Best Road Trips in the US: Highlighting the Top US Road Trips
If you’re looking for an amazing road trip adventure, you’ll want to check out this list of the best road trips in the US. From the stunning Pacific Coast Highway to Glacier National Park, there’s something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to explore some of America’s most beautiful landscapes.
This list of the best road trips in the US will highlight all of the top road trips across America for those that love the open road. Whether it is a beach on the West Coast or a hiking trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains, there are plenty of unique stops to enjoy on your road trip.
Another important consideration for these different road trips is the time of year. For example, if you drive through the Blue Bonnet Trail at the right time of year, you will experience miles of blue flowers that line the highway (hence the name). Or some of these East Coat highways that travel through the woods in the Fall will allow you to experience all the colorful changing leaves. So make sure to plan out the timing of your trip so you can take advantage of the seasonal changes.
For even more amazing destinations in the US, make sure to visit our lists of the best states to visit, the best vacation spots in the US, and the best beaches on the East Coast. With a little planning, you can make sure to add some of these destinations on your road trip.
Top 15 Road Trips in the US:
1. 17-Mile Drive
Highlights: California’s Monterey Peninsula, stunning Pacific Ocean views, and a relaxing drive along the coast.
About Road Trip: Venture down California’s Monterey Peninsula on Highway 1 for a breathtaking road trip. This 17-mile strip of Highway 1 boasts stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, lush Del Monte forests, and picturesque sunsets. Soak up the natural beauty while enjoying a relaxing drive along the coast.
2. Blue Ridge Parkway
States: Carolinas and Virginia
Highlights: A beautiful scenic drive, views of the Appalachian mountains, and the changing colors of the leaves in the fall time.
About Road Trip: The Blue Ridge Parkway has something for everyone. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or just looking for a beautiful scenic drive, this is the perfect road trip for you.
With stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains and plenty of activities to keep you busy, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a must-see destination. It’s a panoramic drive for all seasons, with undulating slopes of color in autumn, a bounty of forest canopy in summer, and ski resorts in winter.
3. Bluebonnet Trail
Highlights: The best of Texas scenery, takes you by seven interconnected lakes, and some of the best wilderness resorts Texas has to offer.
About Road Trip: If you’re looking for a road trip that offers the best of Texas scenery, look no further than the Bluebonnet Trail. This route takes you through some of the most beautiful areas of the state, from Austin to Houston.
You’ll pass by seven interconnected lakes on the Colorado River and experience some of the best wilderness resort areas Texas has to offer. So if you’re looking for a way to experience everything that Lone Star State has to offer, hit the Bluebonnet Trail.
4. Lake Shore Drive
Highlights: A 26-mile drive, showcases some of the country’s most iconic architecture, and informative tour guides are available online.
About Road Trip: Lake Shore Drive is the perfect road trip for architecture fanatics and enthusiasts alike. This 26-mile drive showcases some of the country’s best and most iconic architecture, from the Willis Tower to Mies van der Rohe’s sleek post-Bauhaus boxes. With informative tour guides available online, this is a road trip you won’t want to miss.
5. US 1 Key West
Highlights: 120 miles, beautiful scenery, swimming and snorkeling, and the 7 Mile Bridge.
About Road Trip: If you’re looking for one of the top road trips in America, you need to check out US 1 Key West. This amazing route will take you through 120 miles of some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, including stunning beaches and beach bars, crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and fascinating Parrothead culture.
Make sure to cross over 7 Mile Bridge – one of the longest bridges in the world – on your way to Key West and experience all that this road trip has to offer.
6. Kancamagus Highway
State: New Hampshire
Highlights: A 36-mile stretch of highway, stunning fall scenery, and a wide selection of tree types.
About Road Trip: If you’re looking for an epic road trip in the USA, look no further than the Kancamagus Highway. This 36-mile stretch of highway in New Hampshire is home to some of the most stunning fall-time scenery in the country. With blazing maples, alders, and birches, you won’t want to miss out on this unforgettable sightseeing experience.
7. Highway 101
Highlights: Views of the Pacific Ocean, lush rainforest landscapes, and the Prehistoric Gardens.
About Road Trip: Explore the natural beauty of Oregon’s coastline with a scenic road trip along Highway 101. This stretch of highway offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and lush rainforest landscapes, making it the perfect destination for a relaxing drive. Be sure to stop at Prehistoric Gardens to see life-size dinosaur replicas in a realistic prehistoric setting.
8. Route 12
Highlights: A 124-mile stretch, Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks, and funky small towns along the way.
About Road Trip: If you’re looking for one of the best road trip routes in the US, look no further than Route 12. This 124-mile stretch winds through some of America’s most majestic scenery, including two National Parks – Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon. You’ll find funky small towns and a few entry points along the way, so be sure to bring a map and plenty of determination.
9. North Shore Drive
Highlights: Follows Minnesota’s Lake Superior coastline, amazing views of the glacial lake and its lush forest surroundings, and features some of America’s inland ports.
About Road Trip: One of the best road trip routes in the US, North Shore Drive, is sure to impress. This scenic route follows Minnesota’s Lake Superior coastline, providing amazing views of the glacial lake and its lush forest surroundings.
You’ll also get a glimpse of some of America’s inland ports, including Duluth and Two Harbors. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable road trip experience, check out the North Shore Drive.
10. Going to the Sun Road
Highlights: Snow-covered peaks, sub-alpine meadows, and open typically from June until September.
About Road Trip: If you’re looking for an American road trip that will take your breath away, look no further than Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, one of the best national parks in the US. This awe-inspiring route winds its way through the park’s snow-covered peaks and sub-alpine meadows, providing stunning views at every turn.
You’ll definitely want to make this a summertime destination – the road is only open when conditions allow, typically from June until September. But it’s well worth the wait – experience one of America’s most inspiring road trips.
11. Columbia River Scenic Highway
Highlights: Views of waterfalls and mountains, scenic routes, and there are several hikes in the area.
About Road Trip: The Columbia River Scenic Highway is the perfect way to see some of the most amazing sights in the world. With views of amazing waterfalls and mountains, this drive is perfect for anyone looking for a scenic route. Make sure to check out some of the best hikes in the area, including short and easy day hikes and more difficult backpacking trips.
12. Washington’s Olympic Peninsula
Highlights: Lush rain forests, rugged coastline, and an abundance of activities and attractions.
About Road Trip: Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is one of the best road trip destinations in the US. With its lush rain forests, rugged coastline, and abundance of activities and attractions, there’s something for everyone on the Olympic Peninsula Loop. From Port Angeles to Forks and everything in between, be sure to explore all that this beautiful region offers.
13. Alaska’s George Parks Highway
Highlights: Connects Anchorage and Fairbanks, runs through beautiful wilderness, and you’ll have a chance to see mount Denali.
About Road Trip: If you’re looking for an unforgettable road trip, look no further than the George Parks Highway in Alaska. This scenic byway connects Anchorage and Fairbanks, running through some of the most beautiful wilderness in North America. You’ll have a chance to see towering mountains, wild moose, and Denali – the tallest mountain in North America. So pack your bags and hit the open road!
14. Colorado’s State Highway 82
Highlights: A 32-mile stretch of highway, winds through magnificent mountain ranges, and offers excellent skiing.
About Road Trip: Colorado’s State Highway 82 is more than just a road—it’s an experience. This 32-mile stretch of highway winds through the state’s most magnificent mountain ranges, offering breathtaking views at every turn. Whether you’re a skiing enthusiast or just looking for a scenic drive, State Highway 82 is the perfect way to see Colorado at its best.
15. The High Road to Taos
State: New Mexico
Highlights: Drives through the desert, beautiful wildflower meadows and art galleries, and the Low Road on the way back is an equally stunning experience.
About Road Trip: For a truly breathtaking road trip, take The High Road to Taos. This scenic drive winds through the desert, over mountains, and through forests, all the way to ancient Indian pueblos.
Along the way, you’ll find beautiful wildflower meadows and art galleries scattered throughout the drive. When you’re finished sightseeing, take the Low Road back through the valleys for an equally stunning experience.
Best Road Trips in the US Conclusion
There’s nothing quite like taking a road trip. The wind in your hair, the sun in your face, and the freedom to go wherever you want. And while you most likely will have a final destination that you are looking forward to getting to, you will also enjoy the travel time as well with these road trips.
And don’t feel like you have to go all the way across the country to take advantage of one of these scenic routes. Many of them are spread out across this great country and will allow you to find a route for our two that might be closer than you think.
When you plan your road trip, make sure to stop plenty of times along the way and enjoy all the roadsides, towns, and great outdoors have to offer along the way. Take your time and enjoy cruising through some of the most beautiful landscapes that America has to offer. And if you really want to enjoy one of these road trips right, rent a car you want to drive and cruise the open road in style.
Have you taken on one of these road trips before? If so, please feel free to share your feedback below in the comments. Or if there is another road trip that you think should’ve made the list, please share that below as well.
Kyle has a background in sports, fitness/health, and business. However, he also has a passion about researching all topics, and is dedicated to making lists that will help make your life easier.