Here are the Best Road Trips in the United States

There’s just something about highway trips that make you feel alive. The thrill of loading up the car and hitting the road, rolling down the windows, and letting in the warm air, cranked up the music as you watch the landscape change and not knowing what will happen along the way. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for breathtaking scenery, historical routes, or a drive through the country’s music cities.

National Parks & Highway 12 (Salt Lake City to Grand Canyon)

When driving south from Salt Lake City, Utah, you will find yourself in a playground of stunning national parks stretching to neighboring Arizona. From Capitol Reef National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park, Highway 12 Scenic Byway is a 122.9-mile route regarded as one of the most scenic drives in the world. You’ll enjoy breathtaking landscapes of desert red rock and alpine forest.

Stop at Anasazi State Park and Anasazi ruins (dating back to 1050 A.D.) in Boulder, Utah, before enjoying a meal at James Beard-nominated Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm. Experience the Grand Staircase-Escalante before retiring to Yonder Escalante, a new lodging and campground experience. You’ll visit Bryce and Zion National Parks before finishing at the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

The Blues Highway (Nashville to New Orleans)

Avoid the crowds in the U.S. Drive Highway 61, better known as “The Blues Highway.” Acknowledged as the road written about by dozens of blues musicians, road trippers will travel through a piece of history and enjoy scenic views.

Experience some of the country’s storied music spots, starting in Nashville, the home of country music’s most famous stage and the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum. Fans of Elvis Presley can fully immerse themselves in the life of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Memphis. Stay at The Guest House at Graceland and experience southern hospitality and royal treatment before visiting Mississippi and New Orleans, where the French Quarter has inspired musicians, writers, and artists.

Pacific Coast Highway (California)

California’s Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is one of the best-known coastal drives in the country. This trip takes travelers from Dana Point, California, to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Big Sur, and San Francisco, past stunning cliffs, Hearst Castle, and redwood forests. Fern Canyon, where “Jurassic Park: Lost World” was filmed, is a must-see. Rest up at the Palihouse Santa Monica to experience the Cali-cool lifestyle of Los Angeles, and finish your road trip with a luxurious stay at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn near California wine country.

Pacific Coast Scenic Byway (Oregon)

As jaw-dropping as the famed California drive, Oregon’s alternative to the PCH is just as breathtaking. Traveling down the Oregon coast from Astoria to Brookings takes 363 miles. As you pass by Cannon Beach and Whaleshead Beach, you’ll find endless sand and surf options. Spend some time hiking through less-crowded state parks, such as Cape Lookout and Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor, and walk under the world’s most giant eucalyptus tree (at almost 70 feet tall) along Myrtle TreeTrail.

Camping grounds with beachfront views and R.V. parking. Booking is available for park reservations, and the Best Western Plus Agate Beach Inn in Newport, Oregon, offers a pet-friendly option with views of the Pacific Ocean and the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

The highway that Goes to Sea (Florida)

The state of Florida offers stunning views of pristine beaches, sunsets, and palm trees as you drive through charming cities and end at one of the most scenic drives in the country. In St. Petersburg, you can play golf at the historic Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club before heading south to Cape Coral to swim in the Gulf of Mexico.

From Fort Lauderdale, you can enjoy picturesque sunsets at the oceanfront Atlantic Hotel & Spa, then travel to Islamorada by way of swaying palm trees. Embark on a journey across the Overseas Highway and the crystal clear waters of the Florida Keys, ending in Key West with a stay at Casa Marina.

Blue Ridge Parkway (West Virginia to Tennessee)

There are countless winding roads and stunning scenery along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which begins in Shenandoah National Park and ends in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

You can hike up Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi, and visit the Biltmore Estate, the family home of George and Edith Vanderbilt. A visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway would not be complete without a ride on the “Tail of the Dragon” at Deals Gap, adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains.

It is a popular and challenging motorcycle destination that is 11 miles long with 318 curves. You can stay at The Foundry Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina, known for its food and craft brew scene, before finishing your ride in Tennessee.

Adirondacks (NYC to The Finger Lakes)

Adventurers will enjoy a trip to the Adirondacks. Covering 6 million acres, the world is your oyster when it comes to the outdoors, and there’s no shortage of hiking and biking trails as well as intimate villages and historical sites.

The Finger Lakes wine region has numerous vineyards with tasting rooms, including Heart & Hands Wine. A scenic drive through New York state’s rolling hills leads travelers to the quaint village of Aurora and the calming waters of Cayuga Lake and the pristinely restored historic homes that are the Inns of Aurora lakeside luxury boutique resort.

Ohio’s Amish Country Byway (Ohio)

One of the most beautiful backdrops for a road trip is the Amish Country Byway in Ohio, which boasts views of rolling hills and winding curves. This charming country byway will offer a great selection of Amish country cooking, old-world artisan shops, and historic sites detailing the history of the Amish and German people.

Get out and explore the Mohican-Memorial State Forest for a few hours if you feel adventurous. Check out the Mohicans Treehouse Resort, just a short drive away in quaint Glenmont, Ohio, for an unforgettable overnight stay.

Black to Yellow Route (Wyoming)

From Wyoming’s Black Hills in the northeastern corner to Yellowstone National Park in the northwest portion of the state, the Black to Yellow Route enables travelers to see the nation’s first national monument and first national park while enjoying charming towns along the way.

Stopover in Sheridan, a beautiful small town filled with western history (including The Mint Bar, built-in 1907 and became a famous cowboy bar) and a growing brewery and distillery scene. Stay at the historic Sheridan Inn, where each room reflects the life and times of Buffalo Bill Cody.

Natchez Trace Parkway (Mississippi to Tennessee)

The Natchez Trace Parkway winds up from Mississippi through Alabama and ends in Davidson, Colorado, southwest of Nashville. Explore the many waterfalls, such as Fall Hollow Waterfall and Jackson Falls, where you can cool off and stretch your legs.

Quaint towns like Leiper’s Fork offer unique galleries and artisanal boutiques. A stop at the Loveless Café on milepost 444 is a must—this former roadside motel serves fluffy biscuits, pies, and iconic Southern cooking: more than a dozen campgrounds and ample opportunity for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.