Dave and I love road trips, and we’ve taken a lot of them around the world. In our 30 years together, we’ve driven a lot of the United States. It is a huge country and it would take a lifetime to see it all, but we have put quite a dent in the backroads of America and put together this guide where we have compiled some of the best road trips in the USA that promise breathtaking views, captivating attractions, and an unforgettable journey.
From the sun-drenched coasts of California to the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains, the USA is home to some of the most diverse and striking landscapes in the world. There is no better way to explore this vast country than by taking a road trip. So buckle up and prepare to hit the open road!
Great Road Trips in the US
Before hitting the road in America, be sure to pick up your National Parks Entrance Pass. The $80 USD annual fee gives access to United States national parks and national wildlife refuges and national forests. This American Road Trip guide goes through a lot of National Parks and National Forests and you don’t want to always be scrambling for cash.
If you are flying in and need to rent a car, check out RentalCars.com for car rental comparisons in the destination of your choice.
1. Pacific Coast Highway, California
The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is one of the most iconic and best road trips in the US and for good reason. Stretching from just north of San Francisco to Capistrano Beach between Los Angeles and San Diego, this drive offers incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and gives you an unmatched taste of the California coastline.
The most scenic stretch begins as you drive south from San Francisco. Driving across the Golden Gate Bridge, the city is left behind and you start to see the real beauty of this drive. A little further down the road is Santa Cruz, known for its laid-back surf culture and the vibrant Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Continue on to Monterey, where you can Kayak with sea lions as we did or just stroll along Cannery Row, made famous by novelist John Steinbeck. Then comes the piece de resistance, Big Sur. This is a great place to stop and do some camping and it will allow you to take some time to stop at McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall that cascades directly into the Pacific Ocean, and Pfieffer Beach which is an incredible place for sunset.
Pass through the opulent town of Santa Barbara, known as the “American Riviera”, before ending your journey in Los Angeles or continuing on to San Diego. The entire route is known for its beautiful beaches and family-friendly attractions.
After doing this drive we understood why the PCH is a standout among American road trips. Its imposing coastline, intriguing attractions, and diverse landscapes provide a truly unforgettable journey.
- Location: California
- Distance: Approximately 600 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: 5 to 7 days
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Spring and fall for milder weather and less crowded tourist spots
2. Route 66: Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California
One of the most iconic and historic highways in the United States, Route 66, also known as the Main Street of America, is a road trip steeped in the culture and history of the nation. Stretching from Chicago, Illinois, all the way to Santa Monica, California, this epic 2,448-mile journey takes you through a broad cross-section of American landscapes and landmarks.
Starting in Chicago, you’ll pass through the cornfields of Illinois, the plains of Kansas, the desert landscapes of Arizona, and finally, the sandy beaches of California. This varied journey is an immersive experience that gives you a sense of the vastness and diversity of the country.
Along the way, you’ll encounter many iconic landmarks and sights. These include the historic Chain of Rocks Bridge, the Cadillac Ranch public art installation in Texas, and the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Every stop on Route 66 holds a piece of American history, whether it’s a vintage gas station, a classic diner, or a quirky roadside attraction.
Route 66 isn’t just a highway—it’s a slice of Americana. It embodies a spirit of freedom, discovery, and nostalgia that resonates with road-trippers. Traveling along Route 66 is a journey back in time, offering a glimpse into a significant era of American history.
Whether you’re keen on exploring the cultural heritage of America, interested in its architectural landmarks, or simply in search of diverse experiences, Route 66 offers an unforgettable road trip. As you traverse this historic highway, you’ll not only witness the changing landscapes but also the evolution of America itself.
See all of the top attractions on Route 66 here.
- Location: Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California
- Distance: Approximately 2,448 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: 2 to 4 weeks
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Spring and fall for milder weather
3. Scenic Byway 12: Red Canyon to Torrey, Utah
Scenic Byway 12 is a 123-mile-long road located in Utah. This magnificent stretch of road is known for its diverse geological features and jagged formations and red rock landscapes. It is one of the most scenic highways in the country.
Starting at Red Canyon, you’ll traverse landscapes that shift from rust-red cliffs to sprawling alpine forests. The drive takes you through several state parks and national parks, including Bryce Canyon National Park which is renowned for its distinctive spire-shaped rock formations that everyone knows so well from old Westerns. You’ll be dazzled by the slot canyons and sandstone cliffs of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
A highlight of the drive is the stretch known as the Hogback, where the road is bordered by steep cliffs dropping off into the valley below, offering exhilarating views. Other notable stops along the route include the Anasazi State Park Museum, which showcases the history and culture of the Anasazi People, and the town of Boulder, which holds the distinction of being one of the last communities in the U.S. to receive mail by mule.
End your journey in the town of Torrey, the gateway to Capitol Reef National Park. Here you can further explore Utah’s unique geological landscapes, characterized by layered sandstone, canyons, and striking rock formations.
If you are looking for a great National Parks Road Trip, Scenic Byway 12 offers a rewarding journey through some of the most picturesque and diverse landscapes in the United States.
- Location: Red Canyon to Torrey, Utah
- Distance: Approximately 123 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: 1 to 2 days
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Spring and fall for milder weather and fewer crowds
4. Hana Highway: Paia to Hana, Maui, Hawaii
The world-famous Hana Highway is one of the top road trips in America. This 45-mile (72 km) stretch of road runs from Hana to Paia on Maui in Hawaii. It may be short, but this single-lane highway running along the north shore of Maui is an awe-inspiring drive with a twisting coastal road clinging to the rocky shores containing 600 hairpin turns and crossing 59 bridges.
If you’re up for an exotic and tropical road trip, the Hana Highway on the island of Maui, Hawaii, is the one for you. This 64.4-mile stretch of Hawaii Routes 36 and 360 is known for its lush landscapes, waterfalls, and ocean vistas.
Beginning in Paia, the Hana Highway winds along Maui’s northeastern coast, traversing 59 bridges (many of which are one-lane) and more than 600 curves. The drive is renowned for its breathtaking views of pristine rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and the sparkling Pacific Ocean.
Stop by the Garden of Eden Arboretum, home to a diverse range of tropical plants, or visit the historic Keanae Peninsula for a glimpse of old Hawaii. Another must-see is the Wai’anapanapa State Park, where you can explore a black sand beach, a seabird colony, lava tubes, blowholes, and freshwater caves.
Your journey concludes in the small, isolated town of Hana, a place that feels worlds away from the bustling resorts of Maui. Here, you can explore Hana Beach Park, the Hasegawa General Store, and the Hana Cultural Center and Museum.
The Hana Highway offers an unforgettable tropical road trip, allowing you to explore the natural wonders and cultural heritage of Maui at a leisurely pace. With 18 waterfalls, the Haleakala National Park, bamboo forests, and Banyan trees, this is the drive of a lifetime. See the complete guide to Road to Hana: Highway Map, Things to Do, and Tips.
- Location: Paia to Hana, Maui, Hawaii
- Distance: Approximately 64.4 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: 1 to 2 days
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Year-round, although winter can be rainier
5. Overseas Highway: Miami to Key West, Florida
It is truly one of our favorite road trips in America. Driving from Miami to Key West transforms from mainland USA to a little slice of the Caribbean. Once you hop on the Overseas Highway to the Florida Keys you feel as if you have entered a different country.
If you’re dreaming of an idyllic coastal drive, then the Overseas Highway will certainly deliver. This 113-mile highway, part of U.S. Route 1, begins in Miami and ends in Key West, the southernmost point of the continental United States. The route traverses the stunning archipelago of the Florida Keys, offering striking views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the surrounding islands.
Your journey will start amidst the bustle of Miami. As you proceed, the urban landscape gradually gives way to the serene tropical beauty of the Keys. The highway, sometimes referred to as the Highway That Goes to Sea, is a marvel of modern engineering. It includes 42 bridges, the most iconic of which is the Seven Mile Bridge at Marathon.
Along the route, there are many opportunities for recreational activities such as fishing, snorkeling, and kayaking. You can also visit the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the first undersea park in the United States, or the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key.
Upon reaching Key West, enjoy the laid-back vibe of this small but lively island city. Visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, enjoy the sunset at Mallory Square, or just relax at one of the many sandy beaches. Now that’s a road trip!
The Overseas Highway offers an exceptional blend of beautiful coastal views, recreational activities, and cultural experiences. It’s a road trip that combines adventure, relaxation, and the unique charm of the Florida Keys.
- Location: Miami to Key West, Florida
- Distance: Approximately 113 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: 2 to 3 days
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Winter and spring, when the weather is mild and dry
6. Blue Ridge Parkway: Virginia to North Carolina
Connecting two national parks – Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina – the Blue Ridge Parkway is a serene and scenic route known for its stunning mountain vistas, diverse plant and animal life, and historical and cultural treasures.
Starting in Virginia, the Parkway meanders through the Appalachian Mountains, offering unparalleled views of the Blue Ridge mountain range. The route’s many overlooks provide countless opportunities to stop, take in the views, and snap a memorable photo.
Attractions along the way include the Humpback Rocks, which offer insight into the life of the region’s early settlers, and the Peaks of Otter with its abundant recreational activities. Don’t miss the iconic Mabry Mill, one of the most photographed sites on the Parkway, and a great place to learn about the early grist and sawmilling processes.
Upon reaching North Carolina, you’ll come across the highest point of the Parkway at Richland Balsam Overlook, standing at an elevation of 6,053 feet. Further along, the Parkway concludes near the southern entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, America’s most visited national park.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is more than just a road; it’s a beautiful journey that intertwines with the cultural and natural history of the Appalachian Mountains.
- Location: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina
- Distance: Approximately 469 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: 2 to 3 days
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Spring for flowering shrubs and trees, fall for vibrant foliage
7. Going-to-the-Sun Road: Glacier National Park, Montana
For a truly spectacular mountain driving experience, Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana’s Glacier National Park is a must-do. This 50-mile route, known for its outstanding natural beauty, dramatic cliffs, and awe-inspiring vistas, is a testament to human engineering ability.
Your journey begins at the park’s west entrance and winds through mountainous terrain, offering breathtaking views of glaciers, alpine meadows, and pristine lakes. A highlight of the drive is Logan Pass, the highest point on the road, with an elevation of 6,646 feet. Here, you can stop at the visitor center or explore the nearby hiking trails.
Along the way, there are numerous opportunities for outdoor activities. You can hike along the park’s extensive trail system, go wildlife spotting, or simply enjoy a picnic amidst the stunning landscape. The road is also a gateway to many of the park’s top attractions, including Lake McDonald, the Garden Wall, and the St. Mary Valley.
Going-to-the-Sun Road offers an unforgettable journey through some of the country’s most dramatic landscapes. This drive is not just about reaching your destination—it’s about soaking in the grandeur of nature along the way.
- Location: Glacier National Park, Montana
- Distance: Approximately 50 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: 1 day
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Summer, when the entire route is open. Note that certain sections of the road may be closed in other seasons due to snow.
8. Olympic Peninsula Loop, Washington
If you’re looking to explore a breathtaking blend of coastal, rainforest, and mountainous landscapes, the Olympic Peninsula Loop in Washington State is the road trip for you. Encircling the Olympic National Park, the Loop is a veritable showcase of the Pacific Northwest’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.
Starting from Seattle, the 330-mile journey brings you onto scenic Highway 101. Your first stop could be the Victorian seaport town of Port Townsend, known for its well-preserved Victorian buildings and vibrant arts scene.
As you continue west, make sure to explore the magnificent Hoh Rainforest, one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S. Walk the Hall of Mosses Trail, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into another world, where every surface is covered in a lush blanket of moss.
Further along the coast, the striking sea stacks and driftwood-covered beaches of Ruby Beach offer a perfect spot for photography. Stop by the coastal Native American village of La Push to soak in the sights and learn about the local Quileute culture.
The town of Forks is a must-visit for Twilight fans, while the Sol Duc Hot Springs is the place to relax in mineral-rich thermal pools. As you complete the Loop, don’t miss the panoramic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Canada from Hurricane Ridge.
The Olympic Peninsula Loop offers an immersive exploration of the Pacific Northwest’s diverse ecosystems and charming communities. It’s a road trip that lingers in your memory long after the journey’s end.
- Location: Olympic Peninsula, Washington
- Distance: Approximately 330 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: 2 to 4 days
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Spring to fall; summer offers the best weather, while fall presents spectacular autumn colors.
9. Trail Ridge Road, Colorado
Trail Ridge Road in Colorado, a part of Rocky Mountain National Park, is an awe-inspiring journey through one of America’s most iconic landscapes. Known as the “Highway to the Sky,” Trail Ridge Road holds the distinction of being the highest continuously paved road in the United States, reaching elevations of over 12,000 feet.
Your trip begins in the charming town of Estes Park, a destination in its own right, famed for its unique shops, restaurants, and the historic Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King’s “The Shining.”
As you ascend on Trail Ridge Road, you transition from verdant forests into the subalpine region, where wildflowers color the landscape in the warmer months. Eventually, you reach the alpine world above the tree line. This tundra-like environment, sparse yet hauntingly beautiful, offers panoramic views that stretch to Wyoming in the north and the heart of Colorado in the south.
Don’t miss the Alpine Visitor Center, located near the highest point of the road. It offers exhibits on the alpine tundra ecosystem, a gift shop, and a café. Take a stroll along the adjacent Alpine Ridge Trail for even more breathtaking vistas.
Descending the western slope, you arrive at Grand Lake, a serene mountain town on the shores of Colorado’s largest natural lake. Here, you can relax, dine, and recreate before continuing your Colorado adventure.
Driving Trail Ridge Road is a mesmerizing experience, filled with natural grandeur and endless views. It’s a testament to the wild, rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
- Location: Estes Park to Grand Lake, Colorado
- Distance: Approximately 48 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: 2 to 3 hours, but allow extra time for stops and exploration
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Late May to October, depending on snow conditions; the road is closed in winter due to heavy snowfall.
10. Alaska Highway: Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Delta Junction, Alaska
For the adventurous road-tripper seeking the grandeur of untouched wilderness, the Alaska Highway, also known as the ALCAN, is a trip of a lifetime. Starting in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and ending in Delta Junction, Alaska, the highway traverses through some of the most remote and rugged landscapes in North America.
Experience unparalleled vistas of snow-capped mountains, vast forests, and crystal-clear lakes. Along the route, keep an eye out for an array of wildlife, including moose, bears, and eagles. Attractions include Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park, one of Canada’s largest natural hot springs, and Kluane National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its glaciers and high peaks.
- Location: Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Delta Junction, Alaska
- Distance: Approximately 1,387 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: 5 to 7 days
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Summer, for the best weather and road conditions
11. Million Dollar Highway: Silverton to Ouray, Colorado
The Million Dollar Highway, part of U.S. Route 550, is a short but unforgettable route in Colorado. Known for its jaw-dropping mountainous views, the drive from Silverton to Ouray is considered one of the most beautiful in the country.
As you traverse this route, you’ll be treated to staggering views of the Uncompahgre Gorge, the San Juan Mountains, and numerous waterfalls. The road is especially beautiful in the fall when the surrounding aspen trees turn a brilliant gold. Note that this drive isn’t for the faint-hearted—it features steep cliffs, narrow lanes, and no guardrails.
- Location: Silverton to Ouray, Colorado
- Distance: Approximately 25 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: 1 day
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Summer and fall, when the road is free of snow
12. Natchez Trace Parkway: Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile drive through exceptional scenery and 10,000 years of North American history. Used by American Indians, “Kaintucks,” settlers, and future presidents, the Old Trace played an important role in American history. Today, visitors can enjoy not only a scenic drive but also hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping.
Beginning in Natchez, Mississippi, the Parkway takes you through a myriad of changing landscapes: from the deep forests of Mississippi, the rolling farmland of Alabama, to the hills of Tennessee. It’s not uncommon to see a variety of wildlife from the comfort of your car, including deer, turkeys, and numerous bird species.
Historical highlights along the way include the Emerald Mound, one of the largest Native American mounds in the United States, and the Meriwether Lewis Monument, dedicated to the famed explorer of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Near the Tennessee end of the Parkway, you can explore the Old Trace Drive, one of the last remaining segments of the original Natchez Trace.
Upon reaching the vibrant city of Nashville, you’ll find a contrast to the tranquil journey along the Parkway, but with its own historical and cultural attractions, such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the historic Ryman Auditorium.
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a journey of beauty, history, and culture, that truly has something for everyone.
- Location: Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee
- Distance: Approximately 444 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: 2 to 4 days
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Spring for blooming wildflowers, fall for colorful foliage
13. Park Loop Road, Maine
Nestled in the heart of Acadia National Park, the Park Loop Road in Maine presents a captivating journey through a diverse array of landscapes including mountains, forests, and the rugged Atlantic coastline. This 27-mile loop showcases the park’s highlights, making it a must-visit road trip for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Your adventure begins at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, where you can gather maps and information about the park. As you venture onto Park Loop Road, you’ll first encounter the Sieur de Monts Spring, home to the Wild Gardens of Acadia and the Abbe Museum, which highlights the culture and history of Maine’s Native American tribes.
Further along, you can marvel at the sheer cliffs and crashing waves at Thunder Hole, a natural rock inlet where the ocean often creates thunderous sounds and spectacular splashes. The nearby Sand Beach, although usually too chilly for swimming, is perfect for a scenic stroll or a picnic.
Don’t miss the opportunity to drive up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard. Arrive at sunrise or sunset for a truly unforgettable spectacle.
Continuing on, you’ll find several pullouts with views of picturesque harbors, off-shore islands, and mountain vistas. Explore Jordan Pond Path, a leisurely trail around a crystal-clear glacial lake with the North and South Bubble Mountains framing the scene.
A drive along Park Loop Road provides a diverse and enriching experience of Acadia National Park’s natural treasures. It’s a road trip that encapsulates the beauty and allure of coastal Maine.
- Location: Acadia National Park, Maine
- Distance: Approximately 27 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: Half to a full day, depending on stops and activities
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Spring through fall; the road is typically closed in winter due to snow conditions.
14. Arizona Road Trip
Arizona is one of the greatest states for road-tripping in the United States. From Tucson to The Grand Canyon, this drive takes you through the most beautiful desert and rocky landscape in the country. Explore the Wild West Town of Tombstone Arizona and be awed by the cactus forests of Saguaro National Park West. See the cosmically spiritual city of Sedona for some Native history and marvel at the Montezuma Castle monument.
This road trip route pops onto Route 66 where you’ll get to stand on the corner of Winslow, Arizona before witnessing the incredible monument valley.
There are so many things to see and before the trip is over you’ll witness Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon prior to reaching the Grand Canyon National Park. Could this be better? Read the entire Arizona Road Trip, Itinerary to start planning.
- Recommended Arizona Road Trip Length: 10 Days
- Where to Stay: L’Auberge de Sedona / View Hotel in Monument Valley / Courtyard Page at Lake Powell
- Read the entire Arizona Road Trip, Itinerary
15. California’s Interior – LA to Yosemite
Most people think of the Pacific Coast Highway 1 through Big Sur on a California road trip, but driving the interior of California is where all the iconic scenery comes to life.
California Route 95 is a classic drive stretching from the Mexico border in Arizona all the way to Canada. While this road trip doesn’t spend a lot of time on that highway, it does stop at incredible road trip destinations unto itself.
From Los Angeles drive west to see Joshua Tree National Park and marvel at these strange old twisted trees before driving on to the Mojave National Preserve before popping into the hottest, lowest and driest place you’ll ever encounter. Death Valley National Park is a stark landscape that reaches temperatures of 120 degrees.
At 282 feet below sea level, it is also the lowest point in all of North America but it captures a beauty beyond imagination. The trip continues to beautiful Mammoth Lakes and finally ends at Yosemite National Park. Read more at our: California road trip.
- Recommended Trip Length: 7 days to 2 weeks
- Where to Stay: Yosemite Valley Lodge. There’s free parking, free Internet and a pool.
- Check out: Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park
16. Scenic Route 100: Wilmington to Stowe, Vermont
Crossing into Vermont is our “Go-To” destination for skiing outside of Quebec. But in the summer, this is a gorgeous road trip that is also famous for its fall colours. Vermont’s longest highway takes you through the New England Villages of the Green Mountains. While this can be driven any time of year, we suggest in autumn when the fall colours are in full swing.
Pop into Lake Whitingham for some paddling before heading to West Dover to do some hiking or mountain biking up the mountain of Mount Snow.
Don’t forget to pop into Plymouth Notch to see the birthplace of President Calvin Coolage before driving on to Waterbury to tour the Ben and Jerry’s factory. Mmm, I love ice cream on a road trip.
The trip ends at Stowe, our favorite ski resort in Vermont where you can go to the top of Mt. Mansfield for epic views. (you don’t even have to hike this one, you can drive straight to the top! This is definitely one of the best east coast road trips in the US.
17. Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon (and Beyond)
We spent one summer driving all around the interior of California, Nevada, and Utah, and the place that surprised us the most was Las Vegas. Not the city itself, but the beautiful landscape surrounding it. Make sure to do some hiking at Red Rocks before you leave town.
As you leave the city, stop to see Valley of Fire State Park, Hoover Dam, and Lake Mead. It’s only a four-hour drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon but there is a lot going on in this little circle tour through Nevada and Arizona.
For something unique stop at the Grand Canyon West Skywalk Glass Bridge that takes you 4,000 feet above the canyon. Spend a few days going hiking or whitewater rafting. Make sure to head a little farther south to Flagstaff to hop on Route 66 for a bit.
From here you can head back to Vegas, or go north to see the famous Antelope Canyon and Vermillion Cliffs National Monument before heading to Zion National Park to do some epic hiking. That can be a lot, but there is so much to see and do in this part of the US. You may want an entire summer!
18. Loneliest Road in America
Stretching from Sacramento to Maryland, Route 50 has been dubbed the Loneliest Road in America. But how can it be lonely when it passes through so many great destinations? I’ll admit we haven’t driven the entire route, but we have popped on it and we’ve witnessed many of its popular attractions.
If you are looking to drive one of the most epic road trips in the US, route 50 is the way to go. This 3,000-mile drive takes you through 11 states.
After leaving San Francisco (where you will start your long drive) spend a day or two in Sacramento before heading to Lake Tahoe for a few nights before crossing into Nevada. With National parks along the way, you’ll see some of America’s most iconic scenery at Arches National Park and Canyonlands NP.
Take your time going through the Colorado Rockies and then enjoy the midwest hospitality of Kansas City. You’ll even get to explore the monuments of Washington DC. This capital city totally surprised us. Celebrate the end of your drive at Ocean City in Maryland.
And there you have it, you’ve pretty much crossed America from Coast to Coast and from Canada to Mexico. Alaska didn’t make our USA road trips list only because we took a train through the state, but it’s high on our list to drive, especially after we drove the Dempster Highway in the Neighbouring Yukon Territories. Northern North America is spectacular!
19. Cross Country Road Trip: East Coast to West Coast
If you’re up for the ultimate American road trip adventure, why not traverse the entire width of the United States? A cross-country road trip from the East Coast to the West Coast allows you to experience the vast diversity of landscapes, cultures, and attractions that the United States has to offer.
Begin your journey in New York City, where you can explore iconic landmarks like Times Square, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty. From there, you could take Interstate 80 through the heart of Pennsylvania and Ohio, where you’ll find charming small towns and bustling cities alike.
In Illinois, a detour to Chicago offers a taste of deep-dish pizza and views from the Willis Tower Skydeck. As you head west into Iowa and Nebraska, you’ll be treated to the sight of America’s heartland, with its lush farmlands and open skies.
The mountains start to appear as you reach Colorado. Take a pause in Denver for some Rocky Mountain exploration before continuing westward into Utah, where the stunning natural beauty of its national parks awaits.
Nevada will greet you with the bright lights of Las Vegas, a stark contrast to the tranquility of the desert. Finally, as you reach the Pacific Ocean in California, you could either drive up to San Francisco or down to Los Angeles depending on your preference.
A cross-country road trip is an epic adventure that showcases the country’s vastness and diversity. It’s a journey that creates memories to last a lifetime.
- Location: New York City, New York to Los Angeles or San Francisco, California
- Distance: Approximately 2,800 to 3,000 miles
- Suggested Time to Complete: 2 to 4 weeks
- Best Time of Year to Travel: Spring and fall for milder weather and less traffic
Best Road Trips in the US FAQs:
What is the most scenic road trip in America?
While beauty is subjective and each road trip offers its unique scenic charm, many travelers consider the Pacific Coast Highway in California and the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana among the most scenic in America.
Which month is best for a USA road trip?
The best month for a road trip in the USA can depend on the specific route. Generally, spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) offer milder weather and less crowded attractions.
How do I plan a good American road trip?
Planning a good American road trip involves researching your desired route, planning your stops and overnight stays, preparing your vehicle, packing appropriately, and ensuring you have entertainment and snacks for the journey.
How many days do you need for an American road trip?
The number of days needed for an American road trip can vary greatly depending on the route and how much time you want to spend at each stop. For example, a road trip along Route 66 might take 2-4 weeks, while the drive along the Pacific Coast Highway might take 3-7 days.
Our American Road Trips – Final Thoughts
I know what you are thinking, there are fifty states in America and we only scratched the surface. There are plenty of amazing road trips that we missed! We admit it, we haven’t seen them all yet, but with our new truck and a roof tent on the way, we’re planning on hitting the road when the borders open. Who knows, we may love road-tripping America so much, we’ll swap in our truck for an RV! Nah we love staying in hotels too much, but a bit of camping along the way is a must.