Top 5 US Road Trips For Your Travel Bucket List

Top 5 US Road Trips For Your Travel Bucket List

With thousands of miles of roads to explore, there is probably no better way to enjoy the attractions of the United States than by car. Travelers with adventurous spirits can’t miss the chance of having a truly American experience: hitting the open highway and embark themselves on an epic road trip. You only need an enthusiastic family or group of friends, tasty snacks, great tunes, an excellent map and lots of curiosity! If you’re working on your travel bucket list, we’ve compiled the most interesting and famous road trips you can do in the United States for you to get inspired.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs like a snake through the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia all the way down to the Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Along its almost 470 miles, the Blue Ridge Parkway takes travelers through stunning scenery and an enriching cultural trip. There are many hiking trails, waterfalls and beautiful panoramic views which can be easily accessed from the road. Those interested in the American culture can appreciate the interesting Cherokee traditions, learn about the country’s agricultural history and discover Appalachian music and crafts.

Route 66

Needless to say, the quintessential American road trip includes driving through what’s left of the historic Route 66. Between 1926 and 1985, the 2500 miles of Route 66 ran from Chicago to California, through Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Nowadays, markers bearing the “Historic Route 66” emblem line the current highways and roads where the 66 once passed.

Whether you decide to drive through the eight states or just a stretch of the road, there plenty of attractions to enjoy that contribute to making a road trip of a lifetime. There are interesting historic gas stations in Illinois, there’s the Galena station in Kansas and many historic spots in Oklahoma. Don’t forget to take a picture at the Historic U-Drop Inn in Texas!  Here’s a list of all the historic sites you can find along Route 66. They are organized by state to make it easier for you to plan such an interesting trip.

Driving through the Route 66 is an epic road trip that car and travel fans swear you need to do at least once in a lifetime. You can drive your own car or rent one at any of the many travel agencies available in the country. This option is probably the savviest if your vehicle is not comfortable or big enough for you and the rest of the passengers or if there’s any kind of air travel involved. If you’ll move forward with renting  vehicle, don’t forget to check the driving regulations you have to meet in each of the states you’ll be driving through and to explore all your options regarding car rental damage insurance. Remember that making a rush decision at the rental’s desk or not taking enough time to read the small letters in the contract can only mean disaster or headaches along the road!  

Colorado to Lake Tahoe: The Loneliest Road

Travelers seeking some of the most stunning scenic views in the United States should take this 1,066 mile road that stretches from Pueblo, in Colorado, o Lake Tahoe on the west. You’ll drive over the Rocky Mountains, past Crested Butte and Black Canon in Colorado. You’ll definitely fall in love with the pristine blue lakes, the mountain peaks covered in snow and the stunning scenery around you. Utah will receive you with its many national parks and you’ll have a great opportunity to be in close contact with nature.

As you enter the Highway 50 in Nevada you’ll understand why it’s considered the loneliest road in the United States: it passes through a vast desert area that is almost inhabited. Get ready to drive past different mountain ranges and old mining towns before entering the area of Sierra Nevada and the romantic landscape of Lake Tahoe and its snow-capped mountains.

The Oregon Trail

Driving through the Oregon Trail is an epic journey for history buffs. Its two thousand miles that run through six different states, starting in Independence (Missouri) and ending in Oregon City, take drivers back in time to the way of life of the Pioneers and the Native Americans that lived in the area.

Travelers interested in American history will appreciate having the chance to see the wagon wheel ruts where pioneers with wagons walked for weeks in their search of farmlands. It’s a very interesting road trip for children in school age as well as they can learn first hand the history of those Native Americans and pioneers and visit many of the locations that they’ve read about in their history school books. Don’t miss the chance to visit Fort Laramie or Register Cliff in Wyoming. Once in Oregon, let the paleontologist in you come out and visit the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. It’s one of the most complete fossil records in the world! Finish the road trip in Portland, where you can enjoy delicious treats at any of the caf├ęs there and visit museums and art galleries.

Great River Road

The Mississippi is one of the greatest rivers in the world and the greatest in America. If you’ve always wanted to explore it and its surrounding areas, take the Great River Road and travel beside it through ten states.

The Great River Road runs from north to south and is especially appealing to nature lovers as there are many wildlife resorts such as the Theodore Roosevelt Refuge. It’s an epic road trip that starts in Lake Itasca, Minnesota and ends in the Gulf of Mexico. You can either explore it fully in a more or less 3 week adventure or you can split it into different stretches.

Another feature that makes this road trip so attractive is that the different states have developed different interpretative centers that allow visitors to explore the impact of the river and the wildlife on the societies and industries that developed around it. In addition, the Great River Road is very rich in various attractions that suit the expectations of different travelers. Those with a soft heart for for literature will have a blast exploring the home of Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder or Anne Rice. Are you into music? Don’t miss the home of Elvis or BB King and visit the studios where Prince recorded and created many of his greatest hits. There are also many military history sites such as the Trail of Tears Monument, the National Civil Rights Museum and the Japanese American Internment Museum.

This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers.


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