What’s in between your house and the Grand Canyon, you ask? Hundreds of Instagram pit stops for you and your friends to enjoy during a summer road trip. We’ve rounded up 9 routes for you take before the leaves begin to fall – Grab your camera, throw your weekender bag in the back of the convertible, put the top down, and let’s ride.
1. Art Deco Twists and Turn To The Keys
Starting Point – Stanton South Beach
Start the road trip off at the Stanton South Beach, located in the trendy SoFi neighborhood of South Beach. This newly renovated boutique hotel, with revamped guest rooms, a refurbished oceanfront pool-deck, chic lobby and new Mexican restaurant Lolo’s Surf Cantina is the perfect spot to spend a night before heading down to the Keys.
If you’re looking for a laid-back, tropical escape while remaining a stone’s throw from the bright lights of South Beach, The Palms is for you. Everything at The Palms is “Inspired by Nature,” from the swaying bamboo trees that surround the pool, to the AVEDA spa, and its well known restaurant Essensia – focused on a seasonal, locally-sourced menu.
Stop for a fresh fruit milkshake or smoothie at the Robert Is Here fruit stand, where you can purchase extra large sunflowers, visit the on-site animal farm and choose from all the locally grown fruit and vegetables for sale.
First Stop – Playa Largo Resort
Leave bustling Miami behind and head just an hour south, yet worlds away, to Playa Largo Resort & Spa, the first new hotel to be built in the Upper Keys in more than 21 years. With unobstructed bay views, stand-up paddle-boarding and kayaking, locally inspired menus, frosty cocktails and adult-friendly everything, Playa Largo Resort & Spa is a definite road trip stop.
Stop by Robbies and visit the school of more than 100 tarpon before arriving to the keys. The silver and green tarpon actually rise up from the water in a powerful flash to meet the fish as it leaves your hand, giving you the ultimate Instagram picture.
Final Destination – The Perry Hotel
End the trip by checking out the brand new Perry Hotel Key West in Stock Island, a place full of life and local color, with plenty of excitement waiting out on the water. With direct ocean access, guests can explore living coral reefs and wander through mazes of mangroves by kayak or paddle board, right from the docks outside their room door.
2. Bountiful Byway Of Washington State
Many of us know the Washington state capital for its iconic dome, but a local road trip on the Bountiful Byway uncovers some of the most delicious, scenic and straight up Instagrammable spots ever. See wolves in the wild, shuck and slurp an oyster from its source and spend time exploring some of the Pacific Northwest’s most accessible natural beauty. Don’t miss a shot with the most instagrammed chandelier in town – made of oyster shells.
First Stop – Olympia Brewhouse
Skip the hike, enjoy the waterfall. Step right up to one of Washington’s most scenic waterfalls at Tumwater Falls. Take time to explore and you may catch a glimpse of the original Olympia Brewhouse (circa 1906) hiding behind the trees.
Next Up – Visit a real wolf sanctuary to (safely) see wolves in their natural habitat at Wolf Haven or stay downtown and explore the scenic street art.
3. On the Road to Rose: A Bubbly & Pink Road Trip
From rosé and croquet to a four-course champagne pairing dinner, Grace Hotels’ New England properties have brought the heat this summer with their new seasonal rosé and champagne.
First Stop: Washington, Connecticut
Starting just two hours outside of NYC in Washington, CT, guests can don their summer whites, steady their mallets and raise a glass to endless rounds of croquet and rosé this summer at Grace Mayflower Inn & Spa. What screams summer more than enjoying the beloved warm weather beverage while playing croquet overlooking the Shakespeare Garden lawn.
Stop Two – Newport,RI
Making their way up to Newport, RI, guests can escape the summer heat with the Grace Vanderbilt’s new Bottomless Rose Brunch. Alongside signature favorites like a “Bed of Roses”, this mansion turned hotel continues it’s love for pink by offering this bottomless summer drink every weekend of summer 2017.
Ending in Kennebunk, ME
Guests can celebrate the summer season with four-course dinners paired with champagne, now through September 30 with the Grace White Barn Inn & Spa’s new Champagne Summer package.
4. Camper Vans, Canyons, and Camera Phones
Travel blogger @BeMyTravelMuse sweat her way through the hot American Southwest and shared the route below:
First Stop – Nevada
The Seven Magic Mountains is an art installation by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone off of Highway 15 just before Vegas if coming from Los Angeles. It’s a series of seven stacks of brightly painted rocks meant to symbolize the midway between the natural and the artificial which is the mountains and the highway. It’s meant to stay for just two years, so stop by while you can!
Adventure #2 – Fly Over The Grand Canyon
The best way to finally see the famed Grand Canyon would be to skip the crazy long drive and crowds and to fly right into it at sunset. Fast, easy, and in style!
Coming Up Next – Behold, The Valley of Fire
Zion is one of the most popular national parks in the United States and a pretty impressive and Instagram-worthy must-do on your southwestern road trip.
Final Stop – Grand Staircase Escalante
An area of nearly 2 million acres of protected land that has so many adventures inside of it that it would take a lifetime to scratch the surface.
5. California, Here We Come
Travel blogger Drew Binsky took over California for a few days on a trip from the Philippines, and he suggests the following:
First Stop – Beautiful Venice Beach
Instagram worthy spot #1 – The lamps at the LACMA Art Museum. Drew was told they would be knocked down soon – so visit them while you can. Post Lamp pose, enjoy watching the golden sunset over the Pacific Ocean. It doesn’t get any more picturesque than that.
Stop 2 – Mammoth Lakes
Grab a rental car and hit the road to head up North to Mammoth Lakes. The six hour drive begins in the desert, and ends in the snowy mountains (one of the highest mountain ranges in California). You’ll have a surreal feeling watching the landscape transform nearly every hour of the road trip.
Hit the slopes and go snow shoeing, where you basically put giant shoes/skis on your feet and use them to trek through the snow. Walk around the frozen lakes and run into some Instagram-worthy views.
Next Stop – North Lake Tahoe
Your mind will be blown to be skiing in such warm weather Be sure to hit both Mammoth Lakes and Lake Tahoe before July 4th, when slopes are expected to close.
Snow and water sports in the same day – talk about bucket list. Go paddle boarding to catch the Lake Tahoe sunset. The alpine lake is massive, and sits at the border of California and Nevada, with mountains in all directions, and crystal clear fresh water. When friends ask about your adventures, just let the selfies do the talking!
Final Stop – Yosemite National Park
The last stop on this road trip, and possibly the most Instagrammable of them all, is Yosemite National Park. The drive from North Tahoe is scenic and spectacular offering many shots of mini-lakes like Silver Lake – green forests sitting below snow capped mountains and deep blue water.
If you decide to do just one of the above destinations or all of them…ENJOY!!