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7 Iconic American Road Trip Routes to Hit This Summer

United States Travel Insider Guides Galleries
by Roadtrippers Apr 16, 2014

THERE ARE OVER 160,000 MILES of highway in the United States. When you’re setting out on your road trip this summer, you could certainly just pick a route at random and probably have an awesome time. Or, if you want a sure thing, take on one of these iconic road trips and find out why they’re considered American classics.

1. Route 66

Photo: Nick Fox/Shutterstock

Ah, the Mother Road. This Illinois-California route was wildly popular post-WWII, and it still has that old-timey nostalgia even today, as evidenced by the stops on this specially curated Route 66 Roadside Icons trip.

2. Pacific Coast Highway

Photo: J Steele/Shutterstock

This All-American road is literally right on the California coast, so it offers some pretty stunning scenery, plus there’s tons of great stops along the way from Legget, across the Golden Gate Bridge, through Big Sur, and down into LA and San Diego.

3. Extraterrestrial Highway

Looking for a more offbeat trip? Even though we can’t really travel into space (yet), you can at least travel the Extraterrestrial Highway (aka Nevada State Route 375). It takes you through some pretty unremarkable desert, where some pretty remarkable (alleged) alien encounters have occurred. While we can’t guarantee a close encounter, we can help you find the most out-of-this-world spots with this guide to one of America’s weirdest roads.

4. Oregon Trail

Photo: Krasnova Ekaterina/Shutterstock

Had a hard time beating the game? Your chances of dying of dysentery while taking this trip in real life are a lot slimmer. This route (best traveled in a Conestoga wagon) will guide you through history and through some of America’s most gorgeous Western scenery. This guide, inspired by the computer game, takes you past some of the landmarks that aided the pioneers

5. Natchez Trace Parkway

Photo: Globe Guide Media Inc/Shutterstock

This former buffalo trail is now one of America’s more scenic drives. Check out some classic Southern sights, from historical landmarks to diners that serve delicious comfort food, with this guide to driving Natchez.

6. Blue Ridge Parkway

This All-American road connects two national parks along a chain of mountains, so you know you’re in for some breathtaking views. Travel it in the summer and spring for hiking and camping, or do it in the fall to catch the colorful foliage.

7. Going-to-the-Sun Road

Photo: tusharkoley/Shutterstock

If you’re visiting Glacier National Park, you’ll have no choice but to take this incredible highway. As the only road that crosses the whole park, you’ll see panoramic mountain views, bright blue glacial lakes, and forested valleys. In fact, parts of the trip may look familiar, as it’s been featured in The Shining, Forrest Gump, and Blade Runner.

The open road. That’s what it’s all about. Driving down long stretches of asphalt, pulling over at a local diner for some grub, and discovering the most incredible roadside wonders. Roadtrippers is a simple but powerful road trip planner that helps you discover, plan, & book your adventure.

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