Great American Road Trips to Take Once in a Lifetime

American road trips are some of the greatest experiences in the world. Long routes, stretching for hundreds of miles combined with a plethora of scenery, culture and spectacular views.

Here are some of the best once-in-a-lifetime great American road trips to take.

Route 66

Route 66, one of the great American road trips
Route 66: Photo on Flickr by Gabriel Millos / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Route 66 is arguably the most iconic of American road trips – if not the world.

Start your road trip – in your RV loaded with plenty of equipment, snacks and traveling essentials – in Lake Michigan, and drive the 3,940 km all the way to California. You’ll travel through several states including Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, finally arriving in sunny California.

Route 66 is one of the most iconic American road trips to embark on for several reasons; along the way you’ll discover the world’s largest Totem Pole, the Grand Canyon, Santa Monica Pier, Mural City, Saint Joseph Church, plus countless motels, museums and cafes. This road trip surely will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one you don’t want to miss out on!

Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway is a great road trip to enjoy at any age, but it is often considered to be most popular with younger travellers.

Don your sunglasses, pack your sunscreen and head out in your RV along the Pacific Coast.

During your trip you’ll pass through San Francisco and see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. You’ll get the chance to stop off and hike in Big Sur National Park, frolic on the beach in Malibu and make your way to San Diego for some of the most stunning views.

The Pacific Coast Highway is an incredible road trip to enjoy as it’s known as one of the most scenic routes in the world. Over 1000 km of ocean views, beaches and untouched forests are laid out before you; take your RV and hit the road!

The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway with the golden leaves of autumn, one of the great American road trips
Blue Ridge Parkway in autumn

If you’re looking for Great American road trips that are slightly removed from the cities, then there’s no better choice than the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Snaking its way through the Appalachian Mountains all the way to the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, it greets you with spectacularly colourful forests, winding roads and incredible views of some of America’s greatest mountains.

This road trip is intended to be driven at a leisurely pace so you can really make the most of the views around you. Its perfect for RV driving as you can enjoy the slow-paced drive and take in your beautiful surroundings.

How to travel

When planning Great American road trips, there are a few things you need to bear in mind to make your trip as enjoyable, and safe, as possible.

Choose a suitable RV for a driving vacation

Choosing a suitable RV is probably the most important thing to do when embarking on a road trip in America. While you may begrudge paying extortionate amounts of money for one, you do need to make sure that it’s safe and comfortable to drive.

As you’ll be travelling for hundreds of miles on your road trip, you need to ensure your RV will last you well throughout your journey. It should have safe tyres and affordable gas mileage and be comfortable to drive, especially if you’re planning to drive for days at a time. You should also find the best RV air conditioner for your budget, as you don’t want to be stuck on the road with no AC.

Take plenty of rest breaks on your USA self-drive holiday

camper van at the beach, great American road trips

Taking plenty of rest breaks is essential when embarking on an American road trip. You could find yourself driving for hours on end without any scheduled stops, meaning that you need to ensure you schedule some rest time in regularly.

With such long distances to drive, you need to make sure you don’t get tired and end up falling asleep at the wheel. Not only that, but you’ll need to stop regularly to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat and admire your surroundings properly.

Ensure you have all the correct paperwork

When hiring (or purchasing) an RV for a Great American road trip, you need to have all the correct paperwork with you at all times in the event of an emergency.

It’s a good idea to carry the appropriate insurance documents with you as well so you can present them if you ever require them while on your road trip.


An American road trip is sure to be one of the best experiences of your life. Driving along Route 66 or making your way along the coast on the Pacific Coast Highway is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime!

Ensure that you always have all the correct paperwork with you, and that your RV is in excellent condition before you embark upon your road trip.

About Rebecca Brown

Rebecca is an avid traveler and tends to fall in love with every beach she visits. She has an ever-expanding list of places to visit, with Hawaii and Bora Bora at the top of her list.

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