US Road Trips – Travel Blogger’s Highlights

You are looking for inspiring US Road Trips with itinerary, highlights and map? Here we go. In this article, travel bloggers from all over the world recommend the best US Road Trips with iconic world-famous sights, beautiful landscape and amazing things to do. Here you will find US Road Trip classics like Highway No. 1 in California or New York City to Niagara Falls, but also beautiful itineraries off the beaten track to inspire your next bucket list entries. Plan your great US Roadtrip in 2021!

Which road trips Travel Bloggers recommend in the US?

All US Road Trip recommendations at one glace

Here you find the US Road Trips with the best things to do at a glance 📷

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US Road Trips: Breathtaking nature in Northern California

  • US State: California
  • Start – End: San Francisco
  • Recommended Duration: ~ two weeks
  • Highlights: Golden Gate Bridge, Redwood State Park, Murphys, Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe


US Road Trip itinerary photo spots things to do must-see: The world famous rock formations in Yosemite National Park


A northern California road trip is a must for any road trip lover. This region is home to beautiful beaches, vineyards, large redwoods, iconic National Parks and wilderness areas as well as charming smaller towns that are awaiting your discovery.

A great place to start and end your trip is San Francisco. Aim to spend two weeks in this area to really see what’s on offer. From San Francisco head north along Highway 1 to Mendocino and Fort Bragg. If time allows continue up the coast until you reach Humboldt and visit the Redwood State Park.

If you’re more pressed for time then head eastward from Mendocino to the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. Once you’ve had your fix of fresh air head to Sonoma Valley for wine tasting and relaxation. On the way, the Lagunitas Brewery is well worth a stop for beer lovers.

The next stop on your road trip is the small underrated town of Murphys. What’s great about Murphy’s is the main street is a strip of shops acting as the cellar door for tastings.

After the last few days indulging in food and wine head into the iconic jaw-dropping Yosemite National Park. It’s best to camp in here, so plan to arrive early as a lot of the plots are first come first serve.

The final stop on your road trip is the outdoor lover’s playground of Lake Tahoe. Perfect for hiking, biking, climbing and watersports. You’ll finish up by driving back to San Francisco to fly out.

Recommended by Erin from, read more about her Northern California Road Trip

California Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip – 7 days

  • US State: California
  • Start – End: San Francisco / San José – San Diego
  • Recommended Duration: 7 days
  • Highlights: Big Sur Cliffs, Bixby Creek Bridge, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Creek Bridge, Ragged Point, Hollywood


US Road Trip itinerary photo spots things to do must-see: Watch the sunset at Santa Monica Pier / California


California’s Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most scenic in the United States, and if you love the coast, it’s one that can’t be missed! This six-part series recaps a 7-day southbound journey through the beautiful coastal towns of California including accommodations, dining and each day’s activities.

This particular road trip commenced in San Jose and ended in San Diego, California. However, many of you may want to start in San Francisco, just 50 miles north of San Jose given the vast number of sites and attractions in the Bay Area.

Over the course of this seven day road trip, you’ll make stops in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Big Sur, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Diego and Coronado. From the dramatic cliffs in Big Sur to the sandy beaches and mountain views, the natural beauty along this route is simply breathtaking.

Whether old or young, nature lover, foodie or beach lover, there’s something for everyone along this Pacific Coast highway road trip. Spend your time at one of the most popular aquariums in the United States, hiking, shopping, photographing famous Hollywood landmarks, lounging at the beach, sampling some of California’s greatest craft beers and wines, or dining on fresh local seafood.

It’s a trip that everyone should add to their bucket list!

Recommended by Kerry from, read more about her Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

California Highway No. 1 in 4 days

  • US State: California
  • Start – End: San Francisco – Los Angeles
  • Recommended Duration: 4 days
  • Highlights: Big Sur Cliffs, Bixby Creek Bridge, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Creek Bridge, Ragged Point, Hollywood


US Road Trip itinerary photo spots things to do must-see: The iconic Big Creek Bridge on Highway No. 1 in California


Highway No. 1 on the west coast of the USA is one of the best road-trips in the entire country. Even though my journey along this scenic highway is nearly 10 years ago and I have taken many other road-trips since then, I still remember the tour along Highway No. 1 as one of my favorites, particularly because of the spectacular scenery and the unparalleled road-trip feeling.

Highway No. 1 runs from North California until south of Los Angeles with a length of more than 600 miles, most of them right along the coast. The part between San Francisco and Los Angeles is the most popular one as it combines perfectly with any California travel itinerary.

From Monterey to San Luis Obispo

The showpiece of Highway No. 1 is the 135-mile stretch between Monterey and San Luis Obispo, located approximately half-way between San Francisco and Los Angeles. This part is brimmed with spectacular sceneries, exceptional views and plenty of natural attractions. Noteworthy landmarks and things-to-see are the 17-mile drive, Bixby Creek Bridge, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Creek Bridge or Ragged Point. This is just a selection of points of interest, there are many more where you can stop along your way. It also features a special road-trip vibe, as the highway often winds up and down the mountain allowing marvelous views of the upcoming hills with the ocean aside.

I would plan with at least 4 days for the entire trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles. For the particular stretch mentioned between Monterey and San Luis Obispo count in at least 2 full days. Additional days can easily be filled with some longer hikes, more stops along the road or simply by taking it a bit slower and admiring this amazing scenery.

Recommended by Christian from

Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park

  • US States: Nevada & Arizona
  • Start – End: Las Vegas – Grand Canyon National Park
  • Recommended Duration: 1 day
  • Highlights: Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, Willow Beach Marina, Historical Route 66


Take a look at the Hoover Dam reservoir


A road trip between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon is the best way to experience the Mojave Desert. Leaving the Las Vegas Strip, take I-215 eastbound towards Henderson, where you will hop onto I-11 southbound. Stopping at Hoover Dam will be the most scenic photo stop, with views of the Colorado River squeezing between mountains to the south, and Lake Mead to the north. If driving northbound (towards Las Vegas), you will also encounter a few photo stops between the dam and Las Vegas.

Once you enter Arizona, the road becomes State Highway 93. The next 75 miles will take you past the rolling hills and mountains of the Mojave Desert. If time permits, exit at Willow Beach Road and head to the Willow Beach Marina. It is a nice photo and/or rest stop by the river. Willow Beach also offers camping and boat rentals.

Back on State Highway 93, once you reach Kingman, take I-40 eastbound for another 115 miles until you reach Williams. Alternatively, exit I-40 at Route 66 for a drive on the historical route, although it takes longer. Once in Williams, take State Highway 64 northbound for another 55 miles to Grand Canyon National Park.

Time frame: driving nonstop without traffic takes about 4.5 hours. Although it can be done as a day trip from Las Vegas, road trip buffs should allocate 8 hours to this trip, and spend the night either at the Grand Canyon or in Williams.

Recommended by Teodor

US Road Trips: Phoenix to Williams, Arizona

  • US State: Arizona
  • Start – End: Phoenix – Williams
  • Recommended Duration: 1 day
  • Highlights: Sonoran Desert, Agua Fria Canyon, Sunset Point, Williams


Always on the lookout for the famous cacti in the Sonora Desert / Arizona


Starting off in Phoenix, this is a great road trip to experience the countryside of Arizona and see the saguaro cactus that define the Sonoran Desert. Take I-17 northbound from Phoenix, and once you arrive in Flagstaff, take I-40 westbound towards Los Angeles (part of the historical Route 66).

About 25 miles out of Phoenix, the Pioneer Living History Museum offers 90 acres of authentic buildings and exhibits of an old town from the 1800s. Another 27 miles north lies the Agua Fria Canyon National Monument, featuring wildlife such as antelope and coyotes next to the Agua Fria river. And in the same area, one can make a photo stop at the beautiful Sunset Point, to admire the mountains that dominate I-17, also known as the Arizona Veterans Highway.

Arriving in Williams, travelers can experience high action rodeos, and those who enjoy the history of Route 66 can see historic buildings and shops with remembrances of the history. From Williams, the Grand Canyon is just 55 miles north along Arizona State Highway 64. Alternatively, one can take the Grand Canyon Railway to the South Rim.

Time frame: driving nonstop without traffic takes about 3.5 hours. It is best to allow at least 5 hours to include photo stops. And if you plan on visiting the Pioneer Living History Museum, allow at least 2 hours for the museum.

Recommended by Teodor

Black Hills and Badlands Road Trip

  • US State: South Dakota
  • Start – End: Rapid City
  • Recommended Duration: 5 days
  • Highlights: Badlands National Park, Spearfish Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park


US Road Trip itinerary photo spots things to do must-see: Untouched nature in Custer State Park / South Dakota


There are so many fun things to see and explore in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota, including the internationally famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial. If you’re a lover of hiking and natural views, you won’t be disappointed.

All the best spots are located within a one-hour radius from Rapid City, so you can start the trip from any point on the itinerary, or depending on the direction you’re arriving from. I recommend starting at Badlands National Park if you’ll be arriving from the east, and Spearfish Canyon if you’ll be arriving from the west.

The Badlands is an otherworldly sight of ravines, canyons, and spires that you won’t want to miss. On the other hand, Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway features skyscraping limestone beside beautiful forestry and waterfalls. Both are wonderful sights to behold.

Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park & Downtown Rapid City

From there, you’ll also stop to see the granite faces of four American presidents that were carved as a symbol for freedom in Mount Rushmore. Then, less than an hour drive south is the next stop, Custer State Park, where you can drive among buffalo and hike through the awe-inspiring Cathedral Spires. Make your last stop at either the Badlands National Park or Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, depending on which one you have left. Finally, take a rest day while exploring the historic shopping and dining district of Downtown Rapid City.

I recommend taking five days to do this road trip, as you can easily spend a day at each destination just hiking the numerous trails. However, it may be possible to complete in three days if you prefer to sightsee from the scenic drives instead.

Recommended by Christina from Here you’ll find full details and a printable version of this itinerary of Mount Rushmore vacation.

US Road Trips: New York City to Niagara Falls

  • US State: New York
  • Start – End: New York City – Niagara Falls
  • Recommended Duration: 4 days
  • Highlights: New York City, Ithaca Falls, Niagara Falls


US Road Trip itinerary photo spots things to do must-see: The famous Niagara Falls on the Canadian border can be reached with a road trip from New York City


I love this road trip because of how vastly the scenery changes over such a short period of time! You get city, mountains, college towns and waterfalls! It feels like it could easily be several different countries altogether, but it’s totally not!

Day 1: 
– Leave NYC – drive to Monticello
– Visit the Bethel Woods Museum for a sixties Woodstock themed throwback
– Take a trip to the Catskills distillery and try some of the locally brewed whiskey
– Enjoy the views from around the Catskill mountains!
– Spend the night in or near Monticello

Day 2:
– Get an early start – catch the stunning sunrise over the mountains
– Stop off for a great breakfast at Circle E in Hancock, on the River Delaware
– Drive to Ithaca
– Have waffles in the town center and explore thrift shops that the college town has to offer
– See the stunning Ithaca Falls – take a picnic!
– Spend the night in Ithaca

Day 3:
– Drive to Geneseo
– Spend some time at the tiny but brilliant Minnehans Amusement Center
– Visit the National Warplane Museum
– Watch the sunset on Conesus Lake

Day 4:
– Drive to Buffalo early!
– Take a boat tour of Niagara Falls
– Walk across the Rainbow Bridge and stand on the US/Canada border!
– Experience the vibrancy of Niagara, Ontario!
– Eat at a restaurant in Canada – just to say you were there for a few hours!

If you want to cross the border into Canada from the Niagara Falls, Michelle got some useful tips for you in her article about Canada border crossing.

Recommended by Layla from

New York City to Bethlehem / Pennsylvania Road Trip

  • US States: New York, Pennsylvania
  • Start – End: New York City / Philadelphia – Bethlehem / PA
  • Recommended Duration: 1 day
  • Highlights: New York City, Steele Stack


The gigantic Steel Stacks in Bethlehem have already been the backdrop for many movies


Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is only 1.5 hours drive away from NYC. Yet, it is not a common place to visit. With such a short journey, this town in Lehigh Valley can be easily visited as a day trip from New York or Philadelphia. Alternatively, there is plenty to do for a weekend break.

One interesting attraction in Bethlehem is the Steele Stacks. Bethlehem steel was famous all over the world and operated from 1857 to 1995. In the late 1800s, the plant was responsible for producing rails, battleships, factories and skyscrapers for most of the USA. You might also recognise the plant from the movie Transformers 2. Now the Steel Stacks are used as a venue for festivals and concerts.

A walkway along the side of the steelworks has been erected so that visitors can explore the area. This is a great opportunity to capture some really cool images. It is also possible to take a fascinating tour that details the history of the plant and its effects on the town of Bethlehem and its people. This place is amazing for anyone interesting in industrial history or Urbex. Have a look at the official website for more information.

There is now also a huge casino and shopping outlet within 500m of the old steelworks.

For something more rural, visit one of Lehigh Valleys seven covered bridges.

Recommended by Katy from The Balkans and Beyond

US Road Trips: Along the beautiful Maine Coast

  • US State: Maine
  • Start – End: Kittery – Bangor
  • Recommended Duration: 5 – 7 days
  • Highlights: Nubble Lighthouse, Two Lights State Park & Fort Williams Park, Acadia National Park


US Road Trip itinerary photo spots things to do must-see: The beautiful Portland Head Lighthouse is one of the highlights of a Maine Road Trip


The coast of Maine is perhaps one of the most scenic locations in the United States. The drive will wow visitors with its lighthouses, small New England towns, beaches, rocky shorelines, and plenty of lobster! Start the road trip out in Kittery in Southern Maine where you can visit Fort Foster for a stunning beach, some fort ruins, and great food. Continue on to visit the Wiggly Bridge and Nubble Lighthouse in York.

Next you will want to visit Kennebunkport where you can enjoy some watersports and visit the Seashore Trolley Museum. The next stop is at the Two Lights State Park and Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth for some great lighthouse views.

Portland, Acadia Nationalpark & Bangor

After Kennebunkport, take the short drive to Portland, one of Maine’s largest cities. Here you can enjoy some more lighthouses, stroll the Old Port, and visit the Portland Museum of Art. Acadia National Park is next and is the big must stop destination for this road trip. Being the only national park in the Northeast and the stunning scenery along the coast make Acadia an absolute must. Throughout the park you will find plenty of hiking trails for all skill levels, Jordan Pond, Thunder Hole, Sand Beach, and a drive to the summit of Cadillac Mountain.

For the last stop I recommend taking a short detour more inland and visiting Bangor. If you are a Stephen King fan Bangor can be transformed into the real life Derry. In Bangor you can visit Stephen King’s home and many of the sites that inspired his novels. If that doesn’t interest you there are plenty of areas in Bangor to get out and enjoy nature.

For the entire road trip I would recommend 5-7 days, depending on how long you want to stay at each destination.

Recommended by Melissa from

Florida State Road A1A Road Trip

  • US State: Florida
  • Start – End: Fernandina Beach – Key West
  • Recommended Duration: 6 days
  • Highlights: Fort Clinch State Park, Cape Canaveral, Miami, Key West


On a road trip in Florida you can expect fantastic beaches like here near Fernandina


Florida might not seem like a road tripper’s paradise, but that’s a big misconception. Florida State Road A1A is a fabulous coastal road trip filled with history and plenty of stellar beaches. Over the course of six-days (or more) you’ll make your way from quaint historic Fernandina Beach all the way to the famous Florida Keys.

The first two days of the trip are spent with Florida’s old history. Fernandina Beach is a beautiful little town on the resort destination of Amelia Island. Fort Clinch State Park has one of the best quiet beaches in the entire state plus an amazing old fort. Day two takes you to America’s oldest city in St. Augustine. Check out the Castillo de San Marcos during the day, and then take a ghost tour of the city at night!

Space Coast, Miami & Key West

Days Three and four take you along the famous Space Coast. You’ve got to make a stop at Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. If you time it right, you might even be able to catch a rocket launch. Just south of there are Cocoa and Delray Beaches. These are perfect mixes of old and new Florida, so make sure to soak up the sun and culture!

The final two days of your trip take you into the heart of Florida’s party scene. Spend a hot day along the water in Miami, before an even hotter night at one of South Beach’s many clubs, bars, or night spots.

Finally, head drive the final stretch of road on the east coast to Key West. Visit the Southern Most Point, then find somewhere with delicious margaritas and let your worries melt away. What better way to reward yourself after six days and nearly 600 miles on the road.

Recommended by Zack from


US Roadtrip – What are you waiting for?

In this article, travel bloggers from all over the world recommended the best US Road Trips with iconic world-famous sights, beautiful landscape and amazing things to do. What is your personal favorite, your experience on the road or addtional recommendation? Let me know in the comments or shoot over a mail at [email protected]

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Have a great journey on one of the US Road Trips 🇺🇸


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