The 20 Best States for a Summer Road Trip in 2021

ArtistGNDphotography/iStock via Getty Images
ArtistGNDphotography/iStock via Getty Images / ArtistGNDphotography/iStock via Getty Images

With the pandemic winding down, many people are looking forward to getting back to "normal" as soon as possible. And in the summer months, that typically means a vacation. According to the financial advice experts at WalletHub, more than two-thirds of Americans are planning to take a vacation this summer. While many countries around the world are opening their borders back up to international visitors, a lot of Americans are looking to stay closer to home. For those would-be travelers who might see a road trip in their future, WalletHub conducted a survey to break down the pros and cons of taking a vehicular tour of all 50 states, then ranked them from best to worst.

The survey looked at three areas: cost, safety, and the number of activities. Using a scale of 100 points, with 100 being the highest possible score, the weighed each category while considering several factors like average gas prices, population density, and even the number of attractions per state. They then averaged the weighted scores to get their rankings—and determined that New York had the makings to top the list of the best states to take a road trip (with Texas and Louisiana following close behind). 

Because there were winners, there were also losers. Based on WalletHub's criteria, Rhode Island is the worst state for road trip—with Delaware and Connecticut just barely squeaking past Little Rhody. The data provides some interesting insights, including the fact that Louisiana has the lowest gas prices in the country while California has the highest. If you're looking for some wallet-friendly camping options, Mississippi is the place to be and you'll want to steer clear of Illinois if you're looking to spend the bulk of your time exploring the country's national parks. All these factors played a role in the final rankings.

Check out the top 20 states below, and if you want to see the full list, including the worst states for hitting the road, head on over to WalletHub’s site.

  1. New York
  2. Texas
  3. Louisiana
  4. Maine
  5. North Carolina
  6. Minnesota
  7. Utah
  8. Illinois
  9. Michigan
  10. Wisconsin
  11. Washington
  12. Idaho
  13. Nevada
  14. Vermont
  15. Florida
  16. Georgia
  17. Ohio
  18. Pennsylvania
  19. Colorado
  20. Nebraska