Best Early Fall Road Trips for Students

Vacay on a Budget

If you want to hit the road but you are strapped for cash, here are a few road-trip destinations you might want to consider:

1.  Historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon

Also known as “The King of Roads” this national treasure is so beautiful that each viewpoint is protected. On the Historic Columbia River Highway just outside Portland, Oregon, you can see waterfalls, rivers, and mountains as you travel along with the Columbia River Gorge. Whether you are seeing it for the first time, or have driven this highway all your life, there is something new and exciting along this historic highway for everyone. There are numerous state trails located on the six-mile section from Larch Mountain to Bridal Veil, so don’t forget to pack your mountain bike or hiking shoes in the trunk.

2.  Historic Route 66 in Middle America

Come and get your kicks on historic Route 66! This old national highway has been around for three decades and has earned the title of “Main Street of America”. Although it is not as heavily trafficked as it used to be between 1925-1950, Route 66 has managed to maintain its charm. Billboards and giant statues along the highway still advertise a wide array of roadside attractions. Diners and motels play up the Route 66 theme and tend to be great for travelers on a budget.

3.  Pacific Coast Highway 1 in California

Who says California livin’ has to be expensive? Take this iconic road trip down California Highway 1 and see the coastline from San Francisco to San Diego. This trip has a lot to offer from sea lions and whale watching to interesting architectural points such a Bixby bridge or the Point Sur Lighthouse.

While on Highway 1, take time to detour onto the 101 to enjoy wine country. Keep going on the 101 and arrive at San Luis Obispo County where you can enjoy the day playing in the sun at one of the many beaches or take in stunning views from hilltop estates.


Yeah, You Can Put It on The Résumé

Traveling can teach you valuable lessons about who you are and the world around you, so why not represent it on your résumé. Here are a few road trip destinations with educational opportunities to put on your résumé:

1.  Site of The Pony Express in Kansas

Hanover, KS is home to the only remaining Pony Express stop still standing in its original location. Today, Hollenberg Pony Express Station acts as museum, offering materials and opportunities to learn about the historic landmark. Some say it’s haunted – according to many visitors and staff members, some Pony Express riders have chosen to linger at the station.

2.  Central New York Diamond Mines and Erie Canal

A unique experience for students exists in central New York, about an hour and a half west of Albany at the Herkimer Diamond Mines. Visitors can spend the whole day prospecting for diamonds, learning about minerals and gems, and collecting memorabilia to take home

Next, learn about the engineering feat that is the Erie Canal on one of its cruises. Onboard you will learn all about the working lock system and hear about the history of the canal.


Outdoor Adventures

If you are looking to travel on a budget, there is no better way to save money than camping. Here are a few outdoor adventure road-trip destinations:

1.   The Badlands and Black Hills – North Dakota, South Dakota & Wyoming

The Black Hills of South Dakota are home to some truly monumental places. Explore everything from the faces of presidents carved on Mountain Rushmore to the magical caverns of the wind cave. Just when you think you have seen everything, make your way to the otherworldly Badlands. This crazy terrain is created when clay-rich soils are extensively eroded by wind and water.

2.  Monongahela, Jefferson, and George Washington National Forests – Virginia and West Virginia

Right outside of some of America’s largest cities, is a ruggedness stretch of mountains known as the Appalachians. The Appalachian Mountains are home to thousands of miles of pristine forest protected by three large preserves. If you love to hike and camp, this naturally beautiful forest would be a prefect destination.

– Sam C.