Our USA experts pick the best American road trips in this exclusive guide.
We love a good road trip – and these are the USA’s most incredible driving roads. Our self-drives are just recommendations - you have the freedom to go where you want and see the things you want to see. We’ll provide the car, route map, sightseeing ideas and advice to get you started; and book quality hotels and lodges before you set off.
California’s Highway 1
The Pacific Coast Highway – particularly the breathtaking Big Sur section – is the road trip of dreams. With the rugged coastline dotted with hidden coves and the ocean as far as the eye can see to your right, and the Santa Lucia Mountains to your left, you’ll be forgiven for stopping for photo opportunities every few miles. If you happen to be travelling in the latter few months of the year, you may even spot the biannual grey whale migration – one of the world’s most incredible wildlife spectacles.
Our recommended route - Book our Taste the West Self-Drive, a 15-night adventure taking in Big Sur, Yosemite National Park and San Francisco.
Linking Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica in California and crossing eight states, the ‘Mother Road’ was once the main route between the eastern and western states. While much of Route 66 has been bypassed by multi-lane interstates, you can still experience the pioneering age of motor travel and pass diners, motels and gas stations along the 2400-mile stretch. Our favourite stops include the cowboy culture of Oklahoma City, the fascinating Petrified Forest near Holbrook and the incredible Grand Canyon.
Our recommended route - Book our Historic Route 66 Self-Drive, a suggested 18-night epic road trip taking you to lesser-visited locations such as Springfield, St. Louis and Albuquerque.
Park Loop Road, Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park’s seasonal Loop Road showcases the very best of the north-eastern states in just 27 miles. Favourite stops include Thunder Hole where you can witness the power of the Atlantic as waves crash into the natural rock inlet; the tranquil Jordan Pond; and the peak of Cadillac Mountain from which the views are far reaching. There are also plenty of trail heads along the road, making this a popular route with hikers.
Our recommended route - Our Discover New England Self-Drive is a 14-night recommended itinerary taking in Boston, Acadia National Park and the White Mountains.
Las Vegas to Moab
As you cover the 700 miles between Sin City and the state of Utah’s adventure capital, you’ll come across some of the United States’ most incredible natural landmarks. The phrase ‘scenic route’ has never been more appropriate. Alongside epic and iconic landscapes such as the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, there are plenty of ‘hidden’ gems; Antelope Canyon, the Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park’s Newspaper Rock are just a few natural wonders worth diverting for.
Our recommended route - Our Las Vegas & the Grand Circle Self-Drive is a 12-night suggested round-trip from Las Vegas, visiting Moab, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon.
Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Winding for 105 miles along the tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia’s National Scenic Byway is aptly called the Skyline Drive. There are 75 ‘pull outs’ en route from which you can enjoy far reaching views over the Shenandoah Valley to the west and the Piedmont – a region rich in American history – to the east. Much like in New England, the region is at its most picturesque during the autumn months as the leaves turn colour.
Our recommended route - Our eight-night Capital Region Self-Drive incorporates the Skyline Drive, as well as historic cities such as Washington D.C. and Williamsburg.
Grand Teton Loop, Wyoming
Wyoming’s Teton mountain range is true Wild West territory. Wild bison and horses grazing with towering peaks as the background is an iconic image of the American west. The landscapes of Grand Teton National Park have been carved over millions of years by ice and wild weather and on this 44-mile looped route you can witness some of the most incredible Rocky Mountain vistas with many peaks over 3600 metres above sea level.
Our recommended route - Our 19-night Rocky Mountain Trail Self-Drive will journey through epic landscapes, including Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.
Tioga Pass Road, California
The seasonal Tioga Pass (also known as State Route 120) is one of California’s most spectacular drives – and in a state known for its epic routes, that’s really saying something. The 152-mile road passes through the rugged mountain landscapes of the High Sierra, crosses the 3000-metre Tioga Pass and winds its way through thick forests towards the world-famous Yosemite Valley. Once the road has opened in the late spring or early summer months, you can marvel at meadows covered in wildfl owers and sit by snow-melt-fed lakes… perfection.
Our recommended route - Book our Taste the West Self-Drive, a 15-night adventure taking in Las Vegas, Yosemite National Park and San Francisco.