2023’s Best & Worst States for Summer Road Trips

Published 6:24 am Monday, June 26, 2023

, WalletHub Financial Writer

Summer is the perfect time to hit the open road: School’s out, the weather’s warm, and the possibilities are endless. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is mostly behind us, Americans are very eager to travel. In fact, this summer, nearly 80% of American adults plan to take some sort of road trip, with around 39% planning to travel more than 250 miles from home.

Deciding to take a trip is the easy part, though. Picking a destination and affording everything you want to pack into your itinerary is harder. Gas prices might be one thing to worry about, for example. They’ve remained high this year, with the national average at over $3.50 per gallon now. On top of that, you’ll need to consider accommodations, activities and dining, all of which are affected by high inflation.

With road warriors in mind, WalletHub compared the 50 U.S. states based on 32 key metrics to find the most fun, scenic and wallet-friendly road-trip destinations — plus those that’ll have travelers pulling a quick U-turn. Our data set ranges from the number of attractions to road conditions to costs.

WalletHub’s road trip report found that Louisiana ranks 6th nationally for summer driving.

Road Tripping in Louisiana (1=Best; 25=Avg.):

  • 11th – Number of Attractions
  • 5th – Lowest Price of Three-Star Hotel Room
  • 2nd – Avg. Gas Prices
  • 2nd – Nightlife Options per Capita
  • 8th – Access to Scenic Byways
  • 17th – Lowest Price of Camping
  • 3rd – Driving Laws Rating

Source: WalletHub

Best Road-Trip Destinations for Summer

Overall Rank State Total Score Costs Safety Activities
1 Texas 60.33 7 38 5
2 New York 58.72 41 8 3
3 North Carolina 57.27 9 36 7
4 Ohio 56.85 18 21 12
5 Idaho 56.81 23 6 20
6 Louisiana 56.77 1 46 11
7 Florida 56.06 22 49 2
8 Wyoming 55.85 25 5 22
9 Minnesota 55.51 24 7 21
10 Maine 54.86 32 1 30
11 Alaska 54.54 42 24 4
12 Utah 53.35 37 19 10
13 Pennsylvania 52.94 33 15 17
14 Alabama 52.78 8 32 32
15 Virginia 52.71 39 14 13
16 Nevada 52.32 31 33 8
17 Georgia 52.31 6 35 29
18 Michigan 52.25 14 27 28
19 Colorado 52.00 19 40 15
20 Missouri 51.93 3 43 27
21 Iowa 51.69 21 4 39
22 Nebraska 51.25 17 9 38
23 Illinois 50.32 40 16 19
24 Oklahoma 50.31 4 34 37
25 South Dakota 50.16 13 28 35
26 Wisconsin 50.08 30 10 33
27 Vermont 49.70 27 2 49
28 Kentucky 49.34 12 31 36
29 New Jersey 48.98 38 13 31
29 Tennessee 48.98 10 45 26
31 Mississippi 48.61 2 44 40
32 Washington 48.58 48 30 6
33 Oregon 48.45 46 23 9
34 New Hampshire 48.36 36 3 41
35 Arizona 48.25 34 41 16
36 West Virginia 48.24 16 22 44
37 Kansas 47.95 15 20 45
38 California 47.84 50 42 1
39 Indiana 47.80 20 25 42
40 Maryland 47.30 44 29 14
41 South Carolina 47.16 11 50 25
42 North Dakota 46.96 28 12 46
43 New Mexico 45.49 26 47 23
44 Massachusetts 45.29 47 11 24
45 Arkansas 44.66 5 48 43
46 Montana 44.46 29 39 34
47 Hawaii 41.49 49 26 18
48 Connecticut 38.71 45 18 47
49 Delaware 38.34 35 37 48
50 Rhode Island 37.97 43 17 50

Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that state, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

Avg. Gas Prices
Lowest
  • 1. Mississippi
  • 2. Louisiana
  • 3. Texas
  • 4. Alabama
  • 5. Arkansas
Avg. Gas Prices
Highest
  • 46. Nevada
  • 47. Washington
  • 48. Arizona
  • 49. Hawaii
  • 50. California
Avg. Cost of Car Repairs
Lowest
  • 1. Maine
  • 2. Ohio
  • 3. Michigan
  • 4. Iowa
  • 5. Wisconsin
Avg. Cost of Car Repairs
Highest
  • 46. North Carolina
  • 47. Georgia
  • 48. California
  • 49. Colorado
  • 50. Connecticut
Price of Camping
Lowest
  • 1. Mississippi
  • 2. Wyoming
  • 3. Nebraska
  • 4. Michigan
  • 5. Arizona
Price of Camping
Highest
  • 43. Florida
  • 44. Maine
  • 45. Rhode Island
  • T-46. Virginia
  • T-46. California
Car Thefts per Capita
Most
  • 1. Vermont
  • 2. Maine
  • 3. New Hampshire
  • 4. Idaho
  • 5. Massachusetts
Car Thefts per Capita
Fewest
  • 46. Oregon
  • 47. Missouri
  • 48. California
  • 49. New Mexico
  • 50. Colorado
% of Total Area Designated as National Parkland
Highest %
  • T-1. Alaska
  • T-1. Hawaii
  • T-1. California
  • T-1. Florida
  • T-1. Washington
  • T-1. Arizona
% of Total Area Designated as National Parkland
Lowest %
  • 46. Indiana
  • 47. Oklahoma
  • 48. Kansas
  • 49. Iowa
  • 50. Illinois
Scenic Byways
Most
  • 1. Oregon
  • 2. California
  • 3. Utah
  • 4. North Carolina
  • 5. Washington
Scenic Byways
Fewest
  • 46. Wisconsin
  • 47. Rhode Island
  • 48. Hawaii
  • 49. Delaware
  • 50. Connecticut