California is a state of mesmerizing landscapes, from sun-kissed beaches to majestic mountains. Embarking on a road trip from California to other states opens up a world of wonder and adventure, as you journey through otherworldly terrains, unveiling America's captivating natural beauty and cultural gems.
Choose from these 11 epic road trips from California to other states. From exciting cities and charming towns to stunning national parks and stretches of gorgeous drives, there's bound to be an ultimate road trip for you starting in California.
Get your travel plans in order and prepare for your favorite road trips from California to other states. Read on below to learn more about these exciting adventures.
|Road trip||Our favorite things to see|
|From California to Nevada||Las Vegas Strip, Neon Museum, Route 66, Extraterrestrial Highway, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area|
|From California to Washington||Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Seattle Art Museum, Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park|
|From California to Oregon||Crater Lake National Park, Pinnacles Overlook, Rim Drive, Siskiyou National Forest, Umpqua National Forest|
|From California to Colorado||Rocky Mountain National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Vail, Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods|
|From California to New York||The Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Times Square, Catskills, Finger Lakes|
|From California to Texas||The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas Museum of Art, Guadalupe Mountains National Park|
|From California to New Mexico||Santa Fe Plaza, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Bandelier National Monument, Taos Pueblo|
|From California to Arizona||Grand Canyon National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon|
|From California to Tennessee||Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, Johnny Cash Museum, Great Smoky Mountains National Park|
|From California to Florida||Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios Florida, Kennedy Space Center, St Augustine, Key West|
|From California to South Dakota||Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Badlands National Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park|
1. California to Nevada: Road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas
270 miles from Los Angeles (4 hours 10 minutes)
Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas is famous for its glitz and glamor as it takes you through the bright lights and casinos of Las Vegas. If you're seeking entertainment and nightlife and a chance to see the famous Hoover Dam, this is the road trip for you.
If you want to experience the excitement and entertainment of Las Vegas, including the city's famous nightlife and glamorous casinos, this is the ultimate road trip. Las Vegas is also famous for its nearby nature and historic landmarks, so you can easily mix things up during your stay.
How to get there: Start out by heading east on Interstate 10 (I-10) freeway toward San Bernardino, and then merge onto the I-15 freeway headed north toward Las Vegas.
Continue on the I-15 for about 250 miles, passing through the Mojave Desert and the small towns of Baker and Barstow along the way.
After entering Nevada, follow the signs for Las Vegas and take exit 40 for Sahara Avenue. From there, you can easily access the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and the city's many attractions.
Our highlights: The most popular bucket-list thing to do in Las Vegas is to explore the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. This vibrant street is lined with iconic resorts, casinos, and hotels, as well as shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
In addition to the Las Vegas Strip, other things that draw the crowds to Las Vegas include the city's world-renowned nightlife, which includes top-rated clubs, bars, and lounges, as well as a wide range of shows, performances, and concerts.
To shake up your visit and do something out of the ordinary, check out the Neon Museum, which features a collection of vintage neon signs from famous Las Vegas hotels and businesses.
If you love American history, take a detour to explore this historic Route 66. You could also take the Extraterrestrial Highway, a scenic road in Nevada close to Area 51.
What else is there to see while you're in Nevada: The first landmark worth seeing outside of the city is the famous Hoover Dam, located about 30 miles SE of Las Vegas. This engineering marvel is on many people's bucket lists when coming to Las Vegas.
Next, if you're looking for stunning nature, head to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, located about 20 miles west of Las Vegas. Towering red rock formations and unique landscapes make this a must-see for nature lovers.
Finally, for another desert adventure, make your way to the Valley of Fire State Park, located about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Here, you'll see the endless desert wilderness and some of the most striking sunsets in the USA.
Our travel tips: Even though this drive is straightforward, there are some things to keep in mind to make it even safer and easier. First, plan ahead and avoid driving during peak traffic hours.
Because this is the desert, bring plenty of water and stay hydrated during the hot drive. And finally, be mindful of festivals and events in Vegas which may drive up hotel costs and traffic.READ MORE - Road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas
2. California to Washington: Road trip from Sacramento to Seattle
750 miles from Seattle (11 hours 50 minutes)
Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from Sacramento to Seattle offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Northwest's natural beauty as it takes you through the forests, mountains, and coastline of Washington State, making it an ideal trip for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Take this road trip if you want to immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, from stunning forests to majestic mountain ranges. You'll see epic wilderness and wildlife plus some of the most charming towns and cities in America.
How to get there: Start out by heading north on the I-5 freeway towards Oregon, and continue on this freeway for the majority of the trip. After crossing the California-Oregon border, you will pass through cities such as Medford, Eugene, and Portland before reaching Seattle.
In Seattle, follow signs for your specific destination, such as downtown Seattle, Pike Place Market, or the Space Needle.
Our highlights: The bucket list item to see in Seattle is undoubtedly the Space Needle, which offers stunning views of the city and surrounding landscape.
Other things that draw the crowds include the Pike Place Market, the Museum of Pop Culture and the Seattle Art Museum.
For a less mainstream recommendation, check out the Ballard Locks, a unique attraction that features a series of locks that allow boats to travel between Lake Union and Puget Sound.
If you want to drive one of the most exciting roadways in America, take a detour on this trip to explore the Pacific Coast Highway. Along the way, you'll see incredible coastal forests, charming fishing towns, and epic views of the mighty Pacific Ocean.
What else is there to see while you're in Washington: For nature lovers, nothing beats Olympic National Park. Located about two hours west of Seattle, Olympic National Park is a stunning natural area that features rugged coastlines, temperate rainforests, and snow-capped mountains.
Another must-do for nature lovers is Mount Rainier National Park. Situated about two hours southeast of Seattle, Mount Rainier National Park is home to the iconic Mount Rainier, an active volcano and the tallest peak in the Cascade Range.
If you have a little more time on your hands, you can drive the stunningly scenic Cascade Loop as well.
Our travel tips: If you're looking to visit Seattle, make sure to plan according to what activities you'd like to experience. Summers are great for outdoor activities, while fall and spring are less crowded and offer some cool indoor cultural experiences.READ MORE - Road trip from Sacramento to Seattle
3. California to Oregon: Road trip from Los Angeles to Crater Lake National Park
750 miles from Los Angeles (12 hours 20 minutes)
Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from Los Angeles to Crater Lake is ideal for those who love scenic drives and exploring natural wonders. It takes you through the rugged terrain of the Cascade Mountains and to the deep blue waters of Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States.
Few places on earth are as beautiful as Crater Lake National Park. You'll see breathtaking views of the Cascade Mountains, gorgeous wilderness, and the world-famous Crater Lake.
How to get there: First, take I-5 North from Los Angeles north out of the city. Continue on I-5 North for approximately 590 miles until you reach Medford, Oregon.
Then, take exit 30 towards Crater Lake/Klamath Falls and merge onto OR-62 East. Follow OR-62 East for approximately 62 miles until you reach the entrance to Crater Lake National Park.
Our highlights: The must-see attraction at Crater Lake National Park is visiting the lake itself, known for its vibrant blue color and being the deepest lake in the United States. Most people come for the stunning views which are easy to experience.
Other popular attractions include hiking trails, scenic drives, camping, boat tours, and ranger-led programs.
A lesser-known local gem is visiting the Pinnacles Overlook or explore the backcountry trails for a more secluded experience.
The famous/scenic road to take on this trip is the Rim Drive, which circles the perimeter of Crater Lake and offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
What else is there to see while you're in Oregon: One of the most famous and beloved is the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. This national forest is located to the west of Crater Lake and offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and boating, plus plenty of wildlife viewing areas.
Another must-see natural Umpqua National Forest. Located to the north of Crater Lake, Umpqua National Forest features dense forests, rivers, and waterfalls, including the famous Toketee Falls. You can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and scenic drives in the forest.
Umpqua Hot Springs, located in the forest, is another popular attraction where you can soak and relax in natural hot springs.
Our travel tips: The most important tip when making this drive is to stay hydrated. This region is arid and high in elevation, which might make you extra dehydrated.
Make sure to fill up on gas before entering the state. Stations can be a little scarce along this route. And, it can't hurt to have extra snacks and water on hand too.READ MORE - Road trip from Los Angeles to Crater Lake National Park
4. California to Colorado: Road trip from San Francisco to Denver
1,250 miles from San Francisco (19 hours)
Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from San Francisco to Denver offers a diverse range of landscapes and experiences as it takes you through the deserts, mountains, and cities of the American Southwest and into the Midwest.
You'll get to experience the towering Rocky Mountains, ancient cliff dwellings, and end in the big city of Denver. There are few other routes in America that are packed with this much excitement and adventure.
How to get there: Take I-80 East from San Francisco. Then, continue on I-80 East for approximately 1,000 miles until you reach Salt Lake City, Utah.
From here, take exit 120A towards Cheyenne onto I-25 South. Continue on I-25 South for approximately 100 miles until you reach Denver, Colorado.
Our highlights: The bucket-list “must see” thing to do on this trip is to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. Other popular attractions include Lake Tahoe on the way for outdoor activities and the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah for its unique geological formation.
A less mainstream recommendation from locals is to visit Dinosaur National Monument, which offers a unique opportunity to see actual dinosaur fossils up close and personal. The area also has endless scenic beauty and world-class hiking, rafting, and camping.
If you love driving, there are several important detours on the way. The most famous and scenic one to take on this trip is the Trail Ridge Road, which runs through Rocky Mountain National Park and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
What else is there to see while you're in Colorado: Located in Colorado Springs, about an hour and a half south of Denver, Garden of the Gods is a stunning natural rock formation that offers hiking trails, rock climbing, and scenic drives. The park is free to visit and open year-round.
If you love to drive, then the Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a must. This is the highest paved road in North America, reaching an elevation of over 14,000 feet.
The road offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and wildlife viewing opportunities, and you can also hike to the summit for an even more breathtaking view.
Finally, check out the famous Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. Located about 30 minutes west of Denver, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is a unique outdoor concert venue and park with stunning rock formations and hiking trails.
You can take a guided tour or explore the park on your own, and there are also several events and concerts held throughout the year.
Our travel tips: This journey is very easy, but there are things to keep in mind to make it easier and safer. Be prepared for changing elevations and bring appropriate clothing and gear.
Watch out for wildlife and drive carefully. On top of watching animals crossing the road, it's important to stay hydrated and bring plenty of water and snacks.
Weather can be an issue in this region. Check for wildfire alerts and road closures before starting your trip. In winter, check for any winter road closures and advisories and carry chains in case of icy roads.READ MORE - Road trip from San Francisco to Denver
5. California to New York: Road trip from Los Angeles to New York
2,800 miles from Los Angeles (41 hours)
Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from Los Angeles to New York is the ultimate cross-country adventure, covering over 2,700 miles and taking you through some of America's most iconic landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon, Route 66, and the Appalachian Mountains.
You'll get to experience a wide array of famous cities like New York, small towns, and endless fun around every corner. America is a diverse country featuring mountains, deserts, forests, and plains. On this road trip, you'll get to experience all of it.
How to get there: Take I-15 North from Los Angeles. Continue on I-15 North for approximately 235 miles until you reach Las Vegas, Nevada.
Take exit 42B to merge onto I-70 East towards Denver, Colorado. Follow I-70 East for approximately 1,600 miles until you reach New York City.
Our highlights: Aim to do the ultimate bucket-list “must see” thing to do in New York City: Visit the Statue of Liberty. Next, everything in between is up to you, as there's so much to see and do.
Other things that draw crowds in New York City: The Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Times Square, Central Park, and 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
A less mainstream recommendation for New York City is to visit the High Line, a public park built on an elevated freight rail line above the streets on Manhattan's West Side.
There isn't a famous or scenic road to take on this trip, as it mainly involves highways and interstates. However, you can take scenic drives in the surrounding areas outside of New York City, such as the Hudson River Valley, the Catskill Mountains, and the Long Island wine country.
What else is there to see while you're in New York: Check out the world-famous Coney Island. Located in Brooklyn, Coney Island is an amusement park and beach destination that has been a popular attraction since the early 20th century.
You can ride roller coasters, play carnival games, and enjoy the beach and boardwalk.
Next, head to the Storm King Art Center. Located in Hudson Valley, about an hour north of New York City, Storm King Art Center is a 500-acre outdoor sculpture park that features over 100 works of art by renowned artists such as Alexander Calder and Roy Lichtenstein.
You can take a self-guided tour or participate in one of the guided tours offered by the center.
Finally, no visit to New York State would be complete without seeing Sleepy Hollow. Located in Westchester County, about 45 minutes north of New York City, Sleepy Hollow is a historic village that is famous for its association with Washington Irving's “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
You can explore the village's historic sites, including the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Irving is buried, and take a guided tour to learn about the village's haunted history.
Our travel tips: New York State experiences some bad weather from time to time. Be prepared for changing weather conditions and bring appropriate clothing and gear.
Watch out for wildlife and drive carefully. Stay hydrated and bring plenty of water and snacks for the long drive.
Check for road closures and advisories before starting your trip. There are sometimes construction or weather events that make the roads impassable.
Plan your stops ahead of time to rest, eat, and sightsee. Finally, make sure to book attractions and hotels in NYC in advance as it's a very popular tourist city.READ MORE - Road trip from Los Angeles to New York
6. California to Texas: Road trip from San Diego to Dallas
1,420 miles from Dallas (21 hours 30 minutes)
Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from San Diego to Dallas offers a mix of coastal and desert landscapes, taking you through the cities and towns of the American Southwest. It has a unique blend of history and culture plus some of the best BBQ on the planet!
This is the ultimate road trip for foodies and nature lovers alike. You'll have everything from hiking, and photogenic desert views, to endless plates of BBQ. Not to mention some quirky towns to explore on the way.
How to get there: Take I-8 East from San Diego. Continue on I-8 East for approximately 370 miles until you reach I-10 East near Phoenix, Arizona.
Merge onto I-10 East towards Tucson and continue for approximately 900 miles until you reach I-20 East near Fort Stockton, Texas. Follow I-20 East for approximately 300 miles until you reach Dallas, Texas.
Our highlights: The bucket-list “must see” thing to do in Dallas is to visit the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District, which includes the Sixth Floor Museum.
Other things that draw crowds in Dallas: The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas Museum of Art, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and AT&T Stadium.
For a locals' secret, visit the Bishop Arts District, a trendy neighborhood with unique shops, galleries, restaurants, and bars. Here you'll get to enjoy some of the best craft beers in the state and listen to live music.
There isn't a famous or scenic road to take on this trip, as it mainly involves highways and interstates. However, you can take scenic drives in the surrounding areas outside of Dallas, such as the Bluebonnet Trail in nearby Ennis during the spring season.
What else is there to see while you're in Texas: Located about 30 miles west of Dallas, the Fort Worth Stockyards is a historic district that features cattle drives, rodeos, museums, and western-themed shopping and dining.
Here, you can experience the Old West through events such as the Fort Worth Herd cattle drive, where longhorn cattle are driven down Exchange Avenue twice daily.
If you love hiking and nature, head over to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Located about 330 miles west of Dallas, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a natural wonder that features stunning mountain scenery, diverse plant and animal life, and numerous hiking trails.
Our travel tips: Check for seasonal route changes and weather forecasts before starting your trip. Once you reach Texas, you can get hit by bad weather that may delay your trip.
Book popular attractions in advance to avoid long lines and ensure availability. Take advantage of off-season travel to save money and avoid crowds, but be aware of reduced hours or closures.
As always, stay hydrated and bring plenty of water and snacks. This is a long drive, and it's good to be prepared and stocked up.READ MORE - Road trip from San Diego to Dallas
7. California to New Mexico: Road trip from Los Angeles to Santa Fe
850 miles from Los Angeles (12 hours 30 minutes)
Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from Los Angeles to Santa Fe is ideal for those seeking a more laid-back, authentic Southwest experience. Santa Fe is known for its rich history, unique architecture, and vibrant arts scene, making it a popular destination for culture lovers.
You'll see some of the West's most historic cities, towns, and ruins plus get the chance to visit incredible natural landmarks. Last, but not least, Santa Fe is known for its world-famous cuisine.
How to get there: Take I-10 East from Los Angeles towards San Bernardino. Then, merge onto I-15 North towards Barstow and continue for approximately 140 miles.
After that, slowly merge onto I-40 East towards Albuquerque and continue for approximately 440 miles. Take the exit for US-285 North towards Santa Fe and continue for approximately 25 miles to reach Santa Fe.
Our highlights: The first thing most people do when visiting Santa Fe is visit the historic Santa Fe Plaza. This timeless plaza is surrounded by historic buildings and is home to many events and festivals throughout the year.
Other places worth a visit are the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Museum of International Folk Art, Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, and Santa Fe Opera. Each of these spaces is full of history and some unique local legends as well.
Many locals recommend a visit to the Railyard Arts District, a trendy neighborhood that features art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and bars. Check out the Santa Fe Farmers' Market, which takes place in the Railyard on Saturdays and Tuesdays.
If you love road trips, you have to drive on the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway, connecting Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The route takes you through historic mining towns, the Sandia Mountains, and the strikingly beautiful Cibola National Forest.
What else is there to see while you're in New Mexico: If you have time, check out Bandelier National Monument. Located about 45 miles northwest of Santa Fe, Bandelier National Monument is a unique destination that features ancient ruins, cliff dwellings, and petroglyphs.
Another exciting New Mexico destination is Taos Pueblo. Located about 70 miles north of Santa Fe, Taos Pueblo is a Native American community that has been inhabited for over 1,000 years. The pueblo is also home to many traditional artisans and craftspeople, selling their works in shops throughout the pueblo.
Our travel tips: This road trip is pretty straightforward and easy, but, make sure to hydrate as you'll be traveling through exceptionally arid landscapes. Also, be sure to stock up on snacks, water and gas for parts of this drive that go through Arizona and New Mexico.READ MORE - Road trip from Los Angeles to Santa Fe
8. California to Arizona: Road trip from Los Angeles to Grand Canyon National Park
490 miles from Los Angeles (7 hours 30 minutes)
Why you should take this road trip: This iconic road trip from Los Angeles to Grand Canyon offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country, as it takes you through the rugged landscape of Arizona and the iconic Grand Canyon, which is one of the natural wonders of the world.
The Grand Canyon is one of the world's top natural wonders and is only a short drive from Los Angeles. You'll gaze out over the vast canyon network surrounding the Colorado River and stare in awe at mother nature at its finest.
How to get there: Hop on I-10 East from Los Angeles towards Phoenix. In Phoenix, merge onto I-17 North towards Flagstaff and continue for approximately 140 miles.
Take exit 340 for I-40 West towards Williams and continue for approximately 40 miles. Take exit 165 for AZ-64 North towards the Grand Canyon and continue for approximately 55 miles to reach the Grand Canyon.
Our highlights: For a bucket list destination, visit the South Rim, which offers stunning views of the canyon and is home to many hiking trails, lookout points, and visitor centers. From here, you'll get to experience the true magnitude of the Grand Canyon without having to trek or drive far.
If you visit this region, it's well worth a drive to Sedona, which features stunning red rock formations, museums, and numerous outdoor activities. Or, take a trip to Flagstaff, which offers hiking, skiing, and a charming downtown area with shops and restaurants.
If you want to get off the tourist trail, visit the North Rim, which is less crowded than the South Rim, and offers a different perspective of the canyon. The North Rim also features numerous hiking trails, campgrounds, and a historic lodge.
And for the ultimate drive, make your way to the historic Route 66, which passes through many historic towns and attractions, such as Williams, Arizona, and the Petrified Forest National Park.
What else is there to see while you're in Arizona: If you have more time in Arizona, you should check out the incredibly beautiful Antelope Canyon. This special location features a narrow slot canyon with swirling rock formations and stunning light beams that attract photographers from around the world.
Another natural landmark worth a visit in Arizona is the famous Horseshoe Bend. This is a picturesque bend in the Colorado River with a 1,000-foot drop, offering panoramic views of the canyon.
Finally, take a drive to see the Meteor Crater. This massive crater was caused by a meteor impact over 50,000 years ago. You can come up close and personal to the massive landmark.
Our travel tips: Because this is the high desert, don't forget to bring sunscreen and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. Fill up your gas tank before entering desert areas with limited services.
Take the time to stop and enjoy the scenic views along the way, such as Sedona and Historic Route 66. If you don't like crowds, visit the Canyon during the shoulder seasons to get the most out of the trip without worrying about crowds in the summer.READ MORE - Road trip from Los Angeles to Grand Canyon
9. California to Tennessee: Road trip from Los Angeles to Nashville
2,000 miles from Los Angeles (29 hours)
Why you should take this road trip: Get your cowboy hats and guitars ready, this road trip from Los Angeles to Nashville offers a mix of big-city excitement and country charm, taking you through the vibrant music scene of Nashville and the charming towns of the American South.
Nashville is one of America's most culturally rich cities. It's home to landmarks like the Grand Ole Opry and a booming restaurant and bar scene that features classics like Nashville hot chicken and bourbons.
How to get there: Hop on the I-40 East from Los Angeles towards Nashville. Continue on I-40 East for approximately 1,800 miles through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
In Nashville, take exit 209A towards US-70S/Broadway/Demonbreun Street. Turn right onto Broadway and continue for approximately 1 mile to reach downtown Nashville.
Our highlights: Once you get into Nashville, make sure to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which offers exhibits on the history and culture of country music. This is a must-see destination that will certainly be a highlight of your trip.
Nashville is full of landmarks that have a rich cultural legacy and architectural grandeur worth seeing. These top sights include the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, Lower Broadway, and the Johnny Cash Museum.
If you want a less visited and more locals' experience, visit the East Nashville neighborhood. This trendy area offers a diverse mix of restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as historic homes and architecture.
If you want a memorable drive outside the city, take the Natchez Trace Parkway, a 444-mile scenic drive that stretches from Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi. This drive features historic sites, hiking trails, and scenic views that will surely impress even the most well-traveled road tripper.
What else is there to see while you're in Tennessee: If you're in the state of Tennessee long enough, make sure to visit the Mammoth Cave National Park. This incredible destination is the world's longest-known cave system.
Here, you can enjoy guided tours, hiking, camping, and horseback riding, just 90 miles north of Nashville.
Finally, if you can, make your way to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You'll experience stunning mountain scenery, hiking trails, wildlife viewing, historic buildings and cultural sites, just 230 miles east of Nashville.
Our travel tips: Plan your route and stops ahead of time, and check for seasonal route changes and weather forecasts. Bring appropriate clothing and gear for changing weather conditions, stay hydrated, and check for COVID-19 restrictions or guidelines.
Take advantage of off-season travel to save money and avoid crowds. Make sure to fill up your gas tank before entering desert areas with limited services.
Take the time to stop and enjoy the scenic views along the way, and drive carefully, particularly in rural areas with limited services and wildlife on the road.READ MORE - Road trip from Los Angeles to Nashville
10. California to Florida: Road trip from San Francisco to Orlando
2,820 miles from San Francisco (42 hours drive time)
Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from San Francisco to Orlando covers over 3,000 miles and takes you through some of America's most iconic landmarks and cities, like the Grand Canyon, New Orleans and Atlanta.
You'll get the chance to see plenty of culture like New Orleans Jazz and Southwestern art. Plus, you'll visit several of America's most beloved natural landmarks and national parks.
How to get there: Take I-80 East from San Francisco towards Salt Lake City. In Salt Lake City, merge onto I-15 South towards Las Vegas and continue for approximately 170 miles.
In Las Vegas, take exit 42A to merge onto I-515/US-93 South towards Boulder City/Hoover Dam and continue for approximately 10 miles. Take exit 58 to merge onto I-40 East towards Kingman/Flagstaff and continue for approximately 1,800 miles to reach Orlando.
Our highlights: For the ultimate bucket list destination, visit the Walt Disney World Resort, which includes several theme parks, water parks, and entertainment venues. This resort is fun for all ages and a must-see attraction if you're visiting Orlando.
The city of Orlando is famous for its theme parks. Other must-see destinations full of fun and adventure are Universal Studios Florida, SeaWorld Orlando, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
If you want a locals' experience with fewer tourists, visit Winter Park. This is a charming suburb of Orlando that features tree-lined streets, historic architecture, boutique shops, and gourmet restaurants.
While there isn't a famous/scenic road that directly connects San Francisco to Orlando, you can take several scenic routes along the way, such as Route 66, the Blue Ridge Parkway, or the Natchez Trace Parkway.
What else is there to see while you're in Florida: When in Florida, make sure to visit the Kennedy Space Center. Located on the east coast of Florida, the Kennedy Space Center is a popular attraction that offers visitors a chance to explore the history and future of space travel.
If you have the time, make your way to the city of St Augustine. Just under 100 miles northeast of Orlando, St. Augustine is a historic city that dates back to 1565.
It features historic landmarks, such as the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, and the Lightner Museum, which houses an impressive collection of classic decorative art.
Our travel tips: Avoid traveling to Orlando in the summer if you aren't a fan of crowds at parks. Be prepared to wait at amusement parks and bring snacks and water if allowed.
Also, avoid visiting Florida during major storm events. Always check the weather before traveling.READ MORE - Road trip from San Francisco to Orlando
11. California to South Dakota: Road trip from San Francisco to Mount Rushmore
1,360 miles from San Francisco (21 hours)
Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from San Francisco to Mount Rushmore offers a mix of scenic drives and national landmarks, taking you through the Badlands of South Dakota and the iconic Mount Rushmore, one of America's most recognizable landmarks.
On top of seeing Mount Rushmore, you'll get to see incredible wildlife in their natural environment. This drive is also filled with charming small towns to explore on the way.
How to get there: Take I-80 East from San Francisco towards Reno. In Salt Lake City, merge onto I-15 North towards Idaho Falls.
In Idaho Falls, take exit 118 towards US-20 East towards West Yellowstone. Follow US-16 East and US-385 North to reach Mount Rushmore.
Our highlights: On this road trip, the must-see destination is the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which features the iconic presidential sculptures carved into the granite mountain.
Other things that draw crowds at Mount Rushmore are the Avenue of Flags, the Lincoln Borglum Museum, the Sculptor's Studio, and the Presidential Trail. Each of these monuments is full of history and charm and well worth a visit.
Visit the nearby Custer State Park, which offers scenic drives, wildlife viewing, hiking, and camping. This is especially popular with locals and people wanting to stay away from the tourist crowds.
If you want the ultimate scenic drive nearby, take a drive on the Needles Highway. This popular scenic drive features narrow tunnels, hairpin curves, and stunning views of rock formations and pine forests.
What else is there to see while you're in South Dakota: If you have time, make the drive to Badlands National Park. Located about an hour east of Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park features stunning rock formations, canyons, and prairies, as well as hiking trails, scenic drives, and wildlife viewing.
Another must-see landmark nearby is the Crazy Horse Memorial. Located about 17 miles southwest of Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain carving that honors the Lakota warrior and features a visitor center, museum, and cultural events. The site also offers horseback rides and a nightly laser light show.
Our travel tips: Be prepared for long drives and limited services, especially in Wyoming and South Dakota, where there are long stretches of desert and plains. Fill up your gas tank, bring plenty of water and snacks, and plan for rest stops in advance.
Check for seasonal weather changes and possible road closures, particularly in the winter when the roads can be icy and snow-covered. Pack appropriate clothing and gear for changing weather conditions, such as warm layers and waterproof boots.
Take advantage of scenic stops and attractions along the way, such as Yellowstone National Park, Devil's Tower National Monument, and the Crazy Horse Memorial. Enjoy the stunning natural beauty and historical landmarks that this route has to offer.READ MORE - Road trip from San Francisco to Mount Rushmore