Got a working vehicle, a few buddies and some vacation days to spare? Then you’ll definitely want to put one of these seven road trips on your calendar. In addition to showcasing some of the country’s most stunning natural sites, they’ll give you plenty to do along the way.
Go out to sea without setting foot on a boat on the southernmost stretch of U.S. 1. The 113 miles of roads and 42 bridges—including the famous seven-mile bridge—take you through the Florida Keys, from Key Largo to Key West. In addition to an as-far-as-the-eye-can-see glimpse of the ocean, you’ll be treated to views of ocean life, coral reef parks and lighthouses. Not to mention, the Keys aren’t a bad spot to stop and take a vacation.
GOING TO THE SUN ROAD
There’s no better way to see Montana’s Glacier National Park than a 50-mile ride through the heart of it. The historic winding drive takes you around the park’s mountains and lakes, featuring eye-popping vistas along the way.
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY
Virginia to North Carolina
Starting in the Southern Appalachians, this 469-mile journey takes you through the Blue Ridge and Black Mountains, and ends in the Great Smokies. Along the way 70,000 acres of forests are home to an array of wildlife, and a smattering of other attractions, like wineries and historical sites aren’t far from the beaten path either.
PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY
Ready for one hell of a road trip? This iconic stretch allows you to explore nearly all of California’s coastline. The trip is book-ended by San Francisco and San Diego, with highlights, like Big Sur, Monterey and Santa Barbara in between. Our advice: Head north to south to guarantee you’re on the ocean side for your whole drive.
Get to know the state of Washington intimately with this 440-mile route. It’s peppered with wineries, restaurants and distilleries, as well as a fair amount of natural wonders. You’ll feast your eyes on the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains, pass through the Cascades and go by Lake Chelan, a 55-mile freshwater body of water, just to name a few breathtaking detours.
HISTORIC ROUTE 66
Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA
Road trips don’t get more epic than this. Sure, you’ll have to set aside several days to traverse the nearly 2,500-mile highway, but the pay-off is big. You’ve got eight states worth of sight-seeing. Start with a Chicago dog in the Second City, which should tide you over until you hit barbeque-filled St. Louis. You’ll get a taste of the Great Plains and scenic Southwest as you traverse Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona—plus the Grand Canyon is on the way. Your trip ends at the Pacific Ocean at the end of the Santa Monica Pier.
VERMONT ROUTE 100
This drive wraps around the Green Mountain National Forest, and cuts north-south across the entire state of Vermont. Sure, this path gives great foliage in the fall, but for avid skiers, winter is the time to go. Well-known ski resorts, like Killington, Okemo Mountain, Mad River Glen and Stowe Mountain line the route.