Don’t let this happen to you. (Photo: Thinkstock)
You only need three things for the perfect road trip: a cool car, a few good friends, and a killer playlist. And while we can’t help you with the car or the friends, we brought the tunes. From the beachy northeast to the wide-open west, from corn fields to Key West, here are seven inspired mixes calibrated to the landscapes of seven classic all-American road trips — after all, there’s no better way to get into the groove of a region than, well, getting into its grooves!
We filled each with a solid starter mix of sing-a-longs and accelerator-pedal-pressing rhythm to make the journeys as memorable as the destinations. They’ll have you howling like a hound dog on your way out of Memphis, cranking up the bass on the road into Vegas, and belting Livin’ on a Prayer while parked on the Parkway.
Note: these are Spotify playlists, so you will need to create a free account to listen, subscribe, or download.
When it comes to #SummerTravel, Yahoo Travel is here to turn your road trips up to 11.
Late Start for Sin City: Los Angeles to Las Vegas
LA in the evening. (Photo: iStock/Thinkstock)
By the time you crest that last hill you’ll be ready to party it up on The Strip with these sexy, endorphin-fueling pop hits from Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX, and Beyoncé.
Red, White, and Grand Ole Opry: Memphis to Nashville
Downtown Nashville (Photo: iStock/Thinkstock)
Cruise from Graceland and detour to Dollywood with these blues, folk, and country icons on the dial, and you’ll discover why the soul of American music lies somewhere between the Bible Belt and the Great Smoky Mountains.
The Big Open Road: St. Louis to San Francisco
The wide-open West. (Photo: iStock/Thinkstock)
Classic cowboy ditties from Gene Autry give way to the moody dream pop of Chromatics as you brave the big skies of the American frontier.
Four-Door Casserole: Minneapolis to Indianapolis
Non-funky chickens in America’s Heartland. (Photo: iStock/Thinkstock)
Perry Como, The Andrews Sisters, and other Heartland throwbacks recall a time when industry was king and family road trips were as wholesome as apple pie.
Fueled by Flannel: Seattle to Portland
The Oregon coast. (Photo: iStock/Thinkstock)
Headbang your way down the Pacific Coast to this collection of Seattle-inspired alt-rock hits from contemporary indie to the grungy days of ’90s Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Hole.
Stuck in Traffic at the Jersey Shore: New York City to Seaside Heights
Chilling by the Shore (Photo: iStock/Thinkstock)
Taste the tanning spray dripping off these jukebox anthems from Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Donna Summer, pumping you past the Garden State Parkway traffic.
South Beach Nights, Key Largo Days: Miami to Key West
End of the road, start of the party in Key West (Photo: iStock Editorial/Thinkstock)
Latin heat from Pitbull and Marc Anthony may electrify your journey across the Seven Mile Bridge, but it’s the island grooves from Bob Marley and Willie Nelson that will welcome you to Margaritaville.
City nights, stretching bright.(Photo: Thinkstock)
Benjamin Solomon is a pop-culture-loving writer living in New York City that regularly contributes to Vanity Fair, New York, and Made Man. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @benjaminsolomon.