A road trip is always a special occasion, and it involves so much more than simply getting from A to B in a car. Their popularity continues to soar as holidaymakers opt for road trip getaways to explore a country up close and personal behind the wheel.
The United States just so happens to be one of the most popular destinations for a road trip, thanks to its sheer size and expansive roads. And we’ve put this guide together with the best US road trips to celebrate the great routes in the States. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
Route 66 🛣️
How can you start a post on the best US road trips without including Route 66? It’s the de facto road trip route in the United States and is simply known as the “Mother Road”. The route is one of the US Highway Systems original routes, starting in Chicago and winding and bending its way to Santa Monica. Route 66 covers eight states and lasts for a whopping 2,500 miles. So rent a car and head out on this drive for a slice of classic Americana from days gone by while admiring the diverse scenery.
San Francisco to Utah 🌉
Starting in San Francisco – the home to tech giants and the US’s most European-like city – make your way over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge for sweeping views of the bay area. Then, drive out of the city towards Lake Tahoe with its backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains before reaching Yosemite, which has waterfalls, domineering sequoia trees and the peak of El Capitan. Next on your trip is a drive through Death Valley and into the desert until you reach Las Vegas. Spend a night or two in the home for hedonists before making your way to Utah, where you can visit national parks like Bryce Canyon and Zion.
Pacific Coast Highway 🏖️
Drive along the western coast and soak up the best of California, Oregon and Washington. The California section has sea cliffs with majestic views, plus the odd idyllic beach where you can stop for a spot of sunbathing. Once you head north of the redwoods, the route merges into Oregon, where there are windswept capes and rocky tide pools. Round the trip off by crossing the Columbia River into Washington, where you can pay a visit to the White House.
Overseas Highway 🌊
One of the best US road trips, the Overseas Highway takes you from Miami to Key West and features a seven-mile bridge that makes it feel like you’re gliding along the water. Overall, the route is 127.5 miles long and features everything from the mainland to the ocean. The journey takes around four hours to complete and has stop-offs such as Bahia Honda State Park and a sandy beach or two to experience.
Blue Ridge Parkway 🌳
As far as scenic drives go, it’s hard to beat the Blue Ridge Parkway. It stretches from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to te Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and is a tree-lined route that will take you into the heart of nature. Head here in autumn if you can, when the leaves are golden, and the skies are blue. The route lasts 469 miles, but you might want to give yourself some extra time for all of those stop-offs and a pic or two for gram.
Anchorage to Valdez ⛰️
Get up close and personal with the beautiful sites of Alaska for this 300-mile road trip from Anchorage to Valdez. Cruise past majestic glaciers and mountain ranges with sky-high peaks as you marvel at the natural wonders on show. If you want to stretch your legs, go hiking on the Thunderbird Fall Trail that leads you to an impressive 200-foot waterfall.
The Deep South Drive 🎵
The Deep Drive South is a musically themed route from Chicago to New Orleans and features six states between them. Starting in Chicago, the route heads towards Lincoln’s birthplace in St Louis before arriving in Memphis, where rock ‘n’ roll, blues and jazz were born – oh, and it’s the home to Elvis’s Graceland mansion. By this point you can fully immerse yourself in southern charm as you continue the route to Natchez on the banks of the Mississippi River. The last stretch of the route sees you going on a three-hour drive to New Orleans, the jazz-centric and foodie haven of the south.
Coastal New England 🛥️
A road trip through coastal New England is a chance to relive the past when it was an easy access trade route until 1723 until 26 sea bandits were beheaded at Gravelly Point. Today, the route provides a classic trip showcasing the region’s connection to the sea and American History.
Road to Hana 🌺
Enjoy a little slice of paradise with one of the best US road trips in Hawaii. Stretching for 64 miles, the Road to Hana glides along the northeastern coast of Maui with more than 600 curvy bends and 50 bridges. Expect to see fantastic sights such as panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, coastal cliffs, scenic waterfalls and dense jungles.
The best US road trips
Road trips in the United States offer a little bit of everything, whether you’re after challenging drives, mountains, forests, and coastal destinations. We’d go as far as to say that the US has the best road trips in the world. So, the next time you’re going on an adventure in the United States, get yourself a motor and discover the country from behind the wheel.