girl riding in a vanIt seems like only yesterday the kids were hopping out of bed and heading to their last day of school before summer break. Now Labor Day is upon us, and so is the unofficial end of summer.

If you let the school break slip away without getting away yourself, you can still take advantage of the kids’ time off by packing up the family and heading out on a road trip. Whether you have a whole week, or just a few days, there are plenty of places to go before the kids head back to school.

Check out our top road trip picks and see which one fits your schedule before fall officially starts.

The East Coast

If you’re looking for a classic family vacation, look no further than the American East Coast. You can always go the traditional route with a trip to New York City or Washington, D.C., but if you’re looking for something a little different, the East Coast offers a number of options. For a classic road trip, try a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway between Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. You can enjoy the scenery along your drive between two national parks. If you’re looking to go a little farther north, try Maine’s Acadia National Byway with stopovers in the fishing villages sprinkled along the way, or Kancamagus Scenic Byway in New Hampshire.

The Midwest

For ambitious families with more time on their hands, a drive down the Midwest’s Great River Road is a perfect fit. The Mississippi River will guide you along a 2,000-mile trek through 10 states, including Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi and Louisiana. You’ll start your journey in Lake Itasca State Park, Minnesota, end in New Orleans, Louisiana, and enjoy all the sights along the way.

The South

Disney World® typically tops family trip lists, but if you’re looking for something different, you can head to any of the big cities and smaller historical towns for a fulfilling family getaway. If you want a classic road trip experience, there are a number of eclectic options to suit all tastes. For a mix of historic sites and great food, try a culinary tour of the rich flavors of the region with stops in New Orleans, Biloxi, Montgomery and Atlanta. For ocean lovers, a drive along the southern seashores of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia is just what you’re looking for.

The Southwest

For families wanting to pack as much sightseeing into one trip as possible, a Southwest road trip is a top pick. You’ll be able to hang on to the last bit of summer while enjoying the hot temperatures and breathtaking landscapes of this region. With stop-offs in Sedona, the Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest, the ultimate Southwest road trip has something for everyone.

The West Coast

The West Coast is filled with iconic road trip opportunities. The Big Sur road trip will take you through breathtaking country along a thrilling ocean-side drive. For a little bit of history, take a trip to the Columbia River Gorge in Washington. It’s one of the last legs of the Lewis and Clark expedition and features hiking, rich forests and waterfalls. If you’re looking for beautiful water coupled with gorgeous terrain, then try one of these road trips this season.

Whether you’re looking for a quick trip this year, or planning ahead for next year’s summer vacation, a road trip offers you the ability to set your own pace and enjoy the journey just as much as the destination.

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