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Published on : Monday, July 11, 2016
Summer does not have to be all about taking “a” vacation. Travelers can keep that vacation feeling going from now through Labor Day with frequent weekend road trips. In a recent priceline survey, 83 percent of Millennials indicated they would rather take multiple, short getaways than one long vacation; the biggest catalysts for these trips include music festivals, reunions, weddings, sporting events, and visiting family and friends. With these summer trips on the line, priceline.com and MapQuest have scouted the costs of driving versus flying, where people are likely to be driving this summer, and recommended road trips to fuel any type of traveler.
Average summer prices for regular gasoline are expected to be $2.21 per gallon, or 42 cents per gallon less than last summer, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. For those looking to take the scenic route, explore sites and landmarks, and save on travel, taking a road trip may be a better value than flying. For example, a round-trip airplane ticket from New York, NY to Portland, ME for the week of July 16 costs $352 per person. Comparatively, a group or family driving round-trip from New York to Portland can expect to spend $56 on gasoline in a car that gets at least 25 MPG.
According to MapQuest, the following 20 destinations across the country are attracting the most interest, and presumably drive-in visitors, for summer 2016.
Top 20 Road Trip Destinations for Summer 2016
Based on MapQuest’s map searching trends year over year
Las Vegas, NV
Myrtle Beach, SC
St. Louis, MO
San Antonio, TX
New Orleans, LA
For those inclined to get behind the wheel this summer and looking for inspiration on where to go, priceline.com and MapQuest also assembled short and long-distance road trip recommendations, including nightly hotel rates and convertible rental cars. Rates and availability are subject to change at any time.
Four Road Trips to Take this Summer
Rental car and hotel rates were shopped on July 5th for travel the weekend of July 22-24, 2016.
For the Solo Traveler: Miami to Key West, 300 miles (round trip)
For the perfect mix of stress-relieving solitude and partying with new-found friends, put the top down and cruise south down Route 1 through the Keys. Stop for the conch fritters and Key Lime pie, and join the crowd at Mallory Square Dock for the nightly Sunset Celebration, full of street performers, crafts and partying. The drive is about four hours, so plan on booking a hotel for an extra night.
For the Can’t-Miss Photo: Pacific Coast Highway, Los Angeles to San Francisco, 450 miles (one way)
Don’t be fooled by the distance. Hugging the twisting Pacific coastline are beaches, amazing roadside restaurants, and breath-taking views that look even better in person than the pictures. California’s Route 1 is a road meant to be chill – especially in a convertible slicing through the ocean breezes.
For Indie-Rock Fans: Washington, D.C. to New York City, 218 miles (one way)
Begin at the 9:30 Club in D.C., where Fugazi used to play, and then swing over to Baltimore to visit landmarks related to bands from the city, like Beach House and Animal Collective. Continue north on Route 95 toward Philadelphia and New York to hit indie-rock landmarks along the way.
For Lone Star Fans: The Texas Triangle, 710 miles (round trip)
For a mix of history, music and barbecue, nothing beats riding the Texas Triangle, from Dallas to Houston to San Antonio and back to the “Big D.” In Houston, visit the Space Center and see a rodeo. Head west to San Antonio, where the Alamo and Riverwalk await. On the drive home, stop in Austin to check out the music and arts scene. And, if Dallas is too cosmopolitan, make the side trip to Fort Worth and visit the historic stockyards where the longhorns parade down the street twice per day.
Hotels and rental cars can be booked directly on MapQuest through their travel-booking engine, powered by the Priceline Partner Network, part of the Priceline Group of companies.