With the coronavirus pandemic disqualifying flying, and most vacationers staying close to home, ‘tis the season to embark on a road trip. Whether you’re a seasoned road tripper or you’re giving it a try for the first time this year, the first step is to map out an itinerary.

Not sure where to begin? Use these six guides to chart your route, and then hit the open road for a summer getaway.

“Backroads & Byways of Washington” by Archie Satterfield.

If you’re eager for the opportunity to explore the beauty of our very own Evergreen State, look no further than Satterfield’s guide. It includes 17 road trips and weekend getaways that take you to every corner of Washington, from the Cascades to Granite Falls to Snake River Canyon. Satterfield even shares some of his favorite hidden gems.

“Pacific Northwest’s Best Trips” by Lonely Planet.

The Pacific Northwest has been affectionately dubbed “PNWonderland” for good reason. Full of stunning mountain ranges, islands, waterfalls and natural hot springs, the region is a treasure trove of breathtaking landscapes and views.

Released in May, this up-to-date guide features 32 road trips, complete with helpful itineraries and planning advice. It’ll quickly become your go-to resource for whenever you’re craving an easy-to-plan, relaxing getaway.


“Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip: California, Oregon & Washington” by Ian Anderson.

The Pacific Coast Highway is well known as one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The 1,700-mile stretch offers opportunities to visit bustling cities and charming coastal towns — and you get to take in stunning ocean views as you travel.

Anderson’s comprehensive guide includes 48 maps and a variety of itineraries tailored to your time frame and interests. The full route takes two weeks, or you can choose a specific area for a shorter trip. The guide includes practical tips and information like how to avoid traffic, where to get gas and how to navigate any tricky road conditions you may encounter.

“The Best Coast: A Road Trip Atlas” by Chandler O’Leary.

O’Leary’s guide offers the best of both worlds by taking you off the beaten path without missing out on any bucket-list attractions. Want to experience the Pacific Coast Highway a little differently than most road trippers? “The Best Coast” has got you covered with side trips to gorgeous spots including Joshua Tree National Park, Yosemite National Park, Santa Catalina Island, California wine country, and Vancouver, B.C. It also includes in-depth city guides to San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland and Seattle, too, if a staycation is more your speed.

If you’re not quite sure about road tripping or you’d prefer an armchair vacation, this is the book for you. In addition to over 400 watercolor illustrations, O’Leary fills the guide with unusual facts and little-known history about the West Coast.


“Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America’s Two-Lane Highways” by Jamie Jensen.

Jensen traveled over 400,000 miles to find the perfect stretch of two-lane highways, and this nearly 1,000-page guide, taking you into the heart of America, is the result.

Perfect for hardcore road trippers who are ready to make a 25-day trip across the country, the guide includes both famous attractions and obscure, quirky destinations. If you’re dying to see the world’s largest jackalope (and who wouldn’t be?), we’re happy to inform you that Jensen’s guide has got you covered.

“The Most Scenic Drives in America: 120 Spectacular Road Trips” by Editors of Reader’s Digest.

Highways are the most common way to road trip, but this guide takes a different approach by directing travelers to routes that offer scenic beauty that you’d miss entirely from the highway or interstate. 

“The Most Scenic Drives in America” is divided into four sections: Western, Mountain, Central and Eastern. Each road trip is accompanied by photos, a detailed description and an easy-to-use map.