Seasoned travelers are well acquainted with the cliché that often rings true: It’s not the destination but the journey that counts. And that’s never more spot on than when you’re loading up your car, planning your driving routes, and embarking on a classic road trip. Whether it’s a qu
Seasoned travelers are well acquainted with the cliché that often rings true: It’s not the destination but the journey that counts. And that’s never more spot on than when you’re loading up your car, planning your driving routes, and embarking on a classic road trip. Whether it’s a quick weekend adventure along the coast, the Ring Road in Iceland, or a full-on cross-country road trip across the United States aimed at national parks (from the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee to the Grand Tetons of Wyoming, perhaps), it’s often the coffee breaks, roadside vista points, and impromptu farm stand purchases that add highlights to the trip.
Several of the world’s most famous and scenic road trip routes are in the United States. The most iconic? Historic Route 66 runs 2,448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. Established in 1926, this highway became a symbol of movement west with songs (“Get Your Kicks on Route 66” by Bobby Troup in 1946), television (Route 66 on CBS from 1960 to 1964), and literature (John Steinbeck’s 1939 classic novel The Grapes of Wrath).
And once you’ve reached the West Coast, you’ve made it to another of the nation’s most beloved road trip routes: the Pacific Coast Highway. This drive runs more than 600 miles up the California coastline and hits San Diego, Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco, as well as scenic state parks like Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
But Route 66 and the Pacific Coast Highway are just the beginning. The United States is also home to such scenic byways as along the barrier islands of North Carolina, the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys, and the Road to Hana in Maui.
Venturing beyond the United States, the road trip options are practically endless, too—the coast of Namibia, the vast expanse of Mongolia, and the 516-mile North Coast 500 route in northern Scotland are all well worth the drive. No matter where you’re headed, we’ve got the tools you need to plan, pack for, and enjoy the journey on your next driving adventure—so rev those engines.