From Route 66 all the way to The Loneliest Road that starts in Maryland, the United States is filled with fantastic road trips that have long been alluring travellers out onto the open road. All you need is a car, some fantastic music and maybe a few tasty American snacks and you’re all set to have the road trip of your life.
However, the United States is a pretty large country. With so many different routes to take, it’s near impossible to decide on just one road trip to take. So, we’re starting with just the west coast. It’s, you know, the best coast (at least if you ask anybody from here).
From Florida all the way up to the Carolinas and even stretching to reach the beautiful backroads of New England, here are seven of the best west coast US road trips you can take that won’t force you to traverse the entirety of the United States.
East Coast US Road Trips
Nearly everybody takes a trip to Miami at least once in their lives. As one of the hottest tourist destinations in the United States, it’s pretty understandable. However, if you’re already there, you have to take time out to also visit the idyllic Florida Keys. Latin and Caribbean-inspired cuisine awaits you here, along with stunning seaside sunsets and lots of great beach bars. And, if you take US-1 South straight down to Key Largo, it’ll only take you a little over an hour to get there.
Located just 150 miles north of New York City, the famous Hudson Valley is a National Heritage Area that’s ideal for an east coast road trip. Farmland spills out into small, quaint towns where you can treat yourself to some local food or even tours through sites where the Revolutionary War took place. You’ll find lots of fresh farm cuisine to indulge in. And, you’ll also be able to sample some of the country’s finest wine.
Fancy diving into a trip that takes you up US-17 to see the south’s most iconic oak trees and plantation houses? Start your road trip off in Savannah where you can indulge in fine food and lots of local cultures. You’ll head out on US-17 and explore Southern backroads until you reach Charleston. This foodie town has it all, but if you want to truly treat yourself, you can extend your trip all the way up to Sullivan Island. After all that driving, you’re surely going to want to enjoy a romp at the beach.
As the country’s longest park, driving up or down the Blue Ridge Parkway will take you 469 miles through 29 different counties in both Virginia and North Carolina. It’s one of the best east coast road trips to take if you’re interested in exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains and the surrounding areas. Start your drive off early in the morning to experience the enchanting, thick fog that blankets the roads and then drive on straight through the day to witness idyllic roads and green valleys.
If you’re going to make an east coast US road trip during the fall, there’s really no better place to go than to the stunning Acadia National Park. This 47,000-acre Atlantic coast park lies primarily on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, which is known for its beautiful foliage and scenic overlooks. The drive up there is just as scenic, especially if you start in Kennebunk and take Route 1 all the way up to the national park.
Driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is both breathtaking and exhilarating. Choose from the Blue Ridge Parkway or Skyline Drive as you navigate your way through this 140-mile region that weaves in and out of the best sights to see in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. We suggest opting for Skyline Drive, which will take you through the Shenandoah National Park. If you’re into hiking, you’ll love the chance to hike all over the park’s 500 miles of trails.
The Outer Banks were recently ranked as one of the world’s top 50 places to see before they disappear. They’re at risk of disappearing forever, making this one of the best east coast US road trips you can take this year. And, as a foreign traveller, starting in Washington, DC couldn’t be more perfect. Tour the White House and all of the other historical sites before driving out to Williamsburg, Virginia. If you’re into it, stop off at Virginia Beach before reaching the iconic Outer Banks.