Travel and Leisure

Best Road Trips in the US for Your Next Big Adventure

Best Road Trips in the US for Your Next Big Adventure

The US is a vast country with exciting destinations and natural detours. From the pristine beaches of the Pacific to stunning landscapes of mountain states and national parks, it has much to offer. If your idea of a perfect vacation is a long getaway with your friends, family, or even solo, consider one of the many beautiful road trips that will give you an unforgettable travel experience.

Some trips last a few days, while some span a few hundred miles. Each road trip in this article is unique on its own. Whether you are traveling in a caravan, an RV, a family hatchback, or a motorbike, we’re sure these iconic routes will exceed your expectations of a dream trip. So, prepare your playlists as we explore the best road trips in the US that every travel enthusiast should have on their travel plans.

1. California’s Pacific Coast Highway
California’s Pacific Coast Highway

Also known as Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway is known for its mesmerizing views of the Pacific Ocean along the western shore. The seemingly infinite ocean views will fill your soul with peace and contentment. On one side, the highway is lined with towering cliffs, while sparkling water is on the other, making it one of the most scenic drives in the country. You can explore the picturesque Santa Cruz, Malibu, Santa Monica, and San Francisco along the way.

2. Route 66
California’s Pacific Coast Highway

Remember your favorite Cars movie? It’s time to relive it! Spanning eight states and over 2000 miles, Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles is a classic cross-country road trip that will take you back in time. It is perfect if you want to immerse yourself completely in the American culture. The route, also known as the whiskey route for its iconic craft distilleries, has spots like the Grand Canyon and the Cadillac Ranch for a quick detour. Hop into a roadside diner and make time for kitschy attractions as you cruise through the country’s heartland.

3. Hana Highway, Hawaii
Hana Highway, Hawaii

For our next adventure, we will cross oceans and head towards one of the most scenic islands in the world, Hawaii. Hana Highway is a 64-mile drive across the eastern coast of Maui Island, connecting Kahului to Hana, that takes you through lush forests, striking coastlines, waterfalls, and hiking trails. Plan a short drive across the Hana highway the next time you visit Hawaii. You can even camp for the night at Waianapanapa State Park, known for its ancient coastal trails, or stop for a quick photoshoot at the black sand beach.

4. Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway

A scenic road trip through North Carolina and Virginia, surrounded by the Appalachian mountain range, known for its surreal views and stays, is all you need for your next weekend getaway. From lush hills and meadows to national parks down into the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, the road trip is best enjoyed slowly, admiring everything the landscapes offer. The parkway was specifically designed for a leisure-type driving experience, with hiking and bicycle trails, campsites, and river sports for the more adventurous.

5. San Juan Skyway, Colorado
San Juan Skyway, Colorado

San Juan Skyway is a lesser-known mountain route that takes you through the glory of America’s mountain states, with jaw-dropping views on all sides. This 232-mile loop in southwestern Colorado is known for its alpine forests and quiet mountain towns. 14000-foot tall peaks surround you as you cruise through sharp turns and elevation changes—it is called a skyway for a reason. On this route, experience refreshing hot springs and a unique steam room where mineral-rich steam oozes through the rocks in a vapor cave- a natural spa.

6. Florida Keys Highway
Florida Keys Highway

The next time you visit Florida, skip Miami and head further south. Florida Keys Highway is a 113-mile stretch connecting the Florida Keys to Key West, an engineering marvel connecting various islands with unforgettable ocean views. Ride on the Overseas Highway, where skies meet the ocean, with sparkling water on both sides. The highway connects 44 far-flung islands to the Florida mainland. The route is very scenic, so plan a road trip for a few days, stopping and exploring the islands or relaxing at one of the many resorts.

7. The Great River Road
The Great River Road

Follow the river Mississippi as you embark on a 3000-mile-long Great River road trip spanning ten states. It is a journey like no other, covering historic towns and cities like Natchez, The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Memphis- the birthplace of rock and roll, and New Orleans, known for its nightlife and festive spirit of Mardi Gras. The Fall is the perfect time to take this trip, with the foliage season in full swing. Drive across charming river towns and serene farmlands and escape the hustle and bustle of big cities.

8. Highway 2 Road Trip
Highway 2 Road Trip

Highway 2 is the longest route on our list, with over 3200 miles of pure driving bliss. This cross-country is the best road trip, spanning the entire US-Canada border from Seattle to Acadia National Park in Maine, only for the truly adventurous. You can experience Northern America's vast and diverse landscapes, like the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Mackinac Islands, and Montana Glacier National Park in Montana. You will be greeted by melting glaciers, alpine meadows, pristine lakes, and bustling cities like Montreal along your way.

With its diverse landscapes, the United States offers the perfect setting for road trips. Each route has its distinct charm. Whether you want to go on a day trip, a weekend getaway, or a proper on-road vacation, there are multiple options. Prepare a suitable itinerary and plan your stays and time on the road, soaking in all the beauty around you. Put that “Life is a Highway,” and step on the pedal as your next big adventure awaits!

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