How-to Weekend: 3 Summer Road Trips

As our days slowly (but surely) get lighter, we look to Friday – the day that gives us the next 56 hours to get up & get out. Whether spontaneity is on your side or you've had your calendar marked, those weekend trips let us hit the refresh button like little else can.

With warmer weather on the horizon, we've partnered up with Madewell, HotelTonight & Zipcar to bring you three adventures from behind the lens of weekends on the road. Stay tuned as you may want to add one or two of these trips to your bucket list.

Wander with us...


Los Angeles → Joshua Tree

Who: Carley Rudd | @carleyscamera

Trip Length: 114 Miles

Time in the Car: 3 Hours & 15 Minutes

What can you do on a road trip that you couldn't on a plane?

Well, you can't sing at the top of your lungs on a plane. You also learn more about your surroundings when you're behind the wheel or riding passenger seat. The time spent looking out a window allows you to discover detail and find story in the passing scenes.

You are driving down the side of the road and pull over to take a photo. What makes you stop?

Honestly? Anything and everything. I plan ahead for extra driving time for these roadside breaks. My latest muse is brought to you by the wildflowers of the season.

You live right next to the ocean. Why head east to the desert?

First off, the stars are incomparable — those are pretty much non-existent in city limits. With the constant movement of city living, an escape to nature forces my mind and body to slow down. And then there's the mystery that comes along with those vast & dusty spaces...keeps you wondering.

Music, podcasts or both? Share the secrets of your speakers...

Music is a must. For this trip — our playlists ranged from classic rock to reggae to 90's rap. Once we hit Joshua Tree, it was Neil Young on repeat.

What's the farthest you can drive before stopping for the day?

10 hours max. On second thought, maybe 7.

To detour or not to detour...

To detour. It makes the trip. Bonus points if you find a local or two to show you their favorite spots — that is where the true experience starts.

Get out there & bring it home: Carley printed her trip with our Wood Block + Prints


DC → Philadelphia

Who: Reema Desai | @reema_desai

Trip Length: 139 Miles

Time in the Car: 2 Hours & 55 Minutes

What can you do on a learn trip that you couldn't on a plane?

On road trips, you experience the world around you. You meet new people, pick your own route (detours welcomed), and get to mark your progress in miles.

Where was your first-ever road trip?

While growing up, my family owned a small inn on the beach in Florida. We lived in Central Florida so on summer weekends we'd road trip out to the property and stay there for the weekend. Definitely not a long trip (about an hour), but it's one of my fondest childhood memories.

Music, podcasts or both? Share the secrets of your speakers...

I like a good mix of both. Radio Cherry Bombe is a great podcast that features conversations with women in the food industry. Outside of that, Spotify is my go-to (though I do miss the days of making mix CDs for road trips).

What's the farthest you can drive before stopping for the day?

A few years ago, my boyfriend and I drove from DC to Central Florida without stopping for the day which was rough - 16+ hours in the car with two restless dogs. I wouldn't recommend it!

To detour or not to detour...

Always detour! On this trip, we detoured from Philly to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA (see below). It's such an incredible garden unlike anything I've ever been to. We may have never discovered this gem without already being on the road - made for the perfect place to stretch our legs.

See it in print: Reema took her trip home with our Print + Wood Cleat and Postcard Pack.


Denver → Big Sur

Who: Stella Maria Baer | @stellamariabaer

Trip Length: 1,380 Miles

Time in the Car: 20 hours & 56 minutes

(okay, maybe this one takes more than a weekend)

What can you do on a learn trip that you couldn't on a plane?

The color of the landscape is different when you're in a car – I love seeing the rivers and canyons from a plane but there's something about driving through the desert and looking at the colors out the window that brings me back to the road trips my family took when I was little.

Tell us about the most unexpected part of your trip.

My grandpa Morley Baer was a western landscape and architectural photographer in northern California. When my brother Gabe and I were little, Morley took us on a photography expedition to Point Lobos in Big Sur. While he took photographs we ran in and out of caves on a beach with turquoise waters. I've tried looking for the beach every time I've been to Point Lobos in the past ten years but never could find it. On this trip my brother and I took his three little kids to Point Lobos, and after wandering around the cliffs for a couple hours we passed a rocky ledge, and under a grove of cypress trees we saw the caves and the beach with the turquoise waters. Sea lions were sunbathing on the sand with their pups. Finding that cove helped us remember our Grandfather Morley and what he taught us about taking photographs of the west.

You are driving down the side of the road and pull over to take a photo. What makes you stop?

Pink mesas, striped buttes, Navajo sandstone, old cowboys, appaloosa horses, antelope & sagebrush.

Name the not-so-typical items on your packing list...

Squirrel hair paintbrushes, watercolors, gessoed canvases, and a field guide to Wildflowers of the Southwest Deserts.

What's the farthest you can drive before stopping for the day?

7 to 8 hours is a good day – after 10 hours, I start to get restless. We try to get to where we're sleeping before the last light.

Print the miles: Stella re-lived her road trip with our Postcard Pack.


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