American Road Trip

A road trip is one of those travel adventures everyone needs to experience. There’s something thrilling about planning out a path, making stops in small towns, and feeling the accomplishment of making it to your destination. Road trips are also often a fantastic bonding experience with your passengers as you take turns getting behind the wheel, finding songs to blast, and sharing road snacks. 

What can really elevate a road trip are the views throughout the journey. That’s why we’ve found the top five best road trips throughout America for any nature lovers. On these trips, we guarantee you’ll enjoy the drive just as much as the destination.

road trip through desert

The Cascade Loop

The Cascade Loop is commonly known as “Washington’s ultimate road trip.” This perfect loop starts 28 miles north of Seattle and totals 440-miles around Highway 2, Highway 97, and Highway 20 in Washington state. You can complete this trip in just two days, but 4-5 days allows you to enjoy the experience more thoroughly.

The majority of the loop passes through Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, showcasing a beautiful terrain of luscious green trees against a mountainous backdrop. Some of the other highlights include driving through the North Cascades, the Lake Chelan Valley, and the Columbia River. 

Spend a night in Leavenworth (a.k.a. the Cascade Foothills), where it feels like you’ve been transported to a European alpine town. And, making a stop at the Silvara Cellars Winery for a relaxing afternoon of wine tasting. 

Washington state road trip

The Loneliest Road

Route 50, running from Ocean City, Maryland to Sacramento, California, spans across 12 states and four state capitals. It’s been coined as “the loneliest road” in America for its miles of quiet landscape only broken up by the occasional small town. Don’t be fooled though, with the right road trip partner, this ride will leave you in awe of nature. The 2,860-mile drive takes you across the country and a variety of landscapes and weather conditions. As it’s such a long-distance, travelers often give themselves between two to three weeks to tackle this journey. 

This route essentially takes drivers directly across the middle of the United States. You’ll experience all the nature America has to offer from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains and the Utah desert. 

Make sure to camp at the Great Basin National Park in Nevada to spend an evening stargazing. 

Utah desert

Route 66

Route 66 is known by many travel enthusiasts as the “classic American road trip” or “The Mother Road.” It was the first paved national highway to connect the Midwest to California. Running from Lake Michigan to Los Angeles, this trip is just under 4,000 miles of road to cover. If you’re a lover of small towns filled with mom and pop shops, this road trip is made for you. 

The views from this trip are of flat, rolling land that seems to go on for miles and miles. The sunsets along the paved highway lead you into small towns with friendly people and home-cooked diner meals. 

In total, this trip will take you through eight states. Most travelers will want to give themselves between two to four weeks to complete the journey at a leisurely pace. 

Make a stop at the historic Ariston Cafe in Illinois for an authentic Route 66 experience. This cafe is one of the oldest establishments on Route 66, originally opened in 1929 by Greek immigrant Pete Adam. It remains true to its roots, serving hot coffee for weary travelers and delicious, filling meals. 

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Two Guns Ghost Town . Two Guns is an abandoned trading post on what is now Route 66. The trading post is situated at a crossing of the Canyon Diablo. A cave is located in the Canyon that is allegedly the site of a deadly conflict between the Navajo and Apache tribes. As one story goes, in 1878 a group of Apache warriors attacked a Navajo encampment and murdered almost everyone there. The Apache then hid in a cave with their horses. A couple Navajo scouts found them but knew they were outnumbered. So they built a fire at the mouth of the cave suffocating the Apaches inside. Today it's known as the Apache Death Cave. In the winter of 1879-80 Billy The Kid and his gang hid out in stone ruins along Canyon Diablo nearby. Two Guns was purchased by Earle and Louise Cundiff in 1922. In 1925 Harry”Two Gun”Miller, claiming to be of Apache heritage, leased some property from the Cundiff’s. He grew his hair long and wore braids and named himself Chief Crazy Thunder. He constructed the Mountain Lion Zoo and also shored up the Apache Death Cave installing electric lights and building fake ruins in the caves interior. Miller made the cave into a tourist attraction where he sold soft drinks and the remaining skulls of the dead Apaches. Miller named the area Two Guns after silent film western actor William S. Hart. In 1926 Miller shot and killed unarmed Earle Cundiff in a disagreement over the lease. He was acquitted and went back to managing the zoo but was later mauled by two mountain lions and bit by a venomous Gila monster and eventually left the state in 1930. Two Guns was leased and abandoned frequently until 1960, when it was purchased and reopened. It finally closed in 1971 after a fire consumed the entire area. At the site are the remains of the old bridge that crossed Canyon Diablo when it was part of the National Trail and Route 66. The ruins of the old zoo can still be seen, as well as several abandoned buildings.

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Great River Road

The Mississippi River is quite possibly on every road trip bucket list for American travelers. For an unforgettable trip, the Great River Road takes you through 10 states and 3,000 miles following the massive river. Starting in Minnesota, travelers can take approximately ten days slowly driving hilly terrain to finish in New Orleans. 

As a nature lover, we suggest you make a pit stop at one of the wildlife resorts on this route. For example, stop at the Theodore Roosevelt Refuge to view some of the protected animals like alligators, white-tailed deer, and wood ducks. 

Make sure to give yourself at least a day in New Orleans to experience the jazz, the culture, and the food (gumbo, beignets, po-boys). 

Mississippi River

The Overseas Highway

The Overseas Highway, follows Route 1, from the Miami to Key West. This road trip is much shorter than the other ones mentioned on this list, spanning only 113 miles. You can drive the entire route in a day (totaling about four hours one way).

This unique trip will give you unbelievable views throughout the drive. It feels like you’re driving on top of the water as you pass palm trees, green-blue water, and exotic animals (dolphins and crocodiles). Make this trip last longer by making stops for diving in Key Largo or kayaking in Bahia Honda State Park.

For a truly thrilling experience, spend a night in America’s only underwater hotel: the Jules’ Undersea Lodge. This hotel is only an option for the scuba diving enthusiast as guests have to dive 25 feet underwater to check-in. It’s an unbelievable experience where you can even have pizza delivered to your underwater room!

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See you soon 🌊 #corporatetocabanas

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Whichever route you choose, a road trip is all that you make out it to be. Map out a route, pack your car full of snacks, and bust out the playlist. It’s time to start checking some of these incredible road trips off your bucket list.

This post was sponsored by Maupintour, the oldest tour company in North America.