America is home to so many epic routes for road trips, including coastal adventures, cross-country highways and desert roads that have to be seen to be believed. And while it’s difficult to narrow it down, we’ve rounded up five of the best American road trips - both long and short - so you can see some of the best scenery the USA has to offer.
Probably America’s most famous road trip, and for good reason, Route 66 is on the travel bucket list of driving fanatics around the world. You’ll pass through eight states and three time zones on this route, which spans some 2,448 miles and could take anywhere between two weeks to a month to complete, depending on how long you want to spend exploring in each state.
While the original US Highway 66 no longer exists, you can still follow the path it took through the US on other highways and roads. Start in Chicago, and pass through St Louis, Oklahoma and Albuquerque, before reaching the Grand Canyon in Arizona. From here you can travel on to Las Vegas and last but not least, reach Los Angeles, where the journey ends! Be sure to stop and take a photo at the Route 66 sign on the Santa Monica Pier, which marks the end of your epic journey.
MORE: Top 20 road trip destinations around the world
Spanning 1,252 miles from Flagstaff, Arizona, to Montana, you’ll see an array of natural wonders on this route. Known as the National Park Highway, the route passes seven of America’s incredible national parks, while a further 14 can be reached via short detours. The Sonoran Desert, Rocky Mountains and the Great Salt Lake are just three of the amazing sights you’ll see on this adventure.
You won’t want to miss a stop at Montana’s Glacier Park, where you will see 25 incredible glaciers – which may be gone by 2030 due to global warming. Meanwhile, Yellowstone National Park sits atop Yellowstone Super Volcano – one of the largest volcanoes on earth – creating impressive geysers and hot springs that are sure to be one of the highlights of your road trip.
RELATED: See our travel guides here
3.US Route 1
Route 1 runs parallel with the Atlantic coast, taking in beautiful destinations from Key West, Florida to Fort Kent, Maine. With a distance of 2,369 miles, this is the longest north-south road in the United States and connects many of the major cities of the East Coast, including Miami, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.
Depending on how many stops you make and how fast your drive, this journey could take anywhere between three days to two weeks. If you haven’t visited already it would be worth allowing time to stop and see some of the major attractions in each city, from the Empire State Building to the White House, to make this trip even more memorable and tick some more places off your travel bucket list.
4.Big Sur, California
Big Sur is considered one of the most memorable stretches of coastline in the world, and is a truly iconic road trip choice. While it is undeniably beautiful, it is also a narrow and twisting route that can become crowded at times. Take your time to stop off and absorb the views across the Pacific Ocean on this famous 90 mile route. The road also passes several State Parks for hiking, camping, beachcombing and enjoying the natural beauty the region has to offer.
Often referred to as “the Blues Highway”, this route passes through some of America’s most famous music destinations, including Memphis and Nashville. The entire route spans 1,400 miles south from Wyoming, Minnesota through to New Orleans, Louisiana, and there’ll be many pit stops you’ll want to make along the way. You won’t want to miss a tour of Nashville, Tennessee – known as “music city” because of its incredible talent and 120 live music venues. Meanwhile a stop off in Memphis will allow you the opportunity to visit Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, where celebrated artists like Aretha Franklin recorded songs. This iconic route is a rite of passage for music lovers.