In 2023, Take A Road Trip Along Some Of Our Favorite Routes

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Leavenworth, Washington. Photo: Visit Leavenworth

With so many beautiful routes to drive, how can you possibly choose your next road trip?

The United States is full of gorgeous highways, back country roads, and mountain passes, it can be hard to narrow down the list or choose which ones to prioritize. Here is a list of some of our favorites, ranging from coast to coast. Whether you want a day trip or a longer adventure, these routes will delight you. You can always make a shorter journey longer by stopping for cute towns, roadside fruit stands, or local coffee shops. No one actually knows how to make a long trip shorter, though. If you figure that one out, please let us know!

Related: Best Road Trips To See Autumn Foliage

Highway 1 Tops A Lot Of Lists Because Of Its Iconic, Scenic Route. Photo: Instagram

Highway 1 tops a lot of lists because of its iconic, scenic route. Photo: bigsurcalifornia via Instagram


Big Sur, Highway 1: One of the most scenic drives of my life, the twist and turns are worth the unbeatable views. Where else will you encounter an arched bridge nestled between the mountains and dangling above the ocean? That said, this stretch of highway is prone to closures due to flooding and landslides. Be sure you check for these closures before hitting the road, and plan alternate routes.

Related: Exploring Southern California, and Doing Good, in the Refreshed Midsize 2018 Hyundai Sonata

Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo: Instagram

Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo: wired_for_adventure via Instagram

Virginia and North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway: This gorgeous road stretches across Virginia’s spectacular landscape through the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. This drive links Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and includes delightful towns, craft breweries, wineries and countless hiking opportunities along the way. A favorite stopping point here is Asheville, North Carolina which offers views of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi River. Asheville is also home of the Biltmore Estate; the highlight of this trip was driving the Hyundai Palisade through the meadows on the grounds of the famed estates.

Related: Five Road Trip Worthy National Parks in the Southeast U.S.

Leavenworth To Seattle. Photo: Instagram

Leavenworth to Seattle. Photo: audreywithtravelnowagency via Instagram


Leavenworth to Seattle: There are many little cities to explore and nature abounds along this dramatic drive. Leavenworth is known for its Bavarian style buildings and charming winter events.In the warmer months, Snoqualmie Falls is a must stop with its  2 acre park. You can walk around for different views of this 270-foot waterfall. There is an upper and lower observation deck offering different heights and advantage points. The trail to get to them is wide and easy to hike, even for families with smaller children.

Beartooth Highway. Photo: Instagram

Beartooth Highway. Photo: ridetofood via Instagram

Montana and Wyoming

Beartooth Highway: This breathtaking drive is not open year-round so make sure to plan ahead. The 68 mile route connects Red Lodge to Cooke City and Yellowstone’s northeast entrance. The ecosystem varies from thick pine forest to meadows of wildflowers to snow-capped mountain peaks to sleek lakes. Give yourself some time on this one, as you will likely want to stop for the views, hiking, and picnics. 

Cape Cod. Photo: Instagram

Cape Cod. Photo: fdmtravel via Instagram


Cape Cod, Old King’s Highway: Known as one of the most historic byways in the U.S. Enjoy architecture dating back to the 17th century. Be sure to catch a glimpse of Highland Light, the oldest and tallest lighthouse on the peninsula. Also not to miss, the 252-foot Pilgrim Monument commemorating the arrival of the pilgrims on the Mayflower. Be aware that if you overnight in Cape Cod you should be prepared to wake to the sound of fog horns from nearby ships.

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Michigan. Photo: Instagram

Michigan. Photo: michigannaturephotos via Instagram


Marquette: The drive to Marquette is magical! You will encounter waterfalls, mountains, museums, beaches and hikes depending on the time of year that you go. The best drive is from St Ignace, west to Escanaba, Iron Mountain, and continuing the upper peninsula to Marquette. As you head west to Marquette, you will encounter Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore which hugs the south shore of Lake Superior. Pictured Rocks is known for its multicolored dramatic cliffs and unique formations. In my opinion, autumn is the best time of year to go, the scarlets, yellows, oranges and burgundies against the scenic Pictured Rocks is truly something extraordinary.

Natchez Trace. Photo: Instagram

Natchez Trace. Photo: foxnashville via Instagram

Mississippi and Tennessee

Natchez Trace Parkway: The parkway is a 444 mile drive from Natchez, Mississippi to Tennessee. With its amazing foliage, you need uninterrupted time to experience all of its natural beauty and historic sites; from historic landmarks of the Natchez tribe to original homes from the frontier days of old. We started our drive in Nashville in the Nissan Rogue, across the Double Arch bridge which is simple, yet impressive and completed our trip at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, a win-win!

Savannah, Georgia. Photo: Instagram

Savannah, Georgia. Photo: visitsavannah via Instagram

Georgia and South Carolina

Savannah, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina: These neighbors are just over 100 miles apart, and these are two of the most visited cities in the south! Both are full of history, shopping, dining and great for taking in a breath of fresh coastal air. The Toyota Camry fit right in with the southern charm of these tw0 cities. We spent a good deal of time in Savannah strolling along the river walk, enjoying pralines and stopping to take pictures at the Forsyth Park Fountain. The journey between them makes a great one-day road trip!


Miami to Key West: This is the ideal Florida road trip. Your drive will entail beautiful blue waters, beaches, everglades and highways over the seas! The distance is 166 miles, but with stops along the way this 4 hour trip could easily become 7-8 hours. The Coral Castle Museum is a must-stop that has been compared to the likes of Stonehenge with its large chunks of limestone; it is a one-of-a-kind sculpture garden. If time permits, be sure to pack your snorkel gear. Best time to go? Winter!

Colorado, Utah, And Arizona. Photo: Instagram

Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. Photo: hugovasquezb via Instagram

Colorado, Utah, and Arizona

Denver, Colorado to the Grand Canyon: This 12 hour drive could easily take a few days if driving through National Forest, National Arches Park, historic towns, monuments and scenic overlooks is your forte. Taking advice from fellow journalist Scott Brady, we decided to off-road in the Toyota 4-Runner after visiting the Grand Canyon. The route took us to the small mining town of Jerome, south of Mingus Mountain. The best time to go would be late spring or summer, though early fall will provide a respite from high temperatures and crowds. But it’s best to plan ahead no matter when you go, as some roads and passes could be closed due to inclement weather. 

Wherever you plan on road tripping, be safe and plan ahead. We hope some of these drives become your favorites, too.

I teach 6th grade social studies, travel the world in the summer, write auto/moto news between grading papers and... More about Tabatha Chovanetz