The absolute best states to see on your summer road trip from The Absolute Best States to See on Your Summer Road Trip

The Absolute Best States to See on Your Summer Road Trip

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The absolute best states to see on your summer road trip

A road trip is the perfect way to kick off summer. We've rounded up 20 great states that are worth seeing and that will reward family travelers or a group of friends. 

So, load up the trunk and hit the road to these states. We've got you covered, whether you love hiking, swimming in the ocean, visiting a great city or simply enjoy a leisurely drive. Get out of town. 

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Alaska

If you have a hankering for a very long road trip, head north to Alaska. It's one of the most beautiful places on earth and rewards the traveler who enjoys all that nature has to offer. Denali National Park, for instance, is six million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. 

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Arizona

Arizona has plenty of wonderful sights, including the Grand Canyon. Take a hike around the rim and get some great photos, or just sit and breathe deeply. 

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California

A road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway in California is one of life's great adventures. A stop in Big Sur is a must, and be sure to take a detour to San Francisco and Sonoma and/or Napa Valley. 

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Florida

Drive all the way south through Florida and wind up in sunny Key West. You can see the southernmost point in the continental U.S. and watch a gorgeous sunset. 

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Colorado

A hike through the aspens in Vail, Colo., will recharge your spirit. There's plenty of excellent hiking throughout the Rockies. 

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Illinois

Don't forget the Midwest on your road trip. Chicago, the largest city in Illinois, has several notable museums, including the Art Institute. 

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Kentucky

The Cumberland Gap in Kentucky is one of many lovely spots in that state. Mammoth Cave National Park is also a highlight. 

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Louisiana

Drive through Louisiana and head to New Orleans to watch the live music shows every day in the French Quarter. Buskers set up on the streets and play for dollars from tourists. 

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Maine

If rocky coastlines are your thing, head to Maine. Get yourself a lobster roll while you're there and be sure to stop at Acadia National Park to gawk at nature's majesty. 

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Michigan

Detroit, the largest city in Michigan, has a lot going for it. The Spirit of Detroit monument and the Detroit Institute of Arts are standouts here. 

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Georgia

Savannah, Ga., with its beautiful squares and Spanish-moss-draped trees, is an ideal destination. A plate of shrimp and grits in this city will leave you sated and smiling. 

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Montana

A long, contemplative road trip full of mountain vistas should be on your agenda. Montana fits the bill. Glacier National Park's soaring beauty will amaze you. 

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Nebraska

Nebraska may not be your first choice, but it rewards the patient traveler who enjoys subtle beauty and long, easy roads. The gentle slopes of the sandhills are perfect for the driver who seeks inner reflection. 

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New York

Once you get to New York City, you can park your car and wander around or take the train. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a wealth of artistic riches. Put down your cellphone and just take it all in. 

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North Carolina

North Carolina has it all: stunning mountains, sandy beaches, friendly cities, great hiking, pine trees and more. A tour of the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned home in the U.S., will have you dreaming of riches. 

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North Dakota

A drive through North Dakota, one of the happiest states in the country, offers many beautiful scenes through the car window. Open spaces, bison and elk are plentiful at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. 

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Oregon

Make your way to Portland, Ore., and wander around the colorful town, which has great coffee shops, restaurants, micro-breweries and more. There also are gorgeous falls to scope out outside the city. 

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Pennsylvania

It doesn't get much more pastoral or lovely than farm country in Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, the Keystone State’s largest city, you can walk through history at Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed. 

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Wyoming

If you love "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," you need to get to Wyoming to check out Devils Tower. Yellowstone National Park. and Grand Teton National Park also are stunning. Jackson Hole makes a great base camp for exploring the natual beauty of the state. 

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Texas

We saved the biggest state in the continental U.S. for last. Austin is arguably the crown jewel of Texas, a place that's weird and wacky and wonderful. There's great barbecue, live music and people watching. 

The Absolute Best States to See on Your Summer Road Trip