5 Road Trip Ideas for Getting to Know the USA

The United States is a huge country, where there is a lot to see and experience. So, what should an exchange student do when he has a little time there? Get a car and follow one of our road trip ideas, of course! These five trips that we have separated cover some of the most beautiful and worthy places to visit in the USA and will help you to really get to know the country!

Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway stretches across much of the west coast of the United States, starting in southern California and ending in the northern part of the state, in a wine country. Over a thousand miles long, the Pacific Coast Highway offers some of the most impressive scenery in the United States, with jaw-dropping cliffs that plunge into the Pacific Ocean and a highway that winds along the coast.

There are many fun stops along the way as well: enjoy the beach and try surfing in Southern California, explore coastal cities while driving north and end your trip by visiting some of the more than 1,200 wineries that are spread across the northern state.

Bixby Creek Bridge in Monterey, California

Bixby Creek Bridge in Monterey, California (Leslie Lopez Holder / Unsplash)

Route 66

This is one of the most iconic road trip ideas in the United States, and it is no wonder: the route extends from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California. On the way, you will pass Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.

Part of the fun of driving along Route 66 is that there are a number of “car graveyards” from the time of the country’s high road in the 1960s. Almost every city along the way has some interesting architecture or eccentric attraction.

Route 66

Route 66 (Bill Dickinson / Sky Noir Photography)

Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway, Colorado

Venture into the “ Wild West ” of the United States by taking an 800 km trip through Utah and Colorado. Be sure to take your paleontology kit, as much as many people may not know, the United States still has tons of dinosaur fossils that are being discovered and excavated.

This stretch of highway forms a diamond-shaped contour and offers a large number of outdoor attractions along the way. The most notable are Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado National Monument and Natural Bridges National Monument.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Route 1 to Florida Keys

If you want more different road trip ideas , start in Miami, Florida, and head south. This may seem strange, given the location of Miami already in the extreme south of Florida. However, driving further south will take you to the longest stretch of highway on water in the U.S. (180 kilometers long). The Florida Keys archipelago in the region spans 300 kilometers and includes more than 1,700 islands (some of which are tiny, most of which are uninhabited).

There are about 40 main islands, with about 77 thousand inhabitants. This trip is a unique experience because you will be driving basically over long stretches of the ocean, in a totally tropical environment. Start at Key Largo, where you can snorkel and dive in the sea, and end your journey on Key West, the most westerly island on Route 1.

Are you really adventurous? Then take the daily ferry to the uninhabited Dry Tortugas – a national park 110 km off the coast of Key West, which is known for fantastic snorkeling along the coral reefs.

Key West

Key West (Dayron Villaverde / Needpix)

Blue Ridge Parkway

To explore the sights along the east coast of the United States, opt for road trip ideas that pass through the Blue Ridge Parkway, which crosses North Carolina and Virginia, in order to have a beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which make part of the Appalachians.

The Blue Ridge Parkway connects two major national parks in the United States – the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the south and Shenandoah National Park in the north. The highway also cuts through the Cherokee Indian Reservation and connects with Skyline Drive, a scenic route that runs through Shenandoah National Park.

Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive (Aaron Burden / Unsplash)