Recently someone asked American Rediitors, What’s the ONE American road trip, everyone should experience in their lifetime? Here are the top-voted recommendations.
1. The Pacific Coast Highway
The number one-voted road trip Americans recommend everyone travel at least once in their lifetime is the Pacific Coast Highway. One noted, “Almost anytime is good to go, but the spring or fall is optimal.”
The Pacific Coast Highway follows the Western coast of the United States. Speaking as someone who lived in Washington and drove the highway before crossing the country to Maryland, Oregon has the most beautiful coast with tons of little sea towns to stop in along the way.
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2. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula borders three great lakes against a beautifully forested backdrop. One American suggested, “Go through the upper peninsula of Michigan and camp in a state park campground.”
Others noted that Mackinac Island is breathtaking. It’s also the filming location for the 1980 classic Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour.
3. Miami to Key West
Miami to Key West is a beautiful drive voted number three on this top list of American road trips. One traveler shared, “That drive was a bucket list item we were lucky enough to complete the week before COVID lockdowns hit. Just stopping at random places and enjoying the beauty is impressive.”
4. Albuquerque to Vancouver, B.C.
One user noted, “Albuquerque to Vancouver, B.C., was an incredible drive. You hit New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.”
5. The Million Dollar Highway
One explained, “The Million Dollar Highway is beautiful and not for the faint heart. And I’ve done it in snow.” The Million Dollar Highway stretches roughly 25 miles in western Colorado, following U.S. 550 between Silverton and Ouray. It’s a stretch of the San Juan Skyway.
There are legends about why it’s called that, including it cost a million dollars to build and contains millions of dollars of gold ore in its dirt fill. However, the locals will tell you, “You’d have to pay me a million dollars to get me to drive it in the snow.” There is breathtaking scenery everywhere but beware, no guard rails.
6. The Great River Road
The Great River Road is a scenic collection of state and local roads following the course of the Mississippi River through ten states in America: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
One traveler shared, “Along the Mississippi River. You can start in Minnesota. Then, the Twin Cities. Then Effigy Mounds National Monument. Then Hannibal, Mo. (Mark Twain’s hometown). St. Louis, Mo. (Gateway Arch). Pere Marquette State Park and Cahokia Mounds in Illinois. Many more attractions are further south to New Orleans.”
7. The Taylor Highway
Another explained, “If you make it to Alaska, I’d suggest the Taylor Highway, from about 12 miles south of Tok, up to Eagle, on the Yukon River.
The scenery is spectacular, particularly once you get about 70 miles in, and some of it is both breathtaking and pucker-inducing; think 1.5 lanes wide roadway blasted into the side of a hill, with a 500′ drop to the downside and no guardrail.
It is traveled so lightly that I don’t think it even shows up as a road on Google Earth after about mile 95, where a spur (the “Top of the World Highway”) takes off toward Dawson. Be sure to bring spare tires and top off your gas tank at Chicken and Eagle, as those are the only two places to fill up on the highway’s entire stretch.”
Again, as someone who also lived in Alaska. Let me add that The Seward Highway between Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula is breathtaking. The blue ice glaciers will make you pause. But beware of areas without guard rails. Also, these drives are night and day different between summer and winter, and they are stunning during both.
8. The Empire Builder
One American suggested The Empire Builder. It’s a train that leaves from Chicago and goes to Seattle or Portland. It goes through Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon if you’re going to Portland.
For the first couple hours, it’s just farmland, and you’ll cross the Mississippi River. Then, going through Montana and Idaho is absolutely BEAUTIFUL with the Rocky mountains. Finally, the train splits into two trains in Spokane (Washington), one going to Seattle and the other to Portland.
9. The Overseas Highway
Many in the thread agreed, “The Overseas Highway down to Key West is gorgeous and fairly relaxing.” It is a 113-mile highway carrying U.S. Route 1 through the Florida Keys to Key West. The top speed for most of it is about 45 miles an hour.
One added, “I recommend getting a hotel in the Marathon area and going the rest down to Key West as a day trip from the hotel if you are traveling as a family. Significant savings and less noise at night generally. If you are going to drink a lot, stay on the island in Key West, close to Duval street.”
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10. The Cross Country Drive
Finally, one stated, “I’ll go ahead and say the cliché thing: The cross-country drive. Because over five-to-six days, you see the landscape and the people change before your eyes. I-40 is especially good. From Wilmington, North Carolina, to Barstow, California, picking up I-15 into San Diego.
What do you think? Did American Redditors get this right, or is a significant American road trip missing from this list? This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Savoteur.