Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Where To Stop On My Road Trip


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Reggie Alger



Embarking on a road trip is an adventure like no other. The freedom to explore at your own pace, the thrill of discovering hidden gems along the way, and the unforgettable memories created are all part of the magic of a road trip. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time road tripper, planning the perfect route and choosing the best stops along the way is crucial to ensure an unforgettable journey.


Before you hit the road, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, determine the duration of your trip. Do you have a few days, a week, or even several weeks? This will help you decide on the distance you can cover and the number of stops you can make. Next, consider the season and weather conditions. Some destinations are best experienced during certain times of the year, while others may be more enjoyable during different seasons. Additionally, think about the interests and preferences of your travel companions. Are they history buffs, outdoor enthusiasts, or foodies? Tailoring your route to incorporate their interests will make the trip more enjoyable for everyone.


Now that you’ve taken these factors into consideration, it’s time to plan your road trip. This article will guide you through some of the best stops across different regions of the United States, ensuring an unforgettable experience from coast to coast. Whether you’re traveling along the majestic East Coast, the stunning West Coast, the historic Midwest, the vibrant South, the enchanting Southwest, or the breathtaking mountains, there’s a road trip itinerary that’s perfect for you.


Factors to Consider Before Planning Your Road Trip

Planning a road trip requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Duration: Determine how much time you have available for your road trip. This will help you decide the distance you can cover and the number of destinations you can include in your itinerary.
  2. Season and weather: Consider the time of year you’ll be traveling and the weather conditions in different regions. Some destinations are best visited during specific seasons, while others may be more enjoyable during certain weather conditions.
  3. Interests and preferences: Take into account the interests and preferences of your travel companions. Are they nature lovers, history enthusiasts, adventure seekers, or foodies? Tailor your itinerary to include stops that cater to their interests.
  4. Budget: Determine your budget and factor in expenses such as accommodation, food, fuel, and activities. Remember to leave some room for unexpected expenses and souvenirs.
  5. Driving distance: Consider the driving distances between stops to ensure you’re not spending too much time on the road. Be realistic about how much driving you and your companions are comfortable with each day.
  6. Accommodation: Plan your overnight stays in advance. Decide whether you prefer camping, hotels, or vacation rentals, and make reservations accordingly. Be aware of any special requirements or restrictions due to the current travel climate.
  7. Attractions and landmarks: Research the must-see attractions and landmarks along your route. Make a list of the sites you don’t want to miss and allow for ample time to explore them.
  8. Local customs and regulations: Familiarize yourself with any local customs, laws, or regulations at your destinations. This will help you avoid any unexpected surprises and ensure you have a respectful and smooth travel experience.
  9. Emergency preparedness: Pack an emergency kit with essentials like a first aid kit, flashlight, spare tire, and roadside assistance contacts. Familiarize yourself with the emergency services available in the areas you’ll be traveling through.
  10. Flexibility: Finally, be open to changes and unexpected discoveries along the way. Allow for some flexibility in your itinerary to embrace spontaneous adventures and make the most of your road trip experience.

Considering these factors before planning your road trip will help you create an itinerary that suits your preferences, ensures a smooth journey, and maximizes the enjoyment of your travel companions. So buckle up, hit the road, and get ready for an incredible adventure!


East Coast Road Trip Stops

An East Coast road trip offers a diverse range of experiences, from stunning coastal landscapes to charming historic towns. Here are some must-visit stops along the East Coast:

  1. New York City, New York: Start your journey in the vibrant and iconic city that never sleeps. Explore famous landmarks like Times Square, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty, and indulge in world-class dining and shopping.
  2. Washington, D.C.: Visit the nation’s capital and immerse yourself in its rich history and culture. Explore iconic landmarks such as the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Smithsonian museums.
  3. Charleston, South Carolina: Experience southern charm in the historic city of Charleston. Stroll along cobblestone streets lined with colorful houses, visit historic plantations, and enjoy the city’s renowned cuisine.
  4. Savannah, Georgia: Discover the enchanting beauty of Savannah. Wander through its well-preserved historic district, take a haunted ghost tour, and savor delicious Southern cuisine.
  5. Orlando, Florida: For some family-friendly fun, stop by Orlando and explore the world-famous theme parks like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld.
  6. Key West, Florida: Reach the southernmost point of the continental United States in Key West. Enjoy stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and visit the former home of writer Ernest Hemingway.
  7. Miami, Florida: Experience the vibrant energy of Miami’s beaches, art scene, and diverse cuisine. Don’t miss the iconic Art Deco buildings in the South Beach neighborhood.
  8. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Relax on the beautiful beaches of Myrtle Beach and enjoy its many attractions, such as amusement parks, golf courses, and shopping centers.
  9. Portland, Maine: Head north and visit the charming coastal city of Portland. Explore its picturesque waterfront, indulge in fresh seafood, and take a scenic drive along the rugged Maine coastline.
  10. Bar Harbor, Maine: End your East Coast road trip in Bar Harbor, a gateway to Acadia National Park. Immerse yourself in the park’s natural beauty, go hiking or biking, and enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

These are just a few highlights of the many incredible stops along the East Coast. Explore the region’s rich history, enjoy beautiful beaches, and savor delicious cuisine as you create unforgettable memories on your road trip.


West Coast Road Trip Stops

A West Coast road trip promises breathtaking scenery, vibrant cities, and iconic landmarks. Here are some must-visit stops along the West Coast:

  1. Seattle, Washington: Start your journey in the Emerald City of Seattle. Explore Pike Place Market, visit the Space Needle, and take a ferry to explore the picturesque islands of Puget Sound.
  2. Portland, Oregon: Head south and experience the hip and eco-friendly city of Portland. Immerse yourself in its vibrant food scene, explore the lush parks, and visit the famous Powell’s City of Books.
  3. San Francisco, California: No West Coast road trip is complete without a visit to the iconic Golden Gate City. Explore the charm of Fisherman’s Wharf, cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge, and take a trip to Alcatraz Island.
  4. Big Sur, California: Drive along the stunning coastline of Big Sur, with its dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Don’t miss McWay Falls and the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge.
  5. Los Angeles, California: Experience the glitz and glamour of the City of Angels. Visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame, explore the museums in Griffith Park, and relax on the beautiful beaches of Santa Monica and Venice.
  6. San Diego, California: Head further south to San Diego, known for its laid-back vibe and beautiful beaches. Explore Balboa Park, visit the famous San Diego Zoo, and indulge in delicious Mexican cuisine in the vibrant Gaslamp Quarter.
  7. Santa Barbara, California: Take a break in the coastal city of Santa Barbara. Enjoy the Mediterranean-style architecture, relax on the pristine beaches, and visit the historic Old Mission Santa Barbara.
  8. Santa Cruz, California: Experience the retro-cool vibe of Santa Cruz. Explore the famous Santa Cruz Boardwalk, catch some waves at the legendary surf spots, and visit the enchanting Natural Bridges State Beach.
  9. Redwood National and State Parks, California: Journey into the majestic world of towering ancient redwood trees. Hike through the stunning forests, marvel at the massive trees, and immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility.
  10. Portland, Oregon: End your West Coast road trip with a return to Portland, where you can savor the food, enjoy the laid-back atmosphere, and explore any hidden gems you may have missed on your first visit.

These are just a few highlights of the many incredible stops along the West Coast. From the vibrant cities to the awe-inspiring natural wonders, a West Coast road trip will leave you with unforgettable memories and a newfound appreciation for the beauty of this region.


Midwest Road Trip Stops

A Midwest road trip offers a blend of natural beauty, charming small towns, and cultural attractions. Here are some must-visit stops throughout the Midwest:

  1. Chicago, Illinois: Start your adventure in the Windy City. Explore the iconic Millennium Park, take an architectural boat tour on the Chicago River, and indulge in deep-dish pizza.
  2. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin: Known as the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” Wisconsin Dells is a paradise for water lovers. Enjoy thrilling water slides, take a scenic boat tour on the Wisconsin River, and visit unique attractions like the Tommy Bartlett Show.
  3. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota: Witness the awe-inspiring masterpiece of Mount Rushmore. Marvel at the giant sculptures of four U.S. presidents carved into the mountainside and explore the surrounding Black Hills region.
  4. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: Venture into the natural wonders of Yellowstone National Park. Witness majestic geysers, colorful hot springs, and wildlife such as bears, wolves, and elk.
  5. St. Louis, Missouri: Stop by the Gateway to the West and visit the iconic Gateway Arch. Take a riverboat cruise along the Mississippi River, explore the historic Soulard neighborhood, and enjoy delicious barbecue.
  6. Nashville, Tennessee: Experience the heart and soul of country music in Nashville. Visit the Grand Ole Opry, explore the Country Music Hall of Fame, and catch live music performances on Broadway.
  7. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Discover the vibrant arts scene and natural beauty of Minneapolis. Visit the Walker Art Center, explore the Chain of Lakes, and enjoy the picturesque beauty of Minnehaha Falls.
  8. Indianapolis, Indiana: Immerse yourself in the racing culture of Indianapolis. Visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, explore the Indianapolis Zoo, and take a stroll along the scenic Canal Walk.
  9. Mackinac Island, Michigan: Step back in time on the car-free Mackinac Island. Explore its Victorian-era charm, ride a horse-drawn carriage, and indulge in famous fudge.
  10. Kansas City, Missouri: Experience the unique blend of barbecue and jazz in Kansas City. Visit the National WWI Museum and Memorial, enjoy live jazz performances, and savor mouthwatering Kansas City-style barbecue.

These are just a few highlights of the many incredible stops throughout the Midwest. From vibrant cities to scenic natural wonders, a Midwest road trip offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave you with unforgettable memories of this diverse region.


South Road Trip Stops

A road trip through the southern states of the United States is a journey filled with rich history, mouthwatering cuisine, and warm hospitality. Here are some must-visit stops on your Southern road trip:

  1. New Orleans, Louisiana: Start your adventure in the lively city of New Orleans. Explore the vibrant French Quarter, sample delicious Creole and Cajun cuisine, and immerse yourself in the city’s unique jazz culture.
  2. Charleston, South Carolina: Experience the epitome of Southern charm in Charleston. Stroll through its cobblestone streets, admire the elegant historical architecture, and indulge in traditional low country cuisine.
  3. Savannah, Georgia: Discover the romantic beauty of Savannah. Take a walk through the city’s meticulously preserved historic district, visit iconic squares and parks, and explore haunted legends on a ghost tour.
  4. Asheville, North Carolina: Experience the natural beauty and artistic spirit of Asheville. Enjoy the stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, explore the Biltmore Estate, and savor the city’s vibrant food and craft beer scene.
  5. Nashville, Tennessee: Immerse yourself in the heart of country music in Nashville. Visit the Grand Ole Opry, explore the famous Music Row, and indulge in Southern comfort food and live music performances.
  6. Austin, Texas: Experience the unique blend of Texan charm and cultural vibrancy in Austin. Enjoy live music at iconic venues like the Continental Club, explore the bustling food truck scene, and relax in the natural beauty of Zilker Park.
  7. Charleston, South Carolina: Visit the historic city of Charleston and immerse yourself in its rich culture. Explore its well-preserved antebellum architecture, take a horse-drawn carriage tour, and indulge in delicious Southern cuisine.
  8. Key West, Florida: Reach the southernmost point of the continental United States in Key West. Relax on its beautiful beaches, visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, and enjoy breathtaking sunsets at Mallory Square.
  9. Memphis, Tennessee: Dive into the cultural melting pot of Memphis. Explore Beale Street, visit Elvis Presley’s Graceland, and savor mouthwatering barbecue at iconic spots like Central BBQ and Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken.
  10. New Orleans, Louisiana: End your Southern road trip with a return to New Orleans, where you can soak in the vibrant atmosphere, indulge in beignets and chicory coffee, and enjoy live jazz performances in the historic French Quarter.

These are just a few highlights of the many incredible stops on a Southern road trip. From the music-filled streets of New Orleans to the charming towns in the Carolinas, the Southern region offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience.


Southwest Road Trip Stops

A Southwest road trip offers a blend of stunning natural landscapes, fascinating Native American history, and vibrant cities. Here are some must-visit stops on your Southwest road trip:

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada: Start your adventure in the dazzling city of Las Vegas. Try your luck at the famous casinos, catch a world-class show on the Strip, and explore the stunning hotels and resorts.
  2. Grand Canyon, Arizona: Witness the awe-inspiring beauty of one of the world’s natural wonders, the Grand Canyon. Hike along the rim, take a scenic helicopter tour, or embark on a white-water rafting adventure in the Colorado River.
  3. Sedona, Arizona: Experience the mystical beauty of Sedona’s red rock formations. Take scenic hikes, visit spiritual vortex sites, and pamper yourself at luxurious spas.
  4. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Immerse yourself in the rich Native American and Spanish cultures of Santa Fe. Explore historic adobe buildings, wander through art galleries, and savor traditional New Mexican cuisine.
  5. Monument Valley, Utah/Arizona: Journey into the iconic landscape of Monument Valley. Marvel at the towering red sandstone buttes and mesas, immortalized in countless Western films.
  6. Antelope Canyon, Arizona: Discover the otherworldly beauty of Antelope Canyon, known for its stunning slot canyons. Capture the mesmerizing light beams that filter through the narrow sandstone walls.
  7. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Explore the vibrant city of Albuquerque. Visit the historic Old Town, ride the Sandia Peak Tramway for panoramic views, and experience the famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (held annually in October).
  8. Joshua Tree National Park, California: Experience the surreal beauty of Joshua Tree National Park. Hike among the unique Joshua trees, rock climb on the granite formations, and stargaze under the clear desert skies.
  9. Phoenix, Arizona: End your Southwest road trip in Phoenix, the vibrant capital of Arizona. Explore the Desert Botanical Garden, visit the Heard Museum to learn about Native American art and culture, and enjoy the city’s thriving food scene.
  10. Las Vegas, Nevada: Return to Las Vegas to complete your Southwest road trip, where you can enjoy the lively nightlife, dine in world-class restaurants, and take in the stunning cityscape.

These are just a few highlights of the many incredible stops on a Southwest road trip. From the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon to the mystical landscapes of Sedona, the Southwest region offers a captivating and unforgettable journey.


Mountain Road Trip Stops

A mountain road trip is an opportunity to experience breathtaking scenery, outdoor adventures, and charming mountain towns. Here are some must-visit stops on your mountain road trip:

  1. Denver, Colorado: Start your journey in the Mile High City of Denver. Explore the vibrant downtown area, visit the Denver Art Museum, and take a stroll through the beautiful Denver Botanic Gardens.
  2. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado: Immerse yourself in the wonders of Rocky Mountain National Park. Hike to alpine lakes, drive along the Trail Ridge Road for panoramic views, and spot wildlife such as elk and bighorn sheep.
  3. Jackson Hole, Wyoming: Experience the rugged beauty of Jackson Hole. Take in the majestic views of the Grand Tetons, go hiking or horseback riding, and enjoy world-class skiing in the winter months.
  4. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: Venture into the world’s first national park, Yellowstone. Witness the spectacular geothermal features, such as geysers and hot springs, and keep an eye out for wildlife like bears, wolves, and herds of bison.
  5. Glacier National Park, Montana: Discover the breathtaking landscapes of Glacier National Park. Drive along the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road, hike to pristine mountain lakes, and marvel at the towering glaciers.
  6. Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada: Cross the border into Canada to visit Banff National Park. Admire the turquoise waters of Lake Louise, hike through picturesque landscapes, and soak in the beauty of the Canadian Rockies.
  7. Salt Lake City, Utah: Explore the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City. Visit the stunning landscapes of the nearby Wasatch Mountains, go skiing or snowboarding in the winter, and explore the city’s unique history and culture.
  8. Estes Park, Colorado: Indulge in the charm of Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Explore the shops and restaurants in the downtown area, take a scenic drive around the town, and enjoy outdoor activities like fishing or hiking.
  9. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada: Experience the beauty of Lake Tahoe, nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Enjoy water activities like boating and swimming in the summer, or go skiing or snowboarding in the winter at one of its many world-class resorts.
  10. Colorado Springs, Colorado: End your mountain road trip in the stunning city of Colorado Springs. Visit the famous Garden of the Gods, take a scenic drive to Pikes Peak, and explore the charming downtown area.

These are just a few highlights of the many incredible stops on a mountain road trip. From the towering peaks of the Rockies to the crystal-clear lakes, a mountain road trip will leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for the beauty of the natural world.


Tips for Planning and Executing a Successful Road Trip

Planning and executing a road trip can be an exciting and rewarding adventure. Here are some essential tips to help you make the most of your journey:

  1. Set a realistic budget: Determine your budget and allocate funds for accommodation, food, fuel, and activities. Look for ways to save money, such as booking accommodations in advance or packing picnic lunches instead of dining out for every meal.
  2. Research and plan your route: Use maps, travel guides, and online resources to plan your route and identify points of interest along the way. Consider the driving distance between stops, road conditions, and any scenic routes you may want to take.
  3. Make a flexible itinerary: Have a general itinerary in mind, but allow for flexibility. Unexpected detours or interesting discoveries can add to the adventure. Be sure to factor in rest days to avoid driver fatigue.
  4. Pack wisely: Pack essential items such as clothing, toiletries, medications, and important documents. Consider the weather and activities at your destinations when selecting clothing. Pack light but include any necessary equipment, such as camping gear or outdoor gear.
  5. Prepare your vehicle: Ensure your vehicle is in good condition before setting off. Check the tires, brakes, fluids, and lights. Pack a roadside emergency kit including tools, a spare tire, and jumper cables.
  6. Research and book accommodations: Research and book accommodations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Consider a mix of hotels, campgrounds, and vacation rentals to suit your preferences and budget.
  7. Stay connected: Ensure you have a reliable means of communication during your road trip. Carry a mobile phone with a charger, a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, or a map in case of limited connectivity. Inform your loved ones of your itinerary and check-in regularly.
  8. Try local cuisine: One of the joys of a road trip is sampling the local cuisine. Research local specialties and recommended restaurants to experience the flavors of each destination.
  9. Take breaks and enjoy the journey: Road trips are as much about the journey as the destinations. Take breaks regularly to stretch your legs, appreciate the scenery, and explore unexpected attractions along the way.
  10. Be open to spontaneity: Embrace the unexpected and be open to spontaneous adventures. Some of the most memorable experiences may arise from detours or chance encounters that you didn’t plan for.

Remember, a road trip is a chance to explore, unwind, and create unforgettable memories. With careful planning, a flexible mindset, and a spirit of adventure, your road trip is sure to be a success.



Embarking on a road trip is an exhilarating experience that allows you to explore new destinations, embrace the freedom of the open road, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re venturing along the stunning coastlines, journeying through the majestic mountains, or immersing yourself in the rich culture of diverse regions, the United States has an abundance of road trip opportunities to suit every traveler’s tastes.


Before setting off, remember to consider important factors such as trip duration, season, interests, and budget. Researching and planning your route will help you make the most of your adventure and ensure a smoother journey. Along the way, be open to unexpected discoveries, flexible with your itinerary, and take the time to savor the local cuisine, embrace the unique history and culture of each destination, and enjoy the breathtaking landscapes that the United States has to offer.


With the right preparation, a well-thought-out itinerary, and a sense of adventure, your road trip is bound to be an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re exploring the East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, South, Southwest, or mountainous regions, each stop will offer its own blend of history, natural beauty, and local flavor.


So, pack your bags, buckle up, and hit the road. Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, or with family, a road trip through the United States promises endless possibilities and remarkable experiences. Prepare for breathtaking scenery, vibrant cities, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Embrace the freedom, flexibility, and sense of adventure that comes with a road trip, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime.