The United States is as vast as it is exciting! Stretching for thousands of miles, it literally takes days (non-stop) to drive from one end to the other which is no mean feat, especially if you’re the designated driver that’s on the search for all the best things to do in the USA.
Our last road trip from the Florida Keys to Los Angeles took approximately 50 hours of solid driving; thankfully, there’s no need to do this in one fell swoop. There are tonnes of incredible places to stop, chill out and explore on your route.
That’s why I decided to create a map to showcase some of the very best places you’ll want to see.
Take a look at 29 of the best things to do in the USA to include on your road trip across the United States. Have the best time visiting the United States.
To use our map below, swipe left or right on it (using the tool in the middle)
29 Places To Visit On A USA Roadtrip
1.) Hike Washington State
Not to be confused with the capital city, Washington State is the perfect place to immerse yourself in nature.
Pack some walking boots, walk the coastal paths and visit the breathtaking peaks such as Mt. St Helens. It’s totally beautiful and one of the best things to do in the US
2.) Chow down at Pike Place Market, Seattle
Don’t forget to grab some delicious clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls. They’re delicious on chilly winter days.
Seattle is one of those cities where you can really enjoy that great mix of culture, gorgeous markets and easy access to the great outdoors. Visiting is easily one of the best things to do in the USA – just don’t forget a cup of jo whilst you’re there.
3.) Stroll across Cannon Beach, Oregon
Arguably, one of the west coast’s best beaches, Cannon Beach is the perfect place to relax on a lazy day in the sun.
Rent a bike, walk the coastal route or catch some waves near Haystack Rock.
4.) See the geothermal pools of Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park is one of the country’s most stunning reserves and easily up there as one of the best things to do in the USA if you want to explore the National Parks.
I loved my trip here.
This gigantic park is filled with geothermal pools, luminous rock formations and volcanic activity. It’s a unique and diverse national park that’s well worth the visit.
5.) Hike up Half Dome in Yosemite
Don’t forget to book your tickets for Half Dome before you go, there’s an allotted allocation per day.
If you’re not a hiker at heart, then take a tour of Yosemite Village and the Ansel Adams Gallery. Visiting is one of the best things to do in the USA, especially if you love to hike.
Plus, you can easily visit as part of a wider California road trip, too.
6.) Discover the city of San Francisco
Perched on the bay, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the likes of Muir Woods, Nappa Valley and the melting pot of culture that is the city itself.
Oh, don’t forget to visit Fisherman’s Wharf and see the massive seals that call the harbour home. Just remember to block your nose; they’re a little stinky.
7.) Spot the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles
Los Angeles and the surrounding regions are a perfect place to stop for a few days of sun, sea and culture. Make sure you check out the Hollywood sign and the Griffin Observatory too.
If you’re looking for a bite to eat, make sure to check out Eggslut, they make the meanest (and biggest) hot sandwiches I’ve ever seen.
8.) Admire the art at Salvation Mountain
Salvation Mountain is a unique and special place!
Filled with colourful mountains, inspiring installations and lots of artistic flairs this place is perfect to stop at whilst on your journey east or west.
9.) Try your luck in Las Vegas
One of the world’s most famous part towns, Las Vegas is one city that has to be seen to be believed. Love it, or hate it, visiting Las Vegas is eye-opening and one of the best things to do in the USA if you want a completely different type of city break.
Walk (some) of the strip, spend a few $$$ at the casino and take a ride on one of the strip’s hair-raising rides!
10.) Walk within Antelope Canyon
Located in the Navajo lands within Arizona, Antelope Canyon is one of those spots’s you’ll likely have seen but never really knew where it was.
Head here to walk through this stunning canyon and explore the incredible naturally carved landscape.
11.) Drive through Monument Valley
Monument Valley is an incredible place to visit.
Take your car through this 17-mile trail that weaves through this stunning landscape to enjoy the views.
For an overnight stay, why not camp in the designated areas and enjoy the pristine, unadulterated skies of the US. Trust me, you won’t forget this place easily.
12.) Walk the edge of a Meteor Crater
When travelling through Arizona, make sure to make a stop at the huge, Meteor Crater.
This massive meteor Crater happened around 50,000 years ago when the region was struck by, you guessed it, a meteor. Take a tour of the crater and marvel at how huge this hole in the earth is!
13.) Go Alien hunting in Roswell
If you’re interested in the conspiracy theories around Area 51 and the alleged UFO sightings in and around New Mexico, then you must head to this quirky town of Roswell.
Visit the UFO Museum, spot the extra-terrestrial artwork around the town and see if you can spot a UFO or two!
14.) Explore the River Walk in San Antonio
This historic city of San Antonio is the perfect place to chill out and enjoy a little slice of Texan life.
Make sure to explore the River Walk and head inside The Alamo, which is very important in the history of the United States. San Antonio is gorgeous and visiting is one of the best things to do in the USA whilst on a wider Texan road trip.
15.) Find the Presidential Heads
16.) Gorge at Mother’s in New Orleans
New Orleans is one of the United States most amazing cities to visit, especially if it’s your first time.
Head towards the French Quarter, enjoy Bourbon Street (even if it gets a little crazy at night) and soak up the atmosphere at Preservation Hall.
Oh, and grab a mighty fine bite to eat at Mother’s too. Make sure to grab a cup of seafood gumbo or the original debris with au jus gravy.
17.) See manatees in Ichituknee Springs
Ichituknee Springs is about 3 hours northwest of Orlando by car and well worth a visit.
Rent yourself a dingy, head toward the springs themselves and allow yourself to float downstream where you’ll float alongside wild manatees and a few other Floridian residents.
18.) Enjoy the thrills of Orlando
Orlando is one of the best places in the world for thrill-seekers like us!
Regardless of your age, places like Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Disney World are too much fun to miss. We had such a great time exploring all the parks… and they’re perfect for any age.
19.) Explore Miami
Miami is a one-of-a-kind type of city! If cities were animals, Miami would definitely be a peacock.
Head to the beach, enjoy the art-deco architecture and people-watching in this fascinating city. As the day turns to night, be sure to party it up.
20.) See the stunning Florida Keys
Head to Key West and discover the charming heritage of this amazing place.
21.) Visit the Blue Ridge Mountains, Tennessee
Make sure to visit the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and take a hike towards some of the smaller peaks. It’s one of the best things to do in the USA, especially if you’re wanting an escape from the hustle and bustle of the cities.
Oh and don’t forget to make a stop at Dollywood too!
22.) Find the impressive Mt. Rushmore
If you’re heading to South Dakota, make sure to make a stop at Mt. Rushmore to see the world-famous presidential heads that are carved into the mountainside.
This huge monument is pretty epic to see and a great place to stop on your way east or west.
23.) Discover the windy city, Chicago
Nicknamed the windy city, Chicago is one pretty cool city to visit.
Spend a few days exploring this epic place and discover the massive legume that now stands, in pride of place, in the city.
24.) Explore Washington DC
Washington D.C. has a lot going for it. Impressive buildings, stunning museums and quaint districts that you have to explore.
Make sure to spend some time appreciating the Smithsonian Museums and the charming heritage of Alexandria.
25.) See the secret spots of New York City
If you’re looking for a bite to eat, make sure to check out these mouth-watering eateries on your trip to the big apple. Visiting is one of the best things to do in the USA that’s totally iconic.
26.) Gorge on fresh lobster in Boston
No visit to Boston would be complete without walking the historic, Freedom Trail and grabbing bite to eat from one of the many restaurants serving fresh lobster with lashings of garlic buttery goodness.
It’s easy to visit Providence, Rhode Island from Boston too.
27.) See the beauty of the North-East
Make sure to make some stops in some of the main towns (and islands) that are just perfect for a day trip.
28.) Enjoy the wintery landscapes of Alaska
Yep, it’s pretty chilly and the roads can get super icy, so if you’re planning on visiting Alaska make sure you understand the driving conditions before you go.
Once there, there’s a shedload of epic spots and the best things to do in the USA, including some of these beauties. Just make lots of time for the gorgeous natural beauty of Alaska.
Oh, and always take care in exploring the great outdoors.
29.) See the awe-inspiring beauty of Hawaii
Look, you won’t be able to drive from the mainland but there’s no stopping you from carrying on your road trip to (and within) Hawaii itself.
There are so many places to see in this volcanic archipelago, especially if it’s your first visit! For me, the island of Maui is so stunning.
Tips for driving
In all, it took me around 7 weeks to complete a ‘circle’ starting in New York City, travelling north to Los Angeles and then from the Florida Keys to Los Angeles.
Each, day we drove between 3-8 hours, mostly around 4 hours and tried to get this finished by noon – this allows you to enjoy the rest of the day(s) at your chosen pit stop. Remember, as driving distances can be long, make sure to take lots of breaks and stop if you’re tired. No one likes a tired driver!
As with any of our posts, if you need any advice/tips on planning your route or any more info on the stops, make sure to pop us a message. We’re always happy to help and suggest heaps of the best things to do in the USA that we totally loved on our trip.