As fun as hitting the open road during the summer can be, not all American road trips are created equal, as anyone who's seen Jeepers Creepers or driven through Newark, New Jersey, will tell you. Some states are just inherently more scenic, activity-packed, and affordable.
Now, thanks to a new study from WalletHub comparing the pros and cons of cruising through each US state in a car, you can easily decide which trips are worth your time and gas money, and which ones to skip (sorry, Connecticut).
This Giant Banh Mi Weighs 4 Pounds
To conduct the ranking, Wallethub looked at 22 key metrics in three main categories: Costs, Safety, and Activities. That means they weighed statistics like the price of accommodations (hotel and camping), toll costs, quality of roads, number of attractions and nightlife, amount of shoreline and national parkland, and most importantly (and weighted heavily), "access to scenic byways." It also looked at average gas prices per state, which are down across the board. In fact, according to an analysis by Gas Buddy, fuel costs this summer are on track to be the cheapest they've been since 2005, which means you'll be able to explore from coast to coast even if you're budget's tight.
Here's how the states stacked up:
49. Rhode Island
46. North Dakota
42. New Jersey
31. South Dakota
28. West Virginia
27. New Hampshire
22. South Carolina
20. New Mexico
17. New York
4. North Carolina
Wallethub also ranked states according to a few specific statistics, like the price of camping, number of car thefts, and the number of scenic byways specific to each state, to help you further narrow down where you might want to go. You can scope those out, and read up on the particulars of the survey's methodology right here.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.