Long Weekend? Time to Plan a Road Trip!

Best Road to Plan a Road Trip Around: Long Weekend
Route 89 – Jackson, Wyoming to Yellowstone National Park
Considered by some to be the most gorgeous road in the U.S. (boy, there are a lot of contenders!), this route is a spectacular one through a valley with the majestic Teton Mountains all around you and wildlife everywhere. Here you can see elk, bison, bear, and deer from your car – it’s like a National Geographic magazine come to life.

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, many speed-racers love this stretch as you can really fly down this road. Some say they’ve gone as fast as 170 mph! I’m partial to slowing down, checking out the scenery, and spying for wildlife. Not to mention I’m not a huge fan of hitting a deer (or any animal).

This drive will take you right into Yellowstone National Park – hang a right at Grand Loop Road to get to an entrance. A perfect road trip on this route would be a summer one – the winters can be fierce in Montana and road closures are common, but in the summer you’ll have an amazing ride and end up in one of the most beautiful parks in the U.S (wildlife and geysers and waterfalls, oh my!).
Plan a Road Trip From Jackson to the park will take you a little over two hours, so this would be part of a longer road trip. If you’re going to plan a road trip that lasts a week, start it in Salt Lake City, Utah for a few days. Only do this if you’re into outdoor sports, though, as that’s the primary draw of this naturally gorgeous area. There’s some great hiking, biking and climbing to be had if you do.

Then, ride up 89, stopping along the way at Bear Lake and Wasatch-Cache National Forest along the way. End in Yellowstone and spend at least a day or two there and you have a perfect week-long “Great Outdoors” road trip!

Best Road to Plan a Road Trip Around: Long Weekend
Route 12 – From Kitty Hawk, NC to Hatteras, NC
The Outer Banks are magical and there’s nothing like exploring them on a road trip along this great route that will take you from Kitty Hawk, NC to Hatteras, NC.

Although Kitty Hawk gets all the glory as being the birthplace of aviation, the Wright brothers’ fateful flight actually took place 4 miles south along your route at Kill Devil Hill. Kitty Hawk is a fairly large town for the Outer Banks, which has a lot of territory that’s empty save for miles of grasses and dunes and unspoiled shoreline. You’ll ride through a typical American beach resort scene as you pass through Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills (sounds scary, doesn’t it?), and Nags Head with plenty of motels, restaurants, and tourist traps.

Two must-dos for your road trip are to stop at the Wright Brothers National Memorial – the site of that famous first flight – as well as watch hang-gliders (yes, more flying!) taking off from the enormous dunes at Jockeys Ridge State Park a little further down the road.

Once you leave this area, it’s miles of road with just dunes, views of the sparkling Atlantic, and occasional cottages. You’ll pass over many bridges where you can see all the boats passing below. Head down the coast to visit the tallest lighthouse in the U.S.: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. This black-and-white lighthouse nicknamed “The Big Barber Pole” is worth climbing for the amazing views that reward you at the top.

If you want to make this into a week-long trip, take the ferry from Hatteras to Ocracoke Island, enjoy the island, then continue on a ferry to Cedar Island. Reservations are needed for cars on all the ferries. Once you get to Cedar Island, continue your trip through the Outer Banks on Rt. 12.

This is a wonderful route to plan a road trip around – particularly between April and October when most everything is open and the gorgeous beaches can be enjoyed (and how I love them beaches!). What makes this road extra-special is that it’s one of the few roads on the east coast that runs along the seashore that hasn’t become so overly built-up that it’s lost its natural beauty. It’s just plain beautiful and if you’re a beach lover, you’ll fall in love and never want to leave.

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