Pink lifeguard hut on Miami Beach with the ocean in the background
fokke baarssen/

Road trip from Seattle to Miami

Updated by Dianne Titos on February 14 2024

From the Pacific Coast all the way to the Atlantic Coast, a road trip from Seattle to Miami is the perfect cross-country drive. While this is a long journey, you will have so much to see, national parks to explore, and iconic cities to visit that you won't have an empty second on this jam-packed adventure.

The 4,345-mile road trip from Seattle to Miami will take 64 hours to drive nonstop. You can visit Boise, Spokane, Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore, St Louis, Nashville, Atlanta, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Denver, Memphis, Birmingham and Tampa.

This will be the ultimate road trip across America, so get ready and start planning. Read on below to learn more about our recommended routes, top destinations, best places to rest, and the best seasons to travel.

How far is Miami from Seattle, and how long will the road trip take?

Comparison of road trip routes between Seattle and Miami
RouteDistanceDriving Time
Southern Route3,620 miles53 hours
Northern Route4,345 miles64 hours

On a road trip from Seattle to Maimi, the Northern Route covers a distance of 4,345 miles and takes approximately 64 hours of driving time without accounting for any detours.

The Southern Route is slightly shorter and spans 3,620 miles and requires about 53 hours of driving time, not taking any further stops into consideration.

Though you could complete both routes in a week or so, you're going to want to take your time. We suggest taking at least two weeks to give yourself enough time to explore the diverse stops and views along the way.

Miami, Florida, USA with a skyline view of the city, palm trees and sea in the foreground.
It is time to pack your swimming gear, put on your sunscreen and head to the sunny city of Miami!
Agnieszka Gaul/

Best road trip route from Seattle to Miami

The Northern and Southern Routes from Seattle to Miami offer a once-in-a-lifetime journey, each with unique appeal and an impressive variety of different landscapes. Which one you choose depends on what you want to see and experience the most.

The Northern Route is a cross-country trek over the northern parts of the US, before veering south towards Florida. If you love nature, you'll get to see highlights like Yellowstone National Park, Custer National Forest, Badlands National Park, Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, and Osceola National Forest.

The route also features a visit to the iconic Mount Rushmore National Monument and passes through cities like Kansas City, Nashville, Atlanta, and Orlando.

The Southern Route takes you from the Pacific Northwest through the American Rockies and into the Southern states, finally reaching South Florida. Along this route, you'll pass through Boise, with its scenic beauty, and cities rich in musical heritage like Memphis and Birmingham.

A unique feature of this route is the short stretch along the Gulf of Mexico Coast, where you'll get your fill of beautiful beaches. This route is ideal if you want to enjoy a mix of mountainous terrains, musical cities, and coastal scenery.

How to drive from Seattle to Miami

The map above shows our suggestions for the best road trip routes between Seattle and Miami. Keep reading for detailed descriptions of both routes, where to stay on either, and the best things to do on the way.

Northern Route

Begin your journey in Seattle by driving east on Interstate 90 (I-90) to reach Spokane, admiring the scenic landscapes along the way.

From Spokane, continue on I-90 East to visit the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park and Hanford Reach National Monument. Your journey then takes you through the breathtaking beauty of Yellowstone National Park, a must-see destination famed for its geysers and wildlife.

Next, head on US-212 to Rapid City, South Dakota, a gateway to the majestic Mount Rushmore National Memorial. From there, travel east on I-90 to visit the rugged landscapes of Badlands National Park.

Continue your journey and veer south on I-29. Continue south through Omaha, Nebraska, and then proceed to Kansas City, Missouri.

After exploring Kansas City, drive eastward on I-70 to St Louis, Missouri, and visit its iconic Gateway Arch. The route then leads you to Nashville, Tennessee, where musical heritage awaits.

From here, head southeast to visit the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area before continuing to Atlanta, Georgia. On your way to Orlando, Florida, make a stop in Macon, Georgia, to experience its rich history and culture.

Finally, from Orlando, take the Florida Turnpike south and merge with I-95 to your fun-loving and sunny destination of Miami.

Mount Rushmore National Monument in South Dakota on a sunny day
One of the many iconic sights you will get to visit on the Northern Route is Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
Jorge Villalba/

Southern Route

Your journey begins by heading southeast on I-90 and then the I-84 towards Boise, Idaho. Along the way, marvel at the lush landscapes of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. In Boise, experience the unique blend of urban and natural attractions.

Continue southeast on I-84 to Salt Lake City, Utah, where the vast Great Salt Lake awaits. After exploring Salt Lake City, head east on I-80, passing by the stunning Rocky Mountain National Park and White River National Forest and merge onto I-25 south to Denver.

From Denver, take I-70 east and turn on I-135 to Wichita, Kansas. Your next stop will be Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This route leads you through the picturesque Ozark-St. Francis National Forest.

Next, head to Memphis, Tennessee, a city with a rich musical legacy. From Memphis, continue on I-22 to Birmingham, Alabama, and explore the Talladega National Forest nearby. After Birmingham, you will soon arrive in the iconic city of Atlanta.

Your journey then takes you to Tampa. In Tampa, enjoy the beautiful Gulf Coast and its incredible nightlife and restaurant scene. Finally, complete your road trip by traveling south to Miami.

Memphis, Tennessee, USA with a view of the blues clubs on historic Beale Street at twilight.
You can catch a live gig on Beale Street in Memphis if you are traveling on the Southern Route.
Sean Pavone/

Best places to stop between Seattle and Miami

With so much excitement and beauty along the way on a drive from Seattle to Miami, you'll want to stop and rest to take advantage of it all. We've included our favorite stops below where you'll be able to rest and explore.

Visit the haunted houses of Kansas City

Halfway through your Northern Route road trip, Kansas City, Missouri, is the perfect stopover, about 2,000 miles into your journey. This fun and historical city is a hub of American history and culture, offering a unique blend of historic sites and modern charm.

Notable attractions include the National WWI Museum and Memorial, showcasing exhibits and artifacts. You'll also get to visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, renowned for its vast collection spanning different cultures and eras.

Fisheye of the Shuttlecock Sculptures in front of the museum building in the lawn
While in Kansas City, we highly recommend visiting Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Matt Fowler KC/

Something you might not know about Kansas City is its reputation as the haunted house capital of the world at one time. Make sure to book a tour during your visit, if you dare!

For your stay, we recommend the 21c Museum Hotel Kansas City. Located in the heart of the city, this hotel combines classic architecture with modern elegance.

Designed by the acclaimed Deborah Berke Partners and Hufft Projects, the hotel offers beautiful guest rooms and suites, featuring high ceilings, contemporary furnishings, and original artwork.

The hotel has a popular on-site bar and a modern American restaurant. As North America's only multi-venue museum dedicated to contemporary art, the hotel offers unique access to works by emerging artists.

Nearby, explore the iconic Kansas City fountains, just a 5-minute walk from the hotel, or enjoy live music and a vibrant atmosphere at The Phoenix, only a 2-minute walk away.

Stay at "Denver's Downtown Playground"

As you approach the halfway mark on your Southern Route road trip, Denver, Colorado, is a great place to stop and take a break. Located around 1,350 miles into your journey, Denver is not only a cultural hub but also an outdoor lovers' paradise, nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains. 

Denver, the capital of Colorado, is known for its landmark 19th-century buildings and its museums, cultural centers, and proximity to the stunning American Rockies.

Aerial view of the Coors Field stadium and the Denver city skyline behind it
Denver is a buzzing metropolis and you will be able to visit iconic landmarks such as Coors Field during your stay in the city.
Michael-John Wolfe/

Key attractions include the Denver Art Museum, famous for its indigenous works and contemporary art collections, and the Denver Botanic Gardens. An interesting tidbit about Denver is that it enjoys nearly 300 days of sunshine a year.

For your stay, it is hard to beat The Rally Hotel at McGregor Square. This contemporary hotel is located in one of Denver's most famous neighborhoods.

It stands atop McGregor Square, a bustling entertainment and retail district in lower downtown Denver (LoDo). The hotel offers an array of on-site dining options, including a cafe, cocktail lounge, and a brunch restaurant for fabulous meals.

The Rally Hotel is part of "Denver's Downtown Playground" and is surrounded by entertainment options and world-class bars and restaurants. Just steps away are Coors Field, various dining and retail outlets, and a stadium-sized LED screen, providing endless amusement right at your doorstep.

The historic Denver Union Station is just a 6-minute walk from the hotel, offering a glimpse into Denver's rich architectural heritage and bustling urban life.

READ MORE - Click here for more great hotel options

Where to stay when you reach Miami

Miami, Florida, is a top vacation destination, known for its pulsating nightlife, stunning beaches, and a culture as vibrant as its renowned Art Deco skyline. A city at the forefront of fashion, art, and entertainment, Miami's energy is unstoppable.

To get a taste of Miami's rich history and architecture, a visit to the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is a must. This stunning estate offers a glimpse into the opulent past of Miami, with its Italian Renaissance gardens and historic architecture.

View of the museum building with a beautifully manicured garden in the front
Take a break and visit the stunningly manicured gardens of the Vizcaya Museum while in Miami.
Songquan Deng/

If you're in the mood to relax, the Bayside Marketplace provides a lively visit, with its waterfront dining, shopping, and entertainment.

Your stay in Miami is made unforgettable at The Elser Hotel Miami, situated to provide beautiful views of Biscayne Bay and the famous downtown skyline. This hotel captures the essence of Miami's dynamic spirit, offering luxurious rooms and suites equipped with a range of amenities.

The Elser Hotel Miami is perfectly located, steps away from Miami's best museums, parks, high-end shopping, the iconic Art Deco South Beach, and the Miami Design District.

The Elser Hotel Miami features on-site dining options, including a lobby bar, a signature restaurant by Jaguar Sun, and a cozy coffee lounge.

Things to see on a road trip from Seattle to Miami

This drive from Seattle to Miami is truly is an epic road trip across America. To help you plan, we've included our top destinations and experiences below so you can plan easily.

Northern Route

  1. Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park - A unique landscape showcasing one of the most diverse fossil forests in North America, this park offers a fascinating glimpse into the region's ancient ecological history.
  2. Hanford Reach National Monument - This monument, encompassing a stretch of the Columbia River, is known for its wildlife and historical significance related to the Manhattan Project.
  3. Spokane - A city that combines outdoor adventures with urban amenities, Spokane is known for its beautiful Riverfront Park and the roaring Spokane Falls.
  4. Yellowstone National Park - America's first national park, Yellowstone is famed for its geothermal features, including Old Faithful, and a wide array of wildlife.
  5. Rapid City - Known as the "Gateway to the Black Hills," Rapid City is a hub for exploring nearby natural and historical sites, including the Black Hills and Badlands.
  6. Mount Rushmore National Memorial - This iconic American landmark features the colossal carved faces of four U.S. Presidents, set against the backdrop of South Dakota's Black Hills.
  7. Badlands National Park - Offering striking landscapes of rugged rock formations and mixed-grass prairies, this park is a haven for fossil hunters and nature enthusiasts.
  8. Omaha - A city with a rich blend of history and modernity, Omaha is known for its vibrant arts scene and the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
  9. Kansas City - Famed for its jazz heritage and mouthwatering barbecue, Kansas City offers a mix of cultural attractions, including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
  10. St Louis - Home to the iconic Gateway Arch, St. Louis boasts a rich cultural tapestry, with landmarks like the Missouri Botanical Garden and historic neighborhoods.
  11. Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area - A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, this area offers a wealth of recreational activities amidst lakes and rolling hills.
  12. Nashville - Renowned as the heart of country music, Nashville invites visitors to explore its rich musical history and vibrant nightlife.
  13. Orlando - Famous for its world-class theme parks, including Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, Orlando is a dream destination for family entertainment and adventures.
Ancient petroglyphs at the national park, closeup image taken on a sunny day
In addition to fascinating petrified wood samples, you will get to see some amazing petroglyphs in person during your visit to Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park.
Zack Frank/

Southern Route

  1. Wallowa-Whitman National Forest - This expansive forest offers stunning vistas, diverse ecosystems, and outdoor activities, set amidst the mountains of Northeastern Oregon.
  2. Great Salt Lake - The largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, known for its unique ecosystem and picturesque sunsets.
  3. Salt Lake City - Utah's capital, blending outdoor recreation with historic landmarks like the Salt Lake Temple and the Utah State Capitol.
  4. Rocky Mountain National Park - A spectacular mountain landscape offering hiking, wildlife viewing, and breathtaking vistas of the Colorado Rockies. Keep in mind that this park uses a reservation system and you might need to book your entry slot before your visit.
  5. Denver - Known as the "Mile-High City," Denver offers a vibrant arts scene, rich history, and proximity to outdoor adventures in the Rocky Mountains.
  6. White River National Forest - Encompassing majestic mountains and rivers, this forest is a hub for skiing, hiking, and exploring Colorado's natural beauty.
  7. Wichita - A cultural center of the Great Plains, Wichita is known for its museums, historic Old Town, and the Keeper of the Plains statue.
  8. Oklahoma City - A city with a unique blend of Western heritage and urban culture, featuring attractions like the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
  9. Ozark-St. Francis National Forest - An outdoor paradise offering lush forests, streams, and hiking trails in the heart of the Ozark Mountains.
  10. Memphis - Birthplace of the Blues and home to iconic attractions like Graceland and Beale Street, Memphis is steeped in musical history.
  11. Birmingham - A city rich in civil rights history, Birmingham also offers cultural attractions like the Birmingham Museum of Art and Vulcan Park.
  12. Talladega National Forest - Known for its scenic beauty, hiking trails, and diverse wildlife, this forest is a peaceful retreat in the Southern Appalachian foothills.
  13. Tampa - A dynamic city known for its beautiful Gulf Coast beaches, cultural attractions, and the historic Ybor City neighborhood.
Winter and fall foliage at Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado. Photo is taken in the Rocky Mountain National Park on a clear day with blue skies.
If you are visiting Rocky Mountain National Park on the Southern Route, check the official website and make a reservation before you visit to avoid any disappointment.

Both Routes

  1. Atlanta - Atlanta is one of the capitals of American music and art. It's also full of museums and world-famous restaurants.
  2. Macon - Known for its historic homes and rich musical heritage, Macon offers a charming blend of Southern culture and history.

Best time to go on a road trip from Seattle to Miami

Miami is the perfect destination year-round and this road trip from Seattle to Miami is an amazing adventure, no matter which month you choose to set off. However, your road trip experience from Seattle will depend on the season you travel.

If you embark on the Northern Route during winter, be prepared for diverse weather conditions. The Northwest and Midwest can experience heavy rain and snow, and as you head south, intense wind and rainfall are common.

Remember, the Grand Loop in Yellowstone National Park closes in winter, so plan accordingly. You might find other roads around the national park closed as well. You can find our guide on how to drive through Yellowstone during this season by clicking here.

Despite these challenges, winter in Miami is delightful, with temperatures averaging around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for exploring outdoor attractions like Vizcaya Museum & Gardens and Bayside Marketplace.

This season also brings unique events such as Art Deco Weekend and the Miami Film Festival in January.

Spring is a perfect time to make the journey, with pleasant temperatures and nice weather along both routes, ideal for enjoying the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis in May. As you reach Miami, the spring weather, typically in the 70s and 80s, is perfect for enjoying the city's outdoor events.

Summer is usually hot on both routes, especially when you reach Miami. Here, summer temperatures soar to the high 80s and low 90s, offering sun-drenched beaches and lively nightlife. In the summer, don't miss events like the CMA Music Festival in Nashville in June.

Fall, like spring, is also a wonderful time to drive, with perfect temperatures and the chance to see fall colors on your drive. Arriving in Miami during this season, you'll find temperatures in the comfortable 70s and 80s, ideal for beach-going and city exploration.

In the fall, the Northern Route features the Great Forest Park Balloon Race in September, while the Southern Route boasts the Oklahoma State Fair.