The warm weather and sunshine have finally arrived, which means #RoadTripSeason is in full effect. If you recently purchased a vehicle, what better way to kick off the summer in your new ride than to hit the open road with your family or close group of friends?
The one thing about road trips is that the journey has to be equally as fun as the destination—from the scenery to the pit stops along the way. So if you’re trying to determine a destination with some cool pit stops, check out our suggestions below:
1. Route 66, Illinois to California
If you’re looking to do some serious road tripping, this historic 2,541-mile highway is the perfect route. The most scenic stretch runs west from the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River. You’ll also pass through the old gold mines of the Black Mountains and hit pit stops like Cool Springs Station in Kingman, Ariz.
2. Hana Highway, Maui, HI
Hana Highway, popularly known as The Road to Hana, is a curvy, 51-mile highway stretching across the island of Maui from Kahului to Hana, HI. Along the highway are picturesque coastlines, lush botanical gardens, waterfalls, and black and red sand beaches. You should plan a full day to enjoy the various pit stops as well as detours for hungry travelers including Paia at the Mama’s Fish House or the Paia Fish Market. Once you reach Hana, you can relax at the black sand Waianapanapa Beach and take a dip in the Seven Sacred Pools at the Waianapanapa State Wayside Park.
3. Black River Scenic Byway, Michigan
Winding along the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is Highway 513, the Black River Scenic Byway, which follows the river from the town of Bessemer to the shore of Lake Superior. Along the way, you’ll pass mystic waterfalls and dense forests. Pit stops include the iron-mining town of Ironwood and a staple food landmark, Joe’s Pasty Shop.
4. U.S. Route 9, New York
Although the entire route runs more than 300 miles, the 57-mile lower New York stretch from Poughkeepsie to Valatie has a lot of appealing scenery and pit stops during the warm season, including the Hyde Park Farmers’ Market, the Gilded Age estates (including Vanderbilt Mansion) and the Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery.
5. Ohio River Scenic Byway, Cincinnati to Louisville
This scenic route crosses three states and stretches nearly a thousand miles total. If you follow the river downstream from Cincinnati to Louisville, you can book an overnight stay at the 21c Museum Hotel, which has a $10 million collection of artwork, photos and video installations. A slight detour along the way is Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail at the Louisville Visitors Center, where you can taste more than 50 bourbons from nearby distilleries including Jim Bean, Woodford Reserve and Maker’s Mark.
6. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia to North Carolina
Running through the Appalachian Mountains, Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains of far western North Carolina, this picturesque parkway is a leisurely cruise filled with breathtaking views. Pit stops include the Linn Cove Viaduct and Grandfather Mountain, whose 5,837-foot peak overlooks the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge.