17 Road Trips with Incredible Natural Beauty in the U.S.

7 shares Ready for an adventure that unveils the breathtaking natural beauty of the United States? The perfect road trip can transform your worldview, taking…

California campervan in Yosemite national park

Ready for an adventure that unveils the breathtaking natural beauty of the United States? The perfect road trip can transform your worldview, taking you through majestic mountains, pristine coastlines, and stunning landscapes. Here are 17 road trips highlighting the best natural wonders across America, ideal for your next journey into the wild.

1. Blue Ridge Parkway

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If you’re traveling from North Carolina to Virginia or vice versa, the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway spans several mountains. You drive along the mountain ridge, which spins from one national park, Virginia’s Shenandoah, to another, the Great Smoky Mountains. 

If you love nature, this is a road trip worth trying. You can camp at night for a rest stop or check into lodges like Mount Pisgah Lodge or the Craggy Pinnacle. 

2. US Route 1

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U.S. Route 1 is the perfect road trip for beachgoers in Florida. The road stretches 545 miles and directly leads toward the ocean. You’ll enjoy scenic views of the sea and pass idyllic towns. You can also stop by dainty restaurants and unique destinations like the Biscayne National Park and St. Augustine Lighthouse Museum. 

3. Pacific Coast Highway

Traffic on Pacific Highway Coast at night in California MSN
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The Pacific Coast Highway stretches 655 miles from San Francisco to San Diego, California. Expect to drive for approximately 12 hours and enjoy iconic sites, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Carmel by the Sea, and the Bixby Creek Bridge. Ocean lovers can enjoy the breathtaking sites of the beaches along the way. 

4. Olympic Peninsula Loop

Sunset at Olympic National Park MSN
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The Olympic Peninsula Loop covers 329 miles in Washington and showcases several types of ecosystems. You can check out Olympic National Park, where you’ll enjoy rainforests, mountains, and waterfalls in one location. This makes this road trip enticing for amateur ecologists. 

5. The Oregon Trail

Wagons in camp along the Oregon Trail MSN
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The Oregon Trail stretches across several states, including Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. History buffs will love this 2,170-mile road trip because it follows the east-west wagon route immigrant trail. You can visit historic sites and hiking trains and examine displayed prehistoric fossils. 

6. Tioga Pass

Cows on the field in Sierra Nevada mountain range MSN
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Tioga Pass is a gem for budding geologists, especially the mountain pass that goes through the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It is 64 miles long and has a 9,945-foot elevation, making it the highest highway in California. From the pass, you can see picturesque views of Mount Dana and Gaylor Peak.

7. Bluebonnet Trail

A Dirt Road and a Field of Texas Bluebonnet Wildflowers During Daytime MSN
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The Bluebonnet Trail is a 40-mile Texas road trip with Ennis Garden Club’s mapped driving trail for beginners. Bluebonnets are the state’s national flower, and they cover the rolling hills every springtime. If you’re fond of wildflowers, this stunning trail is worth checking out. 

8. Going-to-the-Sun Road

Cruise at Glacier Bay National Park MSN
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The road trip stretches for 50 miles in Montana and fits perfectly for dedicated hikers. It is filled with towering mountains, gorgeous glaciers, and stunning valleys. The trail boasts classic sites like Montana’s Glacier National Park, the Continental Divide, and the Hidden Lake Overlook. 

9. Big Island Loop Road

Big Island road in Hawaii MSN
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The Big Island Loop Road in Hawaii stretches from Kailua-Kona to Mauna Kea and takes around 7 hours to complete. The 300-mile adventure lets you choose your own fun: hike across volcanic craters, cool off at black sand beaches, or spy a fiery peek into Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

10. Lake Superior Drive

Waves crashing along the coast of Lake Superior MSN
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If you love water, Lake Superior Drive is perfect for you. You will cross three states, including Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. For the entirety of the 1,300-mile trip, you’ll come across one of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior. Besides the serene waters, you will also see the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and the Split Rock Lighthouse. 

11. Grand Circle Route

A hiker sitting on the Grand Canyon MSN
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If you like national parks, the Grand Circle Route is a good choice. It runs for 1,000 miles, mostly in Utah and a little of Arizona. It features five great national parks: the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Arches National Parks. 

Visit each park and dedicate at least two days to exploring them fully. You won’t regret spending time on the desert landscapes and hiking trails

12. Avenue of the Giants

Redwood trees road in Northern California
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The Avenue of the Giants stretches 31 miles in Northern California and fits tree aficionados well. The state is home to imposing redwoods and the well-known Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Start early when exploring the forest since it tends to get crowded fast. 

13. Hocking Hills Scenic Byway

Waterfalls in Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio MSN
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If you want a relaxing road trip, the Hocking Hills Scenic Byway is for you. The Ohio-based trail is 26 miles long and filled with stunning natural visuals, especially during autumn, when the gorgeous foliage is formed. 

It’s not a long drive, so stop at Conkle’s Hollow Upper Rim Trail. You can also stay in the cave, which has been transformed into a cabin. 

14. Route 66

Route 66 in New Mexico, USA MSN
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Route 66 is one of the longest road trips, stretching 2,448 miles and passing through several states including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois. 

The road trip is iconic, as it’s one of the first highways built in the country.

15. Kancamagus Highway

Kancamagus Highway in fall MSN
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Exploring the 36-mile Kancamagus Highway, which runs from New Hampshire to New England, is the perfect autumn activity. On the road trip, you’ll see picturesque scenes dominated by yellow, gold, orange, and red foliage. To complete this experience, stop by the White Mountains and follow the Lincoln Woods Trail. 

16. Anchorage to Valdez, Alaska

Dalton Highway Alaska with Blue Skies White Clouds and a Truck on the Road MSN
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The Alaskan road trip stretches 300 miles from Anchorage to Valdez. The trail is great for those who want to get to know the state uniquely. You can visit several sites, including waterfalls and some historical locations. You can also view Alaska’s unique wildlife, such as the Musk Ox and Dali Sheep. 

17. Hana Highway Road Trip

Paved Road to Hana with Tall Trees MSN
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This road trip covers 52 miles of Maui’s eastern coast from Kahului to Hana, Hawaii. It will take you 2 and a half hours to traverse this popular Hawaiian highway fully. The road has many curves and bridges, along with the rainforests and cascading waterfalls you’ll fully enjoy. 

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