Lonely Planet Writer

The top five US states to take a road trip this summer

Summer is the ultimate season to hit the open road and explore. The warm weather usually brings better driving conditions and more reasons to stop along the way. To find out just where you should go for a long summer drive, WalletHub analyzed the best states around the country for a road trip based on things like the average gas prices, road quality, scenic routes, attractions, safety and more. Here are the top five:

Wyoming is the top state for a summer road trip. Image by Lilly Husbands/Getty Images


A trip through Wyoming is what people are talking about when they say “hitting the open road”. The western state is one of the least populated in the country, which means you have more than enough freedom to explore. But that shouldn’t imply that there is nothing to do – Wyoming is home to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, so you can see some of the most amazing natural wonders in the country.

North Carolina

This southern state boasts historic cities like Charlotte that are worthy of exploration, but it also will satisfy your need to take part in one of summer’s top activities – hitting the beach. You can also hike through Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, or check out Asheville, a city that Lonely Planet named best in the US in 2017.

Canoer on Cross Bay Lake in the Boundary Waters. Image by ©Wildnerdpix/Shutterstock


The phrase “Minnesota nice” didn’t come out of nowhere – this state is famous for friendly locals, and you’ll meet lots of them as you explore the land of 10,000 lakes. If you’re desperate to see out a bit of culture, the Twin Cities will provide, with spots like the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Weisman Art Museum and the Walker Art Centre. You can also prep your Prince playlist and finally make that pilgrimage to Paisley Park.


The country’s second-largest state is unsurprisingly one of the most diverse. From arty Austin to the hustle-and-bustle of Houston, there are plenty of major cities to explore. With its immense size, you can also drive for days, checking out the unique flavours of the Southern state – hopefully with plenty of BBQ along the way.

Vintage American car parked at the famous Art Deco hotels in the Ocean Drive in Miami Beach. Image by ©Philip Lange/Shutterstock


Florida defies easy categorization – but that might just be why it’s the perfect spot for a road trip. Sure, you can hit up Walt Disney World, or you could head out to explore the lush Everglades, or the beaches and glamour of Miami.