THE 5 BEST ROAD TRIPS FOR CONVERTIBLES

Grab your sunglasses—these stunning, scenic routes are perfect for top-down driving.

By Reed Jackson

MICHIGAN: UPPER PENINSULA

What better way to cool off than to drive your convertible along the breezy shoreline of the Great Lake State’s majestic Upper Peninsula? You’ll come across dramatic limestone cliffs, endless fields of vibrant wildflowers and, of course, breathtaking views of the lakes themselves. Start in the small town of Naubinway and drive down U.S. Route 2 to the Mackinac Bridge, one of the largest suspension bridges in the world. Use it to glide over the Straits of Mackinac to the Lower Peninsula, or head north on I-75 and go toward Cedarville. This alternative route will provide not only picturesque sights but also a number of small sandy beaches perfect for swimming, sunbathing and walking.

Can’t-Miss Stop: Bridge View Park on Boulevard Drive in St. Ignace, for a gorgeous glimpse of the bridge and straits.

 

CAPE MAY: DELAWARE TO NEW JERSEY

 

From Rehoboth Beach, the quickest route to this historic seaside gem would be to ride the Cape May-Lewes Ferry across the opening of the Delaware River. But for a more adventurous path, take the Coastal Highway up toward Delaware City. This roadway will lead you through a number of charming coastal towns and is a perfect stretch to put the top down and enjoy the vaguely salty air whipping around you. Once you hit Delaware City, continue on across the Delaware Memorial Bridge, high above the river swells. From there, coast down U.S. Route 40 and New Jersey Route 47 to the cape for a refreshing swim. Before you head back, visit one of the local breweries to buy some craft beer to take home.

Can’t-Miss Stop: Dover, Del., home to rows of charming old residences and Dover International Speedway.

 

CHICAGO: LAKE SHORE DRIVE

 

For a stunning mixture of manmade and natural scenery, take a spin along Lake Shore Drive in the Windy City. The best way to experience it is to drive northward, making stops at some of the outdoor venues that dot the drive, such as the wondrous Buckingham Fountain and the always-teeming Navy Pier. With the top down, you’ll see the greenish-blue hue of Lake Michigan reflected in the glass of Chicago’s downtown skyline. If you want to dive into the real thing, stop at one of the many beaches along the way.

Can’t-Miss Stop: North Avenue Beach at 1600 N Lake Shore Drive, where an enormous beach house offers some of the best views of the city.

 

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK: GOING-TO-THE-SUN ROAD

 

This spectacular 50-mile stretch of highway goes through almost every type of terrain that Montana’s Glacier National Park has to offer, from glacial lakes to cedar forests to desolate tundra. Going in one direction will lead to something totally different than another. In a convertible, you can revel in the wonderful natural elements. If you’re in the mood to stretch your legs, pull over to the Trail of the Cedars, about six miles east of the Lake McDonald Lodge, and go for a mile-long hike through the old-growth forest.

Can’t-Miss Stop: Wild Goose Island Overlook, off Going-To-The-Sun-Road and right next to St. Mary Lake, to insert yourself in the magnificent photo above.

 

COLORADO: SAN JUAN SKYWAY

 

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, if byways could claim royal lineage, the San Juan Skyway “would probably rule them all.” They may have a point. This six-hour drive is full of impressive lookouts and unique towns—such as Durango, a delightful relic of the Old West, and scenic Telluride, known for its world-class skiing and film, jazz and bluegrass festivals—all excellent places to show off a shiny convertible. Another spot on the skyway that’s a can’t-miss is Mesa Verde National Park, home to one of the largest prehistoric ruins in the country.

Can’t-Miss Stop: Mesa Verde National Park, where you can tour some impressive cliff dwellings or visit the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum.

Read 8 tips for a super-fun convertible ride.

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