There's nothing better than a road trip with your best friends. Hitting the road with your favorite tracks blasting while eating tons of snacks and planning fun stops is the perfect way to spend a school break. A road trip is one of the best ways to make memories, and while the journey can be just as much fun as the destination, picking an amazing spot to visit for a few days will make the trip truly epic. The best part of a road trip is you don’t have to even make it a huge deal — you could go for a fun day trip or make it a whole weekend (or week long) excursion depending on your sked and budget. The memories alone will be worth the effort, not to mention, if you pick the right destination and route, you’ll have plenty of amazing backgrounds for some epic selfies. Check out our favorite road trip destinations for you and your besties, and get ready to hit the road.
If you're looking for a fun destination that will have something for everyone in your crew, Universal Studios is the perfect destination. Make sure to give yourself at least two or three days to explore it all, from Universal Studios Florida to Island of Adventure and Volcano Bay. Get your thrills on tons of rollercoasters and rides tied to your favorite movies, plus, tons of water rides to cool off on. Potterheads will live for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and movie buffs will love all the cool shows and live entertainment. There are endless spots to grab snacks worthy of their own TikTok as well as spots to sit down for lunch or dinner and rehash your day. If you're on a time crunch or hate waiting in lines, book the Universal Express pass to get on the rides faster — trust us, it's worth splurging on. If you're not within driving distance of Orlando, you can check out Universal Studios in Hollywood.
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A fun drive from the D.C. area, the waterfront city has so many fun things to do: tour the Naval Academy, try paddle boarding or go for a boat ride, tour the historic homes, or chow down on lobster rolls. Stay at the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel for amazing views of the harbor.
This west coast city has so much to offer, from good food (and coffee — it’s home to the original Sbux) to tons of Insta-worthy sites like the Space Needle, the “Gum Wall”, and the Seattle Great Wheel.
Disneyland in Anaheim, California
If you and your besties are in need of a mid-semester pick-me-up, there’s truly no better place to go. It’s not just for little kids. You’ll love going on the rides, checking out the attractions, and taking an obligatory pic of your ice cream cone with the happiest place on earth as the background.
Disney World in Orlando Florida
If you’re on the other side of the country, consider a trip Disney World. Make it a long weekend so you have time to hit up The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and if you can swing it, Animal Kingdom too. You and your bffs will have so much fun riding the rides (make sure to get the Disney Genie+ service to get Lightning Lane entrances so you can hit up the top attractions and rides without wasting precious time in lines), fueling up on all the IG worthy treats, and making TikToks and Reels everywhere you go. Stay at Disney's Contemporary Resort — it makes the perfect home base for exploring all the parks. The Monorail runs right through the hotel for easy access to the Magic Kingdom and other hotels and Epcot, and it's just a short shuttle ride to the other theme parks. Plus, you can catch the Magic Kingdom's nightly fireworks show right from the hotel, and there's an arcade, pool with waterslide and tons of food options on site (including Chef Mickey's if you're looking for some fun selfies with your favorite childhood friends and California Grill if you want to treat yourselves to a special dinner).
Grand Canyon, Arizona
This natural landmark is a must-see, and not just because the stunning vistas will look amazing on your Insta. You can explore this natural wonder by foot or horse, depending how much time you have.
Calling all fans of Gilmore Girls! If you always wanted to visit Stars Hollow IRL, grab your crew and head to Litchfield, CT. Gilmore Girls show runner, Amy Sherman-Palladino has said the fictional town was inspired by Washington, Connecticut. After checking out the area and snapping some pics, there are several other towns to visit in Litchfield, each with their own charm and shops and restaurants to explore. The ultimate country escape, Litchfield is filled with chic boutiques, adorable cafes and restaurants, and lots of hiking spots. There’s even skiing and snowboarding at nearby Mohawk Mountain. Book a room or two at The Litchfield Inn, which is the perfect backdrop for your cottage core-inspired content. There are 32 rooms, 12 of which are themed rooms, and your stay includes a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning, with everything you could want, including an omelette bar and all the coffee. When you’ve finished a long day of exploring, you can come back to the inn for cookies and snacks, and there’s a fun outdoor space with a fire pit where you can hang out and play corn hole.
New Orleans, Louisiana
While Mardi Gras may seem like the obvious time to visit, New Orleans is amazing year-round. Consider going in the fall or winter, when the weather is slightly cooler and it’s not so packed.
This fun college town is the perfect southern destination. You have to check out UVA, Thomas Jefferson’s alma mater, and hit up downtown Charlottesville for tons of cool restaurants, shopping, and live music.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
You may have gone with your family when you were younger, but you’ll have a blast with your squad hitting up Noah’s Ark Water Park, going on a Duck tour, and of course, enjoying all the local fudge and delicious fried foods.
Live music, street fairs, and tons of restaurants and shopping — there are so many fun things to do in this Texas hotspot.
The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota
If you and your besties favorite thing to do is shop, why not take a trip to the biggest mall in America? Save up because with hundreds of stores and over 50 restaurants (not to mention an arcade, aquarium, and more!) you won’t be able to leave without emptying your bank account.
Park City, Utah
While Park City is a popular wintertime destination thanks to its amazing ski mountains, it’s also an incredible place to visit in the summer or fall. Regardless of when you go, you'll have the best time bonding outdoors. Ski, snowboard, sled, hike, mountain bike, fly fish, horseback ride, or just take a chairlift up the mountain for some scenic selfies. And don't forget to enjoy all the shopping and good food along Main Street. Stay at the Lodge at the Mountain Village for easy access to all the mountain activities and town.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
This popular summer destination is amazing in the fall when the weather is still beautiful but there aren’t huge crowds. The beaches are beautiful, so pack all those YA novels you’ve been dying to read, a cooler and some blankets. There are also really cute restaurants and shops to explore.
The Catskills, New York
The setting for Dirty Dancing, the Catskills are a fun place to explore if you live in the New York-area. There’s no prettier background for amazing photos — waterfalls, lakes, mountains and colorful leaves everywhere. Go canoeing or hiking, or just drive around and take tons of cool pics.
Now that you’ve got the destination nailed down, you’re almost ready to go. To plan a really epic trip though, you want to make sure you have the right set-up. That includes plenty of bevs and snacks for the road, cash for stops along the way, gas money, a number for road side assistance in case something happens (and make sure you have a spare tire and kit in the car), and of course a killer playlist.
Kristin Koch is the Editor in Chief of Seventeen, overseeing the content and editorial operations for all of Seventeen's digital and print efforts. Before coming to Seventeen, Koch held editor positions at Glamour, Vanity Fair, and The Knot. In 2016, she founded lifestyle blog, Closetful of Clothes, where she covers everything from style and interiors to travel. A Chicago native, Koch graduated from Colgate University with a degree in History. She loves pizza, rom-coms and HGTV.