It's always a great time when you can, as one classic rock song suggests, "get your motor runnin' and head out on the highway." And nothing beats a cool country soundtrack to crank up while you're exploring those wide-open spaces in your chosen mode of transportation.
Hop into the driver's seat (we call shotgun!), start your engines and tune into The Boot's Top 10 Country Road Trip Songs:
Pedal-Pusher Lyrics: "You're my ace in the hole, I'm your lady luck / Pack a few things and a little money, put 'em in the truck."
Combining a road trip with a trip to the altar might not be everyone's ideal summer vacation, but who'd bet against this sexy 1995 invitation from Hill? "Hey baby, let's go to Vegas / Kiss the single life goodbye," she sings, making saying "I do" sound pretty appealing -- after all, who doesn't want to hit up Sin City ... with the ultra-gorgeous Hill?
Pedal-Pusher Lyrics: "Windows open on the rest of the world / Holdin' hands all the way to Disneyland."
Songwriter John Hiatt recorded this tune on his 1988 album Slow Turning, and it was covered by several singers, including Kelly Willis and the Forester Sisters, but it wasn't until Bogguss recorded it in 1992 that "Drive South" became a hit. Hiatt packed this tune about a Chevy van with plenty of swagger -- and Bogguss left her nylons at home but loaded the song with a whole lot of sizzle. "Drive South" was her highest-peaking single, hitting No. 2 on the country charts.
Pedal-Pusher Lyrics: "I'd sit up in the seat and stretch my feet out to the pedals / Smiling like a hero that just received his medal."
Jackson's sweet memories of his late father in this 2002 hit cover a lot of ground -- and water. Whether in wooden boat, pickup or Jeep, sometimes it's not about the trip, it's more about the one who's riding beside you.
Pedal-Pusher Lyrics: "She'd ride down to the river and meet with all her friends / The road goes on forever, and the party never ends."
Keen's 1989 epic tale of Sonny the loner and Sherry the waitress doesn't exactly end well for one of them, but the long and winding road makes for quite a story, which is just begging for a sequel. It's become Keen's anthem throughout his career, the one that he plays at the end of every show.
Pedal-Pusher Lyrics: "Got a lead foot down on my accelerator and the rearview mirror torn off / I ain't never lookin' back, and that's a fact."
Some road trips are a getaway of a completely different kind. This 1998 smash -- her first No. 1 single on the U.S. and Canadian charts -- took Messina out of a bad situation and sent her cruising Highway 4 to start a new life. It must have worked: Her next hit was "I'm Alright," and "Bye Bye" was certified gold by the RIAA in September 1998.
Pedal-Pusher Lyrics: "The interstate's jammed with gunners like me afraid of coming in last."
Even before this 2004 hit, there was nothing like the feeling of "a hand out the window in the wind." In spite of dangerous driving conditions (talking on the phone, speeding), who wouldn't wanna be Urban's personal GPS? "Days Go By," which Urban co-wrote, was the first single off his 2004 record Be Here and his fifth No. 1.
Pedal-Pusher Lyrics: "It's where I drank my first beer, it's where I found Jesus / Where I wrecked my first car, I tore it all to pieces."
The road as a metaphor for life has been done in song before, but not quite as effectively as in this 2003 Brooks & Dunn hit, wherein sinners and saints drive (and live) side by side. Universal touchstones are incorporated throughout the song, from that first beer and first car wreck to finding faith in an unlikely place. It's one of the duo's most popular songs -- and perfect for a road trip, even if you're cruising the highway and not a dirt road.
Pedal-Pusher Lyrics: "Life is a highway, I wanna ride it all night long / If you're going my way, I wanna drive it all night long."
It's a long, long way from Memphis to Mozambique, but this propulsive 2006 Flatts hit makes the journey a quick one -- and in the process, a broken relationship is mended by sharing the road together. "Life Is a Highway" was originally written and recorded by Canadian songwriter Tom Cochrane, and the Flatts covered it for the Cars soundtrack, so it's loved by little kids and grownups alike.
Pedal-Pusher Lyrics: "The life I love is makin' music with my friends / And I can't wait to get on the road again."
Who hasn't sung along to Nelson's 1980 smash while traveling cross-country? Working musician or not, everyone can relate to making the journey with "the best of friends" -- until a fight breaks out. "On the Road Again" nabbed Nelson a Grammy for Best Country Song, and it was named one of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Pedal-Pusher Lyrics: "Drivin' down the road, I get a feeling that I should have been home yesterday."
A bittersweet road trip story if ever there was one. Since 1971, it's a sure bet that anyone journeying through West Virginia has had this lovely, haunting hit running through their mind while traveling those scenic country roads. This song is certainly Denver's signature hit; Brandi Carlile and Emmylou Harris recorded it for the Denver tribute album This Music is You: A Tribute to John Denver.