The Most Stunning And Storied Routes For Your Perfect US Road Trip

The United States offers an unbelievably diverse landscape and an extensive network of highways and byways, making it prime for road trips. As a result, this unique form of travel is extremely popular in the States, with over a hundred million Americans taking 250+ mile road trips every year. There are thousands of possible routes to take throughout the country, some of which are more beautiful and significant than others. Since the invention of the automobile, a handful have earned reputations for being the most stunning and storied.


From the historic stretches of Route 66 to the scenic vistas of the Pacific Coast Highway, these routes are more than mere roads; they are pathways to the heart of American culture, history, and wilderness. As you travel these roads, you'll encounter a mosaic of American life, from bustling cities to vacant ghost towns, each with its own narrative. These routes invite travelers to explore the lesser-known corners of the country, experience local flavors, and learn about various chapters of American history. Whether you're a seasoned road tripper or a first-time traveler, these iconic American routes offer an unparalleled journey through the United States.

Route 66

Route 66, affectionately known as "The Mother Road," is an iconic symbol of American culture and history. Stretching over 2,400 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, this road weaves through eight states. The legendary highway was originally established in 1926. However, since the 1950s, segments of the legendary highway have been replaced by modern interstates, and some parts have fallen into disrepair. Nonetheless, the original road has been preserved and celebrated in famous works of American art like John Steinbeck's novel "The Grapes of Wrath" or Nat King Cole's top-charter "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66." 


Route 66's fragmentation means that while you can still experience about 85% of the historic route, some sections require detours onto newer roads. A road trip along Route 66 still offers a nostalgic journey through the skylines of urban Chicago, the sprawling deserts of the Southwest, and the coastal beauty of California. The road itself is a living museum dotted with memorabilia and artifacts from a bygone era, like the 66 Drive-In in Missouri or the Calico Ghost Town in California. Whether it's exploring the Route 66 museums or marveling at the natural wonders of the Grand Canyon, this road is an essential journey for road trip enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway, officially known as California State Route 1, is widely celebrated as one of the most beautiful road trip routes in the United States, if not the world. This breathtaking stretch of road transports drivers along the stunning California coastline, offering picturesque views of ocean vistas, rugged cliffs, and pristine beaches. Spanning nearly 600 miles from San Diego to San Francisco, this road trip presents an unparalleled journey through the Sunshine State.


From the sun-kissed beaches of Southern California to the dramatic cliffs of Big Sur to the foggy redwood forests of the North, the route's sheer beauty and variety make it a bucket list road trip. Along the way, drivers and passengers are treated to a constantly changing scenery that includes not only natural wonders but also charming coastal towns, historic landmarks, and world-class wineries. Done straight through, this road trip can be completed in 10 hours. But, considering the PCH offers the chance to witness some of the most picturesque scenery in the U.S., you definitely won't want to zip past it.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway, nicknamed "America's Favorite Drive," is an unforgettable road trip through the beauty and splendor of the Appalachian Highlands. Stretching 469 miles along the Blue Ridge Mountains, this route connects the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tenessee to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. If you're looking for a gorgeous road trip on the East Coast, very few beat out the Blue Ridge Parkway.


This road trip is famed for its breathtaking overlooks and the diverse range of flora and fauna that can be seen throughout the year. In addition to an abundance of lush wilderness, drivers also pass by various ecological landmarks like Mount Mitchell, the tallest peak in the eastern United States, or New River, the oldest North American river. Additionally, the route is filled with hiking trails, picnic spots, bed and breakfasts, vineyards, campgrounds, and more, allowing plenty of opportunity for travelers to immerse themselves in Appalachia's stunning environment and charming community.

The Grand Circle

The Grand Circle constitutes an extraordinary road trip route that showcases some of the most dramatic and unique landscapes in the United States. This circuit encompasses 9 national parks situated in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. These national treasures are home to the Southwest's most famous natural wonders: towering cliffs, deep canyons, soaring arches, surreal rock formations, and more. Additionally, each park within the route presents its own unique set of adventures, from hiking and rock climbing to stargazing and photography. 


Between the parks, roadtrippers will find equally enchanting attractions, with scenic highways cutting through rugged desert landscapes and quaint towns. The Grand Circle road trip is more than its geological marvels, it's also a look into the unique history and culture of the American Southwest. Along the route, travelers will discover the rich heritage of the region, including ancient Native American art, prehistoric artifacts, and historic pioneer settlements. 

The Road to Hana

The Road to Hana is a road trip route that passes some of the most visually extraordinary nature in the U.S. Following the length of the Hana Highway, this drive spans approximately 64 miles, starting in Kahului and ending in the town of Hana. The drive is famous for its 59 bridges and over 600 curves, making it a thrilling adventure that keeps drivers on their toes and passengers engaged.


The Hana Highway's winding roads cut through rainforests, past cascading waterfalls, and alongside lava-formed caves. Roadtrippers also pass through areas that are culturally and historically important to the Hawaiian people. Stops like the Garden of Eden Arboretum provide insights into the native flora and fauna, while places like the Wai'anapanapa State Park offer a chance to explore black sand beaches, sea caves, and historic Hawaiian burial grounds. There's plenty of opportunity to stretch your legs on this road trip, with most road trippers stopping along the way to swim, kayak, hike, surf, and more.