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10 Great American Road Trips to Add to Your Bucket List

  • 5 min read

Want to see what the US has to offer? Cruise with the windows down and take in the breathtaking views with these ten fun-filled road trips. Ranked from shortest to longest, find the perfect trip for you. Whether you have a couple of hours or an entire week, the road awaits!  

Beartooth Highway, 68 Miles –Montana and Wyoming

This scenic drive – built in the 1930s – runs from Red Lodge, Montana,   through beautiful national forests and into Yellowstone National Park. Get ready for a windy, mountainous journey, as you will climb to almost eleven thousand feet above sea level! Making its way through one of the wildest and most rugged areas in the lower forty-eight states, the Beartooth Highway easily earns its reputation as one of the most beautiful drives in America. 

Skyline Drive, 105 Miles –Virginia

This gorgeous parkway runs through the Blue-Ridge Mountains ofShenandoah National Park. You can choose to start this journey at one of four entry points. People travel from all over to drive this jaw-dropping scenic route and to make a photo stop at one of the over seventy overlook points. If you stop for a hike, remember to keep a slow pace, use caution through the twists and turns, and– watch out for wildlife! You’ll find some of the most majestic scenery in America right here in Virginia. Be sure to visit one of the visitor centers to learn about the area’s wildlife and fascinating local history. 

Overseas Highway, 113 Miles –Florida

Travel the road known as the “Highway that Goes to Sea,” and you’ll feel like you’re driving right on top of the beautiful blue and turquoise water of the Florida Keys! Forty-two connecting bridges create the ultimate journey from island to island, each with different exploration opportunities. At each stop, take time to learn about an island’s history, eat locally, and experience the culture. Remember to be on the lookout for marine life as you drive along! 

San Juan Skyway, 233 Miles – Colorado

Allow at least seven hours for this loop drive – starting and ending in Durango, where you can explore the unique 19th and 20th-century architecture and fascinating museums. During the drive, you’ll pass through old mining towns and gaze at magnificent mountain ranges. Stop for photos at Ouray, known as the “Little Switzerland of America”! It’s possible to encounter any weather regardless of the time of the year – as even the summer can be cold and wintery when you climb higher elevations. Pack and dress accordingly! 

Oregon Coast Highway 101, 363 Miles –Oregon

A drive along the scenic Oregon coast is a unique opportunity to experience a little bit of everything! With sweeping vistas of rock formations, exploration of tide pools, and breath-taking famous spots like Thor’s Well, you’ll be glad you chose this trip. Thor’s Well – an old, collapsed sea cave – is just one of the many must-see spots on this fantastic road trip.  And be sure to take advantage of many hiking and camping areas. Take your pet along on this journey!

Blue Ridge Parkway, 469 Miles –Virginia and North Carolina

You’ll love this slow-paced, relaxing drive through the Appalachian Mountains. Astonishingly, the Blue Ridge Parkway is the longest road in the United States that was planned as a single unit!  It features many scenic overlooks – perfect for photo opportunities – as you traverse high mountain passes and take in endless panoramic views. Revel in all the beauty, whether spring blossoms or brilliant fall foliage.  The sweeping curves and awe-inspiring vistas of the Blue Ridge Parkway are yours to enjoy any month of the year!

Highway 61, 1,400 Miles –Louisiana to Minnesota

    AKA, the Blues Highway! Have an unforgettable journey visiting every Blues landmark between Nashville and New Orleans. From the Rock ‘n’  Soul Museum (Memphis) to the BB King Museum (Indianola, MS) to the famous French Quarter (New Orleans), this trip is a must for anyone with an appreciation for great music.  Recap your trip with a great meal at the famous Mary Mahoney’s Old French House (Biloxi, MS) – taking note of the two-thousand-year-old oak tree that stands in front. This is such a beautiful and scenic drive through the Southland.  And, plan ahead if you’re going in the fall – the views of the colorful leafy foliage bring in travelers every year!

    Pacific Coast Highway, 1,675 Miles – Pacific Northwest to San Diego

    The PCH is a famous, windy road – often hugging the Pacific coast – as its full length takes you from the Pacific Northwest to southern California. The wild beauty of this drive has made it an American icon! Along the way, don’t miss “Dune Country” in Oregon, home of some of the tallest sand dunes in the world. Or the great redwood forests of Northern California, home to some of the tallest and most majestic trees on earth. Finally, don’t miss Half Moon Bay – an oceanside community founded in the 1840s and the site of stunning beaches and a “big-wave” surf location. Take the PCH drive in segments or as one long road trip – you’ll be amazed!  

    Route 66, 2,400 Miles –Illinois to California

    Ever seen the famous Disney-Pixar animation movie Cars? Route 66 inspired it! Long before the freeway system, this was a key artery of transportation across America. From the shores of Lake Michigan, all the way to Los Angeles, you’ll encounter everything from small lively places with old-fashioned diners to ghost towns where American history was once made! And, no other road trip offers as many quirky roadside attractions as you’ll find along Route 66.  From small, historic towns to bustling metropolitan areas, you’ll surely get a kick out of Route 66! 

     Great River Road, 3,000 Miles – Minnesota to Louisiana

    Starting at the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota, the Great River Road is a scenic route that traces the course of the mighty river all the way to the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Developed in the 1900s, it passes through ten different states – and is truly the road trip of a lifetime! Take in the Buffalo Bill Museum (Iowa), camp at Trail of Tears State Park (Missouri), bike across the Chain of Rocks Bridge (Illinois) and visit Mud Island Park (Tennessee). Of course, you don’t have to do this all in one road trip – save parts for future excursions! State by state, this road trip guarantees historic towns, incredible scenery, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

    Road-Tripping 101

    Always plan! Before hitting the road, ensure your desired drive is open and ready – weather and time of year can affect specific locations. Also, keep an eye on the gas, some drives go long distances without gas stations. 

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