25 Must-Drive Routes for the Ultimate U.S. Road Trip

By Ivan PetrenkoApr 19, 2024 10:30 AMNews
Gray concrete road with range mountain view
Gray concrete road with range mountain view. Source: unsplash

Embarking on a U.S. road trip is a quintessential American experience, offering endless opportunities to explore the diverse landscapes and cultural heritage of the country. From scenic byways to historic trails, here are 25 essential drives across the United States that promise breathtaking views and unforgettable adventures.

  1. Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway, New Mexico - Explore Native American heritage sites and the ancient ruins at Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
  2. Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway, South Dakota - A dramatic 39-mile drive through the rugged beauty of Badlands National Park.
  3. Zydeco-Cajun Prairie Scenic Byway, Louisiana - Delve into the heart of Cajun culture over 283 miles of scenic Louisiana prairie.
  4. East Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island - From East Providence to Newport, this route offers a picturesque drive along Rhode Island’s historic bay area.
  5. UFO Stopover Loop, Nevada - From Las Vegas to Tonopah-Pahrump, indulge in an intergalactic adventure along the Extraterrestrial Highway.
  6. Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway, Colorado - Cross the Continental Divide and experience Colorado’s stunning mountain landscapes.
  7. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana - Traverse Glacier National Park on this spectacular 50-mile mountain road open seasonally.
  8. Farmlandia Loop, Oregon - A foodie’s delight, this route south of Portland includes stops at local farms, vineyards, and artisan producers.
  9. Snowy Range Scenic Byway, Wyoming - Travel the historic "Great Skyroad" through the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests for breathtaking views.
  10. Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia - Enjoy 105 miles of scenic vistas along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  11. Life and Times of Lincoln Loop, Illinois - Follow in the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln with stops at key historical sites around Springfield.
  12. Northwest Passage Scenic Byway, Idaho - Trace the route of Lewis and Clark through the wilds of north-central Idaho.
  13. Forgotten Coast, Florida - A laid-back drive along Florida’s "forgotten" Gulf Coast, known for its pristine beaches and oyster bars.
  14. Bourbon Trail, Kentucky - A must for whiskey lovers, featuring tours of famed distilleries across the bluegrass state.
  15. Civil Rights Trail, Alabama - Reflect on the history of the Civil Rights Movement with stops at significant sites including the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
  16. North Shore Scenic Drive, Minnesota - Follow Lake Superior’s shoreline to discover state parks, waterfalls, and stunning northern vistas.
  17. Music Pathways, Tennessee - Explore the soul of Tennessee’s music scene from the birthplaces of country, blues, and rock n’ roll.
  18. Roadside Attractions Gallery, Florida to Oklahoma - Journey along Route 66 and encounter quirky landmarks and Americana at its best.
  19. Bridges to Butties Byway, Nebraska - Experience the wild beauty of Nebraska’s landscapes and wildlife refuges.
  20. Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, Maryland/Delaware/Pennsylvania - Follow the path of one of America’s greatest heroines through important historical sites.
  21. Historic Route 66, California to Arizona - Relive the nostalgia of the Mother Road with a drive through classic Route 66 landscapes and towns.
  22. Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway, Maine - Explore the rugged beauty of Maine’s mountain and lake districts, ideal for nature lovers.
  23. Maple Trail, Vermont - Enjoy the sweet delights of Vermont’s maple syrup production areas, complete with tastings and scenic views.
  24. Lighthouse Tour, New Jersey - Navigate New Jersey’s shoreline, visiting historic lighthouses along the way.
  25. Cheese Tour, Southwestern Route, Wisconsin - A gourmet tour through Wisconsin’s famous cheese-making regions, perfect for food enthusiasts.

These drives offer a slice of America’s vast and varied landscape, ideal for those looking to satisfy their wanderlust by road. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, foodie, or culture enthusiast, there’s a route that caters to every interest. Pack your bags, fuel up, and set out on a journey that promises rich experiences and panoramic views.

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