Taking a road trip is one of the favorite pastimes of the Americans. The country is huge and there are numerous beautiful spots and national parks and plenty of roads to cross. In fact, cross-country road trips are on the vacation to-do list of almost one-third of the American families.
These road trips are exciting, open gates to a whole lot of unique experiences, and provide a great opportunity to spend time with your family members.
5 Unforgettable Cross-Country Road Trips
Taking a cross-country RV trip with your family is all about tasting the fresh air and embracing the freedom that is hard to find elsewhere. Driving on the open road with miles of beautiful landscape to behold sounds something surreal and we’ve rounded up a list of five cross-country road trips each of which will offer you the experience of a lifetime.
The best thing is you can map out these trips the way you want (not necessarily follow the routes we suggest). So, pack your things and repair the RV because you won’t help but planning a trip after reading about these routes.
The Great Northern Trail
When the day-to-day life and work schedule seems too exhausting, follow the wide open US-2 Route of the Great Northern Trail. It will take you away from everything – the worries and stresses of life. The road starts in the west near the Pacific port city of Seattle. However, you can join from anywhere and create your own journey map. For example, you can start from Washington and go around the great lakes through the Trans-Canada Highway, reconnecting in Vermont and in Maine. There will be plenty of state parks, National Parks, and small towns in between the starting and end point.
The variance and uniqueness of the US-2 landscape are hard to beat, and only a few cross-country road trips can match it. It is also the longest of the transcontinental trips, so plan for it during a long vacation.
Chicago to Los Angeles: Route 66
The legendary old road spans between these two big cities with a length of more than two thousand miles. Known as the ‘Mother Road’ and referred in pop culture, it features eight states en route.
Crossing the Route 66 means driving through the heartlands of America that are filled with neon signs, kitschy shops, small motels, and cafes in the middle of nowhere. Despite no longer being the main route across the country, the trail still has its mystique charm due to the rich history – the flourished destination of the great American driving vacation, the Meramec Caverns, and giant neon signs, and more.
If you don’t have your own vehicle, cars are available for rent up and down the Route. There are plenty of attractions and several cities to explore in between. You can stop in Las Vegas for a short trip to a casino or a hot-air balloon ride, go to Utah’s Zion National Park for enjoying wildlife and natural beauty, or get the thrill of skiing in Colorado’s Vali.
The trail offers one of the best scenic cross-country road trips in the country. Mostly known for the famous hiking trail but there’s a driving route too that offers nothing less when it comes to thrill and breathtaking natural beauty. Spanning between Maine’s North Woods and Atlanta, Georgia, you can drive from the top of New England to the center of Dixie.
The entire trail is a feast to the eye where you will drive on beautiful two-lane roads with abundant historic sites and fascinating towns on both sides. You can take brakes for taking hiking trips as the trail features some famous mountain peaks including Mt. Washington and the Green Mountains. What’s the great perk of driving through this road? You will get to enjoy everything without the pestering bugs, sweat, or blisters!
The Border to Border Trail: US-93
North America’s western part is famous for its contrasting landscape views and nothing depicts that contrast better than the Highway 93. Spanning between the Canadian Rockies and the Sonoran Desert, the road offers almost the surreal views of pristine wilderness along with a passage to the colorful, lively heart of Las Vegas.
You will get to enjoy the sights of rivers, mountains, deserts, and glaciated valleys while driving on it. The road has two sections. The northern part will take you from the Canadian Rockies to Idaho’s Sun Valley and you can stop in numerous spots for hiking, skiing, and sightseeing.
The southern part is the gateway to the ‘Loneliest Road in America’, featuring the 500 miles of the Great Basin Desert – beautiful but lonely at the same time. The silence can be deafening and stressful sometimes, so don’t embark on this journey if you have a weak heart or an old vehicle. However, if you can survive this, you will enter Las Vegas – the perfect lively city to break hours of solitude.
The Great River Road
A journey along the enormous Mississippi River will produce some of the best experiences of cross-country road trips. The River Road is a single route along the river and provides passages to 10 states bordering it.
You will see numerous farms lining along the route but there’s no chance to get bored as you will encounter thick forests, green meadows, wildlife refuges, parks, and many more things. Don’t expect a complete scenic view along the route because you will also have to drive through industrial zones, some major cities, and heaps of litter on the roadside.
However, the road crosses the river often, allowing you to explore the great river in many ways. After all, who does not love Mississippi and dream of making a trip down it after reading Mark Twain’s classic book Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?
The Final Words
All of these cross-country road trips have their unique features and charms. However, don’t plan for a long journey until you are fully prepared for it mentally, physically, and financially. A road trip sounds exciting but not everyone has the mental strength and physical stamina they demand from the trippers.