The Top 5 U.S. Road Trip Routes

The great American road trip is a rite of passage and an awesome way to experience this great land of ours. With a variety of climates, terrain, and sights to see, it can be hard to choose just one route and destination. If you and your friends have been struck by wanderlust, here are five of the top U.S. road trip adventures to consider:

1. Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, and the "Badlands"

Mount Rushmore is one of our nation's most distinctive national monuments, and a scenic drive to see it in person is a real treat. (Tip: Norbeck Outlook offers the best view.) South Dakota's Black Hills are a stunning natural wonder; be ready to glimpse bison and prairie dogs along the way. Badlands National Park offers a unique, "otherwordly" landscape to behold from numerous scenic overlooks as you drive through.

2. Route 66

Also known as "the super-highway," Route 66 is just about as historic and all-American as road trip routes get. When it first connected Chicago to Los Angeles decades ago, it symbolized America's independence and expansion. Big, wide highways have long since replaced the original road, but there are still "Historic Route 66" signs posted along the way. You and your friends will drink in a variety of scenery on this route, from the Rocky Mountains to the gorgeous waters of the Pacific Ocean.

3. The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Carolinas and the state of Virginia are home to the incredible Blue Ridge Parkway. This highly scenic route winds through the Shenandoah park system and offers breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains throughout. You'll be surrounded by the grandiosity of nature on this trip, with deep, lush forested areas as well as plenty of scenic vistas.

4. Utah's State Route 12

The state of Utah is brimming with colorful desert skylines and majestic geologic formations, and the 120+ mile Route 12 is an excellent way to take them all in. This route also passes through Bryce Canyon Park and Dixie National Forest.

5. The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are located at the southern tip of the Florida panhandle and are comprised of a mind-blowing 1,700 tropical islands. Road-trippers love that 43 of them are linked by bridges, with some accessible using U.S. Route 1. Be sure to include a pass over Seven Mile Bridge, one of the longest bridges on the planet. Enjoy crystal blue ocean waters all around you on this unique road trip.

The highways and byways of our great nation are lined with stunning sights, beautiful vistas, and plenty of fun stops along the way. Taking a road trip offers the opportunity to experience our country up close and personal, and you won't want to miss a thing. Consider hiring a charter bus, such as from Fisher Bus Inc., so that you and your friends can sit back, leave the driving to someone else, and truly make the most of the experience.