Road Trip Theme Tour Ideas

a girl in a van looking out the window

Winter is over, so it’s time to pack the car and head out on the open road to pursue your passions. Check out the following four summer theme trip ideas, all located in different regions of the country.

East Coast Baseball Tour

You can visit a lot of great ballparks within a relatively short distance on the East Coast. Begin your trip in Washington D.C., where the Nationals play at Nationals Park on South Capitol Street, with views of the Capitol building. Then head to Baltimore, where the meticulously designed retro-chic Oriole Park at Camden Yards amazes even non-baseball fans. On your drive up north on I-95, stop by Aberdeen, MD., where baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. runs camps and tournaments at his Ripken Experience complex, which features youth-size replicas of Camden Yards, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field.Next stop on your road trip is Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia for the Phillies (and, of course, cheese steaks). No East Coast baseball tour would be complete without driving to New York City for games at Yankee Stadium and the Mets’ Citi Field. Cap off your tour in Boston at Fenway Park, where the Red Sox have called home since 1912.

Amusement Parks Tour

Here’s a fine tour of four parks in three states with plenty of great roller coaster action. Start your road trip near Pittsburgh, Pa., at Kennywood, which boosts three water rides and six roller coasters, including Phantom’s Revenge, one of the world’s fastest (85 mph), with a stunning 230-foot drop. Then, make your way to the destination known as the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. It’s the only amusement park anywhere with four roller coasters taller than 200 feet, and also has 75 rides, a mile-long white sand beach and both an outdoor and indoor water park. Then, Kings Island near Cincinnati stakes its claim as the largest amusement and water park in the Midwest. The final stop on this theme tour is Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Ind., where The Voyage is routinely awarded Amusement Today magazine’s Golden Ticket award for “Best Wooden Roller Coaster.”

Barbecue Tour

The North Carolina Barbecue Society has made this road trip idea easy, thanks to its posting of the “Historic Barbecue Trail” with nearly two-dozen celebrated establishments. Among the options: Stephenson’s Bar-B-Q in Willow Springs, where slowly cooked pork spends at least 15 hours in a pit that’s three bricks thick; locally raised pork and “Nana’s pudding” at Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro; “stew and ‘cue” with Brunswick stew and pork (followed by hand-churned ice cream) at Allen & Son in Chapel Hill; and Short Sugar’s Drive-In in Reidsville, for car-side service.

Antiques Tour makes it simple to plan the antiquing road trip of your choice, like a Sonoma County/San Francisco trek. In Sonoma County, Antique Row stretches eight miles along Highway 116, with shops selling formal furniture, 20th century radios and vintage decor, the site reports. On the western end of the route is the town of Sebastopol, where the Antique Society and its 70 dealers are located. San Francisco is a short drive away, and there are an estimated 600 antique shops set up in the Jackson Square and Sacramento Street sections. The San Francisco Antiques Show and the Jackson Square Promenade are considered national-caliber, prime events for antiques enthusiasts.

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