Summer is the best time of year for an awesome road trip! With only a couple months left of our favorite, sunny season, it’s time to get on the road! If you didn’t already know, the U.S. has some amazing, scenic road trips that will bring you phenomenal views and even better memories. You’ll have so many great shots for your social media! Road trips are the perfect way to see the best our beautiful country has to offer. The great thing about road trips is you can plan them your way. If there’s somewhere you want to stop and see, you can! You and your friends can have some great conversations and laughs along the way. Whether you find yourself on the East Coast or West Coast or in the North or South, there is a scenic route not too far from you. Even Alaska and Hawaii have some awesome drives! Get ready for all the road trip inspiration you need. We have brought you 20 scenic road trips and pit stops in the U.S. that will make you want to get on the road now! Make sure to pack your snacks and get your playlist ready, it’s going to be a great drive!
20 Hana Highway, Hawaii
We are starting out strong with your literal road trip dream! Obviously, Hawaii is on everyone’s list of vacation goals. If you find yourself in the beautiful Aloha State, specifically the island of Maui, you have to check out the Road to Hana. Also called Hana Highway, it is a 64.4-mile highway that connects Kahului to the town of Hana.
There are tons of state parks and waterfalls that make the drive absolutely beautiful.
There is also the Garden of Eden and Botanical Arboretum, which is best known for being the opening sequence in Jurassic Park! Along with the waterfalls and beauty, there are plenty of swimming holes to stop for a quick, scenic swim. The destination, the little town of Hana is said to be “just a few steps from Heaven.” Make sure you add Hana Highway to your next Hawaiian itinerary.
19 Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
We’re going back to the mainland for this one. On the other side of the country, stretching from Virginia and North Carolina is Blue Ridge Parkway. It is 469 miles of the most scenic drives this country has to offer. Most people don’t know that the land around this road actually has very significant natural resources. Some of the oldest mountains in the world can be seen on from the parkway. The Appalachian Highlands were supposedly first formed 480 million years ago! The parkway is also near the oldest river in North America and highest waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains. As if the scenery wasn’t great enough, there are plenty of unique stops that involve taking in the culture’s art and history. If you want a beautifully scenic drive with views you’ll never forget and plenty of history, Blue Ridge Parkway should be on your list!
18 Pacific Coast Highway, California
This next one is possibly one of the most well-known highways in the country. Pacific Coast Highway, a.k.a PCH or State Route 1, is a 655.8 mile road that stretches the picturesque coast of California.One end of the road is in Orange County in the southern part of the state. The other end is in Mendocino County in the northern part of the state. It even crosses the infamous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
The most notable area is in the central part of the state with wonderful views of the coast of Big Sur.
Fun fact, PCH does actually extend into Oregon and Washington if you want to just keep driving! If amazing coastal views are what you want in your life, plan a PCH road trip in the Golden State!
17 Lake Shore Drive, Illinois
We are taking you from the scenic coast to a bustling Midwest. If you haven’t been to Chicago, it’s about time you go! It is actually the third most populated city in the United States and there is so much to do! Lake Shore Drive is a 16.4-mile highway that provides an amazing view of the city skyline and beautiful Lake Michigan. If you’re a fan of biking, there is a trail that parallels the highway that is perfect! Not only will you get your exercise in, you’ll experience some great views. If you’re looking more for a short road trip then adventures in Chicago, you can just take Lake Shore Drive right into the city and go from there!
16 Seven Mile Bridge, Florida
Time to go down south to the Florida Keys for another classic U.S. road that is perfect for your next road trip! The original Seven Mile Bridge was one of the longest bridges in existence when it was built in the early 1900s.
The original bridge is currently only open to pedestrians, cyclists, and fisherman.
This is a great way to take in the views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and take in some history. There is another refurbished bridge that is open to vehicles. The Florida Keys are a great place to visit, so make sure to spend some time there as well. For a truly amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, take a drive on the Seven Mile Bridge.
15 Route 12, Utah
Next, we travel west for yet another scenic state route. This one is in the beautiful state of Utah and is called Route 12 or Scenic Byway 12. This 122 mile stretch of highway is one of the most scenic roads you’ve ever seen! The route has plenty of stops for you outdoorsy people, too. There are many hiking and backpacking areas, including Red Canyon and Escalante River. Some of the best views are at The Blues Overlook and Hogback Overlook. Make sure to bring your camera! There is even an area called the Upper Valley Granaries that has structures from the Ancient Puebloans. Overall, Route 12 will provide you with some of the best views and outdoor activities Utah has to offer!
14 Anchorage To Valdez, Alaska
Those of you who haven’t been to Alaska, it’s time to pack your bags! Most people view Alaska as a frozen, unpopulated wasteland. It does get super cold there and yes, it is one of the least populated states, but the scenery is so worth it! There is a drive from the state capital, Anchorage, to the city of Valdez that will bring you the most snap-worthy views.
This almost 300-mile drive gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with actual glaciers!
If you are feeling adventurous, you can go glacier floating, cruising, or trekking. If you’re more into staying in the car, that’s okay! The views of the glaciers and waterfalls will make the trip totally worth it! Alaska isn’t nicknamed “The Great Land” for nothing! It’s because of beautiful drives like this one!
13 Ocean Drive, Rhode Island
We’re moving on to another state you also might not have been to. Rhode Island is actually the smallest state in the country! That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its fair share of road trip potential. There is a 9 miles stretch of road named Ocean Drive that brings you some amazing Atlantic Ocean views and history. The drive basically goes all around the coast of Rhode Island. The houses built in this area represent the “Gilded Age” of America. There are these incredible, historic mansions that you have to see to believe. You can even see the house the infamous Vanderbilt family spent their summers. Pretty cool, huh? You’ve probably never thought of making your next trip to Rhode Island, but Ocean Drive might change your mind.
12 Route 66, Illinois To California
Ready to get your kicks on Route 66? Like the classic song states, Route 66 is the “highway that is best.” It is by far the most famous road in America, which is why it is nicknamed the Main Street of America and the Mother Road. The highway was commissioned in 1926 and stretches from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, CA. The original road was 2,448 miles of classic American sights across eight states.
Notable stops include the “Cadillac Ranch”, which is an art installment of 10 Cadillacs buried in the ground.
It sounds weird, but look it up! The Wigwam Hotel in Arizona is awesome! You can stay in giant teepees made of steel and concrete. If you’re looking to knock a true American road trip off of your bucket list, go plan your trip on Route 66!
11 Bluebonnet Trail, Texas
Time to move down south again to Texas, the Lone Star State! A little bit outside of Dallas, there is a city called Ennis. This beautiful town has 40 miles of trails that fill with wonderful bluebonnet flowers in April. The blooming of these flowers makes for some of the most amazing scenery! Once you’ve taken in all the beauty of the flowers, there are plenty of other activities to do. Ennis has an adorable downtown area with shopping, dining, and great B&B’s. There’s even an old school drive-in, if you are feeling nostalgic. Plan your next trip to Texas near the third week of April to get some Bluebonnet views!
10 Glacier, Montana
Our next trip brings us back up north to Montana, also known as the Big Sky State! It gets its nickname because of the phenomenal views and open sky. It is not on the top of everyone’s bucket lists, but it should be! Montana is best known for Glacier National Park. Glacier has everything you’ve ever wanted in a national park. Not only can you hike around plenty of forest and mountain areas, but you can also drive around for some great views.
There is a road called Going to the Sun Road, which is a 50-mile stretch that spans the width of Glacier Park.
It even crosses the Continental Divide! The road shows you everything from glacial lakes to forests. If you are an outdoorsy person that loves a good national park AND road trip, Glacier National Park is the place for you!
9 Highway 101, Oregon
Oregon is the state for everything! There is great scenery everywhere and bigger cities for the big city folk. One of the best drives in Oregon is called Highway 101, or Oregon Coast Highway. The drive spans the Oregon coast for 350 miles from Brookings to the northern city of Astoria. There are so many amazing coastal towns along the highway. Cannon Beach is an adorable, trendy beach town with great shopping and coastal views. Depoe Bay is known as the “whale watching capital.” Newport is one of the larger towns and it has two beautiful lighthouses and lots of sea lions to look at! Highway 101 allows you to take in one of the less popular coasts, the coast of Oregon.
8 Route 89A, Arizona
Now we move over not too far to the state of Arizona. The Grand Canyon State is another state known for incredible views. Route 89A is a state highway that runs about 83 miles from the towns of Prescott and Flagstaff.
The most famous part of the drive is Oak Creek Canyon, which goes through a river gorge and is called a “smaller Grand Canyon.”
You can only imagine how great the views are! You know the beautiful red rock and sandstone formations that Arizona is known for? Those are everywhere! The route also has everything from wineries to kayaking to art galleries to ghost town tours! Everything you’ve ever wanted to do in Arizona can be found off Route 89A!
7 New River Gorge, West Virginia
Time to go across the country to West Virginia. It might be another state you’ve never thought of visiting, but we will give you at least one reason to. New River Gorge National Park is another national park that has everything! There is a truly amazing bridge that crosses the gorge. It is 3,030 feet long, actually making it the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere. It stands 876 feet above the gorge, so you can only imagine how great the views are! There are so many adventurous options if you have time to hop out of the car. There is a bridge walk for catwalk tours and night tours. There is also whitewater rafting and cliff jumping! Head over to West Virginia to get your adrenaline going along with some amazing views.
6 Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire
Now we just move a little bit more north to the state of New Hampshire. This one is for everyone who loves fall and needs a good fall road trip! One of the best drives in New Hampshire is called Kancamagus Highway, or “The Kanc.”
It is known as the “best fall foliage viewing areas in the country”, meaning you have some incredible views of the leaves changing.
The road cuts through the White Mountain National Forest, which provides views of the White Mountains, the Swift River, and plenty of waterfalls! What people love about this drive is you basically leave your comforts behind and go back in time. If you want to take in some beautiful foliage, you need to visit Kancamagus Drive in the fall!
5 Route 6, Massachusetts
Massachusetts is a state that is mostly known for their most famous city, Boston. Don’t get us wrong, Boston is great! But have you heard of Cape Cod?! It is a stretch of land that curves into Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. You know what that means, coastal views! U.S. Route 8, which is a crazy, huge highway, runs through Cape Cod and it is the perfect drive to take in the scenery. In Massachusetts, Route 6 stretches almost 118 miles. There are so many bicycle trails and history! What sounds better than an awesome road trip to Cape Cod, stretching your legs with a stroll or bike ride, and learning about the cutest little Eastern coast town. If this sounds like your type of trip, get on Route 6 now!
4 Antelope Valley, California
Time to go back to California! Another fun fact about CA is that the state flower is the poppy. Poppies are beautiful, vibrant yellow-orange cup-shaped flowers that are abundant in Antelope Valley.
There is a great drive through an actual poppy reserve.
In the spring, there is a crazy amount of poppies everywhere! If you drive through during this time of the year, you are bound to get some amazing photos. Antelope Valley is the perfect place to walk around, take in some views (even some great smells), and even have a picnic! When the poppies are all in bloom, it really is a once in a lifetime view! Flower fans will be so excited to see Antelope Valley in the spring.
3 Pictured Rocks, Michigan
We are going back to the Upper Midwest over to the picturesque state of Michigan. There is a stretch of coast between Munising to Paradise called Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore that provides amazing views and plenty of outdoor adventures! You can easily make a weekend out of road tripping around Pictured Rocks. It is actually considered Michigan’s #1 adventure destination. You can seriously get some of the best views while kayaking under a rock arch formation over the water or hiking up a waterfall. There are plenty of tours, including walking and boat tours. There really is a reason Michigan is known as the Great Lake State so you better go check it out!
2 Nashville, Tennessee
Believe it or not, there is SO MUCH to do in the state of Tennessee. You could spend weeks just in Nashville alone! Not even to mention Gatlinburg, Memphis, or the Great Smoky Mountains.
Did you know you can visit all of Tennessee's top attractions in just seven days?
Yes, believe it! You start in the Music City, Nashville, which obviously is a great start. You then drive to Memphis, which has its fair share of culture and awesome Southern food! Then you head towards Chattanooga, which has everything from rock climbing to paddle boarding to hiking. Next up is Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. You should definitely look up all the awesome things to do there. Eventually, you head back to Nashville and you can officially say you’ve seen almost all of Tennessee!
1 San Juan Skyway, Colorado
Colorado is another state that just has so much to do! It doesn’t have the nickname “Colorful Colorado” for nothing! There is the beautiful San Juan Skyway Scenic and Historic Byway is considered a must do in Colorado. It stretches 233 miles throughout the San Juan Mountains. This road is actually called “The Road that Touches the Sky.” Awesome, right?! This drive is another great option for anyone with dreams of a perfect outdoor road trip! There are plenty of stops, including the town of Durango or Telluride. Colorado is known for its amazing views and outdoor adventures and the San Juan Skyway does not disappoint!