50+ Must-See Places on a USA Road Trip | Avis Rent a Car

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Many travel lovers have the goal to visit all 50 states before they die. Why not pass through 48 during one epic road trip that passes through all the contiguous United States? 

On this page, you’ll find a suggested route through each section of the country. Split it up into smaller road trips, or spend all summer criss-crossing the nation—it’s your call! Our itinerary includes descriptions of what sets each region apart from others, as well as lists of 50+ must-see places on a USA road trip. 

And don’t worry! We didn’t leave Alaska and Hawaii out of the fun. They have their own road trip recommendations at the bottom of the page. 

What are you waiting for? Get going!

West Coast

Suggested Route: Washington → Oregon → California

Large mountains sitting close to ocean shores give the westernmost states some of the most dramatic and beautiful landscapes in the world. A drive from Seattle in the Pacific Northwest to Los Angeles in Southern California takes you past the best of the best.

Don’t Miss

  • The Space Needle in Seattle

  • Waterfront Park in Portland

  • Redwood National Forest

  • Driving across the Golden Gate Bridge

  • Hollywood Boulevard

  • Disneyland

  • Death Valley

 

 

Smaller Road Trips on the West Coast

 

Southwest & the Rocky Mountains

Suggested Route: Nevada → Utah → Idaho → Montana → Wyoming → Colorado → Arizona → New Mexico → Texas → Oklahoma

Drive past desert cacti and snow-covered mountaintops. Travel through major cities like Las Vegas, Denver, and Austin. Eat Idaho potatoes, search for the country’s best Tex-Mex, and stop by a bakery in New Mexico for some biscochito cookies. As you can see, this region has much to offer.

Don’t Miss

 

  • The Las Vegas Strip

  • The Grand Canyon

  • Arches National Park

  • Yellowstone National Park

  • A concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre 

  • Four Corners

  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park

  • Dealey Plaza in Dallas

  • Oklahoma City National Memorial

Smaller Road Trips in the Southwest & the Rocky Mountains

 

 

 

The South

Suggested Route: Arkansas → Louisiana → Mississippi → Alabama → Florida → Georgia → South Carolina → North Carolina → Tennessee → Kentucky → West Virginia → Virginia → DC

The dozen or so states that make up the South have one of the most distinct American cultures. You’ll sense the area’s agricultural roots as you taste delicious Southern cuisine. Come face to face with its complicated history when you tour Civil War battlefields or Civil Rights monuments. You may even gain a greater appreciation for the music of Nashville and the masterworks of many great American authors.

Don’t Miss

 

  • The French Quarter in New Orleans

  • West Ship Island, Mississippi

  • Kennedy Space Center

  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

  • Blue Ridge Parkway

  • Graceland

  • Mammoth Cave National Park

  • Shenandoah National Park

  • National Mall

 

The Mid-Atlantic & New England

Suggested Route: Maryland → Delaware → Pennsylvania → New Jersey → New York → Connecticut → Rhode Island → Massachusetts → Maine → New Hampshire → Vermont → New York (again) → Pennsylvania (again)

This part of the trek takes you through some of the nation’s biggest and most storied cities: Philadelphia, Boston, and all five boroughs of NYC. Museums and historical sites dot the landscape. And if you love seafood, Baltimore’s crab cakes, Maine’s lobster rolls, and your choice of New England or Manhattan clam chowder will keep you satisfied.

Don’t Miss

 

  • Fort McHenry National Monument

  • “The Rocky Steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • Atlantic City & the Jersey Shore

  • One World Trade Center

  • Harvard University campus

  • Portland Head Lighthouse

  • Lake Placid Olympic Museum

  • Niagara Falls

  • Duquesne Incline in Pittsburgh

Smaller Road Trips in the Mid-Atlantic and New England

 

The Midwest & the Great Plains

Suggested Route: Ohio → Michigan → Indiana → Illinois → Missouri → Kansas → Iowa → Wisconsin → Minnesota → North Dakota → South Dakota → Nebraska

Discover the wide open heart of the country when you reach the final stage of your journey. You’ll encounter urban centers dotted across every state, with miles of farmland and quaint small towns in between.

Don’t Miss

 

  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park

  • Detroit

  • Chicago architecture tour

  • Gateway Arch

  • John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum

  • Wisconsin Dells

  • Mall of America

  • Mount Rushmore

  • Omaha Zoo

Smaller Road Trips in the Midwest & the Great Plains

 

Alaska & Hawaii

If you want to complete your 50-state bucket list, you’ll have to hop on a plane to Hawaii and make your way to Alaska through or over the Canadian west. Both trips are well worth the effort. From the shores of Waikiki Beach to the peaks of Denali National Park, these out-of-the-way states hold plenty to discover. You’ll be planning a return journey as soon as you leave.

Don’t Miss

 

Alaska

  • Prince William Sound

  • Mendenhall Glacier

  • Kenai Peninsula

  • Alaska Highway

Hawaii