tampa to Crystal River, Florida

The drive up to Crystal River takes around two hours if you take the coast-hugging scenic route, passing mangroves, swamps and wildlife preserves like Chassahowitzka. It’s all leading up to the best natural attraction of all: swimming with manatees. Crystal River is the only place in the US where you can swim with the mammals in the wild and snorkeling in the presence of these gentle, seagrass-munching giants is a humbling, surprisingly peaceful experience.

Boston to Provincetown, Massachusetts

Sure, you can hop on a ferry to reach P-Town (as locals, and anyone cool enough to pull it off, call Provincetown). But where’s the fun in that? Take the longer route instead and you get a trip that combines the history and modern charms of Boston with coast-skimming roads and broad, burnished beaches.

Boston to Provincetown, Massachusetts

Cape Cod curls around the bay like a flexed arm. Pretty much anywhere is a good place to stop but we recommend catching sunset at LeCount Hollow Beach and cycling past cranberry bogs and pine trees on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. After you’ve worked up an appetite, head into funky, dune-backed P-Town for lobster mac ‘n’ cheese at The Canteen or charcuterie and cocktails at Strangers & Saints.

Portland to Seaside, Oregon

Hip (and hoppy) Portland has plenty to fill a weekend. In fact, you could spend days sipping craft beer and barely make a dent in the session IPAs, or taste even a fraction of the menu at Voodoo Doughnut. Not to mention the art scene, food trucks, vintage stores and acclaimed organic restaurants… but Oregon’s stunning coastline is worth leaving town for.

Portland to Seaside, Oregon

Drive past swathes of thick state forest to reach Seaside, a fun surf town and the perfect gateway to the area’s dark honey beaches, bluffs and sea stacks that rise dramatically from the ocean. Watch surfers and feast on fresh seafood in Seaside, hike trails at Ecola State Park, or just plonk yourself in the sand and revel in the crowd-free beauty of it all.

Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi

This is the ultimate escape for music lovers – or anyone who likes their road trips to come with equal doses of culture and fun. Start off by walking on Beale Street, whose fizzing neon signs beckon passersby into blues bars, BBQ joints and record stores. Graceland is also a must, whether or not you’re a fan of the King. Elvis’ mansion lives up to the hype thanks to a stylish tour that takes visitors past the Jungle Room and to the singer’s grave.

Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi

Continue the music pilgrimage on the road, down the Blues Highway as Route 61 is known. It wiggles down through Mississippi to Clarksdale, where Morgan Freeman co-owns Ground Zero Blues Club next door to the small yet sweeping Delta Blues Museum, and continues to Jackson, home to blues clubs and juke joints like Blue Front Cafe, just outside the city.

Salt Lake City to Bryce Canyon, Utah

Salt Lake City to Bryce Canyon, Utah

The road passes peaks and hiking trails, should you feel like stopping to stretch your legs with a steep climb. Take the slower, scenic route through Manti-La Sal National Forest and stop to explore aspen groves, sandstone canyons and mountain lakes. It’s a good way to build up for setting eyes on Bryce Canyon – this jagged sprawl of red and apricot hoodoos, towering above stretches of alpine forest, is jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Santa Fe to Taos, New Mexico

You’ll want to spend a little time exploring the galleries, markets and Pueblo revival architecture of New Mexico’s enchanting state capital, where centuries-old plazas and chapels sit comfortably alongside contemporary art installations and murals. Then, take the High Road – quite literally. The route winds and curls through thick forest that opens up to views of the red-and-gray Jemez Mountains.

Santa Fe to Taos, New Mexico

The road continues to the traditional weaving village of Chimayó and El Santuario de Chimayó, a church dating back to 1816 whose “miraculous dirt” is believed by some to have healing properties. Tour Taos Pueblo, whose 1,000-year-old adobe buildings are still occupied, before returning to Santa Fe via a different route. The Low Road loops back from Taos and unveils entirely different landscapes, weaving down to the banks of the Rio Grande and ducking through a narrow canyon.

Anchorage to Fairbanks, Alaska

Anchorage to Fairbanks, Alaska

The highway follows the eastern edge of Denali National Park before cutting across a corner of the vast wilderness, which sprawls over six million acres. The park’s alpine forest and mountain slopes are home to curly-horned Dall’s sheep, wolves, grizzlies and black bears. Fairbanks’ forested riverbanks and downtown offer further adventure. Visit in summer for the midnight sun, or from August to April for a chance to see the sky swirl with the Northern Lights.

Discover more unexpected places to see the Northern Lights

New York City to Cayuga Lake, New York

The excitement of New York City’s buzzing streets and the wide-open, natural beauty of the Finger Lakes are a classic combination. Gaze at Manhattan’s gleaming skyline, explore the glamorous nightlife and pound streets lined with brownstones and boutiques. Then swap it all for a landscape of skinny, jagged lakes, wineries and wildlife. Check out our guide to the Big Apple to make the most of your time there.

New York City to Cayuga Lake, New York

The traffic thins out and life slows to a leisurely pace at Cayuga Lake, one of 11 spindly stretches of water that make up the Finger Lakes. They’re all beautiful but Cayuga’s two dozen wineries – some of which can be accessed via boat or kayak – make it stand out. An 86-mile road skims the lake’s edge and passes parks, villages with art studios and Montezuma Wildlife Refuge, home to bald eagles and waterfowl.

San Francisco to Mendocino, California

San Francisco to Mendocino, California

Austin to San Antonio, Texas

You could motor between these two Texas Hill County cities in just over an hour. And, from Austin’s hip nightlife, music scene and beloved BBQ joints to the restaurants and art that flank San Antonio’s Riverwalk, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. But adding in Fredericksburg really completes the triangle. Check out our complete guide to Austin here.

Austin to San Antonio, Texas

The German-settled town of Fredericksburg, surrounded by wineries, combines proud heritage with modern twists on its past, from food to art. Take a detour to hike up the huge granite boulders of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area before looping down to San Antonio, where disused brewery Pearl is the place to hang out. The micro-district, just off the Riverwalk, has boutiques, a food hall, restaurants and a hotel in buildings once dedicated to brewing beer. Discover more reasons to visit San Antonio here.

Portland to Ogunquit, Maine

There are only around 40 miles between these two coastal beauties but you’ll want to take your time meandering down roads that skim past bays, beaches and breakwaters. Portland itself is wonderfully walkable, with the liveliest stretch of restaurants, bars and restaurants tucked along the cobbled streets of the Old Port by the waterfront. Allow time to explore the art scene, including works by Warhol and Monet at the Portland Museum of Art.

Portland to Ogunquit, Maine

Stop at Cape Elizabeth to see the lighthouse and walk out onto the craggy rocks, stroll on the sandy beaches of Kennebunkport and hike around the salt marshes of Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. In Ogunquit, watch the lobstermen of Perkin’s Cove pull in their catch then try some of the sweet seafood at one of the town’s shacks or waterside restaurants.

Chicago, Illinois to Ann Arbor, Michigan

Chicago, Illinois to Ann Arbor, Michigan

Loop around a corner of vast Lake Michigan en route to Ann Arbor, which has been stealing some of the limelight from Detroit recently. The University of Michigan Museum of Art has a collection covering everything from African architecture to Picasso, while – like many university cities – its food scene is drawing attention too, from trendy brunch spots to classics like Zingerman’s Deli, which also runs food tours.

Savannah to Jekyll Island, Georgia

Savannah to Jekyll Island, Georgia

Miami to Key West, Florida

From beautiful people strutting on South Beach to free-range cockerels strutting on Duval Street, Miami and Key West are both the same – and eons apart. Both cities share a free spirit and a strong sense of fun but, while Miami wears its character like a slick designer jacket, Key West wears just whatever it feels like at any particular moment. In other words, it’s weird and proud of it.

Miami to Key West, Florida

Driving on the Overseas Highway, which soars over the water, is alone worth the trip. Stop at Islamorada, Bahia Honda State Park and Marathon’s adorable and thought-provoking Turtle Hospital before arriving in quirky Key West, where the party rarely stops. Seek out the buoy which marks the southernmost point in the continental US. Find more tips and plan the ultimate south Florida road trip here.

Seattle to Olympic National Park, Washington

There are two main routes from Seattle to Olympic National Park, each of them as scenic as the next. One involves catching a ferry from the port city and driving on roads that soar between forested islands with waterfront homes and tiny towns. Another is to circle south, skimming past the coastal inlets and stopping in Olympia, the cool state capital. Either way, it’s a perfect excuse for stocking up on treats from Pike Place Market before hitting the road. Find our guide to Seattle here.

Seattle to Olympic National Park, Washington

Once you reach the vast park, whose landscape ranges from glacier-capped mountains to sandy beaches, you can take the 329-mile Olympic Peninsula Loop around its edges – or choose an area or two to explore in more depth. One of the most beautiful pockets is the Hoh Rain Forest, where old-growth trees are cloaked with emerald moss.

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