The American road trip as many people have argued, needs to be done at least once in all of our lives.
Our country is huge and is full of amazing scenery, diverse cities, culture in spades, and unique landscapes “from sea to shining sea.” You could travel your whole life and never see it all. With a good road trip in America, you can at least scratch the surface.
Pack your bags, gather up some road trip games and snacks, buckle up, and hit the road!
Your Road Trip USA Planner: 7 Spots to Stop along the Ride
Grab some ideas on all the places you should stop, so you can get the ultimate look at America’s most dramatic and beautiful landscapes.
1. Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Start your road trip off with a bang when you visit the wild beauty of the Maine coast. Along with rocky, picturesque shores and the blue Atlantic, you’ll also encounter historic lighthouses that look straight out of a postcard.
2. Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is a must-see for a reason: you’ll be swept away by the majesty and sheer enormity of the falls. Take a boat tour that lets you get up-close-and-personal (you might even feel the spray from the thundering water), then get great photo ops when you climb around the cliffs surrounding the water.
3. Gettysburg National Battlefield
A great road trip wouldn’t be complete without a little taste of American history. Among the beautiful green hills of Pennsylvania lies Gettysburg, where the bloodiest battle of the Civil War was fought. Take a moment of quiet and revel in the serenity that now exists at the site, then visit the nearby museum to get the full story.
4. French Quarter, New Orleans
The French Quarter is steeped in a unique mixture of French, Spanish, Cajun, and Creole history. It’s the oldest part of New Orleans and has its own food scene, unique architecture, and deep roots in jazz music. Visit to taste the cultural flavor of this distinct part of America.
5. Monument Valley
Monument Valley stretches over Arizona and Utah and features distinctive red sand, gigantic sandstone rock formations, and starkly beautiful desert scenery. This area stands in grand contrast to other parts of the United States, and is a must-stop on your way to the West Coast.
6. Big Sur, California
From the rocky coasts of Maine, to the green hills of the east, to the bayous of the south and the deserts of the southwest, there’s still more diversity to see on your road trip of the nation.
Big Sur in California isn’t a bad note to end on, either. After winding through forests of towering trees, coastal mountains, and pretty valleys, the coast beckons with its beautiful seaside cliffs and beaches. In Big Sur, you can drive on Highway 1 and wind your way along the coast, taking in the ocean and wildlife as you go (including elephant seals and elk).
7. Sequoia National Park, California
If you can go a little further, drive north on Highway 1 and find yourself among the ancient giants of Sequoia National Park. These trees have been growing for thousands of years and have reached heights of over 250 feet tall.
Hike among these huge beasts, which are among the largest living things on earth. You can even drive through a sequoia in your car or camp out in a treehouse high within the sequoia canopy.
Discover the amazing natural landscapes of the U.S. and its cultural gems on your road trip. You’ll never forget such an incredible adventure.