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The Gap Year Blog

5 cities best for road trips at this time of the year

19 Jun 2019 15:35 PM

Photo Credit: Pexels | Dominika Roseclay

Edited with Permission by Frontier

Summertime is synonymous with vacation, no matter in which part of the world you are in! Much to our delight, road trips have emerged to be perhaps the most popular way of travelling amongst adventure seekers with an insatiable thirst for wanderlust. They let you discover a gamut of landscapes, cultures, views, cuisines and lifestyles!

The best part of road trips is that they are not just about the destination, but so much more about the journey too! Discovering quaint little towns along the way, with names that you have perhaps not even heard of, has a charm of its own. What’s more, road trips also allow you to bond deeply with other people, as you are sharing a confined space with your friends/family for days. This paves the way for laughter, discussions, and so much more. On the other hand, if you are taking a road trip with unknown people, in the process of getting to know them, you can build beautiful memories for a lifetime.

Besides, since road trips are quite relaxed in terms of timings and schedules, you can afford to be spontaneous and take impromptu decisions, which multiplies the joy of traveling. Thanks to the poor network coverage that is pretty common with road trips, you can find some respite from smart-phones and laptops to actually be absorbed by the amazing surroundings. What better way to see the world before you go back to your routine life, juggling between your regular job and domestic chores. 

1. Route 66, USA

This can well be touted as the definitive road trip, that has always remained a favorite with travellers all over the world. It spans across more than 2000 miles and encompasses 8 states. It is sure to leave you spellbound with its diverse landscapes, each with an appeal of its own, besides unique roadside attractions a peek into the past, and insightful discovery of how changes in modes of transport and landscapes can together have a significant impact on businesses as well as the daily living of towns.

This road trip has a lot of offer, ranging from windswept towns sowing years of neglect, to interesting museums, with copious doses of eye-catching diners thrown in between! You can complete this road trip in about a week, however, in that time period, you can cover only the most popular sites and key cities. Ideally speaking, you should spend two weeks on this road trip for a richer experience! 

2. Great Ocean Road, Australia

It is a straight road tour in the Victoria state which covers the southern coast of the region. The trip starts in Melbourne and covers around 240 kilometers westwards. You will have your platter full in terms of visual treats, be it in the form of glaciers, rainforests, and beaches. This is not quite a long road trip, which can be perceived as an advantage or a disadvantage by travelers, but it’s surely not to be missed.

The highlights of this road trip include Eastern Ramparts Lookout (Portland), Cape Spencer Lighthouse (Portland), Port Campbell National Park, 12 Apostles(Port Fairy), Towerhill Wildlife Reserve (Warrnambool) and so on. It has emerged to be a pilgrimage of sorts for travelers looking forward to a holistic road trip experience. The route spans the entire coast from Allansford to Torquay, which is possible to cover in a days time but it can get very tiring on doing so. My advice is to plan an organized tour with an overnight stay. This ensures a much fulfilling travel escapade exploring the major highlights along the route.

3. Pacific Coast Highway, USA

This will be a fantastic option for anyone who is short of time but still wants to experience a spectacular road trip. The gorgeous landscapes along the way are a treat for sore eyes, coupled with innumerable small towns, coastal views, seaside villages, virgin forests, winemaking districts, and much more to be explored. One of the most scenic drives in the world, this is actually a coastal highway that runs from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

If you start from Oregon and drive all the way down to San Diego, you should take about ten hours to complete the route without any stops. It covers around 900 kilometers of America's stunning coastline. But, I highly recommend you spend minimum 4-5 days, to soak in the best of 900 kilometers of America' stunning coastline. Before heading out for the trip with your gang, make sure your car has a roof rack tray to accommodate your entire luggage comfortably.

4. North Coast 500, Scotland

This promises a magnificent drive through Glencoe, further enriched by the Isle of Skye along with its mesmerizing landscapes. As you start from Inverness, this driving route will take you through measuring roads and beautiful bends around the north coast. The route unravels numerous wonders, including Iron Age buildings and white sandy beaches, splendid mountains, winding roads, museums, and heritage sites and more!

Spanning across 516 miles, this road trip allows travelers to stay in castles, laze around on the sandy beaches and sip on whiskey, spot wildlife, try the local products, and so on. However, note that this is a relatively new route, so you may not find adequate information online or even in guidebooks. However, you can check out some blogs dedicated to this route. I recommend you plan ahead, take 5-7 days at least to cover this route and book your accommodation well in advance.

5. West Coast and Milford Sound, New Zealand

New Zealand is a treasure-trove for road trippers, to say the least! However, what stands out for many is the west coast of the south island, which features some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Particularly this drive to Milford Sound will sweep you off your feet, thanks to the glaciers, beaches, and rainforests.

The 120-kilometer long drive between Te Anau and Milford Sound along Milford Road is the pinnacle of the trip. This winding road takes you to the Fiordland National Park which is listed in the UNESCO's list of world heritage sites. It is also one of the largest, most prestigious national park in New Zealand. You will be charmed by the Mirror Lakes and The Chasm, but the icing on the cake is definitely the unparalleled mountainous scenery.

The final pit stop of the Milford Road is Milford Sound, a beautiful fjord. It is home to Mitre Peak, a spectacular mountain which rises a mile above the water level. If you are driving from Queenstown, you should take about 4 hours 15 minutes to drive up to Milford Sound, while from Te Anau it takes approximately 2 hours 15 minutes. A boat tour is also a great alternative to traverse the beauty of this mountain region. Three days is good enough to explore the diverse landscape and absorb the rich history of the area.

Without any further ado, plan a road trip this summer with your favorite people. Let a whole new world of discoveries delight and bowl you over! However, before that, make sure your car is fitted with a high-quality, intelligently designed, and durable carrier to hold all the luggage.

Guest blog written by Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith has been writing for a few years now. She loves riding adventure motorcycles. Holding on to her passion for fashion and travel, she believes that traveling helps her see the world and new trends.

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!