A unique feature of the American landscape is a variety of temperaments across the nation. New England pairs cool weather with the sound of crashing waves on prairie cliffsides. Florida offers a tropical climate that reminds many more of the Caribbean than the rest of the United States. America’s westward desires sprung early, and the natural beauty found in the Pacific Northwest are a clear reason why.
Route 66 may be the most well-known road trip; not only in the US, but the world. Traditionally speaking, the journey begins at the Eastern end in the Windy City: Chicago, Illinois. A cool 2,278 miles later is the welcoming city of Los Angeles, California. Popular stops on the route are the Will Rogers Memorial in Arkansas, Cadillac Ranch in Oklahoma, the London Bridge in Arizona as the trip culminates in Tinseltown: Hollywood. Only a few miles north of the predetermined trip lies America’s greatest natural wonder, the Grand Canyon.
An underrated adventure of the Sunshine state. Florida’s south beach (Miami) is well known for sports, music, and culture. Few think of it as the starting point for the Overseas Highway. Over a century old, the 113-mile stretch passes through the scattered islands hanging off the southern coast of Florida. Finishing in the popular Key West, travelers find themselves in a Caribbean paradise boasting both traditional resorts and the local culture. Along the way are a number of popular dive bars, beaches, and scenic views that make for a memorable road trip that won’t break the bank.
Pacific Coast Highway
While many extend the Pacific Coast Highway trip further north into Oregon and Washington, the original trek from San Diego to San Francisco is more than enough for the casual road tripper. The northern point offers one of the country’s most popular man-made attractions in the Golden Gate Bridge. Moving south, popular stopping points such as San Jose, Santa Cruz, and Monterey offer a range of attractions from museums and galleries to boardwalks and nature’s greatest escapes. After passing through Malibu and Los Angeles, the trip terminates in San Diego (home of popular zoos, monuments, and many other attractions).
Million Dollar Highway
Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway may be the shortest road trip on this list, but it is arguably the most memorable. The 25 mile strip winds through the Rockie Mountains with steep hills, hair-rising turns, and breathtaking views. Passing through Coal Bank, Molas, and Red Mountain mountain passes, the trip plays best into the summer months. Quite possibly the greatest stretch for natural views in the United States, stay hydrated for the state’s elevated climate.
Beginning with Clam Chowders and finishing with fresh seafood, Route 1 offers a variety of experiences unmatched by the rest of the nation. The trip’s origin in Fort Kent, Maine pushes travelers nearly to Canada before the journey south. Driving down the coast, New England’s greatest attractions are quick stops off the route. Moving outside the Northeast leaves many stops ahead with Washington D.C. standing as the most popular. Eventually moving through the National Parks and Refuges found in the Carolinas, Miami offers scenic paradise as the final destination.