From sea to shining sea and through amber waves of grain, America the Beautiful has lush scenery and colorful culture just waiting to be explored. And there has never been a better time to see, do, and drive to all the best sights and cities scattered around the continental United States. Read on for the planning tips, best destinations, best routes, and essential packing advice you’ll need to hit the open road this season.

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Planning a Road Trip

Ready to hop in the car and start making amazing memories? Here’s what you’ll need to plan the road trip of a lifetime, drawn from the experience of experts who have scoped out the best of the best. Start your engines!

  • Everything You Need to Plan a Road Trip: This comprehensive guide helps you tackle the planning process from where to go and how to get there to useful tools and budgeting tips.
  • The Best Road Trip Apps You Can Get for Free: These handy road trip planner apps will help you put together your own itinerary or download a pre-made one, and find last-minute stays, nearby eateries, gas stations, and more.
  • The 18 Best Road Trip Cars for 2020: Find the best ride for your needs, from a living room on wheels that will fit your kids and their friends to a sporty two-seater for a romantic road trip escape.
  • The 15 Best Cars to Rent for a Road Trip: Renting can be a smart choice for a road trip, with these vehicle picks for families, off-road adventures, major cargo, small budgets, planet-friendly getaways, and more.
  • 10 of the Best Travel Trailers for Road Trips: If you don’t have a motorhome and tents aren’t your thing, a travel trailer may be the perfect solution—here’s how to choose the right one for you.
  • 15 Road Trip Planning Tips You Need Before You Go: Winning strategies for filling your gas tank, finding lodging, taking bathroom breaks, and more, plus the documents you’ll need and car checks to have done before you step on the gas.

The Best Road Trip Destinations

Whether you have a week or a single day, there are oceans, mountains, national parks and historical monuments just waiting to be explored. These are some of the best road trip destinations in America:

  • The Big Sur Road Trip: A breathtaking drive along the California coastline. You’ll see beautiful beaches and state parks with majestic redwoods and hiking trails.
  • White Mountains Road Trip: All roads lead to scenic views and an endless outdoor playground in these breathtaking New Hampshire mountains.
  • Glacier National Park Road Trip: See 26 glaciers and a million acres of stunning mountains, valleys, waterfalls, meadows, and lakes.
  • Outer Banks Road Trip: Travel through North Carolina along the National Scenic Byway down to Ocracoke Village for beautiful beaches, wild horses, lighthouses, birding, hiking, and more.
  • Mount Rushmore Road Trip: South Dakota’s Black Hills region boasts more than famous faces carved into a cliff: See Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, and other national monuments and feats of nature.
  • Best Places to Spot Fall Foliage in America: From Stowe, Vermont, to Yellowstone National Park, the United States is packed with places to soak in the majesty of the season.
  • The Best Places to See New England Fall Foliage: See the region’s glorious shades of gold, crimson, and burnt orange, from the mountains and forests of Maine and New Hampshire to the coastlines of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

The Best Road Trip Routes

Road trips are a great way to see and experience the country, especially when the journey is as enjoyable as the destination. You’ll drive through sleepy towns and bustling cities, along rushing rivers, scenic cliffsides, lush forests, and desert-scapes. Our guides reveal the best places to eat and stay, and the roadside attractions not to miss. Get ready to see our big, beautiful country in a whole new way.

  • Route 66 Road Trip: Get your kicks on America’s original road trip—this 2,448-mile journey from Chicago to Santa Monica is a trip down the memory lane of our nation.
  • Appalachian Trail Road Trip: Cruise the Eastern seaboard along the 2,100 miles from Georgia to Maine, along parks, waterfalls, theme parks, and stunning fall foliage.
  • Atlantic Coast Road Trip: The 1,900 miles of I-95 along the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Florida takes you through quaint coastal towns, beautiful beaches, historic attractions, and some of America’s most iconic cities.
  • Driving Down the Great River Road: Follow along the mighty Mississippi to behold points of cultural and historical interest, viewing areas, and other highlights, not to mention sensational regional cuisine.
  • Border-to-Border Road Trip: On this trip from the Great White North to the Wild West, you’ll go across borders, through college towns and big cities, up mountains and down into the valleys, past dormant volcanoes, art installations, lakeshores, majestic national parks, and historic sites.

Packing for a Road Trip

These guides cover all the road trip essentials for cross-country travel—what you need to pack in your car, what goes in your suitcase, the best entertainment options, and key advice for traveling with kids and pets.

  • Your Road Trip Essentials Checklist: Pack these road trip necessities to stay safe, comfortable, entertained, and ready for just about anything on your next open road adventure.
  • Packing with Pets: After taking her three dogs on dozens of road trips, this writer knows the gear, apps, and safety tips you and your furry friends shouldn’t travel without.
  • The 25 Best Road Trip Snacks: The best protein-packed bites, veggie-powered goodness, crunchy chips, and refreshing drinks to fuel your journey.
  • The 20 Best Road Trip Games to Play: You’ll laugh, you’ll learn some new things, you’ll bond as a family, and no one will ever ask, “Are we there yet?”
  • The Best Audiobooks for Your Next Family Road Trip: These captivating audiobooks will make the miles fly by and keep your kids entertained for hours.
  • I Make My Living by Road-Tripping America—Here’s What I Never Travel Without: Take it from someone who has road-tripped 34 states, Western Canada, and over 54,000 miles—this is the gear you truly need.