The 5 Best Road Trips to Take Across the U.S.
Few things are as classic and timeless as a road trip. With the summer season approaching, why not plan an unforgettable journey through some of the most amazing destinations within the U.S.?
We rounded up a list of our top five favorite American road trips to help get you inspired and hitting the road in no time!
1. Route 66 — Illinois to California
Can you really call it an epic road trip if it's not related to the iconic Route 66? The "Mother Road" is one of the original routes on the United States Highway System. Originating in Chicago and making its way across the country toward California's Santa Monica pier, it winds through eight states and around 2,500 miles.
Road trippers love the nods to classic Americana and kitschy pop moments found along the highway, making it ideal for anyone eager for an extra large dose of nostalgia. A favorite sight along the way? Meramec Caverns in Missouri, where outlaw Jesse James famously hid out while on the run.
2. Hana Highway — Hawaii
The natural beauty and stunning landscapes of Hawaii truly cannot be beat, and this is just one of the reasons that it's a fantastic destination for a road trip. While this route might not be as extensive as the aforementioned Route 66 – or many others in the U.S. – it packs a punch that won't let you down. Drive through paradise from Kahului to Hana over the course of 60 miles, soaking up the views of mango trees, stunning sea cliffs, and plenty of local flora and fauna along the way.
The journey should take around three hours, depending on when you hit the road. Head out with patience and plan to just take in all the beauty, no matter the potential traffic. If you get antsy, hop off at Mile 32 and visit Waianapanapa State Park, where lush, verdant jungle meets rugged basalt lava coastlines.
3. Blue Ridge Parkway — Virginia to North Carolina
Lean into the laid back leisure of the east coast on the Blue Ridge Parkway. No commercial vehicles are allowed on this route, and the lower speed limit manes everyone on the road is most certainly taking it easy. At nearly 500 miles, the parkway winds through the Appalachian Mountains, covering the Shenandoah Valley and Great Smoky Mountains national parks. It's especially impressive in the Fall, when the foliage on display provides an utterly stunning rainbow of golden, crimson, and orange leaves.
4. Highway 1 to Big Sur — California
An established icon when it comes to classic American road trips, Highway 1 never fails to deliver. With its dramatic cliffs, winding turns, and rugged ocean views, this route along the California coast provides first in class panoramic views not found anywhere else. Isolated and absolutely beautiful, it's the perfect adventure if you're looking for a unique dose of romance. Don't forget to stop at Bixby Bridge to document the moment for the gram: soaring over a steep canyon and above vertigo-inducing cliffs, it's sure to provide more than a few moments of jaw-dropping awe.
5. Overseas Highway — Florida
Your route doesn't have to take you through giant mountain ranges or cliff-hugging curves to be memorable. Head south to the Florida Keys for a tropically terrific road trip down the Overseas Highway. Over 110 miles long, the original route is nearly 100 years old and was restored in the 1980s. Start in Key Largo and finish up in the quirky Key West; you're guaranteed a sun-soaked and chill experience the whole way down. Seven Mile Bridge is one of the world's longest, and the white sand beaches are some of the country's most beautiful.