10 Best Places to Visit on your Great American Road Trip

While gas is still relatively cheap, there’s no better time than to go on a road trip through your country’s own backyard. America has so much to offer when it comes to scenic routes, interesting locales, rich cultures, and diverse communities; you just have to go out there and go see it! We’ve compiled a list that will combine both the notorious must-see locations and the hidden gems that all provide once in a lifetime experiences. So, without further ado, let’s begin our trip.

1: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/tofoli.douglas

This is the perfect geological mix of deep valleys, sky-high peaks, and untamed forests filled with wildlife. This is where the Grand Teton Park lies, offering plenty of exploring and educational opportunities for families. Everything in Jackson Hole makes you feel like a small, vulnerable, and fortunate mammal. Mother Nature reigns supreme, with all her beauty and diversity on full display.

Address: Jackson Hole, WY

2: Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Okay, lets never assume that anyone has seen and done all there is to do at the Grand Canyon in one lifetime. Hypothetically, if you could find someone who has, you must ask them if they’re bored of going, and if their answer is anything besides “no” then you better walk away slowly. Needless to say, every road trip should include The Grand Canyon if there is any small chance of ever passing by within a safe driving distance.

Address: Grand Canyon, AZ
Website: www.nps.gov

3: Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs, Texas

Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs, Texas
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Leon Bovenkerk

This popular spring and summer break hangout was created au natural and has always drawn a lot of attention due to its refreshing and fun waterfall that dropped down an impressive fifty feet from above. Even if you don’t seek a wild and crazy diving opportunity, there are plenty of reasons to chill around the reserve. Grab a bite to eat and soak up some rays, it’s fun just watching people jump.

Address: 24300 Hamilton Pool Rd.Dripping Spgs, TX 78620

4: Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

We head up north on our road trip of America to visit the proud and historic town of Cape Elizabeth where we find an iconic lighthouse that overlooks the jagged shores and crisp blue waves. The stark contrast of the light pink lighthouse and the blue ocean is a picture that must be seen to be believed.

Address: 1000 Shore Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

5: Monument Valley, Utah and Arizona

Monument Valley, Utah and Arizona

Another valley on our trip, because they are awesome and easy to access, why not visit them all? This is one valley that is monumental, to say the least. Its layers of hot colors give definition to monumental cliffs and caverns that tell a history of when America was being carved by wind and water.

Address: Monument Valley, UT

6: San Francisco/Bay Area, California

San Francisco/Bay Area, California
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Bernard Spragg

This could easily be a road trip inside the Bay Area of Cali all by itself, but for the sake of brevity, we will include it as one pit stop of many. There is so much packed in the Bay, culturally and geographically. You could visit Golden Gate and spend a day picnicking and exploring there, wander the streets via trolley, and visit endless numbers of museums, shows, and restaurants until your wallet gives in.

Address: San Francisco, CA

7: Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Jeff Gunn

If you had to visit one park on the list, it would have to be Mount Rainier’s. It’s the ultimate road trip fodder, spanning great distances and numerous paths. You get to see all sides of this impressive volcano, from lakes, forests, and snowy peaks. A great place to lodge and camp, getting really in there, up-close and personal with wildlife. Come prepared and don’t rely completely on GPS here, it’s easy to get lost.

Address: Mount Rainier National Park, WA 98304
Website: www.nps.gov

8: Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts

Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/masstravel

Another east coast favorite, Cape Cod is a great stop on a road trip, no matter what time of the year, trust us. When it’s freezing, the seashore takes on this intense and almost fairytale atmosphere. Part of why it’s so great to stop here is the restaurants and hotels are so comfortable and allow you to just relax and watch the waves crash into the shore.

Address: 99 Marconi Site Road, Wellfleet, MA 02667
Website: www.nps.gov

9: Chicago/Great Lakes Region, Illinois

Chicago/Great Lakes Region, Illinois

The big city of Chicago isn’t your typical road trip item, but we have to make an exception here for its special relationship with the Great Lakes. After you fill up on pizza and hot dogs, head to any one of the largest bodies of freshwater in North America. They are best viewed during warmer seasons, as the temperature around them can get bone-chillingly cold.

Address: Chicago, IL

10: Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida

We’ve saved the most diverse experience for last. Miami will bring many great vistas, as well as vacationing, but the real prize here is being able to experience Latin and Caribbean cultures with gusto. Don’t stick to just the busy streets by the beachfront properties, for an authentic road trip experience, you must go where the people are and discover all the art, heritage, and tradition within the communities of Dominicans, Cubans, Haitians, Puerto Ricans, and so on.

Enjoy your trip and always remember to pace yourself. Missing some tourist attractions is better than seeing it all but being too stressed, tired, or preoccupied to enjoy it.

Address: Miami, FL

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