10 unconventional road trips to take this summer

The temperatures are rising, the cabin fever of a long winter is making you skinny, and soaking up the sun with your girlfriends is firmly on the calendar—that's right, everyone, summer is just around the corner. What better way to spend the warmer months than spending quality time with friends and brainstorming some non-traditional road trip ideas? Embark on an adventure through some of the hidden gems of rural America? Please let me answer "yes" and then please give me three bonus points.

There are so many great times when you take the road less traveled with good friends, and that's when you want to start planning the trip. While there are plenty of traditional multi-day trips to choose from – Paging: Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park – why not go to some places you haven’t heard of, around us What does getting lost in an unknown land have to offer?

For a great place to start your creative hunt, check out these 10 stunning, unfamiliar, speed-bump-free places to make road trip memories you'll cherish for years to come.

1. New Orleans, Louisiana to Apalachicola, Florida

Enjoy a relaxing time with your lady, enjoy jazz music, lots of seafood and po'boys, plus there are plenty of opportunities to get in shape while kayaking or hiking on your way to Florida.

2. Hawaii Grand Circle

Enjoy two extremes of terrain - crashing waves and volcanoes - on this beautiful 300-mile journey over land and sea.

3. Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Add Chugach State Park to your list of places to make a mark, you won’t be disappointed. Travel through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, 1.9 million acres of pristine nature, to see the unadulterated beauty of the Last Frontier.

4. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan, via Duluth, Minnesota

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is home to stunning sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, sand dunes and other beautiful spots worthy of a road trip. Take in Lake Superior on a five-day trip from Michigan to Minnesota.

5. Las Cruces, New Mexico via West Texas

Check out the flat, desolate landscape and, yes, be sure to try some amazing Southwestern cuisine at one of New Mexico’s coolest restaurants.

6. Jackson, Wyoming to Glacier National Park, Montana

Along the 600-mile route, explore stunning mountainous terrain and some of America's most interesting and iconic wildlife.

7. Southern Colorado Loop

This could be the trip of a lifetime. Explore more than 500 miles of multi-sport adventure while taking in the sights and sounds of Class IV whitewater rapids.

8. Olympic Peninsula Loop, Washington

Known to hikers and campers for its lush, varied landscape, the Olympic Peninsula stretches along 73 miles of stunning Pacific coastline, offering everything your group could want to see in just a few days of travel Rapids river and rainforest foliage.

9. Eureka, California to Coos Bay, Oregon

Enjoy stunning Pacific Coast views winding to Coos Bay and take in the best of the sun, mountains and countryside.

10. Miami to Key West, FL

The 120-mile drive spans endless bridges and the turquoise waters are refreshing. Hear what those in the know have to say: You'll feel like you're flying all the time. The windows are closed and the music is on.

Image: Seth Doyle, Micah Hallahan, Thomas Marban, Alejandro Gonzalez, Aaron Burdon, Alberto Restifo, Tim Mossholder, Israel Sundseth; Joshua Sortino; Jesse Bowser/Unsplash; Ed Gregory/ Pexels