Road trips help you disconnect from a daily routine and explore new places at your own pace. They allow you to discover hidden gems and create treasured memories. Plus, they can be budget-friendly and offer opportunities for bonding with friends and family.
There’s nothing quite like the breathtaking beauty of mountain scenery. Road trips through the mountains offer stunning vistas, winding roads, and the chance to explore charming mountain towns. From the Rockies to the Smokies, there’s no shortage of epic mountain road-trip destinations.
Coastal road trips have stunning ocean views, sandy beaches, secret coves, and sleepy coastal towns. From California’s Pacific Coast Highway to the Overseas Highway in Florida, coastal trips are perfect for those who love exploring seaside destinations and soaking up the sun.
1. Oregon Coast Highway, Oregon
Driving the Oregon Coast Highway is an experience that should not be missed for any road-trip enthusiast. The Pacific Ocean’s stunning views, rocky cliffs, and charming coastal towns make this one of the most scenic drives in the world.
The highway stretches for 363 miles, from the northern border of Washington to the southern border of California. Along the way, you’ll encounter lighthouses, state parks, and countless opportunities for hiking, whale watching, and beachcombing.
The drive is especially inspiring during sunset when the colors of the sky and the ocean blend together in a breathtaking display of natural beauty.
2. Lake Tahoe Scenic Drive, California And Nevada
Nestled in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe is one of the most picturesque destinations in the U.S. The Lake Tahoe Scenic Drive offers an unmatched journey around the crystal-clear lake, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and pine forests.
The 72-mile drive takes you through charming small towns, historic sites, and scenic viewpoints, offering spectacular lake views from different angles. You can stop for a picnic, hike, or merely enjoy the serene beauty of the surroundings. The drive is incredible in the fall, when the leaves turn golden and orange, creating an uncommon atmosphere in contrast to evergreens.
3. Overseas Highway, Florida
Stretching 113 miles along the Florida Keys from Miami to Key West, the Overseas Highway is a scenic drive where you’re on a series of bridges connecting a chain of islands.
The drive takes you over 42 bridges, providing astonishing scenes of turquoise waters from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. During the drive, you’ll encounter rustic fishing villages, coral reefs, and historic landmarks like the Seven Mile Bridge.
The trip is incredibly photogenic during sunrise and sunset when the sky and the ocean merge in pink, orange, and purple hues.
4. Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi And Tennessee
Natchez Trace Parkway is a road trip stretching 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. The parkway follows the historic Old Natchez Trace, a path used by Native Americans, European settlers, and traders between the Mississippi River and the Tennessee River valleys.
You’ll encounter remarkable natural beauty along the road, including rolling hills, forests, and rivers. You can also explore historic sites, like the Meriwether Lewis Monument, the Mount Locust Inn and Plantation, and the Mississippi Craft Center.
The Natchez Trace Parkway offers a unique way to experience the South’s complex history and natural beauty.
5. Mohawk Trail, Massachusetts
The Mohawk Trail in Massachusetts is a scenic drive that offers a glimpse into the region’s cultural and natural history. The 63-mile route takes you through iconic small towns, stunning forests, and panoramic mountain vistas.
On the drive, you can visit historic sites like the Native American Heritage Trail, the French King Bridge, and the Mohawk Trail State Forest.
You can also stop at restaurants, farm stands, and art galleries, showcasing the local culture and cuisine. The Mohawk Trail is an ideal road trip for those seeking a peaceful retreat in the heart of New England’s natural beauty.
6. Pintler Scenic Byway, Montana
The Pintler Scenic Byway is an underrated road trip that offers an immersive experience to visitors. It is a 63-mile route that stretches through the heart of the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness and the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forests. The road takes you through mountain peaks, crystal-clear streams, and pristine forests. It is an ideal place to commune with nature.
The byway provides recreational opportunities — camping, hiking, fishing, and mountain biking. Whether you want a peaceful retreat or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, the Pintler Scenic Byway can fulfill your dream.
Coastal and mountain road trips offer some of the most scenic journeys you can experience in the U.S. These trips provide a chance to immerse yourself in nature, explore communities, and create unforgettable memories.
With coastal road trips, you connect with the ocean, sandy beaches, and coastal waterways. Mountain road trips consist of winding roads, expansive vistas, and mountain towns to help us slow down, breathe deep, and watch the world go by.
Whether mountain or coast, desert or plains, every road trip has matchless encounters that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and inspired. There’s nothing quite like the beauty and serenity of our coasts and mountains in the U.S., so pack up, head to the road, and take in the sights.To learn more about America’s scenic road trips, visit America’s Scenic Byways.