1. Spring: Blossom and Bloom

Spring signals the reawakening of nature, making it an ideal season for a road trip. Starting in Washington D.C., the National Cherry Blossom Festival marks the arrival of spring with millions of blossoms illuminating the city. This celebration extends into surrounding areas, ensuring you experience the full vibrance of the season.

Moving on to Holland, Michigan, the Tulip Time Festival presents an explosion of color with roughly 5 million tulips blooming in stunning displays. Dutch-inspired festivities and charming downtown streets make this stop a must-see.

Embracing the Midwest's tradition, the German festival Maifest arrives with lively parades and events. Chicago, Cincinnati's MainStrasse Village, and Germantown, Wisconsin, host some of the most spirited celebrations, complete with beer steins, bratwursts, and festive music.

Continuing to Kentucky, the first Saturday in May signals the Kentucky Derby. This prestigious event combines the thrill of horse racing with flamboyant hats and mint juleps, encapsulating the essence of southern charm.

A stunning view of the Washington D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival, with the Jefferson Memorial surrounded by beautiful pink cherry blossoms in full bloom along the Tidal Basin.

Photo by libraryofcongress on Unsplash

2. Summer: Coastal Escapes

Summer is the perfect time to explore sun-soaked highways and pristine coastlines. California's Pacific Coast Highway stands as an iconic drive that combines spectacular ocean views with alluring beach towns. From the stunning cliffs of Big Sur to the enchanting avenues of Santa Barbara, every bend of this route offers a fresh perspective on coastal allure.

This journey is about more than just the destination; it's about the experience of the salty breeze, the crashing waves, and the aroma of coastal cuisine. Stop at seafood shacks for freshly caught fish transformed into culinary masterpieces, like clam chowder in San Francisco or fish tacos in San Diego.

The East Coast's beach routes are equally captivating, peppered with historical landmarks and vibrant seaside communities. Start from the sandy shores of Maine and wind your way down through Cape Cod, where charming lighthouses stand sentinel against the Atlantic. Enjoy fresh lobster rolls, a quintessential New England summer experience.

Routes like the Outer Banks Scenic Byway in North Carolina transport you through barrier islands where serene beaches meet wild horses. These drives intertwine nature with history, presenting opportunities to explore quaint fishing villages and historic towns.

Indulge in the festival atmospheres that summer brings, from art fairs to seafood festivals. Participate in beach bonfires, seafood boils, and local festivities that make each location shine.

End your journey with a detour to the barrier islands of Georgia and Florida, where pristine beaches coexist with marshlands and diverse ecosystems. Kayak through mangroves and spot manatees gliding lazily, concluding your coastal journey refreshed by the scenic beauty and vibrant cultures.

3. Autumn: Fall Foliage Drives

Autumn's dynamic landscapes offer a profound sense of wonder and appreciation for nature's transformation. Start your journey in the South with the Blue Ridge Parkway, renowned as one of America's most scenic drives. This route meanders through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, offering breathtaking vistas of fiery-red maples, golden hickories, and vibrant oaks.

Stop off at overlooks such as Craggy Gardens and Linville Falls to absorb the crisp mountain air. Engage with local culture by visiting harvest festivals along the way, like the North Carolina Apple Festival in Hendersonville, featuring local apples, craft vendors, and autumn treats.

In the Northeast, Maine's coastal drives offer an enchanting autumnal experience. Begin your drive on the Acadia All-American Road, which loops through Acadia National Park and along the rugged coastline. The fiery hues of autumn juxtaposed against the deep blues of the Atlantic create a mesmerizing visual contrast. Explore the iconic Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, surrounded by colorful foliage, and stroll along the serene paths of Jordan Pond.

Further inland, the Kennebec Chaudière Corridor showcases the rustic charm of Maine's countryside. Enjoy the picturesque farmlands, quaint villages, and covered bridges adorned in the brilliant palette of fall. Visit the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, which celebrates rural farming heritage with organic produce, local crafts, and traditional folk music.

For those who enjoy a blend of nature and history, the Mohawk Trail in Massachusetts provides a scenic drive through the Berkshires, known for their rich history and stunning foliage. Visit small towns like Shelburne Falls, where the local Bridge of Flowers showcases a late-season floral spectacle, or grab a hot cider at the local farms dotting the landscape.

Amidst the fall drives, pause to experience local orchards where you can pick your own apples or pumpkins. These u-pick experiences are perfect for family outings, creating memories of wandering through rows of fruit-laden trees and vines, pumpkins nestled against a backdrop of vivid foliage.

A stunning view of the Blue Ridge Parkway in autumn, with a winding road surrounded by vibrant fall foliage in shades of red, orange, and yellow. The image captures the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains during peak fall color season.

4. Winter: Snow-Kissed Adventures

Winter transforms the United States into a serene wonderland, perfect for those seeking snow-clad landscapes and exhilarating adventures. Vermont is a premier destination for a winter road trip. Embark on a journey along Vermont's scenic byways, where every mile unveils sprawling vistas of snow-blanketed forests and charming villages. These routes wind through quintessential New England towns like Stowe and Woodstock, where covered bridges and historic inns add to the fairytale ambiance. Local ski resorts such as Jay Peak and Killington entice travelers with their world-class skiing and snowboarding slopes. For a more tranquil experience, try snowshoeing through the serene trails of the Green Mountains or taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride.

Heading west, Utah offers an equally captivating winter experience with its national parks draped in frost. Start in Salt Lake City and make your way to the dramatic landscapes of Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. In winter, Bryce Canyon's hoodoos are dusted with snow, creating a stunning contrast against the red rock formations. Cross-country skiing or snowshoeing along the rim trails provides a peaceful escape into the park's quiet splendor. In nearby Zion National Park, the usually crowded paths are far less busy, offering a rare opportunity to experience the solitude and majesty of this iconic national park with fewer visitors.

Continuing to the Colorado Rockies, the scenic drive along the Million Dollar Highway between Ouray and Silverton is a must. This thrilling route weaves through towering mountains cloaked in snow, with each turn presenting panoramic views. Winter sports enthusiasts can indulge in some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world at towns like Aspen and Vail, where the powder is fresh and the après-ski scene is vibrant. Alternatively, soak in the geothermal warmth of Glenwood Springs' hot springs, a soothing counterpoint to the chilly mountain air.

In the Pacific Northwest, the iconic Cascade Loop in Washington State offers a winter journey filled with jaw-dropping vistas. The North Cascades transform into a snow-draped wonderland, perfect for winter hiking, backcountry skiing, or simply admiring the serene beauty from the car. Stop by Leavenworth, a Bavarian-style village that goes all out for winter with holiday lights, festive events, and the thrilling experience of snowshoeing or tubing down local hills.

For those seeking an Alaskan adventure, the route from Anchorage to Portage along the Seward Highway promises a unique exploration. The Chugach National Forest offers towering snow-capped peaks and frozen fjords. Wildlife enthusiasts can visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to see animals native to the region like bears and moose up close. Bundle up and venture even further to the quaint and isolated town of Seward, where the snow-blanketed scenery and hushed landscapes provide a perfect retreat into nature.

Conclude your winter travels with a picturesque journey through Northern California's Yosemite Valley. The Yosemite Valley Loop offers a scenic drive amidst giant sequoias dusted with snow and the sight of partially frozen Yosemite Falls. The park's winter tranquility is ideal for cozying up in the iconic Ahwahnee Hotel or taking on ice climbing adventures on the park's icy cliffs. Whether you're an avid skier, a snowshoeing enthusiast, or simply want to relish the quiet beauty of a snow-kissed landscape, these winter road trips across the U.S. offer unforgettable experiences, immersing you in the quiet magic and splendor of the season.

A serene winter scene in Yosemite National Park, featuring the iconic Half Dome covered in snow, with the Yosemite Valley blanketed in a pristine white landscape. The image captures the quiet beauty and majesty of the park during the winter season.

5. Historic Route 66

Embarking on the historic Route 66 offers a classic American road trip experience, traversing the nation's cultural landscape from Chicago to Los Angeles. This legendary route spans eight states and diverse landscapes, each segment rich with nostalgia and charm.

Begin your journey in Chicago, Illinois, where vintage diners and motels echo the city's past. Lou Mitchell's diner is a beloved institution offering classic American breakfasts. The iconic "Route 66 Begin" sign marks the start of your adventure.

In Missouri, the historic 66 Drive-In Theatre in Carthage invites you to enjoy a movie under the stars. Meramec Caverns in Stanton, one of the oldest and largest cave systems in the country, links you to the mystique of the American heartland.

The brief yet charming 13-mile stretch through Kansas offers treasures like the Route 66 Car Museum in Galena, reminiscent of the film "Cars".

In Oklahoma, the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City brings the entirety of Route 66 into one locale, with restored gas stations, antique cars, and a replica vintage diner.

Entering Texas, Amarillo hosts the famed Cadillac Ranch, an open-air art installation where brightly painted Cadillacs are buried nose-down in the dirt, inviting travelers to add their own splash of color.

In New Mexico, the landscape shifts to arid deserts and expansive skies. The Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, with its iconic neon sign and vintage décor, provides a nostalgia-filled stop.

Arriving in Arizona, the Painted Desert and Meteor Crater offer natural wonders resonating with the grandeur of the American West. The kitschy magnificence of The Wigwam Motel in Holbrook allows you to sleep in a concrete wigwam.

As Route 66 winds to its terminus in California, the Route 66 Museum in Victorville encapsulates the journey's end with exhibits showcasing the road's diverse heritage. Iconic stops such as Santa Monica Pier mark the end of Route 66, offering a fitting conclusion to your cross-country adventure.

Route 66 is a passage through the kaleidoscope of American history, culture, and identity. Every stop, landmark, and quirky roadside attraction invites you to pause, reflect, and savor the journey.

The iconic Cadillac Ranch art installation along Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas, featuring a row of colorfully painted vintage Cadillacs half-buried in the ground, with a vast open sky and desert landscape in the background.

6. The Loneliest Road in America

Embarking on the journey along US-50, often dubbed "The Loneliest Road in America," provides an adventure that traverses the nation's heart from San Francisco to Ocean City, Maryland. This remarkable route meanders through diverse terrains and numerous state capitals, capturing the essence of an American cross-country road trip.

Starting in San Francisco, California, absorb the city's vibrant atmosphere before driving eastward into the tranquil beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Entering the sparsely populated expanses of Nevada, prepare for striking desert vistas and vast open skies. Encounter towns like Ely, rich in mining history, and explore the captivating ruins of ghost towns.

In Utah, the rugged terrain of the Wasatch Range welcomes you, offering solitude and outdoor adventures. Detour to Great Basin National Park for awe-inspiring views and ancient bristlecone pine trees.

Venture onward to Colorado, where the elevation rises and the air grows crisp. The journey through Grand Junction and the Colorado Rockies is breathtaking. Denver greets you with its vibrant urban life and a backdrop of snow-capped mountains.

Sliding into Kansas, the road flattens and wide-open planes stretch before you. Cities like Topeka offer a peek into midwestern culture with friendly townsfolk and local diners.

In Missouri, Kansas City unfolds with its famous barbecues, jazz heritage, and lively districts like the Power and Light District.

As you enter Illinois, visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

Transitioning into Indiana, experience peaceful farmlands before reaching the bustling state capital of Indianapolis, known for its love of racing and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Crossing through Ohio, take a pit stop in the revitalized city of Columbus, brimming with a burgeoning food scene and cultural districts.

In Pennsylvania, the Appalachian Mountains provide a scenic backdrop, beckoning you to explore their winding trails and hidden gems.

Finally, reaching Maryland, the journey nears its end at the sandy shores of Ocean City. Celebrate your cross-country achievement with a walk along the famous boardwalk, indulging in local seafood and reveling in the beauty of the coastline.

Embarking on US-50 is about discovering the vast and vibrant tapestry of the United States. Each stretch of road reveals a unique element of America's geographic and cultural diversity.

A long, empty stretch of US-50, known as 'The Loneliest Road in America,' cutting through the vast, rugged desert landscape of Nevada, with distant mountain ranges on the horizon and a clear blue sky overhead.

7. Winter Desert Exploration

Escape the cold by exploring California's deserts from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park. This journey offers a warm refuge from winter's chill and reveals a unique landscape that is both stark and stunning.

Starting in Los Angeles, head east to the desert oasis of Palm Springs, celebrated for its vibrant mid-century modern architecture and luxurious resorts. Take a ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for panoramic views of the desert below.

The drive to Joshua Tree National Park is an adventure in itself, meandering through Coachella Valley and past wind farms. The park's otherworldly rock formations and desert flora create a surreal and captivating landscape.

  • Explore the iconic Hidden Valley
  • Hike the Barker Dam Trail
  • Climb Ryan Mountain for a 360-degree view of the park's distinct desert scenery
  • Visit the Cholla Cactus Garden at sunrise or sunset, when the golden light transforms the garden into a shimmering sea of spiked silhouettes

Unwind with a stay in one of the unique accommodations just outside the park, from renovated Airstreams to cozy cabins.

For a culinary detour, visit Pioneertown, a former movie set turned quirky Old West town. Enjoy a hearty meal at Pappy & Harriet's, a local landmark known for its live music and authentic vibe.

Driving back to Los Angeles, consider taking a route through the Mojave Desert. Make a stop at the Mojave National Preserve, an expanse filled with sand dunes, cinder cone volcanoes, and Joshua tree forests. The Kelso Dunes are particularly impressive, with towering sand hills that create a musical hum when the sand slides.1

This winter desert exploration is an invitation to connect with a landscape where silence reigns and beauty abounds in every grain of sand and twist of a Joshua tree. The mild daytime temperatures and minimal crowds make it an ideal season to uncover the enchanting allure of California's deserts.

8. Southern Historic Cities Tour

Explore the rich history and vibrant charm of the South with a tour through Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans. These cities are steeped in antebellum architecture, boast lively streets, and serve up some of the most delectable Southern cuisine you'll ever have the pleasure to taste.


Begin in Charleston, South Carolina, a city that perfectly blends old-world charm with modern vibrancy. Start your exploration in the historic district, where cobblestone streets are lined with pastel-colored antebellum houses and hidden gardens. The iconic Rainbow Row, a series of thirteen brightly-painted Georgian row houses, is a must-see.1 Stroll along the Battery promenade and Waterfront Park, where you can take in views of historic Fort Sumter and the harbor.

For a taste of local cuisine, don't miss Husk, where Chef Sean Brock's menu showcases the very best Southern ingredients. Alternatively, dive into the local favorite's shrimp and grits at Hominy Grill. Finish your day with a ghost tour through the historic streets or a slow carriage ride, soaking in the city's rich history and atmospheric beauty.


Just a short drive south takes you to Savannah, Georgia, known for its historic squares and stately oaks draped in Spanish moss. Wander around the Forsyth Park, with its iconic fountain, and enjoy the serene beauty of the green lawns and towering oaks. The Mercer-Williams House, made famous by the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", offers a glimpse into the city's storied past.

The culinary scene in Savannah is not to be missed. Indulge in a meal at Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room, where Southern classics are served family-style. For a more upscale experience, try The Grey, housed in a restored 1938 Greyhound bus terminal, delivering unique dishes with Southern roots.

Savannah's riverfront is the perfect place to unwind. Stroll along River Street, lined with shops, galleries, and restaurants, or hop on a riverboat cruise for a unique view of the city. Don't forget to visit Leopold's Ice Cream, an establishment that's been serving up delicious scoops since 1919.2

New Orleans

Your journey culminates in the lively and culturally rich city of New Orleans, Louisiana. In the French Quarter, you can visit Jackson Square and the majestic St. Louis Cathedral. The historic French Market and vibrant Bourbon Street are great for taking in the festive atmosphere that the city embodies.

New Orleans' cuisine is a culinary paradise. Start your day with beignets and café au lait at the iconic Café du Monde. For lunch, head to Central Grocery for an authentic muffuletta sandwich. Dinner options are numerous, but Commander's Palace in the Garden District offers a dining experience that blends history with award-winning cuisine.3

New Orleans is synonymous with music; immerse yourself in the sounds of jazz at Preservation Hall or wander through the streets and simply follow your ears to the next great tune. The city also hosts several festivals throughout the year that celebrate its rich cultural heritage, from Mardi Gras to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.