Pack a backpack and grab your friends, a cooler, and the car keys — it’s time for a road trip. Not all adventures need months of planning, and there are amazing destinations closer than you might think. We put together some of our favorite trips for a spur of the moment getaway you won’t regret.
- Cooperstown, New York
Sports lovers flock to Cooperstown, home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. After spending time immersed in baseball history, take in a game at Doubleday Field or visit the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum. The village has plenty of other attractions, including Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown Distillery, and the Fenimore Art Museum. Stay at the Landmark Inn Hotel, located in the heart of Cooperstown’s historical district and minutes away from Doubleday Field.
- Palm Springs, California
Less than a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a road trip straight into a desert oasis. The town has been dubbed “Hollywood’s Playground” as it attracts celebrities looking for an escape and a relaxing break of their own. Breathtaking views can be found on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway or via hot air balloon. If staying closer to the ground is more your thing, stay at Raintree’s Cimarron Golf Resort or lounge poolside at the luxurious Riviera Palm Springs. Dine at the iconic Purple Room Restaurant and Stage for dinner and a show, or go for drinks and entertainment at Rocks Lounge, located in the stunning Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel.
- Indiana Dunes State Park – Chesterton, Indiana
This gorgeous three-mile stretch of beach along Lake Michigan’s shoreline is just an hour outside Chicago and two and a half hours from Indianapolis, making it the perfect Midwest summer road trip. Explore the historic sand dunes and hiking trails, or relax on the beach and soak up some summer color. There are plenty of affordable hotels nearby, like the Hilton Garden Inn Chesterton and Best Western Plus Portage Hotel & Suites. Try your luck at the slots by capping off your weekend at the Blue Chip Casino Hotel and Spa in nearby Michigan City
- Bainbridge Island, Washington
The natural beauty of this island is worth the hour-long drive from Seattle (or three-hour drive from Portland). Take in majestic scenes from the Cascade Mountain Range and the Puget Sound while you visit wineries and farmers markets, then learn more about this charming island at the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum. Book a last minute room at the Best Western Plus Bainbridge Island Suites or bring the pup and check in to the pet-friendly Island Country Inn, complete with pool and complimentary breakfast.
- Beaufort, South Carolina
History buffs will love making the trip to Beaufort with its collection of Civil War-era homes. Take a walking tour of Old Beaufort, hit the links at the Sanctuary Golf Club, or even go dolphin watching. Make the most of the weekend by staying in one of Beaufort’s cozy hotels, like the Rhett House Inn, which can be found minutes from the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Don’t forget Beaufort is known for its Lowcountry cuisine, so stop by Saltus River Grill or get your fill of southern fare at Breakwaters Restaurant and Bar.
- Fredericksburg, Texas
Fredericksburg is a quick two-hour drive from Austin and known for its friendly small-town atmosphere. With a strong German heritage, there is no shortage of bratwurst and beer in local restaurants. In Fredericksburg, it’s easy to find a charming and affordable place to stay for the weekend, like the Fredericksburg Inn and Suites or the Peach Tree Inn and Suites. Downtown Fredericksburg is lined with adorable antique shops and friendly bars with live music streaming from open windows. If that’s not enough, the surrounding hillside is dotted with wineries and breweries available for tours and tastings.
- Boulder, Colorado
Get your cameras ready, because a trip to Boulder is sure to provide stunning mountainous views. Less than an hour from Denver, and two hours from Colorado Springs, Boulder is a great for an outdoor weekend. Visitors can stroll along the storefronts with locals at the historic Pearl Street Mall or go big and take a 1,300-foot climb over the city to Flagstaff Mountain. Stay at the St. Julien Hotel and Spa just off Pearl Street and book a post-hike treatment at their full-service health spa. The Courtyard by Marriott Boulder offers daily cooked-to-order breakfast for free so you can start your day out right before taking in the city.