The 15 Ultimate Summer Road Trips

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6. Southern Gems
> Start / end: Charleston, South Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee via New Orleans
> Miles: 1,358

For an entertainment-themed road trip with endless bars, restaurants, and live music venues, take this Southern route that starts in the charming historic city of Charleston, with its cobblestone streets and distinctive Gullah cuisine. Head down the coast to Savannah and bask in the shade of picturesque oak tree tunnels at Wormsloe, then head to New Orleans for live jazz, street performers, and boiled crawfish. From there head up Route 61 — the Blues Highway — through Mississippi to Memphis and Nashville, stopping at the many blues museums and clubs along the way.

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7. National Parks Tour
> Start / end: Jackson, Wyoming to Glacier National Park, Montana
> Miles: 558

Starting in Jackson Hole, take Route 390 into Grand Teton National Park, stopping to hike at Jenny Lake amongst the towering peaks of the Tetons. From there, head into Yellowstone National Park. Don’t miss the rainbow waters of the Grand Prismatic Spring and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Detour to Bozeman or Missoula for refreshments, then head to Glacier National Park and take one of the most scenic drives in the country along Going to the Sun Road, where you’ll see alpine lakes, cliffs, wildflowers, and some of the last glaciers in the park.

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8. Pacific Northwest Coast
> Start / end: San Juan Islands, Washington to Brookings, Oregon
> Miles: 687

From rainforest to sand dunes to oceanside cliffs, this drive has a bit of everything. Begin on Orcas Island in the San Juans by driving up Mount Constitution for a great view. Leave by ferry and head into Olympic National Park, where you can walk in the Hoh rainforest, one of the largest temperate rainforests in the country. Then take Highway 101 into Oregon, where the coastal scenery astounds at every bend. Stop at Sea Lion Caves, Ecola State Park, or the Oregon Dunes and don’t miss the cliff views at Otter Point and Cape Sebastian.

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9. Route 66
> Start / end: Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California
> Miles: 2,500

Before the Interstate, there was the Mother Road, Route 66. Spanning eight states between Chicago and Santa Monica, the former “Main Street of America” is dotted with Americana: vintage gas stations, diners, drive-in theaters, and a diverse array of roadside attractions. You won’t be able to miss the muffler man in Springfield, Illinois, the huge milk bottle in Oklahoma City, or Cadillac Ranch, in Amarillo, Texas. Natural wonders also abound, like the Petrified Forest in Arizona, and the Amboy Crater in California.

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10. El Camino Sierra
> Start / end: Joshua Tree National Park to Lake Tahoe, California
> Miles: 527

California Route 395 runs from the deserts of southern California near Joshua Tree National Park into the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, passing by such well-known destinations as Death Valley, Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite, Mono Lake, and Lake Tahoe. If exploring jaw-dropping national parks isn’t enough, you can visit the Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, where dozens of Western movies have been filmed, or the ancient bristlecone pines in the White-Inyo Mountains — the oldest trees in the world.

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