Taking a road trip is an excellent way to escape your daily routine and embrace the freedom of mother nature’s scenic landscapes. With so many options to choose from, spanning the west coast to the east and north to south, how do you decide which adventure is the right one for you? To help gain a better sense of what to expect and if one option might appeal more than another, let’s explore some of the most famous road-tripping routes in 5 states across the United States.
According to a 2022 WalletHub report, Minnesota is one of the best states for road trips. When traveling through the state, you will encounter waterfalls, rocky beaches, lighthouses, stunning landscapes, and abundant wildlife. Along with thousands of lakes, local restaurants, state parks, and an impressive overall safety rating, drivers can be confident knowing Minnesota’s appeal suits nearly anyone.
But if taking an extended drive is what you want, be sure to visit Minnesota’s Lake Superior shoreline or “North Shore,” which is over 145 miles long. The ride will keep you busy with its natural beauty of cascading waters and several picturesque towns to stop and explore.
The combination of mountains, forests, lakes, and shorelines of the Acadia National Park along New England’s coastline offers something for everyone year-round. For example, you can watch the sunset on the sandy beaches, hike through the spectacular conifer trees, or capture the beauty of the lighthouses along the rugged coastline.
This 27-mile loop delivers a scenic tour around Mount Desert Island’s east side, where you can access several popular destinations like:
- Sand Beach
- Otter Point
- Cadillac Mountain
- Jordan Pond
- Sieur de Monts
Considered the most scenic mountain road trip on the east coast, Virginia’s Skyline Drive runs north and south for 105 miles. It follows the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park, which takes about 5.5 hours to drive through in favorable weather at 35 mph, which is the permitted speed limit.
In addition, this route, which is the only public course you can take through the Park, comprises long-winding mountain roads and entrances at four different entry points:
- Front Royal Entrance Station
- Thornton Gap Entrance Station
- Swift Run Gap Entrance Station
- Rockfish Gap Entrance Station
But Skyline Drive isn’t just for motorists. If you want to get out, stretch, and capture the beauty firsthand, you can enjoy impressive mountain views on foot as you trek across several local trails.
As a state filled with national and state parks, historical cities, and endless open roads, Texas is ideal for traveling in the comfort of your car. But because the state is so big, planning where to go might intimidate you. But fear not. The Texas Hill Country in the west areas of Austin is an excellent place to start. Again, as you travel through this area of the Lone Star State, you will encounter stunning landscapes, natural springs, rivers, and the best BBQ brisket and ribs you can find in the US. Are there destinations you should definitely not miss? Yes!
If you choose to select this Austin route, be sure to visit the following destinations:
- The stunning waterfalls of Westcave Preserve which is set off Hamilton Pool Road.
- The town of Fredericksburg is a well-known city with deep German roots, several museums, and some of the finest wineries on Wine Road 290.
- Or, you can enjoy art galleries, fantastic food options, and famous swimming holes in the small town of Wimberley, one of the most popular places in Hill Country.
A drive through this southern state has much to offer amongst its rural landscapes, mountains, and some of the most scenic byways and notable cities in the US. Specifically, the Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 469 miles long and provides a slow but relaxing drive through the Appalachian Highlands. But that’s not all.
Coined “American’s favorite drive,” the Parkway takes you through 29 North Carolina and Virginia counties, linking the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And because the ride is so lengthy, there is a convenient and free Blue Ridge Parkway Travel Planner App for Android and iPhone to help you along the way. The app provides a mile-by-mile guide listing historic sites, trails, interpretive exhibits, visitor centers, lodging, services, and so forth.
What are some highlights you’ll find along the north-to-south drive? Besides the local cuisine, wine, spirits, and unique brews, you’ll discover:
- Mount Mitchell: The highest mountain peak in the eastern US, complete with hiking trails, picnic areas, an on-site natural history museum, and a 360-degree observation deck view.
- Linville Gorge: The deepest one you’ll find east of the Grand Canyon.
- Whitewater Falls: The highest waterfall you’ll see east of the Rockies.
Ready to Start Your Next Great Adventure?
Before packing your bags and heading off to one of the best states for road trips, schedule a tune-up with your mechanic to check your tires, filters, fluids, and wiper blades. Also, ensure your car warranty is still active if the unexpected occurs. If you no longer have coverage, investing in a reliable vehicle protection plan can help safeguard you from high-cost repairs and even give you access to benefits like 24-hour roadside help and emergency tire repair services. Unsure which companies offer the best plans? Check out our extended warranty provider reviews to determine which option will work best for your needs and budget.