Summer road trip ideas

Summer Road Trip Ideas for Students

A summer road trip is a quintessential passage of rights for American college students. Read on, to know some excellent destinations that can be enjoyed without breaking the bank.
"When traveling with someone, take large doses of patience and tolerance with your morning coffee."
―Helen Hayes
Who doesn't enjoy a road trip? Fantastic scenes flashing by your window as you race along buttery smooth roads with your best pals, camping out in the wild and sharing laughs over a bonfire, cherishing experiences that will make you smile when you are old―being on the road is the best thing you can do with your summer months.

Fortunately, the U.S. is blessed with countless routes that are just made for someone who enjoys driving, and destinations that take your breath away. Here's a list of the best road trip destinations you can visit this summer.

Couchsurfing is a surefire way of cutting the cost of your accommodation on all these trips, as most of the cities in question have Couchsurfing hosts. Campsites are also found aplenty in America, and are a worthwhile option to ponder.

Road Trip Ideas for Students

Rock Fest and Surrounding Wisconsin

State: Wisconsin
Distance: Variable

crowd at a concert

Rock Fest is one of the biggest rock music festivals in the world. Artists and ensembles such as Iron Maiden ('nuff said, to be honest, but there's even more), KISS, and Korn have performed at this festival in the past. That it is held in the picturesque state of Wisconsin is a huge bonus. It is usually held on the third Thursday-Sunday of July, near Cadott, WI. This state is also home to popular tourist destinations such as the House on the Rock, the Circus World Museum, and the Dells of the Wisconsin River. The Oshkosh Airshow, which usually starts on the last Monday of July, also fits into this itinerary perfectly. Camping on the banks of Lake Superior is the perfect way to end this exciting trip through one of the most scenic states in the U.S. Wisconsin has numerous campsites, and camping in this picturesque state is the ideal way to experience it.

New Orleans to Graceland

State: Louisiana-Tennessee
Distance: 400 miles


A memorial to one of the greatest entertainers in human history, Graceland attracts thousands of visitors each year. Having been the home of Elvis Presley, it now serves as a museum dedicated to the King's life. Several idiosyncratic arrangements preferred by Presley have been maintained here. He is also buried there, along with his parents, in an area called the Meditation Garden. It is a veritable pilgrimage to fans of rock and roll.

A readily available route to take to this Rock memorial is traveling along the Mississippi river, starting from New Orleans. Though this route is not replete with campsites or Couchsurfing hosts, it is short, and can be covered in a day; cheap accommodation can then be found in Memphis.

Las Vegas-Lake Havasu-Sedona

State: Nevada, Arizona
Distance: 384 miles

lake havasu

Las Vegas, the City of Dreams, needs no introduction. Its casinos and various entertainment avenues are the ideal way to blow off some steam and do 'what stays in Vegas'.

Havasu, straddling the border between California and Arizona, is famous for its fishing competitions and recreational aquatic activities. This route gives you the opportunity to drive through the Mojave desert, in addition to great camping opportunities. The popular vacation spot of Sedona is also easily accessible from the lake, and is the perfect destination to cap off the trip.

Yellowstone National Park

State: Mainly Wyoming
Distance: Variable


Being one of the most popular national parks in the world, Yellowstone's rich wildlife diversity and geysers need no introduction. It also includes various historic places, such as the Yellowstone fort, and various other classic structures. There are numerous camping sites in this scenic national park, which enhance your experience of the wild.

U.S. Route 101

State: Washington-California
Distance: 1,550 miles
US 101

Several sections of this route can be rightfully included among the most picturesque and enjoyable drives in the world, including the Pacific Highway in California and the Avenue of the Giants. Though traversing this route in its entirety can take up to a week, there are several tourist attractions along the way, including the Golden Gate Bridge, in addition to the scenic road itself. More information about planning a trip from Seattle to Los Angeles, two of the largest cities on or around Route 101, can be found here.

Ocean City to Niagara Falls

State: New Jersey-New York
Distance: 480 miles

ocean city

Ocean City, a popular family-oriented seaside resort, is full of fun activities. The most popular option is to take the famous, 2.5-mile long boardwalk, around which many of the attractions are located. Another massively popular attraction is Lucy the Elephant, a six-story-high novelty construction. The Niagara falls are a global favorite, and are worth a visit any time of the year.

Though the route from Ocean City to the Niagara Falls is relatively devoid of attractions, it passes through Philadelphia, which is renowned for its museums and national historical sites; a Philly sandwich doesn't hurt, either! Also, although it is sacrilege to suggest this to New Jerseyites, a detour to the Big Apple is definitely a trip you should take if you have never been there.

New York to Asheville

State: New York-North Carolina
Distance: 707 miles


Biltmore Estate, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S., attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Asheville, but this city contains much more than that. It is a hotbed of stunning architectural pieces, including the art deco city hall and the Basilica of St. Lawrence. Apart from architecture, it is home to some of the best whitewater kayaking facilities in the U.S., along with other whitewater recreational activities.

The route, the I-95, is not particularly scenic, but passes through various must-see destinations, such as Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Raleigh, NC. More information about tourist sites on the I-95 south of New York can be found here.

Ground Zero to Gettysburg Battlefield

State: New York-Pennsylvania
Distance: 211 miles

pennsylvania monument

All Americans should visit these touching and inspiring sites at least once. They stand as a reminder of America's resilience against oppression of every kind, and innate desire to be free and supreme. Philadelphia, site of various national historic monuments, such as the liberty bell, also lies on this route. A patriotic road trip every American must take!

These destinations are among the most popular tourist attractions in the world, let alone the U.S., and a road trip to these can be undertaken easily by students. There are scenic routes, fantastic camping locations once you tire of the road, and great destinations at the end.