25 Best Road Trip Destination in the USA

The year 2020 changed every facet of normal life including travel. Fewer people are traveling around the country because of the harsh reality of COVID-19. Also, people don’t want to deal with the hassle of shut-downs, quarantining, and limited access to places of interest. Even with all these challenges, a few brave souls continue to get out on the road to see America’s natural beauty. Here is a list of the best road trip destination in the USA

New York City

Anybody who lives within the United States should seriously consider taking a road trip to New York City. NYC has more visitors than any other place within America. Nearly 65 million people come to this famous destination for business, entertainment, and just to see the sites.

There are many famous landmarks in New York that are iconic international symbols. The former Twin Towers, the Statue of Liberty, and even Central Park are known all throughout by billions of people. Hey, if you decide to take a road trip from California to New York City it will take you about 43 hours to complete your journey.

Orlando, Florida

Some travel industry organizations argue that Orlando, Florida is the nation’s number 1 trip destination. However, the amount of tourists who visit this city isn’t always calculated the same. By some estimates, nearly 75 million people make a trip to this metropolitan area. However, those numbers might be seriously inflated. The total amount of visitors might be closer to 60 million.

Regardless, Orlando is a city that should be designated as the second most popular tourist spot within the U.S. Why would you want to take a road trip here? Well, Orlando has plenty of interesting things for people to do. Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, the Holy Land and Universal Studios attracts many visitors every year.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago might not seem like a popular place for a road trip, but the city has almost as many visitors as NYC and Orlando. Nearly 60 million people visit the Windy City annually. You can take a road trip to this place and visit attractions such as the Navy Pier, Millennium Park, and Willis Tower.

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is a great place to visit for people who want to explore the south. This major city has nearly 53 million visitors within a given year. Atlanta has a vibrant music community and it also has many attractions to keep visitors during their stay.

Los Angeles, California

L.A. has a little over 50 million people visit its metropolitan every year. These city offers tourists everything from Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and lots of beaches. This is a fun road trip destination that millions of people make each year.

Dallas, Texas

The city of Dallas is popular all over the United States. Thanks to America’s favorite football team “Dallas Cowboys” and TV shows such as “Dallas”; this city has become an iconic road trip destination for many people.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is a major American city with old world charm. The city attracts nearly 43 million people a year. Philadelphia offers visitors a good glimpse of how Americans lived during the Colonial years.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Most people probably would believe that Sin City would be higher up on the list of road trip destinations. However, Las Vegas only receives about 42 million visitors each year. Many people take road trips to this place and the movie the “Hangover” helped to make this American tradition very popular. Las Vegas offers many things for people to do. Gambling, hanging out on the strip, and seeing live entertainment shows all help to make Vegas an exciting place to visit.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle is the most popular city in the Northwestern part of the U.S. At least 40 million people visit this place each year. Seattle is a major connection city for travel to Alaska, Canada, and Hawaii. It is also known for the Seahawks football team and its seafaring culture. This city is considered a great place to experience.

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is a popular American city. Most people might not be aware of this place, but it attracts nearly 37 million people each year. The River Walk and the Alamo are two of the city’s most popular attractions. San Antonio is a great place for a person to take a road trip.

Road Trip Destinations: Famous U.S. National Parks to Visits

Any person that really wants to see the U.S. up close and personal, then you should take a road trip to one (or more) of the nation’s national parks. Here are the most popular national park destinations within the U.S.

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This particular park is considered the most popular within the United States. It is known for its scenic drives and offers 384 square miles of different landscapes. Visitors can also fish, hike, and explore the outdoor park environment. Great Smokey Mountains is located in North Carolina and Tennessee and nearly 12.5 million people travel to this park every year.

2. Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon National Park is an iconic place to visit. It is located in Arizona and receives close to 6 million tourists. This is one of the most photographed places in the world and the rocky/desert landscape is breathtaking and awe inspiring.

3. Rocky Mountain National Park (CO) 4.7 million visits

Colorado is home to the Rocky Mountain National Park. You can take a road trip here to see the landscape and to experience nature in its rawest form. Nearly 5 million people come to this place every year.

4. Zion National Park (UT) 4.5 million visits

Almost 4.5 million people travel to Utah to engage with Zion National Park. This place is another great scenic national park. While it is not that popular it provides lots to do for people who like the great outdoors and to explore nature.

5. Yosemite National Park

California’s Yosemite National Park has 4.4 visitors within a given year. The mountainous area offers everything from skiing and other great outdoor activities. This is a famous park that people love to explore and visit. It makes a great road trip for anyone who likes nature.

6. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is located across 3 states. Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana are home this park area. A little over 4 million people visit this place each year. It has a lot to do for nature lovers and many people take road trips here every year.

7. Acadia National Park (ME) 3.4 million visits

Arcadia is one of the lesser known national parks. Still it receives millions of people every year. You can take a road trip here and you shouldn’t be disappointed. This park is located in Maine.

8. Grand Teton National Park

Wyoming is a state that has a lot of natural beauty. Grand Teton National Park is a prime example of America’s landscape long before it was “civilized” with cities, roads, and other modern structures. Nearly 3.4 million people go to this place every year. Many of them drive there to see its sites.

9. Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is located in Washington state and it is a fairly popular park area. It attracts 3.2 million visitors and it is a great place to visit when you want to see the changing tree colors during the fall.

10. Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a chilly but fun place to explore. It’s located in Montana but it’s not always cold. This place receives 3 million visitors and you can have a lot of fun interacting within this environment.

Scenic Road Trip Areas within the U.S.

Here is a list of some scenic parts of the country that are worth visiting. Keep in mind there are no statistics about the number of people who travel through these destinations every year.

Blue Ridge Parkway

This is a connecting road between Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park and North Carolina’s Great Smokey Mountains park area. This road provides a commercial free zone for hundreds of miles and it makes a great road trip that will take you back to the past.

Brandywine Valley

Brandywine Valley is an area located between Pennsylvania and Delaware. It is a “magical” looking place during the fall. Drivers will be treated to some of the most breathtaking scenery that a fall landscape could offer.

Route 66

The famous Route 66 is considered one of the most iconic highways to travel for a road trip. While we don’t have actual statistics about the number of people who use this highway every year; it is estimated that millions travel across this road. This famous strip of U.S. highway connects L.A. to Chicago. It has plenty of great cities and tourist sites to see along the way.

Outer Banks

North Carolina is a coastal state. Drivers can view the Atlantic Ocean and sandy beaches while they drive along Highway 12. The Outer Banks is a great seaside road trip that should be taken during the summer months.

Red Rocky Country

The desert is a large area within the U.S. It is located in the Southwestern part of the nation. Red Rocky Country is a red desert located in Arizona. It has great scenery for people who enjoy the wide open desert country.

Cape Cod

Cape Cod is an area within Massachusetts that is very well known throughout the U.S. You can visit this place in the summer and fall months for the best experience. It is a great place that provides lots of scenery for a road trip.

U.S. Special Area Road Trips that are Worth Taking

You can take a road trip within a special area of the country. These areas are unique parts of the American landscape.  

Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are located in the southern most part of the U.S. it is a 120 mile stretch of highway that will take visitors over various parts of Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. This is another great road trip destination for people who love the open water, beaches, and marine environments.

Bluebonnet Trail

The Bluebonnet Trail is a hidden gem in America’s landscape. It is located in Texas between Houston and Austin. It is strongly recommended that you take a road trip through this area between March and May. This is the time when the famous Bluebonnet flowers will turn the landscape blue. This is something that most people don’t see every day.

Lake Shore Drive

This is another scenic road trip area that is well known for its inner-city views. Lake Shore Drive is located within Chicago and it stretches 26 miles through the city.

North Shore Drive

This is a road trip that is located next to Lake Superior in Minnesota. This is a great drive to take to see the natural beauty of Minnesota’s natural landscape.

Kancamagus Highway

Many Americans probably never heard of Kancamagus Highway, but it is a popular New Hampshire road that travels through the state’s countryside. The fall time is best time to experience this place. This is because the trees and wooded areas have vibrant natural colors, and the residents love to shoot off fireworks during this season.

Sun Road

Sun Road is a mystical looking place that is located in Montana. This road is a part of the Glacier National Park. During the wintertime it resembles another country or a fantasy world. It’s mountainous terrain and old landscapes looks like a place where dragons would fly through the air and orcs would invade the land. No, this is not a Lord of the Rings scene, but it does gives you that feel.

Unique American Towns and Locations for American Road Trips

Here is a list of some of the most unique towns and locations in America. These places do not look like your standard American city or landscape. They are unique places to make a road trip.

Deadwood, South Dakota is built like an old western town from the late 19th century.

Quad Cities located between Illinois and Iowa. These are two small towns with a unique look and feel. Rock Island and Moline in Illinois and Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa.

Oak Park is a suburb of Chicago. It’s unique design and style attracts international visitors every year.

Hamilton is a small town in Ohio that has unique structures and an early 20th century charm.

Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania is an original town that has a great name and original culture. It is an Amish operated town complete with horses and buggies.

Jim Thorpe is a small town with early Victorian charm. It looks like a city from the past. It is located in Pennsylvania.

Yardley, Pennsylvania is a town that looks like it never evolved from the Colonial era. This area also has places supposedly haunted by ghosts.

Gettysburgh, Pennsylvania is another great American city that resembles the early American era.

North Conway, New Hampshire is a resort town area that has not evolved too much from the 1950s in terms of its environment. This city resembles an American town from the mid-1900s.

Plymouth is located in Maine. It is a seafaring area that makes the perfect place for people who like to live on the water.

Pogosa Springs, Colorado is a unique place. The town is built in area where there are natural hot springs. During the winter months it’s unique landscape looks like cross between an old snow village and a strange fantasy land.

Reno, Nevada seems like it’s a miniature version of Las Vegas but its not. This famous city is known as the “The Biggest Little City in the World” because it looks like a big city but has a small town appeal.

These are some of the best road trip destinations in the U.S. There are plenty more, but we couldn’t possibly list every area of America in this article. Get out and experience the places that were presented here. Chances are you’re really going to like many  of the places that were mentioned here.

Author: Locations Unknown

Locations Unknown is a travel resource that covers destinations all around the world. Content is written by several freelance writers/travelers based on their own experiences and/or researching the web.

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