Life might be about the journey but a good road trip needs a great destination. In our fast-paced, texting-at-the-breakfast table world that we live in, sometimes we need to re-connect with our friends and family. Unlike a typical beach vacation, a great road trip will leave people with more than a tan. It will leave you with memories. These are a few of the classic road trips you can take. Just remember to bring a friend or two and leave your Aunt Edna at home.
LeBron James may have left Ohio for Miami but there are still plenty of thrills there. Ohio is the amusement park king of the mid-west and if you love to test your stomach and can’t get enough of the exhilaration of free falling in a vertical drop, Kings Island is the place for you. Located in Mason, Ohio, the Kings Island amusement park has over 80 rides with titles like The Beast and The Vortex.
It is the most visited seasonal amusement park in the nation for a reason. After a day or two at King’s Island a bold amusement park enthusiast will want to drive to Sandusky and check out Cedar Point. Cedar Point is the only amusement park with four roller coasters taller than 200 ft. and easily rivals Kings Island for having the most exciting roller coasters in the country.
9. California Coast
Ever since they built roads in California, it has been a classic road trip destination. Whether you go from San Diego to L.A, or all the way up to San Francisco, it’s a ride filled with picturesque beauty.
From bonding with the dolphins at Sea World in San Diego, to stepping on the famous footsteps at Grauman’s Chinese theatre in Los Angeles, to taking a tour of Hearst Castle in San Simeon; there’s a multitude of things to do along the way. The feeling of driving along the coast on Rt.1 will make you feel like you’re in a movie.
8. Wine Country – Napa and Sonoma Valley
An hour drive north of San Francisco will take you to the beautiful wine country of the Napa and Sonoma Valley. Passing through the lush vine-covered hillsides will definitely whet your appetite.
Try checking out the view from above the valley in a hot air balloon ride, although you might want to do that before you begin your tasting as you visit the wineries. Touring wine country is perfect for either a romantic getaway or a weekend with fellow wine lovers. You don”t have to be a wine aficionado to enjoy great wine.
7. Niagara Falls
Leave the barrel at home but be sure to bring your camera to Niagara Falls as the beauty and awesome, natural power is a sight everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Whether gazing out at the Cavern of the Wind or riding on the Maid of the Mist you will get wet as you witness up close the thunderous falls smacking into the river below but you will truly appreciate nature at work (as well as the value of a poncho.)
There’s plenty of natural beauty and local tourist attractions to visit in Niagara Falls, NY and across the border in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The Falls are only 17 miles away from Buffalo and 70 miles from Toronto, providing a unique chance to see both a natural wonder and an international modern city on the same weekend trip.
6. Yellow Stone National Park
Located on the Continental Divide, Yellow Stone National Park spans 3,468.4 square miles and preserves one of the world”s largest remaining ecosystems. It is known for its tremendous wildlife and for being the home of the Old Faithful geyser, a natural wonder centered in the middle of wondrous nature. Two million tourists a year come to witness Old Faithful blow her mighty spout.
There are over 2,000 camp sites and numerous hotels and lodges in the area, which makes Yellow Stone a perfect family adventure. It also occupies portions of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, thus enabling you to cross out three states off your list of states you’ve probably never been to.
5. Las Vegas
You don”t need to gamble to enjoy Las Vegas but let”s just say if you do, there”s no other place to be for a weekend. Time may seem to stand still in the casinos but all you need to remember is to check out on Sunday (and to always double down on 11) and you”ll be alright.
It’s the choice destination for any group of friends looking to put their stresses behind them. You can experience a taste of New York, Paris and Italy all on one strip of road. You”ll want to check out the Bellagio Fountain before you leave and if you do venture out off the strip, the Hoover Dam is only 35 miles south.
4. Fenway Park and Wrigley Field
Whether you”re a diehard Red Sox fan living outside of Boston or a Yankee fan looking to root on your team in the belly of the beast, every baseball fan should step foot in the oldest stadium still in use. Entering the stadium is like being transported back in time and you can easily imagine Ted Williams trying to reach the “Pesky Pole.” While in Boston, be sure to take a stroll down the Faneuil Hall marketplace before heading to a game in Chicago for the ultimate sports double play. Wrigley Field, with its majestic ivy covered walls, might be the closest thing to being in baseball heaven. A trip to see either one of these stadiums is memorable but seeing both would make Ferris Bueller jealous.
Even if you took an 8th grade class trip to Washington D.C. chances are you need to see it through adult eyes again to fully appreciate the grandeur in the architecture of the buildings that are living testaments to democracy.
The exhibits at the Smithsonian museums have something to interest everyone. The Vietnam Memorial will move you profoundly and the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials will fill you with pride.
2. New York City
New York New York, the city so nice, they named it twice and replicated it in Las Vegas. It truly is the city that never sleeps and has always been a beacon for immigrants and tourists.
Take in a Broadway show and walk amongst the skyscrapers and billboards in Times Square. Ride to the top of the Empire State Building or take a ferry trip around Manhattan.
You can hit all the tourist attractions, as well as walk through Greenwich Village during the day and hit dance clubs in the Packing district at night. After a few days here, you’ll feel like a “real” New Yorker.
1. The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon in Arizona that is 277 miles long and contains a depth of over a mile. Those statistics don”t do justice the feelings of awe you will experience when you peer into the canyon and marvel at the beautifully preserved and exposed walls of its ancient rocks.
Visiting the Grand Canyon, which is millions of year old, gives people a rare glimpse into the evolution of the planet over time. Whether you”re hiking the canyon, taking a mule ride down or just gazing into it, the drive back might be quieter than the drive there. Well, at least until you regain your speech.