9 Best Road Trips in the USA: Drive Your Way!

Author: Srikanth Krishna on Feb 14,2021

“All you need is a wheel on your hand and four on the road!” How wonderful it is to be able to drive along the cliffs overlooking the Pacific with windows down or traveling the historic Oregon Trail. The world is full of magic, and one magic is exploring natural wonders with eyes open as it would not be possible without a well-organized road trip. Traveling is not about for the sake of a trip, it is more about going on a journey of a lifetime. When we talk of the best road trips, we can’t stop without mentioning some of the best ones in America. Driving your way on an all open highway, singing along your favorite classic numbers playing in the backgrounds, and munching on some yummy-scrummy snacks— how better a road trip imagination can be explained! Road trips are also a superb way of connecting with people you are traveling with or someone strange but amicable you got to discover on your way. 

Truly speaking, the United States has plenty of road trips and routes that are suitable for all kinds of travelers. Be it stomach-churning switchbacks along the mountains or straight shots across deserts— you can find all of it in the United States when it comes to planning road trips. No matter what kind of road you want to venture on, what you want to see, and what adventure you are seeking, the American road trips are like your Ginnie. Read on to find what you were looking for:


Best Road Trips in the USA


1. Hana Coastline, Hawaii



The beautiful road taking you to Hana is one of the best road trips in the US & for that matter in the world. It gets you deeper into the amazing natural beauty, beaches, gardens & more. This quieter yet exciting journey could not be any lesser than a dream come true. Located at the eastern end of Maui island, this isolated community is a peaceful and scenic town in Maui County. Hana is considered to be one of the most rugged eastern coastlines in Maui. It takes you to cover just 52 miles from Kahului to Maui but it takes around two to four hours to cover the distance because of the incredible island views, small one-lane bridges & hairpin turns. Surprisingly, the Hana Highway (HI-360) is built in a way, to includes 59 bridges and 620 curves. This incredible journey offers you a chance to get over the everyday hustle & bustle and explore the amazing dance of nature— dramatic seascapes, flourishing rainforests, plunging pools, and flowing waterfalls. But, be careful about the narrow bridges & the challenging turns on your way!


2. Pacific Coast Highway, CA



The most beautiful thing about taking a road trip through the Pacific Coast Highway is that— it is where you can drive and drive without stopping and there would not be any dearth of beautiful scenery. The Pacific Coast Highway that hugs today about 600 miles of land came into existence in the 1930s. The rugged coastlines make for one of the best road trips in the USA & world today. To get inside all of it, you’ve to be a little patient, hold on & be charmed by the towering mountains, the beautiful trees, the endless sky & the expansive beaches. On a road trip through Pacific Coast Highway, you also experience California— roadside kitsch, bohemia, surfing villages, local wine, farm-fresh foods, pioneer outposts, and Hollywood glitz. It takes about 10 hours to cover this road trip, but you must get that feel by staying overnights sinking in the environment — ideally you must spend at least six days on a road drive through Pacific Coast Highway, CA.


3. Route 12, Utah



The Utah Route 12 is a lifetime road trip experience. It is where you do not have to even see, you’ll eventually feel that there is something special that brings people from across the globe to this place. It will be so very magical, magnificent & marvelous that you won’t be able to take your eyes from— be it the landscape or the scenery or the road itself. Once it used to be an intrusion into space, which now looks like embedded in the Slickrock is a part of the landscape. Convoluting between the Bryce Canyon and the Capitol Reef national parks, the majesty of the red rock will keep you hooked. You will get to see flamboyant towns & only a few entry points through this 124-mile strip. On your road trip journey through Route 12, you’ve bluffs of the purple sage, the steep sandstone canyons, and much more to witness. En route, travelers can enjoy some coffee, art, views of Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument at the Kiva Koffeehouse. 


4. Olympic Peninsula, Washington



With a couple of jaw-dropping scenes, the Olympic Peninsula is one of the best road trips in the US. Be it the snow-capped peaks or the tide pools or the magnificently visible waters teeming with wildlife, the Olympic Peninsula gives you an opportunity to witness it all. This 445-mile road trip has it all— talk about history, wildlife, or food you would love to munch on. There are many hiking spots & some really gorgeous scenery that will keep you captivated all through. And, through the Olympic National Park, you’ll get this fantastic opportunity to drive around one of the best temperate rainforests in the US, the Hoh Rainforest. You’ll start this road trip from Seattle and the best way to get around through your road trip is by car. You need to slow down for a better view of the landscape, the surrounding & to get better options for side trips & detours. The Hoh Rainforest, the Washington Coast, and the Olympic National Park are the top highlights of this road trip.


5. Route 66



Route 66 is your perfect driving adventure! It is one of the most popularly known roads around the world, which spans over 2,400 miles and crosses as many as 8 states. On your road trip through Route 66, you’ll be starting from Chicago, Illinois & would be ending your journey up at the Pacific Coast in Santa Monica, California. You truly, cannot miss some of the major attractions on your road trip through Route 66 including Gateway Arch National Park, Blue Whale of Catoosa, Cadillac Ranch, and Santa Monica Pier. And, you definitely get to see some picture-perfect scenery & sights at different stops on the way— and what you see at the next stop is always tremendously mind-blowing than the others. The iconic “mother road” looks all decorated with pops of classic & kitsch Americana. One thing you should not miss on this incredible journey is the Meramec Caverns, 400-million-year-old in Missouri, which Jesse James used as his hideout. Located in its vicinity is the Jesse James Wax Museum where you can reach in just a few minutes. 


6. Silverado Trail, California



It’s where the hillside of the valley hugging the eastern route, you fall in love with your journey. Silverado Trail houses plenty of wineries and to make sure you have explored the most amazing family-owned wineries of Napa, you must spend at least two to three days here. There are many top hotels in the city in the proximity of the Silverado Trail. You’ll be amazed by the great hiking trails of the Napa Valley along the rolling hills. There is nothing about putting in too much exertion and you’ll enjoy the views of nature that surrounds and of course, of those priceless vineyards. So, when you are traveling in two different seasons, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how these lush hills transform their colors from deep green in the spring and late winters to tan in the dry months of the fall and summer. In the northern part of the valley, you’ll find some of the most wonderful hiking trails. And, with this massive number of wineries, you can travel all through the week without even covering all of them. The Silverado Trail links around 30 miles between Calistoga and Napa town. 


7. Great River Road



The Great River Road is one of the best road trips in the USA! It indeed is not just one park but a collection of a couple of smaller states and the local roads, which follow the great Mississippi River from the source to the ocean. There’s all the reason to fall in love with the symphony of mother nature here. From the scintillating jazz of New Orleans to the mouth-watering local-made cheese of Wisconsin — it has it all to make this vacation memorable for you. For most people, it is a journey of five to ten days, which takes about 36 hours traveling from north to south along the byway. So you are here to discover the historical, natural & cultural properties. All through your journey along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway, there are plenty of tourism amenities & Interpretive Centers— that is how travelers can experience the different colors of the Mississippi River Region.


8. Marathon to Presidio, TX



The drive takes about 5 hours to cover a distance of around 218 miles. As you head towards the south through the dramatic desert country reaching the Big Bend National Park passing through the Rio Grande, massive canyons & the spectacular mountains. On your trip, you’ll pass through the Terlingua Ghost Town where your journey needs to be broken— where you trace through the Rio Grande's route and the extraordinarily scenic border country. Known for its gastro culture, Marfa towards the north which is the final leg of your trip. The top highlights of the trip would include Marathon (Starting point), Big Bend National Park (mile 40), Santa Elena Canyon, Terlingua Ghost Town (mile 98), Contrabando Film Set (mile 114), and Fort Leaton State Historic Site (mile 150), Marfa (mile 218).


9. Overseas Highway, Florida Keys



Located at about 113 miles from Key Largo to Key West, like all other road trips, you need to go slower so that you could savor the pleasure of this subtropical kitschy isle. The drive is famous for movie chases and the countless car commercials. The Overseas Highway crosses 42 bridges that would also include the Seven-Mile bridge over Pigeon Key. While you could complete this trip in around four hours, the FUN is to take your time going from Key Largo's Dolphin Research Center to the Pennekamp Coral Reef Park to savoring the delicious foods including Key lime pie and fried conch. 


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