Best Destinations for a Cross-Country Road Trip in the USA

Best Destinations for a Cross-Country Road Trip in the USA


A cross-country road trip in the USA is the quintessential American adventure. With diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and historic landmarks, the journey across the country offers endless possibilities for exploration and discovery. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first long-distance road trip, these destinations will make your journey unforgettable.

1. Route 66

No discussion of cross-country road trips is complete without mentioning Route 66. Known as the "Main Street of America," Route 66 stretches from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California. Along the way, you'll encounter classic diners, quirky roadside attractions, and historic landmarks. Key stops include the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, and the Santa Monica Pier.

2. Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), also known as California State Route 1, is a stunning coastal route that runs from Southern California to Northern California. This scenic drive offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, charming coastal towns, and iconic landmarks. Must-visit stops include Big Sur, the Hearst Castle, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

3. The Great River Road

The Great River Road follows the course of the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana. This route offers a unique glimpse into the heart of America, passing through ten states and numerous historic towns. Highlights include the St. Louis Gateway Arch, Mark Twain's hometown of Hannibal, and the vibrant city of New Orleans.

4. Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway, stretching from Virginia to North Carolina, is a favorite among nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. This scenic drive offers panoramic views of the Appalachian Mountains, lush forests, and beautiful fall foliage. Key stops include Shenandoah National Park, the Blue Ridge Music Center, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

5. The Loneliest Road

U.S. Route 50, known as "The Loneliest Road in America," runs from Ocean City, Maryland, to Sacramento, California. This route offers a mix of historic sites, small towns, and vast stretches of open road. Notable stops include the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin National Park, and the historic mining town of Ely, Nevada.

6. Southern Pacific Route

The Southern Pacific Route, also known as Interstate 10, spans from Jacksonville, Florida, to Santa Monica, California. This route takes you through the southern states, offering a diverse array of landscapes and cultures. Highlights include the French Quarter in New Orleans, the Alamo in San Antonio, and the stunning deserts of Arizona.

7. Northern Route

The Northern Route, primarily following Interstate 90, runs from Boston, Massachusetts, to Seattle, Washington. This cross-country journey offers a mix of urban and natural attractions, including the Great Lakes, Mount Rushmore, and Yellowstone National Park. The route also takes you through vibrant cities like Chicago and Minneapolis.

8. The Appalachian Trail

For those who prefer a combination of driving and hiking, the Appalachian Trail provides a unique cross-country experience. This trail runs from Georgia to Maine, offering scenic drives along the way. Key stops include the Smoky Mountains, Shenandoah National Park, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.


Embarking on a cross-country road trip in the USA is an adventure that promises unforgettable experiences and memories. Whether you choose to follow historic routes, explore scenic byways, or discover hidden gems along the way, these destinations offer a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and American history. Pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready for the journey of a lifetime.