Hitting the open road is indeed one of the best feelings in the world. You just hop in the car and drive off to a different place that you've never explored before. Only a few things in life could be more liberating than that. Whether you want to ride the coast, feeling the sea breeze in the air, or just snake through a dense forest, you'll be curious to find out where the most exciting U.S routes for summer adventures reside. It's high time you put the seatbelt on because we're going to get you on a wild journey through some of America's best routes and places for traveling. From the scenic Drive Route 66’s Singing Road in New Mexico to the remarkable route from The Black Hills To Sturgis in South Dakota, all adventurers will be inspired to hit the road when the sun goes up.
But before you go, we’d advise you against riding through a dozen of other U.S states for a few simple reasons: they’re neither that scenic nor that safe at all. Now prep your summer playlist, get the car ready, and hit the gas - America's most compelling routes await you!
25 Best: Drive Route 66’s Singing Road, New Mexico
Whether you're looking for scenic roads or just trying to explore the historic beauty of New Mexico, Drive Route 66’s Singing Road will undoubtedly suit your needs. Create your memories this summer by getting on the scenic Drive Route 66's Singing Road in New Mexico. Kick off your summer journey to Albuquerque, and as you make your way through New Mexico, don't forget to pay attention to the beauty surrounding you. Cruise east through the Cibola forest until you reach the singing road and Tijeras. As you drive along the road, don't forget to explore the route's legendary twist, and its's strip of “musical road,” installed near the village of Tijeras, east of Albuquerque.
24 Best: Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway, Colorado
How about hunting for fossils while driving along the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway? As unique as it is, this particular U.S route loops through Utah and Colorado, offering the West's best dinosaur sites you'd love to explore around here. Apart from its top sites, Colorado also boasts exceptional scenery. Tip: start your unique journey on the Colorado side and drive northwest to the famous town, aptly named Dinosaur. Discover the palaeontology lab and see live digs at the National Monument here. Once you've enjoyed the museum, hop back in the car and continue west into Utah. There, you can also pay a visit to the garden of life-size dinosaur species at the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum.
23 Best: National Historic Road, Selma, Alabama
Get your summer vacation to the next level by driving along the National Scenic Road in the state of Alabama. Believe it or not, this scenic 54-mile route has a historical significance for the locals around here. This particular byway traces the route followed by civil rights demonstrators back in 1965. Get your historical journey started in Selma, then make sure to spend a couple of hours exploring the small yet cozy town, and before you go, follow the U.S. 80, which crosses the arched bridge named after Edmund Pettus. Your scenic drive to Montgomery then continues east where you pass by rural countryside that's definitely worth exploring as well.
22 Best: Explore "South’s Last Stand" In Virginia
Still wondering what Virginia keeps in store for you? Get ready to drive along another historical route that starts at the Petersburg National Battlefield Park Visitor Center. The history narrates the story of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who escaped Virginia, with Union troops at his heels. General Robert's journey, whose surrender put an end to the Civil War, is now one of the most interesting and well-marked driving routes in Virginia. Here, at the Park Visitor Center, travelers can learn a lot about the siege and the permanent exhibits at the center. After that, the road meanders west through a beautiful farmland, offering stunning views of the surrounding scenery.
21 Best: Drive Coast To Coast On I-90, Boston, Massachusetts
If you're in the mood for driving across the country, you might as well want to take the long route, connecting Boston to Seattle. But what for, right? Well, you'll pass through a total of 13 other states while dropping down around Boston's Great Lakes and then up across the Continental Divide. As you enjoy your scenic drive through Boston, you should totally consider making detours to some of the state's best sites in the region. Here, adventurers love stopping for a break to enjoy the famous Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, and the renowned Yellowstone National Park. Quite worthy of exploring, right?
20 Best: The Scenic Road From The Black Hills To Sturgis, South Dakota
Starting at the so-called Rapid City in South Dakota, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is perfect not only for drivers but for enthusiastic bikers as well. As exciting as it is, this motorcycle rally simply transforms South Dakota's charming town into a huge gathering spot for bikers. If you happen to be a biker as well, make sure to come around and enjoy the ride to Stirgus, which is quite an epic road itself. While you're in the region, follow routes past the famous Devil's Tower and Badlands. Well, you don't really have to a biker to enjoy these events. Just plan a road trip from Rapid City through the Black Hills, and as you make your way to Sturgis, don't miss to take in the views of the Custer State Park and the region's largest monuments, like Deadwood.
19 Best: Feel The Aloha Spirit In Oahu, Hawaii
Looking forward to an out-of-the-ordinary ride? Well, then you'll probably fall hard for the scenic roads in the region of Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii. If you're specifically itching for an Oahu adventurous escape, then set off on an exciting trip around the eastern part of the island. You'll be amazed to find out what this part of the world can offer you. This road trip will practically save you from the hustle and bustle of the city while taking you into a more realistic, authentic Hawaiian setting. It's high time you blended in with the locals, and taste the traditional cuisine while enjoying the road trip of your dreams.
18 Best: Take The Stunning Road To Daytona Beach, Florida
Leave the busy city and cruise along Florida's Presidental Trial featuring quite an impressive roundup of historical sites; all of them relate to America's former presidents, of course. Your starting point is in Pensacola, which happens to be the place where Andrew Jackson served as the first governor of Florida. Then cruise across the northern parts and swerve to the lovely Daytona Beach. When your stomach starts rumbling, grab a delicious meal at The Cellar - a super cozy restaurant which used to be Warren G. Harding’s home. Heading straight into Central Florida, you'll surely run into tributes to the American leaders at Clearmont's The Presidents Hall of Fame. Indeed, it'd be one hell of a road trip through America's most exciting historic sites.
17 Best: Lake Champlain Byway In Vermont
Well, if you're not fond of exploring prominent sites and monuments, you can also find excitement and relaxation at the eastern shore of Lake Champlain; it's located in the northwestern part of Vermont. Start the car and get ready for a super fresh and green summer getaway from the muggy city. This route, in particular, skirts the eastern shores of this lovely lake and as you drive south to north, you'll find that the beautiful landscape rolls through charming towns, farmland, mountains, and, of course, the sky-blue Lake Champlain. Swimming and hiking are available at the north end of the scenic byway, so why not stop the car here, right?
16 Best: Alaska’s Parks Highway Welcomes You
While trains shuttle lots of adventurers from Anchorage to Fairbanks, one of the best ways to fully enjoy the wild character of Alaska is on an exciting road trip along the George Parks Highway. Start the engine, hit the gas pedal and enjoy your ride through the charming town of Wasilla, which is now quite politically famous. As you drive north through this lovely place, we suggest that you spend the night in Talkeetna. If you're in luck, you may even catch the annual moose dropping festival as well. Once you're ready to get back on the road, head towards the famous Denali National Park that boasts stunning wilderness and breath-taking sunsets over the mountains.
15 Best: Reach The Famous Empire State’s Great Lakes, NY State
Summer is definitely the best time to explore the Empire State's Great Lakes as well. So what better way to do so than with an adventurous road trip, right? Get your journey started at Dunkirk Historical Lighthouse sitting on Lake Erie. From there, you can take a harbor cruise and find out more about the local shipwrecks. Once you're done, you can get back on Route 190 and continue your summer trip northward. Get around the lake and you'll soon reach the majestic Niagara Falls and the beautiful Fort Niagara State Park. Before heading north, make sure to experience history programs and breath-taking views there. Another historical route within the region that's totally worth taking is Murphy Orchards & Underground Railroad, NY. See? There's a ton of cool things you can do while driving along the best routes in the NY state.
14 Best: Holly Hill, South Carolina, Also Offers Great Routes For You
Interested in following an awesome Southern BBQ Trail that's near Holly Hill? Then pace yourself for the most delicious BBQ this southern region has to offer. The starting point is in South Carolina where you can grab a yummy meal at the Sweatman's. Once you're ready to hit the open road again, make sure that you follow I-20 due west until you reach Birmingham, Alabama. From there, head south, then west to Ocean Springs, Mississippi and you'll reach the legendary place called The Shed. Indeed, this region is full of amazing food establishments, which will only make your road trip through South Carolina a better experience. Another thing that this region boasts is the charming town of Holly Hills in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. It may be a small town, but it's Francis Beidler Forest Park is definitely worth exploring.
13 Best: The Eastern Shoreline, Asbury Park, New Jersey
The Eastern shoreline is indeed quite an amazing location for summer road trips and solo adventures. Begin your trip from the Garden State Parkway at the New Jersey shore in Asbury Park and get inspired by its brand-new boardwalk. As you go farther south, you'll reach the stunning Atlantic City which can't wait to unveil its wide number of affordable lodging options. Once you've arrived at the bottom tip of the state, we absolutely recommend hitting Cape May for its quiet and exotic beaches, and historic lighthouse. From there, you can always move on to Delaware as Fenwick Island also awaits a bit farther to the south. As charming as it is, this location is also home to the famous DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum.
12 Best: Pacific Coast Highway In Monterey, CA
How about riding along the Pacific Coast Highway? As one of the state's most iconic drives, PCH is always a great idea for summer trips. But to make it even a better experience, kick off the journey in Monterey - the former capital of California - and get ready to unveil the state's Spanish and Mexican past. Once you're here, do not miss the chance to learn more about the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Next on your map is the stunning Carmer River State Beach. Just pull over to enjoy pelicans and then head towards Point Lobos Reserve that covers over 500 acres, and includes the first undersea reserve. From here, you can also get to the marvelous cliffs of Big Sur before the drive ends in Morro Bay, Morro Rock, and its breath-taking views.
11 Best: Drive Along The "All-American Road" For Unique Scenery
Cruising under Montana’s cerulean sky is definitely a magical experience, especially if you travel along the aptly named "Beartooth All-American Highway", aka US 212. Although it's only 64 miles along, the All-American road is known as the most beautiful drive in America. As stunning as it is, this road winds through Montana and Wyoming and promises a leisurely trip; however, it takes at least a few hours to cross it, so be ready to welcome some weather changes as well. While cruising along US 212, keep your eyes wide open for its breathtaking scenery and wildlife. As spectacular as it is, this region is abundant in awe-inspiring mountain peaks and lakes that go over 10,000 in total. Quite inspiring, isn't it?
10 Avoid: Connecticut May Be Quite Boring
Moving on to the less spectacular US route trips, we cannot go on without mentioning a few words about Connecticut, the southernmost American state in the New England region. It's not that Connecticut will totally ruin your summer road trip, but there's just hardly anything impressive about its roads & highways. Frankly, the trouble with Connecticut generally lies in one huge fact – there’s not much that screams “a fantastic summer road trip." Besides, as you drive through it, you'll probably realize that the scenery is quite dull and unimpressive, rather than scenic and awe-inspiring. Worse still, the setting can be quite depressive too. Once you get outside of the Foxwoods region and its casinos, there's barely a thing that can compel your fellow travelers whatsoever.
9 Avoid: Rhode Island And Its Interior Areas Are Kind Of Gray-ish
Looking for a more refreshing summer road trip across America? Then you should probably need to make a detour and cross Rhode Island off the list unless you like being bored as hell. While there are people who actually enjoy hitting the highway to Rhode Island, there's not much that's really worth exploring. Well, it's also true that there's a good chance to meet somebody famous in Newport, but outside of that, there's nothing impressive about passing through Rhode Island.
The interior areas of Rhode Island aren't exactly known for being that fantastic either; not to mention that they almost share the same suburban pattern of the island, which isn't perfect for a non-stop summer ride for sure.
8 Avoid: Mississippi's Roads Are Just Less Hospitable
When it comes to the land of Mississippi, we just can't deny that this state has some of the lowest gas prices. However, is it worth wasting any money around here? The thing is that this state cannot impress road-trippers with scenic views and dreamy landscapes, and to make it even worse, the state of Mississippi is mainly rated for being less hospitable. If we add the staggering heat and humidity of the area that will probably wash over you the moment you reach it, it's quite easy to see why summer adventurers prefer other U.S states for summer road trips.
7 Avoid: Pennsylvania And Its Poorly Maintained Roads Are A Big No-No
If you've ever cruised through the U.S state of Pennsylvania, then you probably know that the state's most interesting things within the area are Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Whichever route you pick, it won't really make a difference anyway. Besides, the Keystone State is quite notorious for its not-so-perfect road conditions. Another place that's probably worth exploring is Poconos. But other than that, there's hardly anything that's worth breaking the car down because of the poor road conditions within the state. Well, that certainly sounds like another well-founded reason why travelers regularly hate passing through the state of Pennsylvania.
6 Avoid: North Dakota And Its Oil Spill Problems
Traveling to North Dakota, you'll probably realize that it's not the most beautiful American state. In fact, it's quite ill-famed for being the least-visited one. A significant part of that lies in the geographical location, and another factor that comes into play is the lack of tourist attractions. After all, you've got to have a reason to pack up the car, and head there, right? Well, it seems that North Dakota is pretty short of unique sites to see. Another huge problem is the state's safety on the road. This American state, in particular, has seen a jump in car accidents as well. Also, it's still ill-famed for its tricky ill patch highways and unfriendly vibes. For instance, North Dakota's notorious Oil Patch Highway is certainly a good reason to avoid passing through it.
5 Avoid: About 26 % of Michigan's Rural Roads Are In Critical Conditions
According to detroitnews.com, many of Michigan's rural roads are, in fact, in a critical condition while about 13 % of the state's bridges are structurally deficient. Unfortunately, most of the tourists steer clear from the once-cherished "Motor City" due to the high rate of situations on the road. Another detail that cannot be left unmentioned is the great number of abandoned downtown buildings that the state is known for. Indeed, such ungainly sights are the last thing you'd want to see when cruising along the road in a hot summer day. In a statement released by Carl Bednarski, who's the president of the Michigan Farm Bureau, it became clear that the state has been facing some serious issues regarding the road conditions and safety.
4 Avoid: Driving Along Delaware's Route 40
It's true that the joyful vacation lies in the location, so you'd better choose carefully. To avoid being lost in the wrong direction this time, we'd kindly advise you against hitting the road to the small state of Delaware, and here's why. Not only does it offer a pretty low ranking for attractions, hotel costs and population density in general, but it's hardly abundant in great scenic routes either. For instance, Route 40 is where holidays practically end. Frankly, it's one of the state's most notorious and most dangerous roads. Indeed, this surely explains why you shouldn't pass through it.
3 Avoid: Passing Through The Ozark Mountains In Arkansas (Unless You've Got Money To Waste)
The idea of you cruising along the open road with your windows down may sound quite intoxicating; however, you've got to be careful where you're going. While some American states are just perfect for summer adventures, the state of Arkansas is also facing some safety concerns and a small range of tourist attractions & activities. Another huge downside is its overly priced lodging options. Besides, if you happen to be within the region of the Ozark Mountains just a couple of minutes from the Buffalo National River, then you'll be in trouble. With few lodging options around here, starting from $1,600 per night, you'll certainly want to hit the road again as soon as possible. These places are just a little overpriced, so they're not really worth it.
2 Avoid: Passing Through Kansas And Save Your Car
If you do care about your brand-new car, then you've got to be careful when cruising along Kansas' worst routes. But if we were you, we wouldn't even get near the state's worst byways which will surely destroy the shiny paint of your car. Sadly, Kansas is simply not recommended for summer road trips since it's short of scenic roads, stunning scenery or historical sites for that matter. Worse still, Kansas' roads have been ranked among the most dangerous ones throughout America, and that simply put an end to any summer holiday over there. According to Wichita Director of Public Works, almost 40 % of the residential roads need to be repaired due to their poor condition.
1 Avoid: Indiana's Roads Are Still Crumbling Despite The New Infrastructure
Known as the land of the Indians, the state of Indiana seems to be facing similar problems regarding the road conditions. Sadly, it's only getting twice as bad in Indianapolis, being its most populous city, capital, and seat of Marion County. Generally, the state's poor road conditions are one of the main reasons why visitors and summertime adventurers prefer not to pass through Indiana. To make it worse, theindychannel.com reports that the "The Call 6 Investigators" have stumbled upon sections of crumbling roads in the very heart of central Indiana despite the money that's been funneled into its new infrastructure. Honestly, all of that simply makes for a pretty bad summer trip that nobody wants to be part of.