The United States is home to diverse and breathtaking landscapes, making it a prime destination for road trips. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun at the coast, marvel at desert wonders, or explore the beauty of the mountains, there are many scenic routes to choose from. Here are some of the best US road trips:
Pacific Coast Highway, California: A Seaside Journey
A renowned coastal drive, the Pacific Coast Highway spans 900km from San Diego to San Francisco. Enjoy breathtaking beaches, vineyards, and local dining. Don’t miss the must-see destinations of Big Sur, Hearst Castle, and Half Moon Bay.
High Road to Taos, New Mexico
The High Road to Taos, a scenic route from Santa Fe to Taos, is only a 2.5-hour drive, but most travelers take 4 to 7 hours to explore the diverse landscapes including deserts, mountains, forests, farms, and historic Spanish and Pueblo Indian villages.
Zion National Park To Arches National Park, Utah
Explore Utah’s Mighty 5, a collection of 5 stunning national parks, in just 7 days. Begin with Zion, then visit Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and end at Arches.
Route 66, Illinois to California
Drive Route 66 for an epic US road trip. This famous highway starts in Chicago and ends in Santa Monica, CA, and takes roughly 2 weeks to complete. Explore quaint truck stops, discover classic Americana shops, and spend the night in vintage motels along the way.
The Loneliest Road In America, Nevada
Experience the solitude of “The Loneliest Road in America,” US 50 in Nevada. Start in Carson City and take 3 days to reach Great Basin National Park. Stop by Frey Ranch Distillery, Sand Mountain, and the Nevada Northern Railway Museum along the way.
Hana Coastline, Hawaii
Explore the stunning Hana Coastline on Maui’s Hana Highway – a 84km road with winding paths and single-lane bridges. Discover lush waterfalls, magnificent natural pools, and towering fruit trees. Don’t miss the chance to visit Hana Ranch and Haleakala National Park.
Denali Park Road, Alaska
Discover Denali National Park through its only road, the Denali Park Road, which runs parallel to Alaska’s Alaska Range. At 148km, it can be completed in one day, but for a deeper experience, spend the night. Choose from multiple campgrounds and explore the park’s many trails.
Houston to Austin, Texas
Embark on a 2.5-hour road trip from Houston to Austin, Texas filled with fascinating stops. Visit a classic car museum, admire fields of blue-bonnets, and savor some of the state’s best barbecue at local restaurants.
Jackson to Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Spend a day traveling from Jackson, WY to Yellowstone National Park. Start by visiting the National Museum of Wildlife Art for art by Warhol and O’Keeffe, and take a sleigh ride at the National Elk Refuge. Then drive 1.5 hours to Yellowstone, stopping at Grand Teton National Park along the way.
Hells Canyon Scenic Byway, Oregon
Take a 342km scenic journey along Oregon’s Hells Canyon Byway, offering something for everyone. Hikers, climbers, wine enthusiasts, and art lovers will all find something to enjoy. While the trip can be completed in 5 hours, allow for 2 days to fully explore.
Coastal Route 1, Maine
Experience New England charm on Coastal Route 1 in Maine, a 1055km road along the Atlantic Ocean. Pass quaint towns with historic homes, rustic seafood shacks, and numerous antique stores. Don’t miss Young’s Lobster Pound in Belfast, Works of Heart Amish furniture store, and Uncle Willy’s old-fashioned candy shop.
The Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire
Take in the fall foliage on the 55km Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire, free of any restaurants, hotels, or businesses. Immerse yourself in the scenery and spend the night at one of 6 available campgrounds.
Charleston to New Orleans, South Carolina to Louisiana
Experience the Deep South culture by taking a road trip from Charleston, South Carolina to New Orleans, Louisiana. Direct route takes 11.5 hrs, but extend it to 2 weeks for a more immersive experience. Tour plantation homes, drive along the Mississippi River, and immerse yourself in the melting pot of New Orleans.
Overseas Highway, Florida
The Overseas Highway in Florida offers a scenic drive with ocean views for nearly its entire 181km length. The road starts in Miami, runs through the Florida Keys, offering breathtaking blue and green reef sights, and many resorts, before reaching its end in Key West.
San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway, Colorado
The San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway in Colorado offers breathtaking views of dense forests, colorful mountains, and historic mining towns. This 375km loop in southwestern Colorado takes 7 hours to complete. The Million Dollar Highway, a 39km stretch from Silverton to Ouray, is famous for its awe-inspiring views.
Old King’s Highway, Massachusetts
Drive Old King’s Highway in Cape Cod, Massachusetts to experience the area’s pre-tourist charm. Also known as Cape Cod Route 6A, the 54km road winds through some of the US’ oldest villages. Visit Trayser Coast Guard Museum, Winslow Crocker House, and Nickerson State Park.
Route 395, California
Route 395 in California is a stunning 2100km road running along the Sierra Nevada mountain range, taking you through high-altitude scenic stops like Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite. The road holds the distinction of being the highest, lowest, and oldest road in the US.
Outer Banks Scenic Highway, North Carolina
Drive the Outer Banks Scenic Highway in North Carolina, a 222km road along the Atlantic. See 21 coastal villages, witness traditional maritime culture and enjoy the scenic drive.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia to North Carolina
The Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia to North Carolina is a must-visit for autumn lovers. During September, October, and November, admire the vibrant leaves of burgundy and yellow as you drive through the scenic route. Winter is also a treat with picturesque Otter Falls.
Blues Highway, Tennessee to Louisiana
The Blues Highway, stretching from Tennessee to Louisiana, is a vital road in the development of jazz, blues, and soul music. Experience the landmarks and landscapes that motivated blues musicians to create soulful music, including B.B. King’s Blues Club, Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel, and Tipitina’s in New Orleans’ French Quarter.