The 10 best road trips in the USA

Breathtaking views, spectacular canyons, rugged coastlines, colorful forests: there is no other place on earth where a road trip is as exciting as in the USA! Are you in the mood for adventure and freedom for your next holiday? Then join us on the 10 most scenic road trips in the USA.

#1 Highway 1

Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, winds its way along more than 1,000 km of the California coastline. As you soak up the radiant sun and salty ocean air, your road trip will take you to the scenic wilderness areas of the Big Sur region, rugged cliffs, charming coastal villages, and glittering metropolises like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Highway 1 Map

Highway 1: facts
Location: California coast
Length: about 1,000 km
Attractions: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Bixby Creek Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge
Book a private tour or Rent a car

#2 Overseas Highway

Overseas Highway in Florida

A unique road trip on the water – the Overseas Highway takes you 180 km across the turquoise blue waves of the Gulf of Mexico. You will not only drive over numerous bridges and dams but also across the archipelago of the Florida Keys. On your tour through Southern Florida, you will also discover charming towns and a variety of restaurants, bars, and local attractions that invite you to stop along the way.

Overseas Highway in Florida

Overseas Highway: facts
Location: South of Florida, from Homestead to Key West
Length: about 180 km
Attractions: Seven Mile Bridge, Bahia Honda State Park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Book an audio tour and Rent a car

#3 Utah State Route 12

Route 12 in Utah

Embark on an adventure through some of Utah's most legendary landscapes on Utah State Route 12! The 197 km road winds through Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Along the way, your gaze will sweep over towering rock formations and deep canyons, whilst you will also find numerous hiking trails and viewpoints, which provide great opportunities for physical exercise and active recreation in the great outdoors.

Utah State Route 12 Map

Utah State Route 12: facts
Location: Utah
Length: about 196 km
Attractions: Bryce Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument
Book a private tour or Rent a car

#4 Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Join us for a road trip on one of the most scenic roads in the Eastern USA. The 750 km Blue Ridge Parkway takes you from the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. On your journey, you will encounter rolling hills, lush forests, and waterfalls. A particularly impressive natural spectacle can be experienced in autumn when the leaves turn a brilliant orange!

Blue Ridge Parkway Map

Blue Ridge Parkway: facts
Location: North Carolina, Virginia
Length about 750 km
Attractions: Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Book a private tour or Rent a car

#5 Trail Ridge Road

Trail Ridge Road in Colorado

Get ready for sharp switchbacks, steep slopes, and breathtaking mountain views! On Trail Ridge Road in Colorado, you'll be driving on the highest continuous paved road in the United States. The 77 km route reaches altitudes of more than 3,650 m, leads you through Rocky Mountain National Park, and opens up spectacular views of the alpine tundra, towering peaks, and colorful wildflowers.

Trail Ridge Road Map

Trail Ridge Road: facts
Location: Colorado
Length: about 77 km
Attractions: Farview Curve, Kawuneeche Valley, Never Summer Mountains
Book a private tour or Rent a car

#6 Going-to-the-Sun-Road

Breathtaking views of rugged mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and the vast Montana wilderness: the roughly 80 km long Going-to-the-Sun-Road is a must for every visitor to Glacier National Park. The legendary mountain road winds through narrow canyons, along steep cliffs, and across the Continental Divide. Make sure you take plenty of time and stop at the various rest areas and viewpoints to enjoy the spectacular scenery of this region.

Going to the Sun Road in Montana

Going-to-the-Sun-Road: facts
Location: Northwest of Montana
Length: about 80 km
Attractions: Logan Pass, Lake McDonald, Two Medicine Lake
Book a private tour or Rent a car

#7 Vermont Route 100

Vermont Route 100

The scenic Vermont Route 100 runs across the US state of Vermont in New England. On your 217 km drive, you'll pass through picturesque landscapes such as the Green Mountains and the valleys of the Mad River and White River, as well as historic museums, picturesque parks, antique shops, and farmers' markets. Route 100 is especially beautiful in autumn when the landscape turns into a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors.

Vermont Route 100 Map

Vermont Route 100: facts
Location: Vermont
Length: about 217 km
Attractions: Green Mountain National Forest, Quechee Gorge, Mount Snow
Book an audio tour and Rent a car

#8 State Highway 89-A

State Highway 89-A in Arizona

State Highway 89-A runs North-South through Arizona, connecting the cities of Prescott and Sedona. Your road trip will take you to some of the state's most scenic areas, such as Prescott National Forest and Coconino National Forest, and provide access to popular outdoor recreation areas like Oak Creek Canyon and Red Rock Country.

State Highway 89-A Map

State Highway 89-A: facts
Location: Arizona
Length: about 143 km
Attractions: Red Rock Scenic Byway, Bell Rock, Lowell Observatory
Book a private tour or Rent a car

#9 Hana Highway

Hana Highway in Hawaii

Is there anything more magical than a drive along Hawaii's most beautiful panoramic route? The Road to Hana stretches 100 km along the Northeast coast of the island of Maui. The trail begins in the small town of Paia and winds along the coast over 59 bridges, through 620 curves, and past lush rainforests, thundering waterfalls, and magnificent viewpoints.

Hana Highway Map

Hana Highway: facts
Location: North coast of Maui, Hawaii
Length: about 100 km
Attractions: Wai'anapanapa State Park, Ho'okipa Beach Park, Twin Falls
Book a private tour or Rent a car

#10 Great River Road

Great River Road in Mississippi

The Great River Road follows the course of the Mississippi River for over 4,800 km from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy the scenic views of the Mississippi River and its surroundings as you explore 10 states and numerous attractions – from the river's headwaters at Lake Itasca to the river bluffs in Iowa, the historic city of St. Louis, and the French Quarter in New Orleans.

Great River Road Map

Great River Road: facts
Location: Passes through the ten US states Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin und Minnesota
Length: about 4,800 km
Attractions: Headwaters of the Mississippi River, Vicksburg National Military Park, Gateway Arch
Rent a car

The classic: Route 66

Route 66 in the USA

No road trip in the USA represents the dream of freedom as strongly as a journey along the legendary Route 66. The classic among America's road trips takes you from the "Windy City" of Chicago on the shores of the Great Lakes to the sunny Pacific coast in LA. On your adventurous cross-country tour, you'll see spectacular natural attractions like The Painted Desert and Palo Duro Canyon State Park, as well as quirky roadside attractions like Cadillac Ranch, The Blue Whale, and Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park.

 Route 66 Map

Route 66: facts
Location: From Chicago to Los Angeles, it passes through the eight US states Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Kalifornien
Length: about 3,900 km
Attractions: Cadillac Ranch, The Painted Desert, The Blue Whale
Book a private tour or Rent a car

More tips for your USA road trip

Do you need some practical tips for your road trip in the USA? With our travel guides for the USA, you'll be prepared for any situation – find out everything you need to know about rental cars, travel health insurance, credit cards, and visa-free travel with ESTA.

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!