There’s a reason why road trips are immortalized in songs, books, and movies. Between the expected sights straight from your itinerary to the unexpected moments along the way, road trips create memories that last a lifetime. From “The Mother Road” of Route 66 to driving through canyon country, America is full of open roads to explore. We’ve captured three unique and iconic road trips that are must-sees for every traveler.
Scottsdale to the Grand Canyon
Days 1-2: Scottsdale
From award-winning museums and wine tasting rooms to its exceptional hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, you’ll want plenty of time to truly discover this Arizona desert town. Both art-driven and outdoor-laden, Scottsdale has plenty of public art installations and performing arts, as well as more than 200 golf courses in the area (which is why it’s known as The World’s Finest Golf Destination). To unwind after all of the adventure, try a head-to-toe spa treatment inspired by ancient Native American healing techniques.
Day 3: Sedona
Take the short drive from Scottsdale to enjoy a full day in Sedona. Full of breathtaking views made famous in many classic Western films, you’ll want to hike one of the state parks. Alternatively, head to the Verde Valley Wine Trail, where you’ll find seven wineries to experience. At dusk, gaze up at the incredible red rocks and buttes as they shine against the falling sun before enjoying a beautiful dinner along the creek.
Days 4-6: Grand Canyon
Hit the road for an hour-long trip to the Grand Canyon. This will be undoubtably your most epic stop along your trek out west. Drive to the South Rim, winding through the single-lane roads leading to the quaint town by the National Park’s opening. Check into your lodge and get acclimated to the high altitude. Then it’s time to explore. Most visitors stop by Mather Point, the first look at the canyon, but continue onward for the more spectacular sights like Desert View. Take a helicopter ride over the canyon and spend a day hiking and rafting down below.
Sunshine State Road Trip
Everglades to Key West
Day 1-2: Everglades
If you’re starting toward Miami, head south for Everglades National Park and walk the Anhinga Trail, a half-mile boardwalk over a mush abundant with wildlife. Check out some alligators, birds, and exotic fish, and maybe even catch a glimpse of the rare black panther. Enjoy the Biscayne Bay Boat Tour which reveals nature’s secretly preserved wilderness from aboard a comfortable airboat. The next morning finish your Everglades experience with a dolphin eco-tour before heading to a local fishery for fresh grouper sandwiches. Continue on to Islamorada and spend the night at this halfway point between Miami and Key West.
Day 3: Islamorada
Islamorada is composed of six tiny islands, so give yourself plenty of time to explore. Take a fishing trip, or head to the History of Diving Museum, which houses diving items from more than 30 countries. Enjoy the catch of the day at one of the beachfront restaurants with your toes warm in the powder-soft sands. Then hit the road and cross the renowned Seven Mile Bridge, one of the longest in the world. Finish the drive into Key West or a night out on the town.
Days 4-7 Key West
Wake up in beautiful Key West, the southernmost town in the United States. Spend some time exploring the island, visiting the Key West Aquarium, and enjoying the Old Town Trolley tour. This fully-narrated tour of Key West covers more than 100 points of interest, and offers hop-on/hop-off convenience. Leave time to snorkel the coral reefs and admire Key West’s stunning 19th-centure buildings, including the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. For a melting pot of tastes and nightlife, Duval Street delivers unique experiences, from stylish bars and eclectic boutiques to cabaret shows and famous restaurants. On the final day, wake up and enjoy your coffee in the quiet solitude of this seaside paradise.
Route 66 Road Trip
St. Louis to Flagstaff
Drive at your own speed… this road trip can take anywhere from a week to fourteen days.
St. Louis, MO
Start your iconic Route 66 road trip near the iconic Gateway Arch. Take a free tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery and pick up a treat at the original Ted Drewes Frozen Custard on Chippewa Street (originally Route 66) on your way out of town.
As you enter Oklahoma—the state with the longest stretch of Route 66—you’ll pass several vintage gas stations, now restored to their original designs. Upon reaching Tulsa you’ll get acquainted with Oklahoma barbeque at mainstays like Rib Crib, Elmer’s BBQ, and Albert G’s.
Oklahoma City, OK
Furgher along Route 66, Oklahoma’s state capital brings surprises such as the city’s “Little Saigon,” where you can stop for some superb pho. Or wait until you reach Tucker’s Onion Burgers for classic American fare. Also, check out the Gold Dome, a 1958 geodesic dome originally housing a bank… you can’t miss it!
In New Mexico’s largest city, you’ll find multiculturalism, natural beauty, and ancient attractions. Plus the usual museums, galleries, and shopping. You don’t need to leave the route to explore the Barelas-South Fourth Street Historic District near downtown, as well as the Moderne-style Nob Hill Shopping Center, New Mexico’s first drive-in shopping center.
Stroll through the city’s Railroad Addition Historic District, cited on the National Register of Historic Places, which runs parallel to both Route 66 and the railroad tracks. Take a tour of Lowell Observatory, where astronomers discovered Pluto, and peer through the 24-inch Clark telescope. If you feel like the adventure isn’t over yet, leave Route 66 behind and head north approximately 80 miles to Grand Canyon National Park.