When summer rolls around, there is no better way to take advantage of the warm weather than by packing the car and going on a road trip. And with so many places to go and things to see, the United States is the perfect place for anyone looking for a quick weekend getaway or a cross-country adventure. If you want to make the most of your summer vacation, you would be hard-pressed to find a better place for your journey.
But, while there are plenty of places to go, one of the difficult things about planning the perfect road trip is finding the right route. Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true paths across the U.S. that everyone should experience in their lifetime. By knowing some of the most popular and most incredible road trip routes in the country, you can experience the best the country has to offer for yourself.
Route 66 is one of the most popular and classic road trip routes in the United States. This route, which stretches all the way from the Windy City of Chicago to Santa Monica, California, has long been known as the ultimate road trip for Americans. After all, there are few road trip routes as iconic as Route 66, which takes you through eight states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and sunny California.
Pacific Coast Highway
The Pacific Coast Highway is arguably the second most famous road trip route in America, right behind Route 66. But, while you won’t pass through nearly as many states (just Washington, Oregon, and California), you’ll have a hard time finding a more picturesque route, as the PCH stretches for 1,650 miles right along the pacific coast (hence the name). Depending on where you start, you can either start or end your journey in the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles or enjoy the lush forests of the pacific northwest and everything else in between.
Highway 50 in Nevada
For people who love the mystery and intriguing isolation of the desert, Nevada’s Highway 50 is a great choice. While it may not seem like a long stretch of highway running through the desert is very interesting, there are so many things to do along the way. Some attractions include Ely’s Nevada Northern Railroad Museum, a 600-foot sand dune, and Great Basin National Park. This park is home to some of the oldest organisms on the Earth and is a great way to get some perspective on human beings and our place in the grand scheme of nature.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is like a crash course in all things southern American culture. This route runs through the Great Smoky Mountains and has stops in larger southern cities such as Asheville, North Carolina. If you are interested in getting a feel for everything the American South has to offer, this could be a great trip for you. It has a huge variety of overlooks throughout the entire route and offers miles of beautiful scenery to enjoy.
U.S. Highway 1 in the Florida Keys
The longest north-to-south road in the United States, Highway 1 in the Florida Keys, is also one of the most beautiful you’ll find. While this road is just around 2,370 miles long, the most famous portion is the part that runs through southern Florida. This section, known as the Overseas Highway, offers amazing views of the Keys and incredible landscapes all the way through. If you are looking for an amazing aquatic road trip, this highway is a must.
Columbia River Scenic Highway
If you are someone who loves to get outdoors on your road trips, the Columbia River Scenic Highway is perfect for you. This 74-mile stretch of road in Oregon was specifically built to have incredibly beautiful views and features many different pull-offs where you can get out and get in some hiking. Located along the Columbia Gorge, you can take advantage of day hikes and longer treks to keep you busy as long as you’d like.
Northern California’s Silverado Trail is one of the most beautiful short road trips in the United States. This route runs through the California wine country and winds through the hills and mountains of the region. Originally constructed in the 1850s, this route features many stops at the wineries and hot springs in Calistoga. So while this route may only take you an hour to get from one end to the other, there is still plenty to do to keep you occupied for days on end.
Scenic Byway 12
For those interested in the rich history of the American West, Scenic Byway 12 in Utah is an absolute necessity. This route is a great option if you want to get the best the western United States has to offer, as it features both mountainous views and sprawling deserts as it connects Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon national parks.
Colorado’s State Highway 82
Any major outdoor enthusiasts will already know what an incredible destination Colorado is, but State Highway 82 is beyond comparison. While there is plenty of skiing and snowboarding in the winter along this route, the summertime is this state’s best-kept secret. The mountain landscapes and outstanding scenery are not to be missed.
The High Road to Taos
New Mexico is well-known for its amazing scenery and unique attractions. The High Road to Taos is essential for getting a feel for the American southwest. With everything from wildflower meadows, to forests, to the desert, this route is as varied and interesting as the region itself. On top of that, there are many roadside art galleries along the way, so you can get a true feel for the local culture and everything that comes with it.
Enjoy Your Summer Road Trip With the Protection of an Extended Warranty
If you want to make sure that your car is protected this summer when you are on your road trip, an extended warranty can help. Extended warranties can cover different components of your vehicle and help you pay for repairs when they are needed. Many warranty companies offer benefits like 24-hour roadside assistance and tire repair so you can get help when you need it most. Getting the protection you need can allow you to enjoy your trip and give you the confidence you need. Explore our extended warranty provider reviews and buying guide to find out which extended warranty will work best for you and your vehicle.