The 10 Best States for Summer Road Trips in 2023

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Currituck Sound at Corolla Park at sunset on the Outer Banks of North Carolina
Cvandyke /

With the Fourth of July behind us, the heart of summer lies ahead. If you are planning a road trip this summer, you might want to set your GPS for one of a handful of states that are especially likely to result in a rewarding journey.

Recently, WalletHub put all 50 states through their paces, subjecting them to an analysis of 32 metrics — from gas prices to miles of shoreline — to discover which places offer the best road trips.

After weighing factors in categories such as costs, safety and activities, WalletHub determined that the following are the best states for summer road trips.

1. Texas

Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park, Texas
imagoDens /

This state’s total score: 60.33 out of 100 possible points

One of the best road trips in Texas is through the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. The park, which borders Mexico, offers more than 100 miles of scenic roads through its canyons, desert expanses, forested mountains and the Rio Grande river.

2. New York

Luciano Mortula LGM /

This state’s total score: 58.72 out of 100 possible points

New York has it all. Drive right into Manhattan if you are looking for a shot of adrenaline. Or, if you dream of quiet scenery, check out New York’s federally designated byways like the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, which will take you by Niagara Falls, hundreds of islands and 29 lighthouses. Or, the Mohawk Towpath Byway, which will show you historic canals, locks and bridges along the Mohawk River and the Erie Canal.

3. North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
Jill Lang /

This state’s total score: 57.27 out of 100 possible points

The Blue Ridge Parkway — which runs through both North Carolina and Virginia — is one of America’s favorite drives. If seascapes are your thing, make time for a drive down the Outer Banks Scenic Byway, which runs along barrier islands on the Atlantic Ocean.

The rest of the top 10

Ohio roadway sign
Joseph Sohm /

Following are the rest of the top 10 states for summer road trips and their overall scores:

  • Ohio: 56.85 out of 100 possible points
  • Idaho: 56.81
  • Louisiana: 56.77
  • Florida: 56.06
  • Wyoming: 55.85
  • Minnesota: 55.51
  • Maine: 54.86

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