With summer on its way, Americans will be keen to take a summer vacation, something many of us had to forego last year. There are those who are still hesitant to fly, so we predict that the great American road trip will make a comeback in 2021! Here are five great road trip routes, away from the madding crowd and ideal for social distancing.
The Best Road Trip Routes in 2021
1. Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is renowned as one of the most scenic road trips in America. This drive runs from The Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore along the Appalachian Trail. This drive is particularly beautiful during fall as you wind your way through a palette of yellow, orange, and red autumn trees.
2. Great River Road
The Great River Road National Scenic Byway meanders all along the mighty Mississippi River, passing through ten states from Minnesota to New Orleans. Spanning around 3,000 miles, there’s plenty to see and do along the way. Explore quaint little towns, enjoy Southern cooking, absorb the music and culture, and paddle down the river on a grand old steamboat.
3. Colorado Scenic Byways
The Colorado Scenic Byways offers 26 different routes. Colorado is one of the most scenic states, so you won’t be short of natural beauty.
There’s something for everyone on this road trip. Off-road enthusiasts can follow the Alpine Loop. For a bit of history, the Silver Thread Byway takes you through the Colorado Gold Rush towns, and the Santa Fe trail lets you trace the footsteps of fortune-seekers like Wild Bill Hickock and Kit Carson.
4. Black Hills and Badlands Route
Not typically found on many road trip lists, this is a great road trip to explore in South Dakota. Visit Spearfish Canyon, Badlands National Park, the Black Hills Mining Museum, and, of course, the majestic Mount Rushmore.
This road trip’s landscape is surprisingly diverse. The Black Hills with its forests, craggy and cavernous mountains, and canyons is juxtaposed against the flat plains and prairies of the Badlands.
Along the way you’re likely to see bison, whitetail and mule deer, mountain goats, elk, burros, bighorn sheep, wild turkeys, prairie dogs, and, if you’re lucky, you may spot a mountain lion.
5. Forever West (Wyoming) to Big Sky Country (Montana)
Fancy tripping back to the Wild West? Then take an epic road trip from Jackson, Wyoming, to Glacier National Park, Montana. Wide-open spaces, mountain ranges, plains and valleys, and long winding roads.
Buy a pair of cowboy boots and go on a horseback ride. Soak in the Goldbug Hot Springs in Idaho and visit the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody. The route takes you through Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. End your trip at Glacier National Park with towering mountain peaks, pristine lakes, and cascading waterfalls.
Staying Safe on a Long Distance Trip
Long distance driving is a great way to explore the country, but it does require some planning and vehicle prep to ensure you have a safe trip.
Take your car for a check-up. Have them check tires, lights, windscreen wipers, brakes, fluids, and air conditioner.
Plan your route. Take into account weather, construction, road closures, rest and eating stops, and attractions you'd like to visit.
Check on COVID regulations. Some cities and states may still have COVID regulations in place, so be aware of them beforehand.
Drive safely. This is a leisurely road trip, so there’s no need to rush. Stick to the speed limit, get enough rest, and don’t let cell phones or noisy kids distract you.
While you may take every precaution to stay safe on the roads, unexpected hazards, bad weather, and reckless drivers can be a danger. Take a defensive driving course with Aceable to learn how to handle these situations and avoid accidents. Safe travels!