The United States is a vast, sprawling country with many different natural wonders and cities that offer countless sightseeing opportunities. With so many incredible places to see, taking a road trip across the country is a well-loved pastime that allows travelers to experience the best that the US has to offer.
It is always a little overwhelming when planning family road trips, but it does help to have some ideas to start out with. Here are the 10 most unforgettable stops you’ll find in America so you can get the most out of your trip.
- Yosemite National Park, California
Out of all of the United States’ national parks in the country, Yosemite National Park is one of the most tourist frequented destinations due to its iconic landscape. Yosemite is home to some of the most breathtaking views in the world, including classics like its U-shaped valley, El Capitan, Cathedral Peak, and Half Dome.
- Glacier National Park, Montana
Further north, Glacier National Park offers a spectacular landscape of mountains, lakes, and glaciers. The park enjoys an incredibly diverse range of wildlife and plantlife, so be sure to bring a camera and some binoculars.
- Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota
Are you interested in seeing 60-foot sculptures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln carved into the side of a mountain? It turns out that about 2 million visitors each year are also interested in seeing this unique site. This monument has become a central symbol of American history and is an essential stop for those looking to pay tribute to the country’s political roots.
- Washington, D.C.
Another essential stop for those interested in our nation’s history is capital, Washington, D.C. Aside from the White House, you can visit countless landmarks such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian Institution, the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, and much more.
- New York City, New York
Everyone has to go at least once! New York City is the definitive symbol city of the United States and there is no shortage of iconic landmarks to visit in this timeless metropolitan destination. If you have the time, check out Central Park, the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Statue of Liberty for starters. The city also offers countless attractions such as fine dining, a vibrant nightlife, excellent museums, and iconic Broadway plays.
- Everglades National Park, Florida
For wildlife buffs, it doesn’t get much better than Everglades National Park. Next to Death Valley and Yellowstone, this is the third-largest national park in the continental US. Here, you can find diverse ecosystems such as freshwater sloughs, tropical hardwood hammocks, and pinelands filled with magnificent animals like crocodiles, alligators, herons, panthers, and river otters.
- New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a magical place filled with great music and great food, which makes it a great stop as you weave your way across the country. Due to its centuries as a cultural melting pot with culinary influences from the French, Spanish, and Caribbean islanders, New Orleans now constantly tops the best food destination lists. So, make sure to treat yourself to some Cajun and Creole dining while you’re there. At night, walk the lively streets of the French Quarter and stop in a local jazz club for a memorable time.
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
There are several famous caves dotting the countryside, but there are is nothing quite like Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It is recommended that you enter the cave through its gaping natural entrance before descending 750 feet to witness “The Big Room,” one of the largest cave chambers in the world. After viewing this massive cavern, you can hike back, or take an elevator straight up to the visitor center.
- Petrified National Forest, Arizona
On the northeast side of Arizona sits Petrified National Forest, a breathtaking region that features “Painted Desert” badlands and gorgeous petrified trees dating back to the Late Triassic period, over 225 million years ago. With colorful badlands, petrified forests, and important archeological sites, there is plenty to see here.
- Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Taking into account that the Grand Canyon is considered one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, this destination is a must-see on any American travel list. Few things can prepare new visitors for their first glimpse of the canyons, which reaches 18 miles in width and a mile in depth.
Take a Journey
If you’re planning to take a road trip across the United States, this list of the top 10 classic stops won’t let you down. While this list is by no means exhaustive, these destinations make up iconic spots along the American landscape. A few days spent in each location will provide you with a wealth of experiences and memories to cherish for the rest of your life. Enjoy the drive.