The 7 Most Incredible Road Trips to Take in the USA
With vast expanses of incredible terrain connected by inviting scenic roads and vibrant cities along the way, the US is full of fascinating road trips to make for the experience of a lifetime. Not all are equal however, some require too much navigation, while others are full of dull and uninspiring stretches of road that'll make you want to turn the other way. These routes, however, have inspired countless stories and songs as you traverse through some of the country's greatest landscape and
historic cities. With these road trips, it's less about the final destination and all about the journey itself.
table of contents
Great River Road
Following the course of the Mississippi River from the north to the south of the country, the Great River Road traverses through ten different states from Minnesota to Louisiana. Compare US Midwestern culture with the distinctly different food and way of life you'll find in southern cities like Memphis and New Orleans.
It's also easy to add a few extra days and drive to other iconic cities nearby the route like Nashville and Chicago. Even better than the classic US cities you'll pass through however is the beautiful riverside scenery you'll find to accompany you along the way. For those that feel this epic north to south roadtrip just isn't quite enough, it also extends into Canada, through Ontario and Manitoba.
If you're not quite ready for crossing a chunk of one of the world's largest countries over several days or weeks, how about a road trip driving out into the ocean? The Overseas Highway extends 181 kilometers from the southern tip of Florida crossing numerous islands known as the Florida Keys. It takes four hours of driving through Caribbean islands and straight out into the ocean until you get to the end of the highway in Key West. Here you can either hop on a boat to one of the islands not linked by roads or spend a few days lounging at one of the many resorts there.
Road to Hana
Hawaii has always been known for its epic scenery and dramatic coastline where mountains tower over picturesque beaches and azure Pacific waters. the Road to Hana on Hawaii's island of Maui is one of the best drives you can take around the islands. The drive from Kahului to Hana only takes about two and a half hours but there are so many beautiful places to stop along the way.
One of the first highways in the country and easily the most famous, while Route 66 doesn't actually exist anymore, you can still travel along the iconic route that travels from Chicago to Santa Monica in California. You'll still find many of the famous sights along the way such as the many Route 66 signs and roadside stations you'll find along the way.
If it's vast expanses of unexplored wilderness, incredible snow-covered mountains and endless greenery you're looking to drive through, you can't do much better than Alaska's Dalton Highway. The highway runs for 666 kilometers along much of the sparsely populated state, although you won't find much in terms of settlements or civilization along the way or even at the end, it makes up for it with miles of stark, beautiful scenery.
For those with an affection for the East Coast, Route One runs almost the whole length from the border of Canada and Maine right down to the southern tip of Florida in Miami. Along the way you'll pass through the major East Coast cities such as Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Most people tend to travel the northern section from Boston to D.C. which takes about seven hours but there are plenty of stops along the way, apart from just the major cities. This road trip is less about the scenery (there's not much to see out the window) and all about traversing across some of the country's most iconic and historic cities.
Pacific Coast Highway
Spanning most of the coast of California, the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most stunning drives in the country, crossing the beautiful and dramatic coastline between the two major cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. It might be easier and more common to fly between the two cities, but you'll miss out on some of the most incredible coastal scenery the country has to offer with impressive towering cliffs and bright golden beaches.
The Blue Ridge Parkway
If you're looking for the most scenic drive in the United States and possibly even the world, Virginia and North Carolina's Blue Ridge Parkway runs along a major mountain chain in the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks offering some incredible vistas along the way. While it takes about twelve hours to drive the route, you'll want to spread it out over around a week, there are plenty of places to stop at along the way.
Road tripping culture has long been a part of the USA, almost anyone with a car in the country will have been on a roadtrip at some time in their life. Most routes are well equipped with numerous stops, gas stations and hotels along the way, no matter how rural the area is, making a roadtrip while in the US both easy and hassle-free.