7 Long Weekend Road Trip Ideas With Your SO For MLK Jr. Weekend

by Jamie Kravitz

Get excited, because your first long weekend of the year is quickly approaching. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday that takes place on Monday, Jan. 15. This means you and your SO have the opportunity to take a road trip in your area. These seven ideas for long weekend getaways with your partner are all totally doable in three days. Whether you live on the West Coast, the East Coast, or in between, I'm listing gorgeous destinations across the country.

There are places on this list for all kinds of couples. A spot for animal-lovers to visit, sights for photography fiends to capture, and even an entire trip dedicated to aliens and Area 51. Start your new year off right by taking advantage of this rare time off work or school. Rather than binge-watching Netflix with your partner for three days, get out and see the world together. You'll both be amazed by what you find.

So, what are you waiting for? Take the next week to plan your trip and stock up on essentials (I'm talking about snacks, obviously). Then, fill up the tank, update your road trip playlist, and open Google Maps. Adventure is out there.

1. California's Pacific Coast Highway

Stocksy/Todd Beltz

California's famously beautiful drive through Big Sur — the coastline between Monterey, Carmel, and San Simeon — is more than 100 miles of #views. State Route 1 is a winding, two-lane highway that connects state parks, beaches, and other natural wonders (like Nicole Kidman's role on Big Little Lies). You'll want to Snapchat your entire experience, but do your best to stay in the moment and enjoy the peaceful surroundings with your partner.

2. Maine's Acadia Scenic Byway

Stocksy/Deirdre Malfatto

Driving the length of this 40-mile road takes just a few hours, but there are plenty of Instagram-worthy stops along the way. If you visit Acadia's Cadillac Mountain anytime between October and March, make sure to start your day early. This is the first place in the United States to see the sunrise each morning.

3. Nevada's Extraterrestrial Highway

Stocksy/Jen Grantham

Nevada State Route 375, aka the Extraterrestrial Highway, is a 98-mile stretch that's had numerous reports of UFO sightings (hence its nickname). When you get hungry, stop at the Little A'Le'Inn and order the Alien Burger. Be sure to browse the quirky, out-of-this-world gift shop while you're there as well.

4. Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands Scenic Byway

Shutterstock/Kenneth Keifer

This 68-mile oasis just outside of Pittsburgh is full of history and remarkable American architecture. There's plenty to do over the span of a three-day weekend, from visiting Laurel Ridge State Park to seeing Fallingwater, one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpieces. Built over a waterfall, Fallingwater is one of the most famous houses in the United States.

5. Florida's Overseas Highway

Stocksy/Jen Grantham

The Overseas Highway through the Florida Keys is a 113-mile trip that takes about three and a half hours without stopping. You will stop, of course, at unique places such as the Turtle Hospital at mile marker 48.5. Take a tour of this rescue and rehabilitation center in Marathon, Florida, and learn about the endangered sea turtles around the Keys.

6. Tennessee and North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains

Stocksy/Joe Dodd

Take the scenic route along Interstate 40 and U.S. Route 321 through the Great Smoky Mountains, which run from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to Asheville, North Carolina. The mountains are especially picturesque in the winter. Plus, America's most popular national park sees fewer crowds during this time of year.

7. Texas's Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Stocksy/Matthew Smith

A popular destination year-round, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is in the heart of the Texas Panhandle. It's east of a town called Canyon, off the I-27 freeway. If you and your SO choose to explore the area by car, there are campsites and cabins to sleep in at night.

Embark on a journey this long weekend by taking on one of these breathtaking road trips with your partner by your side.

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