Summer is the perfect time to hit the open road, but if you're planning to take a road trip in the US, the challenge may lie with deciding on a destination and affording everything you want to pack into your itinerary.

A road through the White Mountains of New Hampshire
With so many choices, it can be hard to choose one road trip over another. Image: Denis Tangney Jr/Getty Images

You may, therefore, be inspired by WalletHub's findings in its 2019’s Best & Worst States for Summer Road Trips report. It compared the 50 US states on 33 measures in the categories of cost, safety and activities, to find the most fun, scenic and wallet-friendly road trip destinations, including gas prices, accommodation and dining.

Based on these criteria, these are states that the report has deemed best for summer road trips in 2019.

1. North Carolina

Smiling woman with head and hand out of car window enjoying view of mountains
A report has ranked the best states in the US for road trips. Image: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

North Carolina comes top of the report, scoring in the top ten states for costs and activities. Visitors from around the world are drawn by the myriad opportunities for adventures, including hiking the woods, rafting the rivers and cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway in a convertible. Others come to savour the dynamic cities of Raleigh, Charlotte and Wilmington, with their museums, restaurants and craft breweries.

2. Wyoming

An open road through mountains in the US.
A study has compiled the best road trips to take in the US. Image: ©Anton Ermachkov/Shutterstock

Wyoming is the country's least populated state, and is also home to some of its most dramatic mountains, diverse wildlife and unique geology. From the unspoiled Snowy Range near Laramie to the granite wilderness of the Wind River Range behind Lander, the peaks only become more impressive as you travel across Wyoming toward the truly grand Teton Range. It is also economical to drive through as it came first among the 50 states in the category of costs.

3. Minnesota

A tent in a forest in Minnesota
Minnesota scored in the top three states for safety. Image: Getty Images

Minnesota scored in the top three states when it comes to safety. There are 11,842 lakes to explore, which is great news for travellers, and those who want to get further off the beaten path can journey to Voyageurs National Park, where there's more water than roadway. Those looking for the middle ground between Minnesota's cities and big woods should head to the dramatic, freighter-filled port of Duluth.

4. Virginia

Horses grazing close to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, USA.
Horses grazing close to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, USA.

Virginia's natural beauty is as diverse as its history and people. Pine forests, marshes and rolling green hills form the soft curves of the central Piedmont region, while the rolling Blue Ridge mountains and stunning Shenandoah Valley line its back. There's loads for the visitor to enjoy, including a wealth of outdoor activities, a foot-tapping mountain-music scene and an ever-growing network of wine, beer and spirit trails to follow.

5. Texas

People swimming at the natural Hamilton Pool in rural Travis County, Texas.
The natural Hamilton Pool in rural Travis County, Texas. Image: Fotoluminate LLC/Shutterstock

Texas comes in the top ten for costs and activities. It is extremely large at more than 261,000 sq m, with windswept dunes and public beaches stretching down 367 miles of coastline. In the west, three mountain ranges top more than 7000ft, and Big Bend National Park is the state's premier trekking and primary rafting destination. And to the northeast, soaring pine forests and cypress-lined bayous are perfect for hiking and kayaking.

To read the full Wallethub report, please see here.

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