With so much to see across the U.S. there are endless possibilities for road trips. These five routes are especially memorable because they pass through beautiful parks, historic sites, and attraction filled cities.
1. Border-To-Border Highway: US 93
US-93 spans north-south from Arizona to the Canadian border. You can get on the highway near Wickenburg heading northbound, pass through a forest of Joshua trees, and stop for a night of slots in Las Vegas.
Continuing north, the highway leads up through eastern Nevada. You can also branch off the highway to drive Extraterrestrial Highway (NV-375) and see Great Basin National Park.
The 98-mile E.T. Highway is reportedly near the top secret Area 51 government base, and many have said they’ve seen UFOs while driving this road. Along the highway, the small town of Rachel is popular with tourists and has alien-themed businesses including an inn, restaurant and bar.
If you continue on US-93 the highway leads north into Idaho. It passes through Twin Falls, the gateway to Snake River Canyon. Here you can hike trails along the canyon rim, see Shoshone Falls, and drive over the Perrine Bridge for panoramic views.
Highway 93 enters Montana on Lost Trail Pass through Bitterroot National Forest. It spans north toward Hamilton and Missoula with views of mountains, wetland, and Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. You can also make a detour east to see the geysers and waterfalls of Yellowstone National Park.
The highway runs north past Kalispell and Whitefish before traveling through the Flathead National Forest and Stillwater State Forest. Alternatively you can head eastbound on Highways 40 & 2 to see Glacier National Park. The US-93 route ends at the Canada–US border, near Eureka, Montana.
2. The Southern Coast-To-Coast Road Trip: Interstate 10
Interstate 10 is the southernmost cross-country highway, and best experienced in the winter and spring. The route spans from Los Angeles, California to Jacksonville, Florida, starting by the Pacific Ocean and Route 1 (aka the Pacific Coast Highway) in Santa Monica.
Eastbound, I-10 passes through cities including Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Tucson. In California the highway takes you through the Coachella Valley, near the Salton Sea and along Joshua Tree National Park.
In Arizona, the interstate passes through Quartzsite, the Boondocking Capital Of The World. The desert town is a popular spot for snowbirds and mineral shows.
Almost a third of the route is in Texas alone: the highway passes through El Paso, San Antonio, and Houston, with Big Bend National Park an easy side trip.
After Texas the highway runs through Baton Rouge and New Orleans in Louisiana. It continues east through Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle before concluding in Jacksonville.
3. Great Northern Route: Seattle to Boston on Interstate 90
I-90 runs from Seattle to Boston and is the longest Interstate Highway in the country. Some stretches of the 3,020 mile road are tolled and others lead over mountain passes.
Out west, the highway begins near CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field in Seattle. I-90 continues east, crossing Lake Washington on a floating bridge, passing Snoqualmie (home of Snoqualmie Falls), and Snoqualmie Pass through the Cascade Mountains. The interstate runs through Spokane, Idaho, and Montana, crossing the Continental Divide over Homestake Pass near Butte.
You can branch off to see Yellowstone National Park or continue through Wyoming and South Dakota. Near Rapid City, stop and get photos of the famous Mount Rushmore. About an hour east you can also see other-worldly rock formations at Badlands National Park.
The highway continues east through Sioux Falls, southern Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Curving southeast, I-90 leads into Illinois and Chicago, the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat.
If you love pizza try Happy Camper in Old Town. This local favorite serves food and drinks with seating options in tire swings and Airstreams.
In Indiana I-90 passes through Elkhart, home of several RV manufacturers and the RV/MH Hall of Fame. The highway continues into Ohio as the Ohio Turnpike and follows the shores of Lake Erie through Pennsylvania until reaching Buffalo, New York. The highway leads east through New York (as the New York State Thruway) and ends near the Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts.
4. The Great River Road
The Great River Road follows the Mississippi River for 3,000+ miles through 10 states. The scenic byway runs from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico in southern Louisiana, passing through waterfront towns on a network of federal, state, and local roads. Along the way you’ll find white signs featuring a green pilot’s wheel that clearly mark the designed route.
In northern Minnesota, the route begins near Itasca State Park. It curves south through Minneapolis-St. Paul and follows the river and state borders of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. Continuing south in Missouri, the route passes through St. Louis where you can see the iconic (and massive) 630-foot Gateway Arch.
As you make your way south, stop in Memphis, Tennessee to try authentic BBQ from any of the 100+ local barbecue joints.
The route follows south along the Mississippi-Arkansas border, then along the Mississippi-Louisiana border. Stop and experience Baton Rouge before the route heads south towards New Orleans and comes to an end at the Gulf of Mexico.
Over 70 interpretative centers are located along the way, including museums, historic sites, and parks. You can print this PDF to see the full route and stops in every state, or request a free full-color map from Experience Mississippi.
5. Interstate 80
Beginning in San Francisco, Interstate 80 stretches cross-country to Teaneck, New Jersey. The 2,900 mile route passes through cities including Sacramento, Reno, Salt Lake City, and Omaha.
Optionally, you can make short side trips to Chicago, Cleveland, and New York City. You can also branch off to see Lake Tahoe, the Great Salt Lake, and Niagara Falls.
The highway follows the historic Oregon Trail in Wyoming and Nebraska. From the Chicago area east to Youngstown, Ohio the interstate is tolled, so plan accordingly.