Driving really can be an activity of passion, thrills and adventure! This is especially true for road trips! Cars have always been synonymous with freedom from your first car to your last. It gives you the ability to just hop in and hit the road! The question is, which road? There are numerous road trips which you could take and great driving roads along the way. From peaks to valleys, race tracks to rally courses there are so many different driving routes to get your teeth into. The best roads depend on many factors, such as: location, scenery, driving style, straights, turns and road comfort…no potholes please! So here at Town and Tourist we have put together the most incredible list of the most highly regarded roads across America, for drivers, photographers, travellers and road trippers!
25. Twisted Sisters (Three sisters) – Texas
The Texas Hill Country Ranch Roads 335, 336, and 337, widely known as the Twisted Sisters or The Three Sisters. This 100-mile loop is one of the most fantastic and challenging roads in Texas, with many tight twisting curves, making it a thrilling experience. The first Twisted Girl is on Ranch Road 337, which starts at the north edge of Medina. Following it west, you will see many gorgeous ranches, and even one with its own landing strip! As you enter the first twisting turns, the first reminder of the dangerousness of this route is clear to see with a highway signs stating, “WARNING Next 12 Miles, Since Jan. 2006, 10 Killed in Motorcycle Related Crashes.”…this sharpens you up at least as you tackled the other sections. This road trip would best be suited to a sporty car, or mean motorcycle! Not so much fun on a RV!
Ranch Rd 335, Rocksprings, TX 78880, USA
The Texas Twisted Sisters NW Corner
– Great Addition to a thrilling road trip!
24. Beartooth Highway – (US 212)
Beartooth Highway is an exciting 68 mile stretch involving a variety of deep curves, zig zags and switchbacks. A great addition to any road trip! As you zig zag your way up for a few hours you will find yourself at the highest highway in the northern Rockies, Beartooth pass at a whopping 10,947 feet! Here pull up the bike and lay your eyes magical scenery from cascading waterfalls, lush greenery, alpine glaciers and crystal lakes. Custer National Forest and Shoshone National Forest are definitely major highlights as the road twists through these beauties. This road trip would best be suited to a sporty car, 4×4, or mean motorcycle! If your in a RV, take the road trip but take more stop off’s and enjoy the scenery that little bit more!
Top Tip: The pass is only open from mid-May to mid-October due to snow.
Montana 82414, USA
23. Tunnel of Trees Road – Michigan
M-119’s Tunnel of Trees is a 16-mile forest route in Michigan that begins in Harbor Springs and ends in Cross Village. As the name suggest, the road is surrounded by theatrical foliage. A stunning drive in the fall, as the golden colors look magnetising as your sweep through! This road trip is suited for all vehicle types from a sporty car, 4×4, motorcycle, and even your RV!
22. Kancamagus Scenic Byway, New Hampshire
This is a small but very fiery north eastern driving road running approximately 27 miles from Conway to North Woodstock, New Hampshire, the Kancamagus . Route 112 whooshes through the mountains, swerving and ascending to a height of 3,000 feet. It can get really busy here during the summer so it’s better to head during the fall. This road trip would best be suited to a sporty car, 4×4, or mean motorcycle! If your in a RV, it’s a nice drive if your head up to the Rocky Gorge scenic area and take your time a little more on this road trip.
21. Old Highway 95 – Idaho.
If you look in the Dictionary under “Rockies” you will find the words greatest roads! So if you head over to Northern Idaho you will be in a prime location to take full advantage of this. One of the favourites is the old Highway 95 which cascades cooly down from the U.S Rockies, stemming from Nez Perce clearwater National Forest. This road trip is really fun and is best be suited to a 4×4 or your RV, with great scenery and nice look out points.
20. Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.
This was the start of our extensive Coast to Coast Motorcycle Road Trip Article, for a damm good reason, it’s a great addition to any U.S Road trip. Start with Skyline Drive in Virginia, a 105-mile run along the edge of the Shenandoah National Park. Then head onto Blue Ridge Parkway which is the longest linear park in the U.S, around 469-miles in length through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties. Expect smooth roads, sweeping curves and exquisite natural beauty as a backdrop! It is advised to spend at least two days to enjoy every part of this drive. This road trip would best be suited to a sporty car, 4×4, or mean motorcycle! If your in a RV, take the road trip but take more stop off’s and enjoy the scenery that little bit more!
Top Tip: There are no gas stations on the actual parkway, but just outside you can find some.
– A great Scenic Road Trip addition
19. Tale of the Dragon, Deals Gap.
This is a thrilling addition to any U.S Road trip and one the best U.S Driving roads if you feel the need for speed! Located at the intersection of US 129 and NC 28. Drive eastward to Tellico Plains along the Cherohala Skyway (Hwy 28) heading into Tennessee backcountry. Then Loop back via Hwys 360 and 72 to Deal’s Gap, and tackle the infamous and thrilling Tail of the Dragon, which is 11 Miles of 318 curves! This is internationally renowned as one of America’s No1 Driving Roads! With a stunning backdrop of the Cherokee National Forest and Great Smokey Mountains this is surely one epic place to drive no matter what season! This road trip would best be suited to a sporty car, 4×4, or mean motorcycle! If your in a RV, it is do able but it might make you a little nauseous with all the hairpin corners.
18. Great River Road
The Great River Road (HWY 61) stretches for over 2600 miles from Itasca State Park, Minnesota to Jackson, Louisiana. The Great River road is a great addition to any U.S road trip! GRR 61 is a single route created in 1938 to highlight the 10 states bordering the great Mississippi River from its headwaters in Minnesota to its termination in Louisiana’s Cajun Country. Avid drivers flock from all states to “their” section of the road. Here you will be sure find everything from lush Forrests to mighty limestone cliffs. Oaks Alley is another great place to drive through if your in Louisiana Alley is definitely a great place to drive through! Along the Mississippi River outside New Orleans, Louisiana. This road trip would best be suited to a 4×4 or RV, 2600 miles is a long way so comfort is key on this road trip…make sure you bring your camera aswell!
17a. Route 245,7,26 Loop, Oregon
This can be a great part of your road trip to take before linking onto, Pacific highway 1 down to LA. See our other great article on this with maps and routes , Most Epic Coast to Coast Road Trip in America. Western Oregon is a true drivers delight! What makes these some of the best driving roads in the U.S.A is there is just so little traffic! You can drive for miles without seeing another car, this means it’s a great place to really test out your car and put the pedal to the metal! I also found that the odd driver you come across in slowing moving vehicle will usually pull over cheerfully as they are pretty sure why your here. Length of Road around 97 miles. This road trip would best be suited to a sporty car, 4×4, or mean motorcycle! If your in a RV, take your time enjoy the scenery that little bit more.
17b. Cape Perptua Overlook, Oregon
The theatrical coastal route should be on everyones Bucket-list Road trip!
16. Pig Trail Scenic Byway
According to USA today, in their readers poll for Best U.S Driving Roads, Pig Trail Scenic Byway was voted No1. I can understand why, with the gorgeous natural beauty of overhanging trees as you sweep through, this is truly a majestic stretch. Take your road trip here between the Spring and fall, when it’s a prime spot to see flowers blooming and foliage fall. While the entire length of AR 23 is often referred to as the Pig Trail, it’s actually the 24-mile stretch from I-40 to Brashears , at the junction of AR 16 where the route is formed. From the Arkansas-Missouri border to US 71. A gorgeous U.S road trip road. This road trip is suitable for RV’s, 4x4s, cars and any other type of vehicle really.
Fun Fact: How did Pig Trail get its name?
There are multiple competing theories on this, one is that the road twists as much as the tail of a wild hog. The other is that this part of AR 23 was a popular road trip back-road route into Fayetteville for University of Arkansas Razorback football games, thus Pig Trail. The other explanation is simply that the road is as twisty as the tail of a wild hog.
15. Natchez Trace Parkway
Natchez Trace Parkway is a legendary route and stretches 444 miles between Natchez, Mississippi and Nashville, Tennessee. Expect breathtaking quaint scenery of rural farmland and an abundance of wildlife! This is great for real drivers who wan’t to test the limits of there vehicle as commercial traffic is prohibited, so generally the traffic is quiet apart from as you head towards Tupelo and Jackson. Great for fast cars, 4x4s and tasty motorcycles! Not so much fun on a RV although it is beautiful.
14. Route 66: 2400 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica
An Iconic classic and piece of American Road trip history, so we had to include it. One of the Best U.S driving roads historically, Route 66 began in Chicago, IL, and ended in Los Angeles, California. The original length of this road trip was about 2,400 miles (3,862 kilometers). The highway snaked through eight states , Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and finally California. Since the highway was decommissioned, Route 66 no longer exists on modern maps. In some places, in fact, the physical road is unpaved and virtually impassable. According to the National Scenic Byways Route 66 today goes through four states Illinois, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. At around 1,410 miles (2,269 kilometers) in length, it takes about five or six days to drive Historic Route 66 from one end to the other.
13. Route 9W to Storm King Highway, New York
Just short of an hour north of Manhattan is Route 9W. It’s a highway that starts out unassuming enough but then meanders around Bear Mountain State Park. Take the exit for Storm King Highway and the contemptuously named route leads you to and along the Palisades, a cliffside drive with views 1,000 feet over the Hudson River. This is one of the best U.S driving roads so close to New York City and a great place for RV’s, sports cars, and 4×4’s.
12. Hells Canyon Road, Idaho
If you wan’t a heart racing part of your road trip head down to Hells Canyon! Stretching from Coopersfield Campground in Oxbow, Oregon to Hells Canyon Dam, on Hells Canyon Road which runs for 22 miles along Snake River. A narrow, winding two-lane paved road with several steep gradients which hug the canyon walls…all great fun! The only downside is when you get to Hells Canyon Dam, only Park Service vehicles are allowed past, so you’ll have to turn around and head back where you came from. Hells Canyon is a driving heaven, a great addition to any road trip! This is best suited to motorcycles and sports cars!
11. Utah Scenic Byway 12
Utah is an often overlooked state when it comes to Best U.S driving roads. However, there are many from Interstate 70 to our favourite route 12. Bridging Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef National Parks the 124 mile road, is a rugged metropolis of driving gold. Here you will find everything from rocky flat sections to lush forests and crimson rock deserts. Definitely a highlight if your passing Utah on your road trip! This is fit for all vehicle types from Rv’s and 4×4’s to Cars and Motorcycles.
10. Coastal Highway 1 – Maine
The Coastal part of Maines US Route 1 is 170 miles of striking scenery and one of the most fantastic road trip parts in the U.S.A, stretching from Brunswick to Machias. Maine a landmark in itself with over 3478 miles of coastline, quaint seaside villages, National Parks, historic lighthouses and great food from lobsters to fresh blueberries. The highway connects with many other scenic routes, including a ferry drive to Nova Scotia. This is one of the best U.S driving roads on the east coast and a great east coast road trip route…especially if your heading to Canada.
Check out this great map showing a Coastal Road trip along highway 1.
9. San Juan Skyway – Colorado
The San Juan Skyway is a 236 mile loop through the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado. One of the sweetest and most breath taking routes in the Colorado Mountains you won’t be disappointed! However, be careful when riding due regularly gradient changes and shear drop offs as the guard rails disappear at some points! The “Million Dollar Highway” , a 12 mile section and well regarded as the most scenic part of this road between Ouray & Silverton. Popular towns along the route include Cortez, Telludrive, Durango, Silverton, Ouray. With great scenic spots such as Mesa Verde National Park, Anasazi Heritage Center and a variety of special wilderness areas! Fall, is the best time to travel here when the aspens are at their peak! Check road conditions and weather before hand if traveling in the winter. This is one of the best U.S Driving Roads if your drive a RV or 4×4, the Colorado rockies should be on road trip, even if you’ve got to take a detour!
8. Pikes Peak Highway – Colorado
Pikes Peak Highway is a short 19-mile toll road which stretches from Cascade, Colorado to the immense summit of Pikes Peak in El Paso County. The real mighty spot if when you reach the top at 14,115 feet , this is great place to bring a drone for some shots. It is generally open all year round however, in the winter be aware the snow might make it dam near impossible! If your after a road trip with a scenic view at the summit, heading to here is not a bad option, if your in a RV. If your after a thrilling route for your sports car or 4×4…that is also very very fun! Colorado is a haven of some of the best U.S driving roads.
– One of the Best U.S Driving roads.
7. Grand Staircase Escalante
The Grand Staircase-Escalante is another road which is considered one of the best driving roads in the U.S.A. With absolutely stunning views of Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The actual Staircase is a multicolored masterpiece of cliffs, plateaus and canyons! A few miles of straights on either side of Escalante leave the rest of the road to sweep and twist over the landscape. To get there start in Panguitch, Utah and head south on US-89, then in 10 miles take the turn towards Bryce Canyon on Rte 12. Then head east on Rte 12 all the way Torrey, UT which is over 100 miles. Red canyon, Bryce canyon, Hell’s Backbone, Calf Creek and Boulder Mountain are just some highlights which give you a flavour of every type of scenery Utah has to offer, from red rock to slick rock to pine and aspen covered mountains. A true mad max, addition to any road trip. It can be fun in a Rv but not so fun in the summer heat. Hands down this is one the best U.S driving roads.
6. Angeles Crest, California
If you have ever wondered what it’s like to head above the clouds, then this two lane wonder (CA 2) is the one for you. Chopping through the Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Mountains, it rises to 7,000 feet in certain parts. This is definitely one to stay focussed on as your driving up through the many twists and rugged terrain. Also don’t expect cellphone reception while your up there…but hey who needs it when your head is in the clouds! This is a real jewel and it will amaze you how close it is to LA. If your craving nature on your road trip and getting tired of the big cities of California, this is a great addition to any road trip. You can tackle this in a RV, but be careful as it can be pretty twisty in some sections.
5. Saddle Road, Mauna Kea State Park, Hawaii
Volcanos in the backdrop at a sense of theatre to your drive through the 46 mile saddle road. The natural landscape gives an asphalt road coating and you come to turquoise waters of the pacific as you descend. The most mighty Volcanos guard the road with the names Muana Kea and Muana Loa. A great option if your on a road trip vacation through Hawaii. Volcano Road trip? why not!
4. Going to the Sun Road – Montana.
A real paradise if your on a RV road trip or in a 4×4! Going to the sun road is a real star of Glacier National Park. A truly stunning 50 mile road which chops through the Mountains. Expect to see remarkable waterfalls, beautiful wildflowers, impressive glaciers and a host of wildlife. From Big horn sheep to mountain goats, watch out for these as you head up to the Jackson Glacier Overlook, for dazzling view. With such scenic views this is a truly natural addition to your road trip!
3. Seven Mile Drive – Florida Keys.
The Seven Mile Bridge is an iconic bridge in the Florida Keys, in Monroe County. It connects Knight’s Key (part of the city of Marathon) in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. Among the longest bridges in existence when it was built. One of the most gorgeous driving roads in the U.S.A this is a nice place to end a road trip if you have gone from New York to Florida.
2. Pacific Coast Highway
We have possibly saved the best till last, and believe me it was worth the 4000 miles, to finally get to this spectacular west coast route! Californias State 1 route or pacific coast highway is a 655 mile long masterpiece of scenic beauty and wonder! The route starts from Dana Point in Orange County, through San Diego, past LA, Malibu, Montery Bay and up to Mendocino County in the north San Francisco. This is the ultimate place for a west coast road trip! We should know as we drove it last summer! The thing I liked best about this road was all the amazing stop of points along the way. A great place to take your RV as your can park up the RV and stop off at all the great west coast landmarks. See our Coast to Coast Road trip article for more details on stop of points!
1. Mulholland Highway
From Malibu Creek State Park to Route 1, California.This hidden gem tucked away just above route 1. Expect a variety of switchbacks its a nice cheeky 23 miles to check out while your on route 1. This is great in a low down European sports car, or a tuned up Audi! If a rallying road trip is what you fancy this is for you! Not the best for an RV.
So that’s our full list of the best driving roads in the U.S, if there is a favourite you think we have missed out, drop it in the comments below! Inspire a friend to hit the road by sharing this article on Facebook or Pinterest.