If you’re looking for spring or summer travel plans, what better than an epic road trip to get a change of scenery? From West Coast to East Coast, US to Canada, we’ve got a lineup of the best road trips that’ll provide you with some of the incredible scenery in North America, delicious food, outdoor adventures and enough driving to fill a week or a weekend—or even an entire summer.
Don’t have your own car? No worries—we’ve got student rental cars available worldwide for everyone that’s at least 20 years old.
1. Pacific Coast Hwy, CA
Endless miles of ocean views, sweeping cliffs and vista points, and CA sunshine? Sign us up. The Pacific Coast Highway in California is often considered one of the most beautiful drives in the world, and you can easily do it in a weekend or spread it out for a week.
Must-Stops: Go hiking in Big Sur: check out McWay Falls or anywhere in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. There’s plenty of places to hike or even just get out and stretch your legs all along the drive. Check ahead online or in a ranger station to see what’s open—many trails are seasonal. Don’t miss exploring, shopping and eating in Carmel-By-the-Sea and Santa Barbara.
Spend the Night Here: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Big Sur and Carmel-By-The-Sea are all great places to spend the night.
2. The Trans-Canada Highway
If you’ve got some time, the Trans-Canada Highway is a monster of a road trip that will take you through some of the most beautiful places in the world. Clocking in at almost 5,000 miles, you’ll need at least a few weeks, but a whole month—or a whole summer—would be ideal. Plus, since it’s all one highway, it’s pretty easy to avoid getting lost!
Where to Start: Start in Victoria (near Vancouver, BC) and make your way east. It’s a LONG haul, so you’ll want to make it a one-way trip. We recommend renting a car for a one-way trip and flying back at the end.
Must-Stops: This trip, as the name suggests, crosses all the way across Canada, so there’s no shortage of places to see along the way. We recommend spending some time in Vancouver, Banff National Park, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal, Quebec City and Prince Edward Island. There’s plenty of hiking and other scenic places to stretch your legs and enjoy some nature along the way too.
Spend the Night Here: You’re going to need to spend several nights during this trip. You can find last-minute hotels wherever you are on-the-go on our app, or map out your route and plan in advance. There’s some camping available in national parks along the way, too.
3. Route 66
Route 66 is the classic All-American road trip—and since it crosses a good portion of the US, it’s easy to drive all or part of the route based on where you live or how much time you have. With history to explore, hiking, National Parks and more along the way, it’s a great way to get a slice of US culture!
Where to Start: Route 66 starts in Chicago and stretches all the way down to LA. Start wherever you are and drive as much as you have time for.
Spend the Night Here: Spend a few nights exploring some of the big cities mentioned above. Need a place to spend the night in between? Book cheap hotels on the go using our app.
4. Overseas Hwy, Florida
How does a few days of road-tripping surrounded by tropical blue water and clear skies sound? We’re guessing pretty good, and if so, we’ve got just the spot for you. The Overseas Highway does just what it sounds like: takes you for a few days of driving literally over the ocean.
Where to Start: Start in Miami and make your way south to Key West.
Must-Stops: Islamorada for good food and quiet(er) beaches. If you’re into scuba diving, definitely stop in Key Largo. There’s tons of amazing diving spots with reefs, shipwrecks and heaps of fish.
Spend the Night Here: Jules’ Undersea Lodge: a hotel that’s completely underwater! You’ll have to scuba dive to your room, so it’s definitely one of the most unique places to stay. If that doesn’t appeal to you, though, there’s plenty of other places to stay in Marathon or Islamorada.
5. Kancamagus Hwy, NH
If you’re looking for a fall road trip, you can’t get much better than quintessential New England for fall foliage and colorful views. The Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire is one of the best road trips for leaf-peeping. With plenty of hiking, apple cider and tiny cottages to stay in along the way, it’s the perfect place for a fall getaway.
Where to Start: Boston—with plenty of cheap flights and autumn charm of its own—is the perfect jumping off point for a fall road trip.
Must-Stops: The drive from Boston to the Kancamagus Highway in the White Mountains only takes about two hours, so you can easily get there in a day. Enjoy a drive along the (very scenic) Kancamagus, go hiking in the White Mountains, then enjoy a day or a quick pit stop in Portland, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire on your way back to Boston.
Spend the Night Here: There’s plenty of camping and lodges available throughout the White Mountain National Forest. Conway and Franconcia are also good places to find places to stay.
6. Sea-to-Sky Highway, BC
This relatively short route from Vancouver to Whistler will literally take you from the sea to the sky. It’s quite busy during the summer months, but there’s plenty of things to do and see along the way, from beaches and scuba diving, to mountain biking, hiking and paragliding.
Where to Start: Start in Vancouver and head up to Whistler. Come back in a day or stay up at Whistler for a weekend before driving back.
Must-Stops: Howe Sound (the Sea-to-Sky gondola near Squamish offers incredible views of Howe Sound), Horseshoe Bay, Shannon Falls Provincial Park, Squamish and Whistler.
Spend the Night Here: It’s easy to get up to Whistler in a day and then stay there for the night if you want. Squamish also has plenty of accommodation options if you want to stretch it out.
7. US National Parks Tour
With 60+ National Parks in the US, this is one of the best road trips to see some of the big ones. It won’t take you to all of them, but you’ll get to see about eight along this route. At around 44 hours of drive time—and nearly endless amounts of places to see and hike—you’ll need at least a week to really enjoy this route. Early summer would be an ideal time to explore!
Where to Start: Start in Phoenix or Seattle (or anywhere along the way) and start driving. There’s no shortage of incredible National Parks between these cities! If you don’t want to have to drive back, rent a car for a one-way trip in Phoenix and fly back from Bozeman or Seattle.
Must-Stops: Hit up the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon in Arizona before heading to Zion, Bryce and Arches National Parks in Utah. Wyoming offers two massive parks, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. If you have time, head up to northern Montana for Glacier National Park (one of our favorites!) and tack on Olympic National Park in Washington as well.
Spend the Night Here: There’s camping available in all of the National Parks, and most have lodges and budget hotels as well if you don’t want to tent-camp. Flagstaff, Springdale, Salt Lake City, Jackson and Spokane are all good places to find non-camping places to stay.
8. The Cabot Trail
The Cabot Trail packs a lot into a short-ish (4.5 hours) drive and is considered one of the world’s most scenic destinations. You’ll easily see why once you start driving and exploring! From insanely gorgeous scenery and hiking to delicious food all along the way, it’s the perfect way to explore Cape Breton.
Where to Start: Start in the small town of Baddeck.
Must-Stops: Enjoy some of the beaches along the way, like Ingonish Beach and Margaree Harbour Beach. Be sure to squeeze in a hike or two as well—the Skyline Trail is a MUST in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. And enjoy some delicious seafood in the small towns along the way!
Spend the Night Here: You’ll find cottages, inns and small bed and breakfasts all along the Cabot Trail, particularly near Ingonish, Pleasant Bay, and Margaree Harbour.
9. The Road to Hana
Hawaii might not be the first place you think of for a road trip, but once you’re there, there’s some really scenic drives that make for great road trips! The Road to Hana is one of the best road trips in Hawaii, particularly famous (and thrilling) because of it’s 600+ hairpin turns (and just as many good views) to keep you on your toes.
Where to Start: Start wherever you are, but most travelers start in Kahului, Maui’s biggest city.
Must-Stops: There’s dozens of pull-outs and places to stop along this short route, so do some research in advance to see what interests you most. There’s no shortage of hiking, waterfalls, swimming holes and lagoons, so pick and choose your favorites. We recommend the Bamboo Forest Hike and at least one waterfall swimming spot!
Spend the Night Here: It’s possible to drive up to Hana and back in a day, but if you’re looking for more time to explore the otherworldly forests and waterfalls along the way, spend the night in Hana before returning.
10. Irish Loop, Newfoundland and Labrador
This lesser-known loop will help you explore a side of Canada many people don’t get to see! From whales and puffins to hiking and picnics, there’s plenty to do for a weekend on the Irish Loop.
Where to Start: Start in Saint John’s.
Must-Stops: Have the fanciest picnic of your life at Lighthouse Picnics in Ferryland. You can bring your own, of course, but we recommend reserving your picnic basket in advance and enjoying the delicious food from the lighthouse. Also don’t miss whale watching in Witless Bay and St. Vincent’s, plus a chance to see fossils at Mistaken Point.
Spend the Night Here: Several of the small towns and villages along the routes have hotels or inns. Saint Mary’s or Trepassey are two good places to stop for the night if you’re making a weekend of it.
11. Blue Ridge Parkway, NC
The Blue Ridge Parkway is home to tons of mountain views, waterfalls and scenic lookouts along Virginia and North Carolina. Whether you want to get out and enjoy the views from a hike or just enjoy them while cruising with the windows down, you’ll find plenty to enjoy to enjoy along this route.
Where to Start: Start near Charlottesville, VA (just two hours from Washington, D.C.) and head south. Finish off your trip in Asheville, a hip and artsy city with amazing food.
Must-Stops: Check out some waterfalls at the Cascades or Linville Falls. Climb Chimney Rock for sweeping views over the valley. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just an hour from Asheville, too, if you need more hiking (or scenic views) after your drive, or just turn up the music and enjoy the drive.
Spend the Night Here: Little Switzerland, Roanoke and Asheville all have plenty of places to stay, from cheap hotels to charming bed & breakfasts.
Ready to start planning your next road trip ASAP? Rent a car if you need one (we have rental cars available for everyone aged 20+) or else just get packing!