5 Last Minute Road Trip Ideas

August 23rd is Ride the Wind Day! This day commemorates the anniversary of the first human-powered flight to win the Kremer prize. Although human-powered flights sure sounds exciting, we thought we’d give you 5 romantic last minute road trip ideas to help you ride the wind (in your car) and enjoy the last days of summer. You know, just incase you can’t figure out to configure a human-powered vessel.

The Pacific Coast Highway 

This scenic route takes you from Morro Bay to Monterey, along some of America’s most dramatic vistas.

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Notable Stops:

Point Lobos State Reserve – Often called, “The Greatest Meeting Between Land and Sea,” this 550-acre park encompasses coves, headlands, meadows, tide pools, and the nation’s first undersea ecological reserve, with kelp forests 70 feet high. Here you can hike, kayak, scuba dive or even just enjoy the sunset (or sunrise).

Bixby Bridge Arguably the most iconic spot on the Central Coast, the Bixby Creek Bridge is one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world. Before the construction of the bridge in 1932, residents of the Big Sur area were virtually cut off from the rest of the world during the winter due to Old Coast Road being impassable. It’s been featured in countless televisions shows (most recently in HBO’s Big Little Lies), car commercials, it’s has songs written about it and it even has it’s own postage stamp.    

Overseas Highway 

Nicknamed, “The Highway that Goes to the Sea,” this, “magic carpet,” takes visitors on a ride over the ocean, from Miami to Key West.

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Notable Facts:

A total of 113 miles of roadway and 42 overseas bridges, leapfrogging from key to key in a series of giant arches of concrete and steel, were constructed in order to make the highway.

In 2009, the Overseas Highway was named an All-American Road by the National Scenic Byways program administered by the Federal Highway Administration. Making it one of only thirty roadways in America with that honor.

Million Dollar Highway 

Built in the late 1880’s, this ride through Silverton to Ouray, Colorado is one of the nation’s most spectacular drives. But it isn’t for novice drivers, especially since there are no guardrails or shoulders.

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Notable Facts:

It’s called the, “Million Dollar Highway,” because it was cut from the side of a mountain.

The ascent of Red Mountain Pass is marked with a number of hairpin “S” curves used to gain elevation, and again, narrow lanes for traffic—many cut directly into the sides of mountains.

Hill Country

Texas’ famed hill country begins just north of Austin and continues south to San Antonio, where the route will sweep west about 200 miles.

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Notable Stops:

Bandera – Often proclaiming itself  the,” Cowboy Capital of the World,” you can order a chicken fried steak here bigger than your head. Not to mention, the Frontier Times Museum in Bandera has a collection of prehistoric arrowheads, mounted animals, bells, and a shrunken human head no bigger than an orange.

Fredericksburg – Old timers still refer to it as the German Hill Country, because German immigrants purchased millions of acres here sight unseen. They were the first non-natives to settle the area, which explains why the the mother tongue was spoken here until the late 70’s.

Columbia River Scenic Highway

As the first planned scenic roadway in the United States, this highway in Oregon sits between Troutdale and The Dalles.

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Notable Stops:

Multnomah Falls – Standing at 620 feet high, the waterfall is the fourth largest in the United States. You can enjoy lunch inside Multnomah Falls Lodge or you can even hike all the way to the top of the Falls and enjoy your lunch there. 

The Vista House – Built in 1917 and located above the Columbia River Gorge, you can take in views of the gorge and see educational exhibits and displays relating to the building.

The last days of summer are upon us! So you should take the opportunity to grab your significant other and trap them in a car with you for miles and miles, while soaking in some of the most beautiful sights America has to offer.  

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