Big Sur, California, USA with a seascape view of the iconic Big Sur road alongside cliffs and the sea on a sunny day.
Songquan Deng/

Road Trips from Texas to Other States

Updated by Dianne Titos on May 1 2024

Though several things make Texas famous, it's mostly known for being a huge state (second largest in the US after Alaska), and for country music and delicious BBQ food. Being such a big state, it borders several other states, which make amazing destinations in their own right from iconic Texan cities.

Our list of 12 best road trips from Texas to other states includes relatively short and longer drives to epic states such as Florida, New York, Washington DC, California, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana and many other incredible destinations.

Keep reading to learn more about the epic road trips you can take from Texas, the highlights of each destination, and the best routes to make the most of your trip!

Things to see in other states on a road trip from Texas
Road tripOur favorite things to see
From Texas to LouisianaThe French Quarter, Bourbon Street, Grand Isle, Lafayette, Fontainebleau State Park
From Texas to GeorgiaCentennial Olympic Park, World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta History Center, Lake Lanier, Providence Canyon State Park
From Texas to FloridaWalt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, St Augustine, Blue Spring State Park, Wekiva Springs State Park
From Texas to DCSmithsonian Museums, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Georgetown, Mount Vernon
From Texas to New YorkCentral Park, Metropolitan Museum, the Statue of Liberty, Finger Lakes, Roosevelt Island
From Texas to New MexicoSanta Fe Plaza, Canyon Road, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Bandelier National Monument, Taos Pueblo
From Texas to ArizonaPrescott, Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Organ Pipe Cactus National Park
From Texas to ColoradoDenver Botanic Gardens, Rocky Mountain National Park, Larimer Square, Vail, Breckenridge
From Texas to DenverDenver Botanic Gardens, Rocky Mountain National Park, Larimer Square, Vail, Breckenridge
From Texas to Las VegasThe Strip, The High Roller, Lake Mead, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Extraterrestrial Highway
From Texas to CaliforniaGolden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe
From Texas to WashingtonSpace Needle, Pike Place Market, Discovery Park, North Cascades National Park, Snoqualmie Falls
From Texas to IllinoisThe Art Institute of Chicago, Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, Starved Rock State Park, Galena

1. Texas to Louisiana: Road trip from Houston to New Orleans

350 miles from Houston (5 hours 15 minutes)

What sets this one apart: Despite being an under 6-hour drive, this route has so much along the way to explore, like National Forests and reserves, historical sites, and a plethora of restaurants that highlight the best of Cajun cuisine.

A one-of-a-kind place to explore, its architecture and landscapes are bound to transport you to a completely different setting with its bustling culture, cobblestoned streets, and colorful, vibrant neighborhoods.

Jungle Gardens in Avery Island, Louisiana, USA taken on a sunny day with a huge tree in the foreground and water and more trees in the distance.
This short drive offers so much to see, you can even include a quick visit to Avery Island and take in the local wildlife.

How to get there: There are two routes you can follow for this road trip, one in-land route and a coastal route. Ideally, the in-land route is recommended because it's shorter and easier to follow, with the drive being primarily on Interstate 10 (I-10) E.

You'll begin on I-69 and Route 59 along Sam Houston National Forest. Then, you'll get on Route 28 to Alexandria and ultimately enter Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana. Eventually, you'll drive by the iconic towns of Lake Charles, Lafayette, and Beaumont, to arrive in New Orleans.

Our highlights: In New Orleans, places that are worth exploring include but are not limited to the Garden District & Uptown, Bayou St. John, the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, Saint Bar, and Lounge. If you're a music aficionado, make sure you visit the Music Box Village.

What else is there to see while you're in Louisiana: Besides New Orleans, there are several other places to explore in Louisiana. If you're looking for a short beach escape, the Grand Isle is perfect for a night or two.

Another city that's worth spending time in during this road trip, especially considering that it's on your way to New Orleans, would be Lafayette. The city is known to be a charming home to museums, local businesses and eateries.

Outside the city, you'll also get to explore nature havens like Fontainebleau State Park, Avery Island, Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and more.

Our travel tips: As a tourist-favorite city, finding the right time to visit New Orleans is essential for making it a trip like no other.

Visiting in the fall or spring months is bound to be exciting because that's when the city is most alive – with several festivals and carnivals (but booking in advance is recommended because it's a popular time to visit).

However, if you're looking to make it a budget-friendly trip, visiting in the summer months or the thick of winter could work, although not as many events are happening.

READ MORE - Road trip from Houston to New Orleans

2. Texas to Georgia: Road trip from Houston to Atlanta

790 miles from Houston (11 hours 45 minutes)

What sets this one apart: This road trip from Houston to Atlanta promises a scenic route, taking you through the best of the South, particularly East Texas's natural reserves and forests. With a path along the rolling Tennessee Hills, this half-day-long road journey is a must-do!

If you're a history buff, this is probably the top trip for you because, along the route, you'll get a chance to explore places like the Civil Rights Memorial and the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Sites.

Providence Canyon State Park, Georgia, USA landscape at dusk with tree covered canyons in the foreground.
Providence Canyon State Park is a stunning place to stop while you're in Georgia.
Sean Pavone/

How to get there: You'll follow I-90, passing by Beaumont and Lake Charles before merging with Interstate 10 towards Lafayette, a perfect pit stop for the night.

You'll continue your journey on I-10, where you'll get an opportunity to detour New Orleans before merging with I-85 North and some local routes through Columbus, which'll eventually get you to Atlanta!

Our highlights: Some spots considered tourist must-dos are the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, Atlanta History Center, and MLK Jr. National Historical Park. If you're a sports fan, there are several spots to explore, especially the Centennial Olympic Park.

Some local favorite places are the Sweet Auburn Historic District, Tiny Doors ATL, World of Coca-Cola, and more.

Along this route, you'll also find the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, Jungle Gardens, and Avery Island, where you can stop for a couple of hours each during your drive to make the most of your road journey.

What else is there to see while you're in Georgia: During your stay in Georgia, there are a handful of other places that you should explore outside of Atlanta.

For nature lovers and adventure seekers, trips to Chattanooga (a detour out of state but nearby), Providence Canyon State Park, Ruby Falls, and Lake Lanier are recommended.

Our travel tips: It's a great road trip to take at any point of the year, although the summer months can get hot.

Spring or autumn are the best times to visit because the weather is perfect – particularly in the fall, you'll get to witness the tree's leaves change color though you might encounter the occasional rainfall, so pack accordingly.

READ MORE - Road trip from Houston to Atlanta

3. Texas to Florida: Road trip from Houston to Orlando

960 miles from Houston (13 hours 30 minutes)

What sets this one apart: A perfect road trip to experience the best of the South Coast; you'll pass through many unique towns that you otherwise may not get a chance to explore while heading to a tropical Oasis, Orlando!

Along this road trip, you'll get a chance to stop by and explore several national forests and reserves, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature, go on a couple of hikes, and spot some wildlife.

Orlando, Florida, USA with a view of the Orlando Eye against a cloudy but sunny sky and palm trees in the foreground.
Be sure to tick off the many spots in Orlando before leaving, like Universal Orlando Resort or Orlando Eye for great views.
Infinity Moments LLC/

How to get there: The drive mainly follows along Interstate 10, taking you by Kisatchie National Forest, Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Charles, and other such landmarks.

You'll drive past two exits during your journey, each making way for a detour towards New Orleans and Baton Rouge, two Louisiana cities worth exploring.

Our highlights: Along the route, you'll drive through New Orleans, which is the pinnacle of Southern culture in the US and is worth spending a night in, especially if you're visiting during Mardi Gras.

In the city, spots you must tick off your list are Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, Islands of Adventure & all the other theme parks.

Besides these top adventure parks that draw in most of the crowds, the art museums, and waterparks, mainly The Wheel at ICON Park, are also great places to see.

Among the locals, the top favorite places are the SoDo area (South Downtown) – home to several lakes, and forested regions, one of which is Loch Haven Park. Be sure to also make time for a night at The Abbey, home to live music, cabaret and dance shows, stand-up nights and more.

What else is there to see while you're in Florida: Besides Orlando, there are so many places to explore in Florida, located a short drive from the city.

Some top areas include — Wekiva Springs State Park, which is located less than half an hour away from the city with several water sports opportunities and hiking trails, Blue Spring State Park, home to beautiful springs, and manatees, making it a perfect getaway on a warm spring day.

St Augustine, known for being the oldest occupied European region in the US, is a charming city with cobblestoned streets, and locally owned and run businesses.

Our travel tips: You can make this trip during any season, although the warmer months are bound to guarantee a better experience. Remember that the peak summer months can get extremely hot and see massive crowds.

READ MORE - Road trip from Houston to Orlando

4. Texas to DC: Road trip from Houston to Washington DC

1,400 miles from Houston (20 hours 30 minutes)

What sets this one apart: One of the most extended road trips on the list, this is genuinely the perfect Southern hike up to the capital city from Houston!

With historical monuments and a plethora of national and state parks and forests, such as the Blue Ridge Mountains, this mega road trip truly has something for everyone to enjoy.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, USA with a view of the sun rising over Clingman's Dome with low cloud in the distance.
A real highlight of Washington DC is taking in its many forests, like the famous Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

How to get there: Since it's such a long-haul drive, it'd be ideal to spread it across a week or two. The quickest and primarily very scenic route you can follow would begin by getting on I-10 East directly to Baton Rouge.

You'll switch to I-12 and follow it until Pearl River Wildlife Management Area. Then, you'll switch to I-59 North into Mississippi, passing by Bienville National Forest before you arrive in Alabama.

Here, you'll get to explore the national forests and other highlights like Little River Canyon National Preserve & De Soto State Park (and even a well-worth it detour to the famous Great Smoky Mountains National Park) as you witness the stunning Blue Ridge Mountain views as you'll get onto I-66 into Washington.

Our highlights: Washington DC has so much to see and do, starting with the Smithsonian Museums, encompassing nineteen free-access museums.

As the country's capital, Washington DC is also home to some iconic national monuments like the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the US Capitol, and more. Here you'll also find spacious parks and trails, the most popular of which are the Capital Crescent Trail and Rock Creek Park Trail.

What else is there to see while you're in Washington DC: Other nearby places to explore are Georgetown (here you'll encounter the Old Stone House and a plethora of local boutiques and eateries) and Mount Vernon (the historic estate of George Washington).

Other spots worth making time for, particularly popular with the locals, are Legendary U Street, Dumbarton Oaks, the beautiful Key Bridge Boathouse, and the US National Arboretum.

Our travel tips: You can make the road trip during any part of the year, although some months may be more fun. The winters can get harsh in DC, making it not an ideal time to make the trip, especially since it's such a long drive.

The spring and fall months are a favorite amongst tourists- the fall brings autumnal leaves and a magical atmosphere, while the spring climate is perfect for exploring the best of the city!

READ MORE - Road trip from Houston to Washington DC

5. Texas to New York: Road trip from Dallas to New York City

1,550 miles from Dallas (24 hours)

What sets this one apart: This extensive road trip from Texas to New York is dotted with stunning sights and buzzing cities, as well as must-visit destinations such as Nashville, Knoxville and the Shenandoah National Park.

This iconic route takes you from Dallas to New York, which is genuinely bound to shift for the better because of the hustle, bustle, and color of the town, and that too through several natural reserves, forests, and parks making the ultimate getaway.

Manhattan, New York, USA with an aerial view of Central Park surrounded by skyscrapers on a sunny day.
You won't run out of things to see and do in New York City, but be sure to include an explore of its beautiful Central Park.
T photography/

How to get there: To get to New York City from Dallas, you'll begin on Interstate 30 towards Mt. Pleasant, crossing Little Rock (in Arkansas), Ouachita National Forest, and Nashville as you merge with I-40, arriving at Knoxville.

Then, you'll exit onto I-81 North, get a chance to explore Shenandoah National Park, and ultimately get onto I-78 East to arrive in NYC.

Our highlights: There's so much to do along the way and in New York City that any list would always be missing something. But to encapsulate a bit of everything, some bucket list items for a first-time NYC tourist would be Central Park, MET, the Statue of Liberty, and The Morgan Library & Museum.

Other spots that you can't miss are the Grand Central Terminal, Brooklyn Bridge, Washington Square Park, and more.

Since New York City is a city held together by its people, the locals have a different list of places they'd recommend, including Chinatown, The Cloisters Museum & Gardens, the High Line and the New York Public Library.

What else is there to see while you're in New York: Contrary to popular belief, there are so many more things to do and places to explore in New York besides NYC.

After your tour around the city, make time to explore the Hamptons, the Finger Lakes – a set of wineries, trails, and valleys in Upstate New York, Roosevelt Island, Ellis Island, The Hudson River Valley, and the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

If you'd like to learn more about other amazing things you can see in New York City, as well as where to stay, please check our detailed guide below:

READ MORE - Our Area-by-Area Guide to NYC

Our travel tips: The summer months are pretty warm and pretty popular with tourists – although you'll have to book the room well in advance, so it would be recommended to go during the spring or fall.

READ MORE - Road trip from Dallas to New York

6. Texas to New Mexico: Road trip from Austin to Santa Fe

700 miles from Austin (11 hours and 15 minutes)

What sets this one apart: This road trip will be unforgettable because you'll get to encounter various cultures – Spanish, Mexican, and the South, along with paying homage to the historic Native American culture via museums, galleries, and memorials.

This is a one-of-a-kind road route to follow because you'll get to explore the one-of-a-kind Marfa Lights in West Texas, which are these mysterious orb-like lights that appear in the sky in a variety of different colors.

Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico, USA with a ladder leading to the cave entrances against the cliff face on a sunny day.
For a really interesting visit the Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico is a great option.

How to get there: While you could follow a couple of routes to reach Santa Fe, the most straightforward path would be via US-84 West. You'll begin by taking Texas 1 Loop North onto US 183 N and driving through the heart of Texas before merging with I-20 W.

You'll enter New Mexico via US Route 285 North and ultimately via the unique Old Pecos Trail to get to Santa Fe.

Our highlights: There's so much to see and do in Santa Fe, starting with some must-do places like Santa Fe Plaza and Canyon Road, where you'll find endless art galleries, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, and more.

Try and make some time to watch a show at the Santa Fe Opera and tour the Palace of the Governors. Meow World (an immersive art experience), Santa Fe Railyard Park, and the Santa Fe Farmers Market are popular among the locals.

It'd be a shame to go to Santa Fe and not enjoy the Hot Springs, especially at a luxurious resort like the Ojo Caliente Mineral Resorts & Spa for a night!

What else is there to see while you're in New Mexico: While you're in New Mexico, there are several other places to visit, like the Bandelier National Monument – a renowned historical monument home to several Native American dwellings and petroglyphs.

You can also visit Taos Pueblo (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and the Taos Ski Valley for a little adventure getaway. You can also take time to visit the Tent Rocks National Monument.

Our travel tips: Though possible to do year-round, the summer months might be too hot to explore the best of the wilderness along the route, and the hikes won't be as enjoyable when you're stopping to drink some water every five minutes.

In the winter, however, you may not be able to experience all parts of the national parks along the way, and some roads may also be subject to closure due to harsh weather conditions. The fall time is ideal, though you should make your travel bookings in advance!

READ MORE - Road trip from Austin to Santa Fe

7. Texas to Arizona: Road trip from Austin to Phoenix

1,310 miles from Austin (21 hours 30 minutes)

What sets this one apart: The road trip from Austin to Phoenix is bound to take you through some of the unique terrains the US offers – dry, golden deserts, rolling hills, lush green forests, snow-covered peaks, and even a white sand desert!

Phoenix is known for its immaculate weather, promising sunshine nearly all year round & offers several natural activities for you to immerse yourself in, so what better way to experience it than an exciting road trip leading you to it?

Papago Park, Phoenix, Arizona, USA after sunset with hills in the distance and desert landscape in the foreground.
Immerse yourself in the desert landscape at Papago Park in Phoenix.
Gregory E. Clifford/

How to get there: While there are two routes you can follow to get to Phoenix, this route is the most convenient. You'll begin by calling on I-35 South towards San Antonio.

As you merge with US-90 West, you'll reach the Mexico-US border, where you can choose to detour to Big Bend National Park for a bit of an afternoon of sightseeing before you get on US-385.

Ultimately, you'll get back onto US-90 West and I-10 West, where you'll get to catch a glimpse of White Sands National Park before arriving at your destination.

Our highlights: Phoenix is full of excursions and activities to immerse yourself in. Some tourist favorites include Camelback Mountain, an excellent hiking spot, Taliesin West, Papago Park, Chase Field (especially for sports fans), and Old Town Scottsdale.

There are also a handful of funky museums to visit in Phoenix, namely The Heard Museum and The Musical Instrument Museum. Try and make time to tour the Desert Botanical Garden and spend a couple of hours among the galleries and boutiques at Roosevelt Row.

What else is there to see while you're in Arizona: Besides Phoenix, other cities you can explore during your time in Arizona are Prescott, Scottsdale, and Sedona, each located a short drive from the city.

If you're looking for a nature getaway, you can also spend time at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Park, Montezuma Castle National Monument, and Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.

While in Arizona, a visit to the Grand Canyon National Park is also a must.

Our travel tips: Much like most of these road trips, you can make this trip during any part of the year. However, spring is famous because the weather is pleasant, and most national park attractions open after a slow winter.

Additionally, the fall months bring a unique experience because the natural reserves and forests would be at their most colorful.

Do keep in mind that Phoenix is at its most popular during the end of February because of the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, so if that's something you're interested in, you know when's the best time to plan your road trip.

READ MORE - Road trip from Austin to Phoenix

8. Texas to Colorado: Road trip from Dallas to Denver

795 miles from Dallas (12 hours)

What sets this one apart: This half-day road trip is bound to be one of the most scenic drives you'll experience with the drive across Santa Fe Trail and the Million Dollar Highway while making your way to Dallas.

There are several national parks and outdoor activities along the way (Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Rocky Mountains National Park, etc.), which will be enjoyable to explore and adventure around while you drive along this 12-hour route.

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, USA with sand dunes in the foreground and mountains in the distance on a clear day.
Of all the parks you'll discover en route to Denver, Great Sand Dunes National Park has some of the most interesting views.

How to get there: There are two routes between Dallas and Denver; one through New Mexico and the other through Oklahoma and Kansas. The first route takes you through the Texas plains in the northwest via Texas 121 TEXpress. Then you'll exit onto US-287 North while Sonic Drive-In.

You'll then merge onto US-87 North passing by Rita Blanca National Grasslands to enter New Mexico for over a hundred miles. Ultimately, you'll merge onto I-25 North to join Colorado, where you'll encounter Gunnison National Forest, San Isabel National Forests, and more.

Our highlights: Denver has much to do and see; you will always have something planned. You must visit the Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens and Larimer Square.

You can also take out time to venture around the Molly Brown House Museum, take a Brewery Tour, and watch the sunset at the Red Rocks State Park and Amphitheatre. Locals recommend visiting the Cherry Creek Trail, Coors Field, Union Station, and Colorado State Capitol.

What else is there to see while you're in Colorado: While in Colorado, you can take time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, believed to be one of the best national parks in the country, and it is home to over 500 miles of hiking trails.

You can also book a weekend at Vail, a world-renowned ski resort, and visit Estes Park, Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, and Mt. Evans.

Our travel tips: The best time to go on a road trip from Dallas to Denver is ideally the spring and fall months since the temperature is perfect & you'll also get to go to some music festivals, live music events & Oktoberfest too.

Denver has a lot to offer during the winter, especially if you're looking to ski or spend time on other snow-related activities.

READ MORE - Road trip from Dallas to Denver

9. Texas to Nevada: Road trip from San Antonio to Las Vegas

1,280 miles from San Antonio (19 hours)

What sets this one apart: This route from San Antonio to Las Vegas has several National (and state) Parks that are only a slight detour away (Grand Canyon National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Zion National Park), making it a great road trip for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers.

Las Vegas is truly one of the best entertainment cities to be in, so if you're looking for an adventurous trip that culminates in a relaxing but nightlife-filled destination – this is the trip to go on!

Zion National Park, USA with a view from Observation Point during the day looking through the valleys into the distance.
This stunning drive takes you through some fantastic places, like Zion National Park, that are well worth the slight detour.
Pat Tr/

How to get there: You'll begin your journey via El Paso on I-10. After your visit to El Paso, where you'll have the chance to explore this one-of-a-kind melting-pot city. You'll head North towards Phoenix, getting an opportunity to explore Hoover Dam before arriving in Las Vegas.

Our highlights: A power-packed city, there's something to do at every corner in the city of sin! Bucket-list spots include the Strip, the four-mile-long road Vegas is known for, The High Roller (Ferris Wheel), Fremont Street Experience, and the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

Locals love the Springs preserve, a vast oasis home to trails, gardens, exhibits, a Container Park, and wacky museums like the Mob Museum and Pinball Hall of Fame.

What else is there to see while you're in Nevada: While in Nevada, there are many other places you can see, such as Valley of Fire State Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and Great Basin National Park.

You can also make time for Lake Tahoe for a short nature escape or visit Reno, known famously as “The Biggest Little City in the World.” Another exciting spot to visit during this road trip would be the Extraterrestrial Highway, a remote highway in Southern Nevada known for its countless UFO sightings.

Our travel tips: Las Vegas is not ideal to visit in the summer because it gets hot and is perpetually packed with tourists. Making this trip during the winter months could be a good experience as the city wouldn't be too packed, and the weather remains lovely.

Plus, the National Finals Rodeo takes place in December if you're into that sort of thing! The springtime months are also a good option, and the scenery would be lovely along the way.

READ MORE - Road trip from San Antonio to Las Vegas

10. Texas to California: Road trip from Austin to San Francisco

1,940 miles from Austin (31 hours)

What sets this one apart: This is the second longest road trip on the list taking well over a whole day of non-stop driving, which you should ideally spread across a week or two to make the most of this across-the-country journey.

Since this is a cross-country road trip, you'll get to visit top US attractions like the Hoover Dam, Golden Gate Bridge, and the Grand Canyon.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, USA taken at night with the bridge in yellows and the city beyond.
After ticking off several bucket list attractions, a drive the iconic Golden Gate Bridge is the icing on the cake.

How to get there: Two routes can be followed between Austin and San Francisco, one that's primarily direct and the other that's bound to be more scenic but also adds six more hours on an already lengthy journey.

You'll begin by getting on US-290 and merge with I-10 West through Texas and, ultimately, New Mexico and into Arizona. You can explore the rugged terrains of Phoenix and stop over at the national and state parks if you're feeling adventurous and the weather permits.

You'll continue the same road to enter California and drive along the California mountains until exiting onto US-101 till Speckles, where you can detour onto Big Sur for a drive with a view and ultimately follow the west coast of the Bay to arrive in San Francisco.

Our highlights: When visiting San Francisco, places that you cannot miss out on are the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, and San Francisco Cable Cars.

Some spots that locals swear by are Lands' End – known to have unobstructed views of the Golden Gate Bridge, The Mission District, The Ferry Building Marketplace, and the tranquil Japanese Tea Garden.

You can also spend some time in Haigh-Ashbury, a historic neighborhood near the city center.

What else is there to see while you're in California: There's no dearth of places to wander around in California, but some top hits include the Napa Valley, perfect for a weekend of relaxation and wine-tasting, Point Reyes National Seashore, promising stunning Pacific Ocean views with a lighthouse, trails.

You can also try taking out time for Lake Tahoe, Muir Woods National Monument, Monterey, and a short getaway to Santa Cruz.

Our travel tips: San Francisco can be a little dicey regarding weather, though mostly pleasant. The summer months are lovely, perfect for hiking and beach activities, but not too hot so you can't enjoy your time outdoors.

The spring and fall months are also great for this road trip because they're a little more budget-friendly, and you'll get a chance to participate in events like the Chinese New Year parade (early spring), Outside Lands Music Festival, and more.

READ MORE - Road trip from Austin to San Francisco

11. Texas to Washington: Road trip from Austin to Seattle

2,145 miles from Austin (33 hours)

What sets this one apart: The most extended trip on this list, you're bound to feel like a mega adventurer after you complete this feat. Taking you through national parks, historical monuments, and diverse landscapes, this road trip is bucket-list worthy!

Along the route, you'll encounter a plethora of national parks in these diverse settings – the deserts of the Southwest, the Rocky Mountains, red rocks, coastal beaches, and flowering valleys; honestly, what else could you want from a cross-country road trip?

San Juan Island, Washington, USA with a view of Lime Kiln Lighthouse on a stormy day with waves crashing against the rocky coastline.
While in Washington, you could take a visit to San Juan Island where you can catch a glimpse of Lime Kiln Lighthouse.
Edmund Lowe Photography/

How to get there: While there are a handful of routes to get to Seattle from Austin, the shortest route will take you through the Utah Desert. You'll begin your trip by heading on Highway 71 and I-40 towards Albuquerque in New Mexico, after which you'll get on I-70 West towards Salt Lake City.

Ultimately, you'll get on Interstate 15 North in Spanish Fork, leading you through a handful of state and local routes into Seattle.

Our highlights: The places you cannot miss in Seattle include (but aren't limited to) Space Needle, Pike Place Market (a Seattle staple market, home to local artisans, vendors, etc.), Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, and Museum of Pop Culture.

Some local gems you must take time for are Fremont Brewing, Discovery Park (promising views of Puget Sound and Beaches), Gas Works Park, and Elliot Bay Book Company.

What else is there to see while you're in Washington: Other places to explore around Seattle are Tacoma, a historically rich city with several museums, San Juan Islands and Mount Rainer National Park, home to a now-defunct volcano but with solid views nonetheless.

Our other favorite places to visit while in Washington are North Cascades National Park, and Snoqualmie Falls — a 270 feet tall waterfall with endless viewpoints and trails.

Our travel tips: Since the trip does involve taking the Pacific Coast Highway, making the trip in spring and fall would be ideal. The summer is a viable option, although the desert might be too hot to explore.

The Seattle International Film Festival happens in the summer, which might be worth visiting – especially if you're a film buff.

READ MORE - Road trip from Austin to Seattle

12. Texas to Illinois: Road trip from Dallas to Chicago

990 miles from Chicago (16 hours)

What sets this one apart: Though it's not the longest nor the most scenic drive, this route has many unique attractions along the way, like the Precious Moments Chapel and the World's Largest Catsup Bottle.

Along with these wacky attractions, you'll also get to experience some of the best food this part of the US has to offer, from scrumptious BBQ in Texas, specialty fried chicken in Missouri to deep-dish pizza in Chicago, making this road trip from Dallas to Chicago perfect for the foodie in you!

Starved Rock State Park, Illinois, USA with a view of twin waterfalls crashing into Tonti Canyon on a spring day surrounded by green trees.
If you're after somewhere peaceful and still breathtaking, you could visit nearby Starved Rock State Park, home to beautiful waterfalls and natural surroundings.
Jason Patrick Ross/

How to get there: There's a direct route through Memphis and a scenic route that'll add around two hours to your driving time. You'll begin your scenic drive on I-30 E, towards Arkansas, where you'll get to detour to state parks and the Hot Springs in the area.

You'll continue along I-30 until you arrive at Little Rock, taking US Route 167 and heading Northeast. Then, after passing by Pocahontas in Arkansas, you'll take US-115 and merge with US-21 towards St. Louis. Ultimately, you'll continue onto I-55 N heading straight to the windy city of Chicago.

Our highlights: Exploring Chicago is bound to be an enjoyable experience packed with vibrant culture and attractions around every corner.

Some popular tourist spots are The Art Institute of Chicago, Navy Pier, Willis Tower (famous for being the tallest building in the Western hemisphere), and Millennium Park, the infamous Bean of Chicago site.

What else is there to see while you're in Illinois: Other places to visit during your visit to Chicago are Starved Rock State Park, Galena (A beautiful historic town known for its 19th-century architecture), and The Great River Road.

Our travel tips: Much like most of the other trips on this list, this road trip, though possible during any time of year because of the overall pleasant weather, is likely to be the most exciting in the spring or fall – when the weather isn't too extreme.

Since there are several outdoor attractions to see along the way, making the trip when the trees are turning red and orange, especially when you take the hikes in Rocky Mountains National Park, is bound to be lovely – so book it in the fall if you can!

READ MORE - Road trip from Dallas to Chicago