10 of the Best Road Trips In The USA

Experience the United States of America with these unforgettable road trips. From the stunning sea views of Hawaii to the isolated and icy roads of Alaska, here's 10 driving routes in the USA you should have on your bucket list

The Best Road Trips In The USA

Road trips are a great way to explore the United States of America. There’s nothing like the freedom of life on the open road, and the sights and sounds it can serve up, to make you feel like you’re really getting to know the States. Yes, admittedly, getting yourself to America may prove to be a bit tricky in the times we’re living in but when we can travel again these drives need to be on your list.

From tried and tested classics to newfound passages, we’ve got some of the best USA road trips on display here. Whether you do it solo or with a group, road trips are a great way to experience what’s on offer in this sprawling country. With stretches of asphalt as far as the eye can see and lashings of spectacular scenery to marvel at, the USA has 50 states just waiting to be explored.

America is the place to be if you love road trips.

Route 66

Route: Chicago to Los Angeles
Distance: 2,448 miles (3,940 km)
Duration: 8-14 days

We are starting things off with a classic and a road trip that will be on many people’s bucket lists already. From Chicago to Los Angeles, this is one of the most talked about journeys that can be had on American soil. Route 66 is a road overflowing with history, and you’ll get to experience it all along the way: motels, museums, restaurants, and towns that scream Americana.

If you want to get to the American underbelly, you’ll find it on Route 66. If you’re in a rush, this drive can be completed in about five days. However, if you want to make it a long-lasting life memory then you should ideally be taking about two weeks to finish it. Take your time and immerse yourself in a drive that encompasses famous natural landmarks like the Grand Canyon and the 400-million-year-old Meramec Caverns in Missouri.

As you leave Chicago, you’ll be at the wheel surrounded by the open landscape of the midwest before tackling New Mexico. After this, you will proceed onto expansive deserts before eventually reaching the mesmerising pacific coast. At this point, you can turn off technology, follow the road signs and simply become one with Route 66.

The ultimate road trip of America spans across eight states and will see you cover over 2,400 miles. In each one of the states, you’ll get to live and breathe a different slice of American history. This one’s the ultimate road trip.

The Blue Ridge Parkway

Route: Virginia to North Carolina
Distance: 469 miles (754.8 km)
Duration: 1-5 days

The Blue Ridge Parkway is an alluring route that will really pull on your heartstrings. While driving along it, you’ll undoubtedly become entranced by the beautiful vistas on offer in this corner of America.

This route snakes all the way through the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia all the way to the Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. This 469-mile roadway trip is one of epic proportions. You’ll bask in everything from crackerjack sunsets to incredible wildlife.

This is a trip where you’ll want to stretch your legs. Home to the legendary Appalachian Trail, be sure to bring your walking boots on this one. The hiking, waterfalls, and forest lodges are all easily accessible from the road.

Jump in your vehicle of choice and weave your way through the Virginian countryside, cruising by unmissable mountain scenes via towns like Floyd and Galax.

This unforgettable drive is something you won’t want to rush over. Luckily, you don’t get a choice as the speed limit is a comfortable 45 miles per hour with commercial vehicles banned from being on the road. This means you can really take everything in as you leisurely make your way down the Blue Ridge Parkway at your own pace.

The Dalton Highway

Route: Alaska
Distance: 414 miles (666.3 km)
Duration: 1-3 days

Beginning at the Elliott Highway, north of Fairbanks, you’ll want to really prepare for this mammoth 414-mile driving mission.

This road happens to be one of the most isolated in the whole of America. In fact, you’ll only pass three towns during the duration of your trip. If you have any car trouble along the way, you might have to wait a long old time before someone can get to you. This is why it’s recommended you bring survival gear with you.

“This road happens to be one of the most isolated in the whole of America”

Alaska may not be baking in the heat like the other routes found on this list, but it will present you with more picture-perfect moments than you’ll know what to do with. One example of this is the black tundra of the Alaskan North Slope. You’ll definitely want to pull over to the side of the road and grab a few snaps for the album here.

Safety needs to be paramount on this dangerous road as snow and ice can make for extremely treacherous conditions. You want to go at a slow pace, one at which you can really embrace the vast emptiness of Alaska.

Upon completion of the route, you’ll come to the final stop of Deadhorse. Here you’ll be presented with stunning views of the Arctic Ocean.

Pacific Coast Highway 101

Route: California
Distance: 123 miles (197.9 km)
Duration: 4-5 hours

Back out on the west coast is where you’ll find the Pacific Coast Highway. The epic coastal landscapes of this place will imprint themselves firmly into your mind. This drive will take you between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and make you truly thankful for the beauty that California has to offer.

This 123-mile experience embraces the central California coast from every possible angle. Going at a mellow pace, you should expect to finish this road trip at around the five-hour mark.

The route starts in Monterey before following the pathway of the rugged coast of Big Sur, a place where the mountains rise up out of the Pacific.

After this extremely special start, you can stop to enjoy the beaches of Pfeiffer Beach before rejoining the route to revel in the redwoods by Moro Rock. The drive’s pièce de résistance comes when you reach LA, a city where you can grab a pew by the Santa Monica Pier and delve further into this truly one-of-a-kind American playground.

The Las Vegas Loop

Route: Las Vegas
Distance: 779 miles (1,254 km)
Duration: 1 to 7 days

The Las Vegas Loop isn’t a new roulette machine, but it will take you on a wild ride as you embark on a road trip through Sin City. Starting in the neon lights of the Vegas strip, make your way through the vast desert of Arizona and Utah as you go back in time to the cowboy days of the wild west.

Getting to witness the astounding sights of the lifeless American deserts will make you feel at one with yourself as you discover a piece of American history. This loop will take you to Monument Valley, Canyonlands, and Zion National Parks, where you can learn all about the local Navajo culture the further you progress.

An example is Monument Valley, which is a Navajo Tribal Park. Please be respectful of the local culture here. You can take pictures of the scenery, but if you encounter any Navajo residents then please ask permission before as a contribution is often expected.

Whatever happens on your trip to the Las Vegas Loop, you’ll get a spiritual win compared to all the money you’d lose at the Las Vegas casinos. Nevertheless, on your loopback round it would be wrong if you didn’t at least try to win the jackpot.

Overseas Highway

Route: Florida
Distance: 113 miles (171.4 km)
Duration: 2-3 hours

The Overseas Highway is a 113-mile extravaganza that will give you the tropical vibes you crave. The route carries you across US-1, where it joins the Florida Keys. T

The route is true to its name, and it will indeed take you overseas directly to Key West. It was originally constructed in the 1920s but went through a major rebuild in the 1980s. In modern times it has become a sought-after road trip for anyone wanting to make themselves a memorable Miami moment.

The vital rule for this road trip is having a good playlist. It needs to be upbeat, and more importantly, it needs to be American. You’ll be flying over the Seven Mile Bridge as you explore this exotic roadway. You’ll be overcome by colourful coral reefs and, if you’re lucky, get to see an alligator that inhabits the tropical islands.

Hana Highway

Route: Hawaii
Distance: 64 miles (103.6 km)
Duration: 2-4 hours

Keeping up the tropical vibes, we’re heading over to Hawaii, where you’ll find the Hana Highway that offers up luscious landscapes just waiting for you to explore them.

America’s 50th state offers up one of the shortest road trips on the list, at a length of just 64 miles. On each of those miles, however, you’ll be presented with paradisiacal views at every twist and turn. The drive will take you through Kahului to Hana and will last about three hours, meaning you’ll have plenty of time left to explore the rest of heavenly Hawaii as well.

What can you expect to see along the way? Well, you’ll time at the wheel here takes you on the path of fruit trees, sea cliffs, and all sorts of tropical wildlife. You’ll also be passing over 59 bridges on the Hana Highway route, with 46 of them being one lane wide. Yes, this is a very good road trip.

Texas Hill Country

Route: Texas
Distance: 200 miles (322 km)
Duration: 1-3 days

You can’t have a list of American road trips that doesn’t include Texas. The second-biggest state in the USA is home to some striking sights, and with the Texas Hill Country route you’ll get a little taste of what the Lone Star State has to offer. Hill Country can be found between San Antonio and Austin. It’s famous for rippled hills and winding country roads, making it the epitome of a good old-fashioned scenic drive.

This road trip would be great to experience with friends. You’ll pass farms galore and see orchards of apples and peaches everywhere you look. The trip begins just north of Austin before going on south to San Antonio, where it spans over 200 miles of terrain. There is a quirky adventure to be had here. Brace yourself for fields, flowers and black asphalt dotted with gas stations and advertising hoardings.

Olympic Peninsula Loop

Route: Washington
Distance: 330 miles (531 km)
Duration: 1-4 days

The Olympic Peninsula Loop is truly something to behold, serving up thick forests and mountainous locations that are just crying out to be explored. This 330-mile adventure will take you all over Washington’s Olympic National Park, giving you the chance to experience rainforests and snow-covered ranges in the same place.

This is the type of road trip for the seasoned road tripper. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to park and enjoy the gorgeous surroundings. You can start the loop at Highway 101 but just remember to pack those hiking boots because you’ll want to experience this place on foot as well.

Coast To Coast

Route: Los Angeles to New York
Distance: 3,500 miles (5632 km)
Duration: 4 to 14 days

We have maybe saved the best for last here. Go on an epic coast-to-coast trip that takes you from one side of America to the other in a whirlwind of a pure adventure. This will be a road trip that you never, ever, forget.

Start in Los Angeles and end in New York as you cross 12 states and see what this giant spectacle of a country has to offer.

Depending on your route, you will cover nearly 3,500 miles on this one. If you fancy eight hours of driving a day, you can get this all wrapped up in as little as four days. But why not make it interesting by spending a day or so in every interesting place you pass. You’ll get to experience an array of American culture, soak up the USA spirit, and experience the road trip equivalent of the full blown stars and stripes.

Just be sure to bring a spare tyre and a copy of Bruce Springsteen’s greatest hits.

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