Yeah, so I do have the Guinness World Record for longest road trip in the US, which in itself has given me enough to write a blog about on the best road trips in the USA, but even before I broke the world record road trip, I’d grown up on the road and spent many hundreds of thousands of miles driving from state to state between the years of seventeen and thirty-six. 

So what are the best road trips in the USA? 

Well that’s the wrong question. Here’s a better one: why do you wanna take a road trip to begin with?

For me it was always to see small towns. I love small towns because they’re quaint and unknown and educational. And that’s what I love: to learn about unknown things, and I’m also always looking for peace of mind and places to think and reflect. Sometimes though I take a trip because I need inspiration and I do my best thinking and am at my most creative on the road and in nature.

So why do you want to take a road trip? Every road trip has its purpose. If you wanna think shit over, that’s one road trip. If you wanna see America, that’s another road trip. If you wanna have fun and meet people, that’s another, if you wanna take photos of the most spectacular views in the US, that’s another. It all depends on WHY you’re taking the trip in order to arrive at the best road trip for you at that particular time. 

So why do you wanna head out on the road?

  • To see America?
  • To experience the open road?
  • Cause you always wanted to do it?
  • To get over a job loss or breakup?
  • To find a new home?
  • To visit friends?
  • To get fucked up with total strangers?
  • To camp out under the stars?
  • To see all the National Parks?

I’ve broken up the best road trips in the USA and road trip ideas based on WHYs that you can choose from…

road trip for adventures and sex

Best road trips in the USA if you wanna jazz up your social life.

The Pub Crawl 

Distance: 9,578 miles  | Estimated Fuel Cost: $755  | Driving Hours: 150  | Days: 45 

These are the best places to party and/or meet people in the USA. The goal of this road trip is to have fun with other people and experience the social culture around the country. If you’re looking for cool small towns, stargazing spots, and roadside attractions, this probably is not the trip for you. This route has one goal and one goal only: to get you to the best places in the country to meet people; bars, restaurants, clubs, music venues, and cafes. Feel free to pick a starting point of your choosing and an end point of your choosing. Unlikely you’ll be able to do this whole route, so you can mix and match or dive whole-heartedly into it and ride the whole wave. 

  1. Seattle 
  2. Portland 
  3. Eugene, Oregon 
  4. Lake Tahoe, California (Summer Time!!!)
  5. Los Angeles – West Hollywood
  6. San Diego – Gaslamp District 
  7. Tempe, Arizona 
  8. Flagstaff, Arizona (Check out the Lumberyard for seriously fucking awesome twerk line dancing)
  9. Las Vegas, Nevada (Freemont District, The Strip)
  10. Boulder, Colorado
  11. Santa Fe, New Mexico (best cafe ever)
  12. Austin, Texas
  13. New Orleans, Louisiana 
  14. Destin, Florida 
  15. Miami, Florida (Little Havana, South Beach)
  16. Savannah, Georgia – River Street
  17. Atlanta, Georgia (East Atlanta Village)
  18. Asheville, North Carolina 
  19. Seaside Heights, New Jersey 
  20. Brooklyn, New York (Northwest BK)
  21. Montreal, Canada
  22. Toronto, Canada 
  23. Nashville, Tennessee – Music Row 
  24. Memphis, Tennessee – Beale Street 
  25. Chicago 
  26. Minneapolis, Minnesota – Lake Street 

 The towns could go on for a long while but these are some good tracks to follow…

road trip for the most instagrammable places in the USA

Road trip ideas that’ll bring you to the most beautiful parts of the country

The Instagram Shoot 

Distance: 7,473 miles  | Estimated Fuel Cost: $657  | Driving Hours: 126  | Days: 30 

Feel like showing off? These are some of the best Instagrammable stop-offs in the country. The goal of this road trip is to create a beautiful montage of media of some of the lesser-visited beauties of the country. If you’re looking to go nuts and meet friends, find flings, and roam the nightlife of each big city, this probably is not the route for you. If you’re looking to create a photography portfolio and do photoshoots all over in front of incredible backdrops, this is for you. Start wherever you want and end wherever you want… or just knock it all out at once. 

  1. McCall, Idaho 
  2. Sun Valley, Idaho 
  3. Twin Falls, Idaho 
  4. Salt Flats, Utah 
  5. Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota 
  6. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 
  7. Glacier National Park, Montana 
  8. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 
  9. North Cascades National Park, Washington 
  10. Thor’s Well – Yachats, Oregon 
  11. Crater Lake National Park – Oregon 
  12. Ashland, Oregon 
  13. Fly Geyser – Gerlach, Nevada 
  14. Grass Valley, California 
  15. Big Sur, California 
  16. Matador State Beach, Malibu, California 
  17. Sequoia National Park 
  18. Death Valley National Park 
  19. Marble Canyon – Arizona 
  20. Antelope Canyon – Arizona 
  21. Moab, Utah 
  22. Ouray, Colorado 
  23. Paint Mines Interpretive Park – Calhan, Colorado 
  24. Santa Fe, New Mexico 
  25. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico 
  26. Jerome, Arizona 
road trip for the best hostels in the USA

Best road trips in the USA for adventures, friends, and travel sex

The Hostel Trip 

Distance: 8,314 miles  | Estimated Fuel Cost: $660  | Driving Hours: 128  | Days: 30 

This is the greatest route of all time in my opinion because you are essentially guaranteed a great time. You’re guaranteed friends, experiences, bad days, good days, travel flings, wild nights, fun mornings, uncomfortable beds, sometimes comfortable beds… literally, you get it all. There are some wonderful nature and landmarks and road trip attractions along the way—sure—but let it be known that if you’re looking for a quiet pilgrimage across the country full of solitude and creative inspiration, this probably isn’t for you! If you’re not a social creature, this is not your route. Every destination is a place for you to expand your network and meet other travelers. If you’re a non-social creature but want to break out of your shell a bit, this is the absolute perfect trip to get you there.  

  1. Green Tortoise Hostel Seattle 
  2. HI Portland 
  3. Green Tortoise San Francisco 
  4. USA Hostels Hollywood 
  5. USA Hostels San Diego 
  6. Hostel Cat, Las Vegas 
  7. Grand Canyon International Hostel, Flagstaff, Arizona 
  8. The Lazy Lizard Hostel, Moab, Utah 
  9. Hostel Fish, Denver 
  10. Santa Fe International Hostel 
  11. Firehouse Hostel, Austin 
  12. Deep Ellum Hostel, Dallas 
  13. India House Hostel, New Orleans 
  14. Miami Beach International Hostel 
  15. Bon Paul & Sharky’s Hostel, Ashville, North Carolina 
  16. The Crash Pad: An Uncommon Hostel, Chattanooga, Tennessee 
  17. Nashville Downtown Hostel 
  18. HI Chicago Hostel 
  19. Hostel Detroit 
  20. HI Richmond Hostel 
  21. Apple Hostels of Philadelphia 
  22. Freehand New York 
  23. HI Boston Hostel 
road trip for nature lovers going through all the national parks

Best road trip ideas for anyone who needs to reconnect with nature

The National Park Road Trip 

Distance: 14,500 miles  | Estimated Fuel Cost: $1,000  | Driving Hours: 240  | Days: 60 

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, love hiking and nature, or even if you’re an extreme adventurist, this route is for you. A few things about national parks: you should buy the national park pass, which is good not only for national parks, but national forests and other recreational sites; it’ll save you a ton of money. Ask for a park map—you’re going to collect these! If you don’t have the park map, you weren’t really there. If you plan on camping at the park, call ahead as far in advance as possible, especially for the big kahunas like the Grand Canyon; people make those reservations a year in advance. Especially if you’re traveling to the parks at a desirable time of the year, many of the campsites fill up with travelers… so don’t count on availability showing up on the day of. There’s a great book that I read when I traveled to all these parks called: Your Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to all 58 National Parks. 

Even though it should be noted we added another national park last year in New Mexico called white sand dunes National lark which is not included in this map but you can tuck it in where you see fit (probably after Carlsbad Caverns).

  1. Kings Canyon National Park, California 
  2. Joshua-Tree-National Park, California 
  3. Death Valley National Park, California 
  4. Sequoia-National Park, California 
  5. Yosemite National Park, California 
  6. Pinnacles National Park, California 
  7. Channel Islands National Park, California 
  8. Redwood National and State Parks, California 
  9. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon 
  10. Lassen Volcanic National Park, California 
  11. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington 
  12. Olympic National Park, Washington 
  13. North Cascades National Park, Washington 
  14. Glacier National Park, Montana 
  15. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming 
  16. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 
  17. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota 
  18. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota 
  19. Isle Royale National Park, Michigan 
  20. Badlands National Park, South Dakota 
  21. Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota 
  22. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 
  23. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado 
  24. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado 
  25. Arches National Park, Utah 
  26. Canyonlands National Park, Utah 
  27. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah 
  28. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah 
  29. Great Basin National Park, Nevada 
  30. Zion National Park, Utah 
  31. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona 
  32. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona 
  33. Saguaro National Park, Arizona 
  34. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico 
  35. White Sand Dunes National Park, New Mexico
  36. Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas 
  37. Big Bend National Park, Texas 
  38. Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas 
  39. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee 
  40. Congaree National Park, South Carolina 
  41. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia 
  42. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio 
  43. Acadia National Park, Maine 
  44. Everglades National Park 
  45. Dry Torgugas National Park 

And don’t forget the brochures! They’re collector’s items!

the oddities of America road trip

Need something different in your life? Try the Oddities of America road trip!

The Oddities of America Road Trip (Roadside Attractions) 

Distance:  Far | Estimated Fuel Cost: A lot  | Driving Hours: Many | Days: Months

Wanna see some funky shit? Sure ya do. We all do. Well this is one of the best road trips in the USA if you want to see the weirdest things you’ll ever see. The greatest part about roadside attractions is someone actually put their life’s work into them! I mean, maybe they didn’t spend their entire life building it, but surely it’s something they’re proud of.  And many of them were works of art that accumulated over time, like the Gum Wall in Seattle or the Shoe Tree outside of Death Valley. Either way, if you wanna get some great photos, experience bizarre, and see the entire country and all its cultures, this road trip is for you…

  1. Seattle Gum Wall (Seattle, WA) 
  2. World’s Largest Pig Hairball (St. Benedict, OR) 
  3. Salvation Mountain (Calipatria, CA) 
  4. Area 51 Alien Travel Center and Alien Cathouse Brothel (Amargosa Valley, NV) 
  5. Hole N” The Rock (Moab, UT) 
  6. The Thing (Dragoon, AZ) 
  7. World’s Largest Pistachio (Alamogordo, NM) 
  8. Cano’s Castle (Antonito, CO) 
  9. World’s Largest Ball of Twine (Cawker City, KS) 
  10. The Blue Whale (Catoosa, OK) 
  11. Cadillac Ranch (Amarillo, TX) 
  12. Kliebert’s Turtle and Alligator Farm (Ponchatoula, LA) 
  13. Peavy’s Monster Mart (Fouke, AR) 
  14. Nuclear Waste Adventure Trail and Museum (Weldon Spring, MO) 
  15. World’s Largest Baseball Bat (Louisville, KY) 
  16. World’s Largest Cedar Bucket (Murfreesboro, TN) 
  17. Mammy’s Cupboard (Natchez, MS) 
  18. World’s Largest Brick (Montgomery, AL) 
  19. World’s Largest Chicken Wing (Madeira Beach, FL) 
  20. Jimmy Carter Peanut Statue (Plains, GA) 
  21. Peachoid Water Tower (Gaffney, SC) 
  22. World’s Largest Chest of Drawers (High Point, NC) 
  23. Foamhenge (Centreville, VA) 
  24. Farnham Colossi-Land of Giants (Unger, WV) 
  25. Lawyer’s Farm Transformers (Thurmont, MD) 
  26. Fountain of Youth (Lewes, DE) 
  27. Lucy the Elephant (Margate City, NJ) 
  28. World’s Largest Jack-in-the-Box (Middletown, CT) 
  29. Fighting Seabee (North Kingstown, RI) 
  30. The Paper House (Rockport, MA) 
  31. Redstone Rocket (Warren, NH) 
  32. Lenny the Chocolate Moose (Scarborough, ME) 
  33. Giant Gorilla (Leicester, VT) 
  34. Cardiff Giant (Cooperstown, NY) 
  35. Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, Bemidji, MN 
  36. The Largest Burger in the World (Clearfield, PA) 
  37. Giant Horseshoe Crab (Blanchester, OH) 
  38. The (Former) World’s Largest Cherry Pie Pan (Charlevoix, MI) 
  39. World’s Largest Ball of Paint (Alexandria, IN) 
  40. World’s Largest Catsup Bottle (Collinsville, IL) 
  41. UFO Landing Port (Poland, WI) 
  42. Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox (Bemidji, MN) 
  43. Iowa’s Largest Frying Pan (Brandon, IA) 
  44. World’s Largest Ball of Stamps (Boys Town, NE) 
  45. World’s Only Corn Palace (Mitchell, SD) 
  46. Enchanted Highway (Regent, ND) 
  47. Talking Penguin Statue (Cut Bank, MT) 
  48. America’s Smallest Town (PhinDeli Town Buford, WY) 
  49. Idaho Potato Museum (Blackfoot, ID) 

More road trip ideas coming…

The moral of the story is: ask yourself WHY you wanna take a road trip and then craft the road trip around your goal. The open road will deliver what you ask of it, so choose carefully.

Now here’s the tale of my Guinness World Record road trip.

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