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10 best and worst U.S. states for summer road trips

We love road trips. Is your state road trip-friendly? (Photo: bikeriderlondon/
We love road trips. Is your state road trip-friendly? (Photo: bikeriderlondon/

Being born and raised in northern New Jersey, I'm all too familiar with summer road trips. Summer isn't complete without taking a trip "down the shore," as we like to say. We hop in the car with family or friends and drive a few hours down to one of the many beaches along the coastline, ready to enjoy the sun, water and all the deep-fried goodness one can stomach on the boardwalk.

Of course, that's the nostalgic part of it. We fixate on those moments to forget about the countless hours wasted sitting in traffic, rising gas prices and the ever-increasing N.J. Parkway tolls. And those cute little rental houses on Long Beach Island and quaint motels in Seaside Heights? Let's remember them that way and forget how overpriced they can be.

[Related: The 10 keys to keeping your home safe while on vacation]

Not surprisingly (to me, at least), New Jersey is one of WalletHub's top 10 worst states for summer road trips.

WalletHub released a report ranking all 50 U.S. states based on how road trip-friendly they are, using data from various organizations including the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Park Service and WalletHub's own research. The states were compared across three equally weighted dimensions:

  1. Driving and lodging costs
  2. Road conditions and safety
  3. Fun and scenic attractions

Conditions like those described above haven't deterred Americans from taking summer road trips, however. According the WalletHub, 90% of the 85% of Americans who are planning a summer vacation this year are planning road trips. That number is up 13% since 2014.

Click "next" to see the 10 best states for summer road trips, followed by the 10 worst. To see the report from WalletHub, vist 2015's Best and Worst States for Summer Road Trips.

10 Best States for Summer Road Trips


Highway 33 near Howe, Idaho. (Tucker James/

10. Idaho


Linn Cove Viaduct in North Carolina. (Pierre Leclerc/

9. North Carolina

The road to Telluride, Colo. (Joseph Sohm/

8. Colorado

The Medicine Bow mountains of Wyoming. (Sharon Day/

7. Wyoming

A road leading to Monument Valley, Utah. (Zhigin Zhu/

6. Utah

Canopy of trees over a road in Sandusky, Ohio. (DonLand/

5. Ohio

A mossy forest road in Olympic National Park in Washington. (welcomia/

4. Washington

A rural road in Minnesota. (Vladimir Daragan/

3. Minnesota

Valley of Fire Road in Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. (UrbanImages/

2. Nevada

A winding road along the Spectacular Oregon Coast. (Albert Pego/

1. Oregon

10 Worst States for Summer Road Trips


A view of the NJ Turnpike near Bayonne, N.J. (Andrew F. Kazmierski/

41. New Jersey

A road in Michigan. (MaxyM/

42. Michigan

 Clairborne Pell Bridge and lighthouse in Newport, R.I. (Stuart Monk/

43. Rhode Island

A road leading to the Capitol of Arkansas. (Joseph Sohm/

44. Arkansas

A road going through the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma. (4736202690/

45. Oklahoma

The South Dakota Black Hills near Rapid City. (welcomia/

46. South Dakota

The Mississippi State Capitol. (Katherine Welles/

47. Mississippi

The William V. Roth Jr. Bridge in Delaware. (ARENA Creative/

48. Delaware

A narrow road winding through Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. (Earl D. Walker/

49. North Dakota

A highway leads to Hartford, Conn. (Joseph Sohm/

50. Connecticut

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