The Best Mini Road Trips to Squeeze the Most out of Your Summer

by Lauren Tassi July 12, 2019

The Best Mini Road Trips to Squeeze the Most out of Your Summer

West Coast Edition


Break out your favorite SpiritHood. It’s time to hit the open road and seek adventure.

 

The summer flies by. Before you know it kids will go back to school and Sundays will be reserved for football. Pack as much fun as you can in this summer by heading out on a mini road trip.

 

These short road trips will take you off the beaten path. Spend your nights camping under the stars or book a room in a nearby lodge or hotel. The beauty of these mini road trips is that there is something for everyone.

 

With a focus on jaw-dropping views and quirky little towns, these stops are begging for epic photos. Throw on your beloved SpiritHood and be sure to tag #SpiritHoods in all your shots so we join you on your adventures. 

 

Pack the cooler with snacks and drinks. 

 

Cue up a killer playlist.

 

Let’s hit the road, Jack!

 

 

Photo by Bradley Dunn on Unsplash

Raise Your Vibration — Joshua Tree, CA

Travel time: 2.5 hours from Los Angeles 

 

When you first enterJoshua Tree National Park you might think you’ve left planet earth.  The scenery and views are otherworldly. The namesake Joshua Trees are spectacular to see in person. At night, stargazing is mandatory. 

 

The park is huge. Bigger than the state of Rhode Island. Hit up a hiking trail early in the morning, before the heat gets unbearable. Spend the later part of your day driving through the park in the air-conditioned comfort of your car. 

 

Summer Desert Survival Tips:

  • Pack plenty of water and snacks.
  • Load up on sunscreen.
  • Temperatures can drop at night, bring your trusty SpiritHood to keep you warm.

 

Joshua Tree is a small town located just outside of the park. It’s got some pretty magical vibes and has become a haven for artists, creatives and healers over the years. There are a handful of small restaurants and little shops along the main stretch of town.

 

You’ll find plenty of affordable lodging options, especially in the summer. Campgrounds are aplenty, but camping in the desert during this time of year can be brutal.

 

Outside of the park, be sure to check out theIntegratron. A huge white dome with perfect acoustics, the Integratron is a great place to experience a sound bath. Book ahead if you can.

 

Pioneertown is another cool place to stop if you are J-Tree bound. Built in 1946, this area served as a movie set for many old westerns. Lots of great photo ops here. Check outPappy & Harriet’s live music schedule. This little bar draws some major headliners. 

Photo byGanapathy Kumar onUnsplash

Big Little Views — Big Sur, CA

Travel time: Less than 3 hours from San Francisco

 

Start this mini road trip by heading south on Highway 1. Feel the ocean breeze in your hair and enjoy the sights.

 

Big Sur is the jewel of the California coastline. Jagged cliffs peek out over stunning blue waters. There are gorgeous campsites as well as luxury hotels but it can get crowded during the summer. If you plan to spend the night, be sure to book ahead of time. Cell service can be spotty at best, so screenshot your map and directions. 

 

Don’t missPoint Lobos State Natural Reserve. Technically in Carmel-by-the-Sea, this oceanside reserve is full of walking paths and hiking trails. You’ll also get the chance to see plenty of wildlife. 

 

The iconicBixby Bridge is a must-do. Park in the turnoff at the south end of the bridge during sunset. You are guaranteed amazing photos and views.  

 

Pfeiffer Beach can be a little tricky to find, but this magical beach has purple sand and beautiful rock formations. Another great spot to watch the sunset.

 

If you have extra time spend a night in Santa Cruz and enjoy the boardwalk and beach there.

Guten Tag — Leavenworth, WA

Travel time: 2 hours 15 minutes from Seattle

 

Fancy a trip to Germany? If that’s not in your budget right now, check out Leavenworth instead. Only 120 miles east of Seattle, the little Bavarian village of Leavenworth is a perfect mini road trip destination.

 

You’ll get your fill of beer, bratwurst and lederhosen in Leavenworth. The German decor can feel kitschy at times, but there’s a lot more to this town than meets the eye. 

 

Outdoor activities abound here. In the summer you can go hiking, mountain biking and white water rafting. Come back in the winter for skiing and snowboarding. Looking for something a little more relaxing? Leavenworth offers easy-goingriver activities too.

 

After an adventurous day enjoying nature, head back into town. You’ll find lots of restaurants and bars in the center of town. You can check out somelive music or wander through shops and art galleries. Don’t miss the hand-painted murals covering many downtown buildings.

 

Leavenworth has hotels to fit any budget. There are numerous campsites available as well. 

 

Photo byTim Peterson onUnsplash

Never Say Die — Astoria, OR

Travel time: 90 minutes from Portland

 

Astoria is an old fishing village situated on the edge of the Columbia River. It’s also the filming location for the classic 80’s movie The Goonies.Grab your best buds and head to Astoria, OR for a mini road trip full of fun and nostalgia.

 

Take aself-guided tour of the filming locations used in the movie. TheOregon Film Museum is located in a former working jail. This small museum has tons of Goonies memorabilia.

 

You must go for a stroll down the Astoria Riverwalk. You’ll get some amazing views of the Astoria-Megler bridge. This bridge connects Oregon and Washington. TheAstoria Old Riverfront Trolley runs on weekends here. Rides cost only $1.

 

Head 9 miles west of Astoria and you’ll find yourself inFort Stevens State Park. A beautiful park with endless beaches to enjoy the surf. Not surprisingly, sunset is the best time to visit. 

 

The Fort Stevens campground is one of the largest in the state. It’s close to the beach and set up to accommodate all kinds of campers. 

Time to Explore

Are you heading off on a mini road trip this summer? 

 

Don’t forget your favorite SpiritHood! And be sure to tag #SpiritHoods so we can join in on the fun.

 

Happy Adventuring!

Lauren Tassi
Lauren Tassi



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