The Best Places to Road Trip to This Spring

BY ERIN C.

Spring has sprung. The ground has started to thaw and the temperatures are rising. Shake off those winter blues and hit the road to one of these destinations to enjoy the warmer weather. No matter where you call home, there’s a beautiful destination waiting for you.

Northeast

Summers on the boardwalk are always a scene, but if you really want to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Point Pleasant, NJ, spring is your season. Just over an hour drive from New York City and Philadelphia, this beach destination gets going on weekends in April when the rides are open and the ice cream is fresh and cold.

When it comes to authentic New England, Gloucester, MA, provides all the whitecaps, historic lighthouses and fresh seafood you can imagine. A short drive north of Boston, this fishing community on Cape Ann offers a relaxing, less expensive coastal experience along with Good Harbor Beach, a wide stretch of fine, white sand edged by dunes.

Maine’s southern coast delivers some of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic — an easy drive from Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Spend some time this spring eating lobster rolls and taking in summer theater, pounding surf and quiet coves. Head even farther north to Acadia National Park and spot some whales from the stunning glacier-made granite peaks.

Southeast

Get your slice of Americana this spring at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. Home to a major theme park — 150-acre Dollywood — and miles of trails and streams for fishing and hiking, it’s no wonder this is the most visited park in the US. Finish your trip with a scenic drive down the winding 6-mile Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

You may recognize the scenery around Lake Lure, NC, from ’80s cult-classic “Dirty Dancing.” whether you want to rent a boat or kayak, take a guided fishing tour, enjoy some water-skiing lessons or just take an inner tube and float away on a crisp, mountain creek, this luxurious expanse offers something for everyone.

White-powder beaches, 100 golf courses within driving distance and beach volleyball that seems to never stop — that’s Siesta Key. Consistently named the States’ #1 beach, this culturally-rich, laidback town is centrally located on Florida’s Gulf coast. If there are travelers in your troop that don’t enjoy sun and sand, you can find museums, botanical gardens and more.

Midwest

At the center of America’s heartland, Wichita, KS, is just a drive away from most states in the Midwest. Celebrate the beauty of spring among the thousands of cheerful yellow daffodils at their top-notch Botanica or the Wichita Gardens. Or, you can always visit one of the more than 100 shops and restaurants that make up the city’s Old Town.

While you may not have heard of Kearney, NE, this drivable destination is an ideal springtime stop. Starting around mid-March, half a million Sandhill cranes rest and feed along the Platte River between Grand Island and North Platte, offering you the chance to see one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles.

As spring arrives in Holland, MI, so do the nearly 4.5 million tulip blooms around town. The annual Tulip Time Festival offers countless photo ops. Dancers twirl through the streets while friends and family pose in front of the 250-year-old mill imported directly from the Netherlands. Shop the charming boutiques to find a custom pair of Dutch wooden shoes to take home.

West

Arches National Park in Moab, UT, boasts stunning red rock formations that are a must-see for any nature lover. The spring temperatures are ideal for all the activities available at this outdoor expanse. You can bike, hike, climb or raft down the Colorado River. And of course, take on the ever-popular off-roading adventures.

One of California’s most beautiful beach towns, Pacific Grove is a comfortable drive from almost anywhere in the state. Nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea and Asilomar State Beach give you the opportunity to get up close and personal with sea otters. Or, you can enjoy the famously scenic 17-Mile Drive that runs from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach — a premier golf destination.

Bozeman, MT’s mild year-round weather makes it a superior destination in any season, but the bountiful fishing offered in spring makes it a can’t-miss for any sportsman. The gorgeous Gallatin River runs right through town and as the water levels rise with spring runoff, the whitewater gets even more exciting for a guided kayak or raft trip.

Southwest

“The Biggest Little City in the World”, Reno, NV’s proximity to Vegas and Lake Tahoe make this destination an ideal destination for any desert native. Stroll along the Truckee River Walk and take in the picturesque Sierra Nevada peaks. You can always cool off by taking a dip in the largest alpine lake in the country. Springtime in Reno is all about the river, whether you’re up for a mellow drift or an adrenaline-pumping kayak ride.

Spring is prime-time for a trip to Albuquerque, NM, thanks to the high-desert climate with very low humidity and comfortable average highs of around 70°. Start your adventure with a ride on the Sandia Peak Tram, where you can soak up striking views of the city, extinct volcanoes, rugged canyons and more. Not to mention, since Albuquerque is the hot air ballooning capital of the world, it’s the perfect place to embark on a truly memorable ride.

During spring, the stretches of highway between Houston and Austin in Washington County, TX, are lined with beautiful bluebonnets and wildflowers. Right in the center of this trip you’ll find a town called Brenham, home to Blue Bell Ice Cream, and the perfect place for a pitstop along your memorably scenic drive.


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