Last Updated on June 28, 2023
North America offers practically an endless list of spectacular options when it comes to fun road trips. There are nearly 3.9 million square miles to cover in Canada alone, coupled with another 3.7 million+ in the U.S. Whether you’re looking for stunning mountain views, jaw-dropping ocean vistas, wildlife, history or all of the above, these are the top spots for a road trip.
Icefields Parkway, Banff, Alberta, Canada
If you’ve purchased one of the Banff homes for sale, you’re perfectly situated for what National Geographic named a “Drive of a Lifetime.” Icefields Parkway travels along the Continental Divide, connecting Banff and Jasper national parks through the heart of the Canadian Rockies.
It passes massive frozen cascades, breathtaking glaciers and soaring, oven snow-covered peaks. Wildlife is abundant here too – watch for the elk, moose, and mountain goats that are often seen right from the road.
Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
In Canada’s Atlantic Maritimes, you can embark on a bucket list road trip, traveling the 185-mile-long Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island. It completes a loop around its northern tip, passing through the lush, green highlands, sparkling lakes, and alongside the bluer than blue waters of the Atlantic and Gulf of St. Lawrence. You’ll find some fantastic places to stop and enjoy beautiful beaches and eateries serving fresh seafood, including some of the most mouthwatering lobster you’ve ever tried.
Pacific Coast Highway, Monterey to Big Sur, California
Highway One, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, is frequently named among the world’s top drives. It’s legendary for its scenery, especially the 123-mile stretch that hugs that cliffs from Monterey to Big Sur on California’s Central Coast.
The waves are on one side, crashing against beaches hidden in little coves, while the other features soaring mountains and redwood trees. Once you reach Big Sur, you can visit Pfeiffer State Park’s rare purple sand beach, with its hue derived from the manganese in the cliffs.
Moab to Lake Powell, Utah
Take your time on this 475-mile road trip, ideally traveling over at least several days, providing plenty of time to soak up the southwestern scenery and enjoy outdoor adventures too. It heads south on Highway 191 before following Highway 163 through Mexican Hat and then journeys back north, starting at Arches National Park.
You can stop in Bluff to look for the petroglyphs the Ancestral Puebloans left behind and then join a Jeep tour to explore the magnificent beauty and history of Monument Valley. After reaching the south side of Lake Powell, celebrate the end of your trip with a swim.
Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Skyline Drive is especially magnificent in the fall, with a blanket of fiery reds, brilliant oranges, and golden yellows across the landscape, but it’s gorgeous any time of the year. In June, there will be a spectacular display of azaleas. It travels 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park, with some 70 overlook points along the way for enjoying the views.
You’ll find lots of opportunities to get out and hike, with miles and miles of scenic trails, and abundant wildlife to watch for too, like deer, black bear and wild turkey.