A three-day weekend for most of us means one thing: 24 additional hours to spend in the car. Here are five great 4th of July road trips, for all parts of the country, from the Jalopnik staff.

Region: The West

Where: Glacier National Park, Montana

Why: Glacier National Park is located up near the Canadian border, only a couple of hours from Spokane, Washington. It's the quintessential American summer road trip — great wildlife, great food, ancient railroad lodges, and over one million acres of undisturbed, postcard-worthy wilderness. The high-altitude lakes are glass-smooth, and the drive up the aptly named Going to the Sun Road, a 50-mile engineering marvel that skirts some of the best mountain views this side of the Swiss Alps, will take your breath away. Try the huckleberry pie at the excellent Two Sisters Cafe, near the park's eastern border.

How To Get There: Take US-395 north out of Spokane to US-2, then US-2 east until you hit the park.

To get there just follow this link

Region: The Northeast

Where: Lime Rock Park

Why: One of the nicest drives for July 4th (or any time of the year, really) is from the New York metro area up into Connecticut, to Lime Rock Park. The Saw Mill and Taconic Parkways are great curvy, picturesque roads (though make sure you get an early start, as they can get pretty trafficky later in the day), but the best part of the trip starts once you get onto Route 22/55: two-lane country roads cutting across wide open fields, through forests, and up over the eastern reaches of the Catskill Mountains. Once you get to Lime Rock, the beauty doesn't stop; the track might as well be a regular park, too.

How To Get There: Saw Mill River Parkway to I-685 to NY 22 to US-7.

To get there just follow this link

Region: The Midwest

Where: Chicago to Glencoe

Why:When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do for the Fourth of July was to drive from my tiny suburb to Navy Pier in Chicago to see the fireworks. When the day was over, we used to drive along Lake Shore Drive. Sometimes we'd stop and walk in the parks and beaches that lined Lake Michigan, and sometimes we'd just drive, my dad always at the wheel. Lake Shore Drive is one of the things I miss most about Chicago now that I live in New York — it's not the most exciting drive, but it sure was nice: the lake, the beaches, and the lights of Chicago at night. It continues to get beautiful as you drive north along Sheridan drive towards Glencoe, Illinois.

How To Get There: Take Lake Shore Drive from downtown Chicago to Sheridan Road.

To get there just follow this link

Region: Upper Midwest

Where: Keeweenaw Peninsula, Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Why: Michigan's Upper Peninsula is a beautiful place, but it's also somewhat out of the way. Unless you live in eastern Wisconsin or southern Canada, you have to cross most of the state of Michigan in order to get there. The Keeweenaw Peninsula is the northernmost tip of the state's northernmost county, a mining region long known for its cheap lodging, pleasant summer weather, and impossibly beautiful shorelines. The road there may be long, but it's more than worth it.


How To Get There: First, find Michigan. Then go north. (If you hit Lake Superior, you've gone too far.) Highway 41 goes right to the end of the peninsula, landing in the tiny village of Copper Harbor. Try the pasties.

To get there just follow this link

Region: The Southwest

Where: Central Texas

Why: Texas is known for its long stretches of empty highway, but the central part of the state is home to serious driving and great food. This journey starts in Kyle and carries through to Driftwood, Texas for some BBQ at the famous Salt Lick. Along the route, you'll cross flowing streams and hit serious elevation change. Follow RR 630 to the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge for some solace. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also hit up Cow Creek Road.


How To Get There: Take I-35 to Kyle to FM 150 to FM 1826 to US 71 to RR 620 to RR 1431.

To get there just follow this link

Region: Where You Are

These are five trips we put together from memory with the collected wisdom of the staff and interns. Tell us where you're planning to go in the tips below.

Top Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com