7 Road Trips Every Driving Enthusiast Should Take

Taking a road trip is a true adventure. You can take your car out onto America’s highways, head to new cities or even states, and see the country’s incredible sights right from the driver’s seat.

With the U.S. stretched over 4,071,000 miles of road, there are a ton of sights and places to explore when you take a road trip. If you’re thinking about getting behind the wheel to visit some of the nation’s exquisite destinations, check out these road trips for true driving enthusiasts.

1. Route 66

Route 66 is one of the most storied road trips in American history. This historic route stretches from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, spanning more than 2,000 miles and a number of states. It takes a minimum of two weeks to cover the entire route, but it’s highly recommended that you take your time and plan for a month to fully witness the beauty of the land.

Your road trip will start by taking Route 66 from Illinois to Missouri, and you’ll then travel from Kansas to Oklahoma. From there, the route leads through New Mexico and Arizona until its final stop in California.

As you plan a trip along this historic route, you can map out specific cities you want to visit. There are also plenty of sights to see, like Rogers Memorial, Land of Lincoln, and the awesome display of cars at Texas’ Cadillac Ranch. And of course, the Grand Canyon is a must.

2. Pacific Coast Highway

If you’re looking for the perfect summer road trip, there’s no better highway to drive than Pacific Coast Highway, which stretches from San Francisco to San Diego along the California coast. It covers a total of 123 miles and could take you up to two days to drive, depending on how many sights you want to see along the way.

The Pacific Coast Highway offers an amazing driving experience; while you’re on the road, you can view incredible ocean sights right from your car. Along the way, you can see many impressive and historic sites like Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Big Sur National Park – and those are just a few of the sights you’ll find at the start of the highway.

Don’t forget to take a walk alongside Malibu Beach, which is 15 miles from Ventura. This expanse of beachside road is packed with cliffs and rocky coves in southern California. The beach also has a variety of impressive beach homes, famous restaurants, and stunning overlooks.  

3. Overseas Highway

If you’re looking for a shorter road trip, the Overseas Highway is the perfect choice. The entire trip down the Overseas Highway takes just two to three hours and leads you through Florida’s top two beach locations.

There are two routes you can choose on the Overseas Highway. The first goes to the Miami Beach, which is full of white sand, surfers and art deco hotels. The second route will take you to Key West,which features sights with Cuban infusion and flair. Key West is also home to some of the best coral reefs in America, if you choose to park and dive in for more adventure.

Just make sure to plan time to see some attractions. You can’t drive the Overseas Highway without seeing Key Largo’s Marine attraction and Coral Reef State Park. Key Largo is the largest of the Florida Keys, and it’s home to underwater wildlife like sea stars, crabs, and sponges.

If you’d like, you could also stop at numerous beach bars that serve travelers and locals as you travel the highway. From behind the wheel, you’ll enjoy seeing old lighthouses and the highlight of the entire trip, the 7-mile bridge, which is one of the longest bridges in the world.

4. The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway

If you’re a history buff and want to see the most ancient part of the land possible, you need to drive the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway. This road trip covers more than 480 miles in three to four days and takes you from western Colorado to eastern Utah.

The entire route along the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway is covered with rocky formations and canyons – and these are all covered in dinosaur footprints and fossils that date back 150 million years.

You can choose to get familiar with Colorado’s Dinosaur National Monument while traveling the route or drive straight to see some of the riveting geological locations and rivers in the state of Colorado. Either way, you’ll get the chance to see incredible natural wonders.

5. Blue Ridge Parkway

If you’re looking to explore entire regions of the U.S., there’s no better road trip than the Blue Ridge Parkway. Considered the ultimate Southern road trip, traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway offers a 383-miles long scenic route that starts in Skyline Drive of Shenandoah National Park, Virginia before heading all the way to Asheville, North Carolina. It’s a six hour drive that will evoke strong emotions.

Along the way, you’ll pass – and have the chance to stop at – some renowned spots. You can visit The Poor’s Farmer’s Market, Blue Ridge Music Center with a focus on Appalachian heritage and music, Gem Mountain for precious stones, and the Luray Cavern sites. All in all, by the time you reach Asheville, you’ll have seen quite a lot of what the South has to offer.

6. Blue Highway

If you’re an avid music fan or have long wanted a chance to experience new and old jazz firsthand, why not take a musical road trip? Blue Highway, which is commonly known as Route 61, will take you along some of the most famous spots in jazz history. This road trip route starts in Nashville, Tennessee and ends in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Blue Highway covers 600 miles that you could drive in less than nine hours, making it the perfect road trip for a weekend. With countless desirable spots along the way, you’ll get the chance to learn about jazz while taking in historic experiences.

Along the Blue Highway, you can visit Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland, or see famous recording studios where jazz history occurred; in short, Blue Highway has it all. When you finish the journey in New Orleans, you can listen to live jazz music and explore the city’s lively music culture.

7. Hill Country

If you want to plan a road trip that takes you deep into the countryside for beautiful naturescapes and scenery, then you should map out your travels to Hill Country. The drive to Hill Country starts in north Austin, Texas, where you can experience the cowboy capital of America: Bandera. It’s also an ideal location for hunting and horseback riding. The beautiful flower fields will also be an inspiring sight to catch while in town.

As you make your way through Hill Country, make sure to stop at some of the well-known spots, like Enchanted Rock, Pink Rock, Gruene Hall, and the truck swapping hub at Guadalupe River. Travelers across the country come here to see unique sites like Krause Springs, Hamilton Pool, Jacob’s Well, Pedernales Falls State Park, and Barton Springs – and you can enjoy them for yourself with this long drive.

Hit the Road to See Incredible Spots Across the U.S.

If you’re looking to head somewhere new, plan an amazing vacation, or simply get behind the wheel and drive on the open road, you need to consider these road trips. As some of the most interesting, extensive, and exploring-focused road trips, they cover some of the best-known routes in America and will introduce you to new places.

Spend some time in your favorite vehicle on these road trips. You never know where you might end up, especially with so many interesting destinations, pit stops, and scenic discoveries along the way.

Chaiyun Damkaew / Getty Images

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