Top 10 Greatest Road Trips In America

Ever since automobiles were invented and paved roads began to crisscross the nation, Americans have been going on road trips. Whole industries sprung up around these early adventurers, including motels and roadside souvenir shops. Here are ten road trip routes that some consider to be the greatest of all.

Route 66
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/caveman_92223

1: Route 66

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Address: Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA

Known as the Mother Road and the Main Street of America, Route 66 stretched from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California, a distance of 2, 248 miles. With the advent of the interstate system, Route 66 was corrupted to the point of being nearly obliterated in some places. But there are still portions of the road that can still be traveled, taking one back to a place in time where folks were friendlier and more helpful, where motels could be designed like tepees, and where roadside diners served up local gossip along with their pie and coffee.

I-90 Coast to Coast
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/sounderbruce

2: I-90 Coast to Coast

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Address: Seattle, WA to Boston, MA

Stretching from Seattle, Washington, to Boston, Massachusetts, the longest interstate highway in the nation bisects the Continental Divide near Butte, Montana. Through the Midwest I-90 follows several toll roads that predate the interstate system. Interstate 90 crosses the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and finally, Massachusetts. Because this is an interstate highway, you will need to plan the trip to not miss any of the many points of interest along the way.

Highway 101 & Pacific Coast Highway
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/gamene

3: Highway 101 & Pacific Coast Highway

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Address: Highway US-101

Highway 101 begins in Tumwater, Washington and more or less follows the coastline down through Oregon to Los Angeles, California. It crosses the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon. The place where the Columbia meets the Pacific has become known as the Graveyard of the Pacific due to its treacherous nature. It goes through a number of intriguing coastal towns that will inspire you to stop and explore. In northern California the highway winds its way through giant redwoods, through San Francisco, and ends in the greater Los Angeles area.

Blue Ridge Parkway
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/ncbrian

4: Blue Ridge Parkway

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Address: 2551 Mountain View Rd, Vinton, VA 24179
Website: www.nps.gov

For a peaceful drive through hills bursting with color, from spring rhododendrons and dogwoods through the reds and golds of autumn leaves make the drive touted as America's Favorite Drive. This route stretches from just north of Cherokee, North Carolina, to just west of Afton, Virginia. It connects North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Virginia's Shenandoah National Park. Along this route you can see old homesteads, mountain meadows, split-rail fences, waterfalls, and Mt. Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi.

Highway 50 - The Loneliest Road
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/springfieldhomer

5: Highway 50 - The Loneliest Road

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Address: Highway US-50

Trekking through the bareness of Nevada, Highway 50, where it's known as the Loneliest Road, you can follow US Highway 50 all the way from Sacramento, California, to Ocean City, Maryland. Before the interstate system overpowered it, Highway 50 went all the way to San Francisco. In the Midwest it primarily passes through farmlands, but also goes through Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri, and Cincinnati, Ohio. After passing through the Appalachian Mountains, US 50 makes its way through Washington, D.C., completing slightly less than the 3,073 miles that the sign at Ocean City, Maryland, proclaims.

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