Road trips are quintessentially American. For generations, they have been a classic American pastime. According to a survey done for AAA, one in four Americans undertake a road trip every year. Now is the perfect time for one, as gas prices are falling and continue to remain low; these days, a road trip is one of the most economical ways of getting around. A road trip allows you to take in the natural vistas and explore the sights and sounds of the region at your own pace, including things you would otherwise miss when you travel by air between destinations.
So what are some of the best road trips that you can take in the US? Outdoor-Traveler has some listed on its website, but here are the author’s picks. Some of these road trips are well known and iconic, while others fly under the radar but are definitely worth the journey.
Pacific Coast Highway
This is the big daddy of all road trips. Highway 1 stretches along the Pacific coast from California to Oregon and Washington in the north. A drive anywhere along this route will give you jaw dropping vistas of the Pacific on one side and mountains with forests of pine trees on the other. It has been designated as the All American Highway and is an experience you will never forget. The entire trip from south to north would take a few days, and there are plenty of options along the route for overnight stops. If however you can only devote one day to the trip, then the stretch between Monterey to Big Sur via Carmel is highly recommended.
The romance of travelling on this historic road is legendary. The original Route 66, nicknamed the ‘Main Street of America,’ connected Chicago to Los Angeles, and for 2000 miles, it winded its way through the heartland of America. Though the highway was decommissioned in the 1980s, parts of it have been preserved as ‘Historic Route 66’ and are clearly marked for travelers. Along the way, experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of the Midwest, Great Plains, and Southwest. As the song says, ‘Get your kicks on Route 66.’
Boston to Rockport
The Massachusetts coast line is dotted with historic fishing towns. You can start by taking in the famous sights in Boston, including Fenway Park and Fanueil Hall Market. Drive north on MA-1A towards Salem, infamous for the Salem witch trials, which today is a quaint and charming town steeped in history.
Kohala coast to Hawaii volcanoes
Start on the Kohala coast, home to some of the islands best resorts. Take a dip at the Kua Bay, one of the most pristine beaches in the world. Head south on Highway 19 and you will be driving alternately along the coastline and through dense tropical rain forests. Your drive culminates at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which made headlines over the past few years for several eruptions. You can take some time out to explore the lava caves here.
With so many options to choose from, it may be tough to plan the best road trip in America. Which is good in a way, as it allows you to experience a few before you have to make that call.