Regardless of how many planes I get on in my lifetime, road trips will always hold a special place in my heart. I have distinct childhood memories of driving up and down the East Coast with my family, and going from Tampa to Milwaukee, and through New Orleans on our way back home when I was a 16-year-old chasing my American Idol dreams. With the affordability and convenience of this travel method, it's super helpful to have WalletHub's 2019 best states for summer road trips list to plan your most epic vacation of the season.
Personal-finance website WalletHub ranked all 50 states in order of their road trip-ability with scores in three major categories: cost, safety, and activities. Within cost, WalletHub looked at everything from gas and toll prices, to average costs of car repairs, to three-star hotel room rates. Safety factored in things like driving laws, road quality, and of course, what they call "traffic indiscipline" (which translates to incidents caused by speeding, braking harshly, turning poorly, etc.). For activities, WalletHub included bits about festivals, fairs, national parks, historical sites, accommodations, and food, as well as the ideality of summer weather in the area.
All in all, this list is a totally useful resource to help you plan your next road trip adventure in 2019 and beyond. Keep reading to find out which U.S. state is the most ideal for a road trip.
Drumroll, please. According to WalletHub's list, the best state for a road trip in 2019 is North Carolina. Although it didn't rank number one in any of the three major categories, it scored the overall highest with all of its qualities combined. It ranked in the top 10 for both cost and activities (9th and 8th, respectively), and it notched at number 30 for safety.
North Carolina is known for beautiful natural landmarks like the Great Smoky Mountains and the beaches of the Outer Banks, both of which are perfect for people who are looking for some quiet time to relax with Mother Nature. And for people who are more into city living, you can explore destinations like Charlotte (where you can visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame), the music scene in Asheville, and of course, the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh.
Also included in the top 10 of WalletHub's list, in order, are: Wyoming, Minnesota, Virginia, Texas, New York, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin. Wyoming and Louisiana ranked at numbers one and two in the cost category, making them super affordable places to take a road trip in. New York notched at number two for activities and number four for safety, while Wisconsin hit number eight for both cost and safety. Overall, this top 10 list has some really solid places to visit if you're looking for a new destination to road trip.
I'm a huge fan of the fact that WalletHub allows you to sort the list based on ranking order in each of the three categories so you can pick a destination based on what your priorities are. If you're looking for the most cost-effective places to road trip in addition to Wyoming and Louisiana, you can try visiting Alabama, Texas, or South Carolina. Travelers who prioritize safety should consider heading up to the Northeast, with three states ranking in the top five (Vermont, Maine, and New York at numbers one, two, and four).
For road trippers focused on activities, your best bet is to head to California, which topped the activities ranking. Florida, Washington, and Alaska also notch in the top five, which provides you with plenty of options for different terrains and types of places to visit.
So if you're planning on making a road trip your big epic adventure of the summer, you should definitely check out WalletHub's list so you can find the perfect destination to suit your needs. Make sure you bring your Polaroid camera and get ready for the trip of a lifetime.