The Most Scenic Road Trips in the U.S.

As the uncertainty surrounding global travel continues, domestic travel is growing in popularity. At InsureMyTrip, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of policies purchased for domestic trips, accounting for 50 percent of policies purchased in June 2020 as compared to 11 percent in June 2019.

As many Americans are preparing for summer travel, we have specifically noticed an increased interest in road trips. Using Google Keyword Planner, we observed an 83 percent increase in searches for ‘US road trip’ in May 2020 as compared to the previous year.

Road trips, whether taken with family, friends or as solo adventures, offer travelers new experiences without the hassle of flying. They can also stretch moderate travel budgets much further, especially as gasoline prices are at their lowest in more than four years.

With this in mind, InsureMyTrip has compiled a list of the most scenic road trips in America – including both long and short drives – to help inspire your next getaway.

Midwest:

Badlands scenic loop

The Badlands Scenic Loop is a section of South Dakota’s Route 240 and Route 44, which allows road trippers to effortlessly tour Badlands National Park. This 39-mile loop includes countless overlooks that highlight the one-of-a-kind geology Badlands National Park is known for. For adventure travelers, the park also offers backcountry hiking trails that take you deep into the remote wilderness.

Region: Midwest

Best time to go: May – June, August – September

Distance: Approx. 39 miles

Leisurely Travel Time: 4-6 hours

Northeast:

Kancamagus Highway

The Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire is the epitome of a scenic New England roadway. It follows the state’s Route 112 from Conway to Lincoln. Road trippers and motorcyclists alike enjoy the winding, tree-lined highway. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, swimming and sightseeing. Some highlights include the Albany Covered Bridge, the Russell-Colbath Historic Site and Upper Lady’s Bath.

Region: Northeast

Best time to go: April – October

Distance: Approx. 56 miles

Leisurely Travel Time: 4-8 hours

Southwest:

Scenic Byway 12

 Utah’s State Route12 provides the ideal way to see the state’s renowned canyon country. The 123-mile trip connects Bryce National Park and Capitol Reef National Park. Boasting close proximity to several state and national parks as well as monuments, the rich history and unique natural landmarks makes this route one of the most popular U.S. road trips.

Best time to go: April – May, September – October

Distance: Approx. 123 miles

Fastest travel time: 3 hours

Leisurely Travel time: 2-4 days

Northwest:

Oregon Coast Highway

Highway 101 in Oregon takes travelers 363 miles along the state’s Pacific coastline. Stops include Astoria, Cannon Beach, Indian Beach Trail and Coos Bay to name a few. Picturesque beach towns and unique landmarks dot the roadway with plenty of rest stops for road trippers to take in the views.

Best time to go: June – September

Distance: Approx. 363 miles

Fastest travel time: 10-12 hours

Leisurely travel time: 2-4 days

Southeast:

Blue Ridge Parkway

If you’ve ever wanted to visit the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks, the Blue Ridge Parkway is the ultimate way to experience it. The 469-mile stretch of road winds through Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina and showcases the Appalachian Mountains in all their glory. Easy access to hiking trails and plenty of unique wildlife makes the route ideal for animal and hiking enthusiasts.

Best time to go: May – September

Distance: Approx. 469

Fastest Travel time: 13-15 hours

Leisurely travel time: 2-4 days

West:

Pacific Coast Highway

You can’t have a road trip list without the infamous Pacific Coast Highway. The 600+ mile stretch of road takes you by several famous landmarks and points of interest, including Point Bonita Lighthouse, San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and Santa Monica plus many more. We advise planning ahead and make sure there are no last-minute road closures due to rockslides or severe weather.

Best time to go: May – October

Distance: Approx. 656 miles

Fastest travel time: 11-13 hours

Leisurely Travel time: 2-5 days