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The 7 Best Road Trips in the U.S.A.

The 7 Best Road Trips in the U.S.A.

Immortalized in great novels, classic songs, and epic movies, road trips are a rite of passage, especially if you live in the U.S.


5 min read

November 10, 2021

Immortalized in great novels, classic songs, and epic movies, road trips are a rite of passage, especially if you live in the U.S. where you can find the crème de la crème of road trips. From deserts to mountains, lakes to beaches, small towns to sprawling metropolises, the best road trips in the U.S.A. are the real deal. Gather your crew, assemble the perfect playlist, and plan the ultimate pedal-to-the-metal getaway by perusing this list of the very best road trips in the U.S.A. 

Ready for the ultimate feast of incredible views, one-of-a-kind attractions, and amazing experiences? These are the best U.S. road trip routes to discover.

These Are The Best American Road Trips To Go On

The legendary PCH remains a marvel of human effort that hugs over 600 miles of California’s rugged and beautiful coastlines.

1. Pacific Coast Highway, California

The scenic Pacific Coast Highway—also referred to as the PCH or Highway 1—runs parallel to the ocean’s crashing waves from Leggett in Mendocino County all the way down to Dana Point in the OC. Winding through quintessential California towns such as Huntington Beach, Venice Beach, Malibu, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo, this scenic drive across the state takes the cake for killer views of the Pacific Coast. Consult our itinerary and make your bookings in advance; the last thing you want to worry about along one of the most scenic drives in America is whether or not you’ll find good accommodation in time.

17-Mile Drive is a scenic road through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove featuring attractions like the Lone Cypress, Bird Rock, and Del Monte Forest.

2. 17-Mile Drive, California

Is covering the entirety of the PCH too overwhelming? The beautiful 17-Mile Drive is the perfect alternative for you. Totally doable in one day, the 17-Mile Drive is one of the best American road trips to embark on spontaneously. Besides featuring a handful of truly iconic stops along the way, this idyllic stretch of coastline also takes you through many different worlds within a short span of time, showing you everything from early history to postmodern art.

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Check out dramatic coastal cliffs, white sandy beaches, lush mystical forests, luxuriously beautiful neighborhoods, world-class golf courses, and more along one of the best road trips in the U.S.A. It’s hard not to give in to the charms of the Golden State when cruising along the scenic 17-Mile Drive.

The Sun Road is the first to have been registered as National Historic Place, National Historic Landmark, and Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

3. Going-to-the-Sun, Montana

The remarkable Going-to-the-Sun road in Montana was originally constructed to promote tourism and encourage people to visit America’s national parks. Has it succeeded? Undoubtedly so. The 50-mile drive winds through Montana’s Glacier National Park, goes up through the Rockies, and over the Continental Divide at Logan Pass, which is a bucket-list destination for many.

Fair warning: this might not be the road trip to try during the winter months—snowfalls can reach up to 100 feet in depth. Instead, drive the length of one of the best road trips in the U.S.A. during spring and summer and you’ll encounter panoramic overlooks, grazing mountain goats, and blankets of rainbow-hued wildflower fields.

The Silverado Trail is a scenic route that travels 29 miles along the Eastern edge of the Napa Valley, parallel to California State Route 29.

4. Silverado Trail, California

The incredible Silverado Trail is one of the most celebrated scenic drives in the Napa and Sonoma regions. Running all the way from Napa to Calistoga, this NorCal route features sprawling vineyards, luxurious hotels, and everything else you would consider quintessentially Napa.

Moore Creek, Trancas Crossing, and Robert Louis Stevenson Parks are all beautiful stops along the way, where you can stop by for a quick hike, stroll, or picnic. Once you reach Calistoga, treat yourself to a relaxing evening soaking in the mineral pools and hot springs. If you’re tempted to stay for a weekend after your best U.S. road trip route is completed, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Route 66 was recognized in popular culture by both the hit song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" and the Route 66 television series.

5. Route 66, Illinois to California

While it’s hard to imagine the country without Route 66, it wasn’t until 1926 that one of the best U.S. road trip routes provided a way for victims of the Dust Bowl to escape from the barren landscapes up west. The famous “Mother Road” is one of the U.S. Highway System’s original routes, covering eight states and approximately 2,500 miles in total.

While the entirety of the Route is not perfectly preserved, enough of it is to travel across America, starting in Chicago and concluding in Santa Monica. Pops of kitsch and classic Americana from a bygone era are present all throughout the trip. To find out more about the best of them in California, check out our article about quintessential Route 66 stops.

The Blue Ridge Parkway, which is America's longest linear park, runs for 469 miles through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties.

6. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia to North Carolina

Not only is the Blue Ridge one of the most scenic drives in America, but it’s also so famous that it needs no introduction. A great panoramic drive with a bounty of Applachian overlooks, the nearly 500-mile route is suitable for all seasons, exposing you to beautiful fall foliage in autumn, a tremendous forest canopy in summer, and snow-capped ski resorts in winter.

To stretch your legs, make a stop at Mount Pisgah in North Carolina, which is famous for its great network of hiking trails. For an interesting treasure hunt, explore the mines of the mineral-rich Appalachian Mountains, where visitors can pan for emeralds, topaz, amethyst, rubies, and even gold.

From deserts to bayou swamps and Tex-Mex to barbecue, the Southern Pacific route offers a full-flavored taste of America.

7. Southern Pacific, Virginia to California

Do you have lots of time to spare and an appetite for an epic cross-country adventure? The Southern Pacific Route is an iconic two-week road trip in the U.S.A. that’ll give you a little taste of everything. With varied landscapes, picturesque viewpoints, and impressive relaxing stays, this route will be the ultimate treat for your adventurous soul.

Start in Charlottesville, Virginia, and drive through the quintessential mountain town of Asheville in North Carolina. Here, stop and enjoy hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail and shopping and dining in the historic downtown. Make the next stop of your trip across America in Nashville, where you can spend a day or two reveling in its prolific country music scene, lively downtown nightlife, and local eateries serving the best comfort food staples. 

Continue driving and you’ll make your way through Arkansas and arrive in Oklahoma. Not too long after, you’ll be in Amarillo, Texas where there’s plenty to see and explore. Allow yourself to rest for a while and then continue to Santa Fe, New Mexico the following day. Santa Fe is known as an artistic and culturally distinctive destination with a deep-rooted history—dedicate enough time to get to know its awesome community. Later, as you arrive in Arizona next, don’t forget to check out the famous Grand Canyon. And finally, wrap up your best American road trip yet in Los Angeles. Even if you can only spend one day here, do make the best of it and see all the best of its awesome attractions.

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