There’s something about taking it a bit slower and not having a to-do list while on vacation. Our ideal way to do that is road tripping! Whether it be cross country, up state, or coastal, road trips are a refreshing way to see a variety of people and places. One piece of advice? Stop and talk to people, take the journey slowly, and get lost in the process! So, pull out your maps, here’s our ten favorite U.S. road trips to pencil in this summer.
Photo via Polka Dot Passport
Los Angeles to Grand Canyon via Route 66
Between the red-rocks of New Mexico and the peaceful desert along the Colorado River, the route runs past countless remarkable old highway towns along some of the oldest and longest still-driveable stretches of the historic Route 66.
The Road to Hana
We’ve all probably heard of this trek in one way or another, but this is a road trip that is sure to leave you wanting to do it all over again. This Maui road will have you winding down steep lush sea-cliffs with little markets along the road you can stop at for the local’s favorite baked goods and snacks. Trust us – your camera will be open the entire time!
Pacific Coast Highway California Coastline
This remarkable highway is a long time California favorite, with stunning views all the way up the coast. Roll down the windows, turn on your favorite playlist, and be sure to have your camera ready. Start south in San Diego to experience the epic food scene and beaches, and head up the coastline all the way to see the redwoods in Northern California.
Photo via National Geographic
Leaving the Florida mainland to take the U.S. 1 highway 120-mile-long island chain of Florida’s Keys will leave you in awe at the turquoise waters and perfectly white sand. The route will direct you from Key Largo to Key West, the overseas highway connects the islands together, driving past lighthouses, underwater coral-reef parks, and across 7 Mile Bridge, one of the longest bridges in the world and a sight you don’t want to miss.
Blue Ridge Parkway
From one National Park to another Blue Ridge Parkway is the most visited road controlled by the U.S. National Parks System. This 450 mile drive begins at Shenandoah in Virginia and loops all the way to the Great Smokey Mountains in North Carolina. Make this trip in the fall to be even more blown away by the unbeatable fall colors.
Big Sky County
Jackson, Wyoming to Montana’s Glacier National Park is a trip you could surely make in a day, but why would you when you are surrounded by so much beauty? We recommend taking as many stops as possible and take in every moment of the steep cliffs and chilly rivers of the Grand Tetons to the wildlife sightings and geysers of Yellowstone National Park.
Beginning in Washington’s own unbeatable rainforests of Puget Sound, U.S. Highway 2 crosses through the Cascades, straight into apple orchards before ending up at Lake Chelan. Here you’ll find four seasons of wine, sun, and stunning natural beauty. Not ready to wrap up your road trip? Loop back around to Seattle via North Cascades National Park, along equally scenic Highway 20.
Photo via Lauren Stephanie Wells
When on North Carolina’s famous coastal Outer Banks Scenic Byway you’ll get to take in all kinds of seaside charm, lighthouses, beach houses, and the historic place where the Wright Brothers first took flight. Passing through Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, this trip will create a memory that last’s a lifetime.
Black River Scenic Byway
Known as the gem of the Midwest, Upper Peninsula of Michigan offers a drive with blue waters views of Lake Superior. Along the Black River Scenic Byway you’ll get to experience all sorts of waterfalls and sweeping forest views. The best of both worlds, right?
Coast to Coast on I-90
Finally, we saved the longest route for last! If you’re going to drive across the country, you might as well take the most scenic route! America’s longest interstate, I-90, connects Boston to Seattle, while crossing 13 states, this is surely a trip you can cross off your bucket list. Some of the amazing sites you’ll see? The Great Lakes, the Great Plains and the Continental Divide. Take your time on the drive and detour to some of the nation’s top sites along the way including Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, and Yellowstone National Park.
Where will you go?!