5 Most Famous Routes in the USA – the Best Drives in America

June 7, 2020Fun Facts and Lists
Eva Johnson

Digital nomad born in New York but currently living online, Eva knows everything there is to know about packing and moving.

Whether you’re traveling from California to Washington or from Arizona to Montana, the truth is that every long trip is challenging. But, with some of the most famous routes in the USA, you can expect nothing less than pleasure and excitement. So, let’s find out which highways you can expect throughout the entire country and which ones to choose.

Things to Know About Famous Routes in the USA

There are 4.09 million miles of passable roadways across the 50 states. Interstate highways boast 47,432 miles of roads, while the National Highway System (NHS) is a network of strategic routes 160,955 miles long.

Some of them are historic and iconic, some have a scenic view, while others are very long, stretching from one end of the country to another. Yet, some of these American drives are still relatively new, such as Highway 12 – its last stretch was opened in 1985.

So, there are plenty of choices you can make and enjoy your trip to your new home or vacation destination. Make this an unforgettable experience by choosing some of the most beautiful roads for driving. And America takes pride in many such routes that allow you to revel in mind-boggling views.

routes in the USA
Did you know that the state with the most interstate mileage is Texas - 3,232.04 miles?

#1 Route 66, Known as the “Mother Road”

This highway was established in 1926 and is one of the most iconic roads. It stretches from Illinois to California – it extends across eight different states. Also, it has historical importance due to its original byway system, which was especially appealing to truck drivers. Its diagonal structure was great for transporting goods.

Today, the drive here is very enjoyable because of many landmarks along the way, such as great restaurants, museums, drive-in movie theaters, wildlife, etc.

The First All-Weather Highway Linking Chicago to Los Angeles

This route is significant because of many things, including the fact it was the nation’s first all-weather lane connecting Chicago with Los Angeles. What made it so unique is that it was the shortest, year-round link between the Midwest and the Pacific Coast. It reduced Chicago-LA distance by more than 200 miles.

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#2 Pacific Coast Highway – State Route 1

If you prefer to have a breathtaking view during the drive, this one is perfect for you. Known as State Route 1, it runs along the Pacific coastline of California and is the longest one in the Golden State. Moving or traveling to LA or San Diego has never been easier – this path leads you directly to these cities, so you can stop and take a break to enjoy the beach or a lunch with the family.

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There Are Many Incredible Spots to See on The Longest State Route in California, including the Carmel River

Longer than 600 miles, there are fantastic opportunities to see and experience new things along the way, such as seaside villages, stunning coastal views, or untouched forests. Besides a variety of major California cities, this road crosses the Carmel River near Monterey, which is an excellent spot for relaxing and kayaking.

Let’s have a look at which places you can come across when traveling this way:

  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Santa Cruz
  • Monterey
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Santa Barbara
  • Ventura
  • San Diego

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#3 Would You Like to Travel the “Highway That Goes to Sea”?

Imagine yourself driving, and all you can see around is the azure blue ocean. Is there anything better than 113 miles over the sea? You can drive this way from mainland Florida to Key West and rest your eyes on the beautiful water of the Atlantic Ocean. With 42 bridges used to cross the ocean, and that’s why this experience might be one of the most thrilling in your life.

The Major National Highway Called U.S. Route 1

Route 1 is 2,390 miles long and follows the eastern coastline of the U.S. – Fort Kent in the north, and Key West in the south. It is the longest north-south road in America. Also, it travels through metropolises such as New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Miami. So, if you’re moving or traveling to NYC, U.S. 1 is the route that will blow your mind.

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#4 You Will Remember The Blue Ridge Parkway Forever

If you want to experience unforgettable scenery during your travel, the Great Smoky Mountains can give you that pleasure. The Blue Ridge Parkway goes through beautiful mountains and eclectic cities, such as Ashville, NC, so you can always stop here and spend some quality time browsing restaurants, shops, galleries, or Biltmore Estate.

Choose Your Favorite Season and See the Most Scenic Spots During the Trip

With Blue Ridge Parkway, you just can’t go wrong – driving is fascinating no matter the season. These spots from north to south are worth visiting:

  • The Natural Bridge
  • Mabry Mill
  • Blue Ridge Music Center
  • The Blowing Rock
  • Linville Falls
  • Chimney Rock State Park
  • Oconaluftee Indian Village

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#5 Utah’s Scenic Byway 12 Will Leave You Breathless

Built long ago in 1914  as a “forest road,” it was known as harsh terrain until 1985 when it got a completely new look – paved road through Boulder Mountain. Today, it’s an approximately 123-mile-long state highway built as an All-American road. Driving it, you go through stunning views of valleys, canyons, and plateaus, with plenty of historic sites in between:

  • Kodachrome Basin State Park
  • Escalante Petrified Forest State Park
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  • Anasazi State Park Museum

Hit the Road and Don’t Miss a Must-See Attraction – War Eagle Cavern

When driving down this road, don’t miss the opportunity to drop by and visit the largest cavern entrance in Arkansas – War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake. It is located just one-half mile off Byway 12, and it can be a great spot to spend some enjoyable moments with your friends or family. The most exciting things you can do here are:

  • Enjoy traditional tours
  • Have fun above ground (gemstone panning or visit gift shop)
  • Undertake wild cavern tours (reservations required)

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Other Roads to See Before You Die

Cross-country travel can take several days and be an exhausting process, especially if you’re doing it during the summer. Hot weather, heated asphalt, and some of the worst US cities for driving can become a real nightmare and make your life a living hell.

Luckily, there are many famous routes in the USA that will lead you to the desired destination as quickly as possible and help you deal with issues such as road rage. Thanks to the breathtaking nature and landmarks that surround them, these routes boast impeccable beauty. Some examples include Going-to-the-Sun Road, Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon, and U.S. 550.

Your drive doesn’t need to be tiring and tedious. Having a chance to step out of your vehicle and spend interesting moments that will boost your energy will make your travel an adventure. However, if you’d rather hop on a plane and have your car waiting for you at your destination, you can always hire professional auto transport services.

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