You only have a couple of weeks when spring break hits. Do you really want to go shoulder to shoulder with thousands of people on a crowded beach?

This a time for adventure, relaxation, and new experiences. Avoid the hustle and bustle and consider taking a road trip to one of these destinations instead.

Scenic Drives

Texas Hill Country

Whether you’re looking for adventure or just want to relax with the family, this route has it all. You can start at Austin where you can enjoy live music and delicious BBQ. Over at Fredericksburg, you have the option to admire the beautiful bluebonnets, visit the Pioneer Museum and National Museum of the Pacific War or take a wine tour. And if want to experience what it’s like to be a cowboy, head over to Bandera, the Texas Cowboy Capital of the World.

Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway, South Carolina

If your break is on the later side, consider a drive across South Carolina’s Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway. It’s a 120-mile route that was once part of the “Cherokee Path” that was used by Native Americans. Throughout the drive, you’ll see waterfalls, covered bridges, and peach orchards and trees in full bloom, if you’re lucky. Must-sees include the Keowee Toxaway State Park, the majestic views from Fred W. Symmes Chapel, the charming town of Gaffney, and more.

Cities and Towns

Charlottesville, Virginia

With two U.S. Presidents who called this place home, Charlottesville is filled with history. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Monroe’s Highland, and James Madison’s Montpelier are just some of the destinations you can drive to.

Not much of a history buff? Head to Downtown Charlottesville where there’s no shortage of great food and unique stores, all wrapped in southern appeal. And you should definitely check out the Brew Ridge Trail, a self-guided tour of the country’s top breweries that runs along the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Cape May, New Jersey

Another family-friendly stop is Cape May. Filled with Victorian style houses and wide-open beaches without the crowds, you can be sure it’s going to be a relaxing trip. If you want to spend some time with the family, Congress Hall and the Grand Hotel offer many activities that you can all enjoy. While you’re there, board the Cape May Whale Watcher and get a chance to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat.

National Parks

Utah’s Desert Parks

If you really want your car to rack up those miles, it’s time to hit the open road. Utah’s desert parks are the perfect destination, especially this time of year when it’s still relatively cool. There’s the Arches National Park, known for its natural arches. Canyonlands National Park showcases what water can do with enough time. Capitol Reef is named after formations that resemble an underwater reef. Then there’s Bryce Canyon, with its bright orange, red and yellow hoodoo formations. Finally, Zion National Park, a feast for the eyes but a challenging hiking experience. Together, these parks are known as the Mighty 5.

Don’t let your precious vacation time go to waste. Remember, the road less traveled often produces the best stories.