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You Can Take a Great Road Trip Without Leaving Illinois

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Usually, when you think of a summer road trip, you’re probably thinking about taking that trip out of Illinois. You may be thinking Wisconsin Dells, Lake of the Ozarks, Indiana Dunes, or maybe even farther-flung locales. A new study suggests that you consider keeping your next road trip within the boundaries of the Land of Lincoln.

The numbers folks at personal finance site WalletHub put their considerable skills to work on a new report called “2017’s Best & Worst States For Summer Road Trips,” and they’ve found that Illinois is actually a great place for the summer time getaway by automobile.

Here is WalletHub was looking at:

Fuel, at least, is one expense that won’t drain your wallet. Gas prices are down from a year ago, possibly marking this summer as the cheapest to fill up since 2005, according to GasBuddy. But you’ll still need to consider accommodations, activities and dining. All of these certainly contribute to the more than $683 billion we spend on leisure travel each year. None of the expense and hassle, however, seems to discourage Americans from traveling. In fact, 79 percent of families traveling this summer still plan to take road trips, a 10 percent increase since the previous year, according to AAA. With road warriors in mind, WalletHub compared the 50 U.S. states based on 22 key metrics to find the most fun, scenic and wallet-friendly road-trip destinations — plus those that’ll have travelers pulling a quick U-turn. Our data set ranges from the number of attractions to road conditions to costs.

We’ll check Illinois’ numbers momentarily, but first a look at the top 5 best states for summer road trips:

1) Oregon

2) Utah

3) Washington

4) North Carolina

5) Louisiana

Next, the worst 5 states for a summer road trip:

46) North Dakota

47) Pennsylvania

48) Mississippi

49) Rhode Island

50) Connecticut

As for the state of Illinois, we come in at #15. That puts us ahead of virtually the entire Midwest, with Wisconsin at #36, Iowa at #29, Michigan at #25, Indiana at #33, and Missouri sitting in the #35 spot.

Illinois’ breakdown:

Road Tripping in Illinois (1=Best; 25=Avg.):

  • 6th – Number of Attractions
  • 18th – Nightlife Options per Capita
  • 6th – Vehicle Miles Traveled per Capita
  • 15th – Car Thefts per Capita
  • 24th – Access to Scenic Byways
  • 19th – Lowest Price of Camping
  • 6th – Driving Laws Rating
  • 14th – Fatalities per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled

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To read WalletHub’s full piece on the best and worst states for a summer road trip, click here.

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