The weather is warming up, and late winter rains have turned trees and grass green and encouraged wildflowers to bloom. It’s the right time to take a drive, either in a favorite place or a new destination with unfamiliar landscapes and roads. Whether your preferred scenery is mountains, deserts, forests, plains, or coastal views, there’s a road trip that will make you happy. If you enjoy historic sites, regional food, wineries, or nature, you can plan a journey around your interests.

We’ve put together a few suggestions, many of them beginning at a place worth exploring before setting out on your drive. Others cover national parks during this ideal time of year before summer crowds arrive and after winter’s cold and snow are gone. Wildlife is abundant in the parks at this time of year, with migrations and births, so watching for birds and other creatures will add to the experience.

There’s flexibility built into these suggested itineraries, with possible extensions if your schedule allows. It’s always a good idea to download your route from Google Maps to use offline, or pack a paper map just in case you find yourself out of range. While it’s fun to “play it by ear” on road trips, a bit of planning makes things run more smoothly. On that subject, you’ll naturally make sure your vehicle is ready for action, or make a reservation if you're renting a car.