Road trips are one of the best ways to see as much of the country as you can in a relatively short time. By driving, you can uncover hidden gems, quaint towns, and sprawling landscapes that you may not get to see traveling by plane.
But if you’re not sure what piece of America you want to explore first, start with one of these exciting drives!
Green Mountain Byway, Vermont
In between the towns of Stowe and Waterbury is a stretch of road that winds through some of Vermont’s most beautiful scenery. Known for its gorgeous foliage in the fall, adventurous sporting and outdoor activities in the winter and summer, and rolling grassy hills in the spring, this drive is worth the trip any time of year. Also, if you’re an ice cream lover, be sure to stop at the original Ben & Jerry’s off of Interstate 89, just west of the byway.
Ocean Drive, Rhode Island
Boasting a picturesque coastline, tucked-away beaches, and architecture that rivals any in New England, this stretch of road along Rhode Island’s Atlantic coast is one for the books. It’s only ten miles long, but if you’re traveling in summer, you just might want to pack a swimsuit and towel and pull off at one of the road’s many hidden swimming spots.
Tail of the Dragon, Tennessee/North Carolina
Not for the faint of heart, this eleven-mile drive on the Tennessee-North Carolina border is one series of hairpin turns after another. Drivers are urged to use extreme caution, but the view scenic woodlands (and the stories you are bound to tell) makes this road ideal for the adventurous traveler.
Overseas Highway, Florida
This bridge, which stretches from Miami to the Florida Keys, is 113 miles long—making it one of the longest bridges anywhere on Earth. Transitioning between tropical islands and ocean views, this drive might feel more like a boat ride at times, and it’s guaranteed to offer you plenty of photo opportunities.
Highway 61, Minnesota
If you ever plan to drive north through America’s border with its northern neighbor Canada, you might want to consider taking Minnesota’s Highway 61. The road winds almost perfectly with the banks of the Mississippi River, twisting and turning along rocky banks and pristine woodlands.
Highway 89, Utah
Utah is a state known for its incredible geologic formations and spectacular opportunities for outdoor adventure, making this highway (which runs through a good portion of the state) a must-see for any mountain-loving traveler.
Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, New Mexico
This route was historically used as a trade passage for silver and other materials between Mexico and America for more than 300 years—with cultural impacts from both sides, this road is dotted with protected World Heritage Sites, Spanish-influenced architecture, and so much more.
Highway 375, Arizona
You might recognize this highway located between Crystal Springs and Warm Springs for a supernatural reason—it’s home to one of America’s greatest mysteries—Area 51. If you’re in the mood for a truly fascinating (and potentially otherworldly) road trip, a drive down 375 is your best bet.
North Cascades Highway, Washington
The first scenic highway in the United States, the North Cascades follow WA-20 into northern portions of the state, around striking lakes that are teeming with incredible wildlife that is difficult to find in most other parts of the country—like the bald eagle.
Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, Oregon/Northern California
Not to say that any of the previous highways and byways aren’t spectacular, but most of them won’t provide you with a view of a volcano—whereas this roadway literally travels from volcanic peak to volcanic peak. Stop and take in a geology tour to explain all about the historic geologic activity in this part of the country, and be sure to pass through Crater Lake—formed after the collapse of an active volcano.