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Un Road trip aux USA à la découverte de Chicago et des grands lacs

Le middle West américain n’est pas forcément la région du pays la plus prisée des touristes, contrairement à la Californie, cependant, elle a de quoi séduire les amateurs de road trips. Au programme : grands lacs et plages, parcs nationaux et bien sûr Chicago ! Voici nos conseils pour bien organiser votre voyage, ainsi qu’une suggestion d’itinéraire qui devrait vous plaire. Suivez le guide !

road trip USA

Notre itinéraire pour votre road trip

L’idée est de commencer votre road trip par Chicago , où vous récupérerez votre location de voiture USA  pour partir à la découverte de cette ville, à la culture riche et à l’architecture grandiose, entre grattes ciel, lacs et jardins, dont le célèbre Millenium Park , situé en bordure du lac Michigan. Elle possède aussi la skyline la plus imposante du pays. Bref, vous allez l’adorer ! 

Vous souhaitez y rester plus longtemps ? Consultez notre guide pour savoir ce qu’il y a faire à Chicago !

Vous partirez ensuite faire une boucle autour du lac Michigan , la plus grande étendue d’eau douce des US, mesurant plus de 500km de long et 200km de large ! Si vous avez deux bonnes semaines devant vous, nous vous conseillons de passer par deux états : le Wisconsin et le Michigan et de monter jusqu’au lac Supérieur. Vous vous arrêterez à Milwaukee , la plus importante ville du Wisconsin au bord du lac Michigan, connue comme capitale de la bière et des Harley Davinson.

Door County & Traverse City

Ensuite, vous longerez le lac jusqu’à la péninsule du Door County , célèbre pour sa route des vins et ses nombreux phares. Après un trajet d’environ 5h, vous arriverez alors dans l’Etat du Michigan, sur les rives du lac Supérieur puis vous continuerez vers le sud-ouest jusqu’à Traverse City , la capitale de la cerise, réputée pour ses vignobles et ses plages aménagées en bordure du lac Michigan. Ne manquez pas le Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore , un havre de paix à la nature spectaculaire !

Saugatuk & Chicago

Après ça, vous reprendrez la route vers le sud, en passant par la jolie ville de Saugatuk , son port de plaisance et ses plages vous permettront de prendre une bouffée d’air frais, avant de retrouver l’agitation de Chicago.

La boucle est bouclée ! 🙂

Ce road trip peut être un peu fatigant , alors pour ne pas rentrer épuisés de vos vacances, optez pour un véhicule tout confort, des hôtels de qualité, comme par exemple le Chicago Athletic Association , une adresse à la déco tendance , située dans un bâtiment historique du centre-ville de Chicago, un quartier branché et animé. Faites aussi des pauses et soyez au minimum deux conducteurs pour pouvoir alterner, afin de vous reposer et profiter du paysage magnifique que vous offre la région des grands lacs.

Chicago

Arch Rock sur l'île Mackinac - Michigan - Etats-Unis

Un été sur les Grands Lacs Circuit autotour dans les lacs Michigan, Supérieur et Huron.

  • Voyager en décalé

Autotour estival dans la région des Grands Lacs, pour des vacances typiquement américaines.

Et si on partait en vacances aux États-Unis ... mais à l’américaine ? En été, de nombreux couples et familles vont prendre un bol d’air près des Grands Lacs, lovés à la frontière du Canada et des États-Unis. Peu connue des Français, cette région dévoile des espaces grandeur nature de toute beauté, que l’on explore à pied, à vélo ou en canoë, entre deux baignades et pauses farniente. Dans cette mosaïque de paysages lacustres, le ferry succède aux chemins de traverse pour rejoindre les stations chics et les îles sauvages, où nichent vos adresses typiques et conviviales. Le long des côtes, les villages invitent à la flânerie dans les petites boutiques et sur les jetées, qu’un phare coquet illumine à la nuit tombée.

La bonne saison

Ce voyage dans la région des Grands Lacs est réalisable en été, à la bonne saison. Idéalement, on préfère les mois d’août et septembre pour se baigner dans les eaux limpides des lacs, l’eau étant un brin plus fraîche en juin-juillet malgré la douceur des températures. En été, vous l’aurez compris, la région profite d’un climat propice aux activités de plein air comme la pêche, le nautisme, le bullage sur les plages et l’exploration des grandes villes. En hiver, les plus petits lacs se mettent à geler et se transforment en patinoire géante. La pêche sur glace devient très populaire, à découvrir peut-être lors d’un autre voyage.

Marjorie Thioux

  • Adopter the way of holidays à l’américaine, au grand air et en pleine nature.
  • Vous essayer au canoë avec portage dans les Boundary Waters, une myriade de petits lacs.
  • Louer un vélo pour explorer Mackinac Island et Beaver Island, deux îles contrastées.
  • Ponctuer votre parcours de baignades en eau douce sur les plages de sable fin.
  • Séjourner dans des hébergements authentiques, à l'opposé des grandes chaînes hôtelières américaines.
  • 1 Jours 1 - 2 MINNEAPOLIS
  • 2 Jour 3 ELY
  • 3 Jour 4 BEAVER BAY
  • 4 Jours 5 - 6 BAYFIELD
  • 5 Jour 7 MARQUETTE
  • 6 Jour 8 MACKINAC ISLAND
  • 7 Jour 9 CHARLEVOIX
  • 8 Jour 10 BEAVER ISLAND
  • 9 Jours 11 - 12 GLEN ARBOR
  • 10 Jour 13 SAUGATUCK
  • 11 Jours 14 à 17 CHICAGO

À partir de

prix par personne calculé sur la base de 2 personnes

2900 € sur la base de 4 personnes

Ce prix comprend

  • Les vols Paris/Minneapolis et Chicago/Paris
  • La location d’une voiture pendant 13 jours
  • 2 nuits en hôtels avec petits déjeuners et 13 nuits en hôtels ou lodges en hébergement seul

Ce budget varie en fonction de la saison et de la disponibilité.

Pour voyager dans un climat estival propice à la baignade, il n’y a pas le feu au lac : partez en septembre pour profiter de tarifs plus cool.

1 MINNEAPOLIS

Kayak sur le fleuve Mississippi à Minneapolis - Minnesota - Etats-Unis

3 BEAVER BAY

Phare au dessus du lac Supérieur, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park - Minnesota - Etats-Unis

5 MARQUETTE

Phare de Marquette sur le lac Supérieur - Michigan - Etats-Unis

6 MACKINAC ISLAND

Phare de Round Island sur le lac Huron - Comté de Mackinac - Etats-Unis

7 CHARLEVOIX

Phare de Charlevoix - Etats-Unis

8 BEAVER ISLAND

Île Beaver - Lac Michigan - Région des Grands Lacs - Etats-Unis

9 GLEN ARBOR

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Michigan - Etats-Unis

10 SAUGATUCK

Saugatuck - Michigan - Etats-Unis

Atmosphère, atmosphère !

Beaver Island est une île sauvage aux belles plages et forêts, aux habitants chaleureux et à l’ambiance très décontractée. Difficile de croire qu’elle a été pendant quelques années le seul et unique royaume mormon fondé aux États-Unis ! En 1846, James Jesse Strang, considéré par certains comme le successeur légitime de Joseph Smith, s’installe sur l’île et se proclame roi de sa communauté quatre ans plus tard. On trouve aujourd’hui peu de vestiges de son règne conflictuel, qui n’a duré que six ans, mise à part une ancienne imprimerie transformée en un petit musée retraçant l’histoire de l’île.

Nos Welcome Hosts aux Etats-Unis

Ils vous donneront les clés de leur ville, loin des clichés habituels, et partageront, autour d’un verre, bons plans du moment et anecdotes sur leur vie quotidienne. Un échange convivial, spontané et naturel, pour capter l’ambiance du pays. Une rencontre offerte par Comptoir des Voyages.

Downtown Las Vegas - Las Vegas - Etats-Unis

Le temps d'un cola, faites connaissance avec notre Welcome Host Lise, qui vit à Las Vegas depuis 2003.

Parc National de Joshua Tree - Californie - États-Unis

Une envie particulière ?

  • Grands Lacs
  • Lac Michigan
  • Minneapolis
  • Randonnée

Suivez vos envies et demandez conseils à nos spécialistes

  • Ils sauront organiser votre itinéraire au plus près de vos envies et de la réalité du pays.
  • Échangez en face à face ou depuis nos studios connectés en agence, mais aussi par email ou téléphone.
  • Vous gardez le même interlocuteur avant, pendant et après votre voyage.

D'autres idées de voyage aux Etats-Unis

En direction de Staten Island - New York - Etats Unis

  • En famille Etats-Unis

Sweet home Manhattan Séjour famille à New York : Manhattan, Times Square, Central Park...

Grand Central Terminal - New York - Etats Unis

New York en plein cœur Séjour en immersion à New York : Harlem, East Village, Chelsea...

Cap Hatteras - Caroline du Nord - Etats-Unis

Capitale et barbecue Circuit autotour dans le Sud : Washington, Outer Banks, Baltimore...

Pas de résultat à afficher.

Vieille voiture américaine dans les rues de San Francisco - Californie - États-Unis

l'appli qui vous guide aux Etats-Unis

  • L’itinéraire vers votre bed and breakfast en 1 clic
  • Notre sélection de diners
  • Les plus beaux parcs nationaux géolocalisés
  • L'album souvenirs à composer vous-même

Luciole - Etats-Unis

Pourquoi voyager avec nous

Soyons honnête, nous ne sommes pas les seuls à proposer des voyages sur mesure, mais nous avons quelques atouts qui font incontestablement la différence.

Abonnez-vous à notre Newsletter

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Voyage  Chicago et les grands lacs

Voyage Chicago et les grands lacs

  • Voyage Etats-Unis
  • Chicago et les grands lacs
  • Côte Est USA
  • Etats du Sud USA
  • Nord-Ouest USA
  • Nouvelle-Angleterre
  • Rocheuses américaines
  • Comme chez moi
  • Déconnecter
  • Hôtels trendy
  • Je voyage en solo
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  • Les grands voyages
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  • Un petit tour en ville
  • Vacances de février
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road trip grands lacs usa

Contactez un conseiller spécialiste Etats-Unis 01 84 17 57 96

Idées voyages à Chicago et les grands lacs

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - L'Est - Chicago - Lac Michigan - Saugatuck

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - L'Est - Chicago - Lac Michigan - Saugatuck

Autour du lac michigan - chicago en vue et retraite bucolique.

Savourer Chicago, sa cuisine, ses parcs, son jazz ; cocooner à fleur de lac dans la petite ville de Saugatuck

9 jours, de 3000 à 4000 €

NOS VOYAGES CHICAGO ET LES GRANDS LACS

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - L'Est - Detroit - Cleveland

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - L'Est - Detroit - Cleveland

Detroit et cleveland - le réveil du midwest.

Vivre Detroit et Cleveland, tandem industriel, intrigant et musical du Midwest

9 jours, de 3100 à 3800 €

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - New Orleans - Memphis - Chicago

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - New Orleans - Memphis - Chicago

Du deep south au lac michigan- la traversée sud-nord des us en train.

Feuilleter quelques pages du grand livre de l'histoire US à travers la richesse culturelle de trois cités phares : New Orleans,[...]

12 jours, de 4200 à 5200 €

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - Chicago - Memphis - Nashville - New Orleans

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - Chicago - Memphis - Nashville - New Orleans

De chicago à la nouvelle-orléans - la route de la musique américaine.

Un grand road-trip de l'Illinois au Deep South, sur une bande-son blues, country et rock

15 jours, de 4500 à 5900 €

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - Chicago - Grands Lacs

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - Chicago - Grands Lacs

Chicago & les grands lacs - architecture urbaine & plages du midwest.

Autour du lac Michigan on the road : les plus beaux paysages et les skylines les plus spectaculaires

15 jours, de 4500 à 5800 €

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - Chicago - San Francisco

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - Chicago - San Francisco

De chicago à san francisco - la grande traversée des usa en train.

Traverser les Etats-Unis d’est en ouest, dans le sillage des pionniers, à bord d'un train de légende

10 jours, de 4800 à 5900 €

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - D'Est en Ouest - Route 66

Voyages itinérants Etats-Unis - D'Est en Ouest - Route 66

De chicago à los angeles - mythique road-trip au fil de la route 66.

Traverser les US sur 4000 km, véritable voyage initiatique ou road-movie d'une vie !

23 jours, de 5500 à 6900 €

WIFI NOMADE : 1GO/JOUR INCLUS

Conciergerie francophone

Appli carnet de voyage

Gagnez des miles

Voyageurs gourmets

Modifier son voyage en cours

Assistance 24/24

Absorption CO2

Nous recommandons vivement Voyageurs du Monde pour des voyages exceptionnels et inoubliables. Voyages personnalisés faits sur mesure selon le budget donné. Personnel très accueillant et à l'écoute, s'occupe de la totalité des prestations demandées. Merci à toute l'équipe !
J'ai demandé à Voyageurs du Monde de m'organiser un roadstrip personnalisé sur la route 66 aux Etats-Unis, j'ai bénéficié d'une incroyable sélection d'hôtels allant de surprise en surprise avec des étapes bien dosées.
Merci à Floriane de Voyageurs du Monde pour son aide à concrétiser notre projet de voyage aux Etats-Unis. Traverser les grands espaces mythiques de Chicago à San Francisco EN TRAIN est une expérience inoubliable.

Le guide Etats-Unis

road trip grands lacs usa

Guide Pratique

Quand partir aux Etats-Unis

24 heures à Chicago

24 heures à Chicago

road trip grands lacs usa

5 bonnes raisons de partir

Mieux préparer votre voyage aux Etats-Unis à Chicago et les grands lacs

Ce que l’on trouve lors d’un voyage autour des grands lacs américains que l’on ne trouve pas ailleurs, pour quels voyageurs , vivre un moment unique autour de chicago, on the road, autour du lac michigan, un city break ferroviaire à travers les états-unis, la mythique route 66 au départ de chicago, où voyager aux etats-unis .

Plus de 200 conseillers spécialisés par pays et régions, vous aident à créer un voyage selon vos envies et votre budget.

Personnalisation

Suivant les suggestions de votre conseiller mais aussi vos idées, nous construisons un voyage ultra-personnalisé : étapes, hébergements, activités, rencontres...

Conciergerie francophone à destination, assistance 24/24, salons lounge, douanes rapides, early check-in : un éventail de services d’excellence à votre disposition.

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Bonjour, Ni attente ni loupé dans nos Cités des Voyageurs. En prenant rendez-vous au jour et à l’heure qui vous conviennent, vous pourrez confortablement échanger avec l’un de nos spécialistes pays.

01 84 17 57 96

Prise de RDV

Rappelez-moi

Bonjour, Nos conseillers par destination sont à votre écoute sur rendez-vous par téléphone ou par visio du lundi au samedi de 9h à 19h, ou bien en agences de 10h à 18h.

Où souhaitez-vous partir ?

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Bonjour, Appelez-nous et prenez rendez-vous ! Du lundi au samedi de 10h à 18h dans nos Cités des Voyageurs. Ou encore sur rendez-vous par téléphone ou par visio du lundi au samedi de 9h à 19h. Et que le voyage commence !

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road trip grands lacs usa

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Préparer un road trip aux USA – Le guide complet

Et oui, voilà, enfin la première fois que je pose les pieds sur ce continent Nord-Américain, à presque 34 ans, lors d’un voyage en famille. Je m’étais déjà bien arrêté plusieurs fois à LAX comme on dit (l’aéroport de Los Angeles), mais je n’avais jamais eu l’occasion d’y passer des vacances. C’est chose faite. Je reviens en effet d’un mois de road trip aux USA entre San Francisco et son célèbre Golden Gate bridge, la zone aride aux alentours de Salt Lake City et les rocheuses côté Canada, où j’ai eu l’occasion de passer une semaine. Le grand ouest, sa démesure, les grands espaces à couper le souffle, la grandiose côte Californienne, les paysages grandioses du Yosemite National Park, les époustouflants parc des Keys et Everglades en Floride, ça vous parle ? Le rêve américain, non ? Nous vous invitons à venir lire notre guide sur le parc de Bryce Canyon , une merveille !

Un mois, évidemment c’est trop court pour dire que je connais bien les États-Unis. Néanmoins, cela m’a donné une très bonne impression du pays et des zones que j’ai eu l’occasion de visiter. Qui n’a jamais rêver d’un tel roadtrip honnêtement ? Qui n’a jamais eu envie de rouler des heures sur des routes sans fin, en plein désert ? Dans cet article, le premier sur les USA, je vous explique tout ce que vous devez savoir pour préparer votre voyage aux États-Unis : itinéraire, météo, organisation, logistique sur place, etc. Selon votre façon de voyager, il existe plusieurs moyens de prévoir un road trip aux États-Unis . Préparer son voyage n’est jamais simple, et j’espère que l’article pourra vous y aider ! Pour ceux que ça intéresse, voici le site de l’ambassade des États-Unis .

La diversité des paysages est impressionnante quand on voyage aux USA

1 – Quand partir pour un road trip aux USA

C’est à mon sens, la première question à se poser si vous envisagez un road trip sur le territoire américain. Enfin, pour être précis, je dirai qu’il faut réfléchir à la chose en même temps que l’itinéraire de votre road trip mais aussi en fonction du prix du billet d’avion pour y aller. Gardez cette idée en tête. Évidemment, vous pouvez partir aux USA toute l’année, on est d’accord. Existe t-il une meilleure période pour visiter les grands lacs ? L’immensité de l’Alaska ? La Sierra Nevada ? Le Cap Cod ? Pour autant, selon vos envies de destination, il sera nécessaire de se caler sur une « saison idéale », car visiter le Grand Canyon au mois de décembre, c’est très différent que de la faire en plein mois d’aout… (enfin surtout beaucoup plus froid…oui oui, il neige dans cette zone très fréquentée l’hiver !).

Le pays est immense et les possibilités de circuit aux USA sont presque à l’infini. Vous pouvez tout à faire voir du désert, des montagnes, des ours, des dauphins, des forêts à perte de vue, tout ça dans le même voyage. Vous pouvez aussi décider de couper en plusieurs road trip. Pour les amoureux des parcours hors des sentiers battus et des zones reculées, il y a de quoi se faire plaisir aussi ! Tout le monde n’est pas obligé de se rendre à Mesa Verde, au Lac Powell ou Tahoe, le majestueux Arches National Park, etc.

Côté climat, voilà ce qu’il faut retenir selon moi : le Sud des États-Unis est dans l’ensemble bien plus chaud que le Nord. Partir au Texas ou en Louisiane en plein été relève presque du suicide ! Je ne vais pas vous donner les températures et précipitations moyennes sur l’ensemble des États-Unis. Il y a des sites très bien faits pour ça, notamment ou-quand-partir par exemple. Commencez donc par regarder la météo des zones qui vous intéresse. Il est fort probable que vous n’ayez pas la possibilité de choisir vos vacances, par exemple par rapport à vos congés.

Sachez que la majorité des touristes prévoit un road trip sur le sol américain entre Mai et Septembre (en gros) et qu’une très grosse majorité se retrouve en Juillet/Aout. Ce sont les périodes les plus chaudes évidemment. Il faut aussi savoir que même en plein été, il peut faire très froid la nuit dans certaines zones. Après avoir passé plusieurs nuits à zéro degré à Yellowstone ou Grand Téton, je vous le confirme. Attention donc à la saison par rapport aux endroits où vous souhaitez aller. A l’inverse, certains lieux (Utah, Arizona, Nouveau Mexique, etc.) peuvent être très chaud la journée.

un road trip aux usa dans les paysages froids du Nord des états-unis

Pour résumer, je conseille :

  • La majorité des parcs de l’ouest américain seront ouverts,
  • C’est la saison idéale pour visiter les zones les plus chaudes (Vegas, la mythique vallée de la mort/Death Valley, etc.),
  • Certains parcs pourront être totalement ou partiellement fermés (Yellowstone, Yosemite, Sequoia National Park, etc.),
  • L’été  : vous pouvez envisager de partir n’importe où dans les États-Unis. La seule limite je dirais sera la chaleur écrasante la journée dans certaines zones. Je pense en particulier à l’Arizona, l’Utah et tout le Sud des États-Unis (Texas, etc.). Autre point négatif, le monde sur place. Vous ne serez jamais seul pour observer toutes ces merveilles, et il faut s’attendre à voir des touristes. Sachez que certains parcs ne sont ouverts que durant cette période ( Yellowstone ), ou du moins c’est durant cette saison que vous n’allez pas mourir de froid normalement (Glacier).

A mon sens, je conseillerai de réaliser un voyage aux États-Unis durant les intersaisons, soit les mois de Mai/Juin et Septembre/Octobre. Beaucoup n’auront pas le choix (comme moi) à cause des vacances scolaires par exemple et une majorité réaliseront le road trip dans l’Ouest Américain entre San Francisco et Las Vegas. Ce n’est donc pas une mauvaise idée d’éviter les grosses chaleurs et les touristes à mon sens, non ? Voyager hors saison, en plein hiver permettra de se balader en étant quasiment seul au monde. Vous allez aussi vous loger pour pas trop cher (baisse des prix).

2 – Combien de temps partir aux États-Unis ?

C’est une des autres questions à se poser pour votre road trip aux USA. Si vous n’avez pas le choix vis-à-vis de vos 5 semaines de vacances, la question ne se posera pas trop. Dans la majorité des cas, je dirai que vous allez adapter votre itinéraire en fonction du temps que vous restez sur place. Ceux qui ont du temps (plus rare), feront la démarche inverse et choisiront un itinéraire dans le pays et adapteront le temps passé.

Un road trip aux usa, un voyage superbe

Commencez donc par choisir dans quel cas vous vous situez. Une fois que vous vous êtes fixés 2 semaines, 3 semaines ou un mois pour votre road trip aux USA, vous pouvez avancer sur votre itinéraire et commencer à prévoir la suite. Le voyage commence alors vraiment. Je ne pense pas qu’il y ait de durée idéale pour votre road trip aux États-Unis. Tout va dépendre aussi de votre façon de voyager (courir ou adepte du slow travel – voyager lentement/prendre le temps), du temps que vous pouvez prendre pour vos vacances et très probablement de votre budget aussi. Les États-Unis, ce n’est pas la Thaïlande et voyager un mois sur place vous coûtera au final assez cher (je sais de quoi je parle, hein !).

road trip grands lacs usa

Un avis qui n’engage que moi, je préfère largement en voir moins mais mieux. Il me parait impensable de vouloir voir « tous les parcs les plus célèbres » en un seul road trip. Les parcs nationaux sont parfois assez loin en distance et je préfère profiter quelques jours dans un parc plutôt que d’y rester 2h et dire « je l’ai fait… ». A méditer donc en fonction de vos envies.

3 – Comment organiser l’itinéraire pour un roadtrip aux USA ?

Voilà le plus dur qui arrive, ce qui va vous demander le plus de temps, d’organisation, et il va falloir faire un choix (enfin des.)… Tout voir n’est pas envisageable, vous allez forcément louper des choses. Mais c’est aussi finalement le plus excitant, le plus enrichissant et motivant. La préparation du voyage fait partie intégrante de la chose, non ? On pourrait ouvrir un débat sur la nécessité ou non de prévoir son road trip aux USA. C’est une question qui se discute et qui n’engagera que chacun. Personnellement, je prévois de moins en moins mes voyages, mais prépare un peu les grandes lignes. Par exemple, pour ce road trip, j’avais prévu les parcs nationaux dans lesquels je souhaitais passer. Pour le reste, j’ai fait globalement au feeling sur place.

Une fois que vous savez combien de temps vous avez sur place pour vos vacances, il est temps de réfléchir à ce que vous voulez voir et faire sur place. Qu’avez-vous en tête pour votre road trip aux USA ? Visiter les terres désertes de l’Arizona ? Voir un geyser, un gratte ciel, bronzer sur les plages de Californie ou de la Floride ? Partir en randonnée pendant plusieurs jours à Yellowstone ou Glacier National Park ? La zone désertique de l’Utah ? Bref, vous l’aurez compris, définissez en premier lieu vos envies et ce que vous souhaitez voir.

Il est possible que vous réalisiez cette étape en corrélation avec la première (celle du climat), mais aussi avec la suivante, l’achat et le coût du billet d’avion pour aller aux États-Unis.

Vous voyagez souvent avec les guides pour préparer tes voyages ?

J’aurai tendance à conseiller de se planifier un ensemble de zone, très souvent les parcs nationaux du pays, que vous souhaitez voir. Une fois que vous avez plus ou moins tout en tête et votre destination finale, vous pouvez alors regarder sur une carte des USA, par exemple sur Google Maps, pour tenter de planifier un itinéraire exact de votre road trip aux USA . Prenez une marge vis à vis du temps que l’on va vous donner dans les planificateurs. Vous allez forcément vous arrêter pour prendre des photos, aller aux toilettes, faire une visite non prévue, manger un bout quelque part, etc. Bref, comptez large.

Personnellement, j’avais planifié les principaux parcs nationaux et autres coins sympas, en gardant à l’esprit du temps que j’avais (1 mois) et la façon de voyager (tranquillement et avec un enfant de 2 ans). Vous cherchez d’ailleurs des idées d’itinéraires pour votre voyage à l’ouest des USA ? Ce site propose des idées d’itinéraires classiques. Vous pouvez vous en inspirer pour vos vacances !

un road trip aux états-unis

Des exemples de road trip aux États-Unis ?

Clairement, il sera impossible pour moi de vous lister toutes les possibilités de road trips à faire et il faudrait d’ailleurs de très nombreux voyages aux USA pour faire le tour de tous ces lieux mythiques. C’est aussi ça la beauté des USA, il y en a pour tous les goûts et tous les budgets. La majorité des gens qui vient ici profitent souvent des belles routes qui traversent les grands parcs nationaux à la découverte des beautés naturelles que le pays peut offrir : volcans, séquoias géants, dunes de sable, sorties baleines/dauphins, canyons, geysers, déserts, et j’en passe…Je n’ai eu l’occasion que de faire un seul road trip sur 1 mois entre Salt Lake City et Banff au Canada, en passant par Yellowstone, Grand Teton et d’autres coins supers sympas. Mais voici quelques idées qui pourraient vous plaire si vous êtes dans la préparation de votre trip sur les routes américaines.

Un grand classique de voyage dans l’ouest américain (18/21 jours)

C’est le grand classique, celui que l’on retrouve proposé dans les agences de voyage et les voyages organisés. Le road trip démarre de San Francisco ou de Los Angeles. Au programme : Los Angeles -> Le Grand Canyon -> Monument Valley -> Page (Arizona) -> Horseshoe Bend -> Antelope Canyon -> Lake Powell -> Bryce Canyon / Coral Pink Sand Dunes -> Zion National Park -> Las Vegas -> Lake Mead et Vallet of Fire -> Vallée de la mort -> Yosemite -> San Francisco.

Road trip au départ de Las Vegas (15/18 jours)

Voici un autre classique dans le Sud-ouest américain, sur 17/20 jours

Las Vegas -> Lake Mead + Valley of Fire -> Parc national de Zion -> Bryce Canyon -> Capitole Reef National Park -> Moab -> Arches National Park -> Canyonlands NP -> Dead Horse -> Monument Valley -> Page -> Horseshoe Bend -> Antelope Canyon -> Grand Canyon -> Retour Las Vegas.

Autre idée de Road trip au départ de Seattle

Nous ne sommes pas partis de Seattle, mais vous pouvez envisager de venir faire une partie de ce qu’on a fait. Vous pouvez envisager Seattle -> Olympic National Park -> Parc National du Mont-Rainier -> Boise -> Grand Téton NP -> Yellowstone NP -> Parc National du Glacier -> Parc National de North Cascades -> Retour Seattle

4 – Voyager aux USA et trouver un vol pas cher

Une fois que la durée de vos vacances est fixée avec votre itinéraire, vous pouvez vous intéresser à l’achat de votre vol. Nous recherchons tous des vols pas chers pour partir, non ? Voici quelques points clefs à connaitre :

  • Soyez FLEXIBLES, aussi bien sur vos dates, horaires et compagnies. Envisagez même d’atterrir sur d’autres villes à l’arrivée comme au départ,
  • Il est clairement possible de trouver des vols internationaux à partir de 200€ pour Los Angeles, New-York ou Miami (si si, je vous promets) depuis la France. Vous aurez donc l’embarras du choix pour la compagnie,
  • J’utilise personnellement Skyscanner , que je considère comme le meilleur comparateur de vol. L’idée est de fixer « le mois le moins cher » est d’adapter vos dates de vacances en fonction du prix du billet, dans la mesure où vous le pouvez.

Voici les vols les moins chers vers toutes les villes des USA au départ de :

  • Retenez qu’en règle générale, le prix du vol va dépendre essentiellement de la saison à laquelle vous partez, mais aussi la ville où vous arrivez
  • Il est bien évidemment possible d’arriver à une ville et de repartir à une autre. Vous pouvez alors envisager de prendre deux aller simples par exemple, voir même de prendre un vol intérieur.

De mon côté, j’avais personnellement opté pour un vol Papeete – San Francisco avec la nouvelle compagnie low-cost Frenchbee, qui propose des vols vraiment pas chers selon les dates, à partir de 350€ aller-retour. J’ai ensuite volé avec Delta Airline le tronçon San Francisco – Salt Lake City. L’idée était d’éviter les 4 jours supplémentaires de route (2 allers et 2 retours).

Si vous êtes intéressés par trouver des vols pas chers pour tes vacances, n’hésites pas à venir faire un tour sur ma page de billets d’avion pas chers actualisée quotidiennement

Partir en vacances pour pas cher

5 – Le Passeport et l’ESTA pour voyager aux Etats-Unis

Les choses sont assez simple ici. Vous avez deux choses à penser absolument :

  • Pour le passeport , vous devez avoir une date de validité de plus de 6 mois au moment de votre entrée aux États-Unis. Si vous possédez un passeport biométrique, vous avez une autorisation de rester 90 jours dans le pays
  • L’autre point à ne pas oublier pour visiter les USA, c’est la demande d’ESTA. Elle se fait en ligne et il n’existe qu’un seul site officiel . Attention donc aux arnaques en tout genre avec des sites annexes qui tentent de vous faire croire qu’ils sont officiels… Le tarif est de 14$ par personne et vous recevez généralement la réponse dans la journée. L’ESTA est valable 2 ans.

Pour les personnes qui se posent des questions sur les passages à la frontière, souvent celle du Canada, j’ai entendu plusieurs sons de cloche. En théorie, il semblerait que l’on doive payer 6$ par personne pour passer. J’y suis passé en Aout 2018, et je n’ai eu qu’une vérification de passeport, à l’aller comme au retour du Canada. Rien à payer.

6 – Se déplacer lors d’un séjour aux Etats-Unis

Voici le moment de se poser la question de ses déplacements dans le pays, car qui dit road trip aux États-Unis, dit moyen de locomotion et temps de trajet, c’est le but non ? Les possibilités ici sont immenses et tout dépendra principalement de vos envies et de votre budget. Entre petites citadines, campervan, 4×4, SUV, etc. il y a de quoi ravir tout le monde je pense.

Si vous êtes à la recherche d’un camping car ou d’un van pour votre road trip aux USA, je vous recommande de jeter un coup au comparateur ci-dessous. C’est, selon moi, le meilleur comparateur pour comparer les prix directement dans un très grande nombre d’agences. Vous pouvez y aller les yeux fermés.

Faire un road trip aux usa en voiture

Il existe un nombre incalculables de sites incontournables – Faites donc le bon choix de votre véhicule de location !

iGraal

Voilà les points clefs à retenir pour la location de votre voiture pour votre road trip aux USA :

  • L’assurance : c’est un point important à regarder dans votre contrat. Faite donc attention à ce qui est inclu ou pas. Personnellement, nous avons rajouté au dernier moment une assurance rapatriement et échange de voiture
  • L’âge : c’est simple, il vous faudra 21 ans et vous payez plus cher entre 21 et 25 ans
  • Le permis international: en théorie, il n’est pas obligatoire, mais certains ont déjà eu des soucis avec. Par mesure de sécurité, je l’avais fait
  • Le prix de l’essence : il est bien moins cher qu’en France. Vous faite le plein au galon (3,8L environ). Très souvent, vous aurez le choix de payer avec la carte bancaire ou il vous faudra payer à l’avance en cash à l’intérieur du magasin avant de se servir. Aucun souci avec les stations essence, elles sont nombreuses dans l’ensemble
  • Les options : vous pouvez très souvent rajouter un GPS, un siège bébé, etc.
  • Le conducteur supplémentaire : chose très importante. Nous n’avions pas fait attention et le second conducteur était à 20$ par jour en plus. Attention donc quand vous louez.

Tu cherches le meilleur comparateur de loueurs de voiture ?

J’ai personnellement réservé mes 3 semaines de location de voiture aux USA avec Rentalscars. C’est vraiment un comparateur que j’adore et chez qui je trouve des prix hallucinants !

Petite astuce, ne cherchez pas obligatoirement à récupérer votre voiture à l’aéroport, car la facture peut être beaucoup plus chère. En règle générale, une voiture de location à la journée peut varier de 35 à 40$ selon le modèle.

Pour la petite histoire, j’avais deux possibilités pour récupérer ma voiture à Salt Lake City : à l’aéroport ou en centre ville. Allez savoir pourquoi, le centre ville coutait 300$ de moins. J’ai simplement pris un taxi à 25$ de l’aéroport jusqu’au loueur. Vous pouvez aussi utiliser l’application UBER qui fonctionne très bien pour un séjour aux USA.

7 – Prévoir ses hébergements : une nécessité ?

Lors de votre road trip aux USA , c’est une question qui va se poser forcément : où dormir ? Plus le temps avance et moins je prépare les choses dans l’ensemble, même avec l’arrivée de mon petit.

Chacun verra midi à sa porte et il y en a peu qui préfèrent tout organiser et planifier en voyage et ceux qui préfèrent se laisser porter par le vent. Prenez en compte quelques points importants :

  • La saison : en plein été, il serait en théorie plus sage de plus réserver qu’en hiver
  • Certains parcs peuvent être plein plusieurs mois à l’avance donc si vous souhaitez obligatoirement y loger à l’intérieur, il vous faudra le faire. Sachez aussi que parfois, vous pouvez très bien dormir juste à l’extérieur, pour moins cher…
  • Il existe de très nombreux couchsurfing et Airbnb dans le pays

préparer un road trip aux états-unis, une étape qui demande du temps

Personnellement, je ne conseillerai pas forcément de tout réserver, loin de là, mais c’est ma vision des choses et ma façon de voyager. J’avais néanmoins réservé mes deux premières nuits à San Francisco et Salt Lake City, le temps d’arriver et vu les horaires d’arrivée des vols. Au retour, j’avais aussi réservé les quatre nuits pour San Francisco. Durant le séjour, les seules nuits réservées étaient les campings dans le Parc de Yellowstone. Il n’est ouvert que très peu de mois dans l’année et les campings sont pris d’assaut assez vite.

Sur de courtes périodes de vacances (moins de 2 semaines), et si vous êtes du genre à tout planifier à la lettre, réservez vos hébergements du coup. Pour ceux qui ont du temps et un peu de latitude, vous pouvez très bien vous débrouillez au jour le jour. Je n’ai eu aucun souci durant tout mon road trip aux États-Unis , et j’étais en pleine saison touristique, au mois d’août.

Voici quelques infos et idées de prix pour vos hébergements sur place

  • Les campings : vous en trouvez à tous les prix, du gratuit ( voir ce site ) à environ 30$ la nuit pour les plus chers (camping privés). Je rédigerai un article complet sur le sujet dès que j’ai le temps, mais faire du camping dans le pays c’est facile et c’est le moyen que je préfère avec le Airbnb
  • Les motels : les premiers prix se trouvent aux alentours de 30$ la nuit. Généralement en bord de route, ils peuvent dépanner mais manque de charme à mon sens !
  • Les lodges/cabins : les prix flambent très vite à plus de 100$ la nuit voir beaucoup plus. Je n’ai pas testé personnellement.

Je préfère très largement les road trip aux USA en camping, mais c’est une affaire de gout. Cela nécessite cependant d’avoir tout le matériel de camping. C’est ce que je préfère pour être au plus proche des parcs et de la nature. J’avoue que quand il fait froid, ce n’est pas toujours marrant (surtout avec un enfant de 2 ans et demi). J’ai apprécié quelques nuits en Airbnb au chaud ! Vous pouvez aussi utiliser le site de Booking qui fonctionne très bien et propose de très nombreux hébergements sur l’Ouest Américain.

8 – Prévoir une assurance voyage pour son road trip aux USA

Voilà un point que je n’ai pas encore pris le temps de développer sur ce blog. Pourtant, c’est un point qui ne faut pas négliger quand on voyage aux USA et si on veut être sûr de passer un bon voyage…  Vous allez me dire pourquoi particulièrement aux États-Unis ? Car quand vous voyagez dans des pays en développement ou au faible niveau de revenu, les frais d’hospitalisation ou un rendez-vous chez le médecin ne coûtent rien ou presque. J’ai fait l’expérience d’un dentiste au Laos, d’un médecin en Malaisie et de plusieurs jours d’hôpitaux en Indonésie. Même sans assurance, vous pouvez vous permettre de payer.

Aux États-Unis, plusieurs retours de voyageurs ayant eu des soucis sur place sans assurance ont été faits. Les frais médicaux sont colossaux et peuvent dépasser très facilement les centaines de milliers d’Euros.

J’avais donc choisi de prendre une assurance avec ma banque pour tous les trois pour couvrir l’ensemble des frais d’hôpitaux et d’éventuel rapatriement que nous pourrions avoir pour ce road trip aux USA. A titre d’info, cela m’a couté un peu plus de 100€ par personne pour l’année.

En réalité, il existe des assurances spécialisées dans le domaine du voyage (AVI, Chapka Assurances, etc.) et elles proposent toutes des forfaits à la semaine ou au mois pour vos vacances. Les prix varient en fonction des zones où vous allez. Attention à bien regarder les lieux couverts et surtout les plafonds de prise en charge. Pour info, les prix les plus chers (ce n’est pas une coïncidence) sont affichés pour le Canada et les USA.

Pour info, si vous avez acheté votre billet avec votre carte bleue, vous avez généralement une assurance basique de 90 jours (presque 3 mois). Les plafonds sont assez faibles de base donc, attention. Avec une carte premium ou Gold, c’est déjà beaucoup mieux.

Rappelez-vous aussi que vous allez passer beaucoup de temps sur la route et qu’un accident est très vite arrivé. Si vous devez aller à l’hôpital ou si quelqu’un porte plainte contre vous pour l’accident, vous serez généralement content d’avoir souscris à une assurance. Se serait dommage de gâcher un voyage pour ça, non ?

9 – Quel budget prévoir pour visiter les Etats-Unis ?

C’est une question qui va intéresser tout le monde, car à moins d’avoir les moyens, il va falloir tenir un budget ou une estimation. Comme toujours, c’est assez délicat de répondre et de donner des réponses toutes faites.

Selon votre façon de voyager, de dormir (choisir de camper, motels ou hôtels), de manger (snack, restaurant, fruits), des activités que vous souhaitez faire sur place (randonnée, kayak, hélicoptère, etc.), le budget pour un road trip aux USA pourra donc être très variable, du simple au double je dirai. Difficile donc de donner des chiffres parfaits.

préparer un road trip aux usa, tout une organisation

Les principaux points de dépenses à calculer seront (hors billets d’avion) :

  • Louer une voiture : de 25/30$ par jour minimum
  • Les déplacements en voiture, l’essence : un plein d’essence entre 40 et 50$ selon la voiture
  • Les hébergements : de 12 à 25$ en camping, 30$ en moyenne pour un Airbnb, à partir de 50$ minimum en motel, beaucoup plus pour les hôtels (>100$). Attention aux pourboires (tip) aux États-Unis qui sont en théorie obligatoires, de l’ordre de 15 à 20% de la note
  • La nourriture : ce n’est pas excessif dans les supermarchés du type Walmart. Tout dépend de vos habitudes et de où vous vivez. Comparé à Tahiti, les USA, ce n’est pas cher du tout. Privilégier ses propres repas midi et soir vous coutera moins cher. Un menu au MacDo/Fast Food pour 7$, un repas dans un snack ou petit restaurant pour 20/25$
  • Les activités : un survol en hélicoptère du Grand Canyon coute plus de 200$
  • L’entrée des parcs nationaux : de 10 à 35$. Ne pas hésiter à prendre la carte «  America the beautiful » qui donne la possibilité pour 80$ de visiter tous les parcs des USA.
  • Les à côté (shopping, ESTA, frais de carte bleu, cadeaux, etc.).

Si vous cherchez à prévoir des activités lors de votre road-trip aux USA, je vous recommande de jeter un œil sur ce site internet .

En règle générale, d’après mon expérience de ce mois aux États-Unis et des voyageurs dans le pays, il faut compter une moyenne de 70$ par jour par personne au minimum. Une moyenne tourne plus aux alentours de 100/120$ par jour sans les vols, tout compris.

10 – Que prévoir dans sa valise ?

Dernier point selon moi important à prévoir pour votre voyage aux USA , l’équipement. Il va évidemment dépendre de plusieurs points :

  • La Saison : c’est la première chose à penser. Ne croyez pas que parce que vous partez en plein mois d’aout, vous allez forcément avoir une chaleur à crever et que vous n’allez devoir prendre que des shorts et Tee-shirts ! Beaucoup de parcs dans l’Utah, le Colorado, le Wyoming, Montana, etc. se trouvent en altitude et vous pouvez avoir frais voir froid en soirée et surtout la nuit.
  • Les parcs que vous visitez : Comme évoqué plus haut, même en été, certains parcs sont réputés pour leur relative fraicheur. Nous avions choisi volontairement de nous écarter des parcs les plus chauds (Grand Canyon, Brice Canyon, Antelope Canyon, etc.) et nous focaliser sur les parcs de l’Idaho, le Montana et le Wyoming. Pour vous donner une idée, nous avons eu quelques nuits à zéro à Grand Teton National Park, et de nombreuses nuits froides à Yellowstone, et dans tout le Montana. Très souvent, il faisait aux alentours de 4° la nuit. Idem côté Canadien aux alentours de Banff et Jasper, donc attention.

préparer son road trip aux usa

  • Le type d’hébergement : si vous êtes en camping car par exemple ou en tente, cela change la donne. Si vous dormez en Airbnb, vous avez moins de risque d’avoir froid aussi…

Dans tous les cas, même en plein été, je vous conseille de bien regarder les températures moyennes des parcs où vous allez passer pour votre road trip. Prévoir des vêtements pour le froid dans tous les cas pour ceux en camping tente !

Comme ça en vrac, je dirai déjà :

  • Quelques sweets, un poncho pour la pluie ou pour le vent,
  • Tout le matériel pour randonner,
  • Un maillot de bain (pour les sources thermales ou les rivières et lacs !),
  • Des adaptateurs pour les prises locales (vous pouvez prendre un adaptateur universel ).

J’arrive au bout de ce long article et j’espère qu’il vous sera utile pour la préparation de votre road trip aux USA . Ce road trip m’a vraiment donné envie en tout cas de découvrir les États-Unis et l’Ouest Canadien lors d’un prochain voyage pour avoir un autre aperçu des autres parcs nationaux. J’en garde de très bons souvenirs et je languis déjà. Je suis en train de traiter mes photos de voyage et j’en reprends plein les yeux !

J’ai d’ailleurs utilisé le site de cashback Igraal pour préparer mon voyage. Tu peux même t’en servir dans la vie de tous les jours pour économiser quotidiennement (courses à Carrefour, ticket de cinéma, achat électronique, etc.) 

Si vous avez des questions sur l’article, ne surtout pas hésiter à me laisser un commentaire ! Qu’avez-vous prévu pour l’instant pour votre premier voyage alors ?

Je vous souhaite un beau voyage et une bonne route ! Parmi les sites naturels et les magnifiques paysages dont je suis tombé amoureux…une visite du Grand Teton National Park ? Je garderais toute ma vie en tête les panoramas inoubliables sur les Tétons.

Je suis curieux, où avez-vous eu le plus de dépaysement aux États-Unis ? Vos plus belles excursions ? Plus belles chutes d’eau ?

Bonne continuation,

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30 commentaires

Merci beaucoup pour cet article très complet ! Un road trip dans cette région est sur ma to-do list depuis trèèèès longtemps et ce guide va beaucoup m’aider à le préparer !

Avec plaisir 🙂

Bonjour. Merci beaucoup pour tous ces renseignements. Je pense qu’une petite mise à jour des tarifs suite à la pandémie et guerre en Ukraine serait la bien venue. En effet, en location de voiture je ne trouve rien en dessous des 100€/j de même pour les hôtels (minimum du minimum) rien sous les 100€/nuit. Pour l’essence, compter 1,4$/l, mais inutile de dire que chaquejour ça hange.. Peut-être que les prix redeviendront moins fou en fi d’année ? Encore un grand merci pour ce Road trip.

Oui, il faudrait que je mette les prix à jour, car effectivement, les choses ont évolué depuis 🙂

bonjour super votre site et vos dossiers sont super complets et tres motivants .je prevois de partir avec ma femme et notre fille de mai a juillet , de new york a san francisco . en voiture , et se laisser un peu guider par les rencontres . avez vous quelques conseils en plus ? merci et bravo benoit

Hello Benoit,

merci du message. Disons que je te conseillerais de bien étudier la chose, surtout en fonction du temps que tu as sur place et de la météo ! S.

Attention contrairement a ce que vous indiquez pour certains pays, il n’est pas nécessaire d’avoir un passeport validité de plus 6 mois après votre entrée

https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2017-Dec/Six-Month%20Club%20Update122017.pdf

C’est vrai, je vais corriger ça ! Sylvain

Bonsoir à tous et à toutes !

J’aurais une question à vous poser : une fois dans les parcs nationaux de l’Ouest Américain est-il possible de parcourir l’essentiel des paysages qui s’offrent à nous en utilisant la voiture ou bien il est franchement préférable de marcher pour profiter aux mieux des parcs ?

Je vous remercie par avance pour vôtre réponse, ayant dans l’idée de réaliser un road trip photo aux US !

Je dirais que dans la majorité des parcs, tu as toujours des points de vue faciles et accessibles en voiture, mais si tu désires sortir des sentiers classiques et admirer d’autres choses que « celles de Monsieur tout le monde », il faudra marcher un peu !

bonjour j’aimerai savoir si il faut réserver avant le survol en hélicoptère du Grand Canyon et on aimerai trouver une personne pour une visite guidé à San Francisco .Merci

Je ne suis jamais allé encore au Grand Canyon, mais en pleine saison touristique, à mon sens, il vaudrait mieux réserver, c’est presque sûr ! Pour un guide à SF, je n’ai malheureusement pas de nom à donner, désolé ! Sylvain

très beau billet, bien étayé. Nous adorons le camping en France et sommes bien équipé, mais je ne vois pas comment faire pour les USA? Il n’y a pas moyen de louer son matériel là bas. Car ca fait un sacré volume à trimballer et je ne me vois pas avec ça dans l’avion sans avoir un énorme surplus à payer? Comment faites vous? Cordialement

Coucou Nath,

Je t’avoue que nous avons tout notre matos de camping et que nous avons tout amené dans les valises (principalement tente + matelas + réchaud + popote + quelques bricoles). C’est lourd mais ça se fait bien. On avait le droit à 3x 23kg en soute + 3x 12Kg en bagage main alors bon…

Après sur place tu peux peut être louer mais je ne me suis jamais penché sur la question ! S.

bravo , excellent site a ajouter  » roadtrippin » c’est a partir de ce site que j’ai organiser mes randonnées nous sommes partis mon épouse et moi durant 1 mois dans parcs de l’UTAH ,ARIZONA , NEVADA j’ai tout organiser et je peux si vous voulez tous vous expliquer nous y repartirons en 2020 juin ou septembre et j’ai besoin de renseignement sur les hébergements du parc de yellowstone

Merci beaucoup 🙂

Bonjour Sylvain

Super blog, Merci beaucoup ! Très beau travail. Pour 2023 nous partirons également en Roal trip en famille. Ce sera Le Voyage Famille. Car cette année, il y aura les 50 ans de monsieur et les 18 ans de notre fille. Nous partirons pour 3/4 semaines uniquement en juillet ou août à 4 au départ de Paris. Nous souhaitons faire : 3 jours New York/ 4jours texas/ 4 jours Louisiane/7 jours los angeles et les à côté/4 jours San Francisco Voilà ma présentation ! Mes questions sont : mon planning est il faisable ? Est ce que le nombre de jours accorder aux villes sont suffisantes? Les vols intérieurs faut il les réserver d avance ? Et quelle compagnie prendre ?

Merci pour ces précieuses réponses Amicalement vôtre Carmen

faisable oui, mais cela va revenir cher car beaucoup de vols intérieurs et vous allez à mon sens tout survoler 🙂 Mais pourquoi pas. Tu ne pourras de toute façon pas voir l’essentiel de villes aussi grosses en 3 jours, impossible ! Sylvain

Bonjour sylvain nous partons dimanche matin pour 15 jours avec nos petits trois jours à Los Angeles 6 jours en camping à visiter les parcs et on se pose trois jours à San Francisco mais en tant que maman je me stresse pour trouver des points de de ravitaillement pour notre périple en camping car est ce qu’on trouve facilement ? Merci pour votre réponse Eva

Coucou Eva,

Tu parles de points de ravitaillement pour le bébé ? Car franchement c’est si c’est il y a de tout partout au USA 😁 Sylvain

Salut à toi Sylvain ! Et grand merci pour ton blog et surtout ton texte que je trouve excitent, car il me donne encore plus envie de faire le road trip avec ma famille 🙂 … dit moi toi qui a fait cela pendant plus de 1 mois avec ta petite famille j’ai quelques questions si cela te gêne pas ? Déjà nous nous sommes 5 mon conjoint , nos filles de 7ans (jumelles) et notre petite dernière de 9mois actuellement et bien sûr moi hein 😀 !! Nous contions partir d’ici une année je pense et je vise pas mal le moins de juin , car il n’y fait pas trop chaud et pas trop froid celons les états , de deux c’est la fin de l’école et de 3 les prix sont quand mêmes moins élevés à se qu’il parait mais aussi il y aurai moins de monde !! La question de notre budget à prévoir me reste vraiment incertain encore à ce jour ;( .. je ne pense pas que nous puissions camper avec tout nos enfants ! (Trop compliqué et trop de matériels à prévoir il me semble ) .. nous adorons les motels mi tiques des États Unis 😀 .. crois tu que tu pourrais me donner une fourchette de budget sur 15 jours pour faire une bonne partie de la côte Ouest ? En sachant par contre que niveau alimentation nous serons pas pénibles sur le faite de manger à la pique nique !! Et de temps en temps un petit food.. et dit moi parle tu bien l’anglais ? Voilà … j’ai tellement de choses à te demander mais je ne veux pas t’embêter avec cela …mais bordél tu m’a fait rêver et je rêve encore de pouvoir partir avec notre petite famille … bien à toi Jessica 😉 Et merci de ton retour par avance

Coucou Jessica,

merci de ton message. C’est vraiment très difficile de donner un budget car il y a pas mal de choses à prendre en compte : vol + hébergement + location voiture/camping-car + essence + bouffe + activités payante + entrée des parcs. Oui je parle bien anglais pas de soucis, pourquoi ?

Pour 15 jours, je dirais que ton va dépendre de 3 choses : si tu trouves des vols pas chers, comment tu te déplaces et ou tu dors. Un motel, ça chiffre vite à 80/100$ la nuit je pense déjà…

Je t’avance pas trop désolé 🙁 Sylvain

Bonjour, Pour le budget, nous sommes partis en août à 5 ( avec nos deux garçons de 16 ans et notre fille de 12) en août. Estimation a 60 euros par personne ( sans le billet). Voiture , mix hôtel/motel/appart, nourriture ( pas mal de fast-food, ou chez nous le soir), loisirs ( peu de choses payantes- tellement de choses à voir!!). Voilà, on peut diminuer les coûts en tenant des logements moins chers, mais la piscine est appréciable l’été, et être proches des sites à visiter limitent aussi les kilomètres . Un voyage fabuleux!!

Coucou Valérie, Je te remercie pour ton retour d’expérience qui fait plaisir. À bientôt sur le blog. Sylvain

bonjour, merci pour votre site. Concernant le budget, vous donnez une fourchette de 70 à 120 dollars par personne ou pour la 1ere personne ? Par exemple les hébergements, nous sommes 4, vous donnez 25$ la nuit en camping. Il nous faut multiplier par 4 pour 4 personnes ? De même pour la location de voiture ?

Nous prévoyons de partir l’été prochain, je commence donc à regarder.

Concernant les vols, pensez vous qu’il soit plus interessant d’acheter son billet 1 an à l’avance, 2 mois à l’avance…?

Encore merci. Cordialement. Jean Yves.

Coucou Jean-Yves,

Les 70-120$, se sont une moyenne globale de mon expérience et de ce que j’ai trouvé à droite à gauche. Il faut comprendre par personne avec nuit, essence, location de voiture, assurance, nourriture, divers, etc.

Pour les vols, si tu peux t’y prendre un peu à l’avance quand même c’est bien selon moi 🙂 Sylvain

Bonjour Sylvain,

Merci pour votre article, je dois prévoir mon roadtrip en 1 semaine chrono car un changement de plan en pleines vacances de 5 mois, il m’a beaucoup aidé pour me donner une idée. J’ai tout de même une petite question : etes vous passé des USA au Canada avec le même véhicule ou avez vous changé entre temps ? Les assurances fonctionnent dans le nouveau pays si c’est avec la même voiture ? Faut-il voir avec le loueur à l’avance si il est autorisé de sortir du territoire avec le véhicule ? (cela fait plusieurs questions c’est vrai mais je ne trouve pas vraiment d’info sur internet)

Merci beaucoup pour tout 🙂

Coucou Margaux,

merci de ton message. J’avoue que je me suis aussi posé la question, mais vu que ce n’était pas prévu et à la dernière minute ce passage au Canada, je n’ai pas demandé au loueur. Il est possible qu’il faille payer un supplément ou du moins en informer le loueur. Je pense surtout à l’assurance/assistance aux USA. S’il m’était arrivé quelque chose côté Canada, je ne suis pas sûr que l’assurance aurait fonctionné, c’est possible. le mieux serait de se renseigner avec ton loueur quand même avant !

Passionnant ! Ouest américain prévu pour 2022, et je pense qu’il faut bien 2 ans pour économiser un tel voyage 😉

Merci beaucoup ! Mel.

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Best USA Road Trips: 18 Ideas for Your Next Big Adventure

Julie Last updated: January 28, 2024 United States 18 Comments

Best USA Road Trips Travel Guide

One of the best ways to explore the USA is on a good old-fashioned road trip. Cruise along Route 66, road trip through the Florida Keys, explore the American Southwest, or even drive from coast to coast. In this guide, we share 18 of the best USA road trips…18 great ideas for your next big adventure.

Table of Contents

About these USA Road Trips

These road trips range from just a several days to two weeks in length. Most them are written as 7 to 10-day itineraries.

This is not a list of scenic drives, which are drives that can be done in a few hours or a full day (for example, Going-to-the-Sun Road, the Blue Ridge Parkway, or Beartooth Highway). However, these scenic drives are included in the itineraries below.

For each road trip, we list the approximate distance you will travel and the best time of year for each trip. Most of these can be done all year, but like any travel destination, there are ideal times for each of them.

Most of these road trips include at least one national park. We are on a quest to visit all 63 national parks, and they make perfect road trip destinations.

We have done all but a few of these USA road trips…several are still on our bucket list. And on this list we have a few favorites, what we think are must-have experiences in the USA, and I’ll share those with you at the end of this guide (or you can skip ahead now).

While visiting the national and state parks, national monuments, and public places, please practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace: plan ahead, stay on the trails, pack out what you bring with you, properly dispose of waste, leave areas as you found them, minimize campfire impacts, be considerate of other hikers, and do not approach or feed wildlife.

#1 Route 66

Distance: 2,448 miles Length of Time: 1 to 2 weeks to drive the entire distance, or you can drive a section of Route 66 When to Go: All year

Highlights: Chicago, ghost towns in New Mexico and Texas, quirky roadside shops and restaurants, Petrified Forest National Park, Santa Monica. If you drive the entire length of Route 66, you will drive through eight states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

Route 66 USA Road Trip

Route 66 is one of the most famous roads in the USA. This historic road is also called the Main Street of America and the Mother Road.

This road runs from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, totaling 2,448 miles. In the 1930’s, it was the route used by those migrating west to escape the Dust Bowl. And in the 1950’s, this route was used by vacationers on their way to Los Angeles.

In the 1960’s, as more direct highways were constructed, traffic along Route 66 declined, leading towards its demise. Portions of Route 66 were bypassed and neglected, although in recent years, there has been revitalization along this route.

As far as planning your road trip, you can drive the entire distance, which takes one to two weeks, depending on what you do along the way. Or, just road through a portion of Route 66.

We have driven Route 66 in Arizona. With quirky roadside stands and several great places to visit along the drive (Petrified Forest National Park, the Meteor Crater, and Flagstaff) this is one of the most iconic sections of the drive.

Route 66 Dinosaurs

Holbrook, Arizona | Best USA Road Trips

Plan Your USA Road Trip

The Route 66 Road Trip website has lots of information about what to do and see along the way.

#2 California: The Pacific Coast Highway

Distance: 650 miles Time: 7 to 10 days When to Go: spring and summer

Highlights: San Francisco, Monterey, Big Sur, Hearst Castle, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles

Pacific Coast Highway Map

Tim and I did this over 20 years ago, and it still remains one of my favorite USA road trips.

The Pacific Coast Highway, also called California State Route 1, runs north to south from Leggett to Dana Point. The classic Pacific Coast Highway road trip runs from San Francisco to Los Angeles, but you can also add on San Diego in the south or continue the drive north into northern California.

This road trip is done point-to-point and can be done in either direction.

The drive between San Francisco to Los Angeles, as the road winds along the rugged coastline in Big Sur, is one of the most beautiful drives in the USA. It takes 8 to 10 hours to drive this stretch of road, but most people break the drive up into several days, spending the night in either Santa Barbara, Solvang, Morro Bay, and/or Monterey.

There are also some great nearby destinations to add on to this road trip. Napa Valley, Pinnacles National Park, and San Diego all make great additions to a Pacific Coast Highway road trip.

Here is a sample 7-day Pacific Coast highway itinerary heading south to north.   Day 1: San Diego Day 2: Los Angeles Day 3: Santa Barbara, Solvang, and Morro Bay Day 4: Big Sur State Park and Monterey Day 5: San Francisco Day 6: San Francisco Day 7: Napa Valley day trip from San Francisco

With more time, you can continue the road trip by heading north to northern California, add on more time in each city, or add on Pinnacles or Yosemite National Parks.

Big Sur USA Road Trips

Bixby Bridge at Big Sur: Phitha Tanpairoj/shutterstock.com

San Francisco

Cable cars in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO:  25 Best Things to Do in San Francisco SAN DIEGO: 10 Best Things to Do in San Diego YOSEMITE:  Yosemite for First Timers: Best Hikes, Best Views, & the Best Things to Do

#3 American Southwest

Distance: Varies, 1,000 – 1,500 miles Time: 7 days to 2 weeks When to Go: Best during the spring and fall months

Highlights: The Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef National Parks

American Southwest Map

American Southwest Route | Best USA Road Trips

Admire the breathtaking vistas of the Grand Canyon, hike the thrilling trails in Zion National Park, and photograph the millions of hoodoos in Bryce Canyon. The list keeps going, with the sweeping views of Monument Valley, dusty, off-road adventures in Grand Staircase-Escalante, and numerous slot canyons to scramble through. With more time, you can extend the road trip and head farther into Utah, exploring Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks.

American Southwest Road Trip

Monument Valley | Best USA Road Trips

USA Road Trip with Zion

Zion National Park | Best USA Road Trips

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon | Best USA Road Trips

If you have the time, I recommend planning a two-week road trip through this region. On just one road trip, you can visit the Grand Canyon, Utah’s Mighty 5, Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, Monument Valley, and Las Vegas.

Day 1: Arrive in Las Vegas, Drive to the Grand Canyon Day 2: Grand Canyon National Park Day 3: Grand Canyon National Park Day 4: Page, Arizona: Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend Day 5: Monument Valley Day 6: The Needles, Canyonlands National Park Day 7: Arches National Park Day 8: Canyonlands National Park: Island in the Sky Day 9: Goblin Valley State Park and Little Wild Horse Canyon Day 10: Capitol Reef National Park Day 11: Capitol Reef or Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Day 12: Bryce Canyon National Park Day 13: Zion National Park Day 14: Drive to Las Vegas and fly home

With less time, we have a great 10-day road trip that includes several highlights and wonderful off-the-beaten-path destinations in the American Southwest, and a 7-day road trip that includes Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We are frequent visitors to the American Southwest and have a lot of different road trip itineraries on this website.

American Southwest Road Trip Itineraries

TWO WEEK ITINERARY: Two Week American Southwest Road Trip: Grand Canyon & Utah’s Mighty 5 10 DAY ITINERARY: 10 Days in the American Southwest: The Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary 5 TO 10 DAY ITINERARIES: Grand Canyon Road Trip: 5 Itineraries from Las Vegas

#4 Grand Teton, Yellowstone & Glacier National Parks

Distance: 900 miles Time: 10 days When to Go: Early July through mid-October, when all of the roads in the national parks are open

Highlights: Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks

Grand Teton Yellowstone Road Trip Map

Day 1: Arrive in Jackson, Wyoming Day 2: Grand Teton Day 3: Grand Teton & Yellowstone Day 4: Yellowstone Day 5: Yellowstone Day 6: Yellowstone Day 7: Drive to Glacier Day 8: Glacier Day 9: Glacier Day 10: Fly Home

This is one of the best USA road trips if you want to visit three popular national parks. We like this road trip so much that we have done it twice.

This USA road trip is done point-to-point. It can be done in either direction, but most people start in Grand Teton and then head north to Glacier National Park.

In Grand Teton National Park, visit Jenny Lake, hike to Inspiration Point or head farther into the Teton Range, go wildlife spotting at Oxbow Bend, photograph the mighty Teton Range, and spend some time in Jackson.

Then head to Yellowstone, where the wildlife sightings are some of the best in the national parks and you can visit bubbling mud pots and technicolor hot springs.

Finally, the trip ends with its grand finale in Glacier National Park. Drive the beautiful Going-to-the-Sun Road, take your pick between short and long hikes, and marvel at this gorgeous national park.

Grand Teton National Park

Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park

Yellowstone Bison

Hayden Valley, Yellowstone

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park | Best USA Road Trips

READ THE FULL ITINERARY: Grand Teton, Yellowstone & Glacier National Parks: 10 Day Road Trip Itinerary WITH LESS TIME: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Itinerary: How to Plan Your Road Trip GRAND TETON:   15 Best Day Hikes in Grand Teton National Park YELLOWSTONE: 18 Amazing Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park YELLOWSTONE:   Where to Stay in Yellowstone National Park GLACIER:   Top 10 Things to Do in Glacier National Park

#5 Washington State Road Trip

Distance: 1,225 miles Time: 7 to 14 days When to Go: July through September

Highlights: Olympic, Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks, Leavenworth, Lake Chelan

Washington Road Trip Map

Day 1: Arrive in Washington, drive to Port Angeles Day 2: Olympic National Park Day 3: Olympic National Park Day 4: Mount Rainier National Park Day 5: Mount Rainier National Park Day 6: Leavenworth Day 7: Lake Chelan Day 8: North Cascades National Park Day 9: North Cascades National Park or Mount Baker Day 10: Fly Home

Washington state makes an excellent road trip destination, especially for outdoor lovers, hikers, and families. Three national parks are located in Washington.

Things to Do in Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park | Best USA Road Trips

USA Road Trip Olympic NP

Olympic National Park | Best USA Road Trips

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park | Best USA Road Trips

Olympic National Park is one of the most diverse national parks in the United States. In just one national park, you can climb peaks as high as 8,000 feet, walk through old growth temperate rainforests, and stroll along beaches littered with driftwood.

For hikers, Mount Rainier is one of the best US national parks to visit. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails loop around Mount Rainier, a glacier-capped active volcano. For an epic experience, you can also climb to the summit of Mount Rainier on a multi-day hiking trip.

North Cascades National Park is one of the least visited national parks in the United States, and we also think that it is one of the most underrated. It’s also another great spot to go hiking.

On a road trip through Washington state, you can also add on the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, go wine tasting at Lake Chelan, visit Mount Baker, go on a day hike in the Enchantments, and visit Seattle.

READ THE FULL ITINERARY: 7 to 14 Day Washington Road Trip Itinerary WASHINGTON PARKS: Washington National Parks: Travel Guide & Itinerary MOUNT RAINIER: 14 Amazing Things to Do in Mount Rainier National Park NORTH CASCADES: The Complete Guide to North Cascades National Park OLYMPIC: Best Things to Do in Olympic National Park

#6 Las Vegas to San Diego

Distance: 640 miles Time: 10 days When to Go: fall, winter and spring

Highlights: San Diego, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley National Park, Las Vegas, Valley of Fire State Park (the cover photo for this article)

USA Road Trip Joshua Tree

This USA road trip is great in the wintertime. Joshua Tree and Death Valley tend to be some of the hottest spots in the USA, so it’s best to visit this area when the weather is cool.

Since this road trip is done point-to-point, it can be done in either direction. Here is a sample 10-day itinerary, starting in Las Vegas and ending in Las Vegas. For more information, plus an alternative route that includes the Mojave National Preserve, read our Las Vegas to San Diego Itinerary.

Day 1: Las Vegas Day 2: Valley of Fire day trip from Las Vegas Day 3: Red Rock Canyon or more time in Las Vegas Day 4: Death Valley National Park Day 5: Death Valley National Park Day 6: Drive to Joshua Tree National Park Day 7: Joshua Tree National Park Day 8: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Day 9: San Diego Day 10: Fly home

For a shorter version of this itinerary, skip Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the day trips from Las Vegas.

Death Valley Sunset

Death Valley National Park | Best USA Road Trips

USA Road Trip with Las Vegas

Las Vegas | Best USA Road Trips

Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire | Best USA Road Trips

Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park | Best USA Road Trips

SAN DIEGO:   Best Things to Do in San Diego, California JOSHUA TREE: Top 10 Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park DEATH VALLEY:   The Complete Guide to Death Valley National Park ANZA-BORREGO DESERT: How to Spend One Day in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park LAS VEGAS:   Best of Las Vegas: Things to Do, Day Trip Ideas & Sample Itineraries VALLEY OF FIRE:  16 Amazing Things to Do in the Valley of Fire RED ROCK CANYON: 2 Short, Fun Hikes in Red Rock Canyon

#7 Florida Keys Road Trip

Distance: 200 miles Time: 7 to 10 days When to Go: All year but this road trip is best from November through March, when the weather is cooler, rainfall is low, and there is no threat from tropical storms or hurricanes.

Highlights: Miami, Key West, Florida Keys, Everglades, Biscayne and Dry Tortugas National Parks

Florida Keys Itinerary Map

White sandy beaches, warm sunny skies, palm trees, key lime pie, warm sunny skies…sounds nice, right?

Driving from Miami to Key West is one of the best USA road trips.

The Florida Overseas Highway connects mainland Florida with Key West. As you road trip through the Florida Keys, you can visit state parks, beautiful beaches, animal conservation centers, breweries, and boutique shops. Dine al fresco, on the beach, in the shade of palm trees.

Spend some time in Miami and Key West and you can also add on three national parks: Biscayne, Everglades, and Dry Tortugas.

Overseas Highway

Seven Mile Bridge | Best USA Road Trips

Key West Road Trip

Key West | Best USA Road Trips

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park | Best USA Road Trips

Day 1: Arrive in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Day 2: Everglades National Park Day 3: Biscayne National Park Day 4: Florida Keys road trip to Key West Day 5: Key West Day 6: Key West Day 7: Dry Tortugas National Park Day 8: Key West Day 9: Florida Keys road trip to Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Day 10: Fly home

If you have less time, this itinerary can easily be shortened to one week. Travel point-to-point through the Florida Keys. In our Florida Keys Itinerary, we give suggestions on how to do this.

READ THE FULL ITINERARY: 7 – 10 Day Florida Keys Itinerary: Miami, Key West & the National Parks FLORIDA KEYS:  Florida Keys Road Trip: 25 Awesome Things to Do between Key Largo and Key West KEY WEST: 18 Best Things to Do in Key West DRY TORTUGAS: The Complete Guide to Dry Tortugas National Park EVERGLADES: One Perfect Day in Everglades National Park BISCAYNE: Best Things to Do in Biscayne National Park

#8 Northern California & Oregon

Distance: 650 miles Time: 10 days When to Go: Summer and early fall

Highlights: Redwood State and National Parks, Lassen Volcanic National Park and Crater Lake National Park

California Loop Map

On this loop, visit three national parks: Crater Lake, Redwood, and Lassen Volcanic National Parks. This road trip is still on our to-do list. When we were planning one of our big summer trips, we had to choose between the Washington road trip (listed above) and this one. Washington won but we are hoping to do this one soon.

Since this USA road trip is done as a loop, there are several different spots to start this trip. Medford, Oregon is the most convenient location that I have found, since it has one of the largest airports in the area.

Below is a 10-day road trip itinerary starting and ending in Medford.

Day 1: Arrive in Medford, drive to Crater Lake National Park Day 2: Crater Lake National Park Day 3: Crater Lake National Park, drive to Lava Beds National Monument Day 4: Lava Beds National Monument, drive to Lassen Volcanic National Park Day 5: Lassen Volcanic National Park Day 6: Drive to Redwood National Park visiting Whiskeytown on the drive Day 7: Redwood National & State Parks Day 8: Redwood National & State Parks Day 9: Redwood National & State Parks Day 10: Drive to Medford and fly home

Crater Lake

Crater Lake National Park: Nature’s Charm/shutterstock.com

#9 Washington DC to Asheville, North Carolina

Distance: 700 miles Time: 10 days When to Go: May through October

Highlights: Washington DC, Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, New River Gorge National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Asheville, Gatlinburg

USA Road Trip Map Shenandoah

If you are looking for a USA road trip to do in the fall, this is one of the best on this list . In October, all three national parks are ablaze in fall colors, making this one of the most beautiful times to visit this part of the USA.

Spend a day or two in Washington DC, visiting the Smithsonian Museums, national monuments, and iconic landmarks. Then, leave the city behind, as you road trip through Shenandoah National Park, driving the beautiful Skyline Drive.

Next, drive the Blue Ridge Parkway to Natural Bridge. Take a detour west, spending a few days in one of the USA’s newest national parks, New River Gorge. After New River Gorge, resume the drive south, visiting Asheville, North Carolina, before ending the trip with a visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Shenandoah NP

Shenandoah National Park in October | Best USA Road Trips

West Virginia

New River Gorge National Park | Best USA Road Trips

Biltmore

The Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina | Best USA Road Trips

Great Smoky Mountains Cabin

Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Best USA Road Trips

Day 1: Washington DC Day 2: Washington DC Day 3: Shenandoah National Park Day 4: Blue Ridge Parkway, Natural Bridge, New River Gorge National Park Day 5: New River Gorge National Park Day 6: New River Gorge National Park Day 7: Drive to Asheville, North Carolina Day 8: Asheville Day 9: Great Smoky Mountains National Park Day 10: Gatlinburg and fly home

To turn this into a 7-day itinerary, eliminate New River Gorge National Park and do this as a road trip from Washington DC to Asheville, North Carolina.

WASHINGTON DC: One Day Walking Tour of Washington DC SHENANDOAH: Best Things to Do in Shenandoah National Park NEW RIVER GORGE: 20 Amazing Things to Do in New River Gorge National Park NEW RIVER GORGE: 6 Great Hikes in New River Gorge National Park ASHEVILLE: How to Plan a Weekend Getaway to Asheville, North Carolina GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS: A Weekend in Great Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg

#10 Arizona Road Trip

Distance: 1,080 miles Time: 10 days When to Go: Fall, winter and spring

Highlights: Grand Canyon, Sedona, Monument Valley, Saguaro National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend

Arizona Road Trip Map

On this Arizona road trip itinerary, you will visit three national parks, drive past the buttes and mesas of Monument Valley, walk through magical Antelope Canyon, and hike the desert hills of Sedona. Arizona is home to some of the most iconic landscapes in the United States and this road trip is the perfect way to see them.

Day 1: Arrive in Phoenix, Saguaro National Park Day 2: Saguaro National Park Day 3: Petrified Forest National Park Day 4: Monument Valley Day 5: Antelope Canyon Day 6: Grand Canyon Day 7: Grand Canyon Day 8: Grand Canyon & Sedona Day 9: Sedona Day 10: Fly Home

Arizona is a large state with a lot to do. This road trip focuses on the national parks, Sedona, and Monument Valley, but if you have more time, you can also add on Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, and Scottsdale.

Grand Canyon USA Road Trip

Grand Canyon National Park | Best USA Road Trips

Sedona Arizona

Sedona, Arizona | Best USA Road Trips

Saguaro

Saguaro National Park | Best USA Road Trips

READ THE FULL ITINERARY: The Ultimate Arizona Road Trip Itinerary SEDONA: The Complete Guide to Sedona, Arizona GRAND CANYON: The Complete Guide to the Grand Canyon SAGUARO: 8 Amazing Things to Do at Saguaro National Park PETRIFIED FOREST: Petrified Forest Travel Guide & Itinerary ANTELOPE CANYON: Should You Visit Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon? MONUMENT VALLEY: The Complete Guide to Monument Valley for First-Time Visitors

#11 Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Distance: 100 to 300 miles Time: 1 to 7 days When to Go: All year

Highlights: Distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Louisville, Bardstown, Lexington

KBT Map

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail (KBT) is a collection of eighteen bourbon distilleries located in and around Louisville. If you want to tour all eighteen distilleries, you need a minimum of seven days. For those who just want a taste of the KBT, this area also makes a great weekend getaway.

There is a lot more to do in this part of Kentucky than just tour bourbon distilleries. Enjoy the nightlife in Louisville, watch a horse race at Churchill Downs, drive through scenic bluegrass Kentucky, visit the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, or spend the night in a historic tavern.

Bourbon

Maker’s Mark | Best USA Road Trips

Horse Racing

Horse Racing at Churchill Downs | Best USA Road Trips

Kentucky Bourbon Trail in a Weekend

  Friday: Arrive in Louisville, evening distillery tour and dinner Saturday: Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, Bardstown Bourbon, sleep in Bardstown Sunday: Lux Row, Maker’s Mark, fly home

Kentucky Bourbon Trail in One Week

  Day 1: Louisville distilleries Day 2: Louisville: museums, distillery tours and Churchill Downs Day 3: Distilleries near Owensboro Day 4: Bardstown distilleries Day 5: Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, and the Kentucky Cooperage Day 6: Wilderness Trail, Four Roses, Wild Turkey, and Woodford Reserve Day 7: Distilleries between Lexington and Louisville

One week is a long time to spend on the bourbon trail and it will get repetitive. I only recommend doing this if you are a BIG fan of bourbon. It took us several different trips to Kentucky to visit all of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries.

KBT ITINERARY: Kentucky Bourbon Trail Itinerary: Suggestions for 1 Day to 1 Week KBT GUIDE: The Ultimate Guide to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail DISTILLERIES: Best Distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail LOUISVILLE: Best Things to do in Louisville, Kentucky

#12 Alaska Road Trip

Distance: 700 miles Time: 10 days When to Go: May through September

Highlights: Anchorage, Seward, Valdez, Kenai Fjords and Wrangell – St. Elias National Parks

Alaska Road Trip Map

There are many different ways to put together an Alaskan road trip, and in our Alaska Itinerary post, we share three detailed itineraries.

Our favorite is a 10-day trip that includes Anchorage, Seward, Valdez, Kenai Fjords, and Wrangell – St. Elias. It’s our favorite for two reasons.

For one thing, Wrangell – St. Elias is one of the most underrated US national parks. This place blew us away, with its multiple ranges of mountain peaks, glacier hiking, and flightseeing.

The second reason is that Denali Park Road, in Denali National Park, is closed at about the halfway point, while a bridge is constructed around a landslide. Until this road fully reopens (2023 or later), I think it is best to save Denali and visit the other Alaskan national parks instead.

In our article 10 Day Alaska Itinerary: 3 Road Trip Ideas, we provide three different road trip routes through Alaska, but below is the 10-day itinerary with Wrangell – St. Elias and Kenai Fjords National Parks.

Day 1: Arrive in Anchorage Day 2: Drive to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Day 3: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Day 4: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Day 5: Drive to Valdez Day 6: Valdez Day 7: Cruise to the Kenai Peninsula Day 8: Kenai Fjords National Park Day 9: Kenai Fjords National Park Day 10: Fly home

With more time, you can add on Denali or add on a day trip to Lake Clark or Katmai National Parks.

Alaska Road Trip Itinerary Photo

Kenai Fjords National Park | Best USA Road Trips

USA Road Trip in Alaska

Wrangell – St. Elias National Park & Preserve | Best USA Road Trips

READ THE FULL ITINERARY: 1o Day Alaska Itinerary: 3 Epic Road Trip Ideas WRANGELL – ST. ELIAS: 10 Best Things to Do in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park & Preserve ANCHORAGE TO VALDEZ: Driving from Anchorage to Valdez: Best Things to Do, Map & Photos DENALI: 16 Best Things to Do in Denali National Park KATMAI: 8 Amazing Things to Do in Katmai National Park

#13 New England Road Trip: Acadia to Boston

Distance: 700 miles Time: 10 days When to Go: Late spring through fall; October is the best time for fall colors

Highlights: Acadia National Park, Kancamagus Highway, Franconia Notch State Park, Stowe, Lake Champlain, the Berkshires, Boston

New England Road Trip Map

This is a road trip that is very high on our to-do list. We have been to Acadia National Park and Boston, the starting and ending points of this itinerary, and loved both experiences. Our visit to Acadia coincided with peak fall colors and it’s breathtaking.

We live in the mid-Atlantic region of the US so we get to see some beautiful fall colors in our backyard, but there is something extra special about New England in October. Not only do the fall colors seem more vibrant, but the small towns and state parks make this region one of the most beautiful destinations in the USA for a fall road trip.

Day 1: Acadia National Park Day 2: Acadia National Park Day 3: Portland, Maine Day 4: Drive to Conway, then drive the scenic Kancamagus Highway, visit Franconia Notch State Park, and sleep in or near Franconia Day 5: Stowe, Burlington, and Lake Champlain Day 6: Drive to Lenox, Massachusetts in the Berkshires Day 7: Drive to Boston Day 8: Boston Day 9: Boston Day 10: Fly home

Acadia National Park October

Acadia National Park in October | Best USA Road Trips

Boston

Boston | Best USA Road Trips

  Since we have not done this road trip yet, we have limited information. But here are a few posts which will be helpful:   ACADIA:   The Complete Guide to Acadia National Park BOSTON:   Best Things to Do in Boston, Massachusetts BOSTON:  Tips for Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston

#14 Utah’s Mighty 5

Distance: 900 miles Time: 7 to 10 days When to Go: Spring and fall

Highlights: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks

Mighty 5 Map

If you like rugged, desert landscapes, it is hard to beat the beauty of Utah. If you are a hiker, there are enough trails in these parks to keep you busy for weeks. And if you like a good road trip, Utah is the perfect place to explore from behind the wheel of a car.

Without a doubt, this is one of the best USA road trips. We can’t get enough of this part of the USA…Utah keeps calling us back.

Hike the bucket list worthy trails at Zion, explore the fantasyland of hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, photograph the arches and unique rock formations at Arches National Park, explore the waterpocket fold in Capitol Reef, marvel at the landscapes at Canyonlands Island in the Sky, and hike through the unique landscape in The Needles at Canyonlands.

This is just a short list of things to do on a Mighty 5 road trip. You can spend weeks here and never run out of new things to do.

Delicate Arch

Arches National Park | Best USA Road Trips

The Needles Canyonlands

The Needles, Canyonlands National Park | Best USA Road Trips

USA Road Trip Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park | Best USA Road Trips

USA Road Trip with Mighty 5

Capitol Reef National Park | Best USA Road Trips

Day 1: Arrive in Salt Lake City, drive to Moab Day 2: Arches National Park Day 3: Canyonlands National Park Day 4: Drive to Capitol Reef, visit Capitol Reef, sleep in Torrey or near Bryce Canyon Day 5: Bryce Canyon, drive to Zion, sleep in Springdale Day 6: Zion National Park Day 7: Drive to Las Vegas, fly home

MIGHTY 5: Utah’s Mighty 5: Travel Guide & Road Trip Itinerary UTAH ITINERARY: The Ultimate Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary ZION: The Complete Guide to Zion National Park BRYCE CANYON: One Perfect Day in Bryce Canyon National Park CAPITOL REEF: 14 Amazing Things to Do in Capitol Reef National Park CANYONLANDS: Top 10 Things to Do in Canyonlands National Park ARCHES: One Perfect Day in Arches National Park

#15 Colorado Road Trip

Distance: 1,050 miles Time: 10 days When to Go: Summer and early fall

Highlights: Rocky Mountain, Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Parks, Aspen and Snowmass, Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and numerous scenic drives.

USA Road Trip Colorado

With four national parks, numerous national forests and state parks, plus historic towns scattered throughout the Rocky Mountains, Colorado makes an awesome road trip destination.

Our 10-day road trip itinerary includes all four national parks, which are linked together with some of Colorado’s best scenic drives (the San Juan Skyway, the Million Dollar Highway, Top of the Rockies, Mount Evans Scenic Byway, and Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park).

Best Hikes in Rocky Mountains

Sky Pond, Rocky Mountain National Park

Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde National Park | Best USA Road Trips

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Colorado Road Trip Photo

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Day 1: Arrive in Colorado, drive to Colorado Springs Day 2: Garden of the Gods & Pikes Peak Day 3: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Day 4: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Day 5: Mesa Verde National Park Day 6: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Day 7: Drive to Rocky Mountain National Park Day 8: Rocky Mountain National Park Day 9: Rocky Mountain National Park Day 10: Fly Home

This itinerary is done as a loop, starting and ending in either Denver or Colorado Springs. It’s a great road trip for families, hikers, and those who love the great outdoors and scenic drives.

READ THE FULL ITINERARY: The Perfect Colorado Itinerary: National Parks & Scenic Drives COLORADO PARKS: Colorado National Parks: Travel Guide & Road Trip Itinerary ROCKY MOUNTAIN: The Ultimate Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park GREAT SAND DUNES: 8 Amazing Things to Do in Great Sand Dunes National Park MESA VERDE: Top 10 Things to Do in Mesa Verde National Park BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON: How to Visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park SCENIC DRIVES: 9 Spectacular Scenic Drives in Colorado

#16 Yellowstone to Mount Rushmore

Distance: 1,400 miles Time: 10 days When to Go: May through October

Highlights: Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Badlands and Wind Cave National Parks, Devils Tower, Mount Rushmore, Beartooth Highway, Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming, Custer State Park

Yellowstone to Mount Rushmore Map

With 10 days, you can visit Yellowstone, Devils Tower, and Mount Rushmore, but that’s not all. You also have enough time to visit the highlights of Grand Teton, day trip out to Badlands National Park, spend some time at Wind Cave National Park, and cruise the scenic drives and spot wildlife at Custer State Park.

That’s four national parks in one road trip, not to mention two national monuments, one incredible state park, and several very scenic drives.

Day 1: Arrive in Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park Day 2: Grand Teton National Park Day 3: Yellowstone National Park Day 4: Yellowstone National Park Day 5: Yellowstone National Park Day 6: Bighorn Mountains & Devils Tower Day 7: Spearfish Canyon, Deadwood, Lead & Mount Rushmore Day 8: Custer State Park Day 9: Badlands National Park Day 10: Wind Cave National Park & Fly Home

It’s possible to do this in 7-days, although you will have to give up a few destinations. Get the details on how to do this by clicking here.

Best Yellowstone Itinerary

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

USA Road Trips Beartooth Highway

Beartooth Highway | Best USA Road Trips

Mount Rushmore National Monument

Mount Rushmore National Monument | Best USA Road Trips

USA Road Trip Badlands

Badlands National Park | Best USA Road Trips

READ THE FULL ITINERARY: Yellowstone, Devils Tower and Mount Rushmore: 10 Day Road Trip Itinerary ROAD TRIP GUIDE: How to Drive between Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone: Road Trip Routes YELLOWSTONE: Complete Guide to Yellowstone National Park BEARTOOTH HIGHWAY: Beartooth Highway: Things to Do, Map, Photos & Travel Tips GRAND TETON: Best Things to Do in Grand Teton National Park DEVILS TOWER: The Complete Guide to Devils Tower: How to Plan Your Visit MOUNT RUSHMORE: Mount Rushmore: 10 Things to Know Before You Go BADLANDS: 15 Best Things to Do in Badlands National Park WIND CAVE: 6 Great Things to Do in Wind Cave National Park

#17 California National Parks

Distance: 700 miles Time: 7 to 10 days When to Go: May through October; some roads in Yosemite are only open from mid to late-May through mid-October

Highlights: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks

California Road Trip Map

This itinerary starts in San Francisco, travels through three national parks, ending in Los Angeles.

This road trip skips Death Valley National Park. Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks are best in the summer and fall, when the roads are open. This happens to be the worst time to visit Death Valley, since it is so hot. You can add on Death Valley, just be prepared for scorching temperatures if you plan to do this from May through October.

We did this road trip in 2017. At that time, there was a road closure on the Pacific Coast Highway, so we drove through Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, rather than taking the coastal route. This also makes a very nice USA road trip, particularly for those who are trying to visit all of the US National Parks.

Day 1: San Francisco Day 2: San Francisco Day 3: Drive to Yosemite Day 4: Yosemite National Park Day 5: Yosemite National Park Day 6: Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks Day 7: Drive to LA or San Diego

You can turn this into a longer national park road trip by adding on Channel Islands National Park when you are in LA. And if you can brave the heat, spend a day in Death Valley. That totals five national parks in one road trip.

USA Road Trip with Yosemite

Yosemite National Park | Best USA Road Trips

Sequoia NP

Sequoia National Park | Best USA Road Trips

SAN FRANCISCO: Best Things to Do in San Francisco YOSEMITE: Yosemite for First Timer’s: Best Views, Best Hikes & the Best Things to Do YOSEMITE: How to Hike Half Dome: A Step-By-Step Guide KINGS CANYON & SEQUOIA: One Perfect Day in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks

#18 The All-American Cross Country Road Trip

Distance: 3,000 miles Time: 10+ days When to Go: best in the spring, summer, and fall

Highlights: The USA

USA Road Trip Cross Country

Driving cross country is the ultimate USA road trip. Crossing the country by car, visiting small towns, big cities, national parks, and numerous landmarks along the way is definitely a bucket list kind of trip. In fact, it’s still on our travel wish list.

There are many different ways to drive across the US. It takes about 5 days to do this drive, averaging 8 hours a day, without making any stops. Once you start adding on time for sightseeing and detours, the distance and amount of time spent gets much longer.

Ideally, plan on doing this over a minimum of 10 days, although more time is better. Some people set aside a full month, or the entire summer, to road trip across the United States.

Here are a few cross-country road trip ideas:

Connect two big cities, New York and LA, visiting the Las Vegas, Moab, Denver, Nashville, and Washington DC on the drive (3,200 miles).

On a northern route, start in Boston, visit Niagara Falls, drive through Chicago, South Dakota, visit Yellowstone, and end in Seattle. (3,300 miles)

If you are looking to do this in the winter, you can drive across the southern US, starting in San Diego, going through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, visiting New Orleans and the Florida panhandle, ending your trip in Savannah, Orlando, or going all of the way to Miami (2,700 miles).

Which One(s) Should You Do?

If you need help trying to decide which road trip to do, here are a few suggestions.

Our favorites are the American Southwest, Utah’s Mighty 5, and Alaska.

Best Road Trips for Families

  • Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks
  • American Southwest
  • Utah’s Mighty 5
  • Yellowstone to Mount Rushmore

Best Road Trips for Hikers

  • Washington road trip
  • Colorado road trip
  • Alaska road trip
  • California national park road trip (Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia)
  • Northern California and Oregon loop

Best Road Trips for Non-Hikers

  • Florida Keys road trip
  • New England road trip
  • Kentucky Bourbon Trail
  • Pacific Coast Highway in California

Best Road Trips for Fall Colors

  • Washington DC to Asheville

Best Road Trips in the Winter

  • Florida Keys
  • Arizona road trip
  • Las Vegas to San Diego

You can also visit Utah’s Mighty 5 or do an American Southwest road trip, but it can be cold and there is a chance of snow.

There are many more ways to plan a USA road trip than what we list above. In the comment section below, share your favorite road trips…we are always looking for new ideas and our readers would like to see them too. Thanks!

And if you have any questions about these road trip itineraries, you can also let us know in the comment section below.

You Might Also Like:

  • US NATIONAL PARKS: The Complete Guide to the US National Parks
  • US NATIONAL PARKS: 20 Epic Day Hikes to Do in the National Parks
  • TRAVEL INSPIRATION: 10 Cool Travel Spots to Put on Your Travel Wish List
  • TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: Our Travel Photography Gear Guide
  • HIKING GEAR: Hiking Gear Guide: Essential Hiking Gear

Read all of our articles about the United States in our United States Travel Guide.

USA Road Trips Bucket List

All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

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Work Remotely in USA

Comments 18

Avatar for Juliet Snow

Could you list all the books/guides that you have published? I am looking for a comprehensive list of guides for US. Road trips and places to visit in the US.

Avatar for Julie

As far as eBooks that can be purchased, we have eBooks for Utah’s Mighty 5, an Arches Canyonlands Capitol Reef itinerary, a Grand Teton hiking guide, a Grand Teton Yellowstone and Glacier NP itinerary, a 10 Day American Southwest itinerary, and a South Dakota itinerary. You can see all of them in our Etsy store . I also recommend referring to our United States Travel Guide and our US National Parks page . Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Anthony Osude

What budget do you recommend putting aside for a 5 night stay mid-range hotel?

That really depends on where in the USA you plan to go and the time of year you plan to do your road trip. A mid-range hotel can range from $100 to $350 per night, depending on the location and time of year. In recent years, we have found that hotels around national parks can be surprisingly expensive, especially at peak season. Cities can be expensive as well. Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Nas

Hi Julie, I’m from Australia and planning to do the American Southwest in Sept. this will be my first time visiting the States. Here are my questions 1) is it safe to drive and hike solo? 2) do I need a 4wd car especially driving around the Monument Valley? 3) how good phone reception in these areas?

I really appreciate your input.

Hello Nas. That’s exciting that you are planning your first trip to the USA. Yes, it is safe to hike and drive solo in the American Southwest. I would not hesitate to take a solo trip here myself. You will need a 4WD if you plan to do Moki Dugway but for everything else that we have done in that area, a 4WD is not necessary. Phone reception won’t be very good outside of the small towns in this area. You’ll have some cellular service along some of the highways as you drive around, but don’t depend on it. We cache our maps just in case we do not have cellular service. But, for the most part, cellular service will be spotty in the national parks and outside of the towns. Cheers, Julie

Thanks Julie! That’s a huge relief. I will be travelling around the USA for 6-8 weeks and honestly no idea what to expect. A silly question, can you tell me how tipping culture works?

Btw I did a few hikes in Lofoten islands and Trolltunga, Norway last year based on information i gathered from here. I also did reach out to you asking a few questions which were very useful 🙂

Tipping in the US is a lot different from Australia. At restaurants, it’s typical to leave a 15% tip, 20% for outstanding service. Tip taxi drivers and bell hops a few dollars. Getting tipped is expected in the US and some restaurants will already add it to the bill, so check that before leaving a tip. If you have any other questions, please let me know and I’d be happy to help. Cheers, Julie

I will keep that in mind. Any recommendations for reliable car rental companies at Las Vegas Airport? Also which US SIM card is best?

I will be reading more of your USA blogs and definitely more questions to follow. Thanks for your kindness Julie!

In the USA (and around the world) we use Avis and Budget the most and for the most part, always have a very good experience. Other companies we use include Hertz and Sixt. We use Verizon in the USA and it has the fastest, most widespread coverage throughout the US. You can also compare prices with Airalo. This is an eSIM company that we use when we travel, and so far have used it in Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and Samoa and have had a good experience. It may not be as fast as getting a SIM card from a carrier such as Verizon, but it is convenient in that you don’t have to visit a store and it might be cheaper. We have no experience using Airalo in the USA. Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Stacy

We have been to many of the places in this article for the best US road trips as a couple but would love to roadtrip through Utah and camp with our dogs. Are you able to name some of the best dog friendly campgrounds in Utah near the state and national parks that we could check out? Most national parks aren’t very dog friendly so it’s difficult to find some that are.

Hello Stacy. Thanks for writing in. We haven’t traveled with dogs so aren’t familiar with dog-friendly campgrounds. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to answer your question but hopefully some more searching online will get you the answers you need. Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Lia

Hi! Where do you recommend to stay at Yosemite NP? Thank you!

The best place to stay is inside of the park, in Yosemite Valley. We stayed in Mariposa, so we had a bit of a drive back and forth to the park, but we were able to get cheap lodging. Closer places than Mariposa are El Portal and Yosemite West. Cheers, Julie

Thank you so much! We’re planning for next summer and the prices for hotels inside the park are over $500… such a bummer. We’ll check the cities you suggest.

Wow! That’s so expensive. Good luck!

Avatar for Jennifer Henshaw

We want to get on Route 66 in Oklahoma, is that 40? Are the attractions on that road or do you have to exit off? Our final stop is the Grand Canyon. We want to travel the Route Oklahoma in to Arizona

Hello Jennifer. I have not driven all of Route 66 yet but included it in this post since it is a classic USA road trip. I do believe that some parts of Route 66 also includes I-40. For the Route 66 itinerary, I provided a link to a guide to Route 66 which should have the answers to your questions. Cheers, Julie

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Where’s Janice

The Perfect 7-Day Grand Circle Road Trip (USA)

The Grand Circle road trip (USA) has always been a dream of mine. Ever wanted to visit the Grand Canyon , and the famous Horseshoe Bend ? Some have the luxury of time to explore, but if you only have 7 days here’s how to maximize time to experience national parks in Southwest Utah and the famous Grand Canyon in Arizona, and even enjoy Las Vegas in Nevada.

road trip grands lacs usa

This is one the most popular road trips in the US because of the spectacular views and scenic drive. I am so thankful for the opportunity to do this with my family during spring. We rented an SUV for this trip, which was perfect for 4 of us.

This article uses affiliate links where I make a small commission if you make a purchase through my links. It will be at no additional cost to you, but will really help to support Where’s Janice.

Another cool thing to do would be renting an RV or campervan from Outdoorsy , a peer-to-peer camper rental community. That way, you can try out van life without committing to buying one, and it will already be built up for you. Check out the options near your location or Las Vegas and book in advance for the best prices and options !

road trip grands lacs usa

  • How To Choose The Best Car Rental – Turo, Zipcar, Hertz
  • 7 Scenic Road Trip Ideas For Nature Lovers
  • Yosemite 2-Day Itinerary: The Best Sights For Weekend Warriors

Day 1: Arrive in Las Vegas

road trip grands lacs usa

Las Vegas can be reached via a flight or drive. If you only have 7 days, I recommend resting from the jet lag, and choose to fly in to Vegas rather than drive. On this first night, have a good dinner and rest up before the hiking and exploration begins. Hit up any of the restaurants in Vegas, such as the Gordon Ramsay Burger place, or Sekushi Japanese Restaurant , etc. If you arrive early enough, consider having a sumptuous buffet, since many of them open till 9pm.

In terms of budgeting, I suggest going for a cheaper hotel at the start, and splurge at the end of the Grand Circle road trip loop.

Day 2: Zion National Park

road trip grands lacs usa

The first hikes in our Grand Circle road trip will start today. Zion National Park is a short 2.5 hour drive from Las Vegas. You could easily do a day trip to Zion National Park if you want to do 1 short hike during the day. If you have time, I suggest making a 1-hour detour to drive through the Valley of Fire State Park , a route that promises breathtaking scenery and towering rock formations.

Lower Emerald Pools trail (2 hours) is perfect for a family, as it is easy enough but also exposes you to the spectacular landscape of Zion every way you turn. Other popular trails are the Angel’s Landing, and hiking the Narrows , which are more time consuming and spending more than 1 day in Zion might be a better idea for those who are up for the challenge.

Day 3: Bryce Canyon National Park

road trip grands lacs usa

We opted to stay in Glendale, Utah for 2 nights, as it is conveniently situated between Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park .

Bryce Canyon is a slightly smaller park, but there are many lookout points (sunrise point, sunset point, etc.) that are worth stopping by on the way to hiking trails. Hoodoos are the highlight of this park, pillar-like structures that have been brought about by various forms of erosion. Truly a geography lesson.

The most popular and doable trail is the Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop trail (2-3 hours), where you descend down into the canyon, allowing you to get up close and personal with the Hoodoos, and view them from a different perspective. The landscape is almost unearthly, but very interesting to explore.

Day 4: Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend

road trip grands lacs usa

The Antelope Canyons are split into the upper and lower section, with the upper being more expensive and crowded because of the light rays and the opportunities to photograph sand falling into the canyon. The lower section has fewer people (still crowded) and is generally cheaper, and the canyon itself descends deeper (more stairs). In my opinion I think both would be great, and if you are not too picky, it would not make a huge difference as you will have a great time in either.

Do note that you will need to join a tour to enter the Antelope Canyons , you do not have access to them on your own. I booked my tour for $50 USD per pax with Ken’s Tours for 1-1.5 hours. One advantage of having a tour is that the guide might show you good photo spots and help you take pictures.

Also consider the time of day you choose for the tour, as you want to have optimal sunlight shining into the canyon. Most sources say that mid-day is the best. If it is too late in the day, the canyon could look dark in pictures.

road trip grands lacs usa

Overall a very fun place to explore and take pictures in, but the crowd makes it difficult to take good photos and you might feel rushed.

In between our mid-day tour to Antelope Canyons and sunset viewing at Horseshoe Bend , we bought frozen yoghurt in the nearby supermarket to cool off. Then, we headed to the Glen Canyon Dam nearby where The Chains hike starts. We chose to stay near the parking lot, exploring rock formations and taking pictures. It was unexpectedly fun, and you can even see people fishing and going really close to the water.

road trip grands lacs usa

Last but not least, a beautiful sunset to end the day. Aim to arrive at the observation area about 1 hour before sunset so that you can enjoy golden hour. You can also watch the colours of the sky change if you stay a while after the sun sets.

On hindsight, I should have brought some picnic mats/towels to put on the rocks for a more comfortable sunset experience.

We stayed in Tuba City, Arizona since it was on the way to Grand Canyon. Do note that in Arizona there is time difference in the Navajo Nation regions, which includes Tuba City. The rest of Arizona follows Pacific Time.

Day 5: Grand Canyon National Park

road trip grands lacs usa

This is probably where you will find the ‘Grand’ in the Grand Circle road trip. Our family camped 1 night in Grand Canyon National Park ( Mather campground ), giving us plenty of opportunities to enjoy the park. After all, it is one of the wonders of the world, a geographical landform visible from space. We rented camping equipment from Airbnb and collected them in Cameron, AZ on our way to Grand Canyon.

Going hiking or camping soon? Check out some of my tips and gear recommendations:

Cold weather camping gear | Camping starter kit | Affordable hiking backpacks | Weekend camping trip planning + packing list | First-timer tent camping tips | Hiking boots for women | Rooftop tents for car camping

There are many lookout points in the park, and here are the ones I visited and recommend:

1) Along east entrance, with views of the Colorado River:

  • Desert View
  • Lipan Point

2) Near the village and Mather campground

  • Mather Point/Amphitheatre (sunrise views, closest to campsite and has seating area)
  • Rim trail views

3) West of the village along Hermit Road (accessible only by shuttle bus from Mar-Nov)

  • Hopi Point (sunset views, toilets available)
  • Would have also gone to Mohave Point for sunset if we had more time

Most people also recommend hiking the South Kaibab trail (near the east side of the park). However, we chose another trail called the Bright Angel Trail , and hiked down to the 1.5 mile rest stop. The climb back up takes 2-4 hours. This trail would be closest to Hermit Road where we will be going for sunset.

Where to go for sunset?

  • Hopi Point (red route)
  • Yavapai Point (drive, walk or orange route)
  • Lipan Point (drive)
  • Prima Point (red route)

Day 6: Grand Canyon, Las Vegas

road trip grands lacs usa

As mentioned earlier, Mather Point is one of the best places to watch the sunrise (shown in the picture above). We also happened to meet 2 other Singaporeans and they were smart enough to bring coffee and breakfast along.

Where to go for sunrise?

  • Yavapai Point (Walk, drive or orange route)
  • Navajo Point (Drive)
  • Hope Point (red route)
  • Mather Point (5 minute walk)

Sunrise tips: arrive at the lookout point about 30-45 min before sunrise to watch the light slowly creep in. The photo shows the sun after it has risen. We woke up at 4:45am and waited till about 6am before leaving. Sunrise time was about 5:30am.

Cook some ramen and drink some coffee before starting the day. Head out to explore the Rim Trail to see more viewpoints of the Grand Canyon before driving to Las Vegas.

We passed through several towns and dropped by Williams to return the camping equipment. There was some decent coffee at Brewed Awakenings Coffee.

To end the day, we pigged out at a buffet place. It was perfect after many days of hiking. You could choose to watch a live show after dinner too, or simply walk around exploring the many hotels/the Strip.

Day 7: Leave from Las Vegas

road trip grands lacs usa

On our last night in Vegas, we and booked a room in Bellagio Hotel to reward ourselves.

If you can wake up early, spend some time in the hotel pool area to soak in the sun. Spend this last day shopping at the outlet stores too. We shopped at the South outlet stores since it was nearest to McCarran airport and the car return area.

The time of the year to go to these places could play a role in several decisions. For example, camping at freezing temperatures and deciding which trail to hike as some might be closed due to snow. However, many of these places look spectacular with snow sprinkled on them, and not everyone gets to enjoy such view. I would love to visit Capitol Reef National Park and Monument Valley if we had more time.

With that, the perfect Grand Circle road trip has concluded. I hope that this has helped you in planning and getting inspired to hike a little. You can also check out these tips on how to take great photos of yourself hiking . Now let’s get packing !

What to bring for your hiking trip

To make the most of your adventure, it’s essential to come prepared. Here’s a checklist to ensure you have everything you need.

Hiking essentials and comfort items

  • Hiking boots or shoes : Comfortable and supportive footwear is a must so you’ll have the best experience. Waterproof boots can be useful for muddy trails.
  • Hiking day pack : It should have enough space to store snacks, water, and any extra clothing. Here are some affordable hiking backpacks below $100 to consider.
  • Water : Stay hydrated, especially during warmer months. Water reservoirs with up to 3-litre capacity are useful for longer hikes.
  • Map and navigation : Having a map adds an extra layer of security. Offline Google Maps also helps.
  • Snacks : Pack energy-boosting snacks to keep you fueled throughout the hike. These could be energy bars, nuts, or some sweets.
  • Sunscreen and cap : Protect yourself from the sun, especially during the open sections of the trail.
  • Layered clothing : For example, bring a fleece sweater and wear a sweat-wicking base layer. Rain jackets can also act as a windbreaker.
  • Camera : Capture the scenic beauty and document your adventure.
  • Phone tripod: If you’re hiking alone, having a phone tripod is great for filming shots of yourself.
  • Trekking poles: Provide extra stability on uneven terrain and downhill sections.

Read more: 10 Reasons You Should Use Notion for Travel Planning with Friends DIY Finland Road-Trip: Lapland in Autumn For Best Northern Lights

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Finding the Universe

Travel tales, photography and a dash of humor

Valley of Fire State Park

2 Week USA Road Trip Itinerary: California, Las Vegas & the Grand Canyon

Last updated: June 3, 2022 . Written by Laurence Norah - 11 Comments

We’ve taken a lot of road trips in the USA, and it is our favorite country for taking road trips. From Route 66 to the Oregon Trail to the Pacific Coast Highway to the Deep South , we’ve had some amazing adventures by road across the states.

One of our most popular road trip itineraries for the USA is our two week California road trip itinerary . However, I’m often asked by readers how to adapt it to include some other popular destinations in the USA, specifically Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon .

In response to this request, I’ve put together this detailed two week USA road trip itinerary through parts of the southwest and western USA.

This itinerary includes highlights of California, such as Yosemite and Death Valley national parks, as well as the Pacific Coast Highway, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It also has you driving some iconic stretches of Route 66, spending time in Las Vegas, and taking a visit to the incredible Grand Canyon.

This is an extension to the popular “Golden Triangle” road trip, which usually features Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Our road trip itinerary takes you across three states – California, Arizona and Nevada, and would suit trips of two to three weeks.

road trip grands lacs usa

Obviously, as you are trying to see a fair bit in this itinerary, it does require quite a bit of driving, and you won’t be able to see absolutely everything on offer. We’d suggest a minimum of two weeks for this trip, but if you have a little longer, then you could easily stretch it out to three weeks or more, and have a few more stops along the way.

For now though, let’s take a look at this itinerary on a day by day basis to see what it looks like. As always, please just use this itinerary as a guide, and feel free to adjust it to your particular interests!

USA Road Trip Itinerary

I’ve designed this itinerary to be circular, so you start and finish at the same place. This makes things like car hire easier, as often there’s a one-way fee if you rent a car in one place and leave it somewhere else. However, this isn’t always the case, for example, we’ve rented in Las Vegas and dropped off in San Francisco and not been charged a fee.

Of course, if you are wanting to avoid driving in the USA, then you can also take tours that follow a very similar route to this one, such as this one . You can check out a list of tour options later in the post.

A circular route also means that you can start and finish at any point on the route, and you can do it in either direction. If you’re flying to the start, cities with major airports include Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. For now, we’ll assume you’re going to start in Las Vegas.

Days 1 & 2 – Las Vegas

We recommend starting your US road trip in Las Vegas. The city is world famous as basically an adults playground, with gambling, shows, restaurants and bars aplenty. It’s an easy place to spend a lot of money very quickly!

However, there is definitely a lot more to Las Vegas than the famous Las Vegas Strip, both in town, and in the nearby area. The stunning Valley of Fire state park is a short drive away, and you can also visit the impressive Hoover Dam very easily. So whether you are into natural wonders or man-made delights, you should find something to do.

Our recommendation would be to spend your two days in Las Vegas. There is a lot to do in the city, and if you arriving from a different time zone, these two days will give you time to adjust and acclimatize. However, if you do want to head out of the city, we have included a couple of suggested trips to popular nearby attractions as well.

Things to do in Las Vegas

With around two days to explore, depending on when you arrive in the city, you should be able to see a good amount in Las Vegas.

Some of our personal highlights we recommend include the views from the top of the Stratosphere Tower, visiting the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign for a photo opportunity, walking the Strip at night, watching the famous Bellagio fountains display and taking in the Mob Museum.

You will also likely want to take in one of the shows that are hosted every evening at venues across the city. There’s a huge number of shows to choose from, you can see the options and book them online in advance here . Other popular activities in Vegas include dining. The city is home to a number of truly world class restaurants, as well as quite spectacular buffets.

There’s also no shortage of shopping if you want to indulge in a bit of retail therapy. We’d also suggest taking a bit of down time and relaxing by your hotel pool as part of your acclimatization strategy. There’s going to be a lot of driving and sight-seeing in the days ahead, so a bit time relaxing by the pool with a beer or cocktail will start your trip off on the right foot. Alternatively, there are also a number of fun rides you can take in the city, if you’re more of a thrill seeker.

Finally, you will probably want to take part in the pastime that Vegas is most well known for – gambling. There’s a huge number of casinos to choose from, with many of the hotels also running huge casino operations. Even if you don’t wish to gamble, it is worth visiting a few of the casinos as the buildings themselves are so iconic.

In terms of getting around Las Vegas, the city has a lot of options. It’s also relatively spread out, so whilst you can walk, it will likely take you longer than you think to get around on foot. The temperatures in summer also make walking very uncomfortable.

Instead, you might consider one of the popular rideshare services, taxis, or the monorail, which connects many of the key points of the city together. We would advise against driving in the Las Vegas – parking fees are high, and the roads are busy.

Las Vegas Sign

If you’d prefer to head out of the city for either part of all of one of your days in the city, we’d recommend visiting either the Hoover Dam and taking the tour there or heading out to the Valley of Fire State Park . If you head out early and have your own vehicle you can fit both into one day out.

The Hoover Dam is an incredible feat of modern engineering, and is regarded as one of the seven wonders of the industrial world .

The Valley of Fire State Park is home to spectacular landscapes, made up from wonderfully colored rocks which give the park its name

The Hoover Dam is a ticketed attraction, with different tours available. Some of these tours can be purchased in advance online, whilst others are only available in person. If you choose to take a tour that requires an in person ticket purchase you will want to arrive early as slots are limited and this is a popular attraction. See more on ticket types and prices on the official website here .

hoover dam

The Valley of Fire State Park also has a fee, which is charged per vehicle rather than per person, and you can see details of that here . There are a number of short hikes you can take to explore the park, or you can just drive to observation points and enjoy the views.

Note that if you are doing this road trip in the summer, hiking is generally not recommended as it gets very hot, often in excess of 100F / 37C. Visiting the Valley of Fire at this time of year is not as pleasant an experience as in the cooler months.

You can either take a tour to reach our suggested sites or you can drive yourself. If you don’t want to pick up your rental car yet, or would just prefer the convenience of a tour, here are some options to consider:

  • A three hour mini tour of the Hoover Dam, where you will see the main exterior highlights but not the interior parts
  • A 4-6 hour guided hiking tour of the Valley of Fire from Las Vegas, with varying levels of hike available depending on your fitness

Whether you decide to spend all your time in Las Vegas or take in some of the surrounding attractions, we’re sure you won’t run out of things to do here.

For more inspiration, see our guide to things to do in Las Vegas which has lots more ideas as well as tips on saving money.

Where to Stay in Las Vegas

There’s no shortage of places to stay in Las Vegas. Our suggestion would be to try and stay on or near the Strip if possible, as this will make it easier to get to many of the sights. We’d also suggest staying in one of the casinos because that’s part of the Vegas experience! Here are some suggested options to get you started across a range of budgets.

  • Travelodge by Wyndham Las Vegas Airport – if you’re looking for a budget hotel and don’t mind not being on the strip or having an on-site casino, this 2* Travelodge offers comfortable rooms, free parking and a breakfast bag.
  • The D Las Vegas – found in the older part of Las Vegas, amongst the famous neon of Fremont Street, this hotel offers good value accommodation as well as on-site casino.
  • Luxor – if you ever wanted to sleep in a pyramid, without the associated hassle of becoming an Egyptian pharaoh and dying, the Luxor is for you. This 3* hotel is famous for its iconic pyramid shape, and is handily located near the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. Naturally there’s a casino, range of dining options and usually some kind of show or entertainment to enjoy.
  • New York, New York – another well known Vegas hotel, this property was constructed to resemble the New York skyline, complete with a 150 feet Statue of Liberty. There’s an on-site rollercoaster, casino, range of restaurants, and live shows.
  • Flamingo Las Vegas – this is the oldest resort hotel on the Strip, although don’t let that put you off as it’s been refurbished a number of times. It offers colourful rooms, a huge on-site casino, and good prices for the central location. Another of our favourites in Vegas.
  • Bellagio – found behind the famous fountains, this is one of the most iconic five star hotels in Las Vegas. Many rooms offer spectacular strip views, and there’s an on site casino, multiple dining options, and on site entertainment. A great option for those with a larger budget, or just looking to start the trip in style. We loved our stay here.

Bellagio Hotel

Day 3 – Grand Canyon

It’s time to start the real road trip part of your adventure! If you’re picking up your rental car, now is the time to do that if you haven’t already.

For your third day you’ll want to get an early start as you’ve got around 300 miles to go, or just under a five hour drive.

It’s worth it though, for what is arguably one of mother nature’s most spectacular sights in the world – the Grand Canyon.

You have a couple of options for your drive. First, you can drop down to Kingman, Arizona, and then take the I-40 all the way to Williams, Arizona, before turning north.

However, you might prefer to take the more scenic route along a stretch of the legendary Route 66 driving route . This runs from Kingman, Arizona, up to Peach Springs and back down to Seligman, where you join the I-40. This won’t add much to your journey (around 20 minutes extra driving time), but will give you the opportunity to follow just over 80 miles of Route 66.

Hackberry General Store Route 66 Arizona

There are a few notable highlights along this stretch of the route which are worth stopping at, even if just for a quick photo opportunity. These include Hackberry General Store, a Route 66 era gas station in Truxton, and the Grand Canyon Caverns . You can see more options for this stretch of the route in this part of our 2 week Route 66 guide .

Now, onto the main attraction of the day – the Grand Canyon! This is a National Park with entry fees, which are charged per vehicle. You can see information on prices, opening times and concessions here .

You are basically going to have most of the afternoon, the evening, and the following morning to visit the park. Obviously, more time would be best, but we’re on a schedule for this itinerary. If you do want to do more activities here though, including lengthier hikes, you will definitely want to extend your stay here.

Let’s assume you are following this itinerary though, and have around 1.5 days at the Grand Canyon. I would recommend spending this as follows.

Things to do at the Grand Canyon

First, I suggest visiting the main Grand Canyon Visitor Centre in Grand Canyon Village. This has detailed information on the park, with exhibits on a range of subjects including the geology, geography, and wildlife of the park. There’s also a 20 minute video you can watch to get acquainted with the park.

You can also talk to the rangers based here who can give you advice for everything related to your visit, from shuttle timetables through to great spots to watch the sunset and sunrise, and suggested short hikes that you can take to match your specific fitness.

From the visitor centre, it’s a short walk to Mather Point which offers incredible views across the Canyon. You can also walk along the trail which follows the rim in both directions, for more views (and fewer crowds).

Sunset252520from252520Hopi252520Point252520Grand252520Canyon_by_Laurence252520Norah25255B1125255D

At this point you’ll probably want to head to your accommodation and check-in, after which, depending on how much time you have, you may want to take the shuttle bus to one of the viewpoints along the rim. I’d definitely recommend ensuring you have a good spot to watch the sunset – I have a guide to the best places to watch the sunset and sunrise at the Grand Canyon here .

Finally, after a long day it’s time to turn in. On the morning of your fourth day I suggest taking another short hike if that interests you, or driving to some of the many viewpoints along the rim as you exit the park.

Where to Stay at the Grand Canyon

You have a few options for staying at the Grand Canyon. My recommendation is to stay on-site at the south rim in Grand Canyon Village. There are five hotels to choose from, plus two campgrounds. They cover a range of budgets, but be aware you do pay a bit of a premium for the location. You can see all the options available here .

If you want to stay at any of these, you will definitely need to book online in advance as they are all very popular and do sell out.

The hotels are all operated by Grand Canyon Lodges, and can be booked online here .

The two campgrounds are Mather Campground (no RV hookups) and Trailer Village (full hook-ups available).

Mather Campground is operated by the National Parks Service, and can be booked online here . Trailer Village is a concession, which can be booked online here .

Grand252520canyon252520sunrise_by_Laurence252520Norah25255B925255D

Day 4 – Route 66 to Joshua Tree National Park

Your fourth day of this itinerary has you heading to California, with your destination being the Joshua Tree National Park .

You have a decent amount of driving today, and again we’re going to suggest you take the opportunity to take in stretches of iconic Route 66. Doing so will result in around a 6.5 hour drive, or around 375 miles of driving. If you would prefer a more direct route, it’s around 5.5 hours / 361 miles.

We think the scenic route is worth it though, as this drive across the wild and rugged back country of California and parts of Arizona Is truly spectacular, and one we always enjoy. Specifically, you will follow I-40 to Kingman, then take the 10 out to Oatman. This town maintains the feel of a former wild west frontier town, and burros still roam the streets. There are even regular “gunfights” here, staged for the benefit of visiting tourists.

Just note, the traffic around Oatman can be quite slow (and even stop sometimes) as a result of the daily shows. In addition, the road up to Oatman is quite curvy, so you will want to take your time.

road trip grands lacs usa

From Oatman, you’ll head on to Needles, one of the hottest places in the USA, follow the I-40 for a short while longer, and then rejoin Route 66 to pass through Amboy. A photo stop and a purchase of Route 66 Route beer is essential at Roy’s Motel in Amboy!

From Amboy, it’s due south until you reach Twentynine Palms. This is where you can access the Joshua Tree National Park, which we suggest you leave until the following day.

Once you consider various stops for photo opportunities, dining and so on, you will likely have used up all your useful daylight by now, so we suggest stopping overnight in Twentynine Palms, and continuing your adventures tomorrow. Of course, if you’re a fan of astrophotography , you might want to pop into the park, which has some excellent star gazing and astrophotography opportunities. But it’s up to you.

Joshua Tree

Where to Stay Near Joshua Tree National Park

There are no hotels within the park grounds, although there are nine campgrounds to choose from if you plan on camping. You can book these campgrounds online here . I’ve camped at the Jumbo Rocks campground and it was an amazing experience.

Otherwise, we would suggest staying in a property in Twentynine Palms. There is a good choice of 2 and 3 star properties to choose from, such as:

  • 9 Palms Inn – this budget 2* property gets good reviews, and rooms come with a coffee machine, microwave and refrigerator. There’s also free parking on site.
  • El Rancho Dolores – this is a great value 3* property with a seasonal pool. Rooms have microwaves and refrigerator, and free parking is included.
  • Sunnyvale Garden Suites – a very well rated 2* hotel offering a range of suites, each of which comes with a BBQ as well as a full kitchen. There’s a hot tub and gym on site, and free parking is available.
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites – this 3* chain hotel offers comfortable and well reviewed accommodation, with an outdoor heated pool and fitness centre. Rooms have coffee making facilities, microwave and small fridge, and there are BBQ facilities available for guest use.
  • Flying Point Homestead – if you want something a little bit different, check out this property. It’s actually a holiday home rather than a hotel, but one of the options is a beautiful silver streak trailer!

If you want a higher end experience, you would need to head on to Palm Springs, where there are a number of spa resorts and high end 4* hotels to choose from, such as The Palm Springs Hotel or the Alcazar Palm Springs .

Day 5 – San Diego or Joshua Tree

You have a couple of options for your fifth day, depending on whether you prefer nature or cities. You can spend the day exploring the Joshua Tree National Park , where there are plentiful hiking and wilderness activities. Or, you can press on to San Diego, where there are plentiful city and cultural attractions to choose from.

If you choose to spend the day exploring and hiking at Joshua Tree National park, we’d suggest visiting the Oasis Visitor Centre in Twentynine Palms, where you can learn about the park and get advice and information on your visit. Conditions can vary in the park depending on the weather and time of year, so obtaining up to date information is useful.

There’s also an entry fee for the park, which covers one vehicle for a week.

If you decide to spend the day exploring Joshua tree, then we recommend spending another night near the park, and then heading to Los Angeles the next morning after breakfast, just under 3 hours drive away.

If you choose to spend the day exploring San Diego, it is about a 3 hour drive to San Diego from Twentynine Palms. If you wanted to, you could spend a few hours in the morning at Joshua Tree and then head into the city. We’d suggest you spend the afternoon of Day 5 and morning of Day 6 in San Diego, and you won’t run out of things to do.

Here are some ideas:

Things to do in San Diego for a Day

We can recommend visiting the excellent USS Midway Museum , which is a fantastic museum ship found on what was, for a long time, the largest ship in the world. Built just as the second world war ended, this aircraft carrier saw service in the Vietnam War as well as the first Gulf War.

USS Midway Musem

You can easily spend your whole afternoon here, and lovers of military or aviation history will definitely want to come here. There’s also the nearby  San Diego Air and Space Museum .

There are lots of other sights to choose from in San Diego. Don’t miss a wander through the historical gaslamp district, and a visit to San Diego Zoo is a popular option especially with families. If you would prefer to visit the beach, Coronado Beach is well worth visiting.

See our complete guide to things to do in San Diego for more ideas!

Where to Stay in San Diego

San Diego is a major city and as such there is no shortage of excellent accommodation options to choose from. Of course, the flip side being that budget accommodations are a little harder to come by, although there are still some options. Here are our picks for your time in San Diego.

  • HI San Diego Downtown Hostel – this is a great value centrally located hostel, although be aware you’ll have to pay for parking. Private and shared accommodation is available and guests can use an on-site kitchen.
  • Berkshire Motor Hotel  – this budget 3* motel offers free parking, a little way north of the city centre. Rooms are en-suite and have a refrigerator. A good budget option.
  • Coronado Inn – a well priced 3* inn on Coronado Island with free parking and breakfast included. All rooms are en-suite, and free bicycle hire is available.
  • Moxy San Diego Gaslamp Quarter – a great value and very well reviewed 4* hotel in the Gaslamp quarter. All rooms are en-suite and breakfast is available. Note that parking in this area is expensive.
  • The Westgate Hotel – another well reviewed and centrally located 4* San Diego hotel. There’s a rooftop pool, full spa, on-site gym and a full service restaurant. Paid parking is possible on site.
  • 1906 Lodge – We loved our stay at this historic bed and breakfast just near Coronado Beach. Rooms are very comfortable and uniquely decorated, and each features a microwave and fridge.The included breakfast was excellent, and the free parking was appreciated.
  • Pendry San Diego – if you want five star city centre luxury, this is a great option. You get an outdoor pool, beautiful rooms, and breakfast is available. On-site parking is also possible for a fee.

1906 lodge breakfast

Days 6 & 7 – Los Angeles

From San Diego, it’s time to turn north, and visit the sprawling city of Los Angeles, the largest city in California and the second most populous city in the USA. From San Diego, it’s around a 2 hour drive up the coast to LA.

There is a huge amount to see and do in Los Angeles, and the city is quite spread out, so we feel you will want to spend a couple of days here to do it justice. Of course, if you aren’t a city person, you can adjust this itinerary to spend more time at the outdoor attractions along the route instead.

Based on our itinerary though, you’ll have one full day in Los Angeles (Day 7) and then half a day on Day 6, depending on what time you leave San Diego. Here are some ideas of how to fill that time.

Things to do in Los Angeles

There is a huge amount to do in Los Angeles, so you will need to pick and choose depending on your particular interests.

We think most visitors will enjoy visiting the Hollywood part of town, where you can see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There’s also a good view of the famous Hollywood Sign from the north-east corner of the Hollywood & Highland retail centre. Other attractions in this area include Madame Tussauds, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and The Hollywood Museum.

Hollywood sign

Another popular activity is to get a behind the scenes tour of a movie studio. A couple of popular options are the Paramount Pictures Studio Tour , and Universal Studios . Both are active movie studios where you can take tours of the working movie lots, with Universal Studios also home to a number of rides and other attractions.

Art lovers will want to take the time to visit the Getty Center . This free art museum is famous for its spectacular views, lovely gardens, architecture, and of course, art collection! The latter focuses primarily on pre 20th century European art, as well as photographs and sculpture. Note that whilst the Getty Center is free, there is a fee to park here if you visit by car.

If you are planning on seeing a sporting event or concert, or for the famous LA nightlife, you might want to stay in the LA Live area, where there are many venues for entertainment.

If you love the beach, then you’ll want to head out to the coast and visit Venice Beach and Santa Monica, where a stroll along the pier is a must. Naturally there’s plenty more to see and do in Los Angeles, and we’re sure you won’t run out of things to do. Just be aware the city is vast, and sprawls across a large area, so you will want to carefully plan your time so as to see everything you want.

In terms of getting around LA, the most popular option is to drive, although the traffic is legendary. If you would prefer not to drive, you have other options. We’ve use the ridesharing options, but also found the Hop on Hop off bus was a great option, as it took us all around the main sights we wanted to see, and even went all the way out to the beach.

There are also public transport options in LA, including an extensive bus network and a metro.

Santa Monica Pier

Where to Stay in Los Angeles

As the second largest city in the USA, there are a lot of places to stay in Los Angeles. One thing to bear in mind though is that the city sprawls across a vast area and is known for its heavy traffic. It can take a long time to get from one end of the city to the other, so do keep this in mind.

We’d suggest picking a hotel near the attractions you are most interested in. We tend to stay either in Santa Monica or the Hollywood area, both of which made for a good base for local exploration of those areas. Here are some of our recommended hotels in the city.

  • Santa Monica Motel – this basic 2* motel offers a good location for Santa Monica and is around a 10 minute walk from Santa Monica Pier. There’s free morning coffee and free parking, and rooms come with coffee makers and in-room refrigerators. It’s definitely a good value location and we’ve stayed here. Just be aware there is no A/C, although we visited in the summer and the provided fan unit worked fine.
  • Banana Bungalow – this hostel offers shared and private accommodation, around a mile from the downtown Hollywood area. There’s free parking on-site, and reviews are positive.
  • Orange Drive Hostel – a short walk from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, this is a well-reviewed hostel offering shared and private rooms, with on-site kitchen and laundry facilities. Breakfast is included, and parking is available for a good price.
  • Magic Castle Hotel – this 3* hotel is a short walk from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and you get a pool, unlimited free snacks, free continental breakfast and reasonably priced parking. It’s also a short walk to the Hollywood Bowl, and only three miles from Universal Studios. We really enjoyed staying here, and it is particularly popular with families
  • Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills – this 3* well rated hotel just a few minutes walk from the Hollywood walk of fame offers spacious rooms with microwaves and coffee makers, as well as on on-site diner. On-site parking is also available
  • Villa Delle Stelle – this boutique hotel in central Hollywood gets excellent reviews and will make you feel like a celebrity. Each suite is designed after a specific old Hollywood Celebrity, and guests can avail of celebrity style services such as in-room massages, private chefs and a personal trainer. Free parking is also included.
  • JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE – we’ve stayed at this 4* hotel in the LA Live area, which is perfect if you plan to take in a show in the nearby area. Rooms are luxurious and feature mini-fridges and tea/coffee making facilities. There’s also a rooftop pool and six restaurants to choose from. Parking is available on-site for a fee.
  • The Georgian Hotel – this beautiful 1933 4* Art Deco hotel is a short walk from Santa Monica pier, and offers ocean views and on-site dining. Breakfast is available, and parking is available on-site for a fee.

Santa Monica Motel

Days 8 & 9 – Pacific Coast Highway

Now it’s time to head north on one of the world’s most beautiful road trips – the Pacific Coast Highway . You’ll follow this coastal route from Los Angeles all the way to San Francisco. The total drive is around 450 miles, which would take you about 9 hours if you drove it straight in one go.

Of course, we’re not going to recommend you do it all in one go. We suggest you take two days and two nights to drive the route. We’d suggest stopping somewhere like San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay or Cambria for your first night on the route, and then in Monterey, Carmel, or Pacific Grove for your second night. You will then arrive into San Francisco in the morning of your 10th day.

Pacific Coast HIghway

There is a huge amount to see and do along the route, as well as just taking in the spectacular vistas as you do so. We have a complete guide to driving the Pacific Coast Highway , which should give you lots of ideas. However, some suggested stops along the route would be as follows, in order from south to north.

Highlights of the Pacific Coast Highway

Soon after you leave Los Angeles you’ll drive through Malibu, which is famous for its beach, and the home of many celebrities. There’s also a pier you can walk along. As you continue along the coast you’ll pass through numerous towns, many of which also have lovely beaches.

We can recommend visiting Santa Barbara and the Mission here. Founded in 1786, there’s a museum for those interested.

Onwards again, you may want to detour off the 101 and heading to Solvang. This town is famous for its Danish-style architecture, and there are numerous sights and attractions here, including a motorcycle museum, Christmas store, and early 19th century Franciscan church.

It’s also a lovely town to just wander around, and there are plenty of eateries here as well. You’ll also find Pea Soup Andersen’s in nearby Buellton, famous (as the name suggests) for their pea soup.

From Solvang, continue north to San Luis Obispo. You can choose to spend the night here, or you can head a little further along to Morro Bay or Cambria . All three make good stopping points.

On your second day on the Pacific Coast Highway, we’d suggest spending a little time exploring Cambria – we have a complete guide to things to do in Cambria for tips.

From Cambria, we suggest your next stop should be Hearst Castle . This sprawling hilltop castle estate was the home of William Randolph Hearst, an early 20th century media tycoon. The castle has an incredible location, offers amazing views up and down the coast, and is well worth a few hours of your time to visit.

Hearst Castle

Just be aware that visits are by guided tour only, and it’s best to book in advance to guarantee a time. See more on visiting in our complete guide to visiting Hearst Castle .

A little further north from Hearst Castle is the Elephant Seal vista point . Here, if you visit between November and March, you will see thousands of elephants seals on the beach, as they come to mate and give birth. If you visit outside these months, there will still likely be seals on the beach, but not in quite the same volumes.

Elephant Seals Pacific Coast Highway

You’ll now start to drive along some of the most rugged and beautiful parts of the route, as you drive through the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park . The views along this stretch of the route are really lovely, and there are plenty of pull outs so you can stop and enjoy the view.

Don’t miss stopping at McWay Cove, where you can see a waterfall plunging onto the beach below. Finally, you’ll finish your day at Carmel By the Sea or Monterey, where you can spend the night. If you have time, you might enjoy taking a drive along the famous 17 mile drive in Pebble Beach .

Pacific Coast HIghway

Where to Stay Along the Pacific Coast Highway

These recommendations are listed from south to north along your route, covering a number of locations we suggest you consider stopping. We love the smaller B&B style accommodation on this stretch of the route, and there are some really nice guesthouse style properties to choose from.

For your first night, we recommend one of the following:

  • Apple Farm Inn , San Luis Obispo – we really enjoyed our stay here on one of our Pacific Coast Highway road trips. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, the breakfast was fantastic, and the on-site bakery has some delicious food. There are also two pools on site, and free parking.
  • Madonna Inn , San Luis Obispo – this four star family-owned motel just to the south of SLO is a truly quirky destination, and a landmark of the central coast. Each of the 110 rooms is uniquely decorated, with pink being a key theme throughout. We didn’t stay here, but we did have dinner at the Gold Rush steak house on-site, which was fantastic.
  • Seaside Inn , Morro Bay – this 2* budget inn is one block from the waterfront. Rooms have a microwave and refrigerator, and there’s free on site parking and coffee.
  • Beach Bungalow Inn and Suites , Morro Bay – five minutes walk from the aquarium, this three star inn is very well reviewed. Comfortable rooms have fireplaces, refrigerators and coffee machines, and a hot breakfast is included as is parking.
  • Estero Inn , Morro Bay – this exceptionally well reviewed property is found on the beachfront. Rooms all have microwaves, and breakfast is included. A popular option in Morro Bay.
  • Cambria Palms Motel , Cambria – this 2* motel is a couple of blocks from downtown, and offers comfortable rooms at a good price. Rooms have refrigerator and coffee machine, and free parking is available on site.
  • Bluebird Inn , Cambria -this well rated 2* inn is found on Cambria’s main street. Rooms have microwaves, refrigerators and coffee makers, and there’s free on-site parking
  • El Colibri Hotel & Spa , Cambria – on one of our visit to Cambria we stayed here for a couple of nights and really enjoyed it. The rooms are lovely, with fireplaces, and some have spa tubs. There’s an on-site spa, outdoor hot tub, and breakfast is available. Free parking on-site.
  • J Patrick House B&B , Cambria – this five star Irish themed inn was Cambria’s first B&B. There’s a a free wine hour, evening cookies and a full breakfast included with your stay. Each room is individually designed, and there’s free parking on site. A great pick in Cambria.

For your second night, we recommend one of the following:

  • If you like to camp, then there are camping options in the national parks along the route here, including the Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground . I’ve camped here and it’s lovely to be surrounded by the massive redwoods. Just be aware that it is popular, and booking in advance is a must.
  • Sandpiper Inn , Carmel – we stayed here when we visited Carmel. We enjoyed the comfortable rooms, inclusive breakfast, and proximity to the beach. Free parking is available.
  • Sea View Inn , Carmel – a quiet, 3* inn just moments from Carmel Beach. Rooms are individually decorated and free parking is available.
  • Coachman’s Inn , Carmel – we’ve stayed at a number of the boutique hotels which are in the Four Sisters Inn collection, and they’ve all been excellent. This inn, found in the heart of Carmel Village, gets good reviews. Rooms include coffee makers and free popcorn, wine with hors d’oeuvres is served in the evenings, and breakfast is included.
  • HI Monterey Hostel , Monterey – for budget travellers, or those who just prefer a hostel, this is a very centrally located option just minutes from Cannery Row. There’s free parking on site, and a selection of dormitory rooms to choose from.
  • The Inn at 1252 , Monterey – a good value inn on the way into Monterey. Rooms feature coffee makers, and a heated pool is available year round. There’s also a fitness room, free parking and free coffee.
  • The Jabberwock B&B , Monterey – just a few blocks from Cannery Row, this very well reviewed B&B offers seven lovely guest rooms, some of which have fireplaces and hot tubs. Free parking, and breakfast is included.

Apple Farm Inn

Days 10 & 11 – San Francisco

On your 10th and 11th days you’re going to head to San Francisco, where you will have one full day, and one partial day, depending on what time you arrive.

From Monterey it’s around a 2.5 hour drive along the coast to San Francisco. If you are not in a hurry, there are few sights to take in along the way. First, Monterey itself is home to the fantastic Monterey Bay Aquarium . This is an amazing attraction, but it is quite large and relatively expensive, so you will probably want to spend at least a few hours here to get value for money.

Next, Santa Cruz is well worth a stop. There’s a lovely pier and beach, the surf here is legendary, and there are nearby redwood forests for a nice hike. See our guide to things to do in Santa Cruz for some ideas.

Ok, let’s move on, and assume you’re going to arrive into San Francisco in the early afternoon. There’s a huge amount to see and do in the city, but here are some suggestions to fill your 1.5 days.

Things to do in San Francisco

First, on the afternoon you arrive we can recommend visiting Alcatraz. This island was home to one of the world’s most famous prisons, commonly referred to “The Rock”. For almost thirty years this was home to some of the most notorious criminals in the USA.

Today, Alcatraz is open for tours. These are very popular so you will want to be sure to book in advance as they often sell out. Make sure you only book from the official Alcatraz Cruises website , as these are the only ones that land on the island and let you tour the prison. Other sightseeing tours just take you around the island. For more on visiting Alcatraz, see our guide to visiting Alcatraz .

Alcatraz

For your full day in San Francisco, we suggest starting off by taking in a view of one of the cities most iconic landmarks – the Golden Gate Bridge. Joining a bike tour  or hiring a bicycle to cycle out to and over the bridge is a popular option. Although you can get also good views of the bridge from the city, particularly around the Maritime Museum area.

You’ll also want to visit Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s spectacularly tacky, in a way that only seems to work in the USA.

Fishermans wharf san francisco

You’ll find no shortage of dining options here – we can recommend the famous Clam Chowder filled sourdough bread bowls at the Boudin Bakery . You can also learn about their bread making process at the free museum, and watch the bakers making bread.

While you are at Fisherman’s Wharf, don’t forget to say hello to the sea lions who pass the time lazing in the sun on floats just by the pier.

Other unmissable highlights of the city include the famous curvy Lombard Street , said to be the most crooked street in the world. You should also try to ride the famous street cars, visit the Chinatown and Union Square area, wander around Golden Gate Park , and peer up at the Transamerica Pyramid.

There’s loads more to do in San Francisco of course, from museums to art exhibits to cultural attractions, but hopefully we’ve given you some ideas to get you started. We have a guide to some great photo spots in San Francisco if you are looking for inspiration.

road trip grands lacs usa

Where to Stay in San Francisco

San Francisco is another large city with a lot of accommodation options, however in our experience it’s also one of the more expensive cities for accommodation in the USA. Parking is also at a premium, and hotels with free parking are fairly rare.

We’ve stayed at a number of hotels in the city, and here are our recommendation for your time in San Francisco.

  • HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel – found right on Fisherman’s Wharf, this budget hostel offers both dormitory and private accommodation options. There’s free breakfast and free parking, making this an excellent option for the location.
  • Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel – found in the popular Union Square district, this great value 3-star hotel has a rooftop restaurant, library, and on-site theatre. Rooms have private bathrooms and coffee makers, and breakfast is included. A paid parking garage is available nearby.
  • Parker Guest House – found in the old Mission district just behind the San Francisco mission building, this is a well reviewed and good value guesthouse offering private rooms. Free breakfast is available, and parking is available on site for a reasonable (by San Francisco standards) fee.
  • Columbus Inn – Just a few hundred yards from Lombardy Street and Fisherman’s Wharf in the North Beach district,  this 3* inn offers great value for the location. Private rooms offer en-suite and tea/coffee making facilities. There’s also free parking on site.
  • Golden Gate Hotel – a very well reviewed 3* hotel just minutes from Union Square. Continental breakfast and afternoon tea are included. Rooms are definitely on the cosy side, and some have shared bathrooms, but the price is great for the location. Paid parking available nearby.
  • Staypineapple Union Square – we stayed at this restored historic 4* 1913 hotel on a recent trip to San Francisco, and loved the mix of the old and the new. We loved the rooms, the colorful pineapple theme, and the free pineapple flavoured cupcakes certainly helped! Parking is available nearby for a fee.
  • Four Seasons Hotel – if you are after five star luxury, then consider the Four Seasons hotel. Also found in Union Square, rooms are huge, there’s an on-site restaurant, fitness centre, and many rooms have city views.

StayPineapple room San Francisco

Days 12 & 13 – Yosemite National Park

You’re into the final few days of your US road trip now, and it’s time to visit some more of the spectacular scenery that the state is so well known for.

The plan is to spend your next couple of days visiting Yosemite National Park , which is home to some gorgeous natural scenery, including epic waterfalls and towering mountains.

From San Francisco it’s around a four hour drive to Yosemite. We’d suggest planning to arrive in the early afternoon, checking into your accommodation where you’ll stay for two nights, and then going sightseeing.

With a full afternoon on day 12, and all of day 13 to visit the park, you should be able to visit many of the highlights. On the afternoon you arrive, we would suggest visiting some of the highlights near the Yosemite Valley Visitor Centre to start with, including Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls.

road trip grands lacs usa

A visit to the visitor centre itself is also recommended, as here you’ll be able to get up to date information on the park, as well as talk to the rangers about suggested walking routes.

For your full day in the park, you have a few options. First, you might want to take advantage of the free Yosemite shuttle , and visit the highlights that it goes to.

I would also consider a drive up to Tunnel View and then on to Glacier Point, where you’ll be able to get amazing views across the park. These can also be done as part of a tour offered by the park if you’d rather not drive.You then might consider a shorter afternoon hike, such as that up to Vernal Falls.

Alternatively, if you love hiking, you might consider tackling one of the longer or more strenuous day hikes. There are plenty of these, such as the Yosemite Falls hike .

Just note that some hikes, like the popular Half Dome Hike , do require an advance purchase permit. These are distributed via a lottery system as they are so popular so are difficult to obtain. If you plan to explore the backcountry areas of the park, you will also need a permit.

For more inspiration for your visit to Yosemite, see our guides to what to do in Yosemite for a day , as well as our guide to photography locations in Yosemite .

Important –  As of 2022, Yosemite has introduced a reservation system for park entry. If you are visiting between late May and the end of September and planning on driving into or through the park between 6am and 4pm you will need to have a reservation. You can find out more and make your reservations online here .

road trip grands lacs usa

Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park

There are a range of accommodation options in Yosemite National Park, ranging from campsites to canvas-sided tent cabins, through to luxury hotels.

There are 13 campsites available in the park , with a number of these available for reservation, and the rest operated on a first come first serve basis. If you want to camp, we highly recommend booking well in advance, which you can do here .

There are also nine lodging options operated by Yosemite Hospitality inside the park, which are the only other accommodation options available in the park itself. These can be reserved up to a year in advance, and range from simple canvas cabins through to a high-end luxury hotel. These can all be reserved online in advance here .

We would definitely recommend staying in the park if possible, as this will put you close to the sights. However, if you struggle to find an option that works for you, some recommended lodging just outside the park is as follows. As a general rule, the closer to the park, the more expensive the property is likely to be.

  • Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort – At just over 26 miles outside Yosemite, this property is quite far out compared to others, but the price reflects that. So if you are on a tighter budget this is a good option to consider. Think glamping and rustic style accommodation, with an on-site spa, restaurant, and kitchen for use. Dormitory accommodation is also available.
  • Narrow Gauge Inn – found just four miles from Yosemite, this is a great value 3* motel offering comfortable en-suite rooms. All rooms feature coffe machines, and there’s a seasonal restaurant, a seasonal outdoor pool and a hot tub
  • Yosemite View Lodge – Just under nine miles from Yosemite National Park, this 3* lodge has 4 pools, a hot tub and a restaurant. It has lovely views, gets positive reviews, and there’s free parking on-site. Breakfast is available.
  • Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite – this 4* lodge is found just two miles from Yosemite National Park, and offers comfortable and well-reviewed lodging. There’s a on-site fitness centre and spa as well as two pools. Free parking is available, and breakfast is an option.

Day 14 – Death Valley & Las Vegas

It’s the final day of your road trip! Today you have a fair old drive ahead of you – around 6 hours in total. However, we’re going to break it up a bit with some sights.

Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning that this route has you exiting Yosemite on the east side of the park, which requires you to take Highway 120, also known as the Tioga Road. Due to its elevation and exposure to snow, this road is closed over winter, usually from November to late May. You can see the latest road conditions here .

If this road is closed, then you are looking at a significant detour to get to Death Valley, requiring you to exit the park to the south or west, and then to loop a long way south via Bakersfield to get around the Sierra Nevada Mountains. As such, you may prefer instead to skip Death Valley, or to visit it earlier in your trip as a day trip from Las Vegas (it’s a 4 hour round trip). In this case, instead of driving all the way back to Las Vegas, you might prefer just to return to San Francisco.

Assuming you visit when the Tioga Road is open though, you will leave Yosemite and come to California’s Highway 395, often referred to as California’s backbone. We suggest taking a left onto the 395, and driving to the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, a couple of miles up the road.

Mono Lake is a saline soda lake is home to many limestone columns, known as tufa towers, which are a popular visitor attraction. Definitely worth a photo stop.

You’ll now head south on Highway 395, driving parallel to the incredible Sierra Nevada mountain range. You’ll pass through lovely towns like Mammoth Lakes, and the views will definitely require you to stop for a few photos as you drive.

road trip grands lacs usa

We suggest following Highway 395 until Lone Pine, and then heading on Highway 136 into the last National Park of the trip – the infamous Death Valley National Park .

This is home to over 3 million acres of desert and mountains, and was named during the California Gold Rush. During this time, a group of 100 wagons became lost in the valley, and though they eventually found their way out, it was only after they gave up their wagons and ate their oxen.

Today, Death Valley is a popular place for visitors to experience an extreme desert environment. There’s plenty to see and do here as you pass through. We’d suggest stopping at the visitor centre and visiting Badwater Basin, which is the lowest point in the USA, at 279 feet below sea level.

One thing to note – if you visit California in the summer months, particularly late June to early September, it can be incredibly hot in Death Valley. Hiking is not recommended in these months due to the temperature, and you’ll want to be sure the A/C in your car is working well!

Finally, you’re going to arrive back in Las Vegas, complete the circuit, and finish your US road trip. We hope you had a great time! Now you can either fly home, or spend some more time in Vegas. Now, onto some practicalities for your trip.

2 Week USA Road Trip Itinerary Map

Here’s a map of the route to help you visualise it. You can also see this on Google Maps here .

2 week usa road trip itinerary map

When Is The Best Time of Year to Road Trip the USA?

We would suggest that for this itinerary, the best time of year would be May through June, or September and October. At these times of year the weather will be warm but not too hot (although Las Vegas will definitely be hot in late May and June), and it won’t be as busy as the summer months.

You could also do this trip in winter of course, but it will be a lot cooler. In addition, some of the national parks, and especially Yosemite, can have restricted access in winter if there is a lot of snow. In particular, the east exit from Yosemite, the Tioga road, is usually closed from November through May. In this scenario you would be looking at a lengthy detour to travel to Death Valley, and might instead prefer to return to San Francisco.

If you choose to visit in the hotter summer months, such as July and August, then you’d definitely want to avoid any sort of longer hikes in places like the Valley of Fire and Death Valley. Instead, maybe plan more time along the coast, at higher altitudes, and exploring city attractions.

Roys Route 66 Amboy

Western USA Tour Options

This is a road trip itinerary, and as such there’s quite a lot of driving involved. However, I appreciate not everyone will want to drive. The good news is that there are a number of tours which follow a fairly similar route to our itinerary. The advantage of a tour is that you can let someone else handle all the logistics, from booking hotels to handling the transport, and you can just relax and enjoy the experience.

Here are some tours which follow a fairly similar route to our itinerary for your consideration.

  • This 11 day budget tour includes the Pacific Coast Highway, as well as Los Angeles, San Diego, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Death Valley and Yosemite. A good value option, aimed at the budget travellers wanting to see a lot in a fairly short amount of time
  • If you’re on a tighter timescale, consider this 8 day express tour with G Adventures. It goes from LA to San Francisco, calling at Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Death Valley and Yosemite. You don’t get to see San Diego or the Pacific Coast Highway, but otherwise you will cover a lot and see plenty!
  • If you would prefer to see more national parks, consider this 15 day G Adventures tour in partnership with National Geographic. As well as most of the national parks on our list, you will also visit such spectacular locations as Bryce Canyon and Zion. One for those of you who prefer nature to cities.
  • This 11 day tour from Las Vegas to San Francisco includes Death Valley, Yosemite the Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands and Bryce National Parks, as well as Monument Valley and time in San Francisco.

Practicalities for Planning a USA Road Trip

If you are visiting from outside the USA, we wanted to share some tips that should help make planning and preparing for you US road trip a little easier.

Driving in the USA

In the USA , you drive on the right hand side of the road, and the majority of vehicles are automatic. Compared to Europe, fuel prices are low.

If you’re coming from overseas, you’ll likely be renting a car. To do so, you will need a valid drivers license, and many rental car companies also have a minimum age for renters, which can start as high as 25. Some visitors may also need an International Drivers Permit from to drive in the USA, which needs to be arranged in advance from your home country.

We have a complete guide to driving in the USA , which you might want to read if this is your first time driving in the United States.

Renting a Car or Motorhome for your Trip

If you are coming from overseas, then you’ll need a vehicle in which to do this road trip. You have two main options – you can rent a car, or you can rent an RV/motorhome.

For this itinerary specifically we’d generally recommend a car as there are quite a few city stops which wouldn’t be practical for a motorhome. However, if you decide to skip the cities and focus on the great outdoors, then a motorhome might be more practical.

For car rental in the US, we usually use either Rentalcars.com or Enterprise . For one-way trips, we’ve found Enterprise often has the lowest one-way fees, but it is always worth comparing on a site like Rentalcars.

For RV rental, we recommend checking out Motorhome Republic . They compare prices across all the major suppliers so you can find the right rental for you. You can see their USA listings here .

We can also recommend checking out  RVShare , who offer peer to peer campervan rental – a bit like the AirBnB of RV rental! Similar options include Outdoorsy and RVEzy .

Money in the USA

The USA uses the US dollar, with notes available in denominations ranging from 1 up to 100. Coins are also widely used, which range from a cent to a dollar. There are ATM machines available throughout the country.

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, however it is worth keeping some bills to hand for tipping. In addition, the 25 cent coin, known as a quarter, is widely used for short stay parking meters, so you will want to have some of these handy as well.

If you’ve not visited the USA before, and in particular if you are from a country where tipping is not normal, you might find the tipping culture a bit of a shock. Tips are expected for a great many service based roles, from restaurant service through to valet parking.

The percentage you tip will obviously depend on your personal preference, but tips in the region of 10 – 20% for restaurant service is common, whilst one to three dollars for bar service or valet parking is also expected.

Electricity in the USA

The USA uses a 110v electrical system. If you are coming from a country that uses a 220v to 240v system, this means that some of your electrical items might not work.

In our experience, the majority of smaller electronics, like laptops and cell phone chargers, are compatible with 110v – 240v and will work in the USA. You can check on the charger, it should tell you.

However, higher powered devices like hair dryers, flat irons, and electric kettles are unlikely to work, unless you have a dual voltage model specifically designed for international travel or have a voltage converter.

In addition, if you are visiting from outside the USA, you will likely need a travel adaptor like this . See our comprehensive guide to travel adaptors for recommendations.

Accommodation in the USA

There is a huge range of accommodation options in the USA across a wide range of budgets. From budget motels near highway intersections to five star luxury hotels, to campsites and apartment rentals – we’re sure you’ll find something to suit.

For this itinerary we’ve suggested a few options for each stopping point, across a range of budgets. As this is a road trip, we can recommend trying to find places which include free parking where possible, although in the major cities you are likely going to have to pay for a parking service.

In terms of whether or not you need to book in advance, we’d suggest that this is a good idea for the most part to ensure you get your choice of accommodation. This is definitely the case in and around popular national parks like Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, where even campsites can book out months in advance.

We generally use booking.com for our travel booking needs, they have a huge range of options, and most properties offer free cancellation in case your plans change.

Safety in the USA

For the most part, the USA is a safe destination to travel in, and we have never had any problems travelling here.

Violent crime against tourists is quite unusual, and the most common types of crime are opportunistic ones like pickpocketing, theft, and auto break-ins.

Of course, every country has crime, and areas where you would be wiser to avoid, however if you practice basic safety precautions, keep your valuables out of sight, and behave with some caution, you should be fine!

Internet Access in the USA

Internet access is widely available across the USA in the form of WiFi, which can be found for free at most hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants. There are also a number of free WiFi hotspots in some of the cities on our list.

If your phone is unlocked you can pick up a pay as you go SIM in the USA. One of the better options is from  Straight Talk , which you can buy in Walmart stores.

For more options on getting online when travelling, check out our  guide to getting online when travelling  to help you figure out the best options.

Water across the USA is safe to drink, unless otherwise indicated. There are drinking fountains in the majority of public locations, and we recommend you travel with a  re-usable water bottle  so you can just fill it up as you go.

One thing we always love about travelling in the USA is how drinking water is typically brought to your table at a restaurant – something we wish was standard around the world!

road trip grands lacs usa

Further Reading

That’s it for our two week USA road trip itinerary, which features some of our favourite destinations in this part of the USA. Before you head off though, I just wanted to share some more resources we’ve put together to help you plan your trip.

  • We have a two week California road trip itinerary , in case you wanted to cover a little less ground on your trip
  • I’ve written a guide featuring some of my  top tips for driving in the USA  to help get you going on the road!
  • We have a guide to things to do in Las Vegas to give you some ideas for your time in the city, as well as a guied to things to do in San Diego
  • Wondering how much a California road trip will cost? Check out our  guide to how much it costs to travel in the USA  to help you plan your trip budget.
  • Jess has a guide to  driving the Pacific Coast Highway , which will give you lots of ideas for that section of the road
  • If you’re interested in California’s wine country, see our  guide to visiting Napa Valley
  • Route 66 ends in California, so take a look at our  guide to planning a route 66 trip , as well as our detailed  2 week Route 66 itinerary  and  1 week Route 66 itinerary
  • Fodor’s  Guide to California , which also includes details on a number of fantastic road trips
  • The  Lonely Planet California Guide , which is great for finding things to do, places to eat and places to stay
  • A  US road atlas , because sometimes you don’t want to rely on GPS!
  • If you’re planning on hiring an RV or camping, this  guide to free and super cheap campgrounds  will quickly pay for itself
  • The official  Visit California  page, which will give you more advice on what to see and when to visit
  • My guide to  things to do in Redding California , if you decide to head to northern California
  • Getting online when travelling in a foreign country can be daunting – check out our  guide to getting online when travelling  to help you figure out the best options for your trip
  • And if you’re looking for inspiration for the rest of the USA, check out our  USA section , which includes a  Deep south itinerary , tips for  New Orleans during Mardi Gras  – and lots more!

We hope you found this itinerary useful for your trip planning. As always, we’re happy to answer any questions you might have, just pop them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

A USA road trip itinerary that covers California, Nevada and Arizona, Includes Route 66, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Yosemite, Los Angeles + San Francisco!

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There are 11 comments on this post

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Joanna Madej says

10th May 2023 at 7:41 pm

I am a mum from Poland planning a trip this August with 3 kids (16,13 and 10- just girls) starting/ending from LA for appr 3 weeks. I really like your plan and if there was a digital version I could paly with it would be great!

do you have any tips not to rush and also find time to spend in the beach?

Laurence Norah says

11th May 2023 at 3:35 pm

So you can get a printable version of the post from the print button on the bottom of the page. Then you can edit it to suit you own needs 🙂 If you’d rather not rush then my recommendation is to have fewer stops and spend longer in each stop. For beaches, along the coast around Los Angeles will be your best bet, there are a lot of beaches in that area!

Have an amazing time and let me know if I can offer any more advice!

19th April 2023 at 9:07 am

Thank you for writing this itinerary. We are coming from Australia and will be spending close to 3 weeks following this itinerary give and take. We are planning to arrive on mid-Jan 2024. Do you know whether some parks will be closed during that time ?

19th April 2023 at 10:14 am

It’s my pleasure. So the main park that will likely pose difficulties in January is going to be Yosemite. It can occasionally close in Winter if there is a lot of snow which can block access road. Additionally, the road that links the east side of the valley to the road to Death Valley is normally closed in winter so you would have to backtrack and drive around. The other stretch of road to always check before setting out is the Pacific Coast Highway around Big Sur especially, as this can be affected by landslips.

Other than that I think you would be fine! Have a great trip and let me know if you have any more questions.

Norine says

3rd March 2022 at 1:51 pm

Hi Laurence and Jessica!

Thank you for such a detailed itinerary! Most of the places you’ve listed are exactly where I’d like to visit during my trip in end May’22 – early Jun’22 (Total of 15 full days). But instead of Las Vegas, I’ll be flying to San Francisco and starting from there instead. Was thinking of doing this circular road trip in the other direction, meaning from SF > Pacific Coast > LA > LV > Grand Canyon > LV > Death Valley > Yosemite > SF. I’m pushing Yosemite to the end, hoping that Tioga pass will be open by early Jun.

Would you recommend this itinerary? Or do you have any other tips/suggestions?

Thanks a lot in advance! 🙂

4th March 2022 at 10:13 am

It’s our pleasure! Sounds like you have a great trip planned. Your trip is definitely do-able and it sounds like a good itinerary to me! The main thing is of course whether or not Tioga pass will be open. It should be open by early June but that’s not guaranteed. Other than that, it sounds like an awesome road trip! Let me know how it goes and do let me know if you have any specific questions we can help with 🙂

23rd March 2022 at 4:25 pm

I just wanted to quickly add to this that this year Yosemite are requiring visitors to make a reservation for park entry. The system is going online today. You can find out more and reserve online here:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/reservations.htm

I’ve updated the post but as you indicated you were visiting this year I wanted to be sure you were aware of this new requirement so you don’t miss out!

Have a great trip,

Janice says

8th February 2022 at 1:49 pm

I want to thank both of you for this awesome road trip circuit. I have a question, I would love to go to Sequoia National & Kings Canyon after Yosemite. Would you recommend that? Which route will be the best from Yosemite and how many extra days that will add to my trip? After that, I will go to Death Valley and then back to Vegas. Any suggestions?

10th February 2022 at 12:27 pm

Glad you found this guide useful! So you can definitely do this trip and add in Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon to your trip. From Yosemite it’s around a 3 hour drive down, and then it’s another 5-6 hours after that on to Death Valley. How long you want to spend here will definitely depend on you, but personally I’d allocate at least two full days in the parks and a day for the driving, so three extra days onto the trip as a minimum. But there is always more to see and do!

I hope this was helpful, let me know if I can offer any more advice 🙂

Have a great trip!

7th May 2020 at 6:10 pm

Your pictures are always great, but the the one of the Grand Canyon with the sunlight streaming is spectacular!

7th May 2020 at 6:19 pm

Thanks so much Toni! That was quite a morning – I got up at 4am for the sunrise, which seemed like it was going to be a total washout. I persevered though, and it was all worth it. Truly a spectacular experience 😀

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12 amazing stops on a los angeles to grand canyon road trip.

los angeles to grand canyon road trip

Are you looking for a way to get away from the city and head out into nature? A Los Angeles to Grand Canyon road trip is just what you need. While many people tend to fly to this destination, you’re missing out on so much if you skip the drive. Plus, this way you can stop wherever you want, when you want, instead of being stuck on a plane.

I often fly into Los Angeles as the starting point of my trips, so I’m familiar with getting here, renting a car, and setting out on my next adventure. A road trip from LA to the Grand Canyon is an iconic one you won’t want to miss, plus you’ll hit some of my favorite California national parks depending on which route you take.

I’m here to help you go over the best Los Angeles to Grand Canyon road trip stops as well as explain the different ways you can take. There are actually three sample routes provided because I wanted you to be able to pick the one that most interests you. With that, let’s get to planning this road trip!

Table of Contents

Tips for a Grand Canyon Road Trip From Los Angeles

Grand Canyon Road Trip From Los Angeles

Here are a few factors to keep in mind when planning your Los Angeles to Grand Canyon drive.

How long is the drive to the Grand Canyon from Los Angeles?

The LA to Grand Canyon distance is approximately 500 miles , or 8 hours by car if you take the most direct route. There’s nothing wrong with this if you just need to get to the Grand Canyon, but I provide alternate routes in this article that take longer but allow you to see a lot more unique destinations.

Can you do the Los Angeles to Grand Canyon drive in a day?

Sure, it’s possible to do the Los Angeles to Grand Canyon drive in a day, although it would require a very early start and a long day of driving. However, I don’t recommend it because you’ll be exhausted and will miss out on most of the amazing sights listed in this article. There are also additional ones you can see on a California to Arizona road trip (or you can add in a San Diego to San Francisco road trip or even a road trip from LA to San Francisco later).

Where to fly into and out of for your LA to Grand Canyon road trip

The best airport to fly into for a Los Angeles to Grand Canyon road trip is the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX ). While it’s one of the busiest airports in the world, it’s also likely where your flight will come in. From there, you can rent a car to start your trip, as I did for my LA to Yosemite road trip .

Alternatively, if you do a Grand Canyon to Los Angeles drive, the closest major airport to the Grand Canyon is Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG) , located roughly 80 miles away from the park. Next to that, the Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) in Vegas would be your best bet.

Where to stay on a Los Angeles to Grand Canyon road trip

While you can choose how to break up your drive, these are the most common places you likely want to stay depending on your route:

Palm Springs

  • Inn at Palm Springs is an affordable place to rest and enjoy the pool before heading on your trip.
  • Desert Solara is near downtown Palm Springs and has comfortable rooms.
  • I always stay at the MGM Grand when in Vegas because I like that it’s at the end of the strip and a bit quieter, but they still have plenty of activities to do, like the lazy river.
  • I’ve also stayed at ARIA , which is a bit of an upgrade but worth being central on the strip and has many amazing restaurants nearby.
  • Sedona Village Lodge is a great place to stay that’s close to hikes and is pet-friendly.
  • GreenTree Inn Sedona is air-conditioned and has an on-site bar.

Grand Canyon

  • Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn is very close to the south entrance of the park, so convenient for your trip.
  • If you want to save a bit of money, Grand Canyon Inn is a great option.

Looking for another Los Angeles road trip? You’ll love a Los Angeles to Lake Tahoe road trip .

12 Stops on a Los Angeles to Grand Canyon Road Trip

Here are some of the best places to stop on your Grand Canyon road trip from Los Angeles.

1. Death Valley National Park, CA

death valley badwater basin

If you decide to do the northern route on your Grand Canyon trip from Los Angeles, your first major stop will be Death Valley, which is one of my favorite national parks in California. I recommend going on hikes here if you’re starting early, and some of my favorites are Mosiac Canyon (4 miles) and Darwin Falls (2 miles). 

Mosaic Canyon is a four-mile hike with 1,200 feet of elevation gain, and the Breccia is beautifully locked in with the stones found in the canyon. Darwin Falls is one of the few places you’ll find a waterfall in the desert, so it’s one of the most unique places in the park.

One of the most photographed places in Death Valley is the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes , which will make you feel like you’re in a faraway land (I felt like I was transported back to my Morocco trip in the Sahara Desert when I visited). It’s pretty bright here during the day, so I recommend coming in the evening for cooler temperatures and better lighting for photos.

Make sure to buy your America the Beautiful pass ahead of time so you can easily enter all the national parks for a low price.

2. Barstow, CA

barstow california

Barstow is a fun stop to make on your Los Angeles to Grand Canyon road trip, as it’s right off Route 66. To learn more about the colorful past of the legendary Route 66, stop by the Route 66 Mother Road Museum . This museum honors the rich history of the legendary route by showing old cars, gas stations, and other items from the road.

The Mojave River Valley Museum is another place to visit that provides a special perspective on the Mojave Desert’s evolution, as well as its natural history and Native American culture. Native American history and culture, along with the desert’s diverse plant and animal life, are on display. You can learn about the pioneers who settled the area, the mining boom that drew people to the desert, and the railroad’s contribution to the expansion of the area.

If you’re hungry, stop at Slash X Ranch for a variety of quick appetizers, burgers, and sandwiches. They also claim to have the coldest beer in the desert, which is a great claim to fame if you ask me!

Need another road trip idea? You’ll love the drive from Los Angeles to Big Sur .

3. Joshua Tree National Park, CA

joshua tree national park sign

I love this park and have done a Los Angeles to Joshua Tree road trip many times before, so I highly recommend making this a stop on your itinerary. The park is large enough to spend several days exploring, but one of my favorite stops is Keys View , a 5,185-foot ridge that looks out over the Coachella Valley. At sunset, the light over the valley is particularly stunning, so you’ll want to add this to your road trip to the Grand Canyon from Los Angeles.

While I love rock climbing, I don’t have enough experience to climb the Giant Rocks in Joshua Tree. However, this is the perfect spot to watch those who are, and there are always a ton of people here each time I go.

Barker Dam , depending on recent rainfall, contains a small pond of water, providing a rare glimpse of water in the desert. At Lost Horse Mine , you can go for a hike through the ruins of a long-abandoned gold mine.

The Cholla Cactus Garden is my favorite part of the park because of the incredible selection of cacti. This is the best place in the park to watch the sunrise, and it also happens to be filled with chollas (jumping cacti). You should get here early because you definitely won’t be the only photographer there.

Make sure to reserve your rental car ahead of time! I love using Discover Cars for my trips.

4. Mojave National Preserve, CA

mojave national preserve

Climbing Teutonia Peak is a great opportunity to get a bird’s-eye view of the Mojave National Preserve if you’re in the mood for an exciting adventure. On the peak of this modest trek, you’ll have a beautiful 360-degree panorama of the desert landscape and the surrounding mountains and valleys.

When you drive the Kelso-Cima Road , you can see beautiful sights like steep mountains and bright wildflowers. There is a cave in the park called the Lava Tube Cave that is perfect for explorers who like to spend time underground. You’ll be able to cool off in these caves and learn more about their unusual features.

Another great way to take in the beauty of the park is by hiking through the flower-filled Mitchell Caverns . This is a fantastic site to take in the park’s natural splendor up close, with its panoramic vistas of the Mojave Desert and abundance of wildflowers. The park is one of the best places to see the stars when it’s dark out.

I’ve been using Roadtrippers for years to help me plan out my trips and find fun stops along the way. Use my code “BTR5QTP” for $5 off when you sign up!

5. Oatman, AZ

oatman arizona

There’s something for everyone in Oatman, from visiting historical sites to going on stunning hikes on your Los Angeles to Grand Canyon road trip. One popular spot you should definitely check out is the Gold Road Mine . This historical landmark was once one of Arizona’s largest gold mines and is now available for tours. Explore a historic mining town and then go out and try your luck panning for real gold in one of the nearby creeks.

Visit the Living Ghost Town in Oatman for a unique experience of exploring preserved buildings and streets as well as interacting with wild burros that roam around freely. Stop at the Oatman Hotel for a famous burro show as well as some delicious pie and ice cream!

Get some fresh air and exercise by hiking one of Oatman’s beautiful trails like Boundary Cone or Cool Springs . You’ll enjoy stunning vistas of the desert landscape and get up close to native wildlife and flora on your drive from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon.

After your adventure, fuel up at The Black Horse Saloon & Grill , which serves dishes such as burgers topped with chorizo or green chili mac ‘n’ cheese. For dessert, head over to Gold Rush Candy Shoppe, where you can find handmade candies like fudge and brittle made right onsite.

Get your free road trip packing list here!

6. Kingman, AZ

kingman arizona

If you’re driving from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon, you should definitely stop in Kingman. The Mohave Museum of History and Arts is one of the most impressive museums in the area, showcasing Western American and Native American art. You can also visit one of the largest dry caverns in the United States, Grand Canyon Caverns , for a one-of-a-kind adventure! 

Kingman is often referred to as the “Heart of Historic Route 66,” and the Arizona Route 66 Museum is a wonderful site to learn about the city’s significance in the development of the legendary highway. Classic automobiles, old road signs, and other artifacts from Route 66’s past are on display at the museum.

If you’re craving some hearty pub food, Shugrue’s Restaurant & Brewery is another excellent choice. You can choose from a wide variety of pub classics like burgers and wings, as well as more creative options like Cajun Cream Shrimp and Sonoran Fish Tacos. And if you’re in the mood for beer, you’ll love their selection of craft beers that they brew in-house.

Another fun California trip is the Los Angeles to Sequoia National Park drive.

7. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, NV

red rock canyon

Red Rock Canyon State Park is a stunning outdoor destination in the Mojave Desert that I always love to visit when I’m in Las Vegas. The park features sandstone, granite, and limestone rock formations, as well as miles of hiking trails and a variety of wildlife. It’s the perfect spot for any outdoor enthusiast looking for an outdoor excursion on a Los Angeles to Grand Canyon road trip.

There are tons of gorgeous hikes to do here as well that I highly recommend. Calico Tanks Trail is the first option, and it is a gorgeous 2.5-mile round-trip climb through beautiful red rock formations with views of the Las Vegas cityscape. The second trail is Ice Box Canyon Trail , a 2.6-mile round-trip excursion through a stunning canyon with waterfalls and a freshwater spring.

8. Las Vegas, NV

las vegas strip

If you miss a big city at this point, don’t worry – Vegas is the perfect stop on your Los Angeles to Grand Canyon road trip! Stop by the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens , located in the Bellagio Hotel & Casino’s main lobby. The conservatory showcases floral and plant displays that change with the seasons, plus it’s a nice break from the heat of Vegas during the day.

There are literally hundreds of restaurants in Vegas, but Hell’s Kitchen is a fun one. This Caesars Palace attraction is modeled after the hit television series. The restaurant’s open kitchen and menu contain meals based on the show’s hallmark challenges.

Mon Ami Gabi is another of my all-time favorite restaurants, especially for brunch. This is a traditional French bistro at the Paris Las Vegas hotel, and its patio offers amazing views of the Bellagio fountains. French staples like steak frites and escargot may be found on the menu, along with some excellent wine options.

The Aria Resort & Casino is a great option for a luxurious hotel in Sin City. With big windows everywhere, you can take in the beautiful scenery, relax with a spa treatment, or enjoy world-class entertainment at any of the hotel’s many places.

The resort also has several Michelin-starred restaurants, including Masayoshi Takayama’s Bar Masa and the legendary Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Jean-Georges Steakhouse.

You’ll feel well-rested after spending a night here and then continuing on your Los Angeles to Grand Canyon National Park road trip. This is also a great place to stock up on your road trip packing list for families with how many big stores are here, such as kids’ road trip snacks .

If you want to get here via SF, you’ll want to check out this road trip to Las Vegas from San Francisco .

9. Lake Mead, NV

lake mead

If you’re driving from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon, you’ll want to stop at Lake Mead. Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States and stretches across the state lines of Nevada and Arizona in the Mojave Desert. It was made when the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s, and now it is a popular place for fishing, swimming, wakeboarding, hiking, and just looking around.

Lake Mead is roughly 247 square miles in extent, and its deepest point is 532 feet. There are a variety of recreational opportunities, such as marinas, campgrounds, beaches, boat ramps, and picnic areas. You can also hire a boat for the day at several of these locations.

The lake’s two main sections are Lake Mohave and Boulder Basin, and around them are stunning granite “bathtub rings” that formed after the lake reached its record-low level in 2016 as a result of a persistent drought. 

10. Hoover Dam, AZ

hoover dam

To control the nearby Colorado River, the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s and is one of the world’s tallest masonry dams at 726 feet in height. It took close to 20,000 people, from designers to builders to manual laborers, to complete this massive engineering feat. In a year, the dam’s many turbines can generate enough hydroelectricity to power 1.3 million homes. 

You can tour the impressive dam on your Los Angeles to Grand Canyon road trip, and there is even a “Hard Hat Tour” that takes you down inside the dam’s innards. The generator room, turbine hall, and penstock gallery are all normally off-limits to visitors, but you’ll have exclusive access to these places, so you can see Hoover Dam in action.

The best way to appreciate this man-made marvel is to take a stroll along its walkways or climb to the peak for sweeping views in every direction. You’ll then have new knowledge to share with your passengers for your road trip trivia games !

11. Sedona, Arizona

sedona arizona

Sedona is a fantastic destination for outdoor enthusiasts because of its proximity to beautiful natural attractions like the stunning red rock formations and Oak Creek Canyon . Taking a hike on one of Sedona’s beautiful trails is a great way to get to know the area. Discover the unique red rock formations that have made Sedona famous and maybe even some prehistoric Native American ruins.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a beautiful Catholic church that was carved into the side of a cliff and is definitely worth a visit. One of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, it sits atop the red rocks and affords visitors lovely panoramas.

When you’re hungry, head to Elote Cafe , where you can get Mexican food with a contemporary spin in Sedona. The menu at this local favorite features fan favorites, including roasted corn soup, carne asada, and elote (grilled corn). The restaurant boasts an extensive beverage and tequila list, as well as a tantalizing dessert menu with items like churros and chocolate cake.

Sedona Bike & Bean is a combo bike shop and coffee shop that serves as a wonderful choice for coffee lovers. This one-of-a-kind café serves up a wide selection of coffee beverages, all of which are created from beans roasted right in the neighborhood, in addition to tasty baked goods. If you want to spend the day pedaling through Sedona’s beautiful trails, stop by the bike shop first to get something to eat.

12. Grand Canyon National Park

grand canyon national park

You’ve made it to your final destination! I definitely recommend spending at least a few days here if your schedule allows it. Both the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon offer a variety of hiking trails, scenic lookout points, and other attractions like whitewater rafting and kayaking for you to enjoy.

Tourists flock to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park year-round to take in the stunning scenery. You can take it easy on the Rim Trail and take in the views, or you can push yourself and go deeper into the canyon. There are a ton of guided tours of this natural marvel that you can join on the South Rim, which range from ranger-led hikes to helicopter rides.

The North Rim is more peaceful and remote than the South Rim below, so it’s worth a visit if you’re in the area. Only accessible from around the middle of May through about the middle of October, the North Rim is perfect for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The North Rim is home to lush forests and meadows, as well as spectacular vantage points over the Canyon at Point Imperial and Cape Royal.

You can also stay at the historic El Tovar Hotel , built in 1905 and offering a more affordable, homey option for lodging on the South Rim.

Want another national park adventure? Head out on a road trip to Yosemite from San Francisco .

3 Routes for a LA to Grand Canyon Drive

grand canyon

One thing I love about going on a Grand Canyon road trip from Los Angeles is that there are so many different ways you can get there. Here are three sample itineraries for a drive from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon.

LA to Grand Canyon Road Trip Itinerary: I-10 Route (Joshua Tree)

After you leave Los Angeles, the first stop on your trip will be Palm Springs (make sure to check out these stops on a Los Angeles to Palm Springs drive ), where you’ll love experiencing the vacation area of the stars. I highly recommend that you visit Indian Canyons and Mount San Jacinto State Park to walk around and explore some of the trails.

If you’re traveling from California to Arizona, a stop in Joshua Tree National Park is a must. One of the most ecologically varied national parks in the United States, this desert oasis is home to a wide variety of animal and plant species, including the Joshua Tree and cholla cactus. I love coming here to hike, look at unique rock formations, and watch rock climbers.

You can see even more desert landscapes as you travel east from Joshua Tree National Park to Mojave National Preserve . Explore cinder cones from volcanic eruptions a thousand years ago, look at beautiful springs, and wander endless stretches of sand dunes while taking in astonishing views of the mountains in the distance.

If you’re headed to Williams from Kingman, Arizona (one of the oldest cities in the United States), you’ll need to take a detour up US-93 north from there. More opportunities to experience the great outdoors and get up close to wild animals like wolves and bison in their natural habitat can be found at Bearizona and elsewhere in the area.

You’ve been on the road for hours, but now you’re almost there: Grand Canyon National Park ! Visit its North Rim to see the Colorado River stretch out for 277 miles, or take a helicopter ride over the South Rim for even more amazing aerial views. Whether you’re into whitewater rafting or hiking, there are so many things to do here that you’re bound to have a fun adventure.

LA to Grand Canyon Road Trip Itinerary: I-15 Route (Vegas)

This Los Angeles to Grand Canyon road trip itinerary will take you through Sin City, so you’ll have a fun mix of historical sites to stop at and the city lights. Start in Barstow, a historic railroad town that is home to museums and landmarks such as the Calico Ghost Town and the Mojave River Valley Museum . 

If you keep driving west on I-15, you’ll reach the Mojave National Preserve , which has an even more impressive collection of desert landscapes. Views of the surrounding mountains are stunning as you explore the area’s thousand-year-old volcanic cinder cones, crystal-clear springs, and miles upon miles of sand dunes.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is close by, and it’s an absolutely beautiful natural space known for its brilliant red rocks and towering sandstone cliffs, which offer stunning vistas in every direction.

From there, you’ll travel to Las Vegas , where you can enjoy a wide variety of things o do. Vegas is a great vacation destination because there is something for everyone to do, whether it’s taking in a show on the Strip or walking around exploring the casinos. 

Also, don’t miss Lake Mead , the largest reservoir in the United States, where you can go for a boat ride on the azure waters or visit the many historical sites that dot its shores.

You’ll make a pit stop in Kingman before taking a detour up US-93 to Williams . There are plenty of activities to do there, including visiting Bearizona , where you can observe wild animals like wolves and bison in their natural habitats. 

From there, it’s on to your finale – the Grand Canyon!

LA to Grand Canyon Road Trip Itinerary: I-40 Route (Most Direct)

This last option for a LA to Grand Canyon drive is the quickest route if you don’t have much time, so you’ll mainly be sticking to I-40 with a few detours. Your first stop will be Barstow, or you can also explore the nearby Mojave National Preserve.

The next stop is Williams, Arizona, where you can take a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway (which passes through town) or enjoy other outdoor hobbies like fishing and hiking in the nearby Kaibab National Forest .

If you’re making good time, you’ll want to take a slight detour to Hoover Dam . It’s a must-see engineering marvel that can be found on the border between Nevada and Arizona. 

A stop in Sedona is the perfect way to cap off your road trip before entering Grand Canyon National Park. It’s easy to fill a day in this beautiful city with activities like window shopping at the local boutiques or hiking to the Cathedral Rock Trailhead or the Sedona Airport Loop Trailhead to take in the city’s famous red rocks. 

No matter which route you take or where you stop, you’ll love going on a Los Angeles to Grand Canyon road trip.

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Marissa Pedersen

Marissa is a passionate road trip enthusiast who has traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada via car and continues to go on new trips every year to explore more of the country. Her love of road tripping has given her a unique perspective on the best routes, hidden gems, and must-see attractions along the way.

2 thoughts on “ 12 Amazing Stops on a Los Angeles to Grand Canyon Road Trip ”

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Hello, I enjoyed reading your blog. Could you comment if a road trip from LA to Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon over Las Vegas back to Ojaj in 5 days is feasible or not ? Maybe even omitting Bryce Canyon. How many days do any of your options require? Thank you

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I always think each national park deserves a full day, and Grand Canyon likely two days, so I would extend your trip to at least a week or omit Bryce Canyon.

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West Euro Bikes, Agence de voyage à moto

Les grands lacs du nord à moto

Accueil » Voyage moto en Amérique » Voyages à moto aux USA, nos road trip » Les grands lacs du nord à moto

road trip grands lacs usa

Découvrez la région des grands lacs à moto aux USA lors de ce circuit en liberté. Vous passerez par le célèbre lac Michigan et le mythique lac Ontario. Ce dernier sépare le Canada des États-Unis. Vous verrez aussi le lac Érié sans oublier Wisconsin Dell. Nous vous proposons également un arrêt aux célèbres Chutes du Niagara, un moment unique à vivre dans sa vie de motard !

Ce voyage à moto aux États-Unis vous fera passer par les villes dynamiques, situées sur les rives de ces grands lacs. D’abord, découvrez Chicago et son incroyable architecture, ses buildings et son ambiance typique américaine. Puis, visitez Milwaukee, connue pour son musée Harley Davidson ! Rendez vous ensuite à Toronto au Canada où vous pourrez monter au sommet de sa célèbre tour CN. Vous passerez également par Détroit, métropole surnommé « Motor City »… Un séjour riche, à la découverte des villes du nord du pays.

Parcourir les grands lacs à moto aux USA c’est voir des panoramas pittoresques et des grandes exploitations. A travers ce séjour, vous allez découvrir le Middle West Américain. Vous sentirez battre le pouls de la nation dans cette région cosmopolite des États-Unis, peuplée d’immigrants avec des langues et des cultures diverses.

Programme de ce road trip à moto

voyage moto les grands lacs

Paris – Chicago

Départ de Paris en fin de matinée, arrivée à Chicago en début d’après-midi. Nous vous conseillons de prendre la navette de l’hôtel pour rejoindre ce dernier situé dans la zone aéroportuaire. Nuit à Chicago.

voyage moto usa

Chicago – Milwaukee – Madison (280 km)

Ce matin, transfert chez le loueur et remise de votre moto. Quittez l’Illinois en longeant les bords du Lac Michigan. Arrivée à Milwaukee, dans l’État du Wisconsin. Milwaukee fût peuplée d’immigrants qui construisirent les brasseries qui rendant la ville célèbre. Pour les fans de Harley-Davidson, vous pourrez visiter à Milwaukee l’usine et surtout le Musée Harley-Davidson. Continuez ensuite jusqu’à Madison, capitale du Wisconsin, centre culturel et récréatif. Nuit à Madison.

voyage moto usa

Madison – Wisconsin Dells – St Paul (450 km)

Wisconsin est un mot indien, signifiant « réunion des eaux ». En effet, cet État rassemble 15 000 lacs et 42 000 km de rivières et ruisseaux. Sur votre route, visitez Baraboo, « the circus- city ». A Wisconsin Dells, faite une croisière sur la Wisconsin River, bordée d’étonnantes falaises.

road trip grands lacs usa

St Paul – Minneapolis – St Paul

Journée complète pour visiter ces deux villes jumelles séparées par le Mississippi. St Paul est notamment réputée pour son orchestre symphonique et son capitole de style Renaissance italienne. Le dynamisme architectural et les arts occupent une place prépondérante à Minneapolis (le Guthrie Theater par Jean Nouvel, le Walker Art Center par Herzog et de Meuron, le Weisman Art Museum par Frank Gehry…). Centre culturel, sympa pour le shopping, idéal pour y skier l’hiver et y pratiquer des sports nautiques l’été… Nuit à St Paul.

voyage moto usa

St Paul – Minneapolis – Ashland (320 km)

Retour dans le Wisconsin par le St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. Balades sur les rives du Lac Supérieur. A voir ; Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, le long des plages et des falaises balayées par le vent, l’eau rencontre la terre et le ciel. Les 21 îles et 12 miles de côte du continent constituent un mélange unique de ressources culturelles et naturelles. Les phares brillent sur le Lac Supérieur et les nouvelles régions fauniques. Nuit à Ashland.

les grands lacs usa

Ashland – Keeweenaw Peninsula – Marquette (550 km)

Aujourd’hui allez explorer la péninsule de Keweenaw. C’est une longue “nageoire” dorsale de 130 km se jetant dans le Lac Supérieur. Adossée au nord de la Upper Peninsula, elle jouit d’un décor tourmenté assez spectaculaire. La route jouant aux montagnes russes entre la côte, les collines striées de précipices et de cascades, les vieilles mines abandonnées et le Keweenaw Underwater Preserve où l’on pratique la plongée sur épave et les îles Huron, 30 km au large, protégées par le Huron Island National Wildlife Refuge. Houghton est une petite ville universitaire. C’est le point de départ des bateaux et des hydravions pour Isle Royale National Park.

Calumet, sa voisine, arbore fièrement les restes de son activité industrielle avec le Keweenaw National Historical Park. Le secteur de Quincy, à 20 km de là, conserve d’anciens puits de mine abandonnés très pittoresques. Calumet et Hecla sont deux exemples de communautés de mineurs évoquant les aspects ethniques, sociaux et économiques avec une belle collection de bâtiments classés. Eagle Harbor possède un phare hanté reconstruit en 1871. Sa station de sauvetage en mer date de 1912. Elle abrite, avec d’autres bâtiments, plusieurs petits musées dont un musée maritime avec une vieille Chrysler récupérée de la cargaison du City of Bangor échoué en 1926.

A l’extrémité de la péninsule, Copper Harbor est un mignon petit village où autrefois on pouvait ramasser le cuivre à même la plage ! On peut visiter la Delaware Mine, 16 km à l’ouest, en opération de 1847 à 1887 et désaffectée depuis. Copper Harbor est également un point d’embarquement pour Isle Royale National Park. 1,6 km à l’est, ouvert de mi mai à mi octobre, le Fort Wilkins Historic Complex and State Park est une évocation de la vie militaire des années 1840-1860 avec une quinzaine de bâtiments dont le petit phare datant de 1866 et des animations en costume. A voir lorsque vous redescendez sur Ispeming, l’Anse Indian Reservation. Nuit à Ishpeming.

road trip grands lacs usa

Marquette – Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Tahquamenon Falls – St Ignace (350 km)

Suivre la route 28 jusqu’à Munising. C’est au départ de cette ville que s’effectuent les mini croisières pour Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, chaîne de hauts rochers sculptés par les eaux. Ce sont les zébrures dues aux minéraux, striant ses falaises longues d’une quinzaine de miles et dominant le lac sur une hauteur de 15 à 35 mètres qui lui donnent son nom. C’est d’un bateau que l’on apprécie de manière idéale ces hautes falaises de grès, colorées d’ocre et de brun, auxquelles se mêlent des strates vertes, oranges, noires et blanches. L’érosion, la pluie, le vent, la glace les ont sculpté parfois de formes tourmentées avec grottes, arches et colonnades. Si l’on est pressé, on se contentera du panorama depuis Miners Castle. C’est l’un des sites les plus spectaculaires avec le Au Sable Light Station, un phare de 1874. En vous rendent sur St Ignace, vous pouvez faire un détour par Tahquamenon Falls State Park. C’est l’une des plus grandes chutes d’eau l’est du Mississippi. Nuit à St Ignace.

road trip grands lacs usa

St Ignace – Mackinac Island – St Ignace

Prenez le ferry de St. Ignace pour l’île de Mackinac, village de vacances très populaire. Offrez vous une escapade îlienne dans le « Deauville » des Grands Lacs en vous plongeant dans la nostalgie de la Belle Époque. La Main Street locale n’a rien à envier à celle des parcs de Disney que ce soit pour le décor, authentique celui là, ou le marketing. Marche à pied, vélos ou calèches de rigueur ! Visitez le Fort Mackinac, de ses remparts en pierre blanchie. Il vous offrira une belle vue sur le village et le lac. Retour à St. Ignace en fin d’après-midi. Nuit à St Ignace.

road trip grands lacs usa

St Ignace – Colonial Fort Michilimackinac – Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore – Beulah (280 km)

Surplombant le détroit, passez le pont de St Ignace en direction du Fort colonial Michilimackinac. Michilimackinac était pour les autochtones le “pays sacré de la grande tortue”. Le sud-ouest de la péninsule de Leelanau est occupé par le Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Un prenant paysage de dunes itinérantes couronnant un sous-sol de moraines, bordé sur 50 km par le lac Michigan. Leur sable soufflé par les vents venus du lac Michigan ensevelit peu à peu la forêt qui resurgit, dénudée et fantomatique au glissement suivant. L’attaque de la houle, sapant les bancs de sable, provoque aussi des écroulements dans le lac. Ce sont les chippewas qui lui ont donné son nom, voyant les North et South Manitou Islands embrumées au large comme les sépultures de deux bébés ours, tandis que les dunes du continent recouvertes d’arbres noirs représentent leur mère en deuil…

Après les chippewas, les explorateurs français, comme Marquette venu mourir à proximité, puis Charlevoix sont passés, décrivant les dunes comme « un ours qui dort ». On aura une bonne vue d’ensemble si l’on emprunte la Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, une boucle de 12 km. Les plus courageux se lanceront dans l’ascension de Dune Climb, un peu plus au nord, longue de 2,5 km (prévoir de bonnes chaussures et à boire) et seront récompensés par une vue superbe sur le Glen Lake à l’est, l’un des 21 lacs du parc, et le Manitou Passage à l’ouest ouvrant sur la lac Michigan. On peut aussi visiter le Port Oneida Rural Historic District, un village fermier typique de la fin du XIXe siècle, le village fantôme de Glen Haven avec de nombreux vieux bâtiments évocateurs d’un passé enfui, comme le General Store, la forge ou le hangar à bateaux. L’ancienne station de sauvetage en mer de Sleeping Bear Point, reprise par les Coast Guards, est maintenant un petit musée maritime. Nuit à Beulah.

detroit usa moto

Beulah – Detroit (400 km)

Traversez le Michigan avant de vous rendre dans la ville universitaire d’Ann Arbor. Puis, poursuivez jusqu’à Deadborn où une visite du Musée Henry Ford retrace l’histoire industrielle des États-Unis. Malgré les aléas voire la déconfiture de l’industrie automobile américaine, c’est forcément à la voiture que l’on pense quand on évoque Détroit. Surnommée « Motor City », elle est le lieu de naissance de la production industrielle de masse. L’icône de « l’American dream », pur produit du travail à la chaîne, a du plomb dans l’aile. Malgré ça, la ville est peut-être encore plus fascinante, même si au premier abord on peut être assez réticent. La richesse amenée par l’auto a permis à la ville de se doter d’institutions culturelles de premier plan et d’un centre ville radicalement transformé. Nuit à Detroit.

les grands lacs usa

Detroit – Toronto (380 km)

Aujourd’hui, remontez vers le Canada et la ville de Toronto, sur les bords du Lac Ontario. A Toronto, montez jusqu’au sommet de la plus haute structure autoportante au monde : la tour CN. Elle offre une vue époustouflante sur la plus grande ville du Canada. Vous pouvez même y dîner. Errez dans les fascinants quartiers ethniques de l’agglomération déjà qualifiée par les Nations Unies de « ville la plus multiculturelle au monde ». Nuit à Toronto.

voyage moto canada

Toronto – Niagara Falls (130 km)

Journée consacrée aux Chutes du Niagara. Admirez les imposantes Chutes du Niagara, jugées être avec raison l’une des plus grandes merveilles naturelles du monde. Pénétrez au cœur même du bassin des chutes à bord du Maid of the Mist. Faite une randonnée sur l’escarpement du Niagara à la recherche des oiseaux de proie qui nichent sur ses falaises. Vous pouvez aussi vous rendre aux Table Rock Scenic Tunnels. Nuit à Niagara Falls.

les grands lacs usa

Niagara Falls – Cleveland (350 km)

Retour aux États–Unis. Traversée des États de New–York, de Pennsylvanie et de l’Ohio pour rejoindre Cleveland, la « New American City ». Longtemps victime de plaisanteries ou jeux de mots ironiques, Cleveland se relève doucement de son lourd passé de grand port industriel. Le centre ville ou des quartiers comme les Flats ou University Circle, son Waterfront restauré à la confluence de la Cuyahoga River et du lac Erié, offrent établissements culturels, stades au cœur de la ville et l’énergie d’un vrai centre ville, symbolisée par le Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ou la réussite des Cavaliers, l’équipe de NBA locale, emmenée par sa star incontestée, LeBron James. Nuit à Cleveland.

les grands lacs usa

Cleveland – Sandusky – Indiana Amish Country – Goshen (400 km)

En continuant sur la route 6, le long du Lac Erie, de Vermilion à Sandusky, entrez dans l’Indiana… Découvrez le nord historique et coloré de cet État où vit une des plus grandes communautés Amish du pays. Passez la nuit à Goshen.

voyage moto route 66

Goshen – Chicago (200 km)

Roulez le long de l’US 12 pour revenir dans l’ Illinois, à Chicago. Restitution de la moto dans l’après-midi puis transfert à l’hôtel situé dans le centre ville. Profitez de votre soirée à Chicago.

les grands lacs usa

Journée libre pour découvrir la « Windy City », avec son incroyable architecture et la Sears Tower l’une des plus hautes tour du monde. Dernière nuit à Chicago.

aeroport

Chicago – Paris

Vol retour vers la France. Nuit à bord. Arrivée à Paris CDG le lendemain.

Le parcours

grands lacs à moto USA

Les grands lacs à moto aux USA

La région des grands lacs d’Amérique du Nord se compose d’un groupement de 5 lacs. Ils se situent entre la frontière séparant les États-Unis du Canada. Avec une superficie totale de 245 060  km 2 , c’est le groupe de lac d’eau douce le plus grand de la planète. Ils sont tellement grand que lorsque vous les verrez, vous aurez l’impression de voir la mer. Durant votre road trip à moto vous verrez le lac Supérieur, le lac Michigan, le lac Huron, le lac Érié et le lac Ontario.

Quand visiter les grands lacs à moto aux USA ?

La période idéale pour découvrir à moto les grands lacs des USA s’étend de mars à fin juin , ou de septembre à octobre . Durant ces mois, les températures sont douces, la météo est bonne. Partir hors vacances scolaires vous permet également moins de monde sur les lieux touristiques. Cependant, si vous partez en famille ou si vous avez d’autres contraintes, il est tout à fait envisageable de partir en voyage à moto entre juillet et août.

Formule(s) disponible(s)

road trip grands lacs usa

  • Dates flexibles
  • Location de moto ou de voiture
  • Gamme d’hôtellerie à la carte
  • Possibilité de modifier des étapes du circuit
  • Les vols Paris/Chicago aller-retour
  • Les taxes aéroports
  • La location d’une moto Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail ou Street Bob pendant 14 jours
  • Le kilométrage illimité
  • L’assurance VIP (voir détail ci-dessous)
  • La responsabilité civile à hauteur de 300 000$
  • L’assistance en cas de panne (hors crevaison)
  • Les taxes locales
  • Les casques et l’antivol
  • La bagagerie
  • L’hébergement en hôtel « Best Western » 2 et 3* en base double
  • Les petits déjeuners (sauf exception)
  • Certains petits déjeuners
  • Les déjeuners et dîners
  • Les transferts
  • L’essence
  • Le coût du parking à Detroit, Toronto et Cleveland
  • Les frais de demande d’autorisation de voyage ESTA : 21$ par personne
  • L’assurance annulation/rapatriement
  • Les entrées des parcs et autres dépenses d’ordre personnel
  • Supplément Street Glide, Road Glide, Indian Chieftain : 150€
  • Supplément Electra Glide, Road Glide Ultra, Indian Road Master, BMW 1200 GS ou RT : 300€
  • Supplément modèle garanti : 100€
  • Supplément Assurance E-VIP ZERO : 180 €
  • L’assurance Dommage (2000$)
  • L’assurance Vol (franchise : 5000$)
  • Un conducteur additionnel
  • La caution : 750$
  • L’assurance Dommage (sans franchise)
  • L’assurance Vol (franchise : 1000$)
  • La couverture des biens personnels présents dans la moto à hauteur de 500$
  • Les conducteurs additionnels
  • L’assistance en cas de panne hors crevaison
  • La couverture de la crevaison (pneu + montage) et le remorquage jusqu’à 100$
  • La caution : 100$
  • Passeport électronique en cours de validité
  • Billets d’avion aller-retour
  • Fonds suffisants
  • Esta obligatoire (autorisation de voyage électronique)
  • Permis de conduire Français valide
  • Monnaie : US Dollar USD
  • Décalage horaire : de -7h

Galerie photos

Avis clients.

road trip grands lacs usa

Merci West Euro Bikes, que du top ! Un vrai service 5 étoiles et un programme du tonnerre ! Vivement 2020 pour le prochain départ avec vous sans aucun doute ! A bientôt et encore merci pour ce voyage de rêve !

De retour de Croatie, quel plaisir de reprendre la route! Paysage superbe, hébergement top, route viroleuse … que du bonheur!

Nous étions avec Philippe lors du séjour avec messieurs Picot et Andres. Service et organisation au top! Rapport qualité/prix imbattable. Un grand merci à Philippe, notre accompagnateur pour sa gentillesse, sa patience, sa disponibilité et les conseils tout au long de notre périple.

Nous sommes de retour d’un voyage en Croatie organisé par West Euro Bikes: super vacances, paysages magnifiques, organisation impeccable, bécane louée nickel !

Merci à toute l’équipe West Euros

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12 place(s)

Sturgis 2024

2 au 17 août 2024

à partir de 4360 €

Alaska à moto

à partir de 3840 €

Best of Arizona

à partir de 1750 €

Santa Fe, de Las Vegas au Colorado

à partir de 2330 €

Sud des USA : New Orleans - Los Angeles

à partir de 1900 €

La route du blues

27 avril au 12 mai 2024

7 au 22 septembre 2024

à partir de 2230 €

La Route 66 express

à partir de 1780 €

La mythique Route 66

14 mai au 2 juin 2024

4 au 23 juin 2024

23 septembre au 12 octobre 2024

à partir de 2350 €

Western road story

22 avril au 3 mai 2024

à partir de 1830 €

La Biketoberfest & la Floride

12 au 25 octobre 2024

à partir de 3140 €

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Go west, le meilleur de l'ouest américain

8 au 19 mai 2024

à partir de 2460 €

à partir de 1860 €

Les parcs naturels américains

8 au 25 mai 2024

à partir de 2720 €

La Floride à moto

La côte est des usa.

à partir de 1710 €

L'ouest Américain en Harley

17 juin au 2 juillet 2024

21 septembre au 6 octobre 2024

à partir de 2440 €

Blues & Country

à partir de 1980 €

Le Wyoming, au cœur des terres américaines

Au pays de buffalo bill.

23 juin au 6 juillet 2024

à partir de 2340 €

Découverte de l’Oregon

à partir de 2690 €

La Californie, au cœur du rêve américain

à partir de 2520 €

Pour préparer votre voyage sur cette destination

grand canyon

Le Grand Canyon à moto

Découvrir le Grand Canyon est un incontournable lors de votre road trip à moto dans l’ouest américain. Pour préparer au mieux votre visite

pacific-coast-highway

Top 10 des routes mythiques des USA

Vaste pays, les États-Unis à moto vous proposent des paysages variés et à couper le souffle.

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Road trip à moto en Arizona

Un road trip à moto en Arizona est synonyme de liberté. Situé au sud-ouest des États-Unis,

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5 Fabulous Trips to Plan Around America’s Great Lakes!

Destinations USA Great Lakes

You may not know it, but America’s Great Lakes are home to some of the most beautiful views in the world. Stretching from Canada to the United States, these five great lakes in USA and their massive bodies of water boast several islands and boat tours that will leave you breathless. 

When you want to make your next trip truly memorable, head to one of these five fabulous trips around America’s Great Lakes. The views will inspire your soul and remind you that this great nation is the greatest on earth!

This post is part of our series Discover the USA

Where to start.

What You Should Know Before Planning a Trip to the Great Lakes USA Region:

  • Know the best time to visit the region. Different seasons will give you different things to see and do, so knowing when to go can make a big difference.
  • Make bookings and reservations as early as possible. Tourist spots, like state parks and campgrounds, are more likely to fill up during peak season.
  • Invest in a rental car (including gas). For an optimal way of seeing the area and exploring side roads, your own VAN Rental New York will make a huge difference in your trip.

Erie, Pennsylvania

Erie is an industrial city located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, the nation’s 12th largest lake, and is home to a variety of attractions, including the Presque Isle State Park . The state park offers all-season activities for all ages and has beautiful beaches, forests, and wetlands. 

Great Lakes Road Trip Lake Erie

For those who want to explore the natural beauty of Erie, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking on the 10-mile trail or going fishing in one of four designated fishing areas. You can also enjoy bird watching or nature walks through the beautiful woods.

There are also many different water sports available at Presque Isle State Park. You can take a sailboat out on the lake or visit one of the many water-based attractions, including museums, beaches, and a marina. With several picnic areas and pavilions that visitors can rent for family gatherings or other events, you can do plenty of things, making Erie an excellent spot for your perfect getaway!

Check out all our favorite Pennsylvania lakefront vacation spots here + other great family attractions in Pennsylvania that you can add to your itinerary.

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland is a cozy little city with many amenities and beautiful natural spaces on the northeastern edge of the Great Lake Chain. Lake Erie lies on the west side of town and offers boating, fishing, swimming, and more activities for those who want to take a dip. Meanwhile, miles upon miles of forests lie on the east side, where hikes can be taken. 

Great Lakes Road Trip - Ohio

A trip to Cleveland, Ohio, would not be complete without a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where visitors can explore all things rock n’ roll, including live performances and memorabilia from some of the world’s most famous musicians! With such diverse geography, it’s no wonder that Cleveland offers so many amazing destinations!

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

One of the most beautiful but often overlooked cities on the Great Lakes in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. It lies at the convergence of Lake Superior and Lake Huron and is an important area for the logging and steel industries. 

The city center is a historical marvel with Victorian-style homes lining the streets. The impressive locks are worth a visit, as well as the International Bridge, where you can simultaneously walk across it and take in spectacular views of both lakes from opposite sides!

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is one of the most iconic cities in the country, both for its skyline, architecture, and deep-dish pizza. Located on Lake Michigan, it’s a city known for thinking big (after all, it is called The Windy City).  

road trip grands lacs usa

For your next family getaway to the great lakes of the USA, consider a trip to Navy Pier! There are boat tours as well as exhibits to explore throughout the pier. You can also visit Shedd Aquarium or view art at the Art Institute of Chicago . As you head out onto Lake Michigan, stop by Oak Street Beach or Loyola Beach for some fun in the sun!

You can find our complete guide to exploring Chicago with kids here .

Muskegon, Michigan

Muskegon is located on the southeast shore of Lake Michigan. The state park has a good number of hiking trails as well as gorgeous views of Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake. Other fun things you can do in Muskegon include biking or running the 6.2-mile Nature Trace bikeway. There is also an apple orchard nearby!

If you are interested in trying out one of these natural wonders, visit Muskegon State Park today! You won’t regret it!

Great Lakes Road Trip - Muskegon

So these were the five best trips you can plan for your next vacation. When planning a vacation around the greatest lakes in the United States, there are many things to consider. The number of days you have to spend on the trip, the budget, and the type of activities you enjoy are all important factors to be considered. 

The best way to find yourself on one of the five great lakes road trip USA is to make a list of all the activities you want to do and compare them with the days you have on your trip. Hopefully, this great lakes of USA travel guide has helped you narrow down options for your next trip!

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A beautiful sunny day over Lake Superior titled The Great Laes 5 fun destinations to try

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21 Incredible Road Trips in the U.S.

Whether you’re looking for sweeping views of the pacific ocean or a multiday adventure through national parks, these road trips provide plenty of opportunities to explore the united states..

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A highway leading toward mountains

Glacier National Park is one of many scenic places you can visit on an American road trip.

Photo by Zack Frank / Shutterstock

In a country as large as the United States, there’s no shortage of destinations and detours to explore by car. Whether your idea of the perfect American road trip entails an epic, cross-country journey or a shorter jaunt through a few of its most iconic national parks , your options are as large and varied as the country itself.

From scenic drives along wildflower-dotted coasts to routes that help you learn more about America’s history, the following U.S. road trips allow you to enjoy the detours as much as the final destination. No matter your mode of transportation—be it van, RV, motorcycle, or four-door sedan—these are 21 of the best road trips in the nation to consider.

Cross-country road trips in the U.S.

Put a New Twist on Route 66—Make It an American Whiskey Road Trip

Plan your next Route 66 trip around thirst-quenching stops.

Photo by Peek Creative Collective/Shutterstock

There are many ways to do a cross-country road trip in the USA, but these two itineraries will take you through some truly iconic American places.

1. Bangor, Maine, to Seattle, Washington: The Great Northern on U.S. Route 2

Covering both the U.S. and Canada, a cross-country trip along U.S. 2 is ideal for anyone who wants to experience the vast diversity and expansiveness of North America. This drive runs the entire top border of the U.S. and showcases otherworldly natural wonders like Acadia National Park in Maine, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin, and Mackinac Island in Michigan. The route also passes through Canada, taking road-trippers through Ontario into Quebec—this route may focus on nature, but you won’t want to miss a stop in Montreal or Ottawa.

You’ll also get to explore Montana and Glacier National Park ( reservations required ) before passing the Columbia Plateau and ending in the Pacific Northwest’s largest city, Seattle. Don’t miss spending time in the Olympic Peninsula (home to Olympic National Park) for a peek at one of the most scenic places on the West Coast.

2. Chicago to Los Angeles: A Whiskey Road Trip on Route 66

It doesn’t get more American than a 2,000-mile drive along the entirety of Route 66. And to take your cross-country road trip to the next level, we recommend exploring another American pastime—whiskey.

Starting in Chicago and ending in L.A., you’ll stop by some of the leading craft distilleries in the United States, like Few Spirits in Chicago, Still 630 in St. Louis, and Red Fork Distillery in Tulsa. In between tastings, make time for detours to natural attractions, like the Grand Canyon, and quirky roadside attractions, like Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. Just remember to drink responsibly—this is a road trip after all.

Plan your trip

The full itinerary: Put a New Twist on Route 66—Make It an American Whiskey Road Trip

Shorter road trips throughout the U.S.

Not all of us have the time to drive cross-country. Fortunately there are plenty of amazing, shorter road trip routes (ranging from three days to a week or longer): classic California itineraries , New England routes that shine especially well in the fall, scenic East Coast adventures, and a variety of Midwest journeys for folks farther from the coasts.

3. Dana Point to San Francisco: Driving California’s Pacific Coast Highway

The seemingly endless views of the Pacific Ocean along Highway 1 (also known as the Pacific Coast Highway) are what road trip dreams are made of, and exactly what makes this California road trip so popular. However, with so many stops along the 655-mile stretch, we pulled together a list of the ones well worth pulling over to view. Don’t miss the perfect surfing waves in Santa Cruz, seasonal cuisine in Malibu, an afternoon a the boardwalk in Santa Monica, or a night in Big Sur as you drive between Dana Point (just south of Los Angeles) and San Francisco.

  • The full itinerary: The Best Stops for a Road Trip on the Pacific Coast Highway
  • The AFAR Guide to San Francisco

4. Big Sur to Mono County: A Literary Road Trip Through Northern California

Yes, this itinerary requires you actually put down your book to drive, but seeing some of the pivotal places that shaped American authors will be so worth it. Follow in the footsteps of writers like Jack Kerouac, Maya Angelou, and Amy Tan on this road trip that takes you through literary landmarks in Northern California, such as Caffe Trieste, a meeting place for Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Alan Watts, and other bohemian writers and thinkers. This 12-stop itinerary is perfect if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area because you’ll be able to stay relatively close to home.

The full itinerary: The California Road Trip All Book Lovers Should Take

5. Phoenix to the Grand Canyon: An Iconic Arizona Road Trip

This 240-mile Arizona road trip takes travelers along some of the state’s most iconic highlights, including its most famous one, the Grand Canyon. A great itinerary for first-time visitors and returning travelers alike, it offers plenty of opportunities for scenic drives, hiking, and biking—as well as tasty food along the way. Hike the 2,704-foot-tall Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale or take in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona on a hike to Cathedral Rock while exploring the Grand Canyon State.

  • The full itinerary: The Classic 5-Day Arizona Road Trip
  • Grand Canyon guide: The First-Timer’s Guide to the Grand Canyon
  • Where to eat in Phoenix: A Chef’s Guide to the Best Restaurants
  • Where to stay: The Best Hotels in Arizona ; The Best Airbnbs in Sedona

The Delicate Arch living up to its name in Utah's Arches National Park.

The Delicate Arch living up to its name in Utah’s Arches National Park.

Photo by tusharkoley / Shutterstock

6. Zion to Grand Canyon: A National Parks Road Trip in the Southwest

If you’re looking to visit as many national parks as possible in one road trip, this southwestern itinerary is for you. This journey through Utah and Arizona lets you hike Angel’s Landing in Zion, feel tiny under Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, explore Fairyland Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon, and, of course, raft down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Most visitors to the Grand Canyon remain on the rim, but we recommend staying at least four days to venture within the canyon and take advantage of the trails and river rafting.

  • The full itinerary: The Ideal Road Trip Through U.S. National Parks
  • Utah’s 8 Best National Parks and Monuments
  • 10 Best National Parks and Monuments in Arizona
  • The First-Timer’s Guide to the Grand Canyon

7. San Juan Scenic Skyway Road Trip: An Adventure Through Southwestern Colorado

This Colorado trip takes you along the 232-mile loop of the San Juan Scenic Skyway, where you will see plenty of alpine forests, mining towns, and craggy peaks. And for anyone looking to enjoy refreshments after a long day of driving, this route features many opportunities to stop at some of the best breweries in Colorado , such as Ska Brewing Co. in Durango.

  • The full itinerary: The Ultimate Southwestern Colorado Road Trip

In small-town Buena Vista, the riverfront Surf Hotel offers front-row seats to Colorado-style adventure seekers.

In small-town Buena Vista, the riverfront Surf Hotel offers front-row seats to Colorado-style adventure seekers.

Courtesy of the Surf Hotel

8. Denver to Montrose: A 420-Mile Road Trip Through Colorado

Want to explore even more of the Centennial State? Head out on this weeklong road trip where you can fish for salmon in Colorado’s largest reservoir, visit numerous small towns, like Paonia and Crawford, with thriving art scenes along the Colorado Creative Corridor , and explore Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, one of the least visited national parks in the nation.

  • The full itinerary: Art Stars, High-Altitude Wines, and a Remote National Park: The Ultimate Colorado Road Trip
  • Where to stay: The Best Hotels in Colorado
  • The AFAR Guide to Denver

9. Portland to Astoria: An Oregon Coast Road Trip for Outdoor Lovers

If you love the outdoors, then this six-day road trip along the coast of Oregon is for you. After driving to Coos Bay from Portland, travelers will meander along Oregon’s dramatic, rocky coastline, discovering some quintessentially Pacific Northwest vistas along the way: evergreen forests, seaside dunes, and marine ecosystems. Between stops, there are ample opportunities to stretch your legs hiking, kayaking, or strolling around the region’s small towns—like the historic old town in Florence.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Oregon road trip without a stop (or three) at a craft brewery, such as Fort George Brewery in Astoria, or cozy coffee shop, like Bread & Roses in Yachats.

  • The full itinerary: An Outdoor Lover’s Road Trip on the Oregon Coast
  • The AFAR Guide to Portland

The State Capitol Building in Nashville marks the end of this road (trip).

The State Capitol Building in Nashville marks the end of this road (trip).

Photo by photo.ua / Shutterstock

10. Seneca Falls, New York, to Nashville, Tennessee: Follow the Path of the Women’s Suffrage Movement

Starting in New York’s Finger Lakes region and ending at the State Capitol Building in Nashville, this road trip traces the route of the national women’s suffrage movement. Highlights include stops at the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House ; Union Square in New York City, which was the site of the first suffrage march; and the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument in Washington, D.C.

  • The full itinerary: Celebrate Women’s Suffrage on an Epic, Self-Guided Road Trip
  • Where to stay: The Best Hotels in Nashville
  • The AFAR Guide to Nashville
  • The AFAR Guide to Washington, D.C.

11. Charlottesville to Asheville: A Scenic Road Trip Through Virginia and North Carolina

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most scenic drives in the country. Beginning in the soft hilly meadows of the Appalachian Mountains from Shenandoah National Park down into the Blue Ridge Mountains, then into the Great Smoky Mountains, this five-day road trip is best done at a slower pace, which is perfect for admiring the dramatic outlooks and green plateaus. This eclectic itinerary features stops at an art museum, a dairy farm, and plenty of hiking trails.

  • The full itinerary: The Ultimate Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip
  • Where to stay: 12 Dreamy Blue Ridge Mountain Cabins You Can Rent on Airbnb and Vrbo

Dowa:kwe dance group from Zuni Pueblo in 2019

Dowa:kwe dance group from Zuni Pueblo in 2019

Courtesy of Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

12. Albuquerque to Las Cruces: Discover New Mexico on This Three-Day Road Trip

This route steers you away from New Mexican tourist hot spots like Taos and Santa Fe and instead takes you on a three-day adventure with places that teach you about Pueblo history. You’ll stop at Indian Pueblo Kitchen (formerly known as Pueblo Harvest), a restaurant inside the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center that features Indigenous cuisine ; pick up peppers at Three Brothers in Hatch; and slide down the dunes in White Sands National Park.

The full itinerary: This New Mexico Road Trip Is the Perfect Introduction to the Land of Enchantment

13. A Five-Day Scenic Road Trip Through Texas Hill Country

This Texas road trip starts and ends in San Antonio with stops in small towns like Bandera, Boerne, and Sabinal. Over five days, you’ll find opportunities to stroll in a Japanese tea garden in San Antonio, relax along the Sabinal and Frio Rivers by inner tube, and eat as many tacos as you want. Seriously: You could eat tacos for every meal on this road trip and not get tired of them.

The full itinerary: Tree Houses, Tubing, and Tacos: The Ultimate Texas Hill Country Road Trip

Mount McKinley looms large on a drive through Denali National Park.

Mount McKinley looms large on a drive through Denali National Park.

Photo by warnsweet / Shutterstock

14. A Weeklong Road Trip Through Alaska’s Most Majestic Sights

This weeklong drive in Alaska starts and ends in Anchorage. You travel along four scenic byways; explore Wrangell–St. Elias wilderness, the largest U.S. national park; catch sight of Denali, the tallest peak in North America; and enjoy the surprisingly stellar food scene of McCarthy, a one-road town with only a couple dozen residents.

  • The full itinerary: Glaciers, Mountain Peaks, and Organic Farms: The Ultimate Alaska Road Trip
  • Which Alaska National Parks Should You Visit?

15. Boise to Sun Valley: Explore Idaho’s Scenic Byways

Even a short road trip can be packed with adventure, good food, and scenery, which is exactly what this trip from Boise to Sun Valley along Idaho’s Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway offers. Although the drive only takes six hours, we recommend taking a few days to explore all the stops and detours along the way. One can’t-miss spot is the Kirkham Hot Springs , where you can stand under a waterfall that will splash you with 135-degree mineral water year-round.

  • The full itinerary: The Little-Known Idaho Road Trip You Need to Drive
  • Things to do: The Best Outdoorsy Things to Do in Idaho

16. Duluth to Grand Portage State Park: A Scenic Minnesota Sampler

Although there are many appealing road trips throughout the Midwest, this 143-mile, three-hour circuit, which starts and ends in Duluth, Minnesota, is worth keeping in mind. Meandering north on MN-61 with this itinerary, you will enjoy prime views of Lake Superior and towns like Grand Marais, as well as Grand Portage State Park, home to waterfalls, hiking trails, and opportunities to learn about the Ojibwe community who occupy the land today. Once back in Duluth, enjoy a beer at Canal Park Brewing Company before checking into the waterfront Canal Park Lodge nearby.

The AFAR Guide to Minnesota

Overhead view of curvy Kancamagus Highway through fall forest

Wind your way through colorful foliage in New Hampshire

Photo by Shutterstock

17. Kancamagus Highway: A Quintessential New England Drive

Yes, you can take a road trip in New England at any time of the year , but this region shows off its best colors in the fall, when locals and tourists alike head out into the country to view the changing colors of the trees. Join other admirers of fall foliage on this popular, 56-mile road trip along New Hampshire’s Kancamagus Highway, colloquially known as the “Kanc,” for picturesque ponds, hiking trails, and scenic overlooks.

Plan Your Fall Getaway With This Peak Foliage Prediction Map

18. Maine’s “Lobster Trail”: Travel Route 1 Along the Coast

Traveling Route 1, affectionately known as “the lobster trail,” along Maine’s storied, jagged coastline is an exercise in indulgence. Sample lobster dishes in all forms—buttered, steamed, on a roll, or even in a decadent mac-and-cheese.

The trip starts in the quaint small town of Ogunquit, with its rare (for the area) 3.5 miles of white-sand beach. Make your first lobster of the journey count, steamed with a side of drawn butter at Barnacle Billy’s in picturesque Perkins Cove harbor. Stop at Big Daddy’s for a cone on your way to the shipbuilding center—and summer home of George H. W. Bush—Kennebunkport. Stay at the recently redesigned 150-year-old classic White Barn Inn , and consider a sailing trip for an afternoon. With lobsters cooked in ocean water, the legendary lobster roll at the Clam Shack is a must.

8 Scenic East Coast Road Trips to Take This Year

Interior of Leah & Louise restaurant in Charlotte

Throughout North Carolina’s Piedmont region, innovative restaurants, shops, and restaurants like Leah & Louise in Charlotte, above, are creating a buzz.

Photo by Peter Taylor Photography

19. Raleigh to Charlotte: A 4-Day Trip Through North Carolina’s Reinvented Core

North Carolina’s Piedmont region extends from the coastal plain to the Blue Ridge Mountains , and includes farmland and rolling wooded hills, especially on the 1-40 stretch near Hillsborough. Starting in Raleigh, drive the short distances to Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Charlotte to see how these cities are innovating through art, food, and a celebration of the past. Take your time—four days should do—to experience downtown arts districts, James Beard Award–winning restaurants, and civil rights museums that speak truths. Plan your trip A Road Trip Through North Carolina’s Reinvented Core

20. Scenic Highway 30A: A Sunday Drive Through South Walton, Florida

Florida is full of places to cruise with the top down, but it’s hard to beat a Sunday (or any day) drive along Scenic Highway 30A through northwest Florida, home to a postcard-perfect stretch of seaside towns known as South Walton.

The roughly 28-mile route through South Walton County kisses the coast for nearly all its length, taking you through gorgeous residential Gulf-front communities like Rosemary Beach, Grayton Beach, and Blue Mountain Beach. Roll down the windows and let the emerald-hued views in.

Pull over to explore, too—maybe to admire the New Urbanism architecture in Alys Beach or to swim in the clear waters at Grayton Beach State Park . (The beach here has been lauded among the best in the world.)

The full itinerary: The Florida Road Trip You’ve Been Missing

Two stand-up paddleboarders  on the water at sunset

Stand-up paddle boarding is just one way to enjoy a Florida Keys sunset.

Shutterstock

21. The Florida Keys: An Island-Hopping Getaway

For a sunny road trip itinerary in Florida, skip Miami and head farther south. Beginning in Key Largo and ending in Key West, the Florida Keys Scenic Highway is often overlooked for more well-known routes up north, but it is well worth going out of your way to experience.

As the name suggests, this route is very scenic, so plan to spend at least a few days exploring it and numerous stops along the way. Some highlights include driving across the impressive Overseas Highway, stopping to admire art in the town of Islamorada, and enjoying the historic sites, food, and (of course) beaches in the city of Key West.

The full itinerary: How to Road Trip in the Lesser-Known Florida Keys

Additional road trip planning resources

Picking the route for your road trip is only one part of your planning. From what snacks to pack to which podcasts to listen to, these additional resources will help you prepare for your next adventure:

  • Best road trip snacks
  • Road trip planning apps
  • Podcasts and audiobooks to download
  • What to pack for a road trip

This article originally appeared online in August 2020. It was most recently updated on April 19, 2023, to include current information. Additional reporting by Jessie Beck, Erika Owen, Ray Rogers, Terry Ward, and Sheryl Nance-Nash.

Family Beach Fire.jpg

Inspired Routes

29 Amazing Road Trips USA: Scenic (& Underrated) Routes You’ll Love

Posted on Published: March 1, 2023  - Last updated: January 17, 2024

The US is filled with amazing sights, hikes and adventures from coast to coast. The absolute best way to experience everything it has to offer is by taking an amazing road trip! Here’s an epic list of the best road trips USA to find your next adventure.

road trips USA view of road cutting through massive mountainside on cloudy day

This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, see my  disclosures .

One of the best perks about US road trips is you can take your time, admire the views, stop at fun road-side attractions and design the route exactly how you like! Whether you have a long weekend, a week, or even longer, these road trips across the US are full of a variety of cities, wide open spaces and some underrated spots you’re going to love.

From coast to coast and even a few bonus routes, this guide will help you get started in planning the greatest American roadtrip that’s just perfect for you!

Must-see video: road trips USA

Best road trips in USA map

Whether you’re hoping to explore close to home or take a bucket list cross-country road trip, this USA road trips list has something for everyone! Check out the map below to find which one works best for you.

By the way, I haven’t been everywhere (yet), so I’ve asked some of my fellow travel writers to help with this list of the best American road trips.

Essentials to pack on the greatest road trips in America

USA road trip routes view of scenic highway with rolling hills surrounding road

Before we dive into the list of USA road trip routes, make sure you’ve packed the right gear to help make your road trip go smoothly. Here are some top recommendations…

  • Food and water. Regardless of how long of an adventure you choose, you’ll want some food or at the very least some snacks to keep that energy up! Here are 101 road trip food ideas . Don’t forget to bring reusable water bottles to fill up at hotels, restaurants and national parks so you can avoid buying single-use plastic bottles.
  • Collapsible cooler. Store your food and drinks in a handy cooler, then fold it down when it’s empty for storage or to easily pack it up.
  • Layers for weather. Depending on which epic US road trip you choose and the time of year you take it, be prepared for anything! From a light jacket or medium coat for hiking, an umbrella , sun hat or even the perfect merino wool layers for any season, you’ll want to be prepared.

Pacific coast highwaybridge view of bridge with arch under and ocean with waves along rugged coastline

  • Good hiking gear. If you’re stepping foot in a national park on this list, or any other outdoor space with trails, you’ll want the right hiking gear. That means hiking shoes , socks, trekking poles and hiking backpack . As someone who’s hiked with and without the proper gear, I can say with confidence hiking is a lot easier and more comfortable with the right gear.
  • Emergency preparedness items like satellite communicator and first aid kit . Whether you’re in your vehicle or are renting a car , be prepared for anything. This satellite communicator allows for 2-way communication anywhere it can see the sky – regardless of if you have cell phone service or not. Call for help on a hiking trail or road out in the middle of nowhere.
  • GoPro. This awesome camera is perfect for recording epic road trips! Hang this GoPro out the window or sunroof while another person is driving, go underwater with it or use it to capture amazing landscapes. Maybe not an ‘essential,’ but certainly fun if it’s in your budget! 🙂

By the way, if you need to rent a car for these epic road trips, try using Discover Cars . It’s a search engine for the major car carriers that finds the lowest price, and it’s free to use. I typically save 10-30% on car rentals with Discover Cars .

Best road trips USA

YAY! You’re ready to start planning your bucket list road trip! You’re going to love this amazing list of the best road trips in America!

1. Utah national parks road trip (one of the absolute best road trips in America)

range rocky hoodoos on sunny day

Distance: 878 miles Recommended time: 6-10 days Best time of year: spring, summer or fall

For out-of-this world landscapes, you’ll love an Utah national parks road trip through the Mighty 5! From crazy rock spires known as hoodoos in Bryce Canyon to the vast, wide open spaces in Canyonlands National Park, there’s so much to see and do on this road trip!

For the most efficient use of your time, fly into Salt Lake City and start your adventure in Moab. Home to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, you’ll want to spend at least 2 days exploring this area – more if you have time!

Spend one day in Arches by hiking to Delicate Arch – the most famous rock arch in the world! See Landscape Arch and The Windows areas of the park, too. With the popularity of this park over the last 5 years, you’ll need a timed entry reservation , so be sure to plan in advance!

Discover the best hikes in Canyonlands National Park. From the short, 0.5 mile trail to Mesa Arch, to the breathtaking Grand View Point trail. Don’t forget to stop at the scenic overlooks – Green River and Grand View Point.

From there, head west to Capitol Reef National Park. Visit the Fruita orchards and do the Hickman Bridge Trail hike. Allow at least an hour for the scenic drive as well. It’s easy enough to see the park highlights in day, or take more time to explore more hiking trails.

Next is Bryce Canyon National Park. Home to the funky hoodoo rock formations, these views are incredible any time of year. Be sure to check out the views at Inspiration Point, and if you’re up for a hike, do the Queens Garden Trail and Navajo Loop combination. So cool!

Lastly, head to Zion. One of the most visited national parks in the country, and for good reason! This massive canyon is so incredible from almost anywhere in the park. Popular hikes like The Narrows and Angels Landing (permit required) and Canyon Overlook Trail don’t disappoint !

The final part of this trip is just heading to Las Vegas to fly back home. This trip can be done year round, but some of the roads and hikes in the national parks will be closed during the winter months due to snow and ice, so it’s recommended during spring, summer and fall.

Recommended by me – Nikki of Inspired Routes

2. Ozark Mountains

road trip grands lacs usa

Distance: 200 miles Recommended tim e: 2-3 days Best time of year: April-June or September-November

One of the best road trips in USA is a trip through the Ozark mountains in northern Arkansas. There is so much to see and do on this road trip and it’s perfect for a 2-3 day weekend.

This exciting road trip will start in Little Rock and end in Eureka Springs. The total mileage of this trip is 200 miles and driving straight through takes 3 hours and 25 minutes.

One of the best stops along the way is at the Natural Bridge just outside of Clinton . It spans 100 ft and was actually used as a bridge in the past. The next best stop on this road trip is at the Buffalo National River. You can go on an awesome  Buffalo River float trip , and stay in one of the adorable VRBO cabins the area has to offer.

After spending a day floating down the river, head to excursion train , one of Arkansas’ best towns. You can spend days checking out this charming town. Make sure that you check out the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway while you’re there! You can go on an excursion train, a lunch train, and a dinner train and see some of the gorgeous scenery in the area.

One of the best places to stay in Eureka Springs is at this incredible unique Hobbit Cave Hotel where you can actually stay in a cave for the night. The best time of the year to do this road trip is either in the spring or fall when the weather isn’t too hot and the Buffalo River is great for floating. 

Recommended by Jessica of Unearth the Voyage

3. Beartooth Highway (one of the greatest road trips in America)

road trips USA view of mountains with green valleys and white snowy tops on cloudy day along beartooth highway

Distance: 68.7 miles Recommended time: 1+ day Best time of year: June-September

Charles Kuralt called the Beartooth Highway “the most beautiful drive in America.” This scenic USA road trip route begins in Red Lodge, Montana, and ends in Cooke City and the northeastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park. At 68.7 miles, it’s a short drive, but you’ll want to allow several hours to take advantage of as many scenic views as possible.

While  Beartooth Highway  is a route where the drive is the destination, there are some must-stop places. A stop at Beartooth’s scenic overlook will give you a glimpse of the peak for which the mountain range and the highway is named after. During this US road trip, you should also stop at Rock Creek Vista Point where you’ll be met with majestic views at 9,190 feet . Don’t be surprised to see marmot and scampering chipmunks while you admire the views.

If you’re looking for a place to stay, Top of the World Resort has vacation rentals. They also have camping for tents and RVs, and you can rent UTVs and Snowmobiles. Skiers will love Beartooth Basin Summer Ski Area.

Because Beartooth Highway is the highest elevation road in the Northern Rockies, it’s closed most months of the year . It typically opens in late May or early June and closes around October. Summer squalls have been known to happen, so it’s always best to find out ahead of time if the road is open.

Recommended by Theresa of The Local Tourist

Looking for adventure a little further north? This guide will help you plan an amazing Canadian road trip !

4. Florida Springs

road trips USA view of teal and green colored river with trees alongside

Distance: 165 miles Recommended time: 3-5 days Best time of year: November-February

Without a doubt, a Florida Springs road trip is one of the best US road trips of them all. In fact, Florida is actually home to more freshwater springs than any other state in the nation . So, make the most of this fact and enjoy a fantastic road trip to some of the best natural springs in Florida . 

Now, if you’re starting near Tampa then this road trip will take between three and five days to complete. After all, many of these spots are secluded in the wilderness and require that you have an RV or do a bit of camping. 

So, while this USA road trip really only covers a distance of 165 miles, each spot is truly awesome and could easily keep you busy for a day.

Once in Tampa go a bit north to see the Weeki Wachee Springs. Sure, this natural spring is amazing but the real highlight of your visit will be the mermaid show. In fact, it is held in an underwater theater and is one of the coolest things you will ever see. 

Continue to Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River Natural Wildlife Refuge. Rent a kayak and enjoying all that Manatee Springs has to offer. 

Just know that while this is a great place to see Manatees, there are typically only found in the water here during the winter months. Plan your visit for this time of year so that you can get up close and personal with these gentle giants. 

Whatever you do though, don’t forget to visit Ginnie Springs. There are some great camping spots here. It’s an epic place to relax, take in the scenery, and do a bit of tubing. 

Finally, head to Ichetucknee Springs and end your road trip here. Check out the famous blue hole which is a great place to go cave diving, snorkeling, tubing, hiking, swimming, and more. There’s also tons of cool fish in the water so be on the look out for them as they swim by.

Recommended by Victoria of Florida Trippers

5. Extraterrestrial Highway, Nevada (out of this world USA Road Trip!)

road trips USA view of large metal alien at metal building with woman on a road trip through Nevada

Distance: 98 miles Recommended time: 1 day Best time of year: October-April

If you’re looking for a quirky USA road trip you won’t soon forget, consider  driving Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway !

This road trip spans 98 miles on State Route 375 between the towns of Crystal Springs and Warm Springs. Along the way, you are treated to arid desert landscapes, mostly desolate roads, and plenty of alien-themed attractions. 

There are lots of unique stops along this route. You have ET Fresh Jerky where you can buy alien-themed snacks. There’s the iconic Extraterrestrial Highway sign plastered in stickers left behind by pilgrims who’ve made the trek from far and wide. And don’t pass up the Alien Research Center where you can buy souvenirs and hear some UFO lore.

As you continue driving along the ET Highway you’ll see the Black Mailbox, where believers come to leave mail and other trinkets for otherworldly creatures. And lastly, there’s the Little A’le’inn, which is a motel, bar and restaurant which is hard to miss thanks to the UFO-towing pick-up truck out front!

This is a road trip that can be easily done in one day . However, you can tack it onto a bigger Nevada itinerary.

Also, while the Extraterrestrial Highway can be driven any time of year, it’s probably best to avoid the summer months when the desert temperatures are a scorcher. This road trip would be much more enjoyable if done in spring or autumn.

As far as accommodations go, you can stay in Las Vegas which is only 1 hour 37 minutes from the starting point of Crystal Springs. 

As a final tip, fuel up before you begin driving the ET Highway; this area is fairly remote with very little traffic, so you wouldn’t want to get stranded!

Recommended by Audrey of That Backpacker

6. Washington DC to Boston

view of Boston skyline and statue during fall on greatest road trips in america

Distance: 440 miles Recommended time: 2+ days Best time of year: September – October

A road trip from Washington DC to Boston is the perfect way to take in the changing colors of fall. The journey will take at least 2 days and cover a total of 440 miles with stops in New York, Philadelphia and Providence.

Starting out from Washington DC, you’ll have a chance to explore the nation’s capital. It’s home to famous monuments like the Lincoln Memorial, The White House and the Smithsonian Museum .

If you’re taking a longer route towards New York City, you can even stop off at Gettysburg National Military Park along the way.

Once in New York, there’s plenty to keep travelers entertained! From iconic landmarks like Central Park, Times Square and Rockefeller Center to exciting attractions like Broadway shows, shopping boutiques and gourmet restaurants.

From there it’s just a short drive up to Philadelphia. Visit historic sites such as Independence Hall or experience some of its world class cultural institutions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art or Liberty Bell Center. You may also want to make sure that your itinerary includes stops at local favorites like Reading Terminal Market and South Street for an authentic Philly cheesesteak sandwich! 

Continuing northward towards Providence, you’ll be surrounded by stunning natural scenery as you pass through Connecticut and Rhode Island. On this leg of your journey, you should make time for some outdoor activities. Think whale watching on Narragansett Bay, biking along Newport’s Cliff Walk or hiking in Lincoln Woods State Park.

Finally reaching Boston will be worth all 7 hours and 30 minutes of total drive time it takes to get there! Take some time to explore picturesque spots such as Harvard Yard or Fenway Park before enjoying a classic lobster roll dinner at one of the city’s seafood restaurant s. Don’t forget about all the shopping opportunities in downtown either – including everything from vintage bookstores to designer apparel stores.

If you’re looking for family-friendly adventures even further north, consider expanding your trip into Ontario, Canada. Silent Lake Provincial Park is outside of Bancroft, Ontario and offers excellent recreation, including some of the best campgrounds in Ontario .

Recommended by Victoria of Guide your Travel

7. Seward to Denali, Alaska (one of the best US road trips for wildlife)

yellow kayak on blue water with mountains and glaciers in distance on the best USA road trip

Distance: 767 miles (from Anchorage airport) Recommended time: 7 days Best time of year: June-September

For adventurers looking to add to their road trips USA bucket lists, a 7 day Alaska road trip itinerary from Seward to Denali should be at the top of your list. 

Fly into Anchorage and rent a car before making the 2.5 hour drive on the Seward Highway to the start of your trip in Seward. Stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to break up the drive and stretch your legs while you check out the bears, moose, reindeer and more that they care for in their sanctuary.

Seward is a perfect base for a visit to Kenai Fjords National Park. Spend 2 days here doing an iceberg kayaking excursion at Bear Glacier lagoon . Or take a whale watching cruise where you’ll see tons of aquatic wildlife in addition to a glacier calving. The Exit Glacier hike is another interesting thing to do.

Then it’s time for a 2 hour drive north to the popular Alyeska Resort . They have plenty of summer activities including terrific hikes and stunning views from the top of the Gondola ride. Stay overnight.

Next stop is Talkeetna – the small town made famous for being the inspiration for TV show Northern Exposure. It’s also the starting point for climbers planning a Denali summit.

You can get a bird’s eye view by taking a flightseeing tour of Denali with a glacier landing before spending your last 2 days at Denali National Park exploring wildlife and nature. 

The total distance from Seward to Denali is 397 miles . Doing the trip in a loop from the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is 767 miles. Not too bad for 7 days of non-stop fun!

The best time for this road trip is summertime but if you can brave cold autumn weather you’ll also have the chance to be rewarded with spectacular Northern Lights! Make sure to plan your trip well in advance to get the best rates.

Even though it’s not in the continental US, it’s still one of the very best road trips in America!

Recommended by Jenifer of The Evolista

8. Newfound Gap Road, Smoky Mountains USA road trip

view of the smoky mountains green treetops and rolling hills on sunny day

Distance: 30 miles Recommended time: 1 day Best time of year: September-Early November

Smoky Mountains is one of the most visited national parks of the USA! It covers South Carolina and Tennessee in the southeastern region of the US. Many  scenic drives on the Smoky mountains road trip  are worth doing, but the most famous is Newfound Gap Road (US-441). 

This American roadtrip starts from Sugarlands Visitor Center and ends at the Mountain Farm Museum in North Carolina. It connects Cherokee and Gatlinburg and is an approximately 30 Mile one-way trip.

Many scenic stopovers are on Newfound gap road in Smoky Mountain National Park and can be done in one day trip. Chimney Tops, Campbell Overlook, Newfound Gap, Rockefeller Memorial, Morton’s Gap Overlook, Oconaluftee Valley Overlook, and Mingus Mill are the most famous stopovers. 

The whole road trip is scenic, passing through a forest of Smoky Mountains with a view of foggy, misty peaks overlooking valleys and tunnels. The best time to make this road trip is during fall. You can see a fantastic riot of fall colors throughout this drive. 

Book your stay in the mountainous town of Gatlinburg for this road trip in the Smoky mountains. There are many cozy cabins with amazing views to choose from.

It’s important to note that the whole area is foggy and misty throughout the year, so it’s worth it to check the fog conditions before driving as sometimes it can be very foggy, and driving becomes very difficult. 

This is one of the best USA road trip routes, and can be done in conjunction with a larger trip to the Smokies.

Recommended by Yukti of Travel with me 24 x 7 Blog

More of the best road trips USA

With so many good options all over the country, how do you ever choose? Let’s keep exploring more options before you choose your perfect adventure…

9. Route 66 (one of the classic US road trips!)

chicago skyline at night with water boats and skyscrapers start of route 66

Distance: 2,448 miles Recommended time: 7+ days Best time of year: September-Early November

Route 66, also known as the Mother Road, is one of the most iconic road trip routes in the USA. Starting in Chicago, IL, and ending in Santa Monica, CA, the route goes through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. 

Covering a total of 2,448 miles, the route offers tons to see and do . Set aside a week to do justice to the trip, more if you can afford it!

Take in the many sights along Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, from Lincoln Park to Soldier Field, before heading out. Admire the State Capitol in Springfield and visit the Cahokia Mounds, a UNESCO World Heritage Site before crossing the Mississippi River.

In Missouri, admire Gateway Arch in St. Louis . Then snap a photo of Red’s Giant Hamburg, the world’s first known drive-through! Stay at the Drury Plaza Hotel at the Arch in downtown St. Louis. 

In Texas, possibly the most famous attraction along the route is Cadillac Ranch, in Amarillo, but Shamrock makes for a nice stop as well.

In New Mexico, the route passes through the major cities of Santa Fe and Albuquerque, both of which offer tons to do. Adventure-loving travelers should try hot air ballooning in Albuquerque!

Spend a night in Tucumcari, where you will find some iconic Route 66 motels such as the Blue Swallow Motel. 

In Arizona, the stretch between Kingman and Seligman is considered historic. Also be sure to check out the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook. In Seligman, stay at the Supai Motel , a vintage Route 66 motel. 

Route 66 in California  passes through the Mojave Desert and a string of small ghost towns and roadside attractions. Elmer’s Bottle Ranch is one of the more popular stops. 

Pasadena is home to several Route 66 sights, and also to The Huntington, a complex of beautiful Southern California gardens.

Although not where the original road ended, today you will find the End of the Trail sign on the Santa Monica Pier. Pose for a photo under the sign to celebrate the completion of your road trip!

Recommended by Dhara of Roadtripping California

10. Coastal Carolinas road trip

view of grassland with trees and lighthouse on sunny day best road trips USA

Distance: 600 miles Recommended time: 7 days Best time of year: June-October

If you’re a foodie, history buff, or family, you’re going to love a  Coastal Carolinas Road Trip . This approximately 600-mile route (one way) takes you from the Deep South starting in Charleston, SC, up the entire Carolinas’ coast, and ends in the small naval city of Norfolk, VA.

Budget about a week of travel to immerse yourself in this land of pirates, beaches, and the North Carolina marshes you might know from  Where the Crawdads Sing .

Plan to spend at least one full day in Charleston’s historic downtown. As you make your way north, consider a night or two in either Myrtle Beach, SC or checking out the Wilmington beaches in North Carolina.

Don’t miss a stop in New Bern to visit the birthplace of Pepsi Cola. Devote at least 2 days to exploring the beaches and lighthouses of the Outer Banks . Be sure to check out the hidden gem – Pea Island , particularly the wildlife refuge!

The Wrights Brother National Monument is another Outer Banks must-see. Also, if you’re not eating your weight in seafood on this road trip, you’re not doing it right! 

You can do this road trip any time of year, but you’ll find the most crowds over school vacations, especially summer vacation and spring break. Autumn is an ideal time to do a Coastal Carolinas road trip. Just keep in mind that many Outer Banks businesses – especially restaurants – operate seasonally, so plan accordingly.

It’s most convenient to do this road trip with a multi-city plane ticket and one-way car rental . Fly into Charleston, drive north in your rental car, and fly out of Norfolk.

For a cheaper, but more time-consuming option, fly in and out of either Charleston or Norfolk. If you opt for a round-trip plane ticket, you’ll need to make a 7-hour drive on Interstate 95 at either the start or end of your adventure.

Recommended by Ada of Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

11. LA to Joshua Tree National Park – (a desert oasis road trip in the USA)

smooth tan rocks sand and Joshua Tree blue sky

Distance: 130 miles Recommended time: 3+ days Best time of year: April-May or September-November

One of the best USA road trip routes is driving from LA to Joshua Tree National Park. It’s a relaxing way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and in only a few hours, you’ll be in a desert oasis. While it’s only 130 miles one way, traffic can take up more of your time than you want. That’s why I recommend taking 3 days to go from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree and back so you can fully enjoy all the different sites there.

On the first day, start off by checking out the Cabazon Dinosaurs. They’re giant roadside dinosaurs you’ve probably seen on Instagram, and there’s even a museum to learn more about them. From there, continue until you get to Big Morongo Canyon Preserve for gorgeous views and hiking trails.

Finally, crash in Twentynine Palms for the night – they have affordable lodging and fun places to see, like the Twentynine Palms Historical Society and Adobe Museum.

On the second day, head out to explore  Joshua Tree National Park ! You could spend days exploring! If you’re short on time, Jumbo Rocks is a great spot to watch rock climbers in action, and Barker Dam offers a chance to find water in the desert and see some historic ruins. Lost Horse Mine is an abandoned gold mine you can explore, and the Cholla Cactus Garden is a great place to catch the sunrise.

For your last day, check out the Palm Springs area. Downtown has many options for amazing food, drinks, museums, and shopping. Who knows, you might even bump into a celeb!

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a fun ride with epic views of the desert landscape and access to Mount San Jacinto State Park’s hiking trails. Grab dinner up there and catch the last tram of the night for a memorable end one of the greatest road trips in America.

Recommended by Marissa of Postcards to Seattle

12. Talimena Scenic National Byway (a completely underrated route on this road trips USA list)

best road trips in America view of orange foliage and hillside with open landscape view on sunny day

Distance: 54 miles Recommended time: 1-3 days Best time of year: October-November

The  Talimena Scenic National Byway  is a 54-mile scenic route that winds its way through the Ouachita Mountains in southeastern Oklahoma and southwestern Arkansas. It’s one of the best US road trips in the south!

Stretching between Talihina, Oklahoma, and Mena, Arkansas, the route’s name is a portmanteau of these two terminal cities. You can drive the route one way or as an out-and-back, depending on the remainder of your trip itinerary . For example, those on a cross-country road trip will typically do the route one-way. But those enjoying a vacation in nearby Broken Bow or Hochatown will do the route as an extension of their trip and usually drive both ways.

While you can accomplish the trip in one day, it’s best to spend a weekend of 2 to 3 days exploring. This way you can spend time in Talihina and Mena as well as explore the state parks and hiking trails along the route.

Talimena State Park in Oklahoma and Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Arkansas both offer camping sites and hiking trails . The US Forest Service maintains them.

Whether you choose to camp along the way or stay in one of the towns on either end of the route, you need to make your bookings in advance. This is a more rural part of the country. There are many times of the year when there won’t be any rooms available at the last minute.

The best time of year is to take the trip in the last week of October or the first 2 weeks of November when the fall foliage is peaking. However, the viewpoints and vistas along this national scenic byway are beautiful any time of year.

Recommended by Stephanie of History Fangirl

13. Pacific Coast Highway (a favorite on this list of road trips USA)

Big Sur view of rugged coastline with wild flowers beach blue water

Distance: 615 miles Recommended time: 2 – 7 days Best time of year: anytime

Undoubtedly, the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the greatest road trips in America. Incredible coastal views greet you from a mix of big cities and untouched land. This San Francisco to San Diego road trip is one you absolutely must do in your lifetime!

While you could *technically* do this road trip in 2 days, you’ll see and experience a lot more of this incredible drive if you give yourself more time. Fly into San Francisco and rent a car and head south towards San Diego!

While there are so many amazing stops along the way, you absolutely must stay for a moment in Carmel-by-the-Sea. A charming beach town with beautiful architecture, this is one of the last stops to eat and fuel up before heading deep into Big Sur.

Along the way, there are so many cool and amazing things to do in Big Sur . Highlights include the Bixby Creek Bridge, McWay Falls and Sand Dollar Beach.

As you head further south in California, you’ll get to quaint beach towns than large Southern California cities. Go surfing or hiking near San Luis Obispo. Wine tastings in Lompoc, hang out on the beach in Malibu and visit the Santa Monica Pier.

The end this epic American roadtrip in a city that’s easy to love – San Diego. Visit the birthplace of California in Old Town San Diego and indulge in one of the many Mexican restaurants there. Check out the nightlife in the Gaslamp district or watch the sunset on the sparkling Coronado Beach.

This road trip can be done at any point in the year. The weather along Big Sur can be a bit moody with marine fog in the late spring/ early summer and wildfire season during early fall. Just pack layers for comfort and bring your camera for amazing landscapes!

14. Athens to Macon, Georgia

music museum with record and photos on walls

Distance: 93 miles Recommended time: 3-4 days Best time of year: anytime

Even though about 93 miles (less than two hours) separate Athens and Macon, Ga., the destinations share something in common besides just being college towns : both have played (and continue to play) a role in shaping American music culture. 

A three- or four-day getaway is suitable throughout the year, even in the winter, since the weather in Georgia tends to be mild-ish. Still, it is weather and can change ~ always have an umbrella available and except for summer, dress in layers.

It can be crowded in Athens during University of Georgia home football games in the fall. The best thing to do is to check the calendars and watch the weather reports. Accommodations in both places include vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, chain hotels and boutique hotels. Something suitable for all needs and budgets.

Begin this American roadtrip in Macon. It’s a little over an hour from Atlanta (for those who may be flying into Atlanta-Hartsfield Jackson Airport) and a straight drive down I-75 South. 

Macon’s music history ranges from soul with Otis Redding, funk with Little Richard, Southern Rock with Allman Brothers and much more. Download Macon’s Macon Music Trail app for stories and locations of attractions like the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House and The Little Richard House .

For true fans, a guided walking tour with Rock Candy Tours provides a detailed look at Macon’s music heritage. Finally, grab lunch at H&H Soul Food for the fried chicken and the connection to the Allman Brothers and end the evening at a music venue.

The drive from Macon to Athens is on highways. If you’re on good on time, take a break in Madison (about 35 minutes from Athens) to enjoy its quaint historic downtown.

Athens was at the forefront of the indie and rock alternative rock movement, introducing America and the world to R.E.M and B-52s, among others. A self-guided Athens Music History Tour highlights the many sites that played a role during these times . And don’t miss the Athens Music Walk of Fame, a two-square-block area downtown showcasing the people and places of the city’s rich music scene. 

Live music venues are plentiful in Athens, and festivals like Athfest, a three-day music event. This will surely be one of the best road trips in America for music-lovers!

Recommended by Apryl from   Southern Hospitality Magazine  

15. Road to Hana, Maui (a quintessential route on your road trips USA list)

road trips USA new of black sand beach green foliage and blue water in Road to Hana Maui

Distance: 52 miles Recommended time: 1- 2 days Best time of year: any time of year

The  Road to Hana  is a scenic 52-mile highway on Maui’s northern coast. A bucket list road trip, it provides one of the most iconic experiences in Hawaii, and for a good reason. It’s truly one of the greatest road trips in America!

On the narrow road, you will encounter 620 curves and 59 bridges, with many sections only accommodating one vehicle.

Whether staying in Maui or visiting for the day by cruise ship, pick up a car rental at the Kahului Airport to begin your journey . Expect to spend at least 2-1/2 hours making the drive or longer if you intend to go beyond Hana to Haleakala National Park.

You can make the trip any time of year (thanks to Hawaii’s great weather). You’ll need to purchase a visitor’s pass to visit the national park.

What makes this drive so spectacular is the plethora of scenery you can observe along the way. Imagine roadside cascading waterfalls, rainbow eucalyptus trees, a lava tube, and colored beaches begging for exploration.

For one of the best opportunities to view Hawaiian sea turtles, stop at Ho’okipa Beach, where they often bask in the sun . Keanae Landing, another can’t-miss stop, allows you to taste Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread, rated highly worldwide.

If you want to spend more than a day exploring the Hana area, the Hana-Maui Resort, a Destination by Hyatt Residence , offers a luxury stay with a restaurant and spa.

USA road trip tip : If you aren’t visiting Maui by cruise ship, plan to drive the Road to Hana when there are no ships in port. Then you’ll share the highway with fewer tourists.

Recommended by Karen of Forever Karen

16. Blue Ridge Parkway (vibrant fall colors American roadtrip)

greatest road trips in America view of road with fall foliage orange yellow green trees

Distance: 469 miles Recommended time: 3+ days Best time of year: October

Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most iconic scenic drives in America. It passes through Virginia and North Carolina where the endpoints are two national parks – Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

It spans 469 miles so it’s recommended to spend 3 days driving Blue Ridge Parkway so you have plenty of time to stop at overlooks, go hiking to waterfalls and explore local museums along the way.

If driving from north to south, on day one, be sure to stop at Humpback Rocks Visitor Center to learn about mountain pioneers. Then head to Yankee Horse Ridge for an easy to get to multi-tiered waterfall, Kanawha Canal Lock to learn about this historic innovation, and Mabry Mill, one of the most beautiful and iconic stops along the parkway.

Stay at the Grassy Creek Cabooses your first night for a unique experience sleeping in a converted train car.

On your second day, visit Puckett Cabin, where a mountain midwife helped deliver over 1000 babies! Visit the Blue Ridge Music Center where you can catch bluegrass concerts, and Linn Cove Viaduct, arguably the most iconic curve of the parkway that’s a photography hotspot.

You’ll end day two in Asheville where there are a number of places to stay, especially downtown!

On the final day of this US road trip, explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park where the highlights include Laurel Falls , Cades Cove, and Clingman’s Dome.

If hoping to catch the most spectacular views, try to visit during autumn when the fall foliage is out in full swing – it’s one of the best fall drives in the country!

Important Note: When traveling on Blue Ridge Parkway, be sure to check the official notices by the National Park Service as some parts of the road may be closed due to construction or weather damage.

Recommended by Alanna of Periodic Adventures

17. Oregon Coast (one of the absolute greatest road trips in America)

Oregon coast road trip view of large rocks off coast on dreary day

Distance: 730 miles Recommended time: 2-7 days Best time of year: June-August

If you’re looking for one of the most dramatic road trips in the United States, consider driving along the Oregon Coast. This awesome American roadtrip offers rugged beaches, jaw dropping seascapes, and dozens of charming towns to explore. 

Start the drive in Portland and head an hour and a half west to Cannon Beach, one of the most adorable towns along the coastline and known for its iconic sea stack, Haystack Rock. Here, you can peruse its quaint downtown, explore the beach’s tidepools, and hit any of the incredible hikes near Cannon Beach . For example, head to Ecola State Park for the Crescent Beach trail, where you’ll hike to a secluded beach.

Continue further south to the town of Newport. Here, you stop by the town’s docks to see dozens and dozens of sea lions. They happily bark the day away and stop at Seal Rock State Park, known for its wildlife sighting opportunities and unique sea stacks.

Finally, head further south to the southern section of the Oregon coast, Brookings. This is home to the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor, with some of the most stunning views in the state.

There’s a variety of things to do in the park, from stopping at scenic overlooks to exploring its hidden beaches. Once you’re done taking in the breathtaking sights, head back to Portland, completing a 730 mile loop around the western portion of the state. 

While you could drive the coastline in a day or two, the small towns along the way are best savored slowly. If you can build in about a week to mosey your way down the coastline, that would be best.

If you can swing it, visiting in the summertime is the best . The temperature is warm, the skies are clear, and you’ll have the best chance of spotting wildlife, like gray whales and puffins.

Although, the Oregon Coast is also dreamy December – February when there’s far less people too. The Oregon Coast is also one of the best winter road trips , too!

Recommended by Jessica from Uprooted Traveler

18. Savannah to Charleston

sunset view along Savannah pink sky during USA road trip routes

Distance: 107 miles Recommended time: 4 – 7 days Best time of year: April – June, September – November

If you’re interested in a coastal getaway and are a fan of majestic old oaks, Southern-style dining, and incredible architecture, then a road trip from Savannah to Charleston might be just the ticket! A week is an ideal amount of time to get a taste of these two pretty cities and the stunningly beautiful  South Carolina Lowcountry  that lies between them.

Begin your journey in Savannah, where you might feel as if you’ve stepped back in time a couple hundred years! The Historic District is filled with architecture from the mid-1800s . Cobblestone streets line the waterfront, and each square is shaded by old oaks covered in Spanish moss.

Stay in a historic property like  The Marshall House  or  Hamilton-Turner Inn .

While in Savannah, be sure to take a stroll down Jones Street, view the interior of the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, and dine at one of the city’s award-winning restaurants. (Common Thread, The Grey, and Brochu’s Family Tradition are three excellent options!)  

Savannah and Charleston are 107 miles apart, and the drive between them takes about 2 hours. HWY 17 to I-95 back to HWY 17 is the fastest route, but Okatie HWY is the most scenic way to go. Don’t miss a brief stop in Yemassee to see the Old Sheldon Church Ruins.

Beaufort is an ideal halfway stopping point along the route. It’s such a small city that you only need to stay one night to get a good overview (try the Cuthbert House Inn). Be sure to take a sunset stroll along the waterfront park and go on   a walking tour to see the beautiful historic homes in The Old Point area.

As you head into Charleston, the Angel Oak is a must-see on the outskirts of the city. It’s approximately 400 years old, with twisted branches that are a sight to behold!

Stay at  The Spectator Hotel , which is within easy walking distance to restaurants, shops, and landmarks. Charleston is known for award-winning restaurants like Husk, so a Charleston food tour  is always a good idea!

Spring is the best time of year to take this road trip, with fall running a close second. 

Recommended by Erin of Savannah First Timer’s Guide

Best road trips in USA – continued

Can you believe this list?! With some of the best American road trips yet to come, one of my favorites is up next!

19. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park

view in Glacier National Park with mountain peaks and lush greenery on sunny day

Distance: 50 miles Recommended time: 1 -3 days Best time of year: July – September

If you’re looking for one of the very best USA road trip routes, this is it! The Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is one of the most breathtaking experiences you’ll have.

In just 50 short miles, this road trip really packs a punch! The Going-to-the-Sun Road can obviously be done in one day, but taking 3 (or more) days to explore is ideal.

Located in northern Montana and at over 6600 feet in elevation, the Going-to-the-Sun road experiences heavy snowfall and isn’t cleared of snow until July. And because it typically starts snowing again by October, the season to do this incredible road trip is short.

Note: due to the high volume of visitors, a vehicle reservation is required for the Going-to-the-Sun Road (and most of the rest of the park as well).

These can be a pain to get, with strict deadlines and they go super fast. However, you can enter the park before 6am or after 3pm without a reservation and drive the road and explore all that it has to offer.

It truly is a stunning drive! Along the way, you’ll pass Lake McDonald, which hold’s nature’s skittles – brightly colored rocks that line the shores of the lake.

If you’re up for hiking, you’ll love Avalanche Lake Trail , Hidden Lake Trail, and Virginia Falls, one of the best waterfalls in Glacier National Park.

Pro tip: vehicle passes don’t ensure you’ll find a parking spot. Arrive at the park early and have a plan B if parking is full. Use this Glacier National Park itinerary to set up your plan for this incredible park!

20. Phoenix to Page Arizona (one of the BEST southwest US road trips)

best American road trips view of large red rocks at sunset with hikers on ledge

Distance: 600 miles Recommended time: 7+ days Best time of year: March – May, September – November

The Phoenix to Page Arizona road trip itinerary  is one of the best road trips in America that offers a blend of natural beauty and urban charm. The journey starts and ends in Phoenix, covering approximately 600 miles in total, making it a perfect loop trip for travelers who want to explore the best of Arizona .

To fully appreciate the journey, it is recommended to take at least 7 days to complete the route.

Phoenix is the starting point of this road trip, and it is a city worth exploring. Visitors can experience fun hikes, mouthwatering restaurants, interesting museums, and beautiful shopping areas. The neighboring city of Scottsdale is also worth a visit. Known for its luxurious spas, resorts, and golf courses, there’s so many things to do in Scottsdale .

After exploring Phoenix, head to Sedona, famous for its red rock formations and stunning natural beaut y. Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, exploring their vortexes, or visiting wineries.

Next up is Flagstaff, which is famous for its beautiful mountain scenery and historic downtown. Here, visitors can explore the famous Route 66 and visit the Lowell Observatory, which was where Pluto was discovered .

From Flagstaff, the journey continues to Page, which is home to the famous Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.

After Page, you’ll head to the majestic Grand Canyon, which is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Grand Canyon offers stunning views, and visitors can explore the park on foot or helicopter tour .

The best time to take this road trip is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and comfortable . During the summer, the temperatures can reach up to 100 degrees, making outdoor activities challenging.

It’s also important to note that some parts of the road trip itinerary may be closed during the winter due to snowfall.

Recommended by Destiny of Guided by Destiny

21. New England during the fall (one of the best road trips in USA)

road trips USA stop along waterfalls over rocks with fall foliage in distance

Distance: 830 miles Recommended time: 5+ days Best time of year: October

For a true bucket list experience, you have to do a road trip in New England during the fall. It’s truly one of the best road trips in America! Enjoy the stunning array of colorful foliage and classic, charming small towns in the region. 

If you’re flying in, plan to start and end at Boston Logan International Airport with a rental car . Otherwise, adapt this loop to your own starting point.

This road trip is a loop spanning about 830 miles. You can certainly add more destinations if you have more time! You can do this trip in 5 days but a week or more would be ideal to add even more stops into the mix.

Start in Boston and head just north of the city to the iconic fall town of Salem, Mass. Whether you’re into Hocus Pocus or history, visitors love Salem for its Halloween vibes and fun fall events. Just be sure to book accommodations early during this very busy season!

From Salem, head north to Bar Harbor, Maine. En route, stop in Portland for a foodie adventure. This is the longest drive at just over 200 miles, but there is ample opportunity to stop along the way for coastal views and foliage photo ops.

You could spend a week in Bar Harbor alone, but from there, your road trip will backtrack a bit before cutting west into New Hampshire. Spend the night in Conway so you can start your drive through the White Mountains early the next morning . This is a truly idyllic destination in the fall! 

From Conway, take a 15-minute detour up to Bartlett for a quick, easy morning hike to the very pretty Diana’s Baths. Then you’ll drive across NH along the incredibly scenic Kancamagus Highway; plan to stop several times for photo ops! After crossing the state, you’ll basically follow the border between NH and VT before cutting across Vermont to the pretty town of Manchester.

From Manchester, you can skirt Green Mountain National Forest and head southeast back toward Boston. If you do have more time, add more stops for a more robust 1-week New England fall road trip to maximize your adventure.

Recommended by Amanda of Hey! East Coast USA

22. Texas Hill Country (an underrated American roadtrip)

best road trips in USA view of blue river with trees and green meadow in Texas Hill Country

Distance: 300 miles Recommended time: 2 – 7 days Best time of year: March – April

A road trip through Texas Hill Country is one of the best road trips in the US due to the amazing things to do and sights to see along the way. This drive starts in Austin, ends in San Antonio, and has dozens of charming small towns along the way.

At just under 300 miles long, this road trip can be completed in one day. However, travelers can easily fill 7 days with all there is to experience.

There is plenty to explore year round. Beware of the Texas heat in summer months and plan plenty of swimming hole stops. Spring is the best time of year for this road trip. Hill country comes alive with  Texas bluebonnets  and other wildflowers making for a gorgeous scenic drive.

Starting in Austin, consider checking out the Capitol building, live music in the Red River District, and the beautiful metropolitan park, Zilker Park. If you happen to be doing this road trip during October, be sure to check out the best haunted houses in Austin , too.

Then, head out west toward the sweet towns of Burnet and Marble Falls. Explore Longhorn Caverns, discover Devil’s Watering Hole at Inks Lake, and pick up a slice of pie at the Bluebonnet Café.

Fredericksburg is the next highlight on your road trip and also a great spot for staying overnight.

The numerous wineries, beautiful German heritage woven throughout the town, and the beauty of a hike at Enchanted Rock can keep you busy for several days. In spring, head to Jenschke Orchards to pick strawberries or for fresh peaches in the summer. An overnight stay at the Behr House is sure to please!  

As you start heading south, check out the historic post office in Luckenbach, lavender fields in Blanco, cowboy boots tour and Blue Hole in Wimberley, and the Comal River in New Braunfels . Don’t miss brisket from Salt Lick in Driftwood.

End your road trip in historic San Antonio by visiting Riverwalk and the Alamo. Dinner at The Pearl Historic District and pastries from Mia Tienda will end your Hill Country road trip with delicious local fare.

Such a fun adventure, and one of the best USA road trip routes!

Recommended by Sierra from Very Truly Texas

23. Southern Colorado

sand dunes with footprints and mountains in distance blue sky

Distance: 800 miles Recommended time: 7 – 14 days Best time of year: June – September

Colorado has some of the most beautiful places in the country, and nothing makes that more clear than a road trip around southern Colorado . While most people visit to explore the Rockies, there is so much more to Colorado than just the Rockies. This road trip will show you why southern Colorado is really where you want to be.

Assuming you start and end in Colorado Springs, the road trip will cover about 800 miles through some of the most scenic places in the country. If you’re flying into Denver International Airport, add about 180 miles total.

Start your trip off with a scenic drive through Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs before ascending up to Pikes Peak. It’s the second highest paved road in the United States, just outside of the city.

From the peak head straight across Highway 50 to southwest Colorado, stopping by Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. While far less known than the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Black Canyon is impressive in its own right with its sheer 2700 foot drop to the river below.

From Black Canyon, head south through the San Juan Mountains, stopping by Silverton to do one of the best hikes in Colorado, the Ice Lake Hike . When your legs are sufficiently exhausted, continue to Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde protects the most impressive and well-preserved ancient Puebloan cliff cities in the US.

You’ll then head across southern Colorado on highway 160, a simply stunning drive with breathtaking scenery around every turn. Be sure to stop in for a craft beer in Durango before making your way to Great Sand Dunes National Park. There, you’ll find the tallest and most impressive sand dunes in North America. Do some dune hiking before heading back to Colorado Springs.

The best time of year to complete this road trip is summertime between June and September. It’s possible to visit all the places on the route year-round (except the Ice Lake hike). Summer will have the most pleasant weather and best hiking opportunities. 

This is certainly one of the best road trips in America, and one full of unexpected adventures.

Recommended by Chris of Around The World With Me

24. Florida Keys from Miami to Key West (another favorite on this list of road trips USA)

beach and palm trees blue sky white clouds along florida keys road trip

Distance: 165 miles Recommended time: 1- 3 days Best time of year: December – June

One of the very best road trips in America is driving the Florida Keys on Highway 1. From big party cities on either end to tropical vibes along the way, this is one fun road trip you’ll want to drive!

The Miami to Key West road trip can technically be done in a day, but it’s best done over 3 days, at minimum. That would give you one day in Miami, one day in Key West and one day to explore the islands between.

Although if you have a week or more, that’s even better! Just after leaving Miami, make a stop in Everglades National Park . From birdwatching to the short Anhinga Trail hike, you’ll love seeing nature in this park.

Another stop along the way is Key Largo. From a glass-bottom boat tour to snorkeling , this island offers a lot of water activities. Robbie’s in Islamorada is a popular spot to stop and feed the tarpons   – so fun!

The famous 7-mile bridge is an engineering feat as you drive down Highway 1. Finally making it to Key West, you’ll find shops, restaurants and historic hotels greet you with open arms. It’s quite the busy little island, welcoming passengers from cruise ships by the day and a live party scene at night.

Stay in the Kimpton Winslow’s Bungalows in the historic district, or on Smather’s Beach at Margaritaville Beach House Key West . You can fly back out of Key West, although it may just be more affordable to drive back to Miami.

This fun route from Miami to Key West down Highway 1 is truly one of the greatest road trips in America, and holds a deserving spot on this list!

Recommended by Nikki of She Saves She Travels

25. Oahu Circle Island Tour (a tropical USA road trip route)

Oahu hawaii view of teal water and coastline on sunny day

Distance: 60 miles Recommended time: 1-3 days Best time of year: year-round!

Dive into the depths of Hawaiian culture and explore the sights, sounds, scents, and flavors of Oahu on a classic circle island tour. It’s absolutely one of the best road trips in USA, even though it’s on an island thousands of miles offshore. 🙂

This route is an ideal way to get a better sense of all Oahu offers. From world-famous beaches, lush rainforests, and vibrant cities to small towns with uniquely local flair.

Start and end the trip in Honolulu, driving 60 miles around the island’s perimeter. You can spend from 6 hours to 2-3 days on this route, based on where you want to stop and how much time you want to spend there.

No trip around Oahu is complete without a stop at the iconic Waikiki Beach. You can take in the crystal-clear waters and picturesque sunset views.

Other highlights include…

  • Byodo-In Temple, located on the Windward Coast
  • Chinaman’s Hat, a small islet off the shore of Kualoa Ranch
  • Banzai Pipeline, a world-famous surfing spot on the North Shore
  • Dole Plantation for its famous pineapple fields and ice cream
  • Laie Point or Makapu’u Point Lookout for some of the most beautiful views in all of Hawaii

Be sure to also marvel at Waimanalo Waterfall, tucked away in the Ko’olau Mountains, and the breathtaking Ka’ena Point Natural Area Reserve.

Embarking on this journey during the summertime is ideal due to the longer days, yet it can still be a memorable experience year-round . Just keep in mind that you may encounter crowds at beaches on weekends and holidays and when the waves are high.

If you’re looking for a guided tour, there are many tours you can book to do the circle island tour of Oahu. If you’d rather have an adventure of your own, renting a car is the perfect option! With apps like Shaka and Gypsy to assist with planning and managing your itinerary, you can guarantee yourself an extraordinary experience.

Recommended by Melodie of Travel Must Do’s

26. Badlands to the Black Hills (an unexpected one on this list of best road trips in USA)

view of tan sandy rock spires with hiking trail on sunny day

Distance: 60 miles Recommended time: 1 – 3 days Best time of year: May – September

In western South Dakota, visitors find a land of great contrasts and great beauty. The Black Hills got their name because the dense, dark pine trees make the hills appear almost black. The landscape is so starkly bare in Badlands National Park that it appears almost otherworldly.

Luckily for visitors, you can visit both within just a few hours–although you could easily spend weeks exploring all the beauty and fun in western South Dakota. This is one of the best, unexpected US road trips!

For the ultimate western South Dakota road trip, visitors can start at Badlands National Park in Interior, South Dakota.

Inside the park, visitors drive the 31-mile Badlands Scenic Loop Road to the Ben Reifel Visitors Center . There are so many things to do in Badlands National Park like hike the park’s beautiful trails and stop at scenic overlooks for spectacular views of the park’s colorful rock formations. Be sure to watch for bison, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs!

After exiting to Wall, South Dakota many visitors stop at Wall Drug for free ice water (and snacks and souvenirs.)

Then, it’s a short jaunt on interstate 90 to the South Dakota Air and Space Museum. This free aerospace museum on Ellsworth AFB is home to more than 30 aircraft and tons of other artifacts and exhibits.

A few minutes further and you’re in Rapid City and can check out all the town has to offer. Check out Storybook Island, Dinosaur park, Presidential statues downtown, and fossils at the Museum of Geology on the Campus of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. 

Then, it’s less than a half hour from downtown Rapid City to the Black Hills. Take the Peter Norbeck Scenic Highway to see attractions like Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park.

The beauty of the rock formations in the Black Hills, the trees, the wildlife, and the view are absolutely breathtaking.

Recommend by Lindsay of Siouxland Families

27. Washington DC to Asheville

mountains near Asheville at dusk with purple sky best road trips in America

Distance: 471 miles Recommended time: 5 days Best time of year: March – May, September – October

A road trip from Washington, DC to Asheville, North Carolina can be driven in just eight hours but you’ll miss a lot of historic southern towns. Plan on a long five-day vacation and make frequent stops.

Your first stop on this American road trip is Front Royal via Route 66. This charming town offers the best apple donuts to pack for your all-day hiking in Shenandoah National Park . Rent an Airbnb or book a campsite inside the national park.

Wake up bright and early the next day to enjoy a big flapjack breakfast then head out on 1-81 South via I-66 W. Select a detour to Luray Caverns or antique shopping in Strasburg.

Plan to reach the 215-foot-tall Natural Bridge by noon . Carved out by Cedar Creek, the limestone bridge offers vistas of the forests and rolling meadows. Explore seven miles of hiking trails and the beautiful Lace Falls, a 30-foot waterfall cascade.

Then, spend time touring the Monacan Indian Village or participate in seasonal living history programs. Book your second night at Wyndham’s Natural Bridge Hotel surrounded by Blue Ridge Mountains.

On your next morning head into the hills of east Tennessee to explore Johnson City. Choose between hiking at Buffalo Mountain Park or boating at Winged Deer Park.

In the afternoon, explore Sycamore Shoals Historic Park, which is a former Cherokee site. Alternatively, visit Gray Fossil Site and Museum to see mastodon fossils. Schedule the hour drive to  Asheville  before nightfall where you can pplurge and book a room at the historic Omni Grove Park Inn .

On your last morning, book a morning walking tour to learn about the city’s Art Deco architecture. Then head to the Arts District to explore working artists’ studios. Leave time for a two-hour drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway to admire the stunning scenery at road stops . Extend your USA road trip (if time permits) to tour the Biltmore Estate.

Recommended by Terri of Female Solo Trek

28. Southwest USA (one of the BEST road trips USA)

US road trips view of road with rocky cliffs in distance

Distance: 950 miles Recommended time: 6 days Best time of year: March – May, September – November

Going from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon is only the beginning of an epic southwest USA road trip. It starts and ends in the City of Lights – Las Vegas. To complete the itinerary in a moderate way, you will need 6 days (not counting the days in Las Vegas ). The distance of the whole itinerary is around 950 miles. Along the way, you will get your ‘kicks on Route 66’, visit 3 US States, and the most Instagram-worthy national parks. From Grand Canyon to Page with Horseshoe Bend you’ll surely be in awe of America’s natural wonders.

In Page you will also visit the famous Antelope Canyon, but before that, make a stop at the the famous spot where Forrest Gump stopped running, Monument Valley.

The best place to stay in the Monument Valley in Goulding’s Lodge , where you get stunning sunset and sunrise views of Table Mountains and Monolites.

On your way back to visit Zion National park, and add Bryce Canyon as an optional stop. The last stop before returning to Vegas should be Valley of Fire, a popular wedding photoshoot location with amazing hikes. The great part about this road trip is that it can also be done in reverse. You can do this road trip at any time of the year, but winter would be the least favorable.

The best time would be spring or autumn, when temperatures are moderate and there is no snow on the roads. Summer, also a great time to follow this southwest itinerary, can be crowded and extremely hot.

Whichever time of year you choose, you won’t be disappointed. Just be careful if driving at night as the roads are full of wildlife that will be extremely hard to spot. This may just be one of the very best US road trips you will take! Recommended by Anja of Anja On Adventure

29. Milwaukee to Minneapolis

American roadtrip through upper midwest river and bridge with city skyline in distance

Distance: 336 miles Recommended time: 5-8 days Best time of year: June-October

If you’re looking for a great northern Midwest road trip, plan a road trip from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Minneapolis, Minnesota. You’ll be able to see some of the best of the upper Midwest, including important US cities and charming small towns.

Start with two days in Milwaukee. Explore the iconic Milwaukee Art Museum, eat a fabulous lunch at the Milwaukee Public Market, and spend time strolling through the historic Third Ward.

Leaving Milwaukee, you can spend a few days enjoying Wisconsin’s smaller but still important cities and towns. Three stops worthy of spending a night or two include Madison, Wisconsin Dells, and Eau Claire. If you make your road trip during the fall, look to see if there are any football or basketball games happening in Madison during your trip. This is truly one of the greatest college towns in America!

Continue on to Minneapolis. Devote 3 days to enjoying the best of the Twin Cities. There are tons of  great free things to do in Minneapolis  and St. Paul. See the Stone Arch Bridge from the Guthrie Theater, wander through the Minneapolis Institute of Art and tour the Cathedral of St. Paul. 

Other can’t-miss sites along this USA road trip include the Mall of America, the Museum of Russian Art, and Fort Snelling State Park.

Road trips USA

view of curvy road with mountains in background blue sky lots of greenery

There you have it! 29 of the very best US road trips you’ll find . From driving through vibrant fall colors, to marveling at the sparkling blue water in Hawaii, to hopping in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon, the adventures are truly endless.

Let’s recap this amazing list one more time (in a slightly quicker fashion…)

Best US road trips

  • Utah national parks
  • Ozark Mountains
  • Beartooth Highway
  • Florida Springs
  • Extraterrestrial Highway, Nevada
  • Washington DC to Boston
  • Seward to Denali, Alaska
  • Newfound Gap Road, Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Coastal Carolinas
  • LA to Joshua Tree National Park
  • Talimena Scenic National Byway
  • Pacific Coast Highway
  • Athens to Macon, Georgia
  • Road To Hana, Maui
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Oregon Coast
  • Savannah to Charleston
  • Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park
  • Phoenix to Page, Arizona
  • New England
  • Texas Hill Country
  • Southern Colorado
  • Florida Keys from Miami to Key West
  • Oahu Circle Island Tour
  • Badlands to the Black Hills, South Dakota
  • Washington DC to Asheville
  • Southwest USA
  • Milwaukee to Minneapolis

Related posts to read next: 30 Gorgeous West Coast Road Trip Routes You Gotta See to Believe 26 Absolute Best (and Underrated) Fall Drives in the US You’ve Gotta See to Believe 17 Exciting Winter Road Trips USA: Scenic and Unexpected Routes You’ll Love 12 Epic Scenic Drives Colorado (Map + Tips + Photos)

Find this guide helpful? Save it for later or share it on social media!

29 stunning road trip ideas in the USA with photos of mountain road sunset over hillside and road through desert scene

Saturday 4th of March 2023

We love road trips! I definitely need to take the Utah road trip and I would also love to drive Beartooth! We did a little bit of the ET Highway last spring and it was fun! Great post. Lots of exciting options!

Friday 10th of March 2023

Yess Yvonne! Sounds like you've got some good options coming up. So much to discover via a USA road trip ❤️

TheTravel

13 Road Trips To Take In The USA That Are Bucket-List Worthy

  • Stunning coastal views and charming towns make the Pacific Coast Highway a bucket-list-worthy road trip in California. (100 characters)
  • Route 66 is perfect for history buffs, connecting small towns and offering iconic landmarks along the way. (102 characters)
  • The Great River Road, spanning 10 states, provides a scenic route along the Mississippi River for an ultimate bucket list road trip. (129 characters)

There's something inherently alluring about the open road. The wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and the freedom to explore new destinations and experiences. From adventures on the rugged coastline of the Pacific Northwest to the stunning vistas of the Southwest, the United States is home to some of the most iconic and breathtaking road trip routes in the world. This article lists some of the best bucket-list-worthy road trips to take in the USA for a memorable adventure. So, grab those keys, buckle up, and get ready for an experience of a lifetime on one of America's most scenic roads .

UPDATE: 2023/12/07 11:27 EST BY AARON SPRAY

Even More Great Road Trips To Take In The United States

The United States is famous for being one of the best places for road tripping. There are plenty of potential road trips to take all through the United States (and not only in the Lower 48). This list was expanded to include even more excellent road trip ideas to explore the nation.

Related: 10 Of The Most Scenic Byways In The U.S. (Perfect For A Road Trip)

Pacific Coast Highway, California

Staggering sheer drops and coastal views are what make this pacific coast adventure stand out.

The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most famous road trips in the US , stretching along the California coastline between Orange County and Mendocino County, covering a distance of approximately 655 miles. The highway is considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world, offering breathtaking ocean views with stunning beaches, rugged cliffs, and charming coastal towns.

Some of the must-see spots along the Pacific Coast Highway include the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Bixby Bridge, the Hearst Castle, the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Pfeiffer Beach, and McWay Falls. The drive also takes you through the spectacular Big Sur region, overlooking the coastline and the Santa Lucia Mountains.

  • Length: 655 miles
  • When To Go: September through October
  • Bucket List Stop: Pfeiffer Beach to see the falls

Route 66, Illinois to California

Perfect for history buffs, route 66 tells stories of america's midwestern glory days.

Stretching from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica in California, covering a distance of approximately 2,448 miles, Route 66 is one of the most iconic highways in the US and offers plenty of places to visit along the way. The highway is a popular route for travelers, as it connects many small towns and rural areas in the Midwest and the Southwest.

Some of the must-see attractions and landmarks along the highway include the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri; the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas; the Grand Canyon in Arizona; and the Santa Monica Pier in California.

  • Length: 2,448 miles
  • When To Go: May and September
  • Bucket List Stop: Blue Whale of Catoosa to add a quirky, famed landmark to the trip

Great River Road, Mississippi River

This route covers 10 states in total, making it an ultimate bucket list road trip.

The Great River Road is a national scenic byway that follows the course of the Mississippi River from its headwaters in northern Minnesota to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. The road passes through 10 states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee, and Louisiana, covering a distance of approximately 3,000 miles.

Some of the highlights of the Great River Road include the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri; the Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi; and the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. The road also passes through several national and state parks, such as Itasca State Park, Effigy Mounds National Monument, and Natchez Trace State Park.

  • Length: 3,000 miles
  • When To Go: During the fall months , September through November
  • Bucket List Stop: The French Quarter in New Orleans for an authentic Crescent City experience

Related: 10 Bucket List Road Trips To Take In The US This Fall

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

Known for being the most scenic mountain road in the south, the blue ridge scenery is unparalleled.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic drive, spanning 469 miles through the Appalachian Mountains, connecting Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. The road is among the best road trips US states have to offer, especially due to the fact it provides breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, rolling hills, valleys, and various opportunities for hiking, biking, picnicking, and wildlife watching.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most popular scenic drives, offering visitors a variety of attractions, including overlooks with panoramic views, hiking trails, picnic areas, and historic sites. Some of the most popular stops along the parkway include the Peaks of Otter, Linville Falls, Craggy Gardens, and the Linn Cove Viaduct.

  • Length: 469 miles
  • When To Go: Mid-May through Mid-September
  • Bucket List Stop: Shenandoah National Park to take in the beauty of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains

Discover the best stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway when planning a road trip adventure along this road.

Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

Seven mile bridge connects travelers to bahia honda state park, making it perfect for nature lovers.

The Overseas Highway is a 113-mile scenic road that connects mainland Florida with the Florida Keys , a chain of islands stretching southward into the Gulf of Mexico. The highway, which is easily among the best road trips in the US in terms of ocean scenery, offers stunning views of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean - thereby also providing opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and wildlife watching en route.

Some of the highlights of the Overseas Highway include the Seven Mile Bridge, Bahia Honda State Park, and the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, which features hundreds of colorful butterflies and exotic birds. Other popular stops along the highway include the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, the Dolphin Research Center, and the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, home to the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States.

  • Length: 113 miles
  • When To Go: Between January and April
  • Bucket List Stop: Bahia Honda State Park to appreciate the untouched beauty of this Florida Keys landscape, and any spring season festivals

The Pacific Northwest

In stark contrast to other pacific roads, the northwest scenic byway offers dense woods, mountain views, and scenic waterways.

The Pacific Northwest Scenic Byway, also known as the Cascade Loop, is another one of the most beautiful road trips in the US. It's a 440-mile scenic route that winds through the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, offering stunning views of snow-capped peaks, rushing rivers, and lush forests, allowing travelers to enjoy various outdoor recreation and cultural exploration along the way.

The Scenic Byway is dotted with charming mountain towns such as Leavenworth, and Winthrop, offering a Wild West vibe with wooden sidewalks and historic buildings. Other highlights of the Pacific Northwest Scenic Byway include North Cascades National Park, Lake Chelan, Methow Valley, and the Columbia River Gorge, a stunning river canyon, a popular spot for hiking, rock climbing, and waterfall viewing.

  • Length: 440 miles
  • When To Go: During the spring or summer months
  • Bucket List Stop: North Casades National park, where travelers can cross off bucket list hikes, wildflower viewing, and scenic waterfalls off their list

Related: A Road Trip To Remember: The 10 Most Scenic Drives For Your Spring Vacation In The U.S.

The Grand Circle, Southwest USA

This route takes travelers through scenic rocky canyons between utah, arizona, new mexico, colorado, and nevada.

The Grand Circle is a scenic route that takes visitors through some of the most iconic national parks and monuments in the American Southwest. The route includes the states of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada, stretching over 1,400 miles of stunning desert landscapes, ancient ruins, and geological wonders.

The Grand Circle route typically starts and ends in Las Vegas, Nevada, passing through iconic national parks like Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, and Canyonlands, known for their towering red rock formations, stunning canyons, and unique geological features. Other highlights of the Grand Circle route include Monument Valley, Mesa Verde National Park, and the Hoover Dam.

  • Length: 1,400 miles
  • When To Go: April to May, or September to early November
  • Bucket List Stop: Monument Valley to explore hoodoos and other unique geological formations

The Great Lakes Circle Tour

Perfect for small town lovers and scenic lakeside views, this route promises all the beauty of the great lakes.

The Great Lakes Circle Tour is a scenic road trip taking visitors around the five Great Lakes. The route is approximately 6,500 miles long and passes through eight US states and the Canadian province of Ontario, allowing travelers to enjoy a variety of landscapes, from urban areas to small towns and rural countryside.

Along the way, visitors can explore national parks like Isle Royale, Pictured Rocks, and Niagara Falls, with various historic lighthouses, beaches, and scenic overlooks. One of the highlights of the tour is the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and the St. Lawrence River, offering stunning views of the Thousand Islands, known for its charming waterfront towns.

  • Length: 6,500 miles
  • When To Go: During the summer months , between June and August
  • Bucket List Stop: Niagara Falls for those who have never been, or Pictured Rocks for those who have

The Black Hills and Badlands, South Dakota

Early america can be seen on this route, in the form of several landmarks and even a former midwest mining town.

The Black Hills and Badlands route is a scenic driving route passing through some of the most iconic natural landmarks in South Dakota. The route covers approximately 150 miles, taking visitors through a variety of landscapes, including the rugged badlands, towering granite peaks, and pristine forests, including several iconic attractions, such as Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and Badlands National Park.

Some other notable stops along the route include Custer State Park, Deadwood gold-mining town, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame, which celebrates the history and culture of motorcycle enthusiasts.

  • Length: 150 miles
  • Bucket List Stop: Badlands National park to witness some of the most famous landmarks in American history

Related: Hit The Road: 10 Unforgettable Adventures Await With These U.S. Road Trip Ideas

The Texas Hill Country

Small towns and country that span for miles exude the true charm of the texas hill country route, offering the best views in the state.

The Texas Hill Country route offers picturesque views of beautiful rolling hills and charming small towns of central Texas. The route is approximately 200 miles long, extending between Austin and San Antonio. The region is known for its stunning landscapes, historic sites, and unique cultural attractions. The road through Texas Hill Country takes visitors through several scenic small towns, such as Fredericksburg, Gruene, and Luckenbach. These are some of the best towns in the Texas Hill Country , each particularly known for its charming shops, restaurants, and live music venues.

One of the highlights of the route is the scenic drive along the winding roads of the Hill Country. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the landscape from the many lookout points and scenic overlooks along the way.

  • Length: 200 miles
  • When To Go: During the months of April, May, and October
  • Bucket List Stop: Fredericksburg, which is a bucket list destination for small town lovers

The Dalton Highway, Alaska

With this route being the only one that crosses the arctic circle, the dalton highway is the definition of "bucket list".

The Dalton Highway is the northernmost highway in the United States and the only road trip in this list that crosses the Arctic Circle. The Dalton Highway is an all-weather road but also incredibly remote and one that requires extensive planning (be prepared for breaking down in the remote Alaskan wilderness).

The Dalton Highway runs from Fairbanks (the main city in Interior Alaska) and ends at Deadhorse in Prudhoe Bay (near the Arctic Ocean).

  • Length: 414 miles
  • When To Go: June to mid-July , when the highway is usually dry
  • Bucket List Stop: Finger Mountain Wayside, which also has an interpretive half-mile hiking trail for those seeking more scenic overlooks

Hawaii Big Island Circuit Drive

While hawaii might seem out of the way, the big island circuit drive is worth the flight to see active volcanoes and stunning coastal landscape views.

The Big Island of Hawaii is by far the largest island in the Hawaiian Island Chain and is home to some of the world's most active volcanoes and some of the most stunning landscapes. One of the epic drives to consider is to drive around the Big Island. The two main roads on the Big Island are Highways 11 and 19 and taken together they create one big loop around the whole island.

  • Length: 300 miles
  • When To Go: During the months of April, May, August, September, and October
  • Bucket List Stop: Pepe'ekeo Scenic Drive is at the start of Highway 19, just north of Hilo

Seattle To Fairbanks North American Drive

It wouldn't be a bucket list trip if it didn't have a unique route, and the drive from seattle to washington and fairbanks, alaska, also brings travelers through canada.

This suggested road trip from Seattle in Washington to Fairbanks in Alaska is the only American road trip to also pass through Canada. This is a mammoth 2,150-mile road trip passing through some of the remotest landscapes of North America (including British Columbia and the Yukon Territory). Alternatively, to keep it an all-American 'road trip', consider taking the Alaska Marine Highway - a ferry network that is part of the American highway system that bypasses Canada.

  • Length: 2,150 miles
  • When To Go: During summer months, preferably early June and July
  • Bucket List Stop: While Fairbanks is the ultimate bucket list stop, saving some time to explore Canada can also add a unique aspect to this road trip

13 Road Trips To Take In The USA That Are Bucket-List Worthy

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USA : Road-trip au cœur des Grands Lacs, séjour linguistique anglais adolescent Niveau 2

Un voyage linguistique pour apprendre à maîtriser les techniques low-tech d'autonomie en pleine nature ↓ Lire le descriptif détaillé plus bas ↓ Niveau 2

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Into the Great Lakes Get down to it ! Survival Skills

Accueil > Les Séjours > USA : Road-trip au cœur des Grands Lacs, séjour linguistique anglais adolescent

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Publics : 13-25 ans / Adultes /

Participants : 12

Encadrants : 2 éducateurs scientifiques

Langues Proposées : Anglais,

Saisons : Eté,

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Au cœur de la région mythique des grands lacs américains, l’une des plus grandes réserves d’eau douce du monde, vous apprendrez à tester et mettre au point des systèmes de potabilisation de l’eau low-tech mais aussi les différentes techniques de vie en expédition et en pleine nature ! Ce séjour en itinérance aux Etats-Unis est aussi linguistique et donc entièrement en anglais.

« The Great Lakes »

Séjour niveau 3 à 4 :

Raise up your survival skills ! Profitez de ce séjour pour apprendre les techniques de base pour expérimenter l’autonomie en pleine nature : faire un feu sans laisser de traces, minimiser et gérer les déchets pendant les treks, camper, s’orienter… Vous apprendrez aussi à utiliser vos connaissances pour imaginer, inventer des techniques simples et low-tech pour améliorer vos compétences de survie. Sur ce séjour, vous imaginerez par exemple des techniques de potabilisation d’urgence de l’eau. En parallèle, nous nous pencherons sur l’étude de la qualité de l’eau des lacs Michigan, Huron et Supérieur (lacs figurant parmis les plus grands du monde). Ce séjour en road-trip et trek autour du lac Michigan (voir carte dans paragraphe « Programme ») se déroulera entièrement en anglais et est ouvert quel que soit votre niveau.

Vous trouverez ci-dessous la plaquette de présentation en libre téléchargement :

road trip grands lacs usa

Le programme Water Watch auquel appartient ce séjour vise globalement à étudier le milieu aquatique. Suivez nous sur notre site web et sur Facebook pour connaitre notre actualité et nos autres séjours.

Sur ce séjour, notre principal thème de recherche est l’EAU. L’objectif premier est de nous poser les bonnes questions, pour tenter d’y amener de bonnes réponses. Ce lieu n’a pas été choisi au hasard, puisque les Grands Lacs représentent la plus grande réserve d’eau douce du monde. Tous les Grands Lacs sont connectés les uns aux autres, et cette eau douce est potentiellement potable ! Il semblerait pourtant qu’elle le soit de moins en moins… En effet l’impact de nos activités humaines est grandissant sur la pollution de ces eaux. Par exemple, le ruissellement de la pluie, ou la fonte des neiges, amène dans les lacs tout ce que nous laissons trainer ou jetons au sol (mégot de cigarettes, plastiques, papiers, détritus...). Nous nous poserons plusieurs questions : Quels sont les moyens déjà mis en place pour tenter d’endiguer ce phénomène ? Quel est leur impact ? Que pouvons-nous faire ? Nous contrôlerons la qualité des eaux et tenterons de mettre en place un système autonome permettant de transformer de l’eau non potable, en eau potable. Les événements amenant des situations d’urgence sont courants (cyclones, inondations d’envergure, tremblements de terre, sécheresses), mettant en évidence que le besoin d’accès à l’eau potable permanent est indispensable à la vie des populations en toutes situations et en tout lieu. On ne peut faire sans eau potable ! De plus dans les régions ravagées ainsi que dans beaucoup d’autres lieux, l’accès à l’électricité est souvent compliqué, voire inexistant. Ce sont donc des sujets essentiels que sont la diminution de la pollution et la capacité du traitement autonome de l’eau. Nous mènerons recherches et expérimentations sur des systèmes efficaces et à la portée de tous pour rendre potable tous types d’eau : eau de source, eau de lac, eau de mer, eau de pluie...) Nous aborderons également des thèmes comme le climat, le petit et le grand cycle de l’eau.

EXPERIENCES Nous mènerons plusieurs expériences sur l’eau afin de la nettoyer, de la rendre potable, en recherchant l’autonomie des systèmes que nous mettons en place (le soleil est par exemple une source d’énergie gratuite). Nous imaginerons par exemple des systèmes de potabilisation d’urgence de l’eau construits à partir de matériaux simples et nous les testerons pour déterminer s’ils pourraient être utilisés ! Nous analyserons ainsi les éléments chimiques potentiellement toxiques présents dans l’eau et la présence de bactéries qui peuvent être pathogènes en les mettant en culture sur des boites de pétri. En complément de la création de systèmes autonomes d’eau, nous analyserons grâce à un kit de tests chimiques l’eau des lacs Michigan et Supérieur pour déterminer leur qualité.

A LA RENCONTRE DE SCIENTIFIQUES LOCAUX Tout au long du séjour nous irons à la rencontre de scientifiques ou acteurs locaux engagés dans la préservation de l’eau des grands lacs. Nous serons ainsi amené à visiter des stations de traitement des eaux, une université américaine basée sur l’étude de l’eau douce et ses laboratoires. Nous rencontrerons une avocate ou encore des « rangers » qui veillent à la protection des écosystèmes et de l’eau de grands lacs. Et serons ainsi amenés à participer avec eux à des missions pour stabiliser les berges par exemple ou nettoyer des plages.

Anglais – Compétences de survie – Maîtrise du Feu – Qualité de l’eau – Utilisation d’un couteau multi usage en pleine nature – Écologie – Protection de l’environnement – Culture Nord-Américaine – Autonomie – Création de systèmes autonomes – Immersion Nature – Soutien à structure de recherche – Vie de groupe
Matériel scientifique : Malette d’échantillonnage de l’eau – Thermomètres – Appareils photo – Ordinateurs – Rocket-stove – Couteaux – Éprouvettes - Loupes – Microscopes – Outils divers Matériel logistique : Le matériel de groupe (tente, réchaud, abris de groupe, gamelles) sont fournis par le programme cependant le matériel personnel (matelas, sac de couchage, vêtements, etc.) doit être amené par le participant. Voir liste ci-dessous.

Le séjour a lieu au cœur de la région des Grands Lacs (entre le Lac Michigan et le Lac Supérieur), proche de la frontière entre les États-Unis et le Canada. Nous découvrirons l’histoire de la ville de Chicago, connue comme la ville des vents, pour ses films de gangsters et the Loop, son métro aérien ! Nous ferons le tour du lac Michigan, en passant du temps sur les rives sud du Lac Supérieur, voir le lac Huron, et revenant via le grand pont Mackinac qui sépare la lac Michigan du lac Huron Nous randonnerons au cœur d’immenses forêts et visiterons des parcs nationaux qui nous permettrons de découvrir la grande diversité de la faune et de la flore locales. Nous nous immergerons même en faisant un bivouac de plusieurs jours. Nous partagerons aussi ensemble l’expérience de vivre à proximité d’une des plus grandes retenues d’eau douce du monde. Il est merveilleux de s’y baigner ! À lui seul, le volume d’eau contenu dans le Lac Supérieur peut recouvrir l’ensemble de l’Amérique du Nord d’un pied d’eau (1 foot = 30 cm).

Notre séjour sera rythmé par l’ensemble des tâches de vie quotidienne (préparation des repas, installation des campements, vaisselle, écriture du Journal de Bord), que nous effectuerons à tour de rôle. Nous aurons des temps de visites, de sciences, de randonnées, de rencontres, de recherche, de détente et de baignade, de travail vidéo ou de rédaction de rapports scientifiques, de veillées au feu de camp, etc. Le programme détaillé du séjour vous sera remis dans le carnet du participant lors de votre inscription. Lors de cette expédition, nous apprendrons certaines techniques de survie et d’autonomie en plein nature. En l’occurrence, nous pratiquerons les 7 principes sans trace afin de limiter au maximum notre impact sur le territoire (allumer un feu sans trace, la gestion des déchets, se déplacer et camper sur des surfaces fragiles, savoir s’orienter etc…)

SEJOUR LINGUISTIQUE L’intégralité du séjour sera réalisée en anglais (vie de groupe, sciences et activités). L’immersion dans cette langue sera donc complète. Les éducateurs scientifiques parlent couramment anglais et français.

CULTURE Nous nous immergerons dans la culture Nord-Américaine, pour découvrir quelles sont les différences de mode de vie avec notre civilisation européenne. Un tel voyage réserve son lot de surprises et découvertes ! Cette expédition sera également le moment d’en savoir plus sur les communautés des Premières Nations afin de découvrir une culture qui a une toute autre approche avec la Nature. Tout en se posant des questions sur les problématiques actuelles des “Droits de la Nature”, nous tâcherons d’en apprendre plus sur cette culture ancestralement plus respectueuse de la Nature pour tenter de mettre en valeur cette vision d’harmonie entre l’humain et la Nature et de la ramener avec nous dans nos bagages.

VIE DE GROUPE En expédition, chacun est autonome et responsable de ses affaires (tente, matériel de camping, vêtements). L’expédition se mène en groupe et c’est en équipe que nous réalisons les tâches journalières. Cet effort de chacun est nécessaire à la bonne vie du groupe. Nous savons par expérience qu’une expédition de ce type est un souvenir inoubliable. Les adolescents ou jeunes adultes que nous encadrons vivent une forte expérience de la vie de groupe, à l’étranger, loin du confort quotidien. Nous aimons travailler, lors de ces séjours, sur l’autonomie : celle des systèmes mis en place lors de nos recherches, mais aussi sur celle de chaque participant individuellement et au sein du groupe. Les activités et les travaux que nous menons, ainsi que la vie en camp, amène une expérience forte de l’entraide, de l’esprit d’équipe, et de la responsabilité de chacun face à l’autonomie d’un groupe dans un contexte d’expédition. Sur place nous serons tous attentifs à chacun, tout en essayant de faire évoluer tout un chacun dans ses facultés, comme dans ses compétences. La vie en expédition est une aventure : entraide, écoute, partage, cette expérience scientifique et humaine sera utile pour les avancées de la science mais également pour tes connaissances personnelles.

Maxime Bourhis Responsable scientifique, pédagogique et logistique du projet « Into the Great Lakes » Master en gestion des ressources naturelles BAFA Grand voyageur dans l’âme, passionné par tout ce qui touche à l’environnement et amateur de photographie. Blandine CAQUET Responsable du programme WATER WATCH Docteur en biologie forestière Responsable scientifique et animatrice à la Vigie de l’Eau Responsable du programme WATER WATCH qui regroupe les séjours « International Vittel Water Science Camp », « International Lausanne Water Science Camp », « USA : Au cœur des Grands Lacs » et « Canada Sauvage et Aventure » Brevet de surveillant de baignade
Discussion en cours avec : Adventurescientits La vigie de l’eau (Vittel, FRANCE) Madelyn EK – États-Unis Membre du Superior Watershed Partnership (Marquette, USA) Master en Sciences Environnementales Conférencière : « Nine lives of a cigaret butt » Article dans ABC10 Article dans The Mining Journal

Ce séjour se passe entièrement sous tente avec quelques nuits en bivouac. La majorité des nuits seront en camping où nous aurons accès aux sanitaires, à l’électricité, à l’eau potable et parfois à internet. Pour les nuits en bivouac nous serons en autonomie complète afin de vivre au mieux une expérience unique d’expédition au cœur de la forêt. Cette mission est également le moment de découvrir les différentes techniques de vie en expédition : montage de camp, préparation du matériel, cuisine en plein air, techniques de survie (allumer un feu, utiliser une carte, boussoles et GPS, etc.), apprendre la vie de groupe en expédition, prise de décision, etc.

Par Clémence M.

Super séjour très bien encadré ! Ce n’est pas grave si vous ne parlez pas très bien anglais, vous êtes là pour apprendre. Les paysages sont magnifiques, les américains très gentils, et les rencontres et activités très intéressantes. Les 2 semaines sont passées très vite ! Juillet 2023.

Par Chloé L.

Je recommande le séjour scientifique "Into the Great Lakes" : l’endroit est incroyable et les projets scientifiques sont très intéressants. Juillet 2023.

Par Antonin L.

Très beau séjour qui fait grandir ! Juillet 2023.

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;)

Bonjour, Je dois demander un ESTA pour le séjour INTO THE GREAT LAKES. Quelles informations mettre dans la rubrique « U.S. POINT OF CONTACT INFORMATION » ? Il faut en particulier un nom de contact, une adresse, un numéro de téléphone. Merci pour l’aide, Fred

Bonjour, vous recevrez toutes les informations pour l’ESTA entre 1 mois et 2 semaines avant le début du séjour. L’ESTA est rapide à obtenir, pas de soucis Cordialement Equipe OSI.

Bonjour mon fils est végétalien (vegan), cela posera t’il un problème pour le séjour au lac Michigan ?

Bonjour, OSI privilégie au maximum les légumes et crudités sur ces séjours et s’efforce de réduire la consommation de viande lors des repas. Cependant, comme dans toutes expéditions à l’étranger, nous sommes soumis aux choix des aliments locaux (et le choix en légumes est quelquefois limité). Compte tenu de ces contraintes et limites, ça ne nous pose donc pas de problème que votre fils soit végétalien pour réaliser le séjour. Merci

L’arrivée à l’aéroport Nous récupérons tous les participants à l’aéroport international de Chicago, O’Hare International Airport (ORD) dès la sortie de la zone « arrivées internationales », et accompagnons l’ensemble des participants jusqu’au contrôle de sécurité au moment des départs. Les participants sont souvent plusieurs à prendre le même avion. Des vols directs existent depuis l’aéroport Paris Charles de Gaulle. Programme Le programme n’est pas fixe et est lié à la disponibilité de nos partenaires locaux. Il s’accompagne par l’analyse fréquente des lacs visités, par à la participation d’événements locaux spontanés et par du temps libre. Voici une idée du programme Jour 1 : Arrivée des participants. Jour 2 : Prise de contact avec le lieu et le thème du séjour. Jour 3 : Visite de Chicago (et peut être station de traitement des eaux) Jour 4 : Visite de la Freshwater University à Milwaukee Jour 5 : Randonnée sur le lac supérieur et visite de Marquette Jour 6 : Visite des stations de traitement et de purification de l’eau à Marquette. Nettoyage des plages avec Alliance for the Great Lakes Jour 7 : Journée avec l’association des bassins versants du lac supérieur + Bivouac Jour 8 : Visite du « Picture rock national lake shore » (2 e nuit de Bivouac) Jour 9 : Rencontre de « ranger » ; et visite des maisons de la natures du parc. Jour 10 : Visite du lac Huron Jour 11 : Recherches et expériences sur l’eau potable et espèces envahissantes. Jour 12 : Rencontre de l’avocate travaillant pour l’association For Love of Water/ visite du parc « sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore » Jour 13 : Technique de filtration de l’eau/IBGN Jour 14 : Rencontre avec partenaires locaux ou visite d’un jardin botanique Jour 15 : Départ.

La vidéo tournée par les participants en 2019 et qui retrace leur séjour !

DOCUMENTS PERSONNEL OBLIGATOIRES

Pour les arrivées hors des États Unis :

  • 1 Passeport biométrique
  • Photocopie de l’Assurance rapatriement
  • Photocopie des documents importants (passeport, billets d’avion...)
  • Billets électroniques aller et retour
  • Autorisation de sortie de territoire pour les mineurs français (AST) : https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F1359
  • Formulaire ESTA complété : https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/

Tout le monde :

  • 1 Pièce d’identité en cours de validité
  • Les ordonnances pour tout traitement devant être pris pendant le séjour
  • Si arrivée en avion : Billets électroniques aller et retour
  • La Charte covid signée

MATÉRIEL AUTONOMIE

  • Sac de couchage chaud -5°C
  • Matelas de sol léger de camping
  • Sac à dos 65 litres de 20kg (23kg max. sinon surcharge à l’aéroport)
  • Petit sac à dos (30 à 40 litres) pour les affaires d’une journée. Sac cabine d’avion
  • 2 Gourdes (1 ou 1.5 litre) (en soute)
  • Lampe frontale
  • Piles de rechange pour frontale
  • Moustiquaire pour la tête
  • Sac pliable étanches (1 de 10L vêtement et 1 de 20L pour sac de couchage)
  • Serviette légère
  • Brosse à dent
  • Savon biodégradable (petit volume) (en soute) (savon de Marseille ou savon d’Alep)
  • Shampoing biodégradable
  • Dentifrice (petit tube)
  • Couteau camping (couteau suisse) (à mettre dans le sac de soute)
  • Thermos (facultatif)
  • "Petite trousse de pharmacie perso (Pansements, (ampoule), traitement médical en cours si nécessaire : une copie ou l’originale des ordonnances est obligatoire)"
  • Lotion anti moustique
  • Crème solaire
  • Sac poubelle (protection humidité)
  • "Ne pas apporter de cosmétiques, parfum, crèmes, déodorants très parfumés. Ils peuvent attirer les ours."
  • Manteaux de pluie (goretex) Coupe vent
  • Pantalons de pluie
  • Parapluie pliable (conseillé)
  • Polaires x2
  • Chaussure de marche imperméable
  • Chaussure de rechange pour le soir chaudes
  • Crocs ou sandales
  • Sous vêtements chauds haut et bas
  • Chapeau ou casquette
  • Lunette de soleil
  • Grosse chaussette pour le soir
  • Petits gants
  • "Vêtements longs et amples pour le soir (protection contre moustiques)"
  • "Chaussettes (nb en fonction de la durée du séjour) (pas de socquettes basses)"
  • Culottes - slips (nb en fonction de la durée du séjour)
  • T-shirt (nb en fonction de la durée du séjour)
  • 2 pantalons en coton légers ou synthétiques (pas de jeans)

MATERIEL OBSERVATION

  • Jumelles (facultatif)
  • Carnet stylos Crayon
  • Appareil photo ou caméra (facultatif)

Vous pouvez télécharger le trousseau, le compléter et le joindre aux affaires de votre enfant :

Vous pouvez également apporter avec vous, ce que vous aimeriez DONNER à l’association :

  • Déguisements en bon état
  • Matériel scientifique (microscopes, oscilloscopes…) en état de fonctionnement
  • Consommable scientifique et technique (composants électroniques, réactifs…) utilisables
  • Ordinateurs capables de supporter au minimum Windows 8, Linux, ou Mac
  • Matériel utile (Vidéoprojecteurs, jumelles, lecteurs de musique et hauts parleurs, etc)
  • Matériel incroyable mais vrai (avion téléguidé qui fonctionne, télescope, serre en kit, etc)
  • Toute autre idée que vous auriez, et dont vous pouvez nous faire part à l’avance pour valider sa faisabilité ou son intérêt - dans ce cas, rapprochez vous de l’interlocuteur avec qui vous êtes déjà en relation

Nous sommes également à la recherche sous forme de dons, de véhicules, bâtiments, fonds de dotations testamentaires, terrains... si vous avez un projet, une envie de nous aider dans notre mission, contactez nous !

A voir aussi

Bâtir en terre crue pour un monde écologique : cas des (...).

A vous tous amoureux de la terre crue, et qui rêvez de découvrir, (...)

  • 16-25 ans/Familles
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road trip grands lacs usa

Références pratiques

  • Remplissage du Formulaire de Liaison

Institutionnel

  • L'association Objectif Sciences International
  • Mentions légales

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  • 80/373 Provence
  • 2/373 11-17 ans
  • 26/373 ExplorEarth : Géologie, Volcans, Montagnes
  • 5/373 12-17 ans
  • 4/373 12-17 ans/Familles
  • 1/373 12-25 ans/Adultes
  • 14/373 UNIVERS : Astronomie et Astrophysique
  • 1/373 13-15 ans
  • 19/373 13-17 ans
  • 6/373 13-18 ans
  • 37/373 13-18 ans/Adultes
  • 5/373 13-18 ans/Familles
  • 11/373 13-25 ans
  • 19/373 13-25 ans / Adultes
  • 18/373 13-25 ans/Adultes
  • 20/373 13-25 ans/Familles
  • 1/373 Auvergne
  • 42/373 Pyrénées
  • 15/373 16-18 ans/Adultes
  • 14/373 16-25 ans/Adultes
  • 3/373 16-25 ans/Familles
  • 9/373 18-25 ans/Adultes
  • 73/373 18-25 ans/Adultes
  • 1/373 18-25 ans/Familles
  • 108/373 7-9 ans
  • 2/373 Camargue
  • 5/373 Mathématiques
  • 12/373 OSI PANTHERA : Panthère des Neiges
  • 16/373 PALEOZOIC : Dinosaures et Paléontologie
  • 1/373 Pays Basque, Golf de Gascogne
  • 10/373 Alpes du Sud
  • 193/373 Familles
  • 132/373 10-12 ans
  • 13/373 Bretagne et Normandie
  • 13/373 WATER WATCH : Etude de la qualité chimique physique et écologique de l’eau
  • 12/373 12 ans
  • 2/373 Désert (Maroc)
  • 302/373 13-15 ans
  • 1/373 Bassin d’Arcachon
  • 13/373 Islande (Reykjavik)
  • 329/373 16-17 ans
  • 1/373 OSI Mov’ For Change : Films de science
  • 22/373 Québec (Canada)
  • 8/373 Vosges, Vittel, Nancy
  • 212/373 18-25 ans
  • 10/373 Tahiti et Polynésie Française
  • 5/373 USA (YellowStone)
  • 182/373 Adultes
  • 1/373 En Ville, à Paris
  • 8/373 Dates, Places, Tarifs
  • 4/373 Japon (Péninsule d’Izu)
  • 3/373 WILD ATTITUDE : Rapports entre êtres humains et animaux
  • 18/373 BIODIVERSITA : Formations Naturalistes
  • 4/373 PERCEPTION et WATERWATCH - Spécial Labos
  • 3/373 Rio (Brésil)
  • 19/373 BIODIVERSITA : Suivi du Loup et de son Habitat
  • 5/373 BIODIVERSITA : Suivi du Lynx et de son Habitat
  • 2/373 PERCEPTION : Grands Écosystèmes Icônes
  • 10/373 BIODIVERSITA : Séjours d’étude de la Biodiversité
  • 8/373 BIODIVERSITA : Expéditions d’étude de la Biodiversité
  • 22/373 CETIS et SUB’ECOSYSTEM : Suivi de la Biodiversité Sous-Marine, des Dauphins et des Baleines
  • 11/373 Genève (Camp de Jour)
  • 9/373 DRONE : Ecole de Pilotage, Conception et Fabrication
  • 6/373 CHIP HACKADEMY : Robotique et Electronique pour la Science
  • 1/373 inTERRAction : Le Low-Tech sauve le Monde - Technologies Appropriées
  • 80/373 RENCONTRES DE L’EXCELLENCE : Formation pratique à l’excellence et au leadership
  • 5/373 Paris (Camp de Jour)
  • 1/373 BIODIVERSITA ET UNIVERS : Découverte de la faune et la flore et du ciel étoilé
  • 5/373 PERCEPTION : Écosystèmes, Rivière, Eau
  • 21/373 PERCEPTION : Écosystèmes, Forêts, Arbres
  • 2/373 AGRI’CULTURE
  • 1/373 IROKO : Santé communautaire
  • 3/373 Biologie de l’Évolution
  • 1/373 CREA : Centre de Recherches sur les Écosystèmes d’Altitude
  • 3/373 BIODIVERSITA : Suivi de l’Ours et de son Habitat
  • 1/373 TRONC COMMUN OSI : Formation Continue et Déploiements des Compétences
  • 1/373 Spécial Fin d’Année

IMAGES

  1. Top 5 des plus beaux lacs de l'Ouest américain

    road trip grands lacs usa

  2. The Great Lakes Tour: A Circle Road Trip Itinerary

    road trip grands lacs usa

  3. The Largest Lakes in the United States by Surface Area

    road trip grands lacs usa

  4. Road trip USA : A la découverte de Chicago et des grands lacs

    road trip grands lacs usa

  5. Les 10 plus beaux lacs des États-Unis

    road trip grands lacs usa

  6. Michigan : voyage dans l'état des grands lacs

    road trip grands lacs usa

COMMENTS

  1. Road trip USA : A la découverte de Chicago et des grands lacs

    Un Road trip aux USA à la découverte de Chicago et des grands lacs Le middle West américain n'est pas forcément la région du pays la plus prisée des touristes, contrairement à la Californie, cependant, elle a de quoi séduire les amateurs de road trips. Au programme : grands lacs et plages, parcs nationaux et bien sûr Chicago !

  2. Autotour dans les Grands Lacs : 17 jours et 15 nuits

    Autotour dans les Grands Lacs : 17 jours et 15 nuits Nos guides Liste cadeau / mariage Espace client Afrique Afrique du Nord & Moyen-Orient Amérique du Nord Amérique latine & Caraïbes Asie Europe du Nord Europe du Sud Îles & Océanie En famille En amoureux Entre amis Voyage & handicap Des voyages construits sur mesure

  3. Grands Lacs États-Unis

    Voyage en voiture classique à travers les Grands Lacs des États-Unis Distance : 2 231 km Durée de séjour idéale : 6 jours Circuit panoramique au cœur du Midwest Des zones urbaines dynamiques, de charmantes petites villes et de magnifiques parcs et plages émaillent les rives des Grands Lacs.

  4. Voyage Chicago et les grands lacs

    De Chicago à San Francisco - La grande traversée des USA en train. Traverser les Etats-Unis d'est en ouest, dans le sillage des pionniers, à bord d'un train de légende. 10 jours, de 4800 à 5900 €. NOS VOYAGES CHICAGO ET LES GRANDS LACS.

  5. Un Road trip aux USA en 2024 : Le guide ultime de préparation

    1 - Quand partir pour un road trip aux USA. C'est à mon sens, la première question à se poser si vous envisagez un road trip sur le territoire américain. Enfin, pour être précis, je dirai qu'il faut réfléchir à la chose en même temps que l'itinéraire de votre road trip mais aussi en fonction du prix du billet d'avion pour y ...

  6. Road trip dans l'ouest du Michigan

    Road trip dans l'ouest du Michigan Holland Area Visitors Bureau L'ouest du Michigan, son lac grandiose et ses jolies villes fluviales Par Idoia Gkikas Distance : 1 114 km Durée de séjour idéale : 5 jours Réputé pour sa beauté naturelle et ses nombreuses activités de plein air, le Michigan est un État à explorer en prenant son temps.

  7. Best USA Road Trips: 18 Ideas for Your Next Big Adventure

    #1 Route 66 Distance: 2,448 miles Length of Time: 1 to 2 weeks to drive the entire distance, or you can drive a section of Route 66 When to Go: All year Highlights: Chicago, ghost towns in New Mexico and Texas, quirky roadside shops and restaurants, Petrified Forest National Park, Santa Monica.

  8. The Perfect 7-Day Grand Circle Road Trip (USA)

    Day 1: Arrive in Las Vegas Photo by Kirstyn Paynter on Unsplash Las Vegas can be reached via a flight or drive. If you only have 7 days, I recommend resting from the jet lag, and choose to fly in to Vegas rather than drive. On this first night, have a good dinner and rest up before the hiking and exploration begins.

  9. 2 Week USA Road Trip Itinerary: California, Las Vegas & the Grand Canyon

    This itinerary includes highlights of California, such as Yosemite and Death Valley national parks, as well as the Pacific Coast Highway, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It also has you driving some iconic stretches of Route 66, spending time in Las Vegas, and taking a visit to the incredible Grand Canyon. This is an extension to the popular ...

  10. 12 Amazing Stops on a Los Angeles to Grand Canyon Road Trip

    Here are some of the best places to stop on your Grand Canyon road trip from Los Angeles. 1. Death Valley National Park, CA. If you decide to do the northern route on your Grand Canyon trip from Los Angeles, your first major stop will be Death Valley, which is one of my favorite national parks in California.

  11. Région de la baie des Grands Lacs, Michigan

    L'aéroport international MBS se situe en plein cœur de la région de la baie des Grands Lacs, dans le Michigan. Trois autres aéroports internationaux se trouvent également à moins de deux heures de route : Bishop International Airport (FNT) à Flint, Lansing Capital Region International Airport (LAN) à Lansing et Detroit Metropolitan ...

  12. Circuit 3 semaines dans l'Ouest américain

    Ce circuit de 3 semaines, réalisable en voiture ou en camping-car, vous emmène à la découverte des plus grands et beauc parcs nationaux de l'Ouest américain : Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park...

  13. 15 BEST USA Road Trips of a Lifetime 2023 (Photos + Maps)

    If you're interested in this road I recommend checking out our article on the best things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park. 14. Natchez Trace Parkway. Location: Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, USA. Distance: 444 miles (715 km) Suggested Time: 5 days. Minimum Time: 1 day. Best Time of Year: October - November.

  14. Les Grands Lacs à moto USA

    A partir de 1860 €. 18 jours. & 16 nuits. 4100Km. Niveau : Facile. Découvrez la région des grands lacs à moto aux USA lors de ce circuit en liberté. Vous passerez par le célèbre lac Michigan et le mythique lac Ontario. Ce dernier sépare le Canada des États-Unis. Vous verrez aussi le lac Érié sans oublier Wisconsin Dell.

  15. The Great Lakes Tour: A Circle Road Trip Itinerary

    The Great Lakes tour is a circle road trip route through the United States and Canada to key sites along Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Ontario, and Erie. ... We had booked the 10:00 AM Classic Grand Tour at Apostle Islands Cruises, the best way to get an overview of the area. It is a 55-mile, 3.25 hour scenic cruise, superbly narrated by ...

  16. 5 Fabulous Trips to Plan Around America's Great Lakes!

    Chicago, Illinois. Chicago is one of the most iconic cities in the country, both for its skyline, architecture, and deep-dish pizza. Located on Lake Michigan, it's a city known for thinking big (after all, it is called The Windy City). For your next family getaway to the great lakes of the USA, consider a trip to Navy Pier!

  17. Circuit 2 semaines dans l'Ouest américain

    Grand Circle : les grands classiques de l'Ouest américain. Ce circuit permet, en 2 semaines, de découvrir Grand Circle, une formidable boucle serpentant dans le Nord de l'Arizona et le Sud de l'Utah et qui regroupe les plus beaux parcs nationaux de l'Ouest américain, comme Bryce Canyon NP ou Grand Canyon NP, mais aussi le spectaculaire ...

  18. 21 Best Road Trips in the U.S. to Take in 2023

    1. Bangor, Maine, to Seattle, Washington: The Great Northern on U.S. Route 2 Covering both the U.S. and Canada, a cross-country trip along U.S. 2 is ideal for anyone who wants to experience the vast diversity and expansiveness of North America.

  19. Où et quand partir aux USA

    Grands Lacs Midwest Louisiane Texas Sud-Ouest Nord-Ouest Nord-Pacifique Californie et Nevada Alaska Hawaii Quand partir aux USA ? La météo/le climat L'affluence Contraintes de calendrier Les vacances scolaires aux USA Nouvelle-Angleterre

  20. 29 AMAZING Road Trips USA: Scenic (& Underrated) Routes You'll Love

    You're going to love this amazing list of the best road trips in America! 1. Utah national parks road trip (one of the absolute best road trips in America) Stunning views in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah😍. Distance: 878 miles. Recommended time: 6-10 days. Best time of year: spring, summer or fall.

  21. 13 Road Trips To Take In The USA That Are Bucket-List Worthy

    Great River Road, Mississippi River This route covers 10 states in total, making it an ultimate bucket list road trip . The Great River Road is a national scenic byway that follows the course of ...

  22. Best Places to Travel with Grandparents and Family

    At Road Scholar, we have some of the best multigenerational family vacations in the USA to choose from. Explore Broadway in New York City with performances and a walking tour that's family-friendly and awe-inspiring. Or, take an outdoor adventure with your grandchildren on a horseback and canoe tour in the Ozarks.

  23. Great Lakes Road Trip in the Midwestern USA

    Separated from Canada by the Detroit River, which flows from scenic Lake St. Claire into Lake Erie, "Motor City" Detroit is an iconic stop for your Great Lakes road trip. During the early and mid-20th century, this Michigan city was the center of the U.S. automobile industry. You can learn all about Detroit's motor history at one of ...

  24. USA : Road-trip au cœur des Grands Lacs, séjour linguistique anglais

    Au cœur de la région mythique des grands lacs américains, l'une des plus grandes réserves d'eau douce du monde, vous apprendrez à tester et mettre au point des systèmes de potabilisation de l'eau low-tech mais aussi les différentes techniques de vie en expédition et en pleine nature !