We have compiled a short list of the most spectacular routes in the country. If you enjoy driving, this could be a dream come true! Just load a road trip playlist and get that car out of the garage one more time. This can be your last dose of adventure before the cold weather creeps in, so read on and choose your destination quickly!
The Pacific Coast Highway
We are starting off with one of the most romantic routes not only in the country but in the whole world. The road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway has been ranked among the trips of a lifetime that everyone should do while they are alive. And there’s plenty of reasons for that – beautiful monolithic rock formations and intimate bays are only a few of them. The route offers everything from temperate rainforest to near-desert.
Begin your journey at the very southern edge of California – San Diego – and drive all the way up to San Francisco and beyond, into the forests of northern Washington.
From the South-West Edge of the Country
At the start of your trip in San Diego, there will be a lot to see already. In the historic part of town, you will find buildings from the 18th century. However, the city is more popular with its glorious beaches, its Zoo and Seaworld. Visited these already? Then Explore the Gaslamp District for the nightlife and Balboa Park for the culture. If you want to get a good view of the city before you leave, visit the Cabrillo National Monument at Point Loma. You will get a panoramic view of the whole Bay area!
La Jolla Shores Park must be your next stop! You will make friends with the seals there. If you are into bird watching instead, Tori Pines is your place. It is one of the premier destinations for birding in the country.
It’s Always a Beach Time
Speaking of beaches, you might want to make a little detour to visit some of the golden sands north of San Diego County. These will be some very romantic stops before you enter the City of Angels. If you head to Long Beach, you will drive along Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach.
Even further north you will have plenty of beach sights to admire. Venice Beach, for example, is famous for its street art and graffiti. Check out some of the galleries or walk down the streets to get an idea of the culture and boho spirit of the town.
Surfing or diving? Malibu Beach is your place! Whether you prefer mellow or more extreme waves, the region has it all. Hermosa and Zuma beaches are also options near the city. You will see amateur and professional surfers, and plenty of diving schools along the coastline. So get your surfs up and spend a day on that. Fun is guaranteed!
Big City Life
Los Angeles and San Francisco are the two big cities where you can return to civilization. There are plenty of smaller towns, but somehow they fit perfectly in the landscape. LA and SF are really a break for reload.
In L.A., you can eat some of the best Korean barbeques. Surprise, surprise. And you thought such a thing never existed. In San Fran, you can dive in avocado! Ok, maybe not. But Mexican cuisine there is top-notch! The burritos of San Francisco are like the pizza in New York! The food scene in San Francisco can really spice up your trip. Make sure you explore it in detail before you head north. The two cities are famous for their bad traffic situation. So if you stop in either of them for a break, plan extra time in stillness. Make sure you don’t waste time there instead of visiting Hearst Castle, The Avenue of Giants or Cape Perpetua!
To the North-West Corner of the country
The very last stop for sightseeing is the Olympic National Park. You can find it at the northwest tip of the United States – although you probably caught a glimpse of it on your way up here. The nearly million-acre landscape combines features from all corners of the country. Forests like those in Maine or peaks with snow caps like those in the Rocky Mountains, you will be surprised. But do your research in advance and choose your points of entry depending on what you want to see. The Park deserves its own week of exploration. At least. Still, even a one-day hike makes it the perfect ending to this cross-country trip!
In case of an Emergency…
Driving for so long might sometimes lead to unexpected interruptions in your trip. An overheated flat tire, an exhausted engine… Cars are machines after all, and once in a while, they break down. In the unfortunate event that it happens, know who you can call. There are car service shops along each of the routes but make sure you have access to their phone numbers or websites while traveling.
In case you need your car shipped back home, here is what you should do to get easily through the trouble:
- Request a quote online or call (818) 850-5258.
- Tell us the car make and model. We will check the earliest availability.
- We will contact one of our carriers and schedule your shipment.
- Be patient. The carrier will pick up one to few days from the requested date.
- The driver will complete an inspection report before loading the car.
- Depending on where you get stuck, auto transport might take from one to few days. Ask your shipper to get a better idea of timing.
- At delivery, the carrier will unload and inspect the vehicle again.
It is always good to be prepared in advance. This is not to spoil your excitement from the start. But imagine if you get stuck in the middle of nowhere with no help anywhere nearby. You will wish to have researched that earlier, won’t you?
Now, moving on to the next one!
The Oregon Trail
The route traces the historical path of the Golden rush. During the 19th century, the Oregon Trail was the main pathway for American emigrants looking for new opportunities. Throughout the years there were not only gold hunters but various types of personalities, including fur trappers and mere farmers, desperately searching for their chances. More than 400,000 pioneers traveled its trails in the boom years between 1840 and 1860. Today the trail doesn’t show any signs of the torment the pioneers of the West had gone through. Yet, the modern version of the Oregon Trail has preserved its beauty.
A Landscape from God
The Oregon Trail welcomes wanderers from all around the country. You might be surprised to find out that the trail did not and still does not in present times follow a certain predefined route. Throughout the years new paths and cutoffs were added to the route, so today you can find numerous variations. Whether you take the long coast-to-coast route or the shorter version from Oregon to Missouri, you will be satisfied. The abundance God has placed along the way cannot be neglected. The magnificent landscapes and jaw-dropping views stretch from Oregon city all the way to Cape Cod – over 3000 miles to provide a broad range of places to stop and marvel at.
Along the Steps of the first Westerns
If you want to feel like a true Western pioneer, go from east to west. If you are a real gold hunter, start with the golden sands at the Cape. They will set the romantic tone for your trip. The historical start of the trail, however, is marked in Missouri. So if you are located somewhere in the mid-west, this could turn into a good educational trip! There you can check out The National Frontier Trails Museum.
This road trip goes by some of the most popular sights in the USA, including the Niagara Falls (NY) and Yellowstone National Park (WY). While in New York, make sure you stop in Cooperstown to enjoy some sports glory at the baseball hall of fame. Another hall of fame can be found in Cleveland (OH) where you will get hit by a thunder of rock’n’roll. When you are in Wyoming, make sure you stack up on food and water supplies. Sometimes it takes hundreds of miles between towns in this state.
Midway across the country, you can visit two notable monuments, Mt. Rushmore and Carhenge. Idaho can offer something, too! Visit the Shoshone Falls on the Snake River. They are quite often referred to as the “Niagara of the West.” From then on, all you have is the hills and trees of Oregon. There you will meet your final destination – The Oregon Trail Interpretative Center in Oregon City. And you will be a complete 19th-century adventurer!
The Appalachian Trail
Last but not least – a road trip on the East Coast! We can’t afford to leave you without this opportunity because it adds a whole different dimension to our list. You will feel enlightened after this trip in many ways. It will broaden your historical and geographical knowledge and will shock you with the beauty of nature that hides between the cities.
The Appalachian Trail passes through 14 states – from the North Woods of Maine all the way south to Georgia. The route holds some of the wealthiest, and some of the neediest, areas in the entire country. These contrasting worlds often sit within a few miles of one another.
The Mixture of Cultures
The three main regions that the route goes through are New England, Mid-Atlantic, and the Southern Appalachians.
New England will surprise you with its large number of college communities and summer homes. This is where your classic Jaguar would fit perfectly! But beyond that, you will see breathtaking highlights such as the ones in Baxter State Park and the White Mountain National Forest.
The Mid-Atlantic will leave you feeling remotely detached despite the fact that it passes through quite a number of cities. You can spend some time at the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, New York or visit the Appalachian Trail Museum. Today, the museum exhibits over 13,000 images of hikers who have passed through the area over the years.
The Southern region is where the tallest peak on the entire trail is – at the famous Clingmans Dome. You can also visit the Museum of the Cherokee in North Caroline to meet the story of the first people to use the area and mark the trail.
The most scenic routes
The best driving routes among them are the Skyline Drive in Virginia and the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. The Skyline Drive runs along the crest of Shenandoah National Park and ends near Calf Mountain with a panoramic view of the park.
The route I North Caroline starts at the Blue Ridge and ends at Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the border with Tennessee. Your urban pitstop should definitely be in Asheville – one of the most artistic cities on the East Coast. Gettysburg is always a nice stop, too, to take a trip down the history lane.
The Options are There for You
You think a cross-country trip is a little bit out of your league? Then check out our selection of shorter trips which will still blow your mind away. We would usually say do not drive across the country if you are not truly ready for it, but we know this would only make you do it. If you are the stubborn type, maybe you should try The Loneliest Route, which combines exactly the worst states to drive through. A true challenge, isn’t it?
If you want to do a whole trip across the country but don’t have enough days at hand, you can still do a part of it. You can choose the destinations you want to visit, and we can help you get from to the other more quickly. We can transport your car from one location to the other while you take a break from driving and catch a flight instead. Do your planning and talk to us to arrange a pick-up date. Such a schedule could be fun, too! After all, this way you will be able to say you did two trips and not just one!