Road Trip Routes in the USA

Road Trip Routes in the USA

Have you ever fantasized about driving along the cliffs overlooking the Pacific with your windows down? Or perhaps you’d prefer to traverse the historic Oregon Trail by car rather than by computer? Discover eleven amazing cross-country road trip itineraries across the United States.

Exploring new terrain, taking in as much scenery as possible, cranking up the music to match the surroundings, and even loading up on gas station snacks, if you’re so inclined, may all be part of a vacation. Classic novels, vital films, and famous songs have all been written about road travel. Here are the greatest US road trips to take if you are prepared to attack the road.

Cross Country Trips

Route 66

You can’t begin a list of the top American road journeys without including Route 66, which has been immortalized in song and is still revered as a cherished bygone period. It was even commemorated in the Disney animated film Cars in 2006. If you want to reconstruct the original route, which ran from Chicago to Santa Monica, you’ll need to primarily follow contemporary interstate routes, though you’ll know you’re on the right track if you pass by communities like Oklahoma City and Albuquerque that commemorate it.

Old US-80

According to every Federal Highway Organization history, this cross-country highway, sometimes called the Dixie Overland Highway, was given the US-80 designation in the 1920s. The route is no longer as simplified, with freeways providing the most direct route, but by taking California State Route 94 and US Interstate 8 out of San Diego, you can begin a coast-to-coast journey that will take you along the Mexican border through Arizona and New Mexico deserts, via miles and miles of Texas up to Dallas, and then onto the heart of the South before having arrived at Savannah’s vibrant quirkiness and just further than that to its Tybee Island terroir.

Great River Road

When most people think of a cross-country road trip, they think of a West Coast to East Coast, sea-to-shining-sea adventure, but the Great River Road offers a unique way to see the United States from north to south by trying to follow the Mississippi River from Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota, drivers can see the entire river by taking several smaller highways that skirt the river’s edge. On your way to the Louisiana marshes, you’ll pass through ideal Huck Finn territory, along a less-traveled road via New Orleans.

Border to Border

The Canada-to-Mexico route begins in one of Alberta’s most magnificent national parks and continues to Lake Louise and picturesque Banff and that’s just the Canadian portion of the journey. Glacier National Park in Montana, Craters of the Moon National Park in Idaho, and the Great Basin Highway in Nevada will all take your breath away as you cross the border. So, even with all that beautiful nature, you’ll arrive in Las Vegas, the polar opposite of it all, heading straight to Southwestern vistas.

The Road to Nowhere

Though the entire route begins in Manitoba, we recommend a route of just over 1800 miles that begins at a historic Native American site and travels through a mostly-rural stretch of the American heartland, though it also explores the diversity of Texas, passing across Abilene to Laredo and then twisting through the Rio Grande Valley until reaching the destination in a populous city.

The West

Pacific Coast Highway

While I-5 makes it easier to travel down the West Coast states, U.S. Highway 101 and California’s Highway 1 the fabled Pacific Coast Highway provide the true West Coast experience. You’ll see what Road Trip USA described as a “still mostly wild, open, and stunningly gorgeous area, through which you can travel for miles and miles and have the landscape all to yourself,” from the monsoon evergreens of the Olympic National Forest to the sun-soaked beaches of Southern California. Whereas the PCH ends in Dana Point, you’ll like to take the I-5 road all the way down to San Diego only to stop at the beaches in La Jolla, as seals frolic and the whole grandeur of the ocean delivers an absolute blast.

Cascade Loop

Everett, located less than an hour north of Seattle, connects I-5 to Highway 2 and the start of a magnificent 440-mile loop that allows visitors to experience the North Cascades and, with the help of a famous Washington State Ferry, picturesque Whidbey Island. The road is divided into nine pieces by the website touting it as “Washington’s Ultimate Road Trip”  and no matter how much of it you conquer, make sure to include Leavenworth, a German-themed town that will make you feel like you’ve been moved from the Cascades to the Alps.

Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway

You’ll see one of the most gorgeous regions of the country if you travel I-5 from Northern California to Southern Oregon, but if you venture a little further east to the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, you’ll see something extraordinary. Mount Shasta will serve as a constant reminder of the Cascades’ amazing volcanic heritage, which was important in the region’s development. If you enjoy birdwatching, you’ll appreciate the chances presented by this route.

Hana Highway

Although still not technically a long road trip, the “Divorce Way,” located on the island of Maui, provides plenty of driving challenges as well as the spectacular scenery of waterfalls and the Pacific Ocean, as well as all the lush greenery you’d consider from a Hawaiian getaway as well as alongside the road food vendors if you get a craving for pineapple along the way. The route contains “617 hairpin turns and 59 punishing one-lane bridges,” as well as numerous blind spots.

The Loneliest Road

In July 1986, Life magazine designated Nevada’s Highway 50 to be “the Loneliest Road in America,” advising tourists to avoid it unless they wanted to put their “survival abilities” to the test. The fact that a Nevada tourist website boasted about it sheds light on the Silver State mindset, which went on to praise Highway 50 as “an entry point to ghost towns, ancient mining societies, breathtaking state parks, unsurpassed recreation activities, and a handful of truthfulness Sagebrush Saloons,” as part of the legendary Pony Express route.

Million Dollar Highway

However, according to Colorado’s main site, this “valley section of the gorgeous route” is named simply put “whether because it cost so much to build, the quantity of gold ore that stays in the roadway’s fill, or the symbolic cost for those magnificent San Juan Mountain views.” The Million Dollar Highway from Silverton to Ouray is packed with tight turns and elevation changes, but we step in Durango and drive the entire 81 miles to Ridgway.

Going to the Sun Road

Glacier National Park is something to behold, and this 50-mile trip will provide you with the opportunity to do so. The east-to-west route is better if you’re afraid of mountain driving, but if you want to be closer to the breathtaking scenery, travel out from West Glacier to St. Mary. Therefore, before you leave, check the National Park Service’s website for climate advisories and vehicle size limits.

Trail of the Ancients

The greatest place to start and end this journey through Colorado and Utah’s Native American past is at the Four Corners monument, with cultural centers and archaeological sites mostly along US Routes 160 and 491. The Route of the Middle ages is “whose only Scenic BywayTrail of the Ancients dedicated to archaeology, and, unique to this byway, the traveler must get out of the car to see the sites.” Truly enjoy what the byway has to offer,” according to a website marketing the route.

Countless miles of Texas

Somehow driving through Texas on I-10 will bring you beyond a variety of landscapes and areas, such as culturally rich El Paso, barren West Texas deserts, oak-speckled Texas Hill Country, and the Piney Woods in the east, not to include San Antonio and Houston. However, you can enhance your tour of Texas somewhat by taking U.S. 90 at Van Horn, taking in the magic of Marfa and Alpine, and then choosing your journey as you travel east, whether it’s the freshwater pool in Balmorhea, the German-themed town of Fredericksburg and an always vibrant Austin.

The South and East

Appalachian Trail

Although some brave souls set out to trek the Appalachian Trail, it also makes for a fantastic driving vacation. Starting near the Canadian border at Sugarloaf Mountain, the route avoids major interstates in favor of smaller state routes, passing through 13 states. While you don’t have to go all the way to Atlanta Tallulah Gorge State Park is only 100 miles away it will give a nice counterpoint to the route’s relative isolation.

Blue Ridge Parkway

This magnificent route, dubbed “America’s Favorite Drive,” runs from Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, displaying the best views the Appalachians have to offer, especially in the fall. The route is a little difficult to follow since it follows a patchwork of highways into the mountains, and there are plenty of opportunities to detour and explore – yet you’ll want to remain on the path long enough to see Asheville, which has long been one of the country’s hidden gems.

Kancamagus Highway

If you enjoy the fall foliage, this section of New Hampshire Route 112 is the place to go – especially in October, whenever nature’s show is at its best. It also has an attraction for individuals interested in the White Mountains during other seasons of the year. As shown in a tourism site for the range, “A Kancamagus, referred to locals as ‘The Kanc,’ is home to a wide range of hiking trails, walking lanes, lovely ponds, natural attractions, and many more should spots.”

Atlantic Coast

Experts at Road trip USA put here every itinerary that takes visitors from the Statue of Liberty to Key West, offering a diverse selection of experiences. It demonstrates that there are alternatives to I-95 for traveling down the East Coast, allowing visitors to stop in Atlantic City, Cape Hatteras, and Charleston before continuing to Florida, which is worth two distinct entries.

Florida Highway 1

However the Overseas Highway is renowned for its southern section – read on to discover more about the Overseas Highway — it also connects the Sunshine State’s Atlantic-facing towns and beaches with St. Augustine, Cape Canaveral, and other places of focus. Whereas the Fountain of Youth may be fiction, St. Augustine’s Ponce de Leon-themed park honors one of North America’s oldest towns.

Overseas Highway

That would be the drive to take if you want to channel your inner Jimmy Buffett. Beginning about an hour south of Miami, this spectacular 113-mile drive takes you over water through a series of 42 bridges that link a network of islands in the Florida Keys. This path, according to the Florida Keys website, takes travelers through “lively, scenic settlements” throughout the chain of islands, including Islamorada, the “Sport Fishing Capital of the World,” and Marathon, the starting point for the Seven Mile Bridge. Key West, the continental United States’ southernmost point, is imbued with Caribbean elements and is a must-see site for several Florida visitors.

New York, Boston, and New England

Visiting the ‘Big Apple’ will kickstart your American trip. Because you won’t be going, dive right into Central Park, Greenwich Village, Times Square, and the Empire State Building, fueled by a traditional diner breakfast and a street food hot dog or pretzel. The drive will take you to Cape Cod, New England’s summer playground, which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean like a fisherman’s hook. Miles of gorgeous beaches, colorful lighthouses, and charming fishing communities will have you slowing down in no time.


There are endless travel possibilities for an epic American adventure in a country like the United States, which is a continent! If you need assistance arranging your trip, we can assist you. From auto rentals to campervans, we can put together a custom itinerary (no matter how bizarre!) that includes all of the places you wish to see. We can book direct or multi-stop flights to the United States so you may include it in a larger multi-country trip or just plan a vacation there.

Leave a Reply