Are you planning a road trip in the USA, but not sure where to start?

The United States is a huge country with an almost infinite amount of awesome places to explore, so it can be quite overwhelming deciding what to do.

Since the pandemic, many people have opted to rather travel by car than on public transport like flights, or trains etc. This makes for the best adventure in our opinion, as you get to experience the true essence of the country!

It also means you’ll have the chance to take in more of the USA’s natural attractions as you pass by. These include: epic coastal views, picturesque mountain areas and exotic national parks of the USA. All of which can be seen from your window.

To help with your route planning, we’ve compiled a list of the best road trips in the USA.

From the iconic Route 66 to Blue Ridge Parkway and Pacific Coastal Highway, add one of these to your travel itinerary and thank us later!

The Best Road Trips In The USA

1. Route 66

First and foremost, the most iconic road trip in the USA is Route 66.

Not only is it one of the most epic routes, it’s also one of the most widely publicized in pop culture and American folklore. So there’s no doubt you would’ve heard of it!

Starting in Chicago, Route 66 stretches over 2,300 miles before coming to an end in Santa Monica, California. The trip takes around two weeks to complete on average.

route 66 sunset
Route 66 at sunset | (@thewebbmoores)

One of the original routes in America’s highway system, Route 66 is also commonly known as the Mother Road. The route touches eight separate states including Chicago, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.

It’s important to ensure that you’re car is in good enough condition to handle the length of the journey, if not it’s definitely safest to rent a car. Depending on what you want to do, winter might be the best season for your trip as there’ll be far fewer cars on the road.

Attractions along the route include; Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park, Route 66 Hall of Fame Museum, Petrified Forest National Park, the Painted Desert, Santa Monica Pier, and Meramec Caverns.

2. Great River Road

The Great River Road is a National Scenic Byway that spans over 3,000 miles, from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.

Great River Road - 11 Of The Best Road Trips In The USA
Great River Road | (@jordan.watke)

The entire road trip usually takes between 4 and 10 days to complete, but it can also be done in segments if you don’t have that much time. 

It runs through ten states, and hundreds of river towns. These include Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Highlights include the Pere Marquette State Park , the Mississippi River, and the National Great Rivers Museum.

3. Pacific Coast Highway 

One of the best road trips in the USA is the Pacific Coastal Highway. Even more so if you’re a lover of alluring coastlines, cool sea breezes, and breathtaking mountainous views.

The all-Californian route stretches around 600 miles between San Francisco and San Diego. The actual drive can be completed within a day, but for the best experience, it’s best to allow 2-3 days.

Pacific Coastal Highway, California
Pacific Coastal Highway, California | (@roadtrippers)

The route is legendary for a reason, California is home to some of the most picturesque coastal landscape in the USA. All along the road you’ll find numerous viewpoints that are ideal for a quick pitstop. Enjoy a few minutes rest, a cup off coffee or a sandwich while taking in some of the amazing views.

Don’t forget to check out the Half Moon Bay State Beach Park, Bixby Creek Bridge, Hearst Castle on your way to San Diego.

4. Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is another National Scenic Byway, and goes on for more than 460 miles. The route links Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains Park in Tennessee.

Lamborghini road trip around Blue Ridge Parkway - 11 Of The Best Road Trips In The USA
Lamborghini road trip around Blue Ridge Parkway | (@goldenhrofficial)

Most people take between 3 and 7 days to complete the route, while thoroughly exploring the surrounding areas. This might seem like a really long time even with frequent stops, but the speed limit is 45 mph so that should also be factored in.

The best time for a road trip along Blue Ridge Parkway is during the fall season. The end of September and the first couple weeks of October is when the leaves begin to change colour, and incredible scenery is created by the orange-crimson-hued foliage.

5. Hana Highway

Hana Highway, also known as the ‘Road to Hana’ is another one of the best road trips in the USA. It is also one of the most popular!

The route is relatively short, only 64 miles, but usually takes around three hours from end to end.

Highway to Hana, Hawaii. One of the most scenic roads on earth - 11 Of The Best Road Trips In The USA
Highway to Hana, Hawaii. One of the most scenic roads on earth | (@cole_younger_)

The route takes longer than you’d expect because of its narrow, winding rounds and the more than 600 curvatures in route 360. Single lane bridges and a 25 mile per hour speed limit also impact your travel time on the Hana Highway, so these should also be considered beforehand.

On the Road To Hana you can expect breathtaking mountain scenery, and lush green tropical forests. Be sure to check out Ho’okipa Beach Park, Twin Falls, Maui Garden of Eden, and Wai’anapanapa State Park, and enjoy the Jurassic Park-like scenery.