There are countless great road trips to take in the U.S., but here are just 7 of our favourites that cover the northeast, south, southwest, midwest, west coast, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Some are long. Some are short. All are great.
EAST/NORTHEAST – New England
There’s no particular set agenda but depending on how long you want to drive, this one will take you through the six states of the New England area –Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Set your own trail by starting in Connecticut, where you will find cosmopolitan bedroom communities of New York City in the southeast part of the state. You can also visit one of the pre-eminent colleges in the world at Yale University, the great covered bridges, the beaches of Long Island Sound and so much more.
Massachusetts brings the historical city of Boston, Harvard, MIT, Revolutionary War sites, and one of the world’s great island outposts, Cape Cod.
Rhode Island, the smallest state, has Newport and its stunningly beautiful coastline.
Vermont is the home of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, beautiful farmland, Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains, maple syrup shacks and some of the quaintest small towns and villages in the country.
New Hampshire has the spectacular White Mountains, another Ivy League school in Dartmouth, and the amazing coastal town of Portsmouth.
And Maine has one of the most beautiful coastlines in the country, and the northeast’s only national park in Acadia National Park.
SOUTH – Selma to Montgomery, Alabama
Just a short 54-mile drive, but certainly one of the most important and historical – this is the route used by civil rights demonstrators in 1965 when they marched from Selma to Montgomery.
On this National scenic by-way, you will drive over the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge, where demonstrators and police engaged in a bloody clash, en route to Montgomery and the Rosa Parks Library and Museum.
MIDWEST – Lake Superior Circle
Like New England, this is another trip that is long and might have to be done in stages. But it is SO worth it.
It literally is what it states – a loop around mighty Lake Superior that takes you through Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Canadian province of Ontario.
The views are spectacular is you like pristine lakes and forests. It’s about 1,300 miles in total
SOUTHWEST – Route 66
No, we’re not asking you to drive the entire length of the Mother Road, just a 38-mile portion of it between
Albuquerque, New Mexico and Moriarty, New Mexico. If you drive east on what is arguably American’s greatest highway (now known as I-40), you will come across the ‘Musical Road’ near the town of Tijeras. Rumble strips were installed there two years ago and it is said that if you drive over them at precisely 45 miles an hour, the vibrations of the strips play the song ‘America the Beautiful.’ You can be the judge of that while enjoying breathtaking views of the old wild west.
WEST – Pacific Coast Highway
Just drive anywhere on PCH in California and take in the absolutely stunning scenery of the Pacific Ocean, rocky shores, mountainsides and everything else is this varied state has to offer. There’s plenty to see, all with stunning views.
However, if you want to be more specific and take a planned route designed to take it ALL in, check out this detailed coastal trip at this link:
ALASKA – George Parks Highway
There are few places in the U.S. where you can see incredible wildlife from your car – wildlife that is free to roam and not contained in an amusement park, that is. On this route, it’s quite conceivable that you’ll see an elk, bighorn sheep, a moose, or even a bear
The 387 miles between Anchorage and Fairbanks is one of those places as you go from major city to major city, with some cool, quirky stops along the way.
HAWAII – Oahu Tour
Assuming you are staying in Honolulu, do what we once did – rent a cool Corvette for the day, put the top down, and drive around Oahu.
The bluest of blues in the ocean is a given as you start to circumvent the island, but the lush greenest of greens will also blow your mind. Stop off at one of the shrimp shacks on the way to the North Shore part of the island, where some of the biggest waves in the world entice the greatest surfers. You can’t drive completely around the island in a circle, but that’s OK. From the North Shore cut down the middle of the island heading back to Honolulu and visit the Dole Pineapple Factory. But refrain from entering the pineapple fields and picking one because it’s illegal.
BONUS – Coast to Coast
Clearly, we are talking the whole summer with this one – more than 3,000 miles from Boston to Seattle on I-90, covering 13 states.
Along the way, some great national parks, including Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park, are easy off-shoots to visit.