9 Lesser Known American Road Trips

Road trips are an American tradition and they are the most common method to travel the country and get to know it. However, there are a few routes that are often overlooked even by those that know the country very well and that traveled a lot.

If you’re a foreign driver trying to take one of these trips you’ll need an international driver’s license to do so, as well as a national permit issued by your own country. These two are only valid if you also have proof of ID such as a passport with you.

Big Bend Loop in Texas

The 250-mile long route that goes just near the Mexico border is too often overlooked and it shouldn’t be – due to how scenic and beautiful the landscape itself is. The route goes through one of the state’s many national parks from which it gets its name – Big Bend Ranch State Park.

If you’re a birdwatcher, this is the most exciting national park in the state, if not the country since it’s home to as many as 300 species of birds.

A Scenic Byway in Colorado

The byway that goes from the State Bridge to the Grand Lake is especially important for those who live the wildlife and are looking for a glimpse of the animals in the region. This includes bears, wolves, many different types of birds, and many other animals.

The trip is about 80 miles long and there are also more than a few lakes along the way. These are great stops for those who enjoy water sports, fishing, and boating. One of the stops along the way should also be Hot Sulphur Spring which is a natural spa.

Hana Coastline, Hawaii

A road from Kahului to Hana is about 52 miles long and it follows the beautiful coastline. This means you’ll be driving with the ocean on one side and the sprawling jungle on the other. The jungle includes waterfalls, rock pools, and dangerous-looking cliffs, while the beaches are perfect and covered with pristine black sand.

Many visitors stop along the road and pick fresh fruit from the trees when they need the rest and want to enjoy the beautiful scenery firsthand. The drive is most beautiful as you move westward and go toward the setting sun while you move to Hana.

From Montana to Yellowstone, Wyoming

Bozeman Montana is known for its geothermal hot springs and that’s where you should start your trip. The trip to Yellowstone is about 135 miles long and it usually ends in the Old Faithfull Geyser. You’ll love the scenery and the wildlife you’ll likely spot along the way.

The geyser erupts every hour or so, and make sure to check it out. It’s one of the largest in the country with 8500 gallons of water being projected about 145 feet into the air. The park is also visited by hikers and has plenty of accommodation if you want to explore the area on your own.

Bourbon Trail, Kentucky

Kentucky Bourbon is well known around the world and if you’re visiting the state you should make a short trip along the lines where most distillers are. These establishments offer accommodations and testing sessions for tourists. The bourbons made in Kentucky include Jim Beam, Makers Mark, Knob Creek, and the Buffalo Trace.

The trip isn’t only for those who like bourbon. It’s also a great place for hiking and enjoying the local rivers and watersports. There’s also a zip line for adrenaline junkies as well as a chance to explore the local caves.

South Carolina- A BBQ Road Trip

BBQ is a big part of southern cuisine and culture in general. Nowhere is this truer than in South Carolina. There are plenty of BBQ maps that you can find online and use as your guide for finding the best BBQ in the state. Keep in mind that these are rather subjective.

Local BBQ has become a complex culinary experiment over the years and other than the traditional southern recipes that everyone likes, you’ll also find plenty of fusions that mix the local cuisine with numerous other influences.

Prehistory Highway in Utah

This route in Utah is closed for the winter since it’s too dangerous to use it so make sure you time your visit. It starts in Colorado and that’s where you can visit the Dinosaur National Monument which features some of the largest and rarest fossils in the world.

The whole loop going down to Utah will take you about 4 days and it includes several national parks most well known for their role in preserving fossils and dinosaur remains. The trip can then be continued into the Colorado scenic byway that we mentioned earlier.

Gold Coast of the Lake Michigan in Michigan

The road from Grand Rapids to Lake Michigan is one of the least traveled routes in the US and it’s a shame for it to be so overlooked. The beaches are pristine and beautiful and at some point, they also seem to be endless.

The route is about 190 miles long and it can be taken in about 4 hours. However, it’s best to take your time and make plenty of stops so you can enjoy it to the fullest. This means that you’ll need to set aside the weekend for it.

Dalton Highway in Alaska

The road used to be known as Dalton Highway and now it’s called Highway 11 it’s one of the longest and most scenic roads in the US, but not one that’s often taken due to the harsh weather. It’s about 400 miles long and it cuts through the most beautiful parts of the state.

There are not that many stops that you’ll need to make since that’s what the area is like and the trip itself is the selling point of the route. It’s important to note that you probably won’t have phone reception during some parts of the trip and you need to bring your own GPS.