Few things are as ingrained in American tradition as the college road trip. A group of friends hopping in a car packed full of food and clothes, cruising down an empty highway is as iconic as it gets in this country. Whether it's a fun summer trip, a romantic couples getaway, or some good ol' fashioned sightseeing, nearly everybody loves taking a road trip.
The question, of course, is where to go. Here is a list of three of the top road trips to take in the United States:
Highway 1 - Pacific Coast Highway
Many people view the trip along the Pacific Coast Highway as the quintessential American drive. And not a bad one to tie into Spring Break I might add. The road travels virtually the entire length of California, sticking along the coast the entire way. At the south end are idyllic long beaches that you'd expect to see in Mexico, along with celebrity hot spots. At the north end are mammoth redwood trees and beautifully untamed, craggy beaches. In between you'll find some of the most relaxing, beautiful, pristine, private waterfronts in America. Something for everyone, really!
There are three outstanding destinations along the highway, if you're looking for a perfect ending spot: Big Sur, one of the most beautiful places in the country –and somewhat of a landmark for English majors (or Jack Kerouac lover); Monterey, the west coast's most iconic quaint seaside town (and place of the infamous Pop Festival, eh music majors?); and San Francisco, a melting pot of art and culture. You simply can't go wrong with a road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Blue Ridge Parkway
If you love the traditional beauty of the South, then there's no better road trip than Blue Ridge Parkway -- especially in the fall, when the famous leaves begin to change colors in Virginia and North Carolina. It's the perfect spot for a long road trip, and you'll probably want to go slowly to savor the sights and enjoy the communities along the way. Plus, it's nearly 500 miles long, and is bookended by National Parks: Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the south, and Shenandoah National Park to the north. For traditional beauty, American tradition, and ample parks to pass the time, Blue Ridge Parkway offers the perfect road trip for anyone looking for a long adventure, perfect for those outdoorsy or more active type –anyone a Environmental Studies major?
If New England is your cup of tea, look no further than Route 1. This idyllic road traverses through adorable New England towns, passes by some of the most peaceful and pretty beaches in the world, and offers ample opportunities for the more refined traveler –or Culinary student-- with a taste for great food. Route 1 can be very busy, so you want to time your trip right, but if you do, this may be the most quaint road trip in the world, and absolutely perfect for a romantic couples looking to end their days with long walks on the beach before nestling into some of the country's best B&B's.
Road trips are some of the most fun adventures you can take. No matter who you are, if you choose one of these three destinations, you can have the time of your life.______________________________________________________________________
About the Author
This article was provided by Charity Bailey, current Environmental Studies major and road tripper. If you or a loved one has been part of an auto accident during a road trip --or any road outing for that matter-- Charity suggests you seek medical attention to rule out any sustained brain injuries.