The best states for a summer road trip


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With countless possibilities, the road trip is a favorite way to journey through the American summer. Picking a destination isn’t always easy, however, which is when WalletHub’s 2019 list of best summer-road-trip states proves useful.

All 50 states have been rated based on more than 30 criteria covering cost, safety and activities. These include factors such as the price of gas, the condition of roads and how busy they are, the state’s share of national parkland and the number of attractions you will find.

While North Carolina is the best state for a summer road trip overall, other states have particular strengths. Wyoming, second by total score, is unbeatable for cost; Vermont for safety and California for activities.

Here’s the top 10, including their overall scores out of 100.


10 best states for a road trip this summer

  1. North Carolina, 57.57
  2. Wyoming, 57.26
  3. Minnesota, 56.95
  4. Virginia, 56.52
  5. Texas, 56.52
  6. New York, 55.44
  7. Louisiana, 55.29
  8. Oregon, 55.14
  9. Utah, 55.02
  10. Wisconsin, 54.70


WalletHub also asked travel experts for their road-tripping wisdom. Here are some of their tips:

“Plan your route out ahead of time to maximize time and fuel efficiency. You’ll spend less on gas this way and spend more time having fun,” advises Tyra Warner Hilliard, an assistant professor at the College of Coastal Georgia.

“Think of the key locations you will travel to and list the stuff you would need specific to those locations,” says Babu George, an associate professor at Fort Hays State University. “Say, if your trip includes a seaside waypoint, you may want to carry swim shorts and goggles. Actually, I used the term ‘waypoint’ intentionally. Psychologically speaking, it helps you enjoy your road journey better if you have several waypoints in your itinerary rather than a single starred destination.”

To see the full list of 50 best and worst states for summer road trips, visit For more pointers on enjoying a smooth journey, read “How to keep your summer road trip rolling,” on the RoadLoans blog.


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