When we get a long weekend, we tend to use it to veg out and watch Netflix in our pajamas. But long weekends can be used for so much more! A three-day (or longer) weekend is the perfect time to go on an adventure. Taking a road trip can be a great way to get to know the place where you live, and to see sights you may not have otherwise seen. Here is a list of five of the best long-weekend road trips in the U.S.
San Luis Obispo, California, to Monterey, California
California is a gorgeous state in general, but a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway is a great way to see even more of it. This section of California's Route 1 takes you to Big Sur and is packed with breathtaking seaside views. This route takes you away from the city and into nature, as you take in nothing but mountain landscapes and ocean air. According to California's tourism website, you can also make a stop at the famous Hearst Castle in the city of San Simeon. This Spanish cathedral is smack-dab in the middle of the open ranch land of Southern California, allowing you to feel like an explorer making a monumental discovery when you come upon it.
New York City to The Catskill Mountains
While many New Yorkers love the bright lights and bustling crowds of the big city, there are some who just want to get away and get back in touch with nature. Luckily for them, nature is only a few hours' drive away! The Catskill Mountains offer beautiful views and the route there (take Taconic Parkway or the Palisades Parkway for the most scenic roads) is packed with outlet malls, restaurants and historical sites. The Mohonk Mountain House spa resort in New Paltz comes highly recommended as either a quick stop or an overnight one, as it combines luxury with woodsiness for a great place to rest along the way.
The Eastern Seaboard
Did you know you could drive through most of the states in New England on one road trip? Starting in New York, you could drive through Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire before ending up in Portland, Maine. You can see a little bit of each of these coastal states in around seven hours, or you could take a couple extra days and really go exploring down the backroads and into the countryside. This road trip is great all year round, but it is especially gorgeous in the fall, when the leaves are changing colors.
Chicago to Detroit
This section of the country is known as The Rust Belt. It may not be as fancy and nature-oriented as some of the other road trip routes on this list (although the restaurants, stores and attractions along this route are much less expensive), but that doesn't make it any less special. The route from Chicago to Detroit is said to be representative of the American spirit and work ethic, since it takes you through cities in which many factories and other industrial centers once stood.
The Million Dollar Highway
The road known as the Million Dollar Highway stretches from Silverton, Colorado, to Ouray, Colorado. It winds from one historic gold-mining town to another and rumor is, it got its name from the dirt used to make the road. This dirt came from waste left over from the mines, and was said to have contained flecks of gold. Other locals say that the Million Dollar Highway got its name from the fact that it cost a million dollars to build each mile of this stretch of road. Either way, this route gives you views worth a million dollars as it takes you up two miles above sea level. If you're really looking for an adventure in the Old West, you can take a ride on the Durango Train, which was once used to haul silver and gold from the San Juan Mountains.