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. We’ve got some great 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 a lot of choices for your Spring Break road trip. No two experiences are the same when you travel down a byway, ready for breathtaking scenery and unknown adventures as you come closer to America’s heart and soul, embracing the freshness of Spring and the freedom of the open road, taking 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. The 27-mile Park Loop Road section of this drive includes Bar Harbor, Sand Beach, and Otter Cliff, one of the most spectacular sights to see at 110 feet high, before looping inland along Jordan Pond, the centerpiece of the drive. 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, visit the Confederate Commanding Officer’s tent, 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. Stop and 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 have a hankering to see as much of the country in one trip as possible, consider getting your kicks on a trip down “The Mother Road” running from Chicago to Los Angeles; the famous Route 66, where the great American driving vacation first flourished. This iconic byway was once called the “Main Street of America” because of its winding route through small towns across the Midwest and Southwest lined with hundreds of cafés, motels, gas stations and tourist attractions. Over 2,500 miles of history and a plethora of interesting roadside attractions can still be found along this legendary road that passes through the heart of the United States. The romance of traveling Route 66 has captured the hearts of people from around the country and around the world for many years, and has even been memorialized in song. 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 for road warriors.
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.