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Are you ready for a Road Trip? Explore these eleven incredible cross-country road trip routes across the U.S.!

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Pacific Coast

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Border to Border

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The Road to Nowhere

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The Great River Road

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Appalachian Trail

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Atlantic Coast

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The Great Northern

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The Oregon Trail

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The Loneliest Road

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Southern Pacific

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Classic American Road Trips

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Pacific Coast Highway

Starting at the northwest tip of the United States at Washington’s Olympic National Park and remaining within sight of the ocean all the way south to sunny San Diego, this 1,650-mile, mostly two-lane road trip takes in everything from temperate rainforest to near-desert.

Highlights along the Pacific Coast Route: Olympic National Park (WA), Three Capes Loop (OR), Redwood National Park (CA)

mountain landscape with overlaid text reading Route 66 Road Trip

Historic Route 66

The romance of traveling along historic Route 66 from where it starts in Chicago and ends in Los Angeles continues to captivate people around the world. If you’re looking for great displays of neon signs, rusty middle-of-nowhere truck stops, or kitschy Americana, do as the song says and “get your kicks on Route 66.”

Highlights along Route 66: Chicago (IL), Meramec Caverns (MO), Tucumcari (NM), Painted Desert (AZ), Santa Monica (CA)

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big sky and water adjacent to a road with overlaid text reading the loneliest road trip

Running coast-to-coast from San Francisco to Ocean City, Maryland, “The Loneliest Road in America” is a 3,200-mile odyssey from sea to shining sea. US-50 passes through a dozen different states, four state capitals, and the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.

Highlights along the Loneliest Road: South Lake Tahoe (CA), Moab (UT), The Million Dollar Highway (CO), Washington D.C.

suspension bridge backed by forest with overlaid text reading The Oregon Trail Road Trip

Following in the footsteps of pilgrims and pioneers, US‑20 takes in a little of everything during its two-lane trek from Oregon’s rugged coast to the glorious sea and sand of Cape Cod.

Highlights along the Oregon Trail: Cannon Beach (OR), Fort Boise (ID), Yellowstone National Park (WY), Mt Rushmore & Carhenge (NE)

trees with vivid fall color with overlaid text reading The Great Northern US-2 Road Trip

Dubbed the Great Northern in memory of the pioneer railroad that parallels the western half of the route, US‑2 is truly the most stunning and unforgettable, not to mention longest, of all the great transcontinental road trips.

Highlights along the Great Northern: Tumwater Canyon (WA), Glacier National Park (MT), Lake Michigan (MI), Acadia National Park (ME)

The Open Road

The Appalachian Trail

This driving route of the Appalachian Trail parallels the epic hike. From the top of New England to the heart of Dixie, it takes you through continuous natural beauty—without the sweat, bugs, or blisters.

Highlights along the Appalachian Trail: Mt. Washington (NH), The Poconos (PA), Shenandoah National Park (VA), Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NC)

lakes and green landscape with overlaid text reading the Great River Road Trip

Old Man River, Father of Waters, “body of a nation,” Big Muddy: By any name, the mighty Mississippi River cuts a mythic figure across the American landscape. Tag along from its headwaters in Minnesota to where it meets the sea in Louisiana via the GRR.

Highlights along the Great River Road: Main Street USA (WI), St. Louis (MO), Natchez Trace Parkway (MS), New Orleans (LA)

dense city on a peninsula with overlaid text reading the Atlantic Coast Road Trip

Starting at the Statue of Liberty and ending with a drive across the Overseas Highway to free-wheeling Key West, these almost 2,000 miles of roadway run within earshot—if not sight—of the Atlantic Ocean.

Highlights along the Atlantic Coast: The Statue of Liberty (NJ), Assateague Island National Seashore (MD), Savannah (GA), Cocoa Beach (FL)

old Spanish-style church with overlaid text reading the Border to Border Road Trip

Starting at Canada’s Jasper National Park, and winding down in the Sonora Desert, this route traverses some of the wildest and most rugged lands imaginable: mighty mountains, glaciated valleys, raging rivers, and two very different deserts.

Highlights along the Border to Border Route: Columbia Icefield (AB), Bitterroot Mountains (MT), The Extraterrestrial Highway (NV), Joshua Forest Parkway (AZ)

dunes with overlaid text reading tThe Road to Nowhere US-83 Road Trip

Once the only entirely paved route from Canada to “Old Mexico,” US‑83 cuts across America’s heartland and remains a must-do long-distance byway—transnavigating this broad, odd nation without once grazing a conventional tourist destination.

Highlights along the Road to Nowhere: Sitting Bull Memorial (SD), Nebraska Sand Hills (NE), Monument Rocks (KS), Paint Rock Pictographs (TX)

trees draped with moss with overlaid text reading the Southern Pacific US-80 Road Trip

Following old US-80 and its contemporary equivalents takes you through more varied cultural and physical landscapes than you’ll find along any other cross-country route. From deserts to bayou swamps and Tex-Mex to barbecue, this route offers a full-flavored taste of America.

Highlights along Southern Pacific: The Desert View Tower (CA), Tombstone (AZ), Roswell (NM), Civil Rights Movement National Historic Trail (AL)

US map showing the 11 cross-country road trips on roadtripusa.com

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Specialising in holidays, day tours and international escapes especially catering to the over 50s, Cross Country Tours and our holiday brand All Australian Journeys now offer even more memorable experiences departing from Brisbane and The Hunter Valley. There's an old line, "We're here for a good time, not a long time!" and on a Cross Country Tours holiday, no matter how long or short, they take a long time to make sure you have a good time. Even a short time spent with Cross Country Tours illustrates the difference between destinations and experiences, as their team do much more than show you around Australia or the world. Their guides become your hosts, sharing their love of the people you'll meet and the places they can go together, whether enjoying a coach, rail or cruise holiday. This is a time in life to explore Australia, not just drive around. After all, a large part of what you spend on your holiday is time, and a good holiday is time well spent with Cross Country Tours and All Australian Journeys.

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Check off your bucket-list cycling vacation with our cross-country bike tours. these tours are a coast-to-coast journey of some of the world's best cycling countries..

Experience the ultimate adventure and thrill on our fully supported Cross-Country bike tours. Traverse the United States, Pyrenees, and Apennine range of Italy on journeys that go beyond typical cycling vacations. When you're done the sense of accomplishment will only be topped by the bragging rights and stories you take home. View Cross Country Bike Tours Travel Info

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CROSS COUNTRY ROAD TRIP 101: THE BEST ITINERARIES AND HOW TO PLAN FOR THE GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP

Post Summary: How to plan a cross country road trip, including the best routes, tips, and resources to use so that it’s smooth sailing once you hit the open road.

A cross country road trip through America is the kind of experience every adventurer needs to try once in their life.

With extraordinary national parks, breathtaking beaches, locally inspired cuisine, and quirky roadside attractions, there’s enough to keep you exploring for a lifetime. But how do you begin to plan a road trip?

The recipe for a great American road trip includes having the most current resources and tips at your disposal so you can get the most out of your time on the road.

That and a great playlist.

We embarked on our own three-month cross country trip in our renovated camper and learned a lot about how to plan a road trip across America.

We’re sharing everything we know, including the best cross country road trip routes and our own road-tested tips to help you plan an extraordinary adventure.

*We loved our USA road trip so much that we knew we had to include it in our post on the essential bucket list for families . Check it out for more inspiring travel ideas in the United States.

*This Cross Country Road Trip post may contain affiliate links, which means we might earn a small commission if you purchase from them. This is at no extra cost to you. We only suggest what we think is truly awesome.

CROSS COUNTRY ROAD TRIP GUIDE

This is an in-depth article that will cover everything you need for planning a cross country road trip. You can use the table of contents above to skip around to a section you want to read.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • How many days you’ll need
  • What kind of car you need
  • Things you need for a cross country road trip
  • Cross country road trip cost analysis
  • Cross country road trip tips
  • The best cross country road trip routes

HOW LONG DO YOU NEED FOR A CROSS COUNTRY ROAD TRIP?

empty desert road leading to Utah National Parks

So how long does it take to do a cross country road trip? The drive from Los Angeles to New York City is 2776 miles and takes roughly 41 hours without stopping. At 8 hours a day, that would take you five days to complete.

But what about stops and, you know…enjoying the ride?

Without knowing your route, it’s hard to suggest a time frame. At a minimum, you’ll need a week for a one-way cross country road trip. Two weeks is better, though. Two weeks allows you to drive for shorter distances and to take more time to enjoy the places you stop at. Three weeks is perfection!

America is the 3rd largest country in the world, so there’s a lot of ground to cover when driving cross country. It’s estimated that it takes about three months to see every state in the lower 48.

THE BEST ROAD TRIP ROUTES IN THE US

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When planning a road trip, the question “What is the best cross country road trip?” is bound to come up. The sheer size of the US makes answering it a complicated task. Below, I will cover the most iconic road trip routes and a few other suggestions to spark your own creativity. 

Some things to consider for yourself are how much time you have, what season you’ll be traveling in, and what kind of stops you’re interested in making. Do you want to focus on nature activities, touring big cities, tasting America’s best food, or quirky roadside attractions? 

Let the following routes be an inspiration, but don’t forget it’s also possible to plan your trip as you go. 

When we built our cross country road trip itinerary, we knew we needed to get from North Idaho to Maryland. It was winter, so we chose to avoid the Rocky Mountains and any hazardous winter driving conditions. We opened up a map (really, it’s more like we opened up an internet browser and looked at Google Maps) and figured we should head South and plan as we go. 

We knew we would visit Utah’s National Parks, but other than that, we left it open to allow for spontaneity and random side trips.

On our way traveling through Arkansas, I looked at the map and noticed we would be close to Hot Springs National Park. We had time, so we decided to make a small detour to see America’s first unofficial National Park. Those are the kind of things you want to leave time and space for. 

Let’s explore the most popular cross country road trip routes.

*Also, the maps pictured below for each road trip aren’t for driving purposes. They are there to help get you a visual of where the road trip happens.

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Famous For:  Kitschy roadside attractions, old-fashioned motels, and its throwback Americana feel

Route 66 is the most famous American road trip that is more about the journey than the sights. You’ll travel through small towns where the most you’ll see is an old-fashioned main street and an old diner. It’s worth it to tap into an old-time Americana complete with neon lights and Art Deco motels. It’s also a great opportunity to see underrated cities like Albuquerque and Oklahoma City.

Map of Route 66

Begins and Ends:  Downtown Chicago to the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, CA

Time Needed:  At 2448 Miles, Two Weeks (one way)

Highlights :  Cadillac Ranch  in Amarillo, TX, eating a hamburger and an ice cream float in an old-fashioned diner, getting a photo op in front of a Route 66 sign, Tower Station and U Drop Inn Cafe in Texas, Gateway Arch in Missouri.

BEFORE YOU GO: The road can be hard to navigate using GPS. The book Route 66:EZ66 Guide For Travelers is from a passionate lover of Route 66. It’s a thorough guide with descriptive maps. It’s highly recommended for anyone who wants to drive the entire route.

PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY

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Famous For:  Gorgeous, sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.

The PCH, or Highway 1, is one of the most iconic drives in America. We’ve done sections of the drive, and it never disappoints. From the fecund forests of Washington to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to the sunny ocean vibes of Southern California, there’s something for everyone on this beautiful coastal drive.

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Begins and Ends:  Seattle, WA to San Diego, CA

Time Needed:  1650 Miles, It can be done in one week, but 2 weeks is better (one way).

Highlights :  Olympic National Park , Big Sur, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Redwood National Park, Mendocino, Hearst Castle, Los Angeles, San Diego Zoo, Laguna Beach, Tacos in San Diego

Tip : Drive North to South so you can be closer to the water for the drive.

Recommended Guide: Moon Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip: California, Oregon & Washington (Travel Guide)

THE LONELIEST ROAD

woman holding child with his hands up in the air. In the background are the red rocks of arches national park

Famous For:  Large stretches of driving where you’ll see little to no signs of civilization.

Route 50, also known as “The Loneliest Road” and “the backbone of America,” is a true cross country road trip. Taking you from coast to coast, you’ll pass through 11 states on this grand road trip across America. From metropolitan cities like Washington D.C to deserted ghost towns to the azure waters of Lake Tahoe, this route takes you on a diverse cross-section of the US that’s guaranteed to give you a little bit of everything.

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Begins and Ends:  Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD

Time Needed:  3000 Miles, Can be done in two weeks, but three weeks is ideal (one way).

Highlights:  Great Basin National Park, Colorado National Monument, Washington D.C, Lake Tahoe, Moab, Arches National Park

TIP : Make sure your car is in GREAT condition for this road trip.

THE GREAT NORTHERN ROAD

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Famous For:  The longest transcontinental highway in the US

Highway 2, or The Great Northern Road, takes you coast to coast through 10 states and Canada. From the lush forests of the Idaho Panhandle to the windswept plains of North Dakota to the sophisticated allure of Montreal, this route takes you through some of America’s most beautiful spots. This is the best cross country route for exploring the vast terrain of the northern US.

cross country tours day trips

Begins and Ends:  Seattle, WA to Acadia National Park in Maine

Time Needed:  3600 miles, Two weeks is enough, but three weeks is best (one way).

Highlights:  Glacier National Park , Montreal, Duluth MN, Burlington VT, Seattle WA, Sandpoint ID, Acadia National Park

Book Recommendation : Moon Guide: Road Trip USA: The Great Northern, Highway 2 

THE OREGON TRAIL

man and son on a bucket list adventure throwing rocks into blue waters near Teton mountain range.

Famous For:  An arduous, historical one-way trail people used in the 1800s to find better opportunities out West.

Go back in time and explore the trek that hundreds of thousands of pioneers made on their way West. While not an official road, the journey can be loosely followed along with interesting stops to learn more about the history and the pilgrims who took this path. History buffs will love learning about Lewis and Clark, city lovers will enjoy exploring Boise and Boston, and nature seekers will love seeing Yellowstone , America’s 1st National Park.

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Begins and Ends:  Cannon Beach, Oregon to Provincetown, MA

Time Needed:  3300 Miles, Two weeks is enough, but three weeks is best (one way).

Highlights:   Yellowstone National Park ,  Boise , Grand Teton National Park, Mount Rushmore, Niagara Falls, Boston

Book Recommendation : Moon Guide:  Oregon Trail Road Trip

THE ATLANTIC COAST

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Famous For:  Driving through America’s most iconic and historic cities.

Explore America’s oldest cities and charming beachside communities by taking a drive down The Atlantic Coast. This route takes you on I-95, where you can go from historical sites like the Statue of Liberty, wild horses on Assateague Island, to the artsy beach town of Saint Augustine, Florida. This is a great cross country trip for someone who doesn’t want large chunks of time in the car with nothing to see. There is so much to do and something for everyone.

map of Atlantic Coast cross country road trip

Begins and Ends:  Maine to Florida

Time Needed: 1900 miles, 10 days is good, but two weeks is best (one way).

Highlights : Mystic CN, Boston MA, Savannah GA, NYC, detours to the beaches of North and South Carolina, St. Augustine, The Florida Keys

TIP: I-95 is great to hop on to when you want to get somewhere faster, but the true beauty of this road trip is mainly on the smaller roads that run along the coast. Deviate from the 95 to explore the coastal islands that run down the entire east coast.

THE MIGHTY FIVE

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Famous For:  Out of this world red rock desert landscapes and bucket-list hikes.

A Utah National Parks road trip  to explore all 5 of Utah’s National Parks (dubbed the Mighty 5) is perfect for adventurers and explorers. With mindboggling hikes, slot canyons to wade through, white water rafting, and an ocean of red desert to traverse, Southern Utah will leave an imprint on your soul.

cross country tours day trips

Begins and Ends:  Moab, Utah to Springdale, Utah

Time Needed:  375 Miles, Can be done at warp speed in 7 days, but 10 days are best (one way).

Highlights:  Angels Landing Hike and The Narrows in Zion, Delicate Arch in Arches , Fruit Picking in Capitol Reef, Mesa Arch in Canyonlands, Little Wild Horse Slot Canyon

READ NEXT:  For all the details on making this trip check out our comprehensive guide to planning a  Mighty 5 Roadtrip .

THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY

an adventurous family of three posing in front of a high elevation sign

Famous For:  Stunning Fall foliage display.

The  Blue Ridge Parkway  takes you through the beating heart of Appalachia, where you’ll pass waterfalls, lookouts, charming tunnels, small towns, and meandering rivers. If you’re driving it in Fall (the most popular time) you’ll see Fall foliage that rivals the best of New England. With a maximum speed of 45 MPH and no big trucks allowed, it’s the kind of road where you’ll want to take your time to enjoy the views while Bluegrass music plays on repeat.

cross country tours day trips

Begins and Ends:  Great Smoky Mountain National Park in NC to Shenandoah National Park in VA.

Time Needed:  469 Miles, 3 days is enough, 7 Days is ideal (one way)

Highlights:  Great Smoky Mountain National Park,  Asheville, NC, Mile High Swinging Bridge, Blue Ridge Music Center, Mabry Mill, Shenandoah National Park , Roanoke, VA

TIP:  If you want an even longer journey, you could include additional  East Coast National Parks  in your itinerary for even more sublime nature.

READ NEXT:  Time spent in the funky mountain town of Asheville, NC, is a must when driving the parkway. Learn more about Asheville with our guide to how to spend  36 Hours in Asheville .

These are tried and true cross-country road ideas, but don’t forget you can always make up your own road trip route . You could go on a donut road trip and check out the best donuts in every state (psst-the  best donuts are in Boise ), or you could see as many  west coast national parks  as you can. 

Maybe you’ll be road-tripping in Spring and want to see the most exquisite wildflower blooms in the country, or it’s summer, and you’ll hit up America’s best waterparks. The sky is the limit!

Now, let’s discuss how to plan a cross-country road trip. Based on our experiences, we’ve created a cross-country travel guide that includes everything we did and learned along the way.

BEST CROSS COUNTRY ROAD TRIP CAR

woman looking out of passenger side window of green SUV with steam rising up from a hot spring behind the car

If you won’t be using your own car, you’ll need to find the best cross country road trip car for your needs. If you’ll be traveling in winter or in places with rugged terrain like Southern Utah, it’s recommended to have a four-wheel-drive vehicle that can handle the rougher conditions.

The first choice is to use a car rental service. You can look on rentalcars.com to see what the going rates are for rental cars. It’s a search engine that specializes in rental car prices across the web. You can often get a discounted rate if you’ll be using the car for a longer period.

Also, don’t forget if you are only going one way with the car, most places will charge a one-way delivery fee.

Another option is to rent a camper or RV for your big adventure. You can rent from a peer-to-peer service like RV Share and Outdoorsy , or you can opt for a company like Cruise America .

If you like the idea of an RV but want something smaller, you could also opt for a converted van that typically has a bed, a fridge, and other amenities. It’s a great option for solo or couples travel. The biggest renter of campervans is Escape Campervans . Since they have multiple offices, it’s a great choice for someone who wants a one-way rental. You can also check the sites I mentioned above, RV Share and Outdoorsy, for campervan rentals.

An RV or campervan rental can range from $100-$500 a day. It’s a more expensive option, but the potential for savings is better because you can cook your own meals and potentially camp for free. But don’t forget about gas prices! This brings me to our next section..coming up with a cross country road trip budget.

TIP: A n alternative option to a rental car is to try your luck at a one-way car or RV transfer service like immova and transfercar . The basic idea is that a company or person needs a car or RV moved and you pay as low as $1 a day to have a practically free vehicle. A great option if you are flexible and their travel dates work for you. You can also look at when big RV companies like El Monte RV need their RVs moved and offer them at exceptionally low rates.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO DRIVE ACROSS THE COUNTRY?

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There’s no straight answer to what a cross-country road trip costs. We averaged about $150 a day on a three-week road trip in our RV. Could we have done it for less? ABSOLUTELY. We didn’t go crazy, but we also didn’t scrimp. If you’re willing to cut corners and camp in free places, you can potentially do a road trip for $50-75 a day.

Let’s explore how to plan a road trip on a budget. I’ll discuss the five main expenses and offer tips on how to save money.

  • GAS : Depending on what kind of vehicle you are driving, this will probably be one of your biggest expenses. You can use a fuel calculator to estimate what it will cost for your trip and your car type. If you are driving an RV, you can use this fuel calculator to get a rough idea of what it would cost. As for saving money, you can use the GasBuddy App to see the cheapest gas stations on your route. We also use our AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card, which gives us 3% cash back on gas and 6% cash back on groceries . We spent $1300 on gas, which means we earned roughly $40 back. That’s a free tank of gas! That and the $150 sign-up bonus make it a great money-saving choice.
  • LODGING: Here is where you have a lot of options for saving money. Camping is the cheapest way to travel cross country whether you choose to pitch a tent, sleep in your car, or are in an RV or campervan. You can stay in conventional campsites that range from $25 to $60 a night, or you can try to find free campsites. Free campsites are generally found on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land or parking lots (Walmart parking lots are popular) that allow you to sleep overnight – but please don’t pitch a tent in a parking lot! Only vehicles are allowed. The best way to find camping spots is to search on the Dyrt App . It’s a camp reviewing site that is a GREAT resource for finding campsites and free sites. It’s worth upgrading to the pro version to have access to it offline. If camping isn’t your thing, you can look for cheap room rentals with an app like HotelTonight. HotelTonight is perfect for road trips since it searches for last-minute discounts on hotels. It’s also a tiered service so the more you use it, the more exclusive discounts you can access. If you sign up for an account and put in my discount code CGRANCE in your Account Settings, you can get $25 off a booking. You can also use the sites like Booking to see what’s available around you. Airbnb or VRBO could also have cheap options, but you’ll have to plan ahead since it’s not always possible to book it the same day. In general, lodging in a budget hotel will cost you $50-$125 a night.
  • FOOD: We spent roughly $25 a day for a family of three. Granted, we ate all of our meals in our camper and rarely got takeout. That’s where having a fully functioning kitchen on wheels can go a long way to saving you money. If you aren’t traveling in an RV, you’ll want to save money by making your own meals as much as possible. Pack a cooler and eat turkey sandwiches every day if you need to. My favorite way to get fancy on the cheap is to make a charcuterie spread of summer sausage, salami, crackers, cheese, olives, almonds, and dried fruit. I even bring a wood cutting board and stemless wineglasses with silicone sleeves because it’s how I roll. Also, most gas stations will have microwaves. We would often buy frozen burritos from Amy’s beforehand at a grocery store and heat them at a gas station for lunch.
  • ENTERTAINMENT: Our entertainment costs came out to about $3 a day. We spent very little since we had a primarily nature-based itinerary. Hiking is free! Plus, we opted to buy the National Parks pass that gets you into every National Park and additional federal land sites. You should definitely buy the pass if you are going to any National Parks. You can buy and learn more about the pass here. If you are visiting a big city, you can check if it offers a City Pass . A city pass will typically give you discounts to restaurants, museums, and popular attractions.
  • MISCELLANEOUS – There are always little costs that come up while you travel, whether that’s souvenirs, oil for your car, or payment for a toll. You should leave room in your cross country road trip budget for random things that always pop up. I would budget $5-$10 a day for miscellaneous items.

We recorded everything we paid for. You, of course, don’t need to do that, but if making spreadsheets is fun for you (woohoo!), then I would recommend using Excel or Numbers and using one of their pre-formatted templates for logging your costs.

TIPS FOR A CROSS COUNTRY ROAD TRIP

mom and son in front of a 1979 camper van

Before you head out on your big adventure, here’s some cross country road trip advice to spare you any headaches.

  • Before you leave, make sure to get an oil change and a full check-up on your car, including having your tires checked. It’s also worth investing in a roadside assistance plan, especially if you have an older vehicle. We used AAA and had to use it three times on the road. AAA is great for regular cars, and Good Sam Roadside is good for RVs. You can check prices for  AAA here  and  Good Sam Roadside here . 
  • Make sure to download your maps beforehand! You don’t want to be stuck in Utah because you have no service and no idea which road to take. Google Maps has the ability to download maps. Use it!
  • We prefer to drive for a maximum of five hours. Anything more than that makes the road trip unenjoyable. Find the sweet spot for you. It’s okay to do a few long 8-hour days, but remember to balance them with days off of driving.
  • If you’re looking for a cross country road trip planner, you can use the app or website Roadtrippers to help you find interesting sights along the way. We’ve never used the app but have heard good things about it.
  • Lastly, use travel bloggers like myself, Pinterest, and Instagram for fun tips on places you will be visiting. Pinterest has a wealth of great travel information, and you’ll be able to find fun off-the-beaten-path recommendations. You can check out our Pinterest page and our Instagram page . While you’re there, give us a follow, will you?

CROSS COUNTRY ROAD TRIP PACKING LIST

We have an extensive post detailing what every person needs to have on their road trip packing list . Be sure to check it out for a detailed list of what to bring. Here’s a simple rundown of a few cross country road trip essentials.

  • Emergency Roadside Kit – Having a   roadside emergency kit  with a surplus of safety devices is essential for a road trip. At the very least, make sure you have a   high-quality set of jumper cables . If you are driving in a remote area where other cars might not be able to help you out, you might want to consider a  mobile battery jumper  that allows you to jumpstart your car on your own.
  • First Aid Kit – A first aid kit is something you should always have in your car. Don’t forget it for your big road trip.
  • Cooler – A high-quality cooler that will keep your food cold for days is a great investment. We are die-hard fans of Yeti and love the Yeti Roadie 24 Hard Cooler  for road trips. It can fit behind the passenger’s seat and is long enough to fit a bottle of wine. More economical choices are the Arctic Zone Cooler and the   Igloo Quart MaxCold Cooler .
  • Phone Chargers and Power Bank – In addition to our phone charger that goes into the cigarette lighter, we bring a  splitter  so multiple people can plug in their device and a  solar charger power bank,  so we’re never left without something to charge our devices. It’s handy when traveling with many people so everyone can have a way to charge a device.
  • Car Organizers – Having an organization system is great if you’ll be on the road for a while or are making a family cross country road trip. We like this  backseat organizer  with SO MANY pockets for your gadgets, notebooks, and snacks. It’s a fantastic option if you’re traveling with young kids. We particularly like that it has a tablet holder.
  • I also think this  car seat gap organizer  is brilliant. It sits in the gap between the console and the passenger or driver’s seat. It’s that little bit of space where you always drop your phone, and you’re like  “$%^&*!”  because it’s so difficult to fit your hand in there. Well, this organizer stops anything from falling in that gap while also providing extra storage. Like I said…brilliant.
  • Conversation Starters – When you hit the road, pull up our post of 160 road trip questions and road trip trivia questions. These are perfect for long stretches of time when you can either get to know your travel companion even better or test out your trivia skills on each other. Also, read through our post on the best things to do on a road trip for more fun games and ideas.
  • Entertainment – Your podcasts, e-books, road trip playlists, and Netflix shows should all be already downloaded (don’t rely on your cell service). If you’re not already signed up, you can even do a trial run of Audible or Amazon Music to get free fun content for the road.
  • Cozy Everything – Being cozy on a road trip is paramount! Bring some cozy slip-on shoes, a sherpa blanket from Pendleton, and breathable clothing.

READ NEXT: If you are traveling in an RV, check out our post on the Camper Must Haves you’ll need to bring on the road.

We hope we’ve prepared you for an extraordinary road trip across the country.

Happy travels, and here’s to an amazing cross country road trip!

LOOKING FOR MORE CROSS COUNTRY ROAD TRIP POSTS?

17+ Boredom Busting Things To Do On A Road Trip How To Road Trip With A Toddler Like A Boss How We Did A $650 Farmhouse Camper Renovation 160 Questions To Cure Road Trip Boredom 41 Fun and Challenging Road Trip Trivia Questions The Definitive List Of Road Trip Worthy Snacks For Your Next Ride Road Trip Essentials You Need To Pack

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Hi, we’re Christina and Brad, Idaho based writers and photographers who live to explore. We did a short stint of traveling full time with our two year old and discovered we're much happier as part time nomads. What does that mean? We travel a lot! And then we go home. We love helping fellow parents and everyday adventurers discover new places and experiences.

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Hi. Reading your time to allow for each trip has me confused. Are talking one way, or round trip? I can’t imagine doing a cross country trip in two, or even three weeks and have it not be an awful lot of all day driving round trip.

Hi Barbara, thanks for bringing this to my attention. You are right, two weeks round trip would be A LOT of driving. We mean one way, but I’ll edit the article so it’s more clear. Thank you!

Heya! Are your “needed X days” recommendations for *round trip* or *one way*? It seems like they are round trip but I just wanted to be sure. This article is fantastic, btw. -JDS

Hi! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Sorry for not responding sooner. We were traveling in Thailand, and I just saw this today. Yes, all the recommended drive times are for one way. Round trip, you would need to double it or cut out a lot of day trips and exploration to reduce your time.

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25 Best Stops on an Epic Cross-Country America Road Trip

The Great American Road Trip is just as much a part of Americana as the stars and stripes. While in yonder years, Route 66 dominated as the iconic drive, today, the cross-country road trip reigns supreme. We mapped out a 10-day itinerary—including top city sights and national parks between Washington, D.C. to Washington State—so you can make the best of your journey west.

Chelsea is Brooklyn-based travel writer, editor, and photographer. When not home eating her way through NYC, she's gallivanting across the globe, sailing the coast of Croatia or hiking the peaks of Peru. Her superpowers include booking flight deals and sleeping in small plane seats.

See recent posts by Chelsea Bengier

Day 1: 263 miles from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh

Once you’ve gotten your fill of America’s capital, it’s time to hit the road heading west. About three and half hours in, you’ll pass by Fallingwater , the renowned residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that sits cantilevered over a bucolic waterfall in rural Pennsylvania. The grounds are maintained year-round, with the original 1930s custom furniture and artwork still on display. From here, you’re just 75 minutes outside Pittsburgh. Upon arriving in Steel City, drop your bags at the Ace Hotel Pittsburgh —a refurbished century-old YMCA turned hip hotel in the up-and-coming East Liberty neighborhood—then follow the in-the-know crowd to Smallman Galley , a restaurant incubator with four rotating food concepts from a line-up of rising chefs. This season, there’s Detroit-style pizza, Vietnamese cuisine, Latin-fusion tapas, and innovative takes on American classics.

Explore More: See hotel details | See all Pittsburgh, PA hotels

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Day 2: 460 miles from Pittsburgh to Chicago

While the second half of this cross-country adventure focuses on the scenery, the eastern side is all about the cityscapes. Divide today’s day-long trek to Chicago with a pitstop in Cleveland, just two hours west of Pittsburgh. Here, grab a bite to eat at the West Side Market before wandering through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to see guitars and paraphernalia from music legends like Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and Mick Jagger.

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You’re going to want to pick up some gift shop snacks, because it’ll be another five hours before you pull into the Windy City. In Chicago, bed down at the Viceroy Chicago on the glitzy Gold Coast, whose opulent interiors are done up in Art Deco elements that nod to the hotel’s past as the 1920s Cedar Hotel. The real showstopper is the 18th-floor rooftop overlooking the Magnificent Mile and Lake Michigan.

RELATED: 9 Ultimate Weekend Road Trips You Can Take from Major U.S. Cities

Explore More: See hotel details | See all Chicago, IL hotels

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Day 3: 147 miles from Chicago to Madison, Wisconsin

A two-and-a-half-hour drive from Chicago brings you to Wisconsin’s charming college town of Madison. This untapped Midwest gem is home to locavore restaurants, indie boutiques, and contemporary art galleries. Follow the locals to Sophia’s Bakery & Café , where mouthwatering cottage cheese pancakes are served in a cozy dining room. The nearby Chazen Museum of Art and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art have impressive collections, but if you’d rather spend the day indulging in some retail therapy, check out Upshift for flirty vintage dresses or Anthology for quirky handmade crafts. There’s no better place to have dinner than the James Beard award-winning L’Etoile Restaurant , where chef Tory Miller—you may have seen him on Iron Chef Showdown —serves locally sourced dishes like Blue Valley Gardens duck breast with Swiss chard and soubise.

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Day 4: 775 miles from Madison to Rapid City, South Dakota

Today is the longest stretch you’ll be on the road, so crank those tunes and prepare to cruise straight through Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota on I-90. Stretch your legs in Badlands National Park , an otherworldly expanse of jagged pink pinnacles, grass prairies, and ancient fossil beds. While rhinos, wild horses, and saber-toothed cats used to roam this wild terrain, today you’re more likely to spot bison, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs. Backcountry camping is available for the truly adventurous; others can set up at Cedar Pass Campground (which offers running water, toilets, and covered picnic tables) or the park’s eco-friendly cabins , which come outfitted with pine-wood beds, flatscreen TVs, and mini-fridges and microwaves.

RELATED: 9 of the Most Underrated National Parks in America

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Day 5: 533 miles from Rapid City to Jackson, Wyoming

It’s early to rise on day five if you want to beat the crowds for an early-morning visit to Mount Rushmore national monument, just 20 minutes away. After taking in the Presidents’ massive granite profiles, continue on through the gorges, canyons, and cliffs of the Black Hills National Forest . Once you’re out of South Dakota, you’ll cut through the heart of Wyoming, passing endless plains and the sprawling Wind River Reservation. Tucked between the Teton and Gros Ventre mountains, Jackson blends Wyoming’s rustic, rough-and-tumble side with a refined resort town vibe. The Anvil Hotel is a perfect example of this fusion: the redesigned 1950s motel reflects the region’s rugged past with a mountain-modern twist. Stylish interiors, courtesy of Brooklyn-based firm Studio Tack, are done up with brass fixtures, custom iron bed frames, and Woolrich blankets. After settling in, make a dinner reservation at Glorietta if you’re in the mood for Italian. The roasted acorn squash; ricotta cavatelli with spicy sausage, brown butter, and fried sage; and zeppole topped with mascarpone and strawberry compote come highly recommended.

Explore More: See hotel details | See all Jackson, WY hotels

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Days 6-8: 426 miles from Jackson to Missoula, Montana

Get your cameras ready: the next few days are all about epic Rocky Mountain scenery, from Wild West backcountry to lush, lakeside meadows. Before leaving Jackson Hole, fuel up with homemade pastries or bread pudding french toast at Persephone Bakery , then set your GPS for Grand Teton National Park . This 310,000-acre swath encompasses Jackson Lake, Snake River, and the entire Teton range, which is webbed together by more than 200 miles of hiking trails. Just 10 miles north on 191, you’ll enter Yellowstone —America’s first national park famous as much for its rainbow-colored hot springs, mud pots, and spewing geysers as it is for picture-perfect wildlife sightings (keep your eyes peeled for bison, moose, black bears, elk, and the rare wolf pack).

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After Yellowstone, cross the border into Montana’s Big Sky country and continue north past dude ranches, whitewater rapids, and vast cerulean skies as far as the eye can see. Home for the night—the Resort at Paws Up , a 37,000-acre working cattle ranch and luxe retreat in the Blackfoot Valley—is just a half hour east of Missoula. Take your pick between a private log cabin or riverfront glamping tent, which comes with its own chandelier, copper soaking tub, and on-call butler and chef, who will happily cook up whole-roasted rainbow trout or chili-dusted Black Angus prime rib. Although there’s world-class fly fishing, ATVing, and rock climbing on offer, horseback riding is the resort’s beating heart. Embrace your inner cowboy (or girl!) at the Saddle Club, whose 29,000-square-foot arena and more than 100 miles of trails make it the largest private equestrian center in Montana. The on-site wranglers can also arrange rodeo lessons, cattle drives, and dinners aboard traditional chuckwagons.

RELATED: 8 Best Dude Ranches in Montana

Explore More: See hotel details | See all Greenough, MT hotels

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Days 9-10: 685 miles from Missoula to Seattle

Before heading west to your final destination, it’s worth making one last detour to see Montana’s stunning Glacier National Park . You can take in the scenery—crystalline, glacier-fed lakes; sheer, snow-capped peaks; untouched alpine meadows—along the gorgeous Going-to-the-Sun Road , a 50-mile route that crosses the Continental Divide and winds through Logan Pass alongside Saint Mary Lake. Heads up: be prepared to pull over to make way for mountain goats!

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After (reluctantly) leaving the mountains of Montana, hop back on I-90 to enter the northern tip of Idaho. This short sprint overlooks steep gorges and straddles the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene before entering Washington via Spokane. The final four-hour leg to Seattle is pretty barren, so make sure you have your road trip playlist queued up for some carpool karaoke. You know you’re getting close to the coast when you hit Snoqualmie Pass, just 55 miles outside the Seattle. The drive cuts through the Cascade Mountain Range, home to towering evergreen forests, misty mountaintops, and thundering waterfalls.

Once you reach the city, you deserve to put your feet up at The Nest , Thompson Seattle ‘s rooftop bar, for sundowners and sweeping views of Puget Sound, Mount Rainier, and the Seattle cityscape. Cheers!

Explore More: See hotel details | See all Seattle, WA hotels

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What to Pack

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Water Bottle

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37 Stops For The Best Cross Country Road Trip [Map Included]

Taking a cross country road trip in the US is something everyone should do at least once in their life! We have traveled the country back and forth on multiple occasions and asked our fellow professional travelers for help on this post as well, to get you the best of the best when it comes to doing a cross country road trip.

Best Cross Country Road Trip Map

We share top destinations , route planning ideas, attractions and activities you don’t want to miss and some great food options .

The US is filled with so many unique and different places to visit. The hard part is picking where to go. We will take you from the East Coast and places like Maine and New York down to the Florida Keys and up to Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park before heading to California!

Below you will find 37 amazing places to make your trip an unforgettable adventure.

Table of Contents

Featured Place To Stay In The US

The Beach Club Resort and Spa view from the Penthouse balcony.

The Beach Club Resort and Spa

If you are looking for an awesome beach resort vacation in the US you are going to want to check out The Beach Club Resort and Spa in Gulf Shores, Alabama !

6 pools, restaurants on site, beach bonfires and more!

Buckle up and let’s start this drive cross country! If you want to add more adventure we recommend renting an RV for your trip. RVing cross country is an awesome way to travel!

Below we share our recommendations and recommendations from fellow travel bloggers on can’t miss places to visit on the best cross country trip. We kick it off in the East coast and take you down to Florida up to the midwest out to the pacific northwest down the west coast and across to Texas!

Acadia National Park, Maine

east_coast_national_parks

If you’re heading on a road trip across the United States, one of the first places you should start (pending you’re on the East Coast) is one of the most visited US national parks – Acadia in Maine. Acadia National Park is the only national park located in the northeastern US and it is home to a variety of different landscapes ranging from coastlines to bogs and more.

If you’re visiting Acadia in winter , you will be pleased to find fewer people in the park and some of the best cross-country ski trails on the eastern seaboard. During the Acadia summers, hiking is a must and some of the most famous trails are the Precipice Trail, Great Head Trail (which offers coastal walks), and Bubble Rock.

The number one sight in Acadia National Park is Cadillac Mountain and there are a variety of ways to experience it, but hiking is definitely the best way. Be sure to also not miss Schoodic Point, the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, and Jordan Pond.

There are plenty of camping opportunities within Acadia or you can opt to stay on Mount Desert Island (the island where the park is located) in Bar Harbor . Otherwise, Acadia is an easy day trip from Bangor on the mainland. Acadia National Park will be a stellar first stop on your road trip across the wild and diverse country!

Shared by: Megan Starr – Megan & Aram Travel Blog

More on Acadia and Maine:

Acadia National Park Itinerary [Plus Where To Stay]

15 Amazing Things To Do In Maine

Top 14 Maine National Parks and State Parks To Visit

Check out these awesome farm stays around the US too!

White Mountains, New Hampshire

White Mountains New Hampshire

The White Mountains of New Hampshire offer scenic views, epic hikes, rocky rivers and gorges, and some of the best leaf peeping in the country. While you can technically make the 100-mile loop in a day, you will want to take at least a weekend to take your time and explore this road trip.

Start off in the charming town of North Conway, where you can enjoy some of the local ski resort mountain activities or take a ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad. From there, travel west across the Kancamagus Highway , one of the prettiest scenic by-ways in New England. Be sure to stop off at popular spots like the Albany Covered Bridge, Lower Falls, Rocky Gorge Scenic Area, Sabbaday Falls, Sugar Hill Overlook, C.L. Graham Wangam Overlook, and Lincoln Woods on your way to Lincoln.

Near Lincoln, spend some time hiking through the Lost River Gorge and exploring some of the caves, or visit Flume Gorge to gawk at the waterfalls. Travel north along Interstate 93 and Highway 3 through Franconia State Park. Leave time to enjoy Echo Lake Beach and make the hike up to Artist’s Bluff for stunning views of the lake and mountains beyond.

You will then want to head north east on Route 3 towards Twin Mountain until you get to Rt. 302. You will then want to head south to Bretton Woods, stopping to look at the historic Omni Mount Washington Resort. As you pass through Crawford Notch State Park, take a hike up Mt. Willard for amazing views of the notch, or to Arethusa Falls, the second tallest waterfall in New Hampshire.

Finish your road trip by following Rt. 16 back to North Conway for some outlet shopping. If you have time, make a detour toward Pinkham Notch and drive the famous Mt. Washington Auto Road, or in Bartlett, take Bear Notch Road down to the Kancamagus Highway for a beautiful backwoods drive.

If you are looking for some cool places to stay check out these cool glamping In New England options!

Shared by: Tamara Gruber – We 3 Travel

More on New Hampshire:

14 Best Things To Do In Lincoln New Hampshire

Berkshire, Massachusetts

Berkshire - Cross Country Road Trip stop

The Berkshires of Massachusetts is a breathtaking region located between New York City and Boston. This stunning area is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a bevy of hiking and biking opportunities as well as spectacular ski areas. Although the region is notably beautiful year-round, it’s particularly spectacular in autumn, with vibrant foliage decorating the mountainous landscape. Leaf peepers gather each fall to witness the spectacle from atop Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation, around the Stockbridge Bowl, and down secret winding backroads.

In addition to various opportunities for physical fitness, there are numerous cultural amusements in The Berkshires as well. For instance, the charming town of Stockbridge is home to the Norman Rockwell Museum, a site that pays homage to the famous American illustrator. This popular town also features Naumkeag, a stunning Gilded Age mansion that sits atop 48 acres and offers a range of seasonal events. Travelers will also enjoy a visit to the sweet neighboring town of Lenox, home to Edith Wharton’s former estate, The Mount. Here, self-guided tours are available of the impressive mansion and gardens through Mid-November.

Additionally, for a journey back in time, head to Santarella. This unique storybook property dates back to 1739 and looks like something straight out of a fairytale. Although the grounds are private, this dream home is available to rent for a special event or an unforgettable Berkshires getaway.

Learn more: Most Breathtaking Places to Experience Fall in The Berkshires

Shared by: Elena Pappalardo – The Carry-On Chronicles

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod Lighthouse

Cape Cod, Massachusetts is the perfect beach destination for some relaxation or adventure. Begin your visit in Sandwich on the western end of Cape Cod with a visit to the Sandwich Glass Museum or enjoy nature at the Heritage Museum and Gardens. Continue with your drive through Cape Cod with a stop at some of the many lighthouses, including the Nauset Light and Chatham Lighthouse.

Drive along the Cape Cod National Seashore where you will have a plentiful selection of sandy beaches to choose from. Spend a couple hours or all day relaxing in the sand, viewing the sand dunes, and jumping over the waves.

Depending on how much time you allot for the area, a whale watch is highly recommended! Head to Provincetown, the end point of Cape Cod, and hop aboard for a ride along the shores of Cape Cod featuring the famous sand dunes before heading out to the Stellwagen National Marine Sanctuary.

After the whale watch take a stroll along Commercial Street and enjoy the quaint, local shops and tasty seafood options. Visit the Pilgrim Monument for breathtaking views of Provincetown and the surrounding area. Hang around until sunset and catch the famous Cape Cod sunset from Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown.

When visiting Cape Cod be prepared to eat your share of seafood-the options are endless! You can expect to find oysters, scallops, clams, mussels, and lobster. If you aren’t a seafood person don’t worry! You will find a great selection of international foods, including Asian, Middle-Eastern, and Italian.

Learn more: Provincetown With Kids: 11 Must Do’s

Shared by: Melissa – Navigation Junkie

You will also want to check out all the awesome Cape Cod towns .

More on Massachusetts:

4 Best Amusement Parks in Massachusetts To Visit

Hyde Park New York

One of my favorite places in the Hudson Valley is Hyde Park, the National Historic Site that encompasses Franklin Roosevelt’s childhood home, his presidential library , historic Top Cottage and Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill estate. There are also gardens and enough property for a good long walk. You can’t see the whole estate in one day, especially with kids. So, I recommend you start with the library.

FDR was the first president to establish a presidential library and he did so on the estate while he was still in office. The public portion of the library is a nicely done, kid-friendly museum. You can sit at a model 1930s kitchen with a radio playing his fireside chats or follow the arc of WWII on interactive maps.

The highlights for me are his oval office desk cluttered with knick-knacks and the car he had adapted for his polio. Eleanor gets her own wing, where you can see her manual typewriter and letters from people across the country who wrote to ask for her help and her personal advice. My favorite place is Top Cottage, FDR’s hideaway on the estate. He hosted a barbecue for the King and Queen of England here and sat on the porch with several world leaders including Winston Churchill.

You can only see the three houses by ranger tour and a highly recommend taking this one because the history and anecdotes make this little stone house fascinating. Eleanor led a long public life after Franklin died and you’ll learn a lot about her interests and accomplishments at Val-Kill. In the family home you learn about Franklin’s boyhood, entry into politics and his polio.

Kids who know something about 20th century history will get the most out of a visit, but there’s enough to engage younger school-age children. The town of Pougheepsie, six miles south has restaurants, but on a nice day I recommend bringing a picnic or buying sandwiches at café and eating outside on the grounds.

Shared by: Eileen P. Gunn – Families Go Travel

New York City

New York City

If you’re planning an epic road trip through the United States, you absolutely need to stop in New York City. Phenomenal restaurants, world-class museums and architecture, stunning entertainment, beautiful parks, and more await you in the City that Never Sleeps.

New York City was first established in 1624, when the island of Manhattan was purchased from the native peoples who inhabited the land by the Dutch for a mere $24. As the Dutch, and then English, settlements grew and developed, it served as an important place during the American Revolution, and became the newly born United State’s first national capital. Manhattan was incorporated with the other four boroughs–Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island–in 1898 to form the full New York City.

The City is home to tons of awesome museums, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the American Museum of Natural History, as well as Broadway theatre. Make sure you catch a performance in the Theatre District, which includes many of the theaters in the famous Times Square.

There are so many free things to do in New York City , in addition to paid activities. Wander through any of the City’s parks, walk the High Line and explore the newly developed Hudson Yards, or visit the 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan. You can even head to the beach, all without leaving the five boroughs. Even just simply walking through the many different neighborhoods will give you incredible insight into the diverse, mesmerizing experience that is New York City.

Shared by Lyndsay Crescenti – The Purposely Lost

More On New York

If you plan to head to New York check out this awesome New York to Maine road trip too! And if you want to go with kids check out our tips on New York City With Kids . If you are looking for a romantic getaway check out these romantic hotels in New York State !

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Cheesesteak

One of the best road trip stops in America is the northeastern city of Philadelphia. The city is full of fascinating history, world class museums and the delicious Philadelphia food scene.

There are so many worthwhile activities to enjoy in Philadelphia, like touring the historical buildings in Old City. Visitors love to explore Independence Hall, the site where Americans signed the Declaration of Independence and debated and signed the American Constitution. It’s steps away from other historical attractions like the Liberty Bell and President’s Mansion. Nearby you can also visit museums like the Constitution Center and The Museum of the American Revolution.

The Franklin Institute of Science is another favorite museum, especially for visitors with children. Still, the most famous museum in the city is probably The Philadelphia Museum of Art and its famous steps from the movie Rocky.

Philadelphia is also a foodie destination with famous local foods like the cheesesteak, soft pretzel and water ice. These treats alone are worth the stop in the city of Philadelphia. One of the best destinations to try these favorites is Philadelphia’s famous food hall, Reading Terminal Market. There you can visit rows of open air food stands and enjoy them in the central dining area.

In the warm weather, visitors can enjoy the food at Spruce Street Harbor Park, a recreational area built on the bank of the Delaware River. It hosts entertainment, food trucks and is one of the most popular places to try the local cuisine and relax along the waterfront. No matter when you visit Philadelphia, it’s a must-stop destination with so much to explore.

Shared by: Derek and Mike – Robe Trotting

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Shenadoah National Park in Virginia

Shenandoah National Park is worth a stop on any road trip across the US. There are beautiful, endless views on the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley to admire. Stop for the many waterfalls, the hiking opportunities, both short and longer. The Skyline Drive is easy to include in your trip through the US. Stop to see all the animals in Shenandoah, like the butterflies and maybe a brown beer. When making your trip in the Fall, Shenandoah is perfect for seeing the fall foliage.

When going to Shenandoah National Park the top thing to do is driving the Skyline Drive, it’s 105 miles and takes you along all the viewpoints. The views are so mesmerizing, you’ll want to stop at every viewpoint there is. The viewpoints are also the starting points for the hikes in the park, another top thing to do in Shenandoah.

There’s over 500 miles of marked trails. 20 of the hikes are to the waterfalls in the park. Not to be missed is the Stony ManNature Trail. A 1.6 mile hike to the highest point in the park, the Stony Man’s Summit. The most popular hike is the hike to Old Rag Mountain, it’s however a hike that will take a day and is not easy.

Come also for night sky watching and stargazing, which is a thing you have to see in the park. The Big Meadows Area and The Amphitheater in the Skyland area are perfect for this.

Shared by Cosette – KarsTravels

You may also want to check out these great off the beaten track destinations in the US !

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia is definitely a must-stop place on a USA road trip. It’s the world’s largest living history museum as well as being the capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1780. Thanks to the generosity of those who are committed to preserving American history, you can explore the restored and reconstructed historic center of Colonial Williamsburg.

Your Colonial Williamsburg ticket grants you entrance to important and historic buildings like the Governor’s mansion and homes of other prominent residents of the town, mostly by guided tour. The excellent guides will not only discuss important features of the buildings, but the background of those who lived there providing important historical and cultural context. In addition, the historic center is full of trade shops where you can talk to historical interpreters about paper making, book binding, ironwork, wig making, sites important to the everyday economy and culture of the town.

Special programs like evening ghost tours, historical re-enactments, and concerts also give visitors a glimpse of what life might have been like there in the 18th century. When considering where to eat at Colonial Williamsburg , plan to treat yourself to at least one dinner at one of the historical taverns like Christiana Campbell’s. You’ll enjoy a great meal surrounded by history.

Shared by: Darcy Vierow – Plan, Ready, Go

Other fun stops in Virginia:

Things To Do In Charlottesville VA

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston in South Carolina is a must-stop on any US cross country road trip! Why you may ask?

Well, mostly because Charleston is a super cute and beautiful town where road trippers can easily entertain themselves for a day or two.

A Charleston walking tour is a great way to see some of the city’s highlights such as the pineapple fountain, Charleston harbor, the city market, and of course the rainbow houses. These colorful houses make Charleston a very picturesque place to visit. Besides some sightseeing, you can also explore one of the many beaches around Charleston (if the weather permits).

South Carolina may not be most famous for the beaches, but let Charleston try and prove otherwise. Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach, or Isle of Palms Country Park are three beaches that are worth checking out!

After a full day at the beach, you can eat your heart out at one of the many restaurants in Charleston. Some of the all-time favorite restaurants include The Darling Oyster Bar at King Street and The Macintosh a little bit further down the same street.

The last reason why Charleston is an awesome stop for a road trip is because of the great number of delicious breweries that are located there. Head over to Charleston Distilling CO, Highwire Distilling, Palmetto Brewing or one of the many other breweries and find out for yourself what makes Charleston so amazing!

Shared by: Lara – The Best Travel Gifts

Savannah Georgia

Savannah Georgia

Be careful adding Savannah as a stop on your cross-country road trip; you might not want to leave once you’ve seen it! People from all over the country visit Savannah to get a peek at its charming squares and picturesque streets – and to sample all of the delicious Southern-style cooking.

First, plan to walk as much as possible! The city looks prettiest on foot where you can appreciate its beautiful details. Begin at River Street and watch the ships sailing into port while sampling some yummy pralines at River Street Sweets, then head to City Market for live entertainment, art, and a giant slice of pizza at Vinnie Van Go Go’s. Afterwards, do some shopping along Broughton Street, and then head deeper into the Historic District to visit the squares and stroll along Jones Street. It’s known as one of the prettiest streets in America. Make sure you stop by Forsyth Park to see the famous fountain!

If you’re in the mood for a fancy dinner, try The Olde Pink House. It’s a classic in Savannah and offers fine dining inside a beautiful historic (and reportedly haunted!) mansion. Prefer something more casual? Treylor Park is always a good bet. Finally, wind down your evening with a ghost tour — since Savannah is known as one of the most haunted cities in the US.

Can’t-miss sights include the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Bonaventure Cemetery, and a tour of the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters or Pin Point Heritage Museum.

Shared by: Erin Clarkson – Savannah First Timer

Universal Studios, Florida

Universal Studios fire breathing dragon

A Cross Country US road trip won’t be complete without a stop to Orlando, Florida. Of course you could go to Disney World and if you have never been you should at least make time for Magic Kingdom . But don’t spend all your time there! Instead be sure to head over to Universal Studios .

Not sure where to go? Check out this post: Should You Choose Disney World Or Universal. 

Our kids much prefer Universal Studios and the kind of rides they have here – with their favorites being the Harry Potter rides. And of course you can’t beat visiting Harry Potter world in Universal. It is a truly special places especially if you have read the books and watched the movies.

Make sure to try all the different kinds of butter beer – hot, cold, ice cream they have a lot of options!

Once you are done with Universal Studios you will want to head to Volcano Bay ! This is our favorite waterpark in all of the US. You are in the middle of busy Orlando but when you are there you feel like you are on a tropical island filled with fun water rides and an awesome wave pool with a volcano.

There are so many fun activities to do in Orlando!

Between Orlando and the Florida Keys you can make a stop at the gorgeous Marco Island! Check out this post with a great list of things to do in Marco Island .

Florida Keys, Florida

Florida Keys Road Trip

If you are looking for the most tropical place in all of the US then you will want to make the trek down to the Florida Keys. The Florida Keys remain one of our favorite destinations in the US after traveling full time in an RV for over 6 years around the US. We love the tropical feel, the beautiful water and all of the fun things that you can do while you are there.

Most people think of the Florida Keys and only picture Key West. Yes Key West is amazing but there are so many really cool things to do all up and down the Keys. The Keys stretch over 100 miles so plenty of other places to stop and things to do.

We love the middle keys and the fact it is a lot more slower paced and less busy than Key West. Rent a Pontoon, go to the turtle hospital , animal encounters. and more! While on your cross country road trip be sure to set time aside for a Florida Keys road trip . It would also be a great place to try car camping – since the weather is usually so nice.

If getting outside with your family is high on your list be sure to check out these awesome outdoorsy vacations with kids!

Destin, Florida

Things To Do In Destin Florida

Another of our top destinations in the US is Destin, Florida ! You can’t beat the white sand beaches and gorgeous aquamarine colored water. We love coming here for a beach break to just kick back relax and hang out on the beach.

That being said we also love all of the fun activities that you can do from fishing to renting a pontoon to Jet Skiing. There are so many options for amazing family fun while you are in Destin, Florida.

We really enjoy camping at Grayton Beach when we are there and visiting the Surf Hut restaurant that is located right on the beach. And you want to be sure you don’t miss the beautiful sunset from the beach out over the ocean.

Northern Georgia

North Georgia

Every US road trip should include the North Georgia Mountains . Take the hike to Springer Mountain in Dahlonega, where the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail begins. Ride an open-air car on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway or take a hike on Blue Ridge’s swinging bridge- both letting you adventure over the Toccoa River. Visit the Alpine town of Helen, Georgia known for the Bavarian Village, delicious German food and festivals galore.

In Blairsville, take the short walk to Brasstown Bald for sensational 36-degree views at Georgia’s tallest point. Want more views? Add a stop at Bell Mountain in Hiawassee for a birds-eye view of Lake Chatuge. Ellijay is home to apple picking, but if you miss an early Fall visit then enjoy their wine trail instead. Finally, the Northeast mountains near Clayton and Rabun County are known for their waterfalls, magnificent trails, and charming small towns.

Shared by: Lesli Peterson – 365 Atlanta Traveler

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville Road Trip

Louisville , Kentucky is one of the most fun cities to visit in the entire United States. But it is especially a dream come true for sports lovers. Start by learning about legendary boxer and Louisville native Muhammad Ali at the Muhammad Ali Center. Next, baseball fans will love visiting the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory to see how Major League Baseball’s favorite bat is manufactured.

But the most famous sports-related landmark in Louisville is Churchill Downs. This hallowed spot is where the most famous horse race in the world, the Kentucky Derby, is run every year. Even when the race isn’t on, you can visit the Kentucky Derby Museum.

But Louisville isn’t just for sports fans. Art lovers will adore the amazing collection at the Speed Art Museum. Bourbon fans will want to learn about how the famous American spirit is made at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. Or for a more low-key activity, wander around the Old Louisville neighborhood and admire the Victorian homes. You might even spot Louisville’s famous Witches’ Tree in this area.

Louisville is famous for several delicious and decadent foods. The most famous is probably the Hot Brown sandwich served at the Brown Hotel. It’s an indulgent warm, open-faced turkey sandwich slathered with bacon and rich Mornay sauce. And don’t miss the chance to try a yummy slice of chocolate and walnut Derby pie when you visit the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs.

Shared by: Stella Jane – Around the World in 24 Hours

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Best Cross Country Road Trip Stop - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

While taking a trip across the US, Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a place you must visit. Situated on Lake Michigan’s western shore, it is famous for its breweries and cheese. Even if there’s no other reason left to visit the city, you should stop here for the beer. If you are a beer fan, Milwaukee will not disappoint you. The city has beer stores on every third step. One of the reasons why tourists come and stop at this place to buy and taste the breweries.

It is great for a family vacation as there are a lot of things you can do. Start your trip by treating your taste buds to the city’s famous dishes. Milwaukee is famous for its beer, no doubt, but you will find a lot of eateries around the corners of the city’s street. There are vegetarian, vegan-friendly, as well as non-vegetarian restaurants. One of your must-visit stops should be Centro Cafe that offers rustic Italian food.

After filling your stomach, there are places you must visit. Visit the Public Museum which is the home to world history. Explore some amazing scientific innovations and collections from zoology to photography. Visit the Harley-Davidson Museum to witness one-of-a-kind objects including the very first Harley-Davidson bike.

The city has a lot more to offer from its history to great food. If you have a pet as your company, find the best pet-friendly cabins in Wisconsin and enjoy the sites with your furry friend.

Shared by: Paulina – Paulina On The Road

Black Hills, South Dakota

Black Hills South Dakota

Any cross-country U.S. road trip should include a stop in the Black Hills of South Dakota. In addition to over 8000 square miles of natural beauty, these hills host some of our nation’s most iconic monuments and parks.

Located right off of interstate 90, the Black Hills are easily accessible. Most people know this area because of Mount Rushmore, which is a must-see, but there is much more to see and do here. Half an hour away from Mount Rushmore is the Crazy Horse Memorial. This monument, also carved into the mountains, is still in progress and it’s awesome to watch the work being done. There is a Native American museum at the memorial and they often hold live performances.

Just south of Mount Rushmore is Custer State Park. There’s camping, hiking, kayaking and more at this sprawling park. Travelers who are short on time can take one of the scenic drives to see giant herds of buffalo and adorable prairie dog towns.

On the north end of the Black Hills lies Spearfish Canyon. The winding road that runs along the river reveals lush canyon walls. Bring a picnic, take a hike to one of the many waterfalls and just enjoy the natural wonder.

Lastly, a visit to the Black Hills wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the historic town of Deadwood. Step back in time while you lounge at a saloon, take an historic home tour or visit the gravesites of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane!

Shared by: Julie Espinosa – Family Travel Lifestyle

Another great location in South Dakota is Wind Cave National Park .

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a must-see; this huge US National Park is home to some of the most thrilling natural sights in the country! It is so large that it covers three different states: Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming (which houses the bulk of the park). First time visitors are often surprised to learn that it can take hours to drive just within the park between the distance, crowds, and bison traffic jams so it’s important to have mapped out the highlights you’re planning to hit.

While you’re driving, be sure to keep an eye out along the roads for wildlife. Often called the “serengeti of the west”, Lamar Valley is famous for its wolves, bison, coyotes, and grizzly bears. If there is a crowd of cars pulled over, it’s a good sign to join them and ask what’s been spotted.

Old Faithful is the most famous geyser among the over 10,000 thermal features within the park, stop by for one of the predicted eruptions and then browse the dedicated visitor center nearby to learn more about this geological wonder. The photogenic Grand Prismatic Spring is also nearby, where visitors can walk on a boardwalk within inches of the thermal pool’s vivid hues.

Visitors also can’t miss the roaring Yellowstone Falls from one of the famous overlooks, as the most stunning waterfall inside the park. Wrap up your days in one of the gateway cities that have plenty of delicious restaurants, ice cream shops, and spots to unwind after the natural thrills!

Read more Yellowstone National Park Tips here!

Shared by: Stephanie – Explore More Clean Less

Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman Montana

Beautiful Bozeman is one of the jewels of Montana; it balances both powerful and sprawling nature with a dynamic city center and cultural institutions. This dichotomy makes it well worth a stop on any road trip going through Montana.

Bozeman is situated in the Gallatin Valley and framed by the peaks of the Absaroka, Bridger, Madison, and Gallatin mountain ranges. The ski runs of two of Montana’s best ski resorts, Bridger Bowl and Big Sky Resort, are within easy driving distance. The natural surroundings aren’t just prone to world-class skiing; you’ll also find excellent hiking at Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area and kayaking and rafting adventures waiting to be had along the Madison and Gallatin Rivers.

Moving closer to the center of the city, you’ll find downtown Bozeman as well as Montana State University. The latter helps run the esteemed Museum of the Rockies, which is a museum that can’t be missed while in Bozeman. It is easily one of the top things to do in Bozeman thanks to its incredible collection of dinosaur bones, many of which were found right in Montana. After a day exploring the museums or having adventures in the wild land surrounding Bozeman, head downtown for a pint at one of Bozeman’s excellent breweries or to enjoy some farm to table cuisine.

Shared by: Gina – Travel Montana Now

Glacier National Park

Avalanche Lake Hike in Glacier National Park

You can’t have a list of places to visit in the US without having Glacier National Park ! This place is unbelievably beautiful. From the glacial lakes to the mountains at every turn you are awe-struck by the beauty.

There are a few must do things like visiting Lake McDonald and driving the Going To The Sun Road. But some of our favorites are more of the off the beaten path things. Like visiting Polebridge Mercantile or the Many Glacier section of the park.

Our favorite hikes in Glacier are Grinnell Glacier where we say ice bergs floating in the lake at the top and Avalanche Lake with its mountain lake and greenery surrounding it.  Glacier is a place that is best to visit in late July, August or early September. This time of year gives you the best chance to really see everything it has to offer.

The Going To The Sun Road doesn’t even open until mid July sometimes and you want to do that when you are here. If you are questioning making the drive this far north don’t. Just do it! You will be glad you did!

Check out our post on Unique Montana Airbnbs you will want to stay in on your trip.

Mount Rainier, Washington

Mount Rainier National park

One of the best places to stop during a road trip through Washington State is Mount Rainier, National Park. This park has mountains galore, lakes, waterfalls, and old grove trees. It is a beautiful park with so much to see.

One of the best things to do is to stop by the Paradise visitor center to do the skyline trail. Even if you are not a hiker, you need to experience this area. Mount Rainier looks stunning, and there is a waterfall called Marymere Falls. The hike is moderate and has fantastic views throughout. If the weather is iffy, Comet Falls hike is a great place to experience a gargantuan waterfall. It is one of the best waterfalls in Washington State and is worth the 3.8-mile trek.

There are also multiple fire lookouts in Mount Rainier National Park . Fremont lookout is probably the most popular lookout, followed by Tolmie Peak. You have to hike to get to either of the lookouts, but the effort is well worth it. Many people do these hike for sunset and are sometimes rewarded with a stunning cloud inversion. No matter what you do at this national park, you will fall in love with its natural beauty.

Shared by: Michelle – The Wandering Queen

Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast

The Oregon coast is a magical and unique place. There is so much lush green in Oregon. With the green contrasting with the ocean cliffs and water it is a sight to see.

There are jet boat rides to take and sand dunes to 4 wheel on. Plus hours of tide pooling and amazing hiking. Oregon really is a nature lovers paradise. If possible make multiple stops along the coast. And don’t miss Cannon beach and Astoria – where they filmed Goonies.

The Oregon coast is a unique place and definitely somewhere that has you thinking waterfalls, lush green forests and fairies. If fairies exist they are in Oregon!

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a great place to visit all year round. Whether you are heading there in the winter for skiing or you want to spend the summer playing water sports and hiking – Lake Tahoe has something for everyone.

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake and it straddles both California and Nevada. It sits in a basin at over 6,000 feet surrounded by the Sierra Mountains. The views around the lake are stunning.

One of the best things to do around Lake Tahoe is to go hiking. If you are looking for a short, scenic hike why not try the Vikingsholm Trail. This trail is only 3.2 miles long and ends in Emerald Bay. From the start you have amazing views of Emerald Bay the whole way down. Just remember you have to get back up again!

In the summer, you can take a scenic gondola ride up to the Heavenly Mountain for epic views. The gondola ride is 2.4 miles long to the Observation Deck where you can have panoramic views of Lake Tahoe. You can also check out the cafe there.

Lastly, why not take a scenic drive around the lake. It takes about an hour to drive from North Lake Tahoe to South Lake Tahoe. You will notice quite a difference in the North where it is more serene and the South which is more popular. Either way the scenery is gorgeous and you can see the Sugar Pines and White Firs.

Shared by: Nicole – American SW Obsessed  

Another fun place to visit in Nevada is the Great Basin National Park. 

San Francisco, California

San Francisco

It’s not a true road trip around the United States if you don’t stop in San Francisco. Is it any wonder this stunning and unique city has been mentioned in so many song lyrics?

For starters, you need to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. There’s some excellent vantage points at either end to stop and take a photo, with one of my favorites being the dog-friendly Baker Beach. The beach is also perfect for taking in a west coast sunset.

Another top attraction to visit in San Francisco is the prison island of Alcatraz, accessible on a ferry from Fisherman’s Wharf. (Don’t forget to book well in advance!) While you’re at Fisherman’s Wharf, stop by Pier 39 to gaze at the resident sea lions. Also nearby is the famously crooked Lombard Street, with its eight hairpin turns. Naturally the street is one-way only; drive down the street from the upper end.

While you’re in San Francisco, don’t also miss visiting Haight-Ashbury, the hippie heart of the city and home to an eclectic collection of boutiques. Or else head to the Mission District for some affordable tacos and to check out its plentiful street art. Balmy Alley is lined with murals, many reflecting the Latino links of the district.

And for a final classic San Fran experience, leave your car behind for a ride on the old-school cable cars!

Learn more: Dog-Friendly Things To Do In San Francisco

Shared by: Shandos Cleaver – Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel

Yosemite National Park, California

On a cross-country trip across the U.S., there will be several national parks vying for attention. One absolute must-visit is Yosemite National Park, which is in my opinion the most beautiful national park in California!

While you’re there, be sure to indulge in plenty of hiking: that is why you come to Yosemite, after all! If you are traveling with kids or people who want easier trails, there are several easy hikes in Yosemite that are worth taking, but two top ones are the Lower Yosemite Falls loop and the Cooks Meadow loop. For more advanced hikers, hiking to Taft Point is absolutely worth it as well as Upper Yosemite Falls.

You should also drive around Yosemite and see several of the best views in Yosemite from easy vantage points that require little walking or hiking. A few favorites are the view from Tunnel View, Washburn Point, The Three Brothers, and Olmsted Point.

Also, don’t miss Mariposa Grove and the beautiful giant sequoias which define this area, which was one of the first protected areas in Yosemite. There are both easy and moderate hikes in this area surrounded by beautiful towering redwoods, an absolute must-do!

Whatever adventure you choose for your Yosemite trip and however long you choose to stay, it won’t feel like enough, and I’m sure you’ll find yourself returning to Yosemite time and again!

Shared by: Allison Green – California Crossroads

Death Valley, California

Death Valley National Park

If you are looking for fun places to stop on a US road trip, consider Death Valley National Park in California! The largest national park in the contiguous US, Death Valley holds the record for the highest temperature recorded on earth.

The desert views at Death Valley are majestic, and they are varied as well. So if you go expecting nothing but sand, prepare to be awestruck by colorful canyons, vast white salt flats, and even snow covered mountains at the fringes of the valley.

Drive up to Dante’s View to look out over the valley. On a clear day you may be able to see Mount Whitney, the tallest peak in the lower 48 states, as well as Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America.

If you enjoy local history, the park has old mine sites and charcoal kilns you can visit. At Harmony Borax Works, you can even take a photo of a double wagon used in the days of 20-mule teams! There are lots of hiking trails in the park: the Mosaic Canyon hike is one of the most popular hikes in Death Valley.

Up in the north of the park, visit the Ubehebe Crater, a Maar volcano. Or zip out of the park a short distance to view the ruins at Rhyolite, a Gold Rush town.

There are three hotels inside Death Valley National Park, as well as a number of campgrounds. Each hotel has an onsite restaurant.

Visit Death Valley National Park in the cooler months of the year, especially if you want to hike!

Shared by: Dhara – Roadtripping California

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara California

Located along California’s Central Coast, Santa Barbara is a perfect destination year-round.

What makes it a great place to visit is the combination of unique cultural landmarks and great outdoor opportunities that could be explored year-round thanks to California’s mild climate.

Early morning, head to Old Mission Santa Barbara to get a lesson in the area’s history and later take a walk through El Presidio – a former military settlement that was built by the early Spanish settlers to protect their military outpost.

El Presidio is home to El Cuartel, one of the oldest buildings in the state of California and the oldest building in the city of Santa Barbara. It also has a distinction of being the last building that was built by the Spanish in the New World.

After touring the city’s historic landmarks, explore Santa Barbara’s beaches where you can surf, rent a kayak or if you don’t want to get into the water, just ride a bike along the coast at your own leisure.

Downtown Santa Barbara is walkable and boasts many outdoor venues. One of the main hallmarks of the area is Paseo Nuevo, an outdoor mall built in the Spanish colonial style with plenty of stores and restaurants where you can grab a take-out and quickly head toward the beach.

After you finish shopping and dining, check out Santa Barbara Botanic Garden located against the backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains or soak in the views of the Pacific Ocean from the Stearns Wharf in the harbor of Santa Barbara – the oldest working wharf in California!

Learn more: Incredible Things To Do In Santa Barbara

Shared by: Daria Bachmann – The Discovery Nut

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park

No trip across the US can exclude California and its many natural wonders. There’s no shortage of beautiful places in the state, but there’s no better way to experience the California desert than by visiting Joshua Tree National Park.

Located less than three hours east of Los Angeles, the desert landscape in this national park is dotted with stunning, out of this world Joshua Trees, for which the park is named after. These “trees” stand tall and proud, with spiky arms that twist and turn upwards and outwards.

The park is beautiful and offers plenty to do and see, even if you only have one day to spend here. If you’re pressed for time, drive the main park road and stop at the Cholla Cactus Garden for a pleasant stroll through fuzzy, teddy bear-like cholla cactus.

More into cool desert rocks? Joshua Tree does not disappoint! Large boulders stand tall in the desert landscape, including Arch Rock, a famous boulder shaped like an arch. Skull Rock looks like (you guessed it) a human skull, and is another popular stopping point. A personal favorite is Split Rock, a giant boulder broken perfectly in two (and with less crowds!)

Of course, no trip to Joshua Tree is complete without photographing the famous Joshua Trees themselves. You’ll find them in the northern part of the park, just pull over and start snapping photos!

Joshua Tree is stunning, and makes for a perfect addition to a US road trip!

Shared by: Ale – Sea Salt & Fog 

Ok you are right Hawaii wouldn’t really be considered on a cross country road trip – BUT – hear me out. When you reach the west coast you can usually get air flight to Hawaii a lot cheaper compared to other parts of the US. Plus there are more flights and it is a shorter flight!

For those reasons it may be a location you want to consider! Here are some great posts on Hawaii to help you plan that trip:

Tips For Visiting Hawaii For the First Time

Tips On Visiting Disney Aulani 

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park

Everyone has heard of the Grand Canyon and with good reason — not only is it one of the seven natural wonders of the world, but it’s a truly awe-inspiring place to see. If it’s not already on your bucket list, it should be!

The best way to see the Grand Canyon is to hike it. Whether you choose a day trip or to hike down to the Colorado River with a stay at Phantom Ranch, it’s all breathtaking. Most of the hikes are considered difficult as the switchbacks to get down to the river are quite steep, though there are some moderate hikes as well that still provide incredible views.

For those not up for the adventure of hiking, you can easily take in the spectacular views wandering along the rim. If you’re feeling daring, the Grand Canyon Skywalk over the canyon offers views to the bottom with a glass skyway that is sure to amaze.

Whether you hike into the canyon or walk along the rim, enjoy how the light changes the colors of the canyon. The shifting sun provides a kaleidoscope of natural colors that seem unreal and it really lights up with the most incredible shades of color throughout the day and into the evening.

This is a popular tourist destination and people come from around the world to see it. The Grand Canyon is a great overnight trip from Phoenix, Arizona , and worth a spot on your bucket list.

Shared by: Sam – My Flying Leap

Northern Arizona

Northern Arizona

The dramatic desert landscapes of Northern Arizona have to be seen to be believed! Top stops on a US road trip through the Southwest include Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and Page , Arizona.

Sedona is a great first introduction to the red rocks of the desert. Take the popular Cathedral Rock trail, Devil’s Bridge trail, Little Horse trail, and visit Slide Rock State Park to slide down the slippery rocks, which become a popular slide in the summer! While there are numerous luxurious spa resorts in Sedona, there are plenty of incredible Airbnb’s with pools and views!

Traveling north, stop in Flagstaff, Arizona and make it your base for exploring the Grand Canyon. Located an hour and 15 minutes away, it’s the closest city. Stay at the Drury Inn & Suites on Northern Arizona University’s campus and make sure you eat at NiMarco’s, Flagstaff’s best pizza place with an incredible pesto pizza!

Lastly, Page, Arizona  is one of the most beautiful parts of the Southwest (a bold claim, I know). Here you’ll see Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. Horseshoe Bend is a free part of the Grand Canyon with a river that dramatically wraps around a plateau. The trail is short but it can get extremely hot, so be prepared. Antelope Canyon is a beautiful slot canyon on the Navajo Reservation. You need to book a tour for it, but the views are unbeatable!

Shared by: Alanna Koritzke – Periodic Adventures

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park

Nature lovers and outdoor adventurers will not want to miss visiting Zion National Park during a cross-country road trip. Located near Springdale, Utah, Zion National Park is famous for its steep sandstone cliffs soaring up from the canyon floor.

The main thing to do in Zion is go hiking, as there are several scenic trails in the heart of the park ranging from challenging and adventurous full-day hikes, to short and easy nature walks.

Some of the park’s most notable hikes are also the longest and most difficult, including Angels Landing, Observation Point, and the Narrows. More moderate, but equally scenic options include the hike to Canyon Overlook and Watchman Trail. For an easy hike, you can follow along the Virgin River on Pa’rus Trail and the Riverside Walk, or set out to visit Lower Emerald Pool.

Even if hiking is not your thing, you can still enjoy Zion National Park by going on a sightseeing drive through the park. The park provides shuttle buses to access the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive (the most popular part of the park), but private vehicles are allowed on the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway where you can drive through the sandstone cliffs via a historic tunnel.

Learn more: How to Spend 3 Days in Zion National Park- Hikes, Walks, and Scenic Drives

Shared by: Rhonda Krause – Travel? Yes Please!

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park

This is one stop you don’t want to miss when you are road tripping cross country in the United States. Bryce Canyon will simply amaze, inspire and wonder how such a thing exists in the world. Located near the Zion National Park in Utah and in an area where hikes and exploration are at an abundance.

Ever heard of a Hoodoo, this is what Bryce Canyon is made up of and makes you think you have landed on another planet. These columns of rocks are formed by steam erosion and frost weathering and it’s the one place in the world with the largest collection.

It’s really worth checking out some of the view point like Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunrise & Sunset point. While on the other hand you can burn off some energy completing any of the many hikes that vary from 1 mile to 23 miles. A couple you might like to try are “Navajo Loop Trail” & “Fairyland loop Trail”, but plenty of others to suit your time frame and situation.

April to October tends to be the busiest season with temps ranging from 75 to 98 degrees F, this is also when a shuttle service is offered around the park to help you get around. Visiting in winter in January or February could have you enjoying a very different views with snow topping all the peaks.

If anything, don’t forget to catch a sunrise view – you won’t regret it!

Shared by Chris – The Aquarius Traveller  

Park City, Utah

Park City Utah

Are you looking for an amazing stop on your cross country road trip that’s full of action and adventure? Then make sure to stop in Park City Utah. Located right off of I-80, and only 20 miles from I-15, Park City is a quick stop on the way to most mountain west destinations, but will still make you feel like you’ve just discovered the perfect mountain town.

All throughout the year, the mountains are the real show stopper, and the opportunities to recreate there seem limitless. If you really want to soak in all that the mountains have to offer, make sure to head hiking in the summer or snowshoeing in the winter. Our favorite trails are Silver Lake for hikers and Gamble Oak on snowshoes. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, you can’t go wrong with the ropes course or bobsled rides at the Olympic Park, or a class at Woodward Action Sports Complex.

If you’re visiting Park City on a winter road trip, you’ll want to plan to stay for a while since there is so much to do. The obvious winter activity of choice in Park City is skiing, so plan on skiing at least 2 days during your winter visit to Park City. After that, the absolute best activities in Park City is dog sledding with Luna Lobos, and you’ll also want to see if you can fit in a snowmobiling trip into the Uintah mountains, to wrap up the perfect trip to Park City.

Learn more: Best Utah Ski Resorts For Kids

Shared by Jessica Averett – Skiing Kids

Summit County, Colorado

Summit County Colorado

If you’re looking for a place where you can pack a lot of Colorado mountain adventure into one place, then you absolutely need to plan a stop in Summit County Colorado. Luckily, I-70 runs right through it, so you won’t even have to go out of your way to see this road trip stop. Plan on staying for a few days, and if you want to be centrally located and not pay resort prices, plan on staying in Silverthorne or Frisco.

In the summer, hiking and mountain biking shine here. If you’re in good shape, and have adjusted to the altitude, be brave and go out and hike a 14er (Colorado term for a mountain over 14,000 ft). You can hike both Greys and Torreys peaks in only a 9 mile trek, so start getting in shape now so you can knock this off your bucket list (your legs will thank you for training in advance).

If you are road tripping in the winter, Summit County is a winter paradise. With 4 ski resorts within a 15 minute radius, skiing in Colorado is a must do. If you want a big resort feel, head to Breckenridge, but if you want a smaller resort that has incredible terrain, Arapahoe Basin is the place to ski and our personal favorite Colorado ski resort for skiing with kids. At the end of a long day of skiing, make sure to head into Dillon to visit the Colorado Ice Castles . These ice structures are incredibly amazing, so make sure to add this to your Summit County winter bucket list.

Shared by: Jessica Averett – Bring The Kids

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City is a perfect stop on any cross country road trip. Situated about halfway from either coast, this vibrant and fun city in the central plains is a flourishing metropolitan area that somehow maintains a small town feel.

There are a lot of unique and fun things to do in Oklahoma City . The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is one of the most beautiful yet sombering places in the whole metro. The attraction, which is dedicated to the victims of the 1995 bombing of the federal building, is a must-see when visiting OKC.

Not far from the memorial, in the heart of downtown OKC, Bricktown is a lively commercial district filled with restaurants, arcades, and other fun activities. The district, which is named for its historic red brick buildings, lines a picturesque river walk. Visitors wanting to learn about the history of the area, can take a boat ride through the canal. The boat tour guide walks you through the not-so-distant history, detailing how this area of OKC was transformed from a blighted, crime-ridden neighborhood with boarded up buildings to a bustling entertainment district.

Finally, no stop to Oklahoma City is complete without a brief visit to Wheeler Riverfront Plaza to commemorate your visit with a photo. In this up-and-coming area, you’ll find a large OKC sign that makes for a perfect photo opportunity, as well as a ferris wheel, outdoor games, and food trucks.

Easily accessible from Interstate 40, these fun attractions are not only worth visiting, they are exceptionally convenient for anyone making a cross country trek along the third longest interstate in the United States.

Shared by: Melissa – Parenthood and Passports

things to do in Marfa Texas

The state of Texas is bigger than the entire nation of France, so it’s likely that any cross-country road trip will have you traversing the Lone Star State at some point. Plug in the isolated desert of West Texas into your GPS to see natural, isolated beauty.

There are so many things to do in West Texas that its isolated location, not its lack of offerings, that keep it off the beaten path.

Visit Texas’ only two national parks, Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains, for the best hiking and outdoor trails in the entire state. Outdoor enthusiasts will also enjoy camping, rock climbing, and rafting down the Rio Grande.

Art enthusiasts, big-city gallery lovers, and foodies will appreciate the quirky things to do in Marfa . This tiny town has become an artists’ enclave with abandoned dancehalls and gas stations being converted into modern art galleries. Restaurants and wine bars worthy of Manhattan line the streets next to farmers’ pickup trucks. On your way out of Marfa, don’t miss the priceless photo opportunity at Prada Marfa, an art exhibit in the middle of nowhere.

Other small towns worth a stop nearby include Alpine, Marathon, and the ghost town Terlingua (which serves as the gateway to Big Bend). Visit big city El Paso before bidding adieu to the Lone Star State and continuing onwards to New Mexico.

Shared by Erin – Sol Salute

There you have it! If you can visit all of these amazing places on your cross country road trip you will have an awesome trip. There are your typical classic American road trips like route 66 from Chicago through St. Louis and west but we thought it would be fun to throw in a different road trip route.

Of course this post doesn’t list all of the places you could visit. So here are a few other you may want to consider:

13 Things to do in St Louis with Kids

Meow Wolf Review: Which Location is Best?

Castles In America

Best Aquariums In The US

Things To Do In Alaska

15 Fun and Exciting Things To Do In San Diego With Kids

18 Fun Things To Do In Big Sur California [Maps Included]

East Coast Road Trip 25+ Stops You Don’t Want to Miss!

15 Absolutely Enjoyable Things To Do In Nashville

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37 stops you don't want to miss on your US cross country road trip! There are so many routes you can take - in our post we lay out the stops you don't want to miss. This trip is great with an RV, with kids and with a dog! In here we include what you need to do when planning a trip and tips on what to do at the places you visit.

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Home Page › Our tours › Towns of the Golden Ring. Trips out of Moscow

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Towns of the Golden Ring. Trips out of Moscow

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Explore Smolensk on a Private Day tour (from Moscow)

cross country tours day trips

  • Transfer to and from train station
  • Transportation by fast train to Smolensk and back to Moscow
  • Transportation in Smolensk by car
  • Museum entrance fees
  • Should your hotel not be listed, You have to provide us with your hotel location so that we can arrange your pick up. Otherwise, we can not guarantee your timely pickup Pickup from your hotel at 6:15 am
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.
  • You'll get picked up See departure details
  • 1 Cathedral of the Assumption (Uspensky Sobor) Stop: 45 minutes See details
  • 2 Smolensk Fortress Stop: 60 minutes See details
  • You'll return to the starting point

cross country tours day trips

  • TravelSomeMore24 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Unique Authentic Russian Experience We had such an incredible experience. It felt like we were transformed into a different time. Our guide was so informative and gracious. We are so grateful for a unique experience and would absolutely recommend it to everyone. Read more Written July 21, 2021
  • JulieArquette 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Great day 😘 in Moscow We booked a one day your and were able to change the itinerary as we wanted to visit WW2 memoreal. Our guide was very knowledgeable and passionate and explained us a lot about Moscow life now and back to Soviet times. Loved our day, thank you, Mariya and all Read more Written March 5, 2020
  • creitzy 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Guide Have used Anton 2 times now for different friends when they have visited Moscow.he is very knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and speaks very good English.i would recommend the metro tour and WW II museum. Thanks again Read more Written February 11, 2020
  • JeffKuptchuck 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles This is definitely a unique experience After looking at all of the big cathedrals in Moscow and being rather overwhelmed this was a much more intimate and personal experience. It was great to be able to be there by ourselves and the monk that showed us around and Anton both were obviously very passionate about the monastery so you were able to understand much better what the various churches and icons meant to them The view from the bell tower was awesome even if the climb up took some faith! Dinner was very good except for my wife who doesn't like fish and that is all they eat at the monastery besides vegetables, but still very unique dinner. Read more Written February 9, 2020
  • justinbM9877MC 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Sightseeing in Moscow over New Year’s Anton was great, very friendly, knowledgeable about local history as well as general Russian history, and had good recommendations for day trips that didn’t over-schedule. He was easy to work with and an excellent English-language speaker. Would highly recommend. Read more Written January 26, 2020
  • TanechkaVas 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles The whole day tour to Zvenigorod, the country side of Moscow, with Anton. We organized that tour from Australia well ahead of time, planning to visit Zvenigorod with big group of extended family and friends with teens as part of our New Year trip to Moscow. The communication with Anton, our guide, was excellent during the time since booking till the excursion day. The actual day was organized very good, taken into account mixed group of adults, born in USSR and kids, born in Australia. Anton organized our activities to be suitable for all of us. As adults, we were enjoyed country side during winter and Monastery's quietness and ability to jump to the cold "holy" water at one of the oldest Monasteries of Russia - Savva Storoghevskiy Man Monastery. That was the most amazing and nearly magical experience! Kids were enjoyed of snow and treats Anton provide for us, including buisquits and Sbiten'. We also visited very interesting Museum of Russian desserts and learn a lot about ancient russian sweets; have a look on our past in the Museum of USSR and bought some yammie things to enjoy later. In general we all agree that our tour to Zvenigorod with Anton was enjoyable and educational; well organized and unforgettable. We wish we would have more time there! We would recommend such trip to everyone wishing to see Russia's country side. Read more Written January 17, 2020
  • GuidesAndGuides 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Loved this experience. Especially the hidden gems! Anton brought us around places which we couldn't have done it alone. I went with the family, my husband and two daughters and they enjoyed every minute. Anton was very attentive to our needs and have good connections with the local communities. We tasted delicious Russian lunch on this tour. We had a fun time painting our Russian dolls (matryoshka) and finished the trip with a great feeling of connection to Russian culture, tasty food, fantastic people and magnificent architecture.   Do not hesitate to book this tour. It is worth your money and time. It was a great day, Thank you Anton! Read more Written January 14, 2020
  • 161sinemg 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles It was a very interesting experience This tour was the most exciting activity on our trip to Moscow. I would strongly recommend but climbing stairs was a bit hard. I will not forget all my life. Many thanks to our guide Hektor and Anton Read more Written January 7, 2020
  • Mustafa19890 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Tour was amazing We had exceptional experience 45 meters deep underground. You really feel how it was to be in Soviet Union during the Cold War era, what were their fears Read more Written December 27, 2019
  • yeatharhiu 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Unique Experience Victor is our English speaking guide. It's a small group tour so you dont have to worry about being left out. He took us down the bunker 43 meter down the surface, explained about the heavy doors and let us open them, kept us informed about its functions and introduced us whatever exhibits were left there. Very patient guide and informative tour. Sign up for it if you are in Moscow. Read more Written December 26, 2019
  • NickRobson101 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles WOW. We absolutely recommend this tour! This is a tour for the senses and truly exceeded our expectations. There is an interesting balance of history, access you would not expect around a monastery, the visuals of the architecture and decoration, unique chance to observe the inner workings of the monastery, views from vantage points and the towers. Favourite parts included climbing the bell tower for the bell ringing and an exceptionally good meal. For something interestingly different that will add unique memories and experiences Read more Written December 20, 2019
  • Loxiee 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles The Highlight of our trip Elena, was very attentive and knowledgeable. She took us through the city as if she was a long lost friend. She made us not only feel comfortable in any way possible but she made the experience feel like a another day in our hometown. I am so happy to have met her, she was the highlight of our entire trip. Read more Written December 17, 2019
  • Deryabayazit 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Amazing and delicious We had great time, Anton showed us around Moscow local food, it was jus awesome. Tasty and a lot of fun!!! Read more Written December 14, 2019
  • ShingoKamiki 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Interesting and delicious Had a tour and dinner inside the monastery with Moscow with Locals. It was a very interesting tour, a monk presented us the monastery, the temples, the bell tower with ringing bells. Amazing! And then we had delicious dinner with Russian traditional cuising, Lovely! Arigatou, Anton! Read more Written December 8, 2019
  • Hideo_Aoki78 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Moscow is marvelous Good job, Anton! We were a group of friends from Japan and Anton did a great job, showing us Moscow. The metro is so interesting and important for local citizens, Red Square is amazing, St. Basil cathedral was iconic both outside and even more interesting inside. It was both interesting and educational seeing central Moscow streets. Anton managed to book us a table for lunch with delicious local food and he helped us with recommendations for dinner (booked is a table as well). Brilliant job, Moscow with locals! Read more Written December 1, 2019

Explore Smolensk on a Private Day tour (from Moscow) provided by Moscow With Locals

cross country tours day trips

  • How to Best Prepare for a Cross-Country Road Trip with Your Family

I share my essential tips when preparing for a cross country road trip you won’t want to miss!

Are you getting ready for a cross-country road trip with your family ? If so, then you know that keeping everyone safe and comfortable is of the utmost importance. Planning ahead can be the difference between an enjoyable journey and a stressful one.

In this article, we’ll explore tips and strategies to make sure your family has a great time on your cross-country adventure!

Road Trip Preparation Tips

So, to get started, let’s begin with helpful advice for pre-trip planning, which can save you a lot of hassle and stress down the line.

Budget Your Route

Before leaving on your trip, take some time to set up a road trip budget and research the best routes and attractions along the way. Look for interesting sights, great restaurants, and fun activities that everyone in your family will enjoy.

Remember that the journey is often just as important as the destination, so take some time to plan out your route and budget accordingly.

If you are looking for road trip ideas, read:

  • 15 Cheap Midwest Road Trip Ideas
  • Everything You Need to Know About Balloon Festivals in Texas
  • Best Texas Beaches
  • 5 Cheap East Coast Road Trips to Take with the Family
  • Make the Most of Your Outer Banks Family Trip With These 20 Things to Do

If you’re planning on taking your young dog with you on your cross-country road trip, you’ll want to check out this article on everything you need to know about road-tripping with your puppy .

Prepare Your Car

Before you head out on any long road trip, you should spend time ensuring the car is prepared. That means performing maintenance checks before you begin your journey, such as checking the oil, battery, and tire pressure, and ensuring you have an emergency car kit in your trunk in case of a breakdown . As a general rule, if my vehicle will need an oil change before the trip, I will also have a mechanic check my brakes and rotate the tires. This can save you money in the long run if you have an issue during your road trip.

While preparing your vehicle is crucial, ensuring you have the right  car insurance  is equally important to protect your journey from unexpected events. Be sure that your car insurance policy covers everything you need for a road trip, such as towing and roadside assistance. It is also important to check with your insurance provider if there are any specific requirements or restrictions when it comes to traveling out of state or internationally.

Emergency Car Kit

At a minimum, your emergency car kit should include:

  • tire pressure gauge
  • jumper cables
  • flares or emergency reflectors

Remember the First Aid Kit

When driving cross-country, you could find yourself driving off the beaten path. If you should break down and any of your family members have an accident, it’s crucial that you have a first aid kit with you that includes all those basics like band-aids, bandages, ointment, tweezers, sterile gloves, and so on. 

Consider Avoiding Certain Routes, e.g. Busy Trucking Routes, or Driving at Less Busy Times

When driving long distances with your family, you’re sure to be even more cautious about driving safely. 

In addition to always employing safe driving methods and paying attention to the road, you can reduce your chance of being caught up in an accident if you drive at less busy times to avoid congested traffic and avoid certain routes, such as busy trucking routes. 

For instance, if you’re driving along the Courtney Campbell Causeway around Tampa, it’s best to avoid driving in rush hour. The last thing you want is to be hit by a car or truck. 

Safety Strategies for a Road Trip

Once you have prepared the car for your cross-country journey, it’s time to make sure that everyone in the vehicle is safe.  Here are some tips that will help you stay focused on safety while driving.

Get Plenty of Sleep Before Driving

Driving when you’re tired is a surefire way of increasing the risk of being involved in an accident. While you should always be in a good state to drive and avoid accidents, it’s even more important when you have the whole family with you. So, never drive if you haven’t had enough sleep. 

Ideally, you should share the driving between you and your partner to avoid driving while feeling sleepy. If you are the sole driver and you don’t get enough sleep, you should avoid starting on the next leg of your journey until you have had enough rest. 

It’s better for your itinerary to run late than to risk involving yourself and your family in an accident. 

Invest in Roadside Assistance Plan

There’s no telling when you might run into trouble during your cross-country road trip. To make sure that your family is safe and well taken care of, it’s a good idea to invest in roadside assistance. Some auto insurance companies may offer this service at an added cost, or you can look for independent providers. 

Set Boundaries and Expectations

Before you set out on a road trip, make sure to talk with your family about expectations for the trip. Set ground rules that everyone in your family agrees to abide by and communicate those expectations before beginning your journey.

Comfort Tips To Ensure Happy Travelers

Finally, you want to make sure that your family is as comfortable as possible when driving cross-country. Here are a few tips to help keep everyone in the car happy and content during your road trip.

Take Snacks and Drinks with You

It’s important that the whole family has access to plenty of snacks and drinks during a long cross-country road trip. Moods and energy levels can unexpectedly drop after spending time on the road, so make sure you pack lots of snacks and drinks that are suitable for long trips and will keep energy levels high. Here are some of our favorite road trip snacks .

You should never presume that you will always be in a location where you can purchase snacks and drinks. You could even break down. Therefore, it’s essential that you pack lots of food and drink to keep the whole family comfortable. 

That includes taking bottles of water with you. Everyone should drink plenty of water every day to stay hydrated. We like to pack large gallon jugs of water and refill our bottles as needed. It’s a great money-saving hack.

Take Lots of Breaks

Taking lots of breaks will enable you to be more focused when driving as well. You should also incorporate lots of breaks into your cross-country road trip because your kids are sure to become irritable after spending long periods cooped up in a vehicle. 

By planning your itinerary ahead of time, you can factor in breaks and stop at places of interest along the way. We always look for parks, rest stops, or roadside attractions that our kids can explore and enjoy during the stops.

If you and your family become restless, you’ll enjoy your cross-country road trip less, so don’t underestimate how important it is to stop frequently and recharge your batteries to be ready for the next leg of the journey.

Pack Appropriately for Weather Conditions

You should pack appropriately for the weather conditions. If you’re going to be driving through wintery conditions, make sure your vehicle is prepared and that everyone has warm clothing to wear. It also near hurts to pack extra clothes for you and the kids. Accidents happen, and you don’t want to be left unprepared if something unexpected happens and everyone needs to change their clothes.

Don’t Forget Cushions and Blankets

If you’re planning on camping, you’ll want to take lots of blankets and pillows with you, as well as your camping gear, to ensure everyone stays warm and snug at night. 

But even if you’re planning on staying at hotels and other accommodations, it’s important that you pack blankets and cushions to keep everyone comfortable during the drive; especially if you’re driving after your children’s bedtimes.

Pack Activities for the Kids That Adults Will Also Enjoy

Sure, you can play road trip games with your kids, and for much of the time, your children will love watching the varying beautiful scenery that you pass through as you cross the country. But, seeing as most of your time will be spent in the car, it’s important that you pack plenty of activities for the kids to do. 

You could pack things like games, books, road trip bingo cards , and electronic devices. You could also prepare things like playlists that have been made specifically for the long trip. 

You know your kids best. So, make sure you pack plenty of things to keep them occupied during a lengthy drive.

Maximize Meal Planning Options

Unless you want to eat fast food every day, it’s important that you plan your meals out in advance. You never know where you will be when it comes time to eat dinner or have lunch.

Try meal prepping and get creative with what foods can be cooked over a campfire or using an electric skillet. You can also opt for no-cook camping meals that double as road trip meals that don’t need to be reheated.

There are lots of cross-country road trips you could embark on. But before you do so, it’s crucial that you prepare for your journey. These cross-country driving tips will certainly help!

That not only means working out your rough itinerary, deciding on places of interest to stop at, and choosing your accommodation. It also means taking the right steps to ensure your family stays safe and comfortable throughout the duration of the road trip.  

Though, if you are unfortunate enough to be injured in a truck accident that isn’t your fault after you have sought medical attention, you should contact a specialist truck accident lawyer who can help you gain compensation. 

By taking the tips and advice discussed in this article into account, you’ll be sure to have an enjoyable and memorable cross-country road trip that will stay with your family for years to come. Good luck!

Ready to Start Planning Your Trip? Use These Helpful Links to Book Your Trip!

  • Find low fares with  airfarewatchdog , Skyscanner , and  WayAway.com .
  • Get airfare deal alerts up to 90% off from Dollar Flight Club (free & paid membership options)
  • Book your plane ticket with   Expedia  or  Kayak
  • Book your Airport Parking Reservations and save money.
  • Take the scenic route and rent an RV from  RVShare
  • Get packed for an  epic road trip  and don’t forget the Road Trip Games to Play in the Car Need more space? Get a rental car thru Discovercars.com .
  • From hotels to private homes, find the perfect accommodation with  Hotels.com  or  booking.com.
  • For camping and RV campgrounds, find the ideal location with Campspot .
  • Travel in style with a suitcase, carry-on, backpack, or handbag from  Away and Eagle Creek .
  • For packing cubes, we love these from Eagle Creek and these reusable silicon bags for a 3-1-1 bag from Stasher .
  • Looking to start travel hacking and want a place to keep track of it all? There’s the free TravelFreely site.
  • For budgeting help, get our road trip budgeting tips here.
  • Tiqets for cultural events, museums, Broadway shows, etc.
  • CityPASS for multi-day attraction passes at up to 55% off in select cities
  • Get Your Guide and Viator for guided tours/excursions, day trips, and activitties
  • Groupon for discounted local attractions and event tickets
  • Undercover Tourister for discounted theme park tickets
  • Find guided outdoor activities led by local guides at 57Hours .
  • Find information on local trails with the AllTrails App .
  • We use and recommend Rosetta Stone to learn a new language. We bought the $179 lifetime option with unlimited access to ALL 25 of their languages.
  • Need something else to plan your perfect trip? Visit my  travel resources page  for more trusted partners.

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The post How to Best Prepare for a Cross-Country Road Trip with Your Family appeared first on Little Family Adventure .

I share my essential tips when preparing for a cross country road trip you won’t want to miss! Are you getting ready for a cross-country road trip with your family? If so, then you know that keeping everyone safe and comfortable is of the utmost importance. Planning ahead can be the difference between an enjoyable […]

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  1. Bike Across America Tours

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  2. 8 PHENOMENAL Cross Country Road Trip Routes + How To Plan Your USA Road

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  3. This Scenic Cross-Country Train Trek Is More Affordable Than You Think

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  4. Bike Across America Tours

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  5. The Ultimate Cross-Country Roadside Attraction Route

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  6. 10 Ultimate Cross Country Road Trips In The USA

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COMMENTS

  1. Cross Country Tours

    Cross Country Tours, 88 Hoskins Street, Sandgate QLD 4017, (PO Box 357, Sandgate, Qld, 4017) Tel No: 07 3869 7444. E-mail: [email protected]. Explore Australia with us. We offer Australian Holiday Tours around our beautiful country and Day Tours from Brisbane and the Hunter.In addition, we present a range of selected International Tour ...

  2. Cross Country USA Tours

    Along with our Southwest States and Southeast States trips, Topdeck offer the best cross-country USA travel experiences around - from sea to shining sea! Journey from the City of Angels to the Big Apple, soak up some southern soul and get your kicks on Route 66. All of our trips are packed with awesome inclusions and memories waiting to be made.

  3. USA Coast to Coast by Train

    USA Coast to Coast by Train. See the very best of America from coast to coast by rail. Our cross-country tours travel along legendary rail routes and present miles upon miles of extraordinary views while traveling between the country's most popular destinations. Itineraries range in length from just a few days to 2 weeks or more - with some ...

  4. Our coach tours, holidays, international and day tours from Brisbane

    Our Queensland day trips depart from Brisbane are booked through Cross Country Tours, exploring locations and events around south east Queensland. Browse our Queensland day tours . Our New South Wales day trips depart from Newcastle and Maitland, exploring locations and events around Sydney, The Hunter Valley, Newcastle, Central Coast and Port ...

  5. 11 Epic Cross-Country American Road Trips

    Gear up for the perfect road trip adventure with The Open Road! With a fold-out souvenir map and the top 50 road trips across the U.S., this handsome travel guide offers strategic lists and routes organized by region. Choose from lists of the best coastal drives, cross-country journeys, trips for kids, awe-inspiring views, and more.

  6. NSW day tours departing the Hunter Valley

    Bus trips from Newcastle, Maitland and Hunter Valley. ... We offer Australian Holiday Tours around our beautiful country and Day Tours from Brisbane and the Hunter.In addition, we present a range of selected International Tour destinations and are happy to work with your group or community to provide individual Charter Tours that meet your ...

  7. Cross Country Tours, Queensland

    Specialising in holidays, day tours and international escapes especially catering to the over 50s, Cross Country Tours and our holiday brand All Australian Journeys now offer even more memorable experiences departing from Brisbane and The Hunter Valley. There's an old line, "We're here for a good time, not a long time!" and on a Cross Country Tours holiday, no matter how long or short, they ...

  8. Cross Country Journeys

    16 Days From $5,799pp. Trip Details. Save $500 Ultimate Canada and Rockies Westbound. Toronto, ON Niagara Falls, ON Jasper, AB Banff, AB Jasper, AB Vancouver, BC. 13 Days From $1,649pp. Trip Details. Save $400 Canadian Rail Experience - Vancouver to Toronto. Vancouver, BC Toronto, ON. 9 Days From $1,999pp.

  9. Cross Country Tours and Cross Country Vacations : Tours.com

    For 25 years specializing in hiking vacations and walking tours along Europe's classic long-distance routes and to areas of inspiring natural beauty. COMPANY HQ: United States ( Languages: English) DESTINATION (S): Austria, Croatia, England, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Scotland, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States. www.distantjourneys.com.

  10. Cross Country Bike Tours

    These tours are a coast-to-coast journey of some of the world's best cycling countries. Experience the ultimate adventure and thrill on our fully supported Cross-Country bike tours. Traverse the United States, Pyrenees, and Apennine range of Italy on journeys that go beyond typical cycling vacations. When you're done the sense of accomplishment ...

  11. 8 PHENOMENAL Cross Country Road Trip Routes

    Time Needed: 3000 Miles, Can be done in two weeks, but three weeks is ideal (one way). Highlights: Great Basin National Park, Colorado National Monument, Washington D.C, Lake Tahoe, Moab, Arches National Park. TIP: Make sure your car is in GREAT condition for this road trip.

  12. 25 Best Stops to Add to Your Cross-Country Road Trip Itinerary

    The Great American Road Trip is just as much a part of Americana as the stars and stripes. While in yonder years, Route 66 dominated as the iconic drive, today, the cross-country road trip reigns supreme. We mapped out a 10-day itinerary—including top city sights and national parks between Washington, D.C. to Washington State—so you can make the best of your journey west.

  13. 37 Stops For The Best Cross Country Road Trip [Map Included]

    Black Hills, South Dakota. Any cross-country U.S. road trip should include a stop in the Black Hills of South Dakota. In addition to over 8000 square miles of natural beauty, these hills host some of our nation's most iconic monuments and parks. Located right off of interstate 90, the Black Hills are easily accessible.

  14. Top 5 Cross-Country Amtrak Train Trips

    Let us help with these top five cross-country Amtrak train trips: 1. Great American Majestic Landscapes. Take the train from New York City to San Francisco in a coast-to-coast train trip featuring the best of America. Enjoy delectable food, relaxing accommodations, and of course some of the most iconic sights in New York City, Chicago, Denver ...

  15. Cross Country Adventure by Bus 2023

    Overnight Tour Summary Report - Cross Country 2023 . Date: September 3-29, 2023 Tour Director: Gene Gray Driver: Fernando Berrios Starr Bus #: 207. Day 1: Sunday, September 3, 2023 . In Bensalem at 8:30am, people were bustling in all directions like Christmas in Rockefeller Center. It was a beautiful embarkation day!

  16. Cross country skiing tour in Moscow region

    Moscow Navigator: Cross country skiing tour in Moscow region - See 118 traveler reviews, 290 candid photos, and great deals for Moscow, Russia, at Tripadvisor.

  17. Coast to Coast : San Francisco to New York

    Watch the scenary change from the Midwest to the East Coast on the Lakeshore Limited train. See Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, and the city skyline from a cruise while you explore New York indepth on a guided sightseeing tour. View Dates & Pricing. Call to book 1-877-929-7245. Enquire about this tour.

  18. Towns of the Golden Ring. Trips out of Moscow

    Glinishevskyi per №3, office 407, 125009 Moscow, Russia 5 miuntes walk from Pushkinskaya,Chekhovskaya metro stations

  19. 3 Day Private Tour in Moscow with a Local Guide

    Wow! Three days, that's not nothing, I mean, it's more like something! We will be able to cover a lot. How about the first day we dedicate to the city centre — all the main places, "must-sees" so called. So you can finally bring it down from your shoulders and settle your mind — you are in Moscow, from now on it will become only more interesting. The second day, I think, we should dedicate ...

  20. Explore Smolensk on a Private Day tour (from Moscow)

    Devarana Spa Olympic Beach Princes Street Gardens XpresSpa Kaya Herb House Smith Cove Heart's Desire Beach Watt Munisotaram National Museum Punta Mosquito 6-Hour Lanai Snorkel & Dolphin Tour from Lahaina Moco Museum Barcelona, Banksy & more Barbados Luxury VIP Limousine Airport Transfer to the West Coast Discover Pompeii, Sorrento & Capri in a 3-Day Escape from Rome Kyoto Samurai Experience ...

  21. How to Best Prepare for a Cross-Country Road Trip with Your Family

    Consider Avoiding Certain Routes, e.g. Busy Trucking Routes, or Driving at Less Busy Times. When driving long distances with your family, you're sure to be even more cautious about driving safely.

  22. 2023-24 World Athletics Cross Country Tour

    The 2023-24 World Athletics Cross Country Tour, also known as the 2024 Cross Country Tour, is the 3rd season of the annual series of cross country running meetings organised by World Athletics.The Tour forms the highest level of international cross country. The Cross Country Tour is divided into three levels - Gold, Silver, and Bronze - each of which has different levels of competition ...