Driving on the open road, with the top down and the wind blowing in your hair, it’s a scene right out of a movie where the lead cruises down the Pacific Coast Highway, or Route 66 in the Arizona dessert. Roadtrips are very much an American pastime, and the adventure and call of faraway places is too hard to resist. We’ve compiled the 10 best American roadtrips that will take you from one spectacular vista to another, so buckle up.
1. The Pacific Coast Highway in California
The PCH, as it is popularly known, stretches 94 miles from the rocky terrain of Monterey in the North, to the SoCal beach landscapes of San Simeon in the South.
2. Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina
If you’re into mountain hiking and wildlife, drive the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway which will take you through the South Appalachian Mountains and into the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Park.
3. Olympic Peninsula in Washington
Home to Mt. Olympus, this peninsula lies across from Seattle and winds you through salmon streams, waterfalls, lakes, and mountain and coastal views.
4. Brandywine Valley in Pennsylvania and Delaware
Nineteenth century mansions and quaint bed and breakfasts wind through the Brandywine Valley amidst rolling hills and green pastures. It’s rural living at its best.
5. Cape Cod in Massachusetts
Soak in the New England scenery of white sandy beaches dotted with lighthouses along coastal towns famous for their lobster rolls and clam chowder. The town of Hyannisport can be your jump-off point to two other popular destinations: Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard.
6. Columbia River Highway in Oregon
Get exhilarating views of waterfalls and rocky crevices on this 70-mile drive into the Columbia River Gorge.
7. Red Rock Country in Arizona
The sweeping red rock formations make this adventure seem like a trip to Mars. Start in Sedona and drive into abandoned old towns and into the dessert sunset.
8. Outer Banks in North Carolina
This 100-mile drive explores the Barrier Islands of the South overlooking large beachfronts and state parks.
9. Route 66 from Chicago to Arizona
10. Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana
A narrow and winding pass that takes you into the heart of Glacier National Park known for temperate forests and tundra landscapes.