8 Places To Visit For A Spring Weekend Road Trip

Just hop in your car and escape to one of these fun-filled destinations for a break from reality that’s still close to home.

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Take in panoramic views, climb on massive rock formations, stroll through a cactus garden, marvel at an oasis, and find the perfect Joshua Tree for your photos—all at the Joshua Tree National Park. It covers 70 miles if you drive straight through, but plan on packing a lunch and spending the day there. A must see: the “tree” that gave the park its name, coined by early Mormon settlers who likened its branches to arms outstretched in prayer.

The Keys, Florida

Cruise in a convertible and drive 150 miles from Miami with the top down, and you’ll hit Key Largo first. Take a plunge at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the first undersea park in the country. It offers snorkeling, scuba diving, glass bottom boat tours, and more. The travel to Islamorada (middle Keys,) a favorite of fishing fans, is a great place to browse for souvenirs. Check out the 13 islands that make Marathon Key, then enjoy the view as you drive across the bridge to the Lower Keys.

Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia

About an hour and a half from Washington, D. C., this road trip is a perfect contrast between nature and the capital’s museums and monuments. Experience waterfalls, spring wildflowers, hiking trails, wildlife, and 75 scenic overlooks. Take a trail for the summit of Bearface Mountain a stunning 360-degree view.

Mt. Hood, Oregon

Amp up your adventurous side with a trip to snow-capped Mt. Hood, Oregon. Here you can kayak the Willamette Falls (the second-largest waterfall by volume in North America) or go rafting on the Clackamas River. A must see: The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival runs through May, where you can wander through 40 acres of colorful fields, watch wooden shoe-making demonstrations, visit the vineyard tasting room, or take a hot air balloon ride.

South Padre Island, Texas

Looking for miles of sandy beaches and gorgeous views? Head south past Corpus Christi to South Padre Island. From March through May, you can go deep-sea fishing in the clear blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, or if you’d like to stay closer to shore, try fishing in the Laguna Madre Bay. A must see: South Padre Island also happens to be one of the 13 best places to see dolphins in the wild, so keep an eye out for them.

Amagansett, New York

Escape bustling NYC to picturesque Amagansett, just three hours away. Museum-hop from the Parrish Art Museum to the Leiber Collection Museum and Sculpture Garden, bird watch at Accabonac Harbor, and sip wine at the area’s numerous vineyards. A must see: Indulge in the sweet cottages and in-room spa treatments of Roundtree, a luxury boutique hotel that sits on two acres of farmland just one mile from the beach.

Boston, Massachusetts

Perfect for history buffs, this city allows you to walk along the Freedom Trail. There’s also plenty of great restaurants, museums, shopping and night life too! A must see: Discover the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health—it’s the ultimate R&R retreat if you need to destress. Two hours from the city, you can experience programs like creative expression and meditation, and Ayurvedic spa treatments. 

Tucson, Arizona

For beautiful springtime weather, Tucson is your destination, filled with cacti flowers in bloom, desert hares, and vibrant desert sunsets. Hike Mt. Lemmon, a 9,000-foot peak in the Santa Catalina Mountains with more than 2,700 climbing routes, or bike around The Loop, a 131-mile, car-free network of multi-use trails and paved paths. A must-see: White Stallion Ranch featuring sunrise horseback trail rides, archery, and team cattle sorting.