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Adventure Travel Road Trip Weekend Getaways

10 Last-Minute Road Trips for Columbus Day Weekend

It’s not too late to enjoy the upcoming long weekend! Make it a mini-vacation with one of these scenic last-minute road trips around the country.

The beauty of fall road trips is that they often require minimal planning. It’s low or shoulder season for many places, and rather than dealing with the fuss of air travel you can simply pack up the car, fire up the GPS, and go.

Columbus Day weekend is perfect for this kind of impromptu getaway. It’s not too late to put your spare vacation day to use: Take advantage of one of these scenic road trip routes around the country.

(Photo: Road to Keji in Fall via Shutterstock)

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By Shannon McMahon

Editor Shannon McMahon is always planning her next trip and often writing in her travel journal. Follow her on Twitter @shanmcmahon_ and on Instagram @shanmcmahon.

Shannon joined SmarterTravel in 2015. A former news reporter, she's lived in the south of Spain, spotted elephants in Sri Lanka, gone spelunking in the Caribbean, hiked Jordan's Petra Basin, interviewed Sao Paulo's Michelin-Star chefs, and explored China via bullet train. Travel trends, news oddities, and her visits to up-and-coming destinations are some of her favorite things to write about.

Her stories have also appeared online on USA Today, The Sun, Huffington Post, Business Insider, blog.TripAdvisor.com, Boston.com, and more. Her educational background is in journalism, art history, gender studies, Spanish, and film. She's been quoted as an expert travel source by CNBC, People.com, MarketWatch, The Washington Post, USA Today, and more.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Plenty of extra thick hair elastics. They tame my frizzy curls and come in handy in a surprising number of packing and hotel dilemmas."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Climbing (yes, climbing, it's steep!) the Great Wall of China before it's gone."

Travel Motto: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window, of course."

Email Shannon at smcmahon@smartertravel.com.

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