Since spring is on the horizon, that means it’s almost time to hit the open road to soak up some of the country’s most captivating landscapes. If you’re like me, you’ve been daydreaming all the places you can head for an extended weekend without using too many vacation days.
From stunning ocean views, to picture perfect city landscapes, to fields of wildflowers that are perfect for any Instagram moment, there’s much to be explored right in our own backyards — no passports required. Not to mention, it’s a budget friendly travel option too!
Whether you’re hitting the road in the new Cadillac CT5, the Chevy Trailblazer or the Encore Buck, here are some of America’s most awe-inspiring landscapes.
Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Maryland’s Eastern Shore
Virginia [Beach] isn’t just for lovers. It’s for any lover who enjoys a good beach, good food and an overall good time. If you haven’t made a trek to this beach town before, you should definitely add to your spring and summer travel bucket list. Not to mention, Pharrell’s ‘Something in the Water’ Festival is back this April, and it’s the perfect time to plan a visit. Start the road trip in Virginia Beach, one of the longest stretches of beach anywhere, with over 35 miles of coastline to enjoy. Once you’ve had your fill of the boardwalks and waterfront, drive east via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to the Eastern Shore of Virginia to head to Maryland to enjoy some of the best crabs on this side of the Mason Dixon line.
California’s Pacific Coast Highway
Perhaps the most famous road trip route in the country, Highway 1 is one you’ll have to see to believe. This beautiful stretch of road is the most scenic way to maneuver between Los Angeles and San Francisco, offering beautiful sunset views between Big Sur and Santa Monica. Along the way, you can stop in Monterey and Carmel to take in the beautiful towns, or even make a pitstop off the path for a stop in Napa Valley for delicious food, wine and local attractions.
Texas Hill Country
The official state motto of Texas is simply "friendship,” so that means you’ll definitely want to enjoy this trip with your girls. Bask in gardens of bluebonnets as you drive the 87 miles that starts just north of Austin, take a pitstop to enjoy delicious TexMex, visit some of the beautiful parks to enjoy the natural wonders of Earth, and last but not least, add a visit to Jacob's Well, arguably the most famous swimming hole in Texas. The springtime is the best to wander through Texas as it won’t be as dramatically hot as the summer months.
Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway, South Carolina
Right in the middle of Piedmont, Georgia and the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, you’ll find an epic adventure on Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway in South Carolina. Cute, quaint, and full of southern charm, you’ll want to explore the city of Charleston, along with the beautiful beaches of Hilton Head. This National Scenic Byway sticks to an early Native American trail (also known as the Great Blue Hills of God) and weaves past waterfalls, covered bridges and brooks, making it the perfect drive during beautiful spring weather and even into early summer.
Louisiana Great River Road
Let the Mississippi River be your guide on this winding route from Baton Rouge through Creole Country to New Orleans (which can also double as your trip to ESSENCE Festival, sis!). This fascinating adventure will help you explore deeper into the Southern history of sugar plantations and majestic antebellum plantation houses, because until the Civil War this area was one of the richest in America. If for nothing else, go for the food. The Bayou State will provide you with some of the best food you’ll find along the entire Mississippi River. From shrimp and crawfish to pralines and beignets, if you’ve ever been to New Orleans you’ll know that you’ll come home a few pounds heavier.