The 10 Best and Worst States for Summer Road Trips

Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia

My dog Pippi liked to use me as a pillow on the four day Summer road trips we would take from Florida to West Virginia. There were no cell phones, tablets, video games or televisions inside cars in the early 80’s and if there were our family couldn’t have afforded them anyway. My mom and I would play the alphabet game and my dad would make up ridiculous songs. One year our VW van had a blow out on the side of a mountain and we had to set up camp in the rain on the top of that mountain in a public park on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia while a mammoth lightning storm raged throughout the evening.

Our family was like the 85% of other American families who will take off to travel this year on a Summer vacation…90% of them by road trip. The personal finance website WalletHub, using 20 key metrics, compared the 50 U.S. states to identify the states that offer frugally minded road travelers the most fun for the least cost. Here are the results:

2015’s Best States for Summer Road Trips

1. Oregon
2. Nevada
3. Minnesota
4. Washington
5. Ohio
6. Utah
7. Wyoming
8. Colorado
9. North Carolina
10. Idaho

2015’s Worst States for Summer Road Trips

41. New Jersey
42. Michigan
43. Rhode Island
44. Arkansas
45. Oklahoma
46. South Dakota
47. Mississippi
48. Delaware
49. North Dakota
50. Connecticut

Key Stats

  • California has 22 times more scenic byways than Connecticut.
  • The price of camping in Connecticut is double the price in Nevada.
  • The price of a three-star hotel room in Hawaii is three times more expensive than in Arizona.
  • Massachusetts has three times more fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled than Montana.
  • California has eight times more car thefts per 100,000 residents than Vermont.
  • Nevada has six times more nightlife options per 100,000 residents than New Jersey.

For the full report and to see where your state ranks visit: