Four faces of presidents carved into rock face.
Highlights on this route include Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore and Niagara Falls.
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / kubrak78

Pack up the Car and Head out on the Best Road Trip Routes in America

Oregon Trail

Any list of USA road trip ideas would be incomplete without this next route. A historic route used by early pioneers traveling west across the country, the Oregon Trail is a great way to introduce America’s natural wonders, big cities and national monuments to your family. From the coast of Oregon to the tip of Cape Cod, you’ll drive through the Great Plains and cross the Mississippi River.

Highlights of this route include Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore and Niagara Falls for nature enthusiasts, as well as Cleveland’s Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall of Fame for those interested in pop culture history.

All in all it’s about a week’s drive or more if you intend on stopping every eight hours or so. Obviously, traveling 3,300 miles will be costly, so plan on spending around $2,000 USD or so for a family of four.

Taken from middle of street with old west buildings on either side lit up with neon lights.In the early 20th century, blues musicians traveled this route to find audiences to play for.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / denistangneyjr

The Blues Highway

Music fans will enjoy a trip down Route 61, which was nicknamed the Blues Highway when early 20th-century blues musicians traveled along it to find audiences to play for in populated areas.

Your trip will take you through Nashville, TN, home of the Grand Ole Opry and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music; Memphis, TN where you can hear authentic blues played at Wild Bill’s; Tunica, MS where you can visit the Gateway to the Blues Museum; and New Orleans, LA where jazz and blues are still very much alive in The French Quarter.

You can easily spend a few days in each city, especially New Orleans, but the whole trip spans about 600 miles or nine to 10 hours. Lodging averages around $100 USD per night around the attractions mentioned, with New Orleans on the pricier side of things.

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Overhead view of street along river with high rises to the left and strip of beach to the left of those beside the ocean.This isn't one of the more scenic routes, but there are plenty of attractions to keep you entertained on the way.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / franckreporter

Florida via US-1

Some of the stretches of US-1 go through populated areas so this won’t be the fastest route — and it won’t offer much in the way of scenery (except the seven-mile bridge in the Keys) — but there are plenty of attractions en route that’ll make the long trip worthwhile.

Florida’s full of kitschy roadside oddities like the mermaid shows in Fort Lauderdale, pirate and treasure museums in Sebastian and Key West, or the unfinished castle made of coral in Homestead. You can even visit the oldest city in the country that predates the formation of the United States, St. Augustine.

Aspiring astronauts will have a memorable experience at Kennedy Space Center and see where the space shuttles used to launch from. If you mostly stay in roadside motels outside of the major cities, you can find affordable lodging for around $70 USD per night.

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