Best Places to Visit Across America
We've traveled thousands of miles over hundreds of roads in virtually every state in the United States and many Canadian provinces.
Our journeys have taken us from Key West to Maine, from New York to California, from Arizona to Oregon, and Texas to British Columbia in Canada. And many byways and back roads in between!
We've driven U.S. Highway 1 up the Florida coast from Key West, and the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles to Oregon. We enjoyed the serentity of the Loneliest Road in America across U.S. 50 in Nevada, and the twists and curves of the Beartooth Highway in Montana and Wyoming.
Who can forget the majestic beauty of the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, and the breathtaking vistas on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountains NP. Spring and fall make great road trips along the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Natchez Trace.
It's hard to pick the best, the most scenic, the one with the least traffic, or the most historic ... but on this site we present some of our personal favorites. They might be the perfect road trip for you.
Travel During COVID-19 in 2021
Today, in 2021, with the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak across America, travelers are seeking safe vacation alternatives. Cruise travel is only beginning to recover, and airline travel is difficult. Travel to international destinations is limited.
Consequently, many individuals and families are exploring the open roads of America, driving its scenic byways and enjoying national parks and other open spaces.
Let's take another road trip soon! And stay safe!
Trending Travel and Vacation Destinations in America
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is the world's first national park, established on March 1, 1872. It is a huge park, spanning 63 miles north to south, and 54 miles east to west, and totaling 3,472 square miles. Yellowstone Lake covers over 131 square miles of area, reaching a maximum depth of 138 feet.
The park sits atop one of the world's largest calderas measuring 45 x 30 miles and experiences up to 3,000 earthquakes every year. Yellowstone features more than 10,000 hydrothermal features and 500 geysers.
Old Faithful geyser erupts about every 74 minutes and is a must-see attraction in the park. One of the other main attractions in the park is its wildlife, including bears, fox, elk, bison, lynx, 285 species of birds and more.
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Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina
The Blue Ridge Parkway offers a slow-paced and relaxing drive revealing stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains and pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands.
The Parkway meanders for 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, protecting a diversity of plants, ecosystems and wildlife, and offering endless outdoor recreational opportunities.
The north end of the Parkway begins near Waynesboro, at the southern end of the Skyline Drive.
Millions of visitors annually enjoy the natural beauty and diversity of the Parkway. Spanning the southern and central Appalachians, the Blue Ridge Parkway offers an exceptional glimpse of the regional flora and fauna.
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Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota
Located in the southwestern corner of South Dakota is the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial, featuring massive 60-foot (18-m) sculptures of four former United States presidents.
When planning a trip to Mount Rushmore, we highly recommend including a visit to nearby Custer State Park, with its granite peaks and rolling plains. The park is home to abundant wildlife, including bison, wild burros, mountain goats and many other animals. Also located nearby is the Crazy Horse Memorial, which is continuing to be carved and sculpted.
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park spans over 800 square miles in Tennessee and North Carolina, and is one of the most pristine natural areas in the Eastern part of the United States.
It offers visitors and endless variety of outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, climbing, bicycling, fishing, horse riding, historical sights, picnicking and involvement in ranger-led programs.
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U.S. Route 66
"The Mother Road" was established on November 11, 1926, and ultimately stretched 2,448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles.
From its beginning in Chicago, Route 66 headed south through Illinois and Missouri.
From there U.S. Route 66 turned in a more westward direction through Oklahoma and Texas, with the final stretches in New Mexico and Arizona before its termination point in Los Angeles.
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Death Valley National Park in California
The largest U.S. National Park outside Alaska, spanning 3.4 million acres. The park includes low valley floors crusted with barren salt flats, rugged mountains rising as much as 11,000 feet, deep and winding canyons, rolling sand dunes, and spring-fed oases.
Death Valley is about 140 miles long, from the head of Last Chance Canyon in the north to where the Amargosa River makes its big bend near Saratoga Springs in the south. Badwater Basin, at 282 feet below sea level, is not only the lowest place in the park, it's the lowest in North America.
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Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park is located in Arizona, and is centered on a Colorado River canyon that is 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep.
The Park is one of the world's most popular natural attractions, with attendance exceeding 6 million visitors a year. The park is located about 270 miles east of Las Vegas, and about 75 miles northwest of Flagstaff, Arizona.
Popular activities include rafting, hiking, walking, skydiving, nature studies, geology exploration, jeep tours and helicopter rides.
The floor of the valley is accessible by foot, muleback, or by boat or raft from upriver. Hiking down to the river and back up to the rim in one day is discouraged by park officials. However, hundreds of experienced hikers complete the round-trip down and back every year.
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Zion National Park in Utah
Towering red cliffs and outdoor activities make this a popular vacation destination in southwestern Utah, attracting over four million visitors annually.
A prominent feature of the park of 229 square miles is Zion Canyon, 15 miles long and about half a mile in depth.
Many outdoor activities are popular, including hiking, climbing, bicycling, river trips and exploring the Narrows. Start your trip at the Visitor Center, where bus shuttles to the canyon are located.
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Victoria, British Columbia
Victoria is ocated in the Canadian Province of British Columbia, at the southern end of Vancouver Island.
Popular with tourists from around the world, Victoria has been named both the Most Romantic City in Canada and one of the top 15 Friendliest Cities in the World.
With a perfect growing climate, Victoria is known internationally as the City of Gardens. The Butchart Gardens, just north of Victoria, are internationally known and appreciated. Founded in 1886, the Royal BC Museum is one of the foremost cultural institutions in the world.
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Going to the Sun Road
This winding road traverses Glacier National Park in Montana from east to west, from St. Mary to Agpar, a distance of about 50 miles.
Portions of Going to the Sun Road remain open all year and provide access to many locations and activities. The opening of the alpine portion varies, based on snowfall and plowing progress. There is no set date for the road to open; many years it is only open from late June to late September.
It takes at least 2 hours (nonstop) to drive the full length of the road. Logan Pass is 32 miles from the west entrance and 18 miles from the east entrance.
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Utah Scenic Byway 12
Scenic Byway 12 spans a route of 123 miles in southern Utah, and travels through some of the most diverse, remote and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country. It has been designed an "All-American Road".
Highway 12 passes through Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and over Boulder Mountain in the Dixie National Forest to its termination in Torrey near the entrance to Capitol Reef National Park.
It is a popular connecting road for tourists visiting both Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef national parks.
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Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in Califonria
Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California.
The park is south of and contiguous with Kings Canyon National Park; the two are administered by the National Park Service together as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
The park is famous for its giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, the largest tree on Earth. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, which contains five out of the ten largest trees in the world.
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Tucson is located in the southern part of Arizona, and the county seas of Pima County. It is the second largest city in Arizona, after Phoenix, 108 miles (174km) to the north. Tucson is situated 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Over 3.5 million visitors annually due to Tucson's numerous resorts, hotels, and attractions.
The city is home to the University of Arizona, Saguaro National Park, and Davis-Monthan AFB. Tourism is a major industry in Tucson, bringing in $2 billion annually to the local economy. Attractions such as the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the Catalina Highway attract visitors to the area year round.
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New Orleans, Louisiana ... The Big Easy
New Orleans has long been the largest city in Louisiana, and one of the premier cities in the world to visit. "The Big Easy" is situated on curves on the Mississippi River, and is also called "The Crescent City".
It is the site of the famed French Quarter, or "Vieux Carrr", the locale of many world-class hotels, historic buildings and attractions.
Canal Street is a major thoroughfare in the city, forming the upriver boundary of the French Quarter or Vieux Carre, and the Central Business District. Attractions include the World War II Museum, Audubon Zoo, Saint Louis Cathedral, and aquariuim.
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San Diego, California
With its mild year-round climate, varied terrain, beautiful harbor, and abundance of outdoor activities, San Diego is consistently a major, popular tourist destination. Attractions such as Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, and the USS Midway draw visitors from around the world.
One of the most exciting and sophisticated metropolitan regions in the country, San Diego comprises more than 100 colorful and unique neighborhoods.
San Diego is located on Interstate Highways I-10, I-5 and I-15 in extreme southern California, adjacent to Tijuana, Mexico
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Ocracoke on the Outer Banks of North Carolina
With a year-round population of just under 1,000, Ocracoke Village is a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of mainland living.
Ocracoke Village is on the National Register of Historic Places, with houses and buildings dating from the 1880s, along with more recent additions under the canopy of live oaks, cedars, and yaupons.
At just a little over a square mile, and surrounded by water, everything within the Village of Ocracoke is conveniently located for walking or biking. Access is by private boat, small plane, or NCDOT ferry.
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Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park in Maine
A favorite travel destination of ours is Bar Harbor, highly ranked as one of the best places to visit in Maine and all of New England. Located on Mount Desert Island and close to the popular Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor is the island's largest town. Other villages on the island include Southwest Harbor, Tremont and Northwest Harbor.
Bar Harbor has a year-round population of about 5,200 residents. The summer season has warm days and cool evenings, with an average daily high temperature above 66F. The colder winters don't stop the activity in Bar Harbor, and many cold weather activities abound in the area.
The entrance to Acadia National Park is less than one mile from downtown Bar Harbor; part of the park is actually in Bar Harbor proper.
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Banff, Alberta in Canada
Located to the west of Calgary, Alberta, is Banff National Park, Canada's first national park, along with the adjacent Kootenary National Park and Yoho National Park. Further to the northwest is Jasper National Park. These parks offer unparralled scenic views year round, plus a vast number of lakes, rivers, forests, and glaciers.
The town of Banff is accessed from the Trans Canada Highway 1, and is located about 127km from Calgary, and 58 km from Lake Louise to the west.
The peaks of Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade, part of the Rocky Mountains, dominate the Banff skyline. Banff and Lake Louise are located within the confines of Banff National Park. What makes Banff National Park so special is its easy access and close proximity to the vast unspoiled wilderness of the Canadian Rockies.
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Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Utah
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is located in extreme southeastern Utah, on the northern border of Arizona. It is operated by the Navajo Nation, not the National Park Service. The valley is host to towering sandstone rock formations that have been sculpted over time and soar 400 to 1,000 feet above the valley floor.
Over the years, Monument Valley has been the locale for the filming of numerous movies starring such film legends as John Wayne.
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San Juan Capistrano in California
Mission San Juan Capistrano has been the home to many people over 230 years of history. Its history consists of memories and stories of its past inhabitants and present visitors.
It is a place of historical, cultural, and religious significance, as well as a place of inspiration and education.
The site is well known as the gathering place for "The Swallows of Capistrano". The Cliff Swallows begin to arrive in March from their winter home in Argentina. The swallows start their migration back to Argentina in October.
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Travel to the State of Utah
Utah is a popular tourist destination, with breathtaking natural landscapes, national parks, national monuments, forests, state parks, ski resorts, museums and millions of acres of open spaces.
From the deserts to high mountains to the salt flats, Utah has something for every visitor!
Utah is home to five major National Parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches, and Capitol Reef. Many other national monuments, parks and historic sites dot the state.
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Destin in the Florida Panhandle
There is lots to do in Destin, with its world famous deep-sea fishing fleet, luxury resorts, and mild weather. The beaches are white, and the blue-green water is spectacular for swimming and other water activities.
And the shopping! Multiple shopping developments and major shopping destinations such as Bass Pro and Silver Sands Outlets provide hours of fun.
A number of annual events offer fun for residents and visitors alike, such as the Destin Seafood Festival and Gumbo Contest and Silent Auction.
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is located in central New Mexico on Interstate Highway 25, about 65 miles northeast of Albuquerque. It is the capitol city of New Mexico, and is positioned at 7,000 feet above sea level.
The city was one of the larger cities on Historic Route 66 during its earlier alignments. It passed through downtown near the historic La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel. Located on the Plaza, the epicenter of downtown Santa Fe, is the Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously occupied government building in the United States.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is a dominant landmark in the downtown area, and a must-not-miss attraction for visitors. Nearby things to see include Loretto Chapel, the New Mexico State Capitol building, and the New Mexico Museum of Art.
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Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, about 37 miles southeast of Providence and 74 miles south of Boston.
Once the summer playground of America's wealthiest families, Newport remains a popular vacation destination at any time of year.
The area's historic sites, architecture, events, fishing, beaches, water recreation, shops and fine restaurants draw tourists from around the world.
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Crater Lake National Park in Oregon
Crater Lake National Park is located in south-central Oregonin Klamath County.
It is the deepest lake in the United States at 1,949 feet, and one of the deepest in the world. The water's intense blue color is due to its great depth and purity.
Hiking, backpacking, camping, picnicking and sight seeing are popular pursuits within the park.
Boating and scenic driving around Rim Drive can be enjoyed by visitors during the summer months. In winter snowshoeing and cross-country skiing provide solitude and a little-known view of the park.
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Crystal clear hot boiling water in Yellowstone National Park