If you’re planning a trip today, you’ll join roughly 43 million other Americans who’re looking to do the same. There’s no better way to celebrate America’s independence than a scenic road trip, combining two standards of American culture: cars and exploration. We’ve gone ahead as your acting trip planner, and have mapped out the best U.S. roads to cruise down this Independence Day.
The Pacific Coast Highway | California
California has quite the selection of highways to choose from, needing to accommodate the 24 million licensed drivers in the state. Of all the routes to take, the serene coastal roads are where the ultimate American dream drive can be found.Check out the Pacific Coast Highway. Starting in Monterey, CA, the route turns south for 123 miles (198 km) of near perfect twists, turns, and vistas. The journey ends in Morro Bay, where the local seafood offerings are worth the trip alone.The jaw-dropping views and sense of freedom and openness of the California country will have you appreciating the Land of the Free that much more.
U.S. 1 | Florida Keys
Leave the mainland behind and experience the 120-mile chain of Florida Key’s islands. This beautiful trip takes you into a haven of beach bars, water sports, and Parrotheads (Jimmy Buffett fans).From Key Largo to Key West, the highway-on-water will have you bouncing from island to island where you’ll see lighthouses and underwater coral-reef parks.But maybe the road trip’s highlight? Crossing the 7 Mile Bridge—one of the longest bridges in the world.
Blue Ridge Parkway | Carolinas and Virginia
For travelers that appreciate the Appalachians, the Blue Ridge Parkway is for you.The Parkway is nearly 500 miles of open road, bending through the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah national parks. The panoramic drive can be enjoyed year-round, with the summertime featuring a bounty of vibrant forest canopy.Blue Ridge is also a great destination for bird watchers: the 50+ resident species boasts more diversity than the entire continent of Europe.
Trail Ridge Road | Colorado
Independence Day can be a day of reflection, a time to be thankful for the opportunities we’re lucky enough to have in our country.There may be no better place in America to have an existential moment than looking over Colorado on the Trail Ridge Road. It’s the highest continually paved road in the U.S, winding 12,183 feet through Rocky Mountain National Park.The route through the Continental Divide is ancient, mapped out by Native Americans for thousands of years. Travelers commonly see elk, deer, and bighorn sheep above the tree line in the spectacular tundra.