Road trips are unforgettable experiences that can have a positive impact on our mental health. A user asked the forum, “What’s the best road trip you’ve ever taken within the US?”. Here are 15 recommendations from the forum:
SAN DIEGO TO MONTEREY
“Up the coast from San Diego to Monterey for a road trip to a music festival.
And this probably doesn’t count as a road trip, but once I flew to St. Louis and drove the rest of the way to Iowa in a summer night thunderstorm. Most gorgeous lightning I have ever seen.”
NEW YORK TO CONNECTICUT
“From New York to Connecticut to visit extended family. I liked it because my family and I listened to interesting podcasts, and I had ample time to read and draw.”
ATLANTA TO GETTYSBURG
“Mine was a civil war battlefield road trip I took from Atlanta to Gettysburg. I stopped at 28 battlefields over three weeks. Drove through the blue ridge mountains and Shenandoah valley. It was sobering, entertaining, and beautiful in equal measure.”
SAN DIEGO TO NEW ENGLAND
“I just finished a 10-month, 32-state, 15k mile road trip around the country. Started in San Diego and went through the southwest, deep south, up the East Coast, stayed in Boston to make some cash and explored New England, hung out in the Midwest for a bit, then chilled in the Rockies before hanging out in southern Utah, and now I’m back in San Diego.
It was honestly the best time I’ve ever had. I learned a lot about myself and the country, and I’m now saving up so I can do it again and see more. I really wanted to see Tennessee, Missouri, and Wisconsin; basically, everywhere I didn’t go.
Massachusetts was the standout (Boston is incredible), but all of New England was charming and beautiful. I liked how I was never more than 10 min from a forest. Easily my favorite region outside of SoCal.
Chicago was great; mad respect for the train system. Omaha’s downtown was the most surprising, I wasn’t expecting much from Nebraska, but it was so nice!
There are some great small cities out there. Santa Fe is so unique. Asheville was so artsy and crunchy. Burlington was amazing! Portland, ME, was magical.”
MIAMI TO NC
“In ’95, my sister was 16, and I was 15. We took her Honda Civic (no power steering, locks, or windows, lol) from Miami to NC and followed along with the Alanis Morrisette jagged little tour. It was so fun.”
GREAT PLAINS TO NORTH DAKOTA
“I took a road trip with my husband up through the Great Plains states all the way to North Dakota, stopping at various parks and landmarks along the way.
Then we turned West until we got to Glacier National Park in Montana (where we stayed for about a week over the 4th of July, giving us a chance to see fireworks over the mountains) before swinging South to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.
We have a tradition of listening to audiobooks on long road trips. We started ‘Wheel of Time’ on Going to the Sun Road in Glacier, so I have a strong mental image associating Dragonmount with the soaring heights of Glacier.”
KANSAS TO SOUTH DAKOTA
“I drove west from Kansas City, MO, through Kansas, out to Denver, then headed north through Wyoming to Jackson Hole. Then headed back through South Dakota and Nebraska.
It was my first time really seeing the extent of the Great Plains and my first glimpse of the Rockies, not from an airplane. Not to mention the Black Hills and the Badlands.
The difference in scenery that you can see just from your windshield in this part of the country versus the east and midwest is like watching Lawrence of Arabia on IMAX compared to on a 16-inch TV screen.”
MISSOURI TO COLORADO
“Right after I graduated high school, I and some friends drove from Missouri all across the southwest, then back through Colorado.
About two weeks of national parks and other points of interest. Some camping, a few hotels. Lots of great memories.
Plus, this was back in the 1990’s when gas was $1.25/gal and before the national parks were overrun. So we were actually able to park and hike all the trails we wanted without issues, permits, shuttles, and crowds of selfie sticks, influencers, and people blasting pop music on a Bluetooth speaker while hiking in nature.”
ZION TO SOUTH RIM
“Not the longest, not the farthest, not that special anymore… but I will never, ever forget it.
On a motorcycle tour/trip from Zion to North Rim, then through Lee’s Ferry to the South Rim.
The North Rim is heavily wooded/forested, and the ride near there is gorgeous. As you come out of the North Rim (67, I think), then hit the 89 and turn right, there are some more woods and tight turns.
Unexpectedly as you come around a bend, the trees/hills pull away like curtains, and the Vermillion Cliffs are completely laid out in front of you. It was absolutely stunning. NGL… I crashed. Pulled over immediately and just gawked at it for 5 or 10 minutes.
It’s one of the few things in my life that I’d give anything to experience again for the first time.”
SALT LAKE CITY TO SPOKANE
“Tied between two:
Salt Lake City to Spokane
Western Montana and the neck of Idaho are by far the most scenic places I have ever seen from an interstate.
NYC to Phoenix, but specifically between Blacksburg, VA, and Nashville, TN, in October. The blue ridge mountains with a backdrop of the late afternoon sunset mixed with the turning of leaves was incredibly picturesque.”
FLAGSTAFF TO GRAND CANYON
“Flew to Phoenix, and it was 110° when we landed. Got a rental car and went through Sedona to overnight in Flagstaff. It was snowing and sleeting. From Flagstaff, we headed north to the Grand Canyon and overnighted at one of the hotels there.
We took 64 out of the canyon area and I think, then over to 264 and down to Winslow and overnighted in Holbrook. Saw the Petrified Forest the next day. Traveled through the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest and all the way down to Bisbee.
We had another night stay somewhere in there and then stayed overnight in Tombstone. Then through the Saguaro National Forest, Tucson, where we overnighted. Then we went to Phoenix, and we stayed overnight close to the airport.
We didn’t have any plans for where we would stay or any reservations at all. Best trip ever. The second best was when we flew into Boston and headed up the coast and through the mountains.”
INDY TO WEST OF DENVER
“My personal favorite was a trip I did with a good friend right after we graduated high school.
We drove from Indy to the West of Denver in the mountains in one day. We climbed a 14k peak the next day backpacking and got awful altitude sickness. We scrapped that. Recuperated for a day in Silverton.
Then we backpacked for four days, went down to New Mexico, and went to Chaco Canyon and El Malpais. Visited friends near Gallup. Had a big potluck dinner with their Navajo acquaintances, who I knew a little bit.
Then we did a flat-out high-speed burn back home via Texas and Oklahoma, then north.
We got back, washed the dust off, and immediately turned around and moved my friend into his freshman dorm room so he could start orientation.
It’s the kind of thing I could do when I was young, but it would probably kill me these days.”
MICHIGAN TO NEBRASKA
“We’re in Michigan. Last summer, we drove from Michigan to Nebraska (to pick up a friend), then through the Tetons to eastern Idaho, backtracked a bit to Yellowstone, then to Craters of the Moon, then drove down through Utah and Colorado to Dinosaur National Monument and then back.
This year, we went from Michigan to Niagara Falls, NY, and then through Vermont and New Hampshire to Maine, and then came back through Montreal and Toronto.
One year we drove to Florida through Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North, and South Carolina, and Georgia, and later went all the way down into the Keys.
My favorite, though, was flying to Fairbanks, Alaska, and renting a car and driving up the Dalton Highway.”
“My great-aunt and I drove east out of New Orleans. When we got to the Atlantic, we turned left until we got to Maine. It was late September and a glorious trip! We came home by the Blue Ridge Parkway. One of the prettiest road trips ever!”
WAYNE NEBRASKA TO MANKATO
“Me and my friends went from Wayne, Nebraska to Mankato, MN. Not a long one, but we went to watch our college football team, who was well-ranked, play MSU Mankato, who was quite good and in the top ten.
Anyways it was fun because we somehow made it in a friend’s piece of junk Bronco. We also passed by Mountain Lake, and I joked, “There aren’t such mountains, so where’s the lake?”
One of my friends said, “It’s a mountain and a lake of lies.” So we always joke that Mountain Lake, MN is a lie. I also had my first Chipotle on that trip.”
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