Updated: Mar 14
Regarding travel options, road trips have become more and more popular in the U.S. This is understandable since they are cost-efficient, flexible, and beneficial for one’s mental and physical health. People go on road trips to explore new destinations, discover beautiful routes and landscapes, and spend quality time with friends and family. Moreover, solo traveling is also a great idea for those that are busy in life and are looking for a break from all the socializing. You get to explore nature and yourself, to feel the connection with the world again. The feeling of freedom and independence one experiences during a road trip is like none other. People love road trips because they get to solve problems, experience inconveniences, and learn to make do in the process. People encounter unexpected situations and either grow personally or develop stronger bonds with friends and family in the process. And very importantly, people explore the world’s variety as well as their own possibilities during road trips.
The United States offers a wide range of road trip options, from coastal drives to scenic mountain routes. Here are some of the best road trips in the US:
Highway 101 (California)
Stretching from Los Angeles to San Francisco, this iconic highway offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the California coastline. Along the way, you can stop at popular destinations like Santa Barbara, Big Sur, and Monterey.
Blue Ridge Parkway (Virginia and North Carolina)
This scenic route winds through the Appalachian Mountains, offering stunning views of rolling hills, forests, and valleys. Highlights include the Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Route 66 (Illinois to California)
This historic highway runs from Chicago to Santa Monica, passing through eight states and offering a glimpse into the classic American road trip. Highlights include the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, and the Route 66 Museum in California.
Florida Keys Overseas Highway (Florida)
This 113-mile highway runs from Miami to Key West, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, you can stop at popular destinations like Key Largo, Islamorada, and Marathon.
Natchez Trace Parkway (Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee)
This 444-mile parkway runs from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, passing through rolling hills, forests, and farmlands. Highlights include the Meriwether Lewis National Monument, the Sunken Trace, and the Buffalo River.
The Great River Road (Minnesota to Louisiana)
This scenic route follows the Mississippi River, offering views of rolling hills, forests, and wetlands. Highlights include the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, and the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum.
Beartooth Highway (Montana and Wyoming)
This 68-mile highway runs from Red Lodge, Montana to Cooke City, Wyoming, offering breathtaking views of the Beartooth Mountains and the Absaroka Range. Along the way, you can stop at popular destinations like the Beartooth Pass, the Top of the World Store, and the Lamar Valley.
Olympic Peninsula Drive (Washington)
This scenic drive offers breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Highlights include the Hoh Rainforest, the Sol Duc Hot Springs, and the Lake Crescent.
The Million Dollar Highway (Colorado)
This 25-mile stretch of road runs from Ouray to Silverton, offering stunning views of the San Juan Mountains and the Uncompahgre Plateau. Along the way, you can stop at popular destinations like the Red Mountain Pass, the Yankee Boy Basin, and the Silverton Mountain ski area.
The Tail of the Dragon (North Carolina and Tennessee)
This 11-mile stretch of road runs from Deals Gap, North Carolina to Tabcat Creek Road, Tennessee, offering challenging curves and stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains. This route is popular among motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts.