Top 6 Routes for Your Next Road Trip Across America

Tripoto
20th Sep 2018
Photo of Top 6 Routes for Your Next Road Trip Across America by Sudipto & Snigdha

One of the greatest ways to experience adventure is by hopping in the car and embarking on a cross-country road trip, especially a road trip across America. There is no better way to experience the scenic mountains, rolling foothills, salty beaches, and eclectic cities than by watching it all pass by through your car window, and hopping out whenever you get the chance.

Photo of United States by Sudipto & Snigdha

If taking a cross-country road trip through the United States is something you're interested in, you might be surprised to find that there are tons of routes to choose from. So depending on where you're starting your journey and what you're hoping to gain from your trip, choose from one of these six routes that will take you across the states and give you the trip of a lifetime, and check out what each route has to offer along the way. Once you choose the route for you, be sure to plan out an itinerary, ensure you have reliable transportation, and purchase car renters insurance if you are renting a vehicle rather than driving your own.

1. Route 66

Day 1

Most people have heard of the famous Route 66 - most likely within the lyrics of the famous Chuck Berry song. Berry sings, "Well if you ever plan to motor west, just take my way, it's the highway that's the best...get your kicks on Route 66." He might actually be right when he claims that it is the best highway of them all. It is ideal for road tripping, stretching just over 2,400 miles from Illinois to California. If you are wanting to drive the whole Route 66, plan to need at least two weeks in order to see all the historic sights along the way. With 14 full days, you'll be driving an average of about 165 miles a day, so this will leave plenty of time for seeing the main attractions along the way. So what will you see along the way if you choose to take Route 66? The major cities you'll be passing through are Chicago, St. Louis, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Los Angeles, but depending on your travel preferences some people choose to avoid these cities. Some of the most sought-after attractions are the Santa Monica Pier, Mural City, the Historic Rainbow Bridge, Route 66 Drive-In Theater, and the Route 66 Museum. These are just a few of the hundreds of attractions along the way, so be sure to create an itinerary before you hit the road.The longest road in the country is US Route 20, and it stretches from coast to coast. This route is often referred to as the "Big Daddy" due to its impressive span of nearly 3,400 miles. If you choose this route you'll be driving through twelve states, starting in Massachusetts and ending in Oregon. The recommended amount of time for completing the whole thing is between 2 to 3 weeks. There are some incredible sites along Route 20, especially if you are wanting to drive the whole thing. Nature lovers will get the chance to admire Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site and the beautiful Yellowstone National Park. Beer and wine drinkers should be sure to check out the famous Deschutes Brewery and Public House in Bend, Oregon as well as the Johnson Estate Winery in Westfield, New York. Other must-see spots are the Idaho Potato Museum, Field of Dreams Movie Site, Michael Jackson's house, and Cedar Point Amusement Park.

Photo of Chicago, IL, USA by Sudipto & Snigdha

2. Route 20

Day 3

The longest road in the country is US Route 20, and it stretches from coast to coast. This route is often referred to as the "Big Daddy" due to its impressive span of nearly 3,400 miles. If you choose this route you'll be driving through twelve states, starting in Massachusetts and ending in Oregon. The recommended amount of time for completing the whole thing is between 2 to 3 weeks. There are some incredible sites along Route 20, especially if you are wanting to drive the whole thing. Nature lovers will get the chance to admire Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site and the beautiful Yellowstone National Park. Beer and wine drinkers should be sure to check out the famous Deschutes Brewery and Public House in Bend, Oregon as well as the Johnson Estate Winery in Westfield, New York. Other must-see spots are the Idaho Potato Museum, Field of Dreams Movie Site, Michael Jackson's house, and Cedar Point Amusement Park.

3. Route 30

Very similar to Route 20, US Route 30 starts in Oregon and ends in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Two to three weeks is a realistic amount of time spent on this 3,000-mile road trip, especially if you are wanting to see a majority of historic spots along the way. Route 30 is most famous for including portions of the Lincoln Highway - the first road across America. This route not only includes some stunning scenic views along the way, but also numerous tourist spots, including Reno's National Automobile Museum, Abraham Lincoln's log cabin in Illinois, and the Giant Coffee Pot in Pennsylvania.

Photo of Atlantic City, NJ, USA by Sudipto & Snigdha

4. Blue Ridge Parkway

Day 6

Although Blue Ridge Parkway is not a considered a cross-country trip, it is the ideal road trip for nature lovers. This drive connects two national parks - the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Park - and it is a relatively easy drive. It is just under 500 miles, starting in Front Ridge Virginia and ending in Cherokee, North Carolina. Other than stunning mountain scenery, there are plenty of options to stop along the way when you drive Blue Ridge Parkway. Some tourist hotspots include Dickey Ridge Visitors Center, Luray Caverns, Crabtree Falls, Big Meadows Lodge, and Cave Mountain Lake Recreation Area. This drive can be easily done in just a few days, so if you're short on time this might be the one for you.

5. California State Route 1

Day 8

State Route 1 in Cali may not be across the country, but rather down the country. It stretches along the entirety of the Pacific Coast from northern San Diego to the heart of the ancient redwood forests. This route avoids Los Angeles, so you won't have to deal with the miserable city traffic when you embark on this drive. Even though State Route 1 is a fairly straightforward drive - easily accomplished in one week - you won't be disappointed with the sights along the way. Throughout your 745-mile journey, you'll pass through San Francisco, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, Long Beach, Malibu, Santa Monica, and finally end with the impressive redwoods in Leggett. So if you're interested in taking in some fresh ocean air throughout your road trip, this route is the one for you.

Photo of California, USA by Sudipto & Snigdha

6. Highway 61

Day 9

Last but not least, Highway 61 is another one that runs north-to-south rather than east-to-west. Connecting a small town in Minnesota to the electric city of New Orleans, Louisiana, Highway 61 is often referred to as the "Blues Highway" due to its many cultural stops having to do with blues and jazz music of the past. The route stretches 1,400 miles and can be completed in a week, but two weeks would allow for a more enriching experience, giving you the chance to truly take in all the sights along the way. Some must-see spots include B.B. Kings Blues Club in Nashville, the Rock n' Roll Museum in Memphis, Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel in Memphis, and the Highway 61 Blues Museum to top it all off. So for every music lover out there, the "Blues Highway" route won't disappoint.

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