Discover These 2 Unforgettable Summer Road Trips

If you're daydreaming about embarking on an exciting vacation, you might envision yourself jetting off on a flight to a distant destination. Yet, when it comes to truly savoring the art of sightseeing and exploring new locales, there's much to be overlooked when you're soaring high above it all. Choosing a road trip adventure epitomizes the idea of "taking the scenic route," and we're here to offer you some enticing route recommendations guaranteed to quench your thirst for travel.

Here, we've charted out five exceptionally enjoyable and picturesque routes across the United States, each highlighting the distinctive character of its region. You can traverse Texas for an enriching three-day journey filled with visits to museums, hopping between bars, and savoring world-renowned barbecue. Alternatively, wind your way along the picturesque coast of Maine for a week, relishing freshly caught fish, exploring antique shops, and immersing yourself in the timeless charm of New England.

Are you ready to embark on your road trip adventure? Whether you have a mere few days or an entire week at your disposal, these unforgettable routes promise to satiate your long-awaited wanderlust, all without the need for a passport.

This long-weekend drive combines the charm of Waco with the hipster cool of Austin and the pastoral beauty of the Hill Country.

Day 1: Waco and Salado
Kick off your journey by landing early in Dallas, and then enjoy a nearly two-hour drive south to Waco, home to Chip and Joanna Gaines of the Magnolia Journal. You can't miss a visit to their Magnolia Market for stylish housewares, and be sure to grab some bacon-cheddar biscuits from the on-site bakery. For a family-friendly adventure, head to Baylor University's Mayborn Museum Complex, offering interactive exhibits for all ages. Before moving on, go treasure hunting for antiques at Cameron Trading Co. Then, make your way to Salado, where you can savor craft brews and food truck delights at Barrow Brewing Company, and retire at the charming Stagecoach Inn.

Day 2: Austin
A short drive from Salado takes you to downtown Austin in less than an hour. Check in at the stylish Austin Proper hotel, designed by Kelly Wearstler, and start your day with a breakfast taco at Veracruz All Natural, a famous food truck. Don't forget to snap a picture in front of the "Greetings from Austin" mural—a tourist's must-do. Update your wardrobe with clean-cut, outdoorsy styles from Faherty and Portuguese Flannel at Stag Provisions for Men. For lunch, indulge in ribs at J. Leonardi's Barbeque, and later, join the young professionals (YoPros) for a bar-hopping experience on Rainey Street.

Day 3: Fredericksburg
The 13-mile Willow City Loop, adorned with grazing cattle and azure bluebonnet fields, offers a scenic detour as you head to Texas Wine Country. Once you arrive in Fredericksburg, check into a rustic-chic cabin at Contigo Ranch. Make the most of your visit by sampling unique regional varietals, such as Albariño at Southold Farm + Cellar. Afterward, put your at-home HIIT workouts to the test with a climb up monolithic Enchanted Rock, which rewards you with panoramic views of rolling hillsides.

Embark on a 10-day journey down California's Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Highway 1.

Day 1: San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, and Monterey
Begin your day in San Francisco by exploring iconic sites like the Painted Ladies and Union Square. Then, merge onto the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) for a picturesque drive. Make a pit stop in Half Moon Bay for lunch at Sam's Chowder House and a visit to the striking Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest in the U.S. Continue your drive to Capitola, a colorful town that's perfect for Instagram-worthy snapshots. End the day by checking in at Monterey Tides and savoring the first California sunset.

Day 2: Carmel-By-The-Sea and Big Sur
Kick off your day with breakfast at the Tuck Box in charming Carmel-by-the-Sea. While you could spend hours exploring Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, opt for the Cypress Grove Trail, offering breathtaking views of rugged coastlines and endless wildflower-covered hillsides. Proceed on your drive through the magnificent Big Sur stretch of the PCH. Don't miss the Garrapata State Park trails, Bixby Creek Bridge for a photo opportunity, and a stop at Big Sur Bakery for wood-fired pizza. Spend time at McWay Falls, an 80-foot cascade into emerald Pacific waters, and watch for sea otters among the dense kelp beds. Conclude your day by resting in a glamping suite at Ventana Big Sur surrounded by giant redwoods.

Day 3: San Simeon, Cambria, and Morro Bay
Rise early and set out on a roughly two-hour drive to Hearst Castle, a majestic estate built by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Check in at Cambria Beach Lodge, a renovated 1960s motel, and make a round-trip jaunt to the quirky harbor town of Morro Bay. Enjoy lunch at Dorn's Breakers Cafe, where you can take in views of sea otters and the impressive Morro Rock, a massive offshore formation. Take a refreshing swim or embark on a glass-bottom-boat tour.

Days 4 and 5: Solvang
Drive less than two hours to reach Solvang, a charming Danish-inspired town nestled in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. Your home base will be the Vinland Hotel, and for the next two days, explore the town on an electric vehicle known as an eMoke. Stroll through the adorable indie bookstore, The Book Loft, discover unique toys and gifts at Oneder Child, and indulge in delicious kringles at Olsen's Danish Village Bakery. Make time for a daily wine-themed outing, like a 90-minute horseback tour of the Santa Ynez hills with Vino Vaqueros.

Days 6 and 7: Santa Barbara
In approximately 40 minutes, you'll arrive at the Palihouse Santa Barbara. Start your day with nitro cold brews at Dune Coffee Roasters, browse the shops on State Street, and explore the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Hang out in the Funk Zone, a trendy district with wine-tasting rooms, and savor barbecue at BarbarenÞo.

Day 8: Malibu
Prepare for a picturesque 75-minute drive to Malibu. After settling into the bungalow-style Surfrider, sip agave lemonade at Malibu Farm Cafe, watch surfers catching waves at First Point, and browse the Malibu Country Mart before enjoying a beachfront dinner at Paradise Cove Cafe.

Days 9 and 10: Palm Springs
Savor the final two-and-a-half-hour stretch of your journey. The Moroccan-style Sands Hotel & Spa invites you to lounge poolside all day, but there's plenty to explore. Hike Palm Canyon, visit Moorten Botanical Garden, or do some shopping at the Frippery (for stylish, vintage caftans) and The Shops at 1345 (for mid-century-inspired home decor). Wrap up your trip with live music, crunchy taquito and blood-orange margaritas at Las Casuelas Terraza.