Top 10 Places to Visit on Your Great American Road Trip

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Visitors to America have so many choices for exciting vacation destinations that it’s sometimes difficult to know which ones represent the “real America.” To help you plan an authentic American experience, here are our picks for the top 10 places to visit on your Great American Road Trip.

Destination #1: Seattle/Puget Sound Region – Washington

For the ultimate American Pacific Northwest immersion, Seattle, Washington is the place to go. The beauty of Puget Sound blends with the city’s diverse cultural attractions to create a fascinating landscape.

seattle washington

Save time to visit the lush, green forests, scenic mountain trails, and vibrant Pike Place Market that are all part of the Seattle experience.

Destination #2: San Francisco/Bay Area – California

Come south from Seattle through the land of giant redwoods and rocky Pacific coastline that is Northern California to San Francisco. From the natural and historical wonders of Golden Gate Park to the vintage streets of San Francisco’s neighborhoods, there’s American history, culture, and scenic beauty waiting to be explored.

san francisco

Feast ‘til you’re full on the attractions of the Bay Area and then turn your sights south to our next destination.

Destination #3: Southern California Beach – California

To fully understand the American fascination with sun, sand, and waves, no visitor to the U.S. should miss a trip down California’s southern coastline.

southern california beach

Top Southern California beach spots include Santa Monica, with its iconic pier; San Diego, which offers easy access to both beaches and attractions, such as Cabrillo Point Light Station and Balboa Park; and Orange County’s Laguna Beach.

When you’re ready to leave the beaches, head east into Arizona.

Destination #4: The Grand Canyon – Arizona

“Enormous.” “Jaw-dropping.” “Indescribably immense and beautiful.” These descriptions fail to capture the grandeur of one of America’s natural wonders, the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

the grand canyon arizona

Whether you spend your time here hiking the trails, on scenic drives, or studying historic sites surrounding the Canyon, you’ll understand why this place says “America the Beautiful” like no other.

Destination #5: Grand Teton National Park – Wyoming

To truly say you’ve seen the American landscape, you’ll need to include a stop at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

grand teton national park wyoming

The rugged, mysterious peaks, abundant wildlife, and glimpses of both American West and Native American culture are worth spending at least a day or two in this awe-inspiring national park.

And be sure to check out these safety tips for international travelers!

Destination #6: Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado

Nowhere else defines an encounter with the American Rocky Mountain Range like Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

rocky mountains colorado

Bold peaks, pristine mountain lakes, an amazing diversity of wildlife, and places to play for persons of every ability promise visitors to the U.S. an unforgettable time in the Rockies.

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Destination #7: Chicago/Great Lakes Region – Illinois

Whether you’re hoping to capture the American spirit of industry and commerce or spend time on the enormous lakes that divide the U.S. from Canada, the Windy City is your starting point.

Leave time to visit Chicago’s Lakefront Trail on Lake Michigan, photograph the city’s outstanding collection of architecture, and indulge in the wide range of ethnic and cultural delights the city has to offer.

chicago illinois

For the true Great Lakes adventure, travel north along the shoreline into Wisconsin, or perhaps even all the way north into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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Destination #8: Cape Cod National Seashore – Massachusetts

Your next American road trip destination is about as far east as you can travel in the United States. Cape Cod National Seashore, off the coast of Massachusetts, is a pristine, windswept region where visitors can absorb the splendor of the Atlantic shore.

cape cod massachusetts

Hiking, biking, and relaxing on the beach are just a few of the ways to learn why Cape Cod is a beloved part of the American landscape.

Destination #9: New York City – New York

We can’t leave out the city that plays host to millions of visitors to America each year—New York City. From harbor tours to theater district delights and museum crawls, there’s literally something for every age and interest in this city of five boroughs.

new york city

Come early and play late—you’re going to wish you had more time on your American exploration to get to know New York.

Destination #10: Miami – Florida

America’s far southeastern tip is home to a vibrant city where many cultures blend together in a beautiful, coastal setting. World-class beaches, fascinating historic sites, and South Beach- where art, culture, and the pursuit of pleasure blend- offer a different kind of American coastal excursion.

south miami beach

These are only ten of the fascinating places that make up the true American experience. Use them as a jumping-off point to your own American road trip. Whether you hope to find the quirky, the magnificent, or the memorable, you’ll find a place to come back to often once you’ve visited America the Beautiful.


Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV, a nationwide RV rental company. Joe has been on the road working within the travel industry for over 20 years, and greatly enjoys exploring the outdoors. Joe has been camping across the United States, from coast-to-coast, and makes a point to stop at national landmarks along the way. He is also actively involved in numerous campground associations, including RVIA's Go RV'ing committee, as well as travel industry associations.

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