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25+ Beautiful Road Trips to take in the USA

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The Great American Road trip is one of the best ways to see The United States of America. You can grab your friends and family and hit the open road to explore some of the best places, state parks, and mountain ranges throughout the United States. 

But all road trips are not made equal – when taking the time to explore the United States. You want to make sure you are taking some of the most beautiful road trips in the USA – which means getting off the interstate and taking a few scenic drives. 

Check out some beautiful road trips to clock in a few miles on your car. These beautiful road trips will have you ditching the car and enjoying the drive.

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What is the best road trip in the United States?

The best road trip in the United States is driving down the country’s West Coast on Highway One, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway. This State road is beautiful, but the best area for beautiful signs and breath-dropping cliffs is from San Francisco to Big Sur in California. 

What is the most beautiful state to drive through?

The United States of America has beauty in each of the 50 States. However, Oregon is the most beautiful state to drive through. Highway 101 brings Roadtrippers up and down the coast, stopping in beautiful coastal cities.

What is the best time of year to drive across America?

The best time to drive across America is during the Spring or Fall months. During this time, many tourists are not out and about, and you may find lower prices due to shoulder season. The weather in Spring and Fall is generally milder, and you can avoid extreme heat and snow.

Road trip to el paso dirt road in az

1. Upper Peninsula Michigan

Linda from Midwest Explored

If you’re looking for one of the most beautiful road trips in the USA, a drive through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan should not be missed. 

Because while this road trip may not be long in terms of miles, it’s packed with outstanding natural beauty that will make you want to spend between three and five days traveling the 115 miles from Mackinac Bridge to the Pictured Lakes National Lakeshore. 

Also, take some time to leave your car behind and explore Mackinac Island since it’s home to the always awesome Arch Rock. It is a charming, car-free island off the Michigan coast, brimming with historic homes and quaint horse-drawn carriages. 

Then, cross the Mackinac Bridge and see the pristine, insanely clear waters of Kitch-iti-kipi. The water here is so crystal clear that it looks like it belongs in the Caribbean. 

Next, drive to Porcupine Wilderness State Park, where you can take in panoramas of Lake Superior before hiking through forests and admiring local waterfalls. 

Finally, pass through Marquette and check out the Lakenenland Sculpture Park before ending your trip in the Pictured Lakes Nation Lakeshore. It’s a true oasis of natural beauty, home to Chapel Rock, the vibrant Pictured Rocks cliffs, Twelvemile Beach, and much more. 

And for a nice place to stay, head back to Marquette since it’s the biggest city in the region and book a room at the Hampton Inn Marquette/Waterfront. It’s a lovely little lakeside place with an indoor pool and comfy rooms that are perfect for relaxing after enjoying one of the best Michigan road trips.

Upper Peninsula Michigan
Photo provided by Linda from Midwest Explored

2. Glacier’s Going-to-the-Sun Road

Theresa from The Local Tourist

Going to the Sun Road is one of the most magnificent scenic drives in the world. The road goes right through northwestern Montana. George Grinnell, an editor for Forest and Stream Magazine, called the area the Crown of the Continent, and it’s easy to see why.

The narrow, winding road is only fifty miles long, but it takes about a two-hour drive without stopping. However, you’ll want to make frequent stops to take in those breathtaking views. The road itself is designed to blend in with the mountains.

Logan Pass is a great place to take a break if you can. The parking lot fills up early and stays busy throughout the day. At 6,646 feet, it’s the highest point on the road.

Due to its elevation, Going-to-the-Sun is only open a few months out of the year. Even during the summer months, it can close due to sudden storms.

Glacier National Park requires vehicle registration during the busiest months and is often booked far in advance. The best way to experience this epic route is to let someone else do the driving with a guided bus tour.

The best place to stay is within the park itself. There are several lodges and inns. The Village Inn at Apgar is only two miles from the west entrance. Its proximity to Apgar Campground means easy access to the ranger programs in the campground’s amphitheater.

Going to the Sun Road i
Photo provided by Theresa from The Local Tourist

3. Boston to Acadia

Samantha from New England Wanderlust 

One of the most beautiful and scenic road trips in the Northeast is Boston to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine.

This entire drive time only takes about 4.5-6 hours without any stops, depending on your route. But with so many charming and gorgeous coastal towns to visit along the way, it’s a great idea to plan 2-3 days for both directions to get the most out of it. 

From Boston, the first part of your drive will include passing through Salem and Newburyport in Massachusetts and Portsmouth in New Hampshire.

A great place to spend your first night after visiting Portsmouth is Ogunquit, ME, which has one of the best beaches in the entire state. While here, walk the stunning Marginal Way pedestrian path to Perkins Cove and grab a lobster roll at Footbridge Lobster. 

From Ogunquit, you’ll pass through Portland, ME, and you’ll want to stop at Portland Head Light, one of New England’s most famous coastal landscapes. Driving up the coast to Acadia from Portland will allow you to stop in great towns like Boothbay Harbor, Wiscasset, and Camden.

Camden makes for another great place to stay overnight and is a picturesque coastal town with a beautiful Main Street.

The last leg of the road trip from Camden to Acadia will have you crossing the Penobscot Narrows Bridge (an incredible experience!) before arriving in Bar Harbor.

When you get to Bar Harbor, chances are you’ll want to spend most of your time exploring Acadia National Park and the cute downtown area, which is why the Bar Harbor Villager Motel is the perfect place to stay.

The rooms are spacious, clean, and updated, and the hotel is within walking distance of everything in town. It also has free on-site parking to give your car a rest after your road trip!

Boston to Acadia
Photo provided by Samantha from New England Wanderlust 

4. New York City to Washington DC

by Victoria of Guide your Travel

Driving from New York City to Washington, DC, is a fantastic trip for those looking for a scenic but manageable road trip in the United States of America – while also visiting major cities.

The drive takes around four hours if you don’t stop along the way, but you’ll want to see exciting places as you drive. The distance is approximately 230 miles, and you should plan at least four to five days for the trip if you have the time.

First, begin your epic road trip in New York City, seeing the main sights in the area. While this isn’t the most car-friendly city, you can still get some exploring and maybe even head out of Manhattan and visit Long Island, known for its beautiful beaches.

Next, head to Philadelphia, where you can see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Rocky Steps. Baltimore is just a few hours from Philadelphia and is another excellent place to learn about history. Visit Fort McHenry National Monument and the Baltimore Museum of Art before setting off to your final stop – Washington, DC. 

In Washington, you should stay at the Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square if you want to treat yourself or Glover Park Hotel Georgetown for a more budget-friendly option.

new york city to washington dc
Photo by Victoria of Guide your Travel

5. Shenandoah National Park

Megan from Virginia Travel Tips

Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah National Park is one of the best road trips in the United States. This park is famous for road trips because its main highlight and feature are the 105-mile Skyline Drive, a national parkway that goes from the north to the south of the park!

While the drive is merely three hours if you make no stops, the road is built with the idea that visitors will make stops, and you will see several overlooks along the way. It is best to plan an entire day for the trip.

There are four areas in the park that you can enter to enjoy a Skyline Drive road trip through Shenandoah. The entry points are Rockfish Gap, Swift Run Gap, Front Royal, and Thornton Gap. Once inside, you will see ‘mileposts’ along the sides of the road that will also give you indicators of nearby trails and overlooks. Most overlooks have a parking lot and signs so you can stop at your leisure.

Big Meadows has a visitor center with a cafe, souvenir shop, restrooms, and picnic tables. This is a great stop, especially for those that have kids. One thing to watch out for on the road is the Shenandoah wildlife! There are black bears, wild turkeys, deer, and much more. The speed limit is 35 mph in most places as a result.

If you’re looking to stay near the park, the best option is in Stanardsville at the Getaway House. This complex of cabins comes with ‘tiny house’ accommodation, a picnic table, and a fire pit. It also does not have wifi, so you can truly connect with nature!

If you’re looking for various options within cities, check out Front Royal, Winchester, Luray, or even head to Charlottesville. Shenandoah and Skyline Drive are one of the best day trips from Washington DC and, aside from the winter months, are pretty much perfect throughout the entire year!

Shenandoah National Park
Megan from Virginia Travel Tips

6. Blue Ridge Parkway

By Victoria of Southern Trippers

Easily one of the most beautiful road trips in the USA, the Blue Ridge Parkway will take you through the Blue Ridge Mountains and past some of the most stunning scenery the east coast offers. 

For the ultimate experience, try and time your road trip for mid-October when fall foliage is at its finest. 

Besides that, get ready for a massive, 469-mile drive that will start near Charlottesville in Northern Virginia, just outside Charlottesville. You’ll then continue along this scenic route and eventually end up in Asheville, North Carolina.

But, because the speed limit is 45 mph, this road trip could take up to a week to complete. Therefore, give yourself at least four full days to see significant highlights like Humpback Gap, Natural Bridge State Park, Mabry Mill, the Blueridge Music Center, etc.  

However, no trip on this iconic road would be complete without a stop at the Rough Ridge Overlook. It’s quickly home to some of the best Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks and is a great place to stop before a fantastic hike to Linville Falls at milepost 316.4. 

You’ll then end your trip in Asheville, where you can explore the historic Biltmore Estate and try some fantastic wine at the Antler Hill Village & Winery. 

Although, if you need a great place to stay at the end of your road trip, book a room at The Omni Grove Park Inn. It’s an excellent, 4-star accommodation that dates back to 1913 and features rooms with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s also well located near the Asheville Art Museum, a great place to enjoy some art and culture after your long drive.

Blue Ridge Parkway
Photo by Victoria of Southern Trippers

7. The Florida Keys – Miami to Key West

Kylie from Between England and Iowa

A beautiful road trip in the USA is the journey through the Florida Keys. The final section of US Route 1 is known as ‘The Overseas Highway‘. This is because the highway connects 29 ‘islands’ via 42 bridges! The longest bridge is 7 miles long, connecting Marathon to Little Duck Key.

A popular place to start the road trip in Miami, and it finishes in Key West, the southernmost point of continental USA. Driving straight through takes around 3 hours 30 to travel approximately 160 miles.

There are plenty of things to do along the route. The 45 miles between Marathon to Key West has several attractions that make fun stops. The Turtle Hospital offers guided tours of its facility. Here visitors can see their work to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured sea turtles found around the coast of Florida.

Big Pine Key is home to the ‘Key Deer. This species of deer is only found in the Florida Keys and is considered endangered. They are the smallest species of white-tailed deer in North America. The deer are free-roaming, so sightings aren’t guaranteed, but an excellent place to try is at the Blue Hole Observation Platform.

The end of the route is marked with a ‘Mile 0’ sign in downtown Key West.

The Ibis Bay Beach Resort is a great budget hotel to stay in a while in Key West. It’s located on the edge of the Island with a private beach area and complimentary parking. They have a free shuttle bus to and from Downtown Key West. 

The Florida Keys FL Miami to Key West
Photo by Kylie from Between England and Iowa

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25 Beautiful Road Trips to take in the USA america

8. Austin Hill Country

Sierra from Very Truly Texas

The Texas Hill Country is an incredible gem located in the heart of Central Texas. Austin is a gateway into Hill Country, making for one of the most beautiful road trips in the US.

While a Hill Country road trip can be taken in one day, it is highly recommended to take a few days to experience all this area has to offer! From lush hills to clear rivers and fruit orchards, charming towns, wineries, and historical landmarks, there is much to see and do.

A day or two spent in Austin is an excellent start to the journey. Tours of the Capitol Building and famous street art, breakfast tacos from Veracruz All Natural, BBQ from Terry Black’s, shopping on South Congress, and live music make for an incredible couple of days.

The Fairmont Hotel Austin is an ideally central location and a lovely place to stay. Its rooftop pool, modern and luxury rooms, and beautiful city views check all the boxes for a wonderful overnight or two.

From Austin, visitors should head south on I-35 to New Braunfels for a day of tubing in the refreshing Comal River. A detour to Wimberley offers an excellent stop for lunch at The Leaning Pear. If you are visiting during summer, don’t miss the rope swing at Blue Hole Regional Park.

Heading northwest to Fredericksburg, stop by Canyon Lake for stunning views and a boat ride, the lavender fields in Blanco, and the historic Post Office and live music venue in Luckenbach.

In Fredericksburg, there is shopping on Main Street, the Pioneer Museum outlining the history of this German town, and Wildseed Farms for a beautiful botanical experience. They offer 50 wineries and vineyards; Augusta Vin is incredibly gorgeous. You can spend the night in the beautiful Hoffman Haus before hiking Enchanted Rock in the morning.

Take the northern route back to Austin by driving through Marble Falls. Their historic downtown is incredibly charming and offers the best ice cream stop. Lake Marble Falls is a beautiful spot for a refreshing time out on the water.

If you drive this scenic route in the summer, you will fully experience the Texas heat, its great swimming holes, and peach picking! Fall through Spring are the best times to visit if you’d like to fit any hikes on your schedule.

Hands down, Spring is the best time to take a road trip in the Texas Hill Country as the hills will come alive with the color of wildflowers, especially bluebonnets!

Austin Hill Country
Photo by Sierra from Very Truly Texas

9. Phoenix to Sedona and Monument Valley

Samantha from My Flying Leap

If you’re looking for one of the most beautiful drives in the state of Arizona, you’ll want to do this one! You’ll see striking scenery with brilliant red rocks that you won’t soon forget.

Start at Phoenix, the capital and largest city in the state. There are many fun things to do in Phoenix, so stay a couple of days at least and check it out!

Then head north on I-17 through the mountains surrounding Phoenix, the Valley of the Sun. Sedona is only two hours away, and this small city has stunning red rock mountains and buttes everywhere. 

Sedona is very spiritual, and you’ll find many crystal shops. You can even seek out a vortex to feel this incredible place’s energy. Go hiking in Red Rock State Park or choose any of hundreds of gorgeous hiking trails. Devil’s Bridge and Boynton Canyon are two favorites.

Then, head to the state’s northeast corner to a stunning but desolate area on Native American lands called Monument Valley. In this red rock sandy landscape, you’ll see some rugged buttes. It’s easy to imagine that this landscape hasn’t changed for hundreds of thousands of years.

Stay at the View Hotel in Monument Valley for amazing views of the red rock buttes. And, when you’re in Sedona, splurge for Amara Resort and Spa. It’s right on the main road near the best restaurants and shops and has lovely red rock views.

Phoenix to Sedona and Monument Valley
Photo by Samantha from My Flying Leap

10. Bryce Canyon National Park

Mary from Be Right Back

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of Utah’s Mighty 5. Road tripping through Bryce Canyon is stunning, offering breathtaking sceneries and unique rock formations. 

Located near Arizona’s border, road tripping through Bryce Canyon can easily be added to a more extended road trip from Arizona to Utah. There are a couple of places where you can start your road trip to Bryce Canyon.

Most road trips to Bryce Canyon begin in Las Vegas, Phoenix, or another park such as Zion or Moab. Las Vegas and Phoenix both have an international airport which is convenient if you’re coming from outside the USA.

Road tripping through Bryce alone can be done in one day at a fast pace though you could easily spend a couple of days if you are interested in hiking and canyoning. Bundling Bryce Canyon with a more extended road trip can take as long as a month, depending on where you start!

Whether you want to go hiking in Bryce Canyon or are happy to visit the different viewpoints by car, Bryce Canyon offers incredible sceneries. Contrary to the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon features pink and ocher-colored layered rock formations covered in pine trees.

The main viewpoints include Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, and Pink Cliffs. You’ll also see many eroded arches by the wind and the sun on your way! You can end your trip to Bryce Canyon in Las Vegas through Zion National Park. 

Bryce Canyon
Photo by Mary from Be Right Back

11. Colorado Road trip through Rocky Mountain National Park

Meg of Fox in the Forest

If you’re looking for one of the great road trips in the USA, you can’t beat a fantastic road trip through Colorado. 

So, start your incredible four-day Colorado trip itinerary in Denver since you’ll probably fly into the international airport. Then, head to Estes Park to enjoy the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. 

Also, be sure to do a quick hike to Lumpy Ridge and grab a drink at the Stanley Hotel, aka the inspiration for the movie The Shining, before continuing along Trail Ridge Road. 

Trust me, the alpine views are next-level amazing and are not to be missed. Therefore, don’t plan your road trip for winter since the road will be closed by then.

You’ll then continue to Glenwood Springs, where you can relax in the Iron Mountain Hot Springs before hiking to Hanging Lake. This insanely gorgeous landmark resembles an ethereal fairy pool that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. 

Next, drive for two and a half hours to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, where you can enjoy even more gorgeous views from the Rim Drive before an intense climb to the bottom of the canyon. 

Finally, make your way back to Denver and explore the Red Rocks Amphitheater before you get to the city, where you can walk through the Denver Botanical Gardens and check out the RiNo District.

And if you need a place to stay, unwind at the Art Hotel Denver. This sleek hotel is conveniently located near the Denver Art Museum and offers contemporary rooms that provide guests with a comfy stay. The on-site restaurant, FIRE, also serves fun and delicious modern American fare. 

Colorado Road Trip
Photo by Meg of Fox in the Fores

12. Grand Teton National Park to glacier road trip

Sean from Living Out Lau

A road trip from Grand Teton National Park to Glacier National Park is a fantastic way to experience some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States. It is one road trip that covers three of the most amazing National Parks in the United States and some of the iconic Midwest charms it is so famous for.

Visitors can fly into Jackson, Wyoming, where they can rent a car and start their trip with Grand Teton National Park. Home to the majestic Teton Range, visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, and camping in the park.

A few minutes from the North Entrance of Grand Teton National Park is the first national park in the US, Yellowstone. Visitors can find geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and plenty of wildlife, especially if you are visiting Yellowstone in the Fall. A giant hot Spring in the United States, the Grand Prismatic Spring, is undoubtedly one of the places you can’t miss in Yellowstone.

After spending a few days in Yellowstone, make the long drive to Glacier National Park. Make a pit stop at Berkeley Pit near Butte, Montana Berkeley Pit is considered America’s Largest Toxic Waste Puddle, an odd but exciting attraction that showcases the mining history of the region here.

The final stop is Glacier National Park in Northern Montana. This park is home to more than 700 glaciers, and visitors can go hiking, camping, backpacking, and even mountaineering here. Don’t miss the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a 50-mile road that takes visitors through the heart of the park with plenty of photo opportunities.

Ending the trip in Kalispell, Montana, would be a perfect way to finish this incredible journey. From here, visitors can fly back home or continue their travels elsewhere.

Grand Teton To Glacier
Photo By Sean from Living Out Lau

13. Salt Lake City to Yellowstone National Park

Candice from CS Ginger

Salt Lake City to Yellowstone National Park is a beautiful and fun road trip for all. This incredible journey will take you through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, and you’ll experience firsthand Yellowstone’s unique geothermal features.

The drive from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone is just under 500 miles, so it can easily be done in a long weekend. However, we recommend taking your time and enjoying the journey, as there are plenty of things to see and do along the way.

Make sure you plan your route. There are several different ways to get from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone, so be sure to plan your route. This will help you make the most of your time on the road.

Don’t be too rushed because there are some great stops on your trip. You can check out Lava Hot Springs, Teton National Park, Creators of the Moon National Monument, or the Mesa scenic byway.

You will love the scenic drive, and Yellowstone National Park is one of the most unique and beautiful national parks in the United States.

If you want a fun glamping experience, stay at the Under Canvas Yellowstone. Under Canvas has beautiful glamping experiences throughout the US with beautiful scenery, hot showers, and an experience you will not get anywhere else. Under Canvas is highly rated and pet friendly, with almost all the luxuries of a modern hotel. 

Salt Lake City to Yellowstone National Park
Photo by Candice from CS Ginger

14. Pacific Coast Highway

If you are looking for the ultimate coastal drive – driving the Pacific Coast Highway is the perfect way to explore the West Coast of California. My favorite part of Highway One is traveling from San Francisco to Santa Monica.

The Pacific Coast Highway is the ultimate USA road trip. While in San Francisco, start your journey by going over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

While traveling on the Pacific Coast – look for stunning views, state parks, and unique hiking trails. If you are a fan of Pretty Little Lies, you will see the famous Bixby Bridge while driving down to Big Sur. 

There are so many coastal towns you can stop and spend a few days in, like Carmel by the Sea and Solvang, that you can easily spend two weeks road tripping and vacationing on the coast. 

If you need a place to stay while on this road trip – consider staying at the Hofas House in Carmel by the Sea. The Hofas House is a charming family-owned hotel with unique rooms and great views. 

Coastline at Pacifica
Even though the shoreline is beautiful, I was shocked to see such dark sand!

15. Denver to Estes Park

Sierra from Island and Alpine

Colorado is filled with fantastic scenery, and a road trip from Denver through the mountains is one of the best ways to view it. This beautiful road trip starts at the state capitol and winds through the mountains to Breckenridge and then up to Estes Park via the Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway.

The distance between these three significant stops is only 200 miles and about 4 hours, but it is highly recommended to take a minimum of a few days to explore each of these beautiful places.

It is best to spend at least one night in Denver to help acclimate to the altitude before heading to a higher elevation, and it is also a great city to explore. Check out Union Station for a tasty lunch and a unique vibe. Rio offers a great spot for a self-guided tour of the street art murals that fill this city area.

Sports fans might want to check out Rockies stadium for a baseball game. Head to Cherry Cricket afterward for tasty burgers.

The Grand Hyatt Denver would be a great spot to land for a night or two. Its central location allows visitors to explore on foot via the free trolley that runs up and down 16th Avenue.

Its high rise gives great night views over the city, making the rooms modern and clean.

The drive from Denver to Breckenridge is a scenic route on I-70 as you head up the mountain. Upon arriving in this adorable mountain town, consider hiking the Iowa Hill Trail for wildflowers and a taste of mining history.

The Breckenridge Troll is a unique and fun sight to see. Taking the Breck-Connect Gondola up the mountain is a must-do activity for incredible views and the alpine slide at the top. The slopes will likely be calling your name if you are here in ski season!

You have a few route choices from Breckenridge for getting to Estes Park, but the Scenic Byway is undoubtedly the prettiest drive. Along the way is the historic town of Central City filled with fascinating buildings, the iconic wooden carousel in Nederland, and St. Catherine’s Chapel on the Rock in Allenspark.

Estes Park is worth staying for at least a couple of days as it is home to the famous Stanley Hotel and Rocky Mountain National Park (which is filled with plenty of beautiful road trips of its own!) Make sure to reserve timed entry passes to enjoy wildlife viewings, plenty of waterfalls, and the highest Visitor Center in the nation with its incredible alpine views. 

Denver Breck Estes Park
Photo by Sierra from Island and Alpine

16. Independence Pass – Aspen to Leadville

Daria from The Discovery Nut

One of the best small road trips to visit in the United States is Independence Pass, located in the heart of the Rockies.

Independence Pass is one of Colorado’s most scenic routes that connects Aspen and Leadville towns. The highest pass in continental North America sits above 12,000 feet. 

Begin your road trip in Leadville, the highest town in North America by elevation that sits at 10,152 feet (3,094 m). Leadville boasts a rich frontier history, and you should spend some time wandering around its downtown, which is made up of Victorian-era buildings, and visiting a few museums.

National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum is one of the most well-known museums in town, and you can learn some fascinating history here. 

You can also spot several “fourteeners” from Leadville, like Mount Elbert and Mount Massive.

After traveling 32 miles through the mountainous terrain, you will arrive in Aspen, one of the most beautiful mountain towns in the United States, famous for its year-round outdoor opportunities.

Round up your trip at the Tyrolean Lodge, one of Aspen’s most affordable hotels in the heart of town.

Aspen to Leadville
Photo by Daria from The Discovery Nut

17. Death Valley

By Yukti Trave with me 24×7

The United States of America is full of beautiful road trips with unique landscapes. But driving through the lowest and hottest point in America would be adventurous. As it is said, Death Valley is 1.7 billion years old; you can only find many forms of unique natural phenomena in one day. 

Death Valley is the perfect day trip from Las Vegas by car through Hwy 95 to Hwy 374 to Hwy 190. This region has abundant wildlife and unique plant species across California and Nevada. People prefer entering through Vegas, but you can also visit Mammoth Lakes or Joshua Tree National Park in California.

Some worth stopping stopovers on Death Valley Road trip

  • The Racetrack at Death Valley.
  • Dante’s View, Death Valley National Park, USA.
  • Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
  • Furnace Creek Inn.
  • Badwater Basin.
  • Mosaic Canyon.
  • View from Zabriskie Point.

The beauty of driving through Death valley is you can see miles and miles of land with nobody on the road. You can feel the perfect solitude, nature, winds, and peace. The roads here go up and down with a view of unique colorful rocks, and driving on gives an incredible adventurous feel. 

A great time to visit Death Valley National Park is in winter. Summer temperatures are dangerously high, and there are several warnings for the hottest days. Often the temperature reaches 130deg F. Death Valley is blanketed with wildflowers in Springtime, so it is worth driving that time. 

There are few places to eat or find habituated land inside the Death Valley National Park, as it is a forbidden desert. But you can constantly fuel yourself from a few places near Death Valley – mostly at Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells.

There are few hotels or stays inside the Death Valley National Parks, but you can find a couple of them on the entry and exit. 

You can stay at a luxurious desert resort – The Oasis at Death Valley. It is a luxury resort in Furnace Creek, on private land within the boundaries of California’s Death Valley National Park.

Death Valley
Photo by Yukti Trave with me 24×7

18. Zion National Park

Melissa from Parenthood and Passports

Zion National Park may be best known for its incredible hiking trails, but the US park in southern Utah is one of the best scenic drives in America. While driving the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway, you’ll have jaw-dropping views of the magnificent scenery that Zion is known for.

The 6-mile winding road through the park takes you down a series of tight switchbacks as you descend from the top of Zion Canyon to the floor, where steep red cliffs surround you. 

You’ll pass through the mile-long Mt Carmel Tunnel along the scenic highway. Completed in 1930 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the tunnel is truly an engineering feat.

Carved through the sides of the canyon walls, the narrow tunnel has windows so passengers can get a brief glimpse of the picturesque canyon outside the tunnel.

While there is no stopping allowed inside the tunnel, there are several lookout areas along the highway where you can pull over to take photos or admire the view. 

Canyon Overlook Trail is a great place to stop and stretch your legs during your Zion road trip. Just east of Mt. Carmel Tunnel, the hiking trail is one of the most accessible hikes in the park and offers some of the most spectacular views.

It is a short mile-long hike, includes man-made steps carved into the sandstone path, and is easy enough that you’ll be able to do this hike even if visiting Zion with kids.

Mount Carmel Highway will not only take you through Zion, but you can take the highway to Bryce National Park – another beautiful Utah park that is well worth visiting! 

Zion National Park
Photo by Melissa from Parenthood and Passports

19. Olympic National Park

Kassidy from The Hiking Helper 

As one of the most beautiful and unique places in the Pacific Northwest, it’s no question why Olympic National Park is one of the best road trips in the United States.

The Olympic Peninsula is home to some of the most beautiful places, from ocean coastline to temperate rainforests to towering mountains.

And you can experience all of it in just one road trip, starting and ending in Seattle.

Make stops at Ruby and Rialto Beaches along the coastline, which offer views of tall sea stacks out in the ocean. From Rialto Beach, make the short hike to Hole-in-the-Wall for a unique viewpoint.

You’ll also pass through the small towns like Forks, where the movie Twilight was based.

As you walk around the ring road that circles the peninsula, stop in the HoH Rainforest and do a short hike through the trees draped with moss. Then, stop at Sol Duc Falls for one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state.

If you’re up for a hike, make the challenging trek up to Mount Storm King with views over Lake Crescent, and make the short addition to Marymere Falls. Seriously, don’t forget your trekking poles for this one!

Then head over to the mountainous region, where you can hike up to Hurricane Hill and admire the views of Mount Olympus in the distance.

When you’re ready to rest your head for the night, plenty of campgrounds all over the Olympic Peninsula are great for camping. Or, book a stay at the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. This beautiful resort offers cabins with access to the Sol Duc Hot Springs and a pool and is near some of the best activities in the park.

Olympic NP
Photo by Kassidy from The Hiking Helper 

20. Oregon Coast

Jessica by Uprooted Traveler

For one of the most scenic road trips in the United States, drive along the Oregon Coast, from the funky industrial town of Astoria, along the Washington border, to the dramatic sea stacks of Brookings, butting up against the California Stateline.

One of the best things about cruising along the Oregon Coast on the historic Highway 101 is that there are dozens and dozens of charming seaside towns to explore. Many offer excellent wildlife sighting opportunities, including gray whales and harbor seals, while others are known for their killer restaurants or jaw-dropping beaches.

 For example, the adorable town of Cannon Beach is a crowd favorite, with its sprawling beach and its iconic 235-foot Haystack Rock, a basalt sea stack jutting out of the Pacific Ocean.

Less than an hour and a half south, you’ll find Pacific City, renowned as being one of the best surfing spots in the state of Oregon, and for the towering dunes of Cape Kiwanda, just begging to be climbed for views overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Whether you start your trip along the northern or southern coast, include Brookings in your itinerary. This little town, just six miles north of the California border, is home to the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor, which provides all of the best attributes of the Oregon Coast- turquoise waters, rugged sea stacks and cliffs, and epic views that you’ll never forget.

oregon coast
Photo by Jessica by Uprooted Traveler

21. Pacific Coast Highway

If you are looking for the ultimate coastal drive – driving the Pacific Coast Highway is the perfect way to explore the West Coast of California. My favorite part of Highway One is traveling from San Francisco to Santa Monica.

The Pacific Coast Highway is the ultimate USA road trip. While in San Francisco, start your journey by going over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

While traveling on the Pacific Coast – look for stunning views, state parks, and unique hiking trails. If you are a fan of Pretty Little Lies, you will see the famous Bixby Bridge while driving down to Big Sur. 

There are so many coastal towns you can stop and spend a few days in, like Carmel by the Sea and Solvang, that you can easily spend two weeks road tripping and vacationing on the coast. 

If you need a place to stay while on this road trip – consider staying at the Hofas House in Carmel by the Sea. The Hofas House is a charming family-owned hotel with unique rooms and great views. 

Coastline at Pacifica
Even though the shoreline is beautiful, I was shocked to see such dark sand!

22. Big Island road trip, Hawaii

Anu of Destination Checkoff 

Big Island Hawaii is famous for its beautiful beaches and as a vacation destination to chill under the sun and do water activities. Big Island also has so many sightseeing places that a road trip is a perfect way to see everything unique about Big Island.

The touristy town of Kona, the lush rainforests of Hilo, and the land of volcanoes should all be experienced on your trip to Big Island

As most people land at the Kona International Airport, exploring the town of Kona is the first stop on this scenic road trip through Big Island. It is recommended to stay a couple of nights in Kona to see all sights like the Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, a place of refuge for the Hawaiian people. Kona is also famous for snorkeling with the manta rays and whale watching. There are many amazing white sand beaches and hikes in Kona, like the hike to the Captain Cook Monument. 

The drive from Kona to Hilo is around 2 hours, and you can include several notable stops on the way. Stop at the Waipio Valley Lookout to see the breathtaking Waipio valley. Next, stop at the Akaka Falls State Park and see the powerful Akaka falls. Hilo downtown is a great place to explore and has the biggest farmer’s market on Big Island. You can stay overnight in Hilo or Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is 45 minutes from Hilo and home to the Kilauea volcano. There are several excellent hikes and sights here, like the Kilauea Iki hike, Chain of Craters Road, and Sulphur banks. From the Volcanoes National Park, you drive back to Kona, which takes around 2.5 hours to complete the road trip. 

In Kona, King Kamehameha Kona beach hotel is a popular place to stay. This is a beachfront hotel at a very prime location in downtown Kona and close to many activities and beaches. 

Big Island road trip Hawaii
Photo by Anu of Destination Checkoff 

23. Road to Hana

Marcie by Hawaii Travel Spot

One of the most beautiful scenic drives In Hawaii is Maui’s famous Road to Hana. The trip starts in the north shore town of Paia and technically ends in Hana, although there are some stops past Hana town that are worth the extra miles.

A top Road to Hana tip is to start early and plan to be gone the entire day. Most people drive the Road to Hana in a single day, but it’s best if you can spend a night or two in Hana and take your time at the stops along the way.

The Hana Highway goes along Maui’s north and east coasts, and visitors will get sweeping views of the ocean and several roadside waterfalls. One of the most popular things to do along the Road to Hana is hiking.

There’s a short hike to Twin Falls (where you can swim) near the beginning of the trip, and there’s the Pipiwai Trail just past Hana, where you can hike through a bamboo forest. Once you arrive in Hana town, the Hana Lava Tubes and the Kahanu Gardens are worth a stop.

There are also plenty of places to eat along the Road to Hana. The Huelo Lookout has fresh fruit smoothies and coconuts, several banana breads stands, and Bruddah Hutts in Hana has the best ribs in Hawaii.

There are several vacation rental homes in Hana. There’s only one hotel: Hana-Maui Resort. This is a pricey place to stay in Hana, but worth the splurge. Not only do they have amazing amenities, but you’ll be able to unplug and relax genuinely.

Road to Hana
Photo By Marcie by Hawaii Travel Spot

24. San Juan Skyway Scenic and Historic Byway

Caitlin from Twin Family Travels 

The San Juan Skyway Scenic and Historic Byway is a 236-mile loop that takes you through the San Juan Mountains, some of the most beautiful scenery in Colorado. The byway goes through Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Telluride, and Mesa Verde National Park. There are plenty of opportunities to stop and explore the towns along the way or take in the area’s natural beauty.

Start your trip by staying at the Strater Hotel in Durango. It is a historic hotel that has been in operation since 1887. The hotel is known for its Victorian charm and offers guests a unique experience with its old-fashioned decor and hospitality.

Ride the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train or raft on the Animas River before heading north.

Grab some whipped honey at Honeyville and fresh farm products at James Ranch Market before arriving in Silverton. It was founded in 1873 and retains much of its historic charm today. Take a tour of the Old Hundred Gold Mine to learn about the area’s mining history.

Ouray, known as the Switzerland of America, is picturesque among the towering mountains. Grab a bite at Maggie’s Kitchen before heading out for some hikes. Box Canyon Falls and Cascade Falls are popular. Hike the Ouray Perimeter Trail before heading to town for a soak at the Ouray Hot Springs.

Telluride is known for its ski resort and historic downtown district. There are plenty of shops and restaurants and hiking to the tallest free-falling waterfall in Colorado. The town is also home to a free gondola, which takes visitors on a short ride to Mountain Village.

Mesa Verde National Park is the final stop on the byway before returning to Durango. The park is home to numerous ancient Puebloan ruins. Take a guided ranger tour of the most popular cliff dwellings, hike the trails, and learn about the Puebloan people that once lived here.

San Juan Skyway Scenic and Historic Byway
Photos by Caitlin from Twin Family Travels 

25. Wrangel St Elias National Park to McCarthy, Alaska

Mike of Live Travel Teach

One of the best road trips in the USA is through Wrangel St Elias National Park to McCarthy, Alaska. This rugged drive passes stunning mountains and crosses the Copper River, where you can see locals salmon fishing at the end of the summer.

Be sure to fill up on gas at Glenallen and bring an all-wheel drive vehicle. The drive from Anchorage to McCarthy can be done in a full day, but we usually camp on the way out. Many people like going from McCarthy to Valdez afterward and putting their car on the ferry back to Whittier for a chance to drive the Seward Highway.

This road trip is unique in that there is quite literally an end to the road in McCarthy. This remote spot has been the setting for TV shows and best-selling nonfiction writing. The region is a nature lover’s paradise with stunning views throughout the drive, but you’ll want to spend an extra day or more sightseeing when you get to McCarthy.

Exploring Root Glacier for a closer glimpse of the most magnificent ice features on Earth is a must-do, with the Stairway Icefall building a horizon next to Mount Blackburn, North America’s 12th and the world’s 50th most prominent peak.  

Most years, there are less than a dozen residents in McCarthy through the winter, but summer brings season-long residents and tourists alike. You can book a guided tour for any wilderness or nature desire you can think of.

The best place to stay during the peak tourist season is the Kennicott River Lodge. We enjoyed two nights in their cabin and took a kayak tour to Kennicott Glacier with them.

Wrangel St Elias
Mike of Live Travel Teach

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Peak to Peak Highway 

Kara from Trying to Unwind

The Peak to Peak Highway is a beautiful way to explore the natural beauty of the eastern Colorado Rocky Mountains. Colorado’s oldest scenic byway is a 55-mile route with breathtaking views of the Front Range. 

Peak to Peak Highway is an ideal route to enjoy the golden aspens when the colors are most vibrant in autumn. The Peak to Peak route covers a few different highways.  

The route begins in Estes Park, just outside Rocky Mountain National Park on Colorado Highway 7, and ends in I-70.  

Less than 10 miles south of Estes Park, the Lily Mountain and Twin Sisters hiking trails are a great stop to get your blood pumping and legs moving. 

The trails are both well-maintained and offer seasonal hiking opportunities.

After turning south on Colorado Hwy 72, the Peak to Peak Highway goes through the quaint and fun mountain town of Nederland, Colorado.   

Nederland is the best location along the Peak to Peak for lodging and dining. There is an abundance of things to do in Nederland, and visitors can easily fill an entire weekend exploring the town.

The Boulder Creek Lodge in Nederland offers cozy lodge-style rooms at affordable rates. It is located within walking distance of the downtown Nederland attractions and dining.

After leaving Nederland, continue south on Hwy 119 into Blackhawk. Blackhawk is steeped in mining history, and the city offers a self-guided walking tour of the town. It takes visitors back to the roots of the small mining town that has transformed itself into Colorado’s premier gambling destination with 15 different gambling centers.

After leaving Blackhawk, the Peak to Peak continues through Clear Creek Canyon until it terminates at Interstate 70.

The Peak to Peak Highway is a beautiful drive along the Eastern side of the Colorado Rockies with spectacular views of the Front Range Mountains. It is an ideal road trip for leaf peeping in the fall or to escape the heat at lower elevations in summer.

Peak to peak highway
Photo by Kara from Trying to Unwind

25+ Beautiful Road Trips to take in the USA

I hope you enjoyed these 25 Beautiful road trips to take in the United States of America. If you have been on any of the above road trips, please comment and tell me about your favorite trip!

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