Everyone can use a fun weekend getaway once in a while, and what better time to do it than during your summer off from school? Since many of you are probably working, visiting family, volunteering…or are just totally swamped this summer, one weekend may be all that you can spare for a getaway. Don’t worry though – if you do it right, one jam-packed weekend will be all you need! We’ll explore four different road trip ideas throughout the US and if you don’t live close to any of these areas, then get out there and create your own! Just don’t forget to share it with us so we can get inspired too.
Saturday: Start your day off bright and early and make your way to Penn State to visit one of the biggest schools in the country, which also happens to be in the Big Ten! While you’re there, take a tour of the school and the stadium, and the famous Creamery for their homemade ice cream made with milk from cows they keep right on campus! Don’t forget to pick up some apparel from the bookstore so that you can show your pride on game day! By late morning, head east towards Hershey Park for a day filled with great rides, food, entertaining characters and musicians, as well as a great water park and zoo! After all that traveling and fun in the sun, you’ll want to check into a hotel/motel/hostel for the night to rest up for the next day!
Sunday: You’re going to want to get up fairly early again for this one, because you’ve got a great day ahead of you! Head towards Lancaster County to visit the very beautiful Amish Country in eastern PA. While you’re there, explore the country by visiting farms, checking out cute local shops, and of course, taking a ride on a horse and buggy! There’s a delicious restaurant in the area called Miller’s, where you have the irresistible option of a mouth-watering country style buffet! I hope you saved some room, because now you’re headed toward The Turkey Hill Experience in Columbia, PA, where you can enjoy very tasty samples of Turkey Hill ice cream and iced tea. While you’re there, make sure to take pictures with all of the fun pop ups and learn all about the ice cream making process. After giving your stomach an hour or more to digest, finish the day at Chickies Rock, a local hiking trail with an incredible view of the Susquehanna River, just a couple of minutes away from the Turkey Hill site.
Saturday: Spend the day in Daytona Beach, Florida, a beautiful coastal town just one hour northeast of Orlando! Soak up the sun and catch some waves while you’re at the beach, and when you get tired of lounging, you can visit Daytona Lagoon waterpark for some incredible water rides! If you have time – or if it’s a rainy day – make sure to also check out The Museum of Arts and Sciences, which has recently added a new planetarium. Finish the day with a walk down Beach Street, where there are plenty of shops and restaurants to choose from and a great view too!
Sunday: Drive toward Orlando for a fun-packed day of rides, entertainment, and plenty of sites to see! First stop: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios! As you’re walking around, mesmerized by the Wizarding World around you, don’t forget to try some of the famous “Butter Beer” and maybe pick up a magic wand as a souvenir! Once you’ve gotten your Harry Potter fill (if that’s even possible), check out Downtown Disney for a great evening of food, shops, and entertainment! You can check their website to see specific show times through the Entertainment tab.
Saturday: Begin your day with a bike tour in San Antonio, Texas with San Antonio Bike Tours! Tour guides will tell you everything there is to know about the city while you ride around and get a super unique view of the area! While you’re in town, don’t forget to “Remember the Alamo!” Visit this historic site to learn about those who fought for Texas’ independence! Before you head to bed for the day, make sure you visit The Shops at La Cantera for shopping and of course to grab some dinner! After dinner, drive toward College Station, TX and check into a hotel for the night to get some rest for your next day of traveling!
Sunday: Your first stop of the day is right in town at Texas A&M University! Take a tour of the fourth largest university in the US, which is home to renowned college football team, The Texas A&M Aggies. Of course while you’re there, stop by to say hello to our friends at the bookstore and pick up any last minute items – snacks, sunglasses, socks – you may need while you’re on the road! Get ready to head to Houston! Start your Houston adventure with a visit to The Cockrell Butterfly Center, an exciting site which houses all types of living creatures, such as butterflies, frogs and even sharks! Next up, see a show at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts! Last but not least, finish off the day with a delicious steak from the famous restaurant, Beaver’s!
Washington & Oregon
Saturday: Start out in Seattle, Washington for an informative and exciting underground tour of the original city’s remains after the Great Seattle Fire, which is beneath the city that we know today! If heights don’t bother you, then you’ll want to check out the famous Space Needle, where you can take a long elevator ride up to the top to get an incredible view of the city! Before you leave Seattle, don’t forget to stop by Pike Place Market, which is well known for its delicious a fantastic seafood and shopping….you can’t not pick up a souvenir on a road trip! After dinner from the market or any great seafood restaurant in the area, head toward Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park to check into a hotel/lodge/campgrounds and get plenty of rest for the day ahead!
Sunday: Start your day bright and early for a morning hike through the mountains and around the lakes on one of the many hiking trails Mount Rainier has to offer! If you visit during mid-July – August, you’ll likely be able to see the park’s renowned wildflowers during their peak bloom. After your hike, grab something to eat on the road and head south about three hours towards Portland, Oregon for a great day of exploring this coffee-loving city. One cool place to check out is the Portland Japanese Garden, which is home to the Rose Test Garden. After you’ve gotten a chance to walk around the city and the garden, head to the well-known Thai restaurant Pok Pok for some delightful fish sauce wings! Last stop: Powell’s City of Books, a full city block wide, independent bookstore where you can literally get lost while browsing through the thousands of new and used books….heaven.
Written by Guest Blogger, Ilana S. of Rutgers U
Is that enough ideas to get you started as a summertime weekend warrior!? Get a playlist together, grab some friends and get well acquainted with booking quick places to stay with airbnb! It’s summer, go out there and #CaptureTheFun! As always, share your adventures with us, because sometimes we need roadtrip inspiration too… @BNCollege