Spring is in the air, and you want to take a road trip with all the money you saved by refinancing your car loan with iLendingDIRECT. Great! We’ve got some ideas for making the most of your drive, no matter what part of the country you want to see. With over 150 distinct and diverse roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as America’s Byways, you have numerous exciting choices for your Spring Break road trip. No two experiences are the same as you take in the colorful sights of our beautiful country.
In the north, the Acadia All American Road in Maine, a 40-mile drive skirting the gorgeous wooded, rugged outdoors of Acadia National Park, offers prime viewing spots for spying bald eagles, so be sure to pack your binoculars. Cadillac Mountain, the tallest peak on the Eastern Seaboard, offers the chance to hike off any extra calories consumed when enjoying the luscious homemade ice cream and melt-in-your-mouth popovers served at historic Jordan Pond House starting in May. If hiking’s not your style, bring your bicycle and take advantage of the 45 miles of carriage roads around Eagle Lake. The park is open mid-April through October, and admission is just $5 per person, or $10-$20 per vehicle.
In the southern part of the states, let the Mississippi River be your guide as you wind from Baton Rouge through Creole Country to New Orleans. During the Civil War, this area was one of the richest in America, and several antebellum plantation houses remain intact. Visit the mansion at Oak Valley Plantation, built in 1839 and known as the “Grande Dame of the Great River Road,” which stands majestically at the end of a serene, oak-lined avenue. Tour the grounds, take a guided tour of the Big House, and learn the history behind this amazing location, and even stay as an overnight guest in one of the cottages on the property.
In the eastern part of the country, George Washington Memorial Parkway offers vistas of almost 600 different wildflower species as you meander 25 miles from the Great Falls of the Potomac River through D.C. and south to famous Mt. Vernon, the plantation house that was home to America’s first president. Springtime in the Tidal Basin brings a riot of color and springtime scent as the famous cherry trees burst into bloom. Just a few miles north, Turkey Run Park proposes a multitude of possibilities along the many walking trails that crisscross 700 acres, which sports a colorful carpet of bluebells in late April.
Out west, start in San Francisco, the famous “city by the bay” and cruise down 121 miles of breathtaking coastline on historic Highway 1, taking in the seaside cliffs and misty seascapes through Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Carmel. Stop for lunch in Big Sur, bordered on the east by the Santa Lucia Mountains, and enjoy great food and spectacular views. Or take in the Golden State starting from the southern end, and drive north from Los Angeles on Route 14, better known as the Antelope Valley Freeway. Spend an afternoon at the 17,600-acre Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, then take the Antelope Loop Trail up to Antelope Butte Vista Point and experience the sweeping view from an elevation of almost 3,000 feet.
If you want to see as much of the country as possible in one trip, consider getting your kicks on the famous Route 66, America’s “Mother Road” running from Chicago to Los Angeles, where the great American driving vacation first flourished. This iconic byway was once called the “Main Street of America” because of its winding 2,500-mile route through small towns across the Midwest and Southwest lined with hundreds of cafés, motels, gas stations and tourist attractions. If you’re up for a unique driving experience and a trip down memory lane, Route 66 still delivers a punch of fun and nostalgia.
No matter what part of the country you want to see, taking a road trip down America’s highways, byways, mountain roads and valley trails are a fun and memorable way to spend your spring break.