50 Best Road Trips — Best Road Trips In USA

COVID-19 travel restrictions are loosening up as more and more people get vaccinated, but if you don’t feel comfortable boarding a plane quite yet, there’s good news: there are still ways (and cool destinations!) to travel to without taking a flight. Just hop in your own car and plan a road trip across the United States.

With travel restrictions still ever-changing depending on where you go, road trips are more relevant than ever. Luckily, the U.S. is full of beautiful, scenic routes and destinations that will make it worth every mile. Keep reading for 50 of the best road trips throughout the U.S.!

Note: Any form of travel is still a risk and it is important to look into the coronavirus restrictions, curfews, and other safety measures of the states you will be traveling to and through into consideration. If you are vaccinated, be sure to bring proof of vaccination.

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50 Best Road Trips

Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire


Sure, it’s got a name that’s kind of fun to say, but that’s not the only reason you’ll enjoy cruising on this 34.5-mile New Hampshire highway. The entire ride takes anywhere from two to three hours and if you go during peak leaf peeping season (that’s the few weeks between September and October when the fall foliage is at its finest), you’re sure to have a treat. While driving along The Kanc, you may want to make a few stops, including any one of the six campgrounds nearby, the hike to Sabbaday Falls, and Rocky Gorge.

Beartooth Highway, Yellowstone National Park

No matter where you live, at some point in your life you should absolutely road trip out to Yellowstone National Park, which spans three statesWyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Part of the beauty of Yellowstone is, of course, driving there because en route, you’ll find yourself climbing Beartooth Highway. Also known as All-American Road, these scenic route exhibits dramatic scenery of the lodgepole pine forests, alpine lakes, and more than 20 mountain peaks as you traverse 5,000 feet.

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Highway 1 to Big Sur, California

There’s a lot to unpack during the drive along Highway 1 to Big Sur, California. You’ll start in Dana Point in Orange County and over the course of a week or so, traverse one of the most iconic road trips of all time. What makes it so special, you ask? Well, let’s just say you may remember Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) from the opening scenes of HBO’s Big Little Lies and it features as many stunning panorama views of the water as it does twists and turns. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some elephant seals or Hearst Castle’s herd of zebras—you read that right: zebras.

Anchorage to Valdez, Alaska

Very few spots throughout the giant state of Alaska can be described as shabby or really, less-than-stunning. Everywhere you look, there are mountains, wildlife, and pastoral scenery to rival a painting and on the 300-mile road trip from Anchorage to Valdez, you’ll experience it all. Stopping to hike the Thunderbird Fall Trail at the beginning of your trek is a must as the trail brings culminates in a 200-foot waterfall.

The Desert Drive, California

So named is the 290-mile drive from San Diego, California to Joshua Tree National Park. Before you end in Joshua Tree (and ogle at the unique desert trees that gave the park its name), you’ll span a five-day journey passing rock formations, the deserts of Southern California, and other state parks such as Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (if you’re passing by in spring, be sure to stop and snap a few pics at Anza-Borrego’s beautiful wildflower fields).

The High Road, New Mexico


Aptly named, The High Road of New Mexico is 56 miles and spans from Santa Fe to Taos through Sangre de Cristos and the Rocky Mountains. At its peak, The High Road reaches 13,102 feet elevation and as you can imagine, being that high up delivers some out-of-this-world views.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway spans through North and South Carolina and West Virginia, too. You’ll drive through the Great Smoky Mountains, Shenandoah national parks, and the Appalachian Mountains for almost 500 miles of winding, twisting roads set against the mountains. Fun fact: It’s not just beautiful views you’re in for if you road trip the Blue Ridge—it’s known for some pretty great bird-watching and the Blue Ridge Distillery, too.

The Mighty Five, Utah

The Mighty Five refers to the five national parks located in the state of Utah: Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Zion National Park. It’s recommended to spend at least 10 days exploring The Mighty Five and hiking each park, visiting its national monuments, and paying respects to the Navajo Nation.

Olympic Peninsula Loop, Washington

Also known as Washington’s Highway 101 Loop, this Pacific-West journey takes a total of eight hours, so pack the crunchy-granola-vegan snacks. The trail picks up in Seattle and passes some pretty unreal sights—Hoh River rainforest, La Push (AKA the beach where Bella met up with Jacob in the Twilight films and books), and the San Juan Islands (where if you’re lucky, you may spot an orca whale pod)—on the way to the Hood Canal.

Hana Highway, Hawaii

The Hana Highway spans 52 miles from Kahului to Hana and it takes about two and a half hours to drive the whole thing. During the drive you’ll have a front-row seat to some of the most amazing sights the northeastern coast of Hawaii has to offer. But be careful: Those sights have a pretty overpowering quality, meaning that some tourist drivers tend to take in the view more than they take in the road ahead of them. While it’s definitely one of the top road trips in the U.S., you’ll want to make sure you drive it as safely as possible!

The Eastern Sierras, California


Also known as Highway 395, this road trip is designed to parallel the Sierra Nevada Mountains as you drive from Los Angeles to South Lake Tahoe. Spanning 232 miles, this trip should take anywhere from four to five days depending how quickly you move through and how many stops you make. If you do happen to stop, do so to pay your respects to the thousands of Japanese-Americans who lived in internment camps during World War II at Manzanar National Historic Site.

Montauk, New York

Long Island, New York may be known for its bagels and beaches, but if you’re up for a scenic summer drive (and don’t mind the traffic), then take the day to travel to Montauk. Known as The End by locals (after all, it’s literally the end, the easternmost point of the Island), the drive out to Montauk—or if you were a local, “Out East”—passes the hydrangea-lined mansions of the Hamptons, historic sites like the home and studio of artist Jackson Pollack, and Native American reservations. Once you’re there, grab a lobster roll at Gurney’s to prepare for the drive back.

Lemhi Pass, Rocky Mountains

It’s near-impossible to plan a road trip without taking into consideration the historical context of the areas you’re traveling through, but Lemhi Pass-through Idaho and Montana is particularly wrought with history. After all, Meriwether Lewis—of the Lewis & Clark Expedition—touched down at the Continental Divide at Lemhi Pass in the early 1800s. Sky-high at an elevation of 7,373 feet about sea level, this mountain pass located in the Beaverhead Mountains is for the adventurous road-trippers only.

St. Lawrence Seaway, New York

Tucked away at the tippy-top of the state is St. Lawrence Seaway—one of New York’s best-kept secrets. St. Lawrence Seaway, a region made up of nearly 2,000 locks, channels, and canals,  acts as the final border between here and Canada.

Texas Hill Country, Texas

They say everything is bigger in Texas and this road trip certainly falls in line. Texas Hill Country is a 191-mile route of rolling plains and prairies from Balcones Escarpment to Edwards Plateau. All in all, it’s about a 3-and-a-half-hour drive from start to finish, but that doesn’t account for pit-stops. Drive through San Antonio and Austin, taking in the Lone Star State’s iconic bluebonnet flowers. Each year, about 5 million tourists take to Hill Country to take in the ride’s views of the Texan landscape. Side note: We definitely recommend turning on the country jams as you go.

Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, California

Combine the Lassen National Park, CA drive with Crater Lake, Oregon and you get the stunning Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway. Clocking in at about 500 miles, you’ll pass by mountain ranges and unique formations. But the can’t-ignore pit-stop on this route is by far and away Petroglyph Point—the largest archeological site of Native American rock art in the U.S.

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Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

One of the most unique National Parks the United States has to offer is the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Not counting the time it takes you to road trip there, the entire drive through Petrified Forest is about 28 miles and it’s loaded with fun pit-stops, like hikes and the Rainbow Forest Museum, you won’t want to miss.

Grand Canyon, Nevada

The Grand Canyon is a sight everyone should take in with their own eyes at some point in their lives and a road trip there and back is one of the most meaningful ways to do so. Depending on where you’re coming from, there are tons of cool stops on the way including Flagstaff, Pink Jeep Tours, Navajo Bridge, and Cameron Outpost.

Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado


Rich with important history, Canyon de Chelly is a must-visit. The Battle of Canyon de Chelly took place in 1864 as part of the last “military engagement” between the Navajo and American settlers. Now, Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona sits on Navajo tribal lands, boasting beautiful, can’t-miss features like the Spider Rock Spire, prehistoric rock art, and Mummy Cave. Once there, you can walk the canyon or take a Najavo-operated Jeep Tour.

If planning a road trip soon, be sure to check Canyon de Chelly’s health alerts to make sure it’s open for operation.

Highway 143, Tennessee

Tennessee is known for far more than the Nashville strip and Dolly World. In fact, Highway 142 is a front-row seat to unparalleled views of the Appalachian Mountains and if you take the drive-in early summer, you’ll also catch a peek at The Volunteer State’s iconic purple rhododendron fields.

Flat Head Lake, Montana

Montana is one of America’s best-kept secrets when it comes to road trips. Flat Head Lake is a mountain-fed body of water in western Montana that spans 200 square miles. On this road trip, you’ll witness the peaks of Mission Mountain and the plains of the Flathead Reservation as you drive Highway 35. The roadway is also punctuated with local fruit stands selling the state’s native cherries, so be sure to stop and pick up a bunch. Other recommended stops include the Miracle of America Museum in Polson and M&S Meats in Rollins. (Buy the elk jerky!)

Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

When thinking of planning a road trip, your mind may not immediately go to the Sunshine State but that’s okay. You won’t want to underestimate the coastal beauty of Overseas Highway, a route that connects Key Largo and Key West along US-1. One hundred and thirteen miles long, the Seven Mile Bridge is a must-see and if you have time for it, stop at a lighthouse or two.

Hudson Valley, New York

For a proper road trip into the gorgeousness that is New York’s Hudson Valley, we recommend starting at The Met Cloisters in New York City, then working your way up to Hudson. You’ll pass mansion after mansion, West Point Academy, and the beloved scenery that Hudson Valley River School painters tried to recreate in their work in the 19th century.

Yosemite National Park, California

California was made for road trips it seems and one such can’t-miss trip is the ride into Yosemite. Yosemite National Park is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is known for its ancient sequoia trees. There, you’ll also witness Tunnel View, the iconic mountainous overlook on State Route 41 inside Yosemite. Yosemite is to the west of the Eastern Sierras but if you really wanted to go for it, you could combine both of these road trips for the ultimate journey through the Sierras.

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon


Located in Southern Oregon, few West coasts views rival that of Crater Lake National Park and the drive along with it. Established in 1902 and first called Deep Blue Lake, drivers can traverse Rim Drive, a 33-mile long path along the caldera. Rich with history, Rim Drive is even nationally recognized as a Historic District.

Route 66

Get your kicks! When it comes to iconic American road trips, Route 66 just might take the cake. Also known as The Mother Road, it’s 2,200 miles long, crosses eight states total, three different time zones, and it’s even more beautiful the animated Pixar film Cars made it look!

While everyone has different opinions on how long to travel Route 66 and where to take it from and to, you have the option of crossing all eight states if you want: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally, California. If not, take it from St. Louis to Amarillo, Texas, through which you’ll pass the Gateway Arch, the famed Ozarks, and the Meramec Caverns where outlaw Jesse James apparently hid out.

Oh, and as you chug along, be sure to play the song of the same name at least once. (We’re partial to the John Mayer rendition, but the original by Nat King Cole still slaps.)

Highway 2, Nebraska

Home to the city of Omaha, where tourists flock to the Durham Museum about Nebraska’s history as a pioneering state, Highway 2 is also worth a visit. You won’t see many (or any) mountains or cliffs here on Highway 2, but as you drive along you will be treated to long-lasting pastoral views of the state’s sandhills and the Great Plains.

Highway 101, Oregon

There’s so much to see on Highway 101 and we’re not even talking about the coastal views, either. There are more than 300 miles to drive along, but make sure to pit-stop at Prehistoric Gardens—a garden display of 20-foot-dinosaur statues of sorts.

Glacier National Park, Montana


There’s so much to see on the way to and at Glacier National Park in Montana that we recommend taking at least a week to get the most out of your journey. Road trip in from Chicago or better yet, the Pacific Northwest, and if you prefer to skip the hotel expenses, cruise through in an RV. Be sure to give yourself enough time to explore Lake McDonald, Big Bend, and the 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Kartchner Caverns, Arizona

Feel like road tripping to or around Arizona? Don’t sleep on Kartchner Caverns State Park! Located just a few miles south of Benson, Kartchner has a show cave featuring 2.4 miles of unique passages. It’s pretty special, too, considering the cave was discovered in 1974 and kept a secret until 1978. It’s $7 to enter per vehicle and $3 if you’re walking or biking in. There are also rental cabins or the property or alternatively, plenty of RV parks nearby.

Silverado Trail, California

Driving the Silverado Trail in California is probably the one exception on this list where the drive isn’t about the view or historical sites. (Although it does have its own place in historical significance: Built in 1852, Silverado Trail was California’s first permanent road to link the path between Napa and Calistoga.) More so than the views, this drive is all about the food and drink. You’re right by Napa Valley so the area’s flowing with vineyards and restaurants—a foodie-slash-wino’s absolute dream.

Great River Road, Tennessee and Louisiana

Great River Road, categorized as a National Scenic Byway, runs 2,069 miles long from Minnesota to Louisiana along the Mississippi River. If you ride the whole thing, you’ll have passed through 10 states total, but if you prefer a shorter version, try starting in Memphis, TN and heading to New Orleans, LA. With all that Jambalaya and shrimp grits to look forward to, you might just find yourself racing to NOLA. But really, take your time. Stop by the Natchez Museum of African-American Culture and the Bierdenharn Cocoa-Cola Museum, where Coke was first bottled in 1894. (Previously, it was only available as a fountain drink!)

Mohawk Trail, Massachusetts

First a Native American trade route, Mohawk Trail is now a drivable route along Millers River, Deerfield River, and connects Routes 2 and 2A. Another fan favorite amongst the autumn-time leaf-peepers, it’s best to cruise down Mohawk Trail during the fall for some breathtaking views of the New England foliage.

Park Loop Road, Maine

The ride through Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, Maine takes only an hour, but with quintessential coastal New England views, you’ll want to milk every single minute of your tour. It’s 27 miles in total and features panoramic views of the North Atlantic, caverns, and seaside cliffs.

Niagara Falls, New York


The U.S. side of Niagara Falls has long been a popular destination for road trips simply because as far as endpoints go, it’s a pretty spectacular note to go out on. Once there, you can wine taste at Niagara on the Lake, go ziplining, take a boat tour, visit the Observation Deck, and even take a helicopter ride for an unparalleled, birds-eye view of the Falls.

Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, Michigan

Almost seven and a half miles long, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is exactly that: a short-but-sweet scenic drive through the shores of Lake Michigan. Make it a true-blue road trip by launching at any one of these starting points: Indiana, Ohio, or Wisconsin.

Northern California Wine Country, California

So long as you have a Designated Driver, there’s no road trip like one planned around Northern California Wine Country. Wind through Napa and Sonoma Valleys tasting all the reds and whites the Country has to offer. Wine aside, you’ll also pass some hot springs and several State Parks with stunning views of nature, too.

Route 6, Massachusetts

When you think of Massachusetts, you may only envision the New England charm of Boston, but Route 6 has a lot to offer. Along the 118-mile Route 6, you’ll drive along the coast of Cape Cod with stunning views of dunes,  salt marshes, and beaches. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled—you may even spot a whale!

Rim of the World Scenic Byway, California


Start your 117-mile long road trip at Cajon Pass, then take State Highway 18—also known as the Rim of the World Scenic Byway of California—east through the San Bernadino Mountains, all the way to Big Bear.

I-95, New Hampshire and Maine

On Interstate 95, you’ll cut through the Seacoast region of New Hampshire as you head north toward the coastal state of Maine. If you take it end to end, you’ll go from Massachusetts and end up in Kittery, Maine, where you should definitely drive over the Piscataqua River Bridge, then grab a lobster roll.

Alaska-Canadian Highway, Alaska and Canada

Being that the Alaskan-Canadian Highway ends in Alaska, we don’t feel bad about counting this one. (Even if you’d have to have an extended license or passport ready to start out at the Canadian border.) The highway itself is 1,400 miles long and along the way from the origin point in British Columbia, you’ll pass everything from Sign Post Forest in the Yukon, Kluane National Park, Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, Mukluk Land, and more.

Route 50, California to Maryland

U.S. Route 50 is also known as U.S. Highway 50 and stretches 3,073 miles from West Sacramento California to Ocean City, Maryland. Now that’s a cross-country road trip!

Gold Chain Highway, California

Also known as Highway 49, Gold Chain Highway is so named for California’s Gold Country. Once the hot spots for miners during the 19th century Gold Rush, you’ll pass a handful of sites full of historical significance—the California State Mining and Mineral Museum, Jamestown’s Railtown 1897 Historic State Park, and the haunted Hotel Jeffery, built in 1851. Before the drive comes to a close in Vinton, check out the rich-with-history Empire Mine—one of the Golden State’s oldest and biggest gold mines.

Finger Lakes Loop, New York

The drive begins in Ithaca, NY and as you make your way through Albany, the Finger Lakes, and Keuka Lake to Corning, NY, there’s ample opportunity to stop for activities. There’s wine-tasting, boating, fishing, hiking, and so much more.

Scenic Route 100, Vermont

Scenic Route 100, which spans from Wilmington to Stowe, Vermont, is about 200 miles and takes five hours to drive. It’s a beautiful roadway in its own right, but come late September, early October leaf-peepers bombard the Scenic Route to grab a glance at the state’s out-of-this-world foliage. Stop at the Vermont Country Store, grab brunch at Butler’s Pantry, and if you’re into craft beer, be sure to stop at The Alchemist. (Try Heady Topper and Focal Banger—two of their most famous brews with a cult-like following.)

Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway, New Mexico


For a road trip like no other, take Turquoise Trail, another roadway recognized as a National Scenic Byway. All in all, it’s a three-hour drive from Albuquerque to Taos. You’ll pass pioneer trails, abandoned ghost towns of the west (like the Wortley Hotel pictured above), and the Taos Pueblo. It’s a short trip from start to finish but if you plan on making a week out of it and want to camp, be sure to look up at the stars before you settle into your sleeping bag. Known as one of the areas of the U.S. with the smallest amount of light pollution, your view of the stars will be unlike what you’ve ever seen before.

I-15, Nevada and Utah

Interstate 15 connects San Diego to Montana, but a fan-favorite part of the drive is the stretch from Las Vegas, NV to Salt Lake City, UT. Be sure to stop at Zion National Park, coast through Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, and take all the pictures at Antelope Canyon.

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California


Another popular road trip throughout California spans 188 miles from Redding to Lassen Volcanic National Park. It takes about three days to be able to plan the drive accordingly and once at Lassen, you’ll be overcome with views of volcanic rock, mountains, geysers, and actual fieldsyes, fieldsof lava. If you’re from Cali, then you know just how annoying it is to get to the start of this trip, but so long as you have a few vacation days from work saved up, you can make the road trip well worth it.

The Catskills, New York

The Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York are the backdrop to this gorgeous Empire State road trip that culminates in your arrival in Woodstock, NY—yes, that Woodstock. Waterfalls and gorges galore punctuate this drive and if you’re down to learn a little bit about the area’s art history, make a pit-stop at Kaaterskill Falls—a place many Hudson River Valley School artists commemorated in oil painting.

Ocean Drive, Rhode Island

Less of a road trip and more of an extremely scenic drive, if you ever find yourself in or around Newport, Rhode Island, try to curtail your urge to visit Taylor Swift‘s mansion there and ride down Ocean Drive instead. A 10-mile route along the coast of Newport’s beaches, you’ll pass decades-old mansions as you wind through Narragansett Bay. All in all, it takes about 20 minutes but if you’re up for making a stop, Fort Adams is well worth a visit.

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