The great American road trip is having a moment. As people are getting used to staying at home, they’re looking for easier ways to travel that don’t require expensive flights or resorts. Road travel gives you the freedom to go where you want and there’s no shortage of options at home in the U.S. Whether you want to admire coastlines, get lost in the mountains, or check some bucket list tourist spots off your bucket list, there’s a road trip route you can follow in the U.S.
There’s a lot to enjoy on a road trip, starting with the scenery and the iconic landmarks you can check out along the way. Start searching online to map out your perfect American road trip.
If you’re thinking of planning a road trip, consider checking out these six popular routes.
1. Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway
Immerse yourself into wooded forests, mountain streams, farm fields, and more along the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway. This byway passes through a region of over 40,000 acres of conserved lands, making it a great place to admire nature’s beauty all year round.¹
Trip-goers can start at Smalls Falls on Route 4 before dropping into the village of Rangeley. This will bring you near 112 interconnected lakes and ponds spanning throughout the region. Some noteworthy places worth visiting include the Appalachian Trail, Height of Land, and Mooselookmeguntic Lake.
2. Route 66
Perhaps the most famous American road trip is Route 66. It’s a 2,400 mile trek that can take you from Chicago to Santa Monica.² Since the route takes you across the country, you have plenty of cities and attractions to consider visiting along the way.
You could dedicate three weeks to travel the entire route or choose a particular stretch if you’re interested in a shorter trip. Here are a few highlights to consider:
- Two hour drive from Chicago to Springfield, Illinois;
- Route 66 mid-way point in the town of Adrian;
- 90 minute drive from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, or;
- Las Vegas to Barstow to Santa Monica Pier.
3. Overseas Highway
Looking for a sun-filled getaway? There’s no better place than the Sunshine State. Specifically, the Overseas Highway in Florida. This 113 mile long highway connects mainland Florida to Key West.³ You can enjoy picturesque water views before venturing onto the Florida Keys, an area full of water sports, fishing, and lounging,
If you’re looking for a shorter day-trip, consider traveling from Miami to Florida Keys. This four hour trip will start off in a bustling city to a relaxing string of islands with an abundance of sea views.
4. Vermont Byways
Take in the views of mountains and valleys on your road trip throughout Vermont. This particular road trip consists of 10 byways that are anywhere from 14 to 400 miles long.⁴ Cruise these roads for as long as you like, whether it be for a day trip or weeklong affair
There’s plenty to see and do along the byways. This includes museums, waterfalls, hiking paths, antique shops, and lots more You can find various itineraries designed for foodies, outdoor recreation, historians, or other preferred activities by searching online.
5. The Outer Banks
The Outer Banks is a slim piece of land located on the northern edge of North Carolina and just south of Virginia Beach and Norfolk. This string of peninsulas and barrier islands gives you exquisite views of the Atlantic Ocean and access to plenty of sandy beaches.
There’s a full 128 mile road trip you can take to explore the Outer Banks.⁵ You can start on the National Scenic Byway and travel all the way to Ocracoke Village. Along the way, Reader’s Digest says you can enjoy sights that include wild horses and the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
6. Great River Road
There’s a lot to like about the 3,000 mile course that goes from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. It follows the Mississippi River and takes you through 10 different states, giving you an opportunity to see much of the U.S. from one roadway.⁶
Here are the states you can travel through on a Great River Road trip:
- Mississippi, and;
The entire trip will take about 36 hours of straight driving, but a good timeline to aim for is 10 days. There are tons of river-related activities to do along the way and plenty of food options as you travel from state to state.
Discover More Road Trips by Searching Online
There’s so much to explore in the U.S. The country is full of diverse ecosystems, bustling cities, and historic landmarks that would take years to fully discover.
Road tripping is one of the best ways to travel. You can stop and go at your leisure, commit to last-minute detours, and adjust plans according to your current travel desires. Find out the hundreds of road trip routes out there by searching online for itineraries and maps.