Where to Go

5 Best American Road Trip Routes, No Flight Needed

Enjoy the journey to these drivable destinations

The Vacationeer
Heceta Head Lighthouse on the Oregon coastline during daytime

Sometimes air travel can be stressful between high demand, inclement weather and other delays. Thankfully, there are great destinations where you can skip the airport and access via road trip.

Here are the best places to road trip in the United States, whether you’re looking for a scenic route to your final destination or enjoying a longer journey.

Follow Route 66 for a Classic American Road Trip

Stretch of highway along Route 66 through Monument Valley, Arizona 

Route 66 is one of the most famous American road trips to take. Do a little research, take a few weeks and follow this historical highway across the U.S. Enjoy the landscapes and sights of the American West and Midwest.

Route: Route 66 is the longest route on this list. If you want to make the entire trip, decide whether to start in Santa Monica, California, or Chicago, Illinois. Or start along Route 66 and head toward either the West Coast or the Great Lakes region. States along Route 66 include Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Stay: Start and end your journey at a Hilton Grand Vacations property, either Chicago Magnificent Mile, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, or MarBrisa, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, near Santa Monica.

Places to stop:

Explore the National Parks Along Highway 101

Beach along the Oregon Coast 

Follow the Pacific Northwest coast along Highway 101 through some of the most scenic national parks in the region. The drive is around 13 hours, so split it up across a few days for a mini road trip, or take your time and soak in the verdant forests.

Route: Drive from national park to national park. Start at the Redwoods National & State Parks in northern California, then head to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. From there, your next stop is Olympic National Park in Washington, then end the trip in Seattle, Washington.

Stay: Convert your Hilton Grand Vacations ClubPoints to book within the Hilton portfolio of brands from Eureka, California, to Seattle.

Places to stop:

  • Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is a wonderful wildlife-watching spot. Explore the tide pools or spot gray whales and harbor seals off the coast. The area also boasts the tallest lighthouse in Oregon, where peregrine falcons are known to hang out.
  • Escape the car and take a detour by train. The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad is a steam-powered engine that operates between Rockaway Beach and Garibaldi. If you’re traveling in the fall, the railroad is a great way to enjoy the fall foliage.
  • Enjoy Long Beach, Washington's small-town charm at a relaxed beach and boardwalk.

See Unforgettable Sights on the Blue Ridge Parkway

A stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway at sunrise 

Soak in the Southern scenery along the Blue Ridge Parkway, from Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and everything in-between.

Route: Travel from Afton, Virginia, through Roanoke, to Blowing Rock, North Carolina. From there, head to Asheville, North Carolina. Finish the trip in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The total drive takes about 10 hours.

Stay: If you want to see more of Virginia, add a few days to your itinerary and stay at The District, a Hilton Club, in Washington, D.C., or The Historic Powhatan, a Hilton Vacations Club, in Williamsburg.

Places to stop:

  • Visit Natural Bridge State Park, a 215-foot tall limestone bridge, for one of Virginia’s natural wonders.
  • Stop by an American castle at the Biltmore, a 19th-century estate with lush gardens and an on-site winery.
  • Conquer your fear of heights and walk the SkyBridge for a bird’s eye view of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Experience a New England Autumn on the Road

Road through fall foliage in New England 

This fall, take a long-weekend trip through the Northeast for some of the best fall foliage in the country. Since the drive is around five hours, it’s easy to get out and visit historical sights without rushing.

Route: Start in New York City and head to New Haven, Connecticut. Follow the Atlantic Coast to Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and finish the trip in Boston, Massachusetts.

Stay: Choose from five Hilton Grand Vacations properties in New York, New York, for the perfect start to the ultimate fall getaway.

Places to stop:

  • In Newport, Rhode Island, stroll through the Newport Mansions, a collection of architectural gems like the Breakers, Marble House, The Elms and Rosecliff. These mansions offer a peek into the Gilded Age and America’s heritage.
  • What better way to see autumn colors than by zipline? Take a slight detour to Mashantucket, Connecticut, and zoom over the trees to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, the largest Native American museum in the world.
  • Walk the Freedom Trail on a self-guided tour through Boston’s history, or stroll through Boston Public Garden and enjoy leaf-peeping from over 600 varieties of trees.

Enjoy the Best of the Southwest

View of the Grand Canyon from the South Rim 

See two of the American West’s icons, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, in one road trip.

Route: True to its name, the Grand Canyon is majestic and massive — almost 2,000 square miles. Because of the national park’s size, there are four different entrances to start your Grand Canyon journey. The most direct trip is three hours to the West Rim, whereas the North and South Rim are both about almost a five-hour drive.

Stay: Live it up while in Las Vegas at one of five resorts near the Strip.

Places to stop:

  • Learn about Las Vegas history and local ecosystems at Springs Preserve, in the city’s heart. Kids will love seeing desert animal habitats and experiencing a flash flood simulation.
  • See the man-made wonder, the Hoover Dam, on the border between Nevada and Arizona. Take a tour inside the dam or walk along the bypass for a marvelous photo opportunity.
  • Consider driving to Williams, Arizona, and taking the Grand Canyon Railway to the national park. Enjoy the views and vintage train cars without having to worry about stopping for gas.

Other Road Trip Vacation Ideas to Consider

Read “All Aboard! Hop on a Train to These Hilton Grand Vacations Destinations” and discover why you might love to travel by train. 

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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