If your summer plans involve driving with a car full of kids then you know the importance of rest stops. According to AAA, Americans will take 683 million road trips between July and September. AAA has compiled a list of the best outdoor restaurants along popular travel routes so you can build these stops into your itinerary.
From NYC to the Finger Lakes
The Phoenicia Diner, a comfort food diner with an old-school vibe and fresh food sourced from Catskills and Hudson Valley farms, is open for outdoor dining.
From Minneapolis to Detroit
Grand Rapids, MI
jdek at JW Marriott’s chic patio overlooks the Grand River and features live music on the weekends.
Lake Forest, IL
At Deer Path Inn, surrounded by Tudor-style architecture with an outdoor fireplace, the secluded courtyard patio offers a dining experience reminiscent of a getaway in the English countryside.
From Dallas to Key West
Cape Coral, FL
Located in the prestigious Tarpon Point Marina, end your lunch of fresh local seafood at the Westin’s Nauti Mermaid restaurant with a quick kayak into the Caloosahatchee River.
Key West, FL
Once Mile Zero has been reached, head straight to the brand new, outdoor Four Marlins Oceanfront Dining bar and restaurant for local seafood and Key Lime pie overlooking the island’s only natural sand beach.
St. Petersburg, FL
Paul’s Landing at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club overlooks the glistening Tampa Bay and the resort’s outdoor pool and private marina. The colorful Paul’s Landing serves “Floribbean” cuisine, combining Caribbean flavors with fresh Florida seafood.
Marabú is the newest al fresco dining hang to open up at the Brickell City Centre retail center. Having just opened its doors this July, the Cuban restaurant serves coal-fired dishes cooked over charcoal at the restaurant’s outdoor patio. The space is shaded by the retail center’s architectural jewel, the “Climate Ribbon”, which hovers over the retail center to carry Miami’s bay breezes for an extra kick of natural ventilation.
From D.C. to Nashville
Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, Lumac Rooftop Bar at The Bristol Hotel is known for its southern-inspired bar bites. As the only rooftop bar in the region, diners enjoy the famed Bristol Virginia-Tennessee sign in the distance.
Wallace Station is a country cafe surrounded by horse farms. Guests can sit outside on the patio or picnic tables with their signature ham and pimento cheese sandwiches, biscuits and fresh pastries.
All photos courtesy of Marriott Hotels & Resorts