Road Trips for Two

couple leaning on car looking at map
Photo: iStock
Pack up the car, because these five rockin' road trips are too good to pass up!

Depending on where you live, these three-day getaways are close enough to get to on two tanks of gas but far enough to feel a million miles away. A long-weekend not enough? Pack up your car and make it a seven-day trip!

The coolest U.S. getaways for couples

Get your iPod ready with these roadtrip playlists!

  1. California

    From: Los Angeles (or San Francisco)
    Road trip to: San Luis Obispo, the Hearst Castle, and Central Coast Wine Country

    Midway between LA and San Francisco, visit the California’s Central Coast Wine Country and the Santa Ynez Valley.

    Day 1: Take Route 1 north (or south from San Francisco) to US 101 and follow it to San Luis Obispo (SLO). Spend the afternoon exploring SLO’s small-town charms and eighteenth-century mission; then check into the eccentric Madonna Inn.

    Day 2: Drive to the Hearst Castle about an hour away in San Simeon. Backtrack inland to Paso Robles’ local wineries; Summerwood Winery offers a small inn.

    Day 3: Pick a coastal stop about two hours away, like Ventura (if you’re going to LA) or Monterey (if you’re going to San Francisco), and enjoy a seaside lunch.

    Photo courtesy of Madonna Inn

    Avoid these topics on long car rides!
  2. DC Metro

    From: Washington, DC
    Road trip to: White Sulfur Springs, Fayetteville, and Lewisburg

    West Virginia’s country roads are lush and beautiful -- once you reach your destination, get ready for white-water rafting and more.

    Day 1: Go west on the relatively tame I-66 to I-81 South; switch to I-64 West at Lexington and take it to White Sulphur Springs. Nope, it's not the White House, but it's just as stunning. Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, The Greenbrier brings together Old Southern grandeur and natural beauty, plus spa treatments and golf.

    Day 2: Drive west on I-64 and continue on Route 19 north to Fayetteville for easy access to the New River Gorge’s white-water rafting and rugged national park; stay in a small-town B&B, like the Victorian Morris Harvey House.

    Day 3: Head east to the Lost World Caverns near Lewisburg and stop for a cool cave tour 120 feet below ground!

    Photo courtesy of Greenbrier

    There are plenty of easy ways to save money on your road trip- find out how!
  3. Texas

    From: Houston
    Road trip to: Austin and Hill Country

    Wildflowers, wine, and good music: Austin and Hill Country are like San Francisco and Sonoma dosed with Texas swagger.

    Day 1: Start out on I-10 West and take Highway 71 northwest to Austin. Check into the hip boutique Hotel San Jose; then take in Austin’s arty appeal and live music scene.

    Day 2: Check out Hill Country via Highway 290. On your way to Fredericksburg, stop at wineries like the Texas Hills Vineyard in Johnson City. Then unwind at a rustic B&B like Fredericksburg Herb Farm.

    Day 3: Just outside of Fredericksburg, the Willow City Loop is a colorful detour through the wildflower-dotted Hill Country.

    Photo courtesy of Texas Wine Trail
  4. New York

    From: New York City
    Road trip to: North Fork Wine Country, Shelter Island, and Sand Points Preserve

    Hop in your car and take the Long Island Expressway to North Fork’s peaceful vineyards and Shelter Island’s retro luxury.

    Day 1: Head out through the Queens Midtown Tunnel and merge onto the LIE (I-495 E). Take the last exit, number 73, to Country Road 58. Follow it all the way to Greenport (it becomes Route 25) and take the car ferry to Shelter Island. Stay at the stylish Sunset Beach and check out the hopping night scene.

    Day 2: Go back to Greenport and tour North Fork’s wine country. The noteworthy Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck is Exit 71 off the expressway; they host weekend tastings and run a historic four-room B&B.

    Day 3: After breakfast, drive on Route 25A along the north shore to Sand Points Preserve for views of the Long Island Sound; then head back to the city using the LIE.

    Photos courtesy of Sunset Beach

    More New York getaways.
  5. Chicago

    From: Chicago
    Road trip to: Kohler and Milwaukee

    On your drive north to Wisconsin, pit-stop at the fancy Kohler’s American Club, a rest stop at one of Wisconsin’s pretty state parks, and sip brewskis in Milwaukee.

    Day 1: Take I-94 West and continue north on I-43 to Kohler-Andrae State Park near Sheboygan. Laze on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan or hike the trails. In nearby Kohler, stay at the legendary American Club and indulge in spa treatments.

    Day 2: Drive inland to Lake Winnebago via Highway 23; then shoot down I-41 to Milwaukee for an evening of brews and ribs.

    Day 3: Shake off the night before with a walk through The Pabst Mansion and drive back on I-94.

    Photo courtesy of the American Club

    These trips are perfect to take with another couple!
  6. Atlanta

    From: Atlanta
    Road trip to: Dahlonega, Tallulah Gorge State Park, and Anna Ruby Falls

    Just northeast of Atlanta, the Georgia Mountains boast stunning state parks, hilly wineries, and lovely little towns.

    Day 1: To get to Dahlonega, take Highway 19 about 50 miles north. Stay at a local inn, stroll through the historic center, and drive through the bright green hills while stopping at small wineries.

    Day 2: Continue northeast on Route 115 to Tallulah Gorge State Park, which has a spectacular canyon. At the park, hike, mountain bike, swim, or white-water paddle.

    Day 3: Take the scenic route back west to the Anna Ruby Falls and then south to the Bavarian-themed town of Helen -- or skip 'em and hop on Highway 23 to race home.

    Photo courtesy of Tallulah Gorge State Park

    These trips are perfect for a three-day weekend!