Road Trip Planner: Five Summer Vacation #RoadTrips for the Luxury Traveler in North America
Hello, Travelers! Can summer please get here already? As you may be able to tell, I am extremely excited to travel this summer. If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to have a look at Travelingpanties top ten summer destinations for 2015! But I digress. I have been meeting some of my followers lately (and hearing from lots of you–yay!) and I know that while many of you want to travel luxuriously, it seems as though it isn’t always within everyone’s budgets. So I thought I would come up with a post about road trips! Road Trippin’ is a great way to save a little money but still get to see the country. And there is nothing more American than a Road Trip to me. So, hop in your car and enjoy the simple pleasure of being in charge of your plans–no airport delays, no baggage fees! Just you, the wind, your favorite music and open road!
And since gas prices are down, driving is more affordable than ever. And it’s technically supposed to be about the journey, not the destination, right? So why not hop into your car this summer, save some money on airfare and instead use that extra money towards upgrading your dining situation or overnight accommodations. After all, if you’re forgoing a couple flights to Europe, that will save you nearly $3,000 that you’ll have to play with elsewhere in your budget!?
So buckle up and come on a little road trip around the U.S.
East Coast Road Trip
If you’re on the East Coast (like moi) head out to Asbury Park and start your journey along the Garden State Parkway. You’ll drive through Atlantic City, which can be fun depending on what you’re looking for. There are luxe hotels like the Water Club. But don’t spend too much time here as there are lovely places as you head south like Cape May. It’s famous here for its charm as much as it is for its beach–oh and there lovely lighthouse, too. Check out the Ocean Club Hotel if you’re looking for Then I would recommend heading to Delaware’s Rehoboth beach to unwind. Check out Hotel Rehoboth, which I have heard great things about.
Pacific Coast Highway
If you’re on the West Coast, one of the most most scenic drives in the world, consistently praised for its scenery is the Pacific Coast Highway (also known as California State Route 1). It has no shortage of quirky pit stops and breathtaking beauty. And of course there are no shortage of luxury hotels. You can start in Monterey, California and head toward Carmel (famous for its art scene) but not before visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium–one of the best in the country. While in Carmel, don’t miss the beach and just south of there is Point Lobos Reserve. Continue on to the mind-blowing beauty at the Big Sur cliffs (this is where the road trip will really start to blow your mind!). The roads here really start to wind so remember to drive slow and take in the scenery. Be sure to stop off at the famous Nepenthe for a meal or a drink and killer views! We have also heard that Santa Barbara is lovely if you wish to continue on. After watching Psych, we must make a stop on our next trip! (Anyone else a fan? Best show ever!
Low Country: South Carolina & Georgia
It’s no secret around here that Charleston is one of my favorite cities in the U.S.A. So much Southern hospitality and charm–even thinking about it, all I want is a sweet tea with vodka and some shrimp and grits. There is tons of history here as well, it’s not all rocking chairs and relaxation. You can check out Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, or even tour old plantations and learn about the south’s less than storied past. But the food alone is reason to come! I’ve even compiled a list of places you must eat while in Charleston (you’re welcome)! And you can’t go wrong staying at the John Rutledge House or Charleston Place. After you’ve had a chance to enjoy Charleston, consider stopping at Edisto Island, (which boasts incredible sunsets, and not a single traffic light), Beaufort (one of the wealthiest towns before the Civil War) or Hunting Island (famous for its enormous state park and because the jungle scene in Forrest Gump was filmed here). Finally, end your journey in Savannah, Georgia. There are tons of interesting cemeteries to visit since Savannah is said to be built on numerous cemeteries (ghost tours are obviously a big thing here too). But the best thing to do here is wander the streets, pop a squat on a park bench and take in the scenery. And don’t leave without trying the pralines from River Street Sweets.
A Taste of New England
Not far from New York is the charming town of Mystic, Connecticut. You may remember it from Julia Robert’s famous movie back in the 90’s. Not only is the pizza here divine (it is, don’t listen to anyone who disagrees) but the town has tons of adorable shops and delicious seafood eateries. The town is famous for its ships and it’s an adorable maritime town to start your trip. Next, head north to Newport, RI one of my favorite towns ever. You must enjoy the gorgeous beaches but don’t forget to tour some of the most extravagant mansions in the world. And the Cliff Walk is gorgeous as well. Head to my favorite hotel, Castle Hill Inn if you’re looking for the ultimate in luxury. If you don’t want to break the bank, you must at least pop by for brunch. Finally, continue North to Portland Maine for a small but sophisticated town.
The Cabot Trail
The Cabot Trail is actually in Cape Breton, which is part of Nova Scotia. And if you’re a regular reader you’re probably sick of hearing about it. I am in love with Cape Breton. And The Cabot Trail is constantly praised as being one of the most scenic drives in the world–recently named a top trip to take by National Geographic. Plus Prince William and Princess Kate honeymooned in Nova Scotia (though a different island). You’ll see lush green national parks, cliffs, coastal mountains, lakes and magnificent sunsets! Plus you’ll get to enjoy the influences of the Gaelic and Acadian cultures.
The Pacific Coast Highway is a fabulous trip. But what so few travel writers remember is that the highway also goes north! There is such beauty an awe inspiring vistas to be had when you take the road north of San Francisco, through Marine, Sonoma, and Mendocino. it is well worth making it a bucket list trip!- April 27, 2015
That’s true!! And also a great route to take!- April 28, 2015
So happy you found them helpful!- May 7, 2015
Have a great trip!!! Glad you found the article useful!- April 28, 2015
I am in the mood for Low Country. I’ve often thought of doing a cruise through there, but a road trip might be more realistic!- April 30, 2015
Yes it’s a great way to get around down there. Very easy!- May 7, 2015
Love these ideas! Rehoboth was always our family beach when I was a kid. Love it there! And I’ve been wanting to get to Charleston. My best friend moved to SC a couple of years ago and keeps raving about it!- April 30, 2015
Yes, you must! One of my favorite cities in the world! Such fun!- May 7, 2015
We love doing road trips! Sometimes half of the fun can be in the getting there. 😉 The southern route you shared has to be my favorite. We have drove from Beaufort to Savannah before, but I still haven’t visited Charleston. But it is on our travel bucket list for sure! We love the charm of the southern cities and the Civil War history there as well.- May 2, 2015
Yes! That’s so true. You will love Charleston too!- May 7, 2015
I love road trips!! I’ve taken quite a bit of Highway 1, but I’ve always wanted to go from the top to the bottom. Once of these days!!- May 2, 2015
I’m planning some summer vacations for my family with road trips included 🙂- May 3, 2015
Hope you found some inspiration here!- May 7, 2015
Oh! We’ve already seen the west, the south and some of the east coast too, but I constantly miss it and want to do it all over again. I think I could just live on the road in the US for YEARS! Good tips, girl 🙂- May 4, 2015
PCH is one of my fav drives ever but you have a great choice to choose from 🙂- May 6, 2015
Happy you think so! Happy road tripping!- May 7, 2015
Ah, now I just need to find time to do all these great trips!- May 21, 2015
Tell me about it!- July 29, 2015