Road Trip: Where to go for summer vacation, according to AAA survey

road trip

The following post originally appeared on our RoadLoans blog, The Open Road.

Going into the long July 4 weekend, the very definition of summer for many folks, it is the perfect time to think about summer road trips – whether that’s a long weekend or a couple weeks.

The kids are out of school and you have vacation time available.

But then comes the most important question: Where will you go for that summer road trip. What will you tell the kids when they ask, “Are we there yet?” Where IS there?

Well, “there” can be a lot of different places, so we looked to AAA to help identify the best destinations.

In a recent article, “AAA Counselors Outline Top Driving Destinations,” the travel experts named 11 locations across the United States – so there is liable to be something reasonably close no matter where you reside in the country. “Where better to go than one of the top driving destinations as outlined by AAA auto travel counselors in a 2013 survey,” said the organization.

Having visited a handful of the destinations named by the survey, most are difficult to argue.

Here are the places that AAA travel counselors recommend most, including a few brief descriptions:

Orlando, Fla. – With Disney’s four major theme parks, Universal’s two, and marine adventure parks SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove Orlando, plus more than 90 other area attractions, fantasy and family fun is always on tap here.

Myrtle Beach, S.C. — Besides the trappings of today’s modern resort you can still stroll on the boardwalk, chow down on a foot-long chili dog, buy kitschy souvenirs, feed coins to arcade games or dangle a line from a fishing pier in the historic district of Ocean Boulevard.

Las Vegas, Nev. — This bright-light city is bound to set your soul on fire with gambling, glitter, entertainment, outstanding restaurants, swanky shops and nightclubs galore.

Washington, D.C. — The nation’s capital. It’s a phrase that underscores Washington’s global importance as a seat of government as well as its enormous appeal, charming millions of visitors each year.

Yellowstone National Park — Its combination of natural beauty and geothermal features—the highest concentration on earth—makes Yellowstone a once-in-a-lifetime destination.

Gatlinburg, Tenn. — Stretching two miles along the banks of the Little Pigeon River at the foot of Mount Le Conte, Gatlinburg is a popular mountain resort, and has become an important handicraft center for the Southern Highlands area.

Others places that make the AAA list of top destinations are Phoenix, Ariz.; Niagara Falls, N.Y./Ont.; the Grand Canyon; Ocean City, Md., and Virginia Beach, Va.

But before you leave for that summer vacation or road trip, see our infographic – “Road Trip’d – Top 10 Fun Facts for Summer” – at’s blog, The Open Road.

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