The United States is unquestionably one of the best destinations in the world for a road trip. With thousands of miles of stunning highways that snake through a variety of environments, you’ll be spoiled for choice when planning your journey. Before starting your cross-country adventure, check out these incredible ideas for your next expedition.

Traverse the Historic Route 66

One of the most popular treks you can take across America is along Route 66. Know as the ‘Mother Road,’ Route 66 was one of the first major highways built in the U.S., with construction starting in the 1920s. Route 66 runs for over 2,400 miles between California and Illinois, which can be a bit much if you’re short on time. Thankfully, if you don’t feel like traversing the full length of this mammoth highway, there are plenty of shorter jaunts to try.

Consider driving the 260 miles from Oklahoma City to Amarillo and soak up some old school Americana along the way, or travel roughly 250 miles from Las Vegas to Flagstaff, following roads that thread between red rock mesas, over dusty plains, and past haunting ghost towns.

Discover the Sublime Mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Coastal Highway

Roadtrippers who fancy exploring some of the meandering mountain roads on the East Coast should consider a trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway. This beautiful highway stretches from North Carolina into Virginia, weaving for over 460 miles between the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Park.

You’ll find the Blue Ridge Parkway is the perfect all-American road trip for a long weekend, with dozens of scenic overlooks providing sweeping vistas of the lush, tree-covered Blue Ridge Mountains. There are also many intriguing historical attractions to enjoy along the way, including the remains of some of the country’s earliest European settlements.

Explore Maui’s Coastline on the Hana Highway

A road trip that promises unparalleled beauty is the Road to Hana. Located on the Hawaiian island of Maui, this jaw-dropping stretch of coastal road is sure to please drivers looking for an adventure. Before setting out on this 50-mile journey, enrich your experience by learning about some of the area’s local legends, including The Red Waters of Wainapanapa.

As well as featuring some of the best driving roads in the U.S., the Hana Highway features many white sandy beaches, serene waterfalls, and flora not seen anywhere else in the U.S. You’ll also find some excellent overlooks along the road, including the Huelo Lookout, which boasts breathtaking vistas of the eastern side of Maui.

Soak up the Sun Along the Pacific Coast Highway

West Coast Hills

There are few better places in the country to plan an all-American road trip than along California’s sun-drenched coastline. The Pacific Coast Highway runs for over 500 miles from San Diego up past San Francisco, through some of Cali’s picturesque seaside cities and gorgeous sights. With miles after mile of rugged coastline on one side and rolling hills on the other, you’ll have plenty for scenery to relish during this escapade.

First off, store your luggage in San Francisco or San Diego to make sure you travel light, and if you can, rent a convertible to make sure you make the most of The Golden State’s endless sunshine. Stopping off in some of California’s lesser-known cities like Oxnard and Dana Point can help you save money on your road trip and avoid crowded tourist destinations, while still making the most of Cali’s pristine beaches and exciting culture.

Follow the Mississippi River on The Great River Road

Any globetrotter looking for a long road trip that zigzags through ten different states should travel the length of The Great River Road. This lengthy riverside highway runs along the entirety of the Mississippi River, the second-longest river in North America.

Tourists starting their journey from the south can start in New Orleans and make their way over 3,000 miles north up to Minnesota on the opposite end of the country. Along the way, there are tons of opportunities to learn about the Mississippi River, including the Great River Road Interpretive Center in Prescott, Wisconsin.

If you don’t feel like following the entirety of The Great River Road, you can pick up the trail along any part of the Mississippi River, and plan a shorter vacation without much hassle.

Further Reading

Here’s some extra reading to save hundreds on your next vacation or stage of your journey.

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