10 Road Trips You Can Take Over a Weekend
We've planned 10 weekend road trips with routes, must-stops and where to stay along the way.
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Miami to Key West, Florida
New York City to the Catskill Mountains
San Francisco to San Simeon, California
Chicago to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Austin to Fredericksburg, Texas
Boston to Portland, Maine
Seattle to San Juan Islands, Washington
Los Angeles to Palm Springs
Palm Springs is experiencing a resurgence in popularity thanks to trendy new hotels and restaurants. However, much of the area’s appeal resides beyond this scene. Once you get out of dodge, follow Interstate 10 until you reach the Desert Hills Premium Outlets for designer discounts. Back on the road, pull off at Hadley Fruit Orchards for a date shake, then marvel at the wonderful weirdness of the Cabazon Dinosaurs. (You might remember them from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.) From here, detour 10 minutes north to the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm, a collection of wind turbines that generate energy. Once in Palm Springs proper, ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which slowly rotates as it ascends to 8,516 feet. Base yourself at the recently renovated L’Horizon Resort & Spa to visit Indian Canyons and Joshua Tree National Park, and learn about wildlife and desert conservation at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Nearby, College of the Desert Street Fair is a long-running weekend flea market where you can find everything from turquoise jewelry to Hawaiian shaved ice. And you can’t go wrong with baby back ribs and microbrews at Babe's Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse in Rancho Mirage.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Yellowstone National Park
This is true of all road trips, but be sure to map out your route in advance as some roads, restaurants and hotels close during the winter, which can last through mid-April. Regardless of when you travel, majestic skies and backcountry terrain await, starting in Jackson Hole. Before heading to Grand Teton National Park, fuel up at the Chuckwagon at Dornans. Rib-sticking fare includes sourdough pancakes and biscuits in sausage gravy. Spend the day driving around Grand Teton, from Teton Park Road to Colter Bay Village before settling into a cabin at Signal Mountain Lodge. After a restful sleep, strike out for Yellowstone National Park after enjoying cinnamon rolls and a breakfast sandwich from Woodside Bakery. Once in the park, must visits include Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Mount Washburn and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Camping options abound or turn in at the landmark Old Faithful Inn.
Washington, D.C. to St. Michaels, Maryland
The historic seaside village of St. Michaels was a shipbuilding port in Colonial times; more recently, Wedding Crashers was filmed here. After clearing D.C. traffic, continue on 50 East until reaching the state capital of Annapolis. Visit the U.S. Naval Academy, or head over to Ego Alley to watch boats and explore shops and restaurants. As it’s on Chesapeake Bay, go for seafood, whether it’s Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, Wild Country Seafood or Cantler’s Riverside Inn. Cross over to Kent Island to compare Blackwater Distilling and White Tiger Distillery, or take a factory tour at Paul Reed Smith Guitars. Head into St. Michaels to collapse at the Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond. In town wander the historic streets and explore the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Drive to nearby Tilghman Island for kayaking, fishing and sailing, and stock up on food supplies at the Tilghman Island Country Store.