Five Underrated Road Trip Destinations Across the USA
A road trip across the United States is an experience unlike any other. The endless miles of highways and open land provide sights and introspection that you can’t get from other travel methods.
Summertime is a popular time for road trips, so if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider one of these destinations! From beaches to mountains to everything in between, each one is a unique experience, and the USA offers so much variety that you are sure to find a perfect destination for any traveler.
Hocking Hills State Park - Logan, Ohio
If you are a nature lover, Hocking Hills is a can’t-miss destination, whether you are a fellow midwesterner or driving in from either coast!
This park is filled with interesting and unique cliffs, rock shelters, and gorges. You can also find many spots to swim and picnic near the beautiful waterfalls.
While you’re there, you can also check out the winery, cave tours, horseback riding, zip lining, and more! Once you’ve worn yourself out exploring everything this amazing region has to offer, you can rent a cabin or set up at the nearby campsite.
If you’re a hiking enthusiast, you will be delighted to find there are several hiking trails throughout the acres of forest that can accommodate hikers of any level. Several are even pet-friendly hiking trails in case you would like to bring your four-legged pal along on your road trip.
If you are a road tripper and nature lover, chances are you either already have or are considering packing up the car and heading to Boulder. If you’re looking to avoid the beaten path (and the crowds!), then divert southwest and hit up Breckenridge instead.
Breckenridge boasts a population of a little over 5,000, but don’t let the small town vibes discourage you from exploring this breathtaking road trip destination.
Surrounded by both Wheeler Peak and North Star Mountain, and a short drive from Lake Dillon, this area offers so much to explore. Dubbed “Colorado’s Kingdom” in the 1880s, Breckenridge is a perfect travel destination for skiing, kayaking, swimming, hiking, and more.
Though it doesn’t get as much road trip love as its more popular cousins, Boulder and Denver, it has just as much charm to offer!
Duck Key, Florida
While a road trip to an island may sound silly, Duck Key is connected to the Overseas Highway that runs through the Florida Keys and brings vacationers to Key West.
Road trips are enriching because each one shows you sights up close and personally that you would miss out on otherwise. For many travelers, driving tens or hundreds of miles across the ocean is a completely new experience.
The smell of the salty air, the sound of the crashing waves, and the view of the sun radiating off the water will take the excitement of reaching your destination to a whole new level.
Once you arrive in Duck Key, you will find a tropical paradise almost untouched by cheesy commercial tourism. You can swim with dolphins, rent a boat or jet ski, or embark on a deep-sea fishing expedition! If you’re seeking more low-key activities, you can always relax on the gorgeous beach nearby or enjoy the local shops and eateries.
Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway, Kansas
If you’ve ever driven through Kansas, you’re probably envisioning something quite different from the scene pictured here.
The Gypsum Scenic Byway is a hidden gem of Kansas, switching up the scenery from the usual hay-filled farmland to green hills, deep canyons, and gorgeous rock formations. It runs 42 miles through the state and bisects the Gypsum Hills, offering sights unlike any other in this region.
In the spring and summer, this area is revered for the natural beauty brought on by an abundance of wildflowers. Along the way, you can stop for activities like fishing, boating, swimming, hunting, bird watching, and hiking!
When you reach the end, you can stop at Lake Coldwater and relax. You may even be lucky enough to catch a beaver building its dam or a bald eagle soaring through the air! The beauty that can be found on this road is endless.
Indiana Dunes National Park, Beverly Shores, Indiana
When daydreaming of a beach trip, a drive through the Midwest to Indiana does not typically come to mind.
Once you learn about the freshwater paradise that awaits in Indiana Dunes National Park, you will rethink everything you thought you knew about enjoying sand and waves. Nestled along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, this 15 mile stretch of coast will likely surprise you.
While fun in the sun along the glittering coastline is the main attraction, it is also noted for its 50 miles of rugged and memorable hiking trails, winding forests, rushing rivers, and peaceful prairieland. You can also participate in bird watching, camping, hiking, fishing, and boating!
When it comes to road trips through the Midwest, it’s hard to find a destination quite as memorable as Indiana Dunes State Park.
Want to learn more about the best destinations, travel tips, inspiration, and more?
Join our email list and become part of the Conquest Maps family! We are a community of travel enthusiasts just like you on a mission to share our love of travel and inspire people to get out and see more of the world.
Care to join us?