Summer Road Trip Ideas & What You'll Need
Road trips are a quintessential summer activity. Whether you’re heading somewhere with family or friends or going solo, a summer road trip can be an unforgettable experience. But before you hit the open road, you’ll need a few things to ensure your trip is a success. Keep reading for five of the best summer road trip ideas and what you’ll need to enjoy a fun and safe journey.
1. The Pacific Coast Highway
The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is one of the most scenic drives in the world and one of the best summer road trips ideas! Stretching over 600 miles from San Juan Capistrano to Leggett in Mendocino County, the PCH winds through craggy cliffs, dense forests, and sandy beaches. You’ll have the chance to see the West Coast’s most iconic landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Redwood Forest. You can also stop at small towns and fishing villages to get a taste of local life.
What You’ll Need for Your PCH Summer Road Trip:
- Sun protective swimwear for women and swimwear for men to enjoy the beaches without getting sunburnt
- Sunscreen to keep your skin hydrated
- A sun hat for lounging on the beach and hiking through the forests
2. The Great River Road
The Great River Road is one of America’s best National Scenic Byways and makes for a spectacular summer road trip. Stretching for 3,000 miles along the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana, the Great River Road is one of the longest scenic drives in the country. You’ll pass through 10 states and dozens of cities, each with its unique history and culture. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy some of America’s best-known attractions, such as the world-famous Graceland and the Mighty Mississippi itself.
What You’ll Need for Your Great River Road Summer Road Trip:
- Extra water to stay hydrated in the humid states
- Sunscreen to keep your skin protected from harmful UV rays
Sunglasses so you don’t miss any of the views
3. Turquoise Trail Scenic Byway
Turquoise Trail is the perfect 50-mile day trip linking Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The scenic byway offers a beautiful drive with plenty of opportunities to stop and explore. You'll find quaint shops, delicious restaurants, and interesting museums along the way. Plus, the byway takes you through some of New Mexico’s most stunning scenery, including the Sandia Mountains, Cibola National Forest, and the Rio Grande Valley.
What You’ll Need for Your Turquoise Trail Summer Road Trip:
- Hiking gear to explore the Sandia Mountains
- A sun hat with a brim to keep your face protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays
- A light jacket for the evening
4. The Million Dollar Highway
The Million Dollar Highway is one of the most scenic drives in the country. It runs for about 25 miles between Silverton and Ouray in southwestern Colorado, and the views are simply breathtaking. The road is narrow and winding, so it's not for the faint of heart, but the rewards are well worth it. You'll see towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, and lush meadows full of wildflowers. You might even spot some wildlife, like elk or bighorn sheep making it one of the most epic summer road trip ideas.
What You’ll Need for Your Million Dollar Highway Summer Road Trip:
- Hiking boots to explore the waterfalls along the drive
- A sun visor to keep your face protected from the sun at over 11,000 feet
- Motion-sickness pills if a windy road makes you car sick
5. Florida’s A1A
If you’re looking for a beachy road trip, there’s no better place to start than Florida’s A1A. This scenic highway runs along the state’s east coast, from Key West to Fernandina Beach, and offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the beach, whether you want to swim, sunbathe, or simply stroll along the shore. There are also tons of great restaurants and hotels located along A1A, so you can always find somewhere to rest your head at night. Whether you're looking for a fun-filled family vacation or a romantic getaway, put A1A at the top of your list of summer road trip ideas.
What You’ll Need for Your A1A Summer Road Trip:
- Sun and swim accessories to enjoy all that the beaches have to offer
- Face Sunscreen to keep your skin hydrated
- A beach towel for relaxing in the sand
The last thing you want is to cut your summer road trip short due to an uncomfortable sunburn. Keep your skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays while you’re hiking in the mountains of Colorado or lounging on the beaches of California with UPF 50+ sun and swimwear from UV Skinz!