Road trips have always been and will always be a popular hobby in the US. I can’t imagine a better way to explore the enormous assortment of magnificent coastal vistas, breathtaking valleys, cliffs, lush forestry, and infinite desert-rugged terrain than being behind the wheel.
Nothing compares to loading up the car, cueing up a few new mixtapes, a few podcasts, and setting out for an adventure. Read on to discover the location of your upcoming cross-country road trip from our list of the top 10 road trips in the USA.
Great River Road
Mark ten states off your bucket list after driving down the Great River Road along the Mississippi River. There are so many wildlife resorts along the Great River Road; those who love the outdoors will especially like this north-south route.
Make pit stops to roam through charming river towns like Greenville and Rosedale while staying at the Yazoo Refuge and Theodore Roosevelt Refuge.
This fantastic journey across the country has an exciting conclusion when you stop in New Orleans for jazz, beignets, a toast with a hurricane, or mint julep.
Attractions to see the Mississippi River include Chain of Rocks Bridge, Buffalo Bill Museum, Lakeport Plantation, Wickliffe Mounds, and Lake Pepin.
Pacific Coast Highway, California
Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, it is easy to see why it is regarded as one of the best drives in the country. The route passes through some of California’s best coastal scenery after beginning in San Diego.
Explore Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Hearst Castle, and Highway One before heading north to the quaint seaside community of Monterey. Your final stop is San Francisco, the renowned City by the Bay, where there are many fascinating places to discover. To gain more ideas, read our whole Highway One itinerary.
Attractions to see: Golden Gate Bridge, Burns State Park, McWay Falls, Devil’s Slide at Half Moon Bay, Crescent City Pebble Beach, Elephant Seals at the Beach.
Enjoy the inspiring, photogenic dream of visiting Monterey, Pebble Beach, Carmel, and Big Sur all in one day by taking Highway 1. Enjoy a private tour of Casanovas’ wine cellar in Carmel, marvel at the creations of renowned architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, and drive the historic 17-mile Lone Cypress Drive.
The 250-year-old tree, one of California’s most mysterious road trip locations, is allegedly the Monterey Peninsula’s equivalent of the Egyptian pyramids and the Parisian Eiffel Tower. Attractions to see Pebble Beach, Monterey, China Cove Walk, Bixby bridge, and Carmel.
Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana
The highway is the only route that crosses Glacier National Park in Northwest Montana and is a 50-mile (80-km) rugged mountain trek that clings to cliff faces.
And what a delight it is. Starting from Route 2 or 86, the scenic east-west and west-east road trip in Montana will take you through lush green forests alongside Lake Mac Donald.
Next, the track descends into deep valleys beneath plummeting glacier-covered mountain summits and finally to Saint Mary Lake, where you can see the 100-foot (160 m) high flowing crystal waterfall.
Keep your eyes open for the occasional glimpse of mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and other types of animals that may be there because this road is stunningly beautiful.
Attractions to see are Logan Pass, Hidden Lake, Avalanche Lake, Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park, and Mc Donald Falls.
Columbia River Highway, Oregon
The 74-mile Columbia River Highway starts in Portland and crosses the Columbia River Gorge. The concurrently flowing Columbia River Highway connects to Oregon Routes 35 and 30.
Road trippers are often charmed by nature’s beauty and to have a genuinely enjoyable drive while traveling this route. Rivers, bridges, and waterfalls border a stunning gray ribbon of spaghetti that winds through picturesque Oregon.
Attractions to see are Horsetail Falls, Multnomah Falls, Cascade Locks, Stevenson Wa Town, Clarke State Park, and Crown Point Vista House Sunset.
The Loneliest Road, Nevada
One is the loneliest number, and there will be times while driving on this intercontinental highway when you feel like you are the last person remaining on Earth.
The US-50, known for its unique nickname for its solitude and remoteness, is a 3,000-mile route from Ocean City, Maryland, to Sacramento, California.
Though this road, which Time magazine has dubbed the “Backbone of America,” is dotted with hundreds of little, historic villages, you won’t be completely alone.
Attractions to see National Automobile Museum, St. James Infirmary, Reno City, The Reno Arch, The Shoe Tree, and Great Basin National Park.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Plan your trip from either Cherokee or Boone and make your way to Blue Ridge Parkway Road. The highway offers travelers five and a half hours of mountainous terrains, the occasional eerie fog, waterfalls, wild turkeys and birds, scarlet sourwoods, deep reds and yellows in the fall.
The 45-mph speed limit will be delightful as you can genuinely enjoy one of the best picturesque drives in the USA because there are no commercial towns, billboards are prohibited, and commercial traffic is not allowed.
Attractions to see Cascade Falls, Beacon Heights, Mabry Mill, Doughton Park, Flat Rock, and Mount Mitchell.
The incredible trip ends at the east entrance to Yellowstone and is an eventful fun-packed jaunt. The track that runs through the underrated Cheyenne has plenty of memorable things to do.
Make sure to hand-feed bison at Terry Bison Ranch, sip freshly brewed craft root beer at Danielmark’s, explore the Fort Laramie National Historic Site, sample local wine, and learn about the jackalope legend.
And that’s not all; before reaching the pinnacle of Yellowstone’s glory. You’ll get to go back in time with dinosaurs discovered in the state, have Wild West adventures, play in the water beneath a natural bridge, shop for the ideal pair of cowboy boots in Casper at a shop selling western ware since 1919, and travel back to the time of the dinosaurs.
Attractions to see Fossil Cabin, Cheyenne, PhinDeli Town Buford, Terry Bison Ranch, World’s Largest Elkhorn Arch, and World’s Largest Jackalope.
Pearce Kibaale is a freelance writer, content creator, and Editor-in-Chief of Trip Dhow.