20 Astounding Road Trips to Take Before You Die
What better time to start planning your next road trip than right now? From stunning natural panoramas to down home Texas barbecue to tropical beaches, this list has it all. Explore the best road trips in the world that you never knew you were missing. Make sure you add them to your bucket list!
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Pacific Coast Highway
“Cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway for breathtaking views. I started in San Diego, and over the course of a week, drove up to San Francisco. Along the way, I saw everything from frolicking seals to awe-inspiring cliffs to some of California’s most high-powered cities. If views of the majestic Pacific haven’t persuaded you, you can end in one of the coolest cities in the USA…San Francisco! Plan to spend a couple days there; check out the Golden Gate Bridge, hit up Fisherman’s Wharf, and take a cable car to explore the city.”
–Melissa, Maps & Merlot
“Want to see African animals in the wild, climb desert dunes, prowl through deserted ghost towns, man rugged coastlines, look for sunken ships, view ancient rock drawings, hike the canyons, meet captivating local tribes members, gaze through the darkest of nights to see millions of stars and eat some schnitzel along the way?
If you are vigorously nodding your head, yes – Think Namibia. Arguably one of the best road trip destinations in the world, the above only scratches the surface of the adventure and diversity you will find driving this incredible country.”
– Heather & Matt, Travelationship
“Cyprus is a candidate for one of the best road trips in the world. Many of the roads wind along the amazing coastline, providing incredible views of the deep blue Mediterranean. As you drive from the beaches of Ayia Napa in the east to Paphos in the west, ancient ruins make great stopping points along the way for any history buff. History not your thing? Head into the Troodos Mountains for some fantastic hiking, and explore a part of Cyprus most people never see. And don’t forget the many wineries of Cyprus, one of Europe’s most underrated wine regions. Lastly, don’t forget to stop in the capital of Nicosia (also called Lefkosa in Turkish) to walk across the border from the south (Greek) side into the north (Turkish) side for a totally different perspective.”
– Trevor & Christine, Grabbing Life by the Balls
“I honestly believe Utah is one of the best road trips in the world! Roll the windows down, turn the music up and leave the (Salt Lake) city life behind as you head towards the quirky little town of Moab – a great base to explore both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Don’t miss hiking to Delicate Arch, the park’s (and Utah’s) most recognizable arch, before heading down to Monument Valley for the best sunsets and sunrises in the land. Head back up through Capitol Reef National Park and the Escalante Staircase National Monument before ending your trip with the ultimate grand finale. Just when you think Utah couldn’t possibly get any better, Bryce and Zion National Parks enter the scene to prove you wrong. As you explore Bryce’s otherworldly orange hoodoos and brave the Narrows at Zion National Park you’ll be thanking me!”
– Lynne, Well-Caffeinated Traveller
Manila to Visayas, Phillippines
“From Manila, it’s possible to travel to Visayas via a week-long road trip. You can stop in Albay to see the perfectly cone-shaped Mayon Volcano and the nearby ruins. The next stop is Sorsogon to island hop across its uncrowded tropical beaches. Samar offers spectacular rock formations where you can dip in natural lagoons. The last pit stop is Leyte,where you can walk along the chalk-white sand bar of Kalanggaman Island or even stay overnight in the picturesque little island of Sambawan. This road trip is a chance for you to see some highlights of the Philippines in one go.”
– Katherine, Tara Lets Anywhere
“Although driving on the left side of the road was really scary, a road trip through southern England was one of the best trips my family has taken. There was something for everyone- castles, churches, Shakespeare, Harry Potter and Dr. Who, and even prehistoric monoliths! My favorite stop was one I never even knew existed before starting to plan this road trip. The tea-loving, historical fiction fan, nature girl in me adored the Cotswolds. The Cotswolds are a few counties with rolling grassy hills and darling medieval towns right out of a movie set.”
– Jamie, The Daily Adventures of Me
“Norway prides itself on its fjords, nature and waterfalls to the extent that the government has implemented the National Tourist Routes; these show off the best areas of the country. There are 18 National Tourist Routes to pick from and both Aurlandsfjellet and Hardanger Route are definite stunners. Located approximately east of Bergen, these routes will take you through countless hairpin turns up the mountain to the best lookout over Aurlandsfjord and down the valley and along a turquoise water fjord. You’ll be driving through little country towns with breathtaking waterfalls located along the roadside with several photo opportunities. It’ll almost be impossible to put your camera down!”
– Caroline, The Travelling Sloth
“If you are a keen explorer and a fierce globetrotter, you should definitely plan a road trip in Costa Rica. From hiking up volcanoes to trekking through tropical forests to surfing the waves of the pacific beaches, Costa Rica has it all! Try scuba diving along the Caribbean shores (lined with coconut trees, of course) and discover all of the amazing wildlife Costa Rica has to offer.
– Ariane, The Travel Bias
“Iceland had always been a mystery that I wanted to explore, so when we got the chance to visit Iceland for the first time we knew we had to road trip. Our journey across Iceland consisted of many first experiences such as snorkeling in between tectonic plates, walking on black sand beaches, sailing across glaciers, watching the midnight sun, and exploring the rarely visited town of Akureyri. We were so lucky to discover the random beauties on this land that is so pristine and picturesque.”
– Richa, My Tickle Feet
Texas BBQ, USA
“Could Texas win over two Memphis barbecue super fans? Carmen and Joe Baguio planned this road trip to find out. The road trip takes you through the heart of beautiful Texas hill country, hitting six highly-awarded barbecue joints. Starting in Jefferson, Texas, the 548 mile trip ends at Lockhart, Texas, known by barbecue experts as the “Capital of Texas Barbecue.”
– Carmen & Joe, Pack Your Baguios
“It’s only recently that Chilean Patagonia’s only main road has gained legendary status as the place for the ultimate road trip in South America. But what a road it is. Passing a wealth of national parks where hanging glaciers threaten to launch themselves from clifftops into huge lakes below and hiking trails snake into some of the continent’s wildest landscapes, the 1240 km Carretera Austral from Villa O’Higgins to Puerto Mont is only for the seriously adventurous.”
– Steph, Worldly Adventurer
“’The north of Vietnam is a land of mountains, rice terraces, ethnic tribes, and unparalleled beauty. Often left unexplored by visitors, it is quite away from the tourist trail of Ha Noi to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between. An ‘off-the-beaten-path’ way to do it would be to rent a motor bike for the road trip. You can just go on a 3-day trip or spend a month riding on your steed.”
– Venkat, India Backpack Motorbike
Garden Route, South Africa
“If I had to pick only one road trip to take in my life it would have to be the drive from Cape Town to Johannesburg along the Garden Route. It’s got something for everyone – beautiful scenery, amazing wines, adrenaline pumping activities , animal encounters (ostriches, great white sharks and elephants, to name a few!) and spectacular national parks. It really showcases South Africa’s highlights – and doesn’t cost the earth either!”
– Vicki, Make Time to See the World
Road to Hana, Hawaii, USA
“Winding along the west coast of Maui, you’ll find 64.4 miles of blacktop that make one of the most best road trips in the world, the Road to Hana. This drive is breathtaking not only for its stunning views, but also for the hairpin turns, narrow passes, and sections that hug mountains on one side and cliffs on the other.
The Road to Hana starts in Maui’s largest town, Kahului, and follows State Highways 36 and 360 to Hana, one of the most isolated and authentic villages in the Hawaii. Once there, you’ll discover the destination is as good as the journey: Hana is a peaceful village known for its black sand beach, tropical garden, and great snorkeling and hiking.”
– Rob & Ann, TravelLatte.net
“Israel is a perfect place for a week long road trip. Although it’s famous for its major cities, there are many beautiful towns and an incredible amount of natural beauty that are easily reachable. It’s only about 3.5 hours from Tel Aviv to the most southern point in Israel, where you can do snorkeling/diving in the beautiful waters of the Red Sea. You can even hike in the desert and visit historic ruins along the way!”
– Karen, Wanderlustingk
Icefields Parkway, Canada
“Icefields Parkway is arguably one of the most beautiful drives in North America. Linking two of the most popular parks, Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, this drive has it all. Start with Herbert Lake, the most stunning reflection lake we have ever seen. After that, you will experience more lakes, hikes, waterfalls, ice fields and views that are unreal. There is not a dull moment on this drive, so be prepared for it to take longer than you think because you will want to get out and explore. This road trip should be on any travel list, as the experience is like none other.”
– Kym & Kevin, 33 and Free
Miami to Key West, Florida, USA
“When asked about a favorite road trip, I transport myself back to the Florida Keys and the drive from Miami to Key West. Heading south from Miami, you brush the tip of the Everglades before reaching Key Largo…this is where the trip gets interesting. It is the start of the 113 mile stretch known as the Overseas Highway, a road consisting of 42 bridges linking the Lower Keys. The most iconic of these is the 7-Mile Bridge. Expect jaw dropping ocean views all around as you cross from island to island. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see a key deer or two. Need more reason to take the drive? Don’t overlook the fact that this road trip finishes in the awesome town of Key West, so kick back, grab a cocktail, and enjoy some of the finest sunsets the USA offers.”
– Matt, The Travel Blogs
South of France
“This past summer my boyfriend and I did a 2-week road trip through the South of France, starting in Nice and ending in Marseille. Simply driving from city to town to village introduced us to unexpected beaches, hikes, wineries and adorable eateries. Plus, every destination has a ton of awesome day trips to offer. Airbnb provided a ton of affordable options for castle and farm stays, too. A few of our favorite experiences included kayaking in Verdon Gorge, cycling into the countryside from Aix-en-Provence, hiking Calanques National Park in Marseille, and eating our way around Nice’s Old Town.”
– Jessica, Jessie on a Journey
“New Zealand is known for their beautiful landscapes and camper van friendly culture. After all, freedom camping is a popular option for travelers on a budget (like us) and locations can be easily found via a free app. Fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit will especially like it because the entire movie was filmed in New Zealand and the locations are open to the public. In addition, New Zealand has to be one of the most photogenic countries we’ve visited; photographers will be in heaven.”
– Tim & Pam, Thrifty Trails
“Life is all about making memories and having adventures. Road trips in the Southern part of India are exactly what we call a perfect adventure and definitely one of the best road trips in the world. The road trips take you through dense forests between the various states of India. As part of the road trip, you can witness the abundance wildlife including elephants, monkeys and deer.”
– Raksha, solopassport
Best Road Trips in the World – FYIs
Cheap flights: I’d recommend searching through eDreams. They scan tons of different travel discount sites and feature special flight deals.
Hotel Deals: My top choice is probably Expedia—I’ve found some insanely cheap (beautiful hotels). If you’re looking to avoid hotels and go the hostel route, I recommend Hostelworld —they have thousands of properties listed, as well as tons of ratings and reviews.
Rental cars: Depending on where you’re going, definitely shop around. I usually check out Expedia and Sixt. Sixt offers some awesome deals on premium and luxury rentals!
And there you have it–the best road trips in the world, according to travel bloggers. What’s on your road trip list?
This is an awesome List!!! I was about to say what typical stuff is here, but you found some great gems! We just drove the Rickshaw run through the entire west side of India (along their Route 66 for part of it, which I thought was fun!) It was awesome and terrifying.
I loved Iceland too though driving in the middle of a snow storm is enough to make my hair turn grey and I almost died!
I think I need to re-evaluate my desire to drive in other countries now that I think of how many times I died driving!
When I lived in San Diego, the PCH was always a great adventure to drive!
We are heading to England in April so thanks for the tip of driving to Cotswald! Just added it to the list!
That rickshaw run sounds absolutely amazing…pretty sure you have to live it to believe that haha. Glad the list gave you some tips, there are some amazing places out there and I can’t wait to explore more of them 🙂
So happy to be a part of this post! What an incredible list. I was so impressed. The ones I haven’t done are now on my bucket list!
Same!! There are so many amazing options 🙂
This list is incredible!! Thank you for including us.
Thanks so much for your contribution!
Some of the entries have so much more than I realized! Great list and thanks for including me in it.
Thanks for your submission! There are so many amazing road trips out there 🙂
The Great Ocean Road in Australia is a favourite road trip and I’ve added all of these to my ever growing bucket list! 🙂
I’ve heard such amazing things about that road trip!
what a great list. Indeed these are must do trips. Have you checked out Manali- Leh trip also?
I haven’t, but sounds like maybe I should 🙂
I recently did amazing road trips along Big Sur in California and through South Florida. Those are two of my favorite road trip spots but love discovering great scenic drives all over the world.
Same! I’ve mostly done road trips within the US, but it’s amazing to see how many beautiful places are out there!
I want to do the Pacific Coast trip in Cali, but I hear it takes a strong stomach to do the drive. Multiple people I’ve talked to said they got really car sick doing this drive! Also, the one in Hawaii sounds amazing!
Haha, the roads are pretty curvy through Big Sur, and they all seem very close to the edge of cliffs, but it’s so worth it!! I absolutely loved it there
OMG! The world is so big that I get stressed! I want to visit all those places and more! great suggestions
Thanks!! It’s crazy to think how many places we’ve gone, but how many places are left
Definitely an impressive list! I think I’d like to take at least the Costa Rica and Patagonia ones as soon as possible! Road trips are so much fun!
Agreed, I’ve loved every one I’ve been on
What a great list! So many great destinations in here, and quite a few to add to our bucket list. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but that drive in the Philippines sounds incredible! Thanks for including us, and putting together the post.
Thanks so much for contributing! I love getting to hear the amazing experiences of other travel bloggers.
We have traveled Miami to Key West over the 7-mile bridge numerous times, and it’s one of our lifetime favorites. The best road trip we ever did was a circle around America. There are so many different terrains in this country, it’s truly breathtaking to drive and experience. So far we have the ones in America covered but we will definitely add the rest to our future travel plans. Inspirational list!
Wow that’s really cool, I’d love to see all of America like that. Must have been an amazing experience!
I haven’t ever done an extensive roadtrip – usually using plane as my go to transportation method. This post has me convinced I need to book in some with gorgeous scenery right away!
It’s awesome to be able to see all of the beautiful random things you drive by. Hope you get to do a road trip soon 🙂
Nice list! I would love to do the ones in Namibia and Costa Rica 🙂
Another road-trip I would suggest in India would be in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, through the rugged mountains and winding roads. The scenery is breathtaking as well 🙂
Amazing list for roadtrippers. I would love to do Namibia, Iceland and New Zealand. My wishlist is growing endlessly and there is so less time to explore 🙁
I feel the same way!
Amazing list! I love a road trip- it’s just so flexible and such a good slow way to travel. I would love to be able to go to each of these places one day!
Me too! They’re all on the list now haha 🙂
We did the Pacific Coast Highway last yeaer and it was simply stunning… except this awful mist all the way 😉 I would totally add also Italian Costiera Amalfitana to this list!
Oh that’s an awesome idea too, would love to do that one
I never would have thought of Namibia or Cyprus! They sounds awesome! Utah is the only one I’ve done and LOVE it! I worked there last summer and will be this summer, too!
I love roadtrips and your list is cool. Adding them to my bucket. I loved the Great ocean road drive I took a few years back and you are spot on about South Indian roadtrips. I did many awesome roadtrips and Mysore to Bangalore trip was so cool.
Oh my gosh, so many of these are on my bucket list. Especially Iceland and Utah. I’m actually planning a hopefully awesome road trip for this summer up to Thunder Bay, Ontario. With stops to hike and enjoy some of Ontario’s great parks!
Road trips are a great opportunity to really get close to places. Love them because they give an immersive experience. Definitely want to visit each of them. All of them are diverse in themselves. Norway definitely tops the list because of the northern lights. Would definitely want to visit Cyprus too.
Seems like we have a lot of road tripping ahead of us before we die, as we’ve only done 4 of the ones you suggest. 🙂 New Zealand was probably our favourite. I notice you didn’t mention Australia? We’ve done one major 3 month road trip through the country and probably loved the part in the Red Centre the most. The Great Ocean Road is of course a must-do as well.
I wanted to include Australia on the list, but the submitter fell through. I’ve heard so many amazing things about it though, so definitely on my list
Too bad! If I had known… 😉
Maybe next time! I love collaborative articles 🙂
I am a big fan of road trips and this list is amazing. I feel road trips give you an opportunity to explore the landscapes and nature more closely. They are an experience in themselves. You should include Spiti Valley road trip, India too in this list.
Wow, haven’t heard of that one but will definitely have to look into it 🙂
I have bookmarked this post. Road trips are always fun. I’m surely going to do this! I have been on a road trip to Leh/Ladakh region in India and it was absolutely amazing. You should include that as well 🙂
That sounds amazing too, from what I’ve heard there are a ton of road trip options in India!
I can’t believe how many fantastic road trips there are. The Cotswilds in England are really nice and Jasper to Banff in Canada is cool as well. I would like to do all of these road trips at some point.
Same here! They all seem to have something unique about them
I live in Southern India and I can vouch for the fact that roadtrips here are always awesome. Have taken numerous ones in the past. I am off to Israel next month and I am hoping that I will find time to do a road trip to the Dead sea.
That would be awesome! Hope you find the time 🙂
Really cool post! I would love to see Namibia, it looks amazing and I’ve heard many good things about this country. I was lucky enough and I saw many places from your list. My favourite are Iceland, Norway and Vietnam 🙂 Definitely worth to visit.
I have so many places left to visit on the list, but the 3 you mentioned are definitely up there 🙂
Bookmarked! These suggestions are amazing! I have done a few of these road trips already and they were all perfect! Will probably do Namibia this year 🙂
I hope you do! Namibia is definitely on my list too 🙂
I have just returned from Chile and I have visited a little bit of the North of Patagonia. I have to agree, the scenery there is spectacular! Living in the South of England I get to see some really beautiful empty roads as well. It’s a pleasure being on them (cycling for me, as I don’t drive yet 🙂 )
I’m dying to go to Patagonia! I’ve heard amazing things about it from everyone that’s been
Feels good that you included southern India too.
I loved my drives through Germany a lot and also some parts of south France. From your list I dream to have road drives through Iceland and Namibia. 🙂
I’d love to do Germany too! Seen so many amazing photos of it
Road Trips have always been our favorite. Road Trips can never get boring. We wish we could do each of these in the post. Namibia will always be on top for those fascinating wildlife. Visiting Israel and its diverse landscape has been on cards and what could be better than to explore it on a road trip. And we have already done a lot of road tripping in south India there is so much history and wonderful architecture to explore.
Great lists. I’d love to do the Vietnam and Philippines ones. In India I’d suggest you also try some Himalayan roads in the north to try your nerves, guts, as well as driving skills.
Haha that definitely sounds like it takes some driving skills! But would be gorgeous
Great list, I guess I have 20 more to go on that matter 😀 thanks for sharing!
We have so far done two of these. We did a shorter road trip in Namibia in October and that one was followed by a tour along the Garden Route in South Africa. Namibia was really amazing. The Garden Route in South Africa was a bit out of season during our visit. Next road trip on the list that I would like to do is Iceland, but that will probably have to wait. On my list is currently new road trips here in Sweden and hopefully a return for a new road trip in Slovakia. 🙂
Oh wow, I’d love to do Sweden too! It sounds like you have lots of awesome road trip experience 🙂
The Cascade Loop in Washington state is breath taking as well. You can do it in a day, or make a long weekend of it.
I’ll have to add it to my bucket list, I haven’t seen Washington yet, but have heard it’s beautiful!
Wow! What a variety of different road trips. I know I’ve been on a few so I feel like now I have to accomplish them all.
It was so fun collaborating with other travel bloggers to put this list together! It made me realize I have a lot of road trips left to take…I just can’t wait to start traveling again!
thank you for all the information that has been conveyed here, hopefully it can be useful.
happy to help, hope it helps give you some inspiration for a future road trip!