06/12/2013 11:45 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Top Five Road Trip Songs for Summer

It's almost summer. And that means it's time to indulge in that great American past time -- the road trip.

Haven't we all fantasized at some point about suddenly throwing all our plans out the window, hoping in an old convertible, and driving off into the sunset -- destination unknown?

There's something alluring about throwing a bag in the back of your car and hitting the road in the summer time. Open spaces, scenic overlooks, unexpected detours. Out on the blacktop maze of American highways.

On one such trip I was headed to The Badlands National Park, and ended up stopping at a one-of-a-kind place called "The Corn Palace" -- it's a giant Moorish-style concert venue in rural South Dakota decorated from top to bottom with crop art. Sure it wasn't the Eiffel Tower, but it gave my travel companion and me an indelible memory and more than a few good laughs. The point is, out on the road, you never know what you're going to find.

And, of course, no road trip would be complete without music blasting away on the car stereo -- songs with drive and energy, and soaring melodies. To help you get ready for your highway travels this summer, I've compiled a list of five great road trip songs. Here they are in no particular order.

U2 - Where the Streets Have No Name
Probably the best build/intro of any rock song in history. Plus, those leather pants!

Sheryl Crow - Everyday is a Winding Road
With fun, easy-going lyrics this modern classic says "take me anywhere" with every note.

Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run
Raw, relentless, and sweaty--this is the classic working man's road trip song.

Tom Chochrane - Life is a Highway
This song just kicks butt, and you are ten miles down the road without even knowing it.

Bryan Adams - Summer of '69
The ultimate song of summer. Full of nostalgia, rockin' guitars, and a road-ready back beat.

Special Bonus: BAND OF LOVE - The Road
I could be biased about this band, but crank it up and judge for yourself!

Here's to you and wherever the road may take you this summer. What songs would you add to your road trip playlist?

Nathan Harden is an author, and singer in the Nashville-based rock group, Band of Love.