Pack your car and grab your kids. When it comes to cross-country road trips, nothing beats these eleven cross-country road trips! A cross-country road trip is the perfect holiday option when flights are expensive or if you are looking for a more eco-conscious way to explore. USA road trips can help you see parts of the country you may not have considered visiting before and will give you a better understanding and appreciation of the beauty of landscapes within the United States. Check it out!
Pacific Coast Highway
Starting at the northwest tip of the United States at Washington’s Olympic National Park and remaining within sight of the ocean all the way south to sunny San Diego, this 1,650-mile, mostly two-lane road trip takes in everything from temperate rainforest to near-desert.
The legendary Pacific Coast Highway was first started in the 1930s and remains a marvel of human effort that hugs over 600 miles of California’s rugged and beautiful coastlines. It is one of the most astoundingly scenic roads in the world, meant to be traversed slowly while gasping at the mountains, towering trees, expansive beaches, and endless sky.
Historic Route 66
The romance of traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles along historic Route 66 continues to captivate people around the world. If you’re looking for great displays of neon signs, rusty middle-of-nowhere truck stops, or kitschy Americana, this is your trip! The romance of Route 66 continues to captivate people around the world. Running between Chicago and Los Angeles, “over two thousand miles all the way” in the words of the popular R&B anthem, this legendary old road passes through the heart of the United States on a diagonal trip that takes in some of the country’s most archetypal roadside scenes.
The Loneliest Road
Running coast-to-coast from San Francisco to Ocean City, Maryland, “The Loneliest Road in America” is a 3,200-mile odyssey from sea to shining sea. US-50 passes through a dozen different states, four state capitals, and the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Today, this famous Nevada road trip is your gateway to ghost towns, historic mining communities, stunning state parks, unsurpassed recreational opportunities, and a handful of authenticity-packed Sagebrush Saloons, to boot.
The Oregon Trail
Following in the footsteps of pilgrims and pioneers, US‑20 takes in a little of everything during its two-lane trek from Oregon’s rugged coast to the glorious sea and sand of Cape Cod. Along the way, you’ll see mountains, wildlife, raging waterfalls, stunning hiking trails, prehistoric fossils, historic sites, and eat some of the best food you’ve had in your life. The journey is almost 3,300 miles, plus side trips, following Highway 20 for the majority of the trip. Plan to dedicate at least two weeks to this adventure to make sure you can enjoy the incredible National Parks, museums, and attractions you’ll see along the way, but if you can spare the time, three weeks is ideal.
The Great Northern
Dubbed the Great Northern in memory of the pioneer railroad that parallels the western half of the route, US‑2 is truly the most stunning and unforgettable, not to mention longest, of all the great transcontinental road trips. “The Great Northern” in commemoration of the historic transcontinental railroad that helped pioneer the settlement of the West. Highway 2 is the Northernmost east-west route in the country, and driving it continuously will even take you into Canada!
The Appalachian Trail
This driving route of the Appalachian Trail parallels the epic hike. From the top of New England to the heart of Dixie, it takes you through continuous natural beauty—without the sweat, bugs, or blisters. Conquering the Appalachian Trail isn’t just achieved by lacing up and hiking the 2,100 miles from Georgia to Maine over the course of several months. Growing in popularity is an Appalachian Trail road trip, where travelers cruise the Eastern seaboard taking in the sights from the comfort of their own vehicle
The Great River Road
Tag along from its headwaters in Minnesota to where it meets the sea in Louisiana via the GRR. The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the course of the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. The scenic route passes through 10 states and hundreds of river towns. The Great River Road is arguably the longest and most important scenic byway in America.
Starting at the Statue of Liberty and ending with a drive across the Overseas Highway to free-wheeling Key West, these almost 2,000 miles of roadway run within earshot.
If your impressions of the East Coast come from driving along the I-95 corridor through nearly nonstop urban and industrial sprawl, following our Atlantic Coast route will open your eyes to a whole other world. Alternating between wildly differing beach resort areas and lengthy stretches of pristine coastal wilderness, the route runs along almost 2,000 miles of two-lane country roads, within earshot, if not sight, of the Atlantic Ocean almost the entire way.
Border to Border
Starting at Canada’s Jasper National Park, and winding down in the Sonora Desert, this route traverses some of the wildest and most rugged lands imaginable: mighty mountains, glaciated valleys, raging rivers, and two very different deserts. This border-to-border road trip takes road trippers from the Great White North to the Wild West, across borders, through college towns and big cities, up mountains and down into the valleys, past dormant volcanoes, art installations, lakeshores, and historic sites.
The Road to Nowhere
Once the only entirely paved route from Canada to “Old Mexico,” US‑83 cuts across America’s heartland and remains a must-do long-distance, odd nation without once grazing a conventional tourist destination. The route’s grim moniker is alternately unfair and then not severe enough. This road trip navigates some of the widest and most aesthetically challenged landscapes in the country—the yawn-inducing rolling grasslands of the northern Great Plains, the beefy expanses of western Nebraska and Kansas, and the mesmerizing heat of the Texas-Oklahoma Panhandle—before following the lower Rio Grande south to the Gulf of Mexico.
Following the old US-80 and its contemporary equivalents takes you through more varied cultural and physical landscapes than you’ll find along any other cross-country route. From deserts to bayou swamps and Tex-Mex to barbecue, this route offers a full-flavored taste of America. Starting from San Francisco (you could choose to start from Seattle if you have the time), highlights along the Pacific Coast Highway include the hippy town of Santa Cruz, Monterey Bay, and the most dramatic part of the trip, Big Sur. This 70-mile strip of rugged, isolated coastline is breathtaking, and there are numerous beaches and quaint beach towns to stop and enjoy the relaxed vibe. As you travel south, you will find larger beach resorts around LA, like Santa Barbra and Malibu, before reaching San Diego close to the Mexican border.