Summer Road Trip Destinations

By Kimberly Graf. Published on May 23, 2018

The ideal summer road trip will be different for everyone. Families, couples, and single people are all going to want different things from a worry-free, warm vacation. Whether you're going for family fun, a romantic getaway, or the party scene, these summer road trip destinations are sure to give you some ideas!


There are few places in the country that are as beautiful as Colorado's high desert-mountain plains hybrid landscape. Grassland stretches up to huge, snowy mountain ranges in a land filled with heritage and history. We love Colorado for all of these things, but also for the temperatures. The higher elevations in this state are much cooler than the rest of the area, making it perfect for people who aren't fond of the heat.

Colorado National Parks

It's a great state for exploring the outdoors, because there is so much of it! Most of Colorado's campgrounds and parks are really nice, and with everything, there is to do here it's definitely worth a stop or two. The southwestern portion of the state was home to the Ancestral Pueblo people, and there are many ruins and sites dedicated to preserving the culture.

Denver and Colorado Springs are also home to some of the coolest music festivals and events in the state, so take some time to enjoy some of them while you're there.


If you're looking for somewhere to party for the summer, Florida is an excellent choice! And there are so many places in the state where you can go to have fun on the beach. The Gulf Coast is close to the southern states, and there are plenty of beaches and recreation areas here. A few are definitely family friendly beaches, but the majority come alive with young people on the weekends or after the sun goes down.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Depending on what you're going for, you might want to check into which beaches are which so you can have the best time. You can also go down south to the Everglades, which will be sticky and humid but also so very alive during the summer months. Check out some of the wildlife there, or in one of the other parks in the area, like the Dry Tortugas.

A great place to go this far south in Florida is the Keys, which are known to be party islands. Key West has one of the largest parties going on every night in the summertime – and pretty much any other time of the year as well. If that's what you want your summer road trip to be about, Key West is definitely a great destination for you.

Northern Arizona

Most of the state of Arizona is extremely hot most of the spring and summer. If that's your thing, or you don't mind the heat, you can definitely explore parts south. But for people who only like moderate heat and still want to experience the Great Outdoors, check out the area around Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Flagstaff has an elevation of 7,000 feet. It's dry like the rest of the state, but it has the added benefit of being between 20 and 30 degrees cooler most of the time.

Grand Canyon National Park

There are evergreen trees here that are flourishing most of the year. It's a small enough town to make you comfortable. During the summer time, all of the college students have gone home so traffic and congestion are great. There's a homey downtown area that you'll love.

And when you're done exploring Flagstaff, you're close enough to make the trip to the Grand Canyon. It's going to be crowded during the summertime, but all the programs are open and operational. Not to mention, it's warm enough to actually experience the Canyon and take all the pictures that you want.

So if you're going with your family or as a single person, the Flagstaff/Grand Canyon area is a great destination for a summer road trip. Just make sure that you go before monsoon season hits in August.

South Dakota

The entire state of South Dakota feels like a scenic drive! While most people will be heading to Wyoming for Yellowstone, you can come here and visit one of the greatest engineering feats of our time: Mount Rushmore! It's a great historical experience for you and your family, as there are museums and other attractions in the area as well. Look up at the faces that made America what it is today!

Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota

The Badlands National Park is also here, with its dramatic landscapes. Geological formations take center stage here, including rock formations and canyons that you can drive through and hike to. Catch a glimpse of some bighorn sheep while you're here, or you just might run into a bison or two! For the outdoor lover, South Dakota is a wonderful feast for the eyes. It's also a great family destination!

So whatever you like to do in the warmer months, you'll find some value in a trip to any one of these wonderful destinations. Get out there and experience the summer!


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