About the Show

From coast to coast, we're taking a tour of the best road trips in the nation. This special has something for everyone, from the ultra-luxurious to attractions that take Americana to a new level. Buckle up for Travel Channel's "Ultimate Road Trips!"

You Might Also Like...

Fire Island Lighthouse
Fire Island, NY

Fire Island, NY

Fire Island, a barrier island parallel to Long Island, NY, is a popular summer vacation destination. Accessible by shuttle ferries, water taxis and private boats, the island is free of motor vehicles, so many visitors get around the island by walking or biking. During the summer, the 32-mile-long island is popular for surfing and sailing. However, many people enjoy visiting the National Seashore during the off-season to explore Fire Island Lighthouse, Sailors Haven and the Sunken Forest, or to collect seashells along the shore.  960 1280

Thinkstock  

Marco Island, FL

Marco Island, FL

The unspoiled beaches and lush, tropical surroundings of Marco Island -- the largest of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands -- attracts visitors to Florida’s Gulf Coast year-round. Find respite on one of the island’s white sand beaches, spot dolphins and manatees on a boat tour, or go shopping at the Esplanade.  960 1280

Photolibrary / Getty Images  

Amelia Island, FL

Amelia Island, FL

Amelia Island, Florida’s northernmost barrier island, is a picturesque seaport community popular for outdoor recreation enthusiasts of all ages. During the day, explore 13 miles of beautiful, white sand beaches, go kayaking in the island’s scenic waterways, or hop aboard a river cruise for views of Floridian wildlife like dolphins, manatees and alligators. At sunset, go horseback riding on the beach. Amelia Island is one of the few beach-horseback riding opportunities in the US. Before you go, dine at the family-owned and operated Crab Trap in Fernandina Beach for fresh, locally-caught seafood -- a historic downtown landmark for more than 30 years! 960 1280

Moment Open / Getty Images  

Anna Maria Island, FL

Anna Maria Island, FL

The pristine beaches and turquoise blue waters of Florida’s Anna Maria Island beckon both locals and travelers to this small island paradise on the Gulf Coast. Catch a ride on the free Anna Maria Island Trolley that travels between the island’s 3 cities -- Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria. Soak up the sun at Bean Point -- a secluded beach and local favorite in Anna Maria -- before dining at the historic Rod & Reel Pier restaurant.  960 1280

Thinkstock  

Block Island, RI

Block Island, RI

Located just off the coast of Rhode Island is a haven where locals and tourists escape for ultimate serenity. Block Island, RI, is comprised of 17 miles of pristine beaches, wildlife preserves and hiking trails, in addition to historic inns and lighthouses. New Shoreham -- the smallest city in the smallest US state -- is also located on the island. 960 1280

Block Island Tourism Council  

Santa Catalina Island, CA

Santa Catalina Island, CA

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a Catalina Island, CA, getaway. A true West Coast paradise, Catalina Island is situated just off the coast of Southern California. Hop aboard a ferry for an hour-long ride to the island, or take a 15-minute helicopter ride. Once on the island, go parasailing to see the island from a different perspective, zip 1,100 feet over the island and descend onto the beach on a zip-line eco tour, or sleep under the stars at one of the designated campgrounds. With a variety of activities and accommodations, the island is great for couples and families looking for an island escape, even if it’s just for the day. 960 1280

Santa Catalina Island Company  

Chincoteague Island, VA

Chincoteague Island, VA

Escape to Chincoteague Island -- Virginia’s only resort island -- located 3.5 hours from Richmond, VA. The small, 7-mile-long island is a fishing village famous for its oysters and clams. Visit in July to watch a herd of 150 wild ponies swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island in the annual Pony Swim. 960 1280

Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce  

Galveston Island, TX

Galveston Island, TX

Located an hour’s drive from Houston, Galveston Island, TX, is a popular vacation destination chock-full of beautiful beaches, historic architecture and a variety of family-friendly attractions and accommodations. Get wet ‘n’ wild at Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark or experience 242 acres of attractions at Moody Gardens. 960 1280

Kenny Braun  

Hilton Head Island, SC

Hilton Head Island, SC

Whether you’re looking to enjoy a few rounds of golf at one of the island’s 30 golf courses or to relax on the 12-mile stretch of white-sand beach, Hilton Head Island in South Carolina has it all. One of the largest islands on the East Coast, Hilton Head is a popular, family-friendly resort area with an abundance of activities to choose from, including water sports, outdoor adventures and museums. 960 1280

Hilton Head Island Visitor & Convention Bureau  

Key West, FL

Key West, FL

Experience the culture, history and charm of the small, 3.5-mile-long island of Key West, FL. A part of the Florida Keys, Key West is located at the southernmost point in the contiguous US, only 90 miles from Cuba. Explore Old Town Key West and the former home of famed author Ernest Hemingway, hit the water on a jet ski for a tour around the island, or watch the sunset from Mallory Square. 960 1280

Casa Marina Resort  

Mackinac Island, MI

Mackinac Island, MI

Picturesque Mackinac Island, MI, is situated in Lake Huron between the state’s upper and lower peninsulas. A great destination for the outdoorsy and adventurous, Mackinac Island has more than 70 miles of hiking and biking trails to explore. Meander through Historic Downtown to view beautiful, 18th-century architecture and to tour Fort Mackinac -- the oldest building in Michigan -- along with other historic sites. 960 1280

Mackinac Island Tourism  

Martha's Vineyard, MA

Martha's Vineyard, MA

A true New England getaway, Martha’s Vineyard, MA -- located 7 miles off the coast of Cape Cod -- lures travelers to its shores with its history, charm and natural beauty. Meander through the historic districts of Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven. Tour the Vineyard’s 5 lighthouses, or find respite on one of the island’s 19 scenic beaches. Avoid crowds of tourists and travel here from October to May when prices also tend to be less expensive. 960 1280

Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce  

Mount Desert Island, ME

Mount Desert Island, ME

Crashing waves and rocky coastlines meet lush, evergreen forests and granite mountaintops on picturesque Mount Desert Island, ME -- the second largest island on the East Coast. Home to Acadia National Park -- the first National Park east of the Mississippi River -- and Bar Harbor, the island welcomes millions of visitors each year. Explore more than 120 miles of hiking trails, go white water rafting or spot moose on a wildlife tour. Keep in mind, the average temperature on the island is only 67 degrees during the summer, so bring a jacket. 960 1280

E+ / Getty Images  

Nantucket, MA

Nantucket, MA

Nantucket Island, MA, may be small but it’s so full of character. With cobblestone streets, historic cottages and quaint shops and restaurants, the “Faraway Land” -- as it was referred to by Native Americans -- provides visitors of all ages with the perfect New England getaway. Meander through downtown’s historic district, charter a boat for a day of fishing, or watch the sunset on popular Madaket Beach.  960 1280

J. Coutre  

Ocracoke Island, NC

Ocracoke Island, NC

A part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, NC, is a small fishing village only accessible by ferry, private boat or plane. The island’s 16 miles of pristine, undeveloped beaches -- protected by the National Park Service -- offer a peaceful escape to travelers willing to make the trip. Explore the tree-lined streets and 1880s architecture of Ocracoke Village and the Ocracoke Lighthouse -- one of the oldest lighthouses still in use in the US. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Orcas Island, WA

Orcas Island, WA

Lush forests, placid lakes and beautiful, craggy shorelines await the outdoorsy and adventurous at Orcas Island, in the San Juan Islands, off the coast of Washington. Stroll through some of the island’s charming waterfront villages, hike the miles of trails in Moran State Park, or go on a wildlife or marine life tour to spot bald eagles or Orca whales.  960 1280

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau  

San Juan Islands, WA

San Juan Islands, WA

The San Juan Islands, located just off the coast of Washington, represent the best the Pacific Northwest has to offer -- lush forests, quaint fishing villages and scenic waterways. A top whale-watching destination, the island is best visited from mid-April to October when whale sightings are most popular, and when the weather is perfect for outdoor adventures.  960 1280

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau  

Sanibel & Captiva Islands, FL

Sanibel & Captiva Islands, FL

Located off Florida’s Gulf Coast, the sister islands of Sanibel and Captiva offer travelers a tranquil, tropical escape year-round. The beautiful, shell-strewn beaches on both islands rank among the top destinations for shelling, and provide the perfect landscape to sit back, relax and watch the sun set. The island’s pristine, turquoise blue waters are also great for offshore fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving.  960 1280

Grand Affair Photography  

Sea Island, GA

Sea Island, GA

For a 5-star luxury island getaway, visit Sea Island, GA. Part of Georgia’s Golden Isles -- which includes St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons and Brunswick -- Sea Island is only 75 miles south of Savannah, GA. Book a room at the island’s internationally acclaimed Sea Island Cloister Resort, play a round (or more) at one of the 3 championship golf courses, or melt the stress away with a day at the lavish Spa at Sea Island.  960 1280

Sea Island Acquisition LLC  

St. Simons Island, GA

St. Simons Island, GA

Moss-draped oaks, centuries-old historic sites and charming shops and restaurants line the streets of St. Simons Island, the largest barrier island in Georgia’s Golden Isles. Tour St. Simons Lighthouse -- a working lighthouse built in 1872 -- tee off at one of the three 18-hole championship golf courses, or stretch out on East Beach -- perfect for sunbathing, windsurfing and more. 960 1280

GoldenIsles.com  

Mustang Island, Port Aransas, TX

Mustang Island, Port Aransas, TX

Just across the bay from Corpus Christi, TX, Mustang Island is a small island community with 5 miles of coastline perfect for sunbathing, fishing, camping and more. With one of the highest bird counts on the Gulf Coast, it’s also a popular destination for avid birdwatchers. Visit in February for the annual Whooping Crane Festival to get a close-up view of the endangered bird species.  960 1280

Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Shelter Island, NY

Shelter Island, NY

Located on the eastern end of Long Island, NY, Shelter Island is a quiet island with secluded beaches and one of the richest nature preserves in the northeast. Go boating, sailing or fishing along the island’s 17 miles of coastline, ride a bike to secluded Shell Beach, or explore the miles of trails in the Mashomack Preserve -- a nearly 2,100-acre preserve that makes up 1/3 of the island.  960 1280

Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Take a scenic drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway and see why Asheville attracts creative types and vacationers alike. This eclectic town has a burgeoning River Arts District, boasts some of the nation's best craft breweries and is home to the iconic Biltmore estate, "American's very own Versailles." Start off with breakfast at the popular, farm-to-table Early Girl Eatery, which dishes up Southern comfort food with a side of retro charm. Next meander through galleries in the River Arts District before stopping at Wedge Brewery for a draft, a game of cornhole and a bite from one of the food trucks posted up outside. In the evening, enjoy live music at local haunt 5 Walnut Wine Bar or curl up with a book at the dog-friendly Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne bar.  960 1280

Thinkstock  

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach is best known for its majestic monoliths like Haystack Rock (an ideal beach selfie spot). However, its miles of serene beaches and a charming (yet refined) art scene make it one of the best resorts on the famed Oregon coast. Surf shops, galleries and wine bars line Hemlock Street. We suggest stopping by the Wine Bar at Sweet Basil's Cafe for bacon-wrapped dates, Willamette Valley wine selections and live music. 960 1280

Moment / Getty Images  

Finger Lakes, New York

Finger Lakes, New York

Skip the Hamptons-bound jitney, instead road trip to this scenic, Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Popular for its wineries (nearly 100 in all) and New England scenery (think: rolling hills, deep-blue vistas dotted by Amish farmland and charming small towns) -- life slows down as you follow paved 2-lane blacktops along the slender lakes' shores. Follow the popular Cayuga Lake Wine Trail near Seneca Falls, where a host of 15 wineries (and 4 distilleries), scenic waterfalls and gourmet restaurants beckon you to stop. We like Maxie's Supper Club & Oyster Bar, a Cajun seafood restaurant and raw bar. Stop in before 6 to beat the crowds and be treated to half-priced raw oysters or start your meal off with their signature cornbread and honey butter and Southern-style fried green tomatoes. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Florida Keys

Florida Keys

Why spend the weekend on 1 Florida beach, when you can island hop through the Florida Keys -- preferably in a convertible -- on scenic Highway 1 through Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon and, last but not least, Key West. Each mile marker seems to bring a new slew of kitschy gift shops, snorkeling spots, and roadside fish shacks, but we recommend stopping for conch fritters at roadside seafood joint, Alabama Jacks on Key Largo, checking into Casa Morada on Islamorada (the half-way point between Miami and Key West) and touring the Ernest Hemingway Home on Key West. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Austin

Austin

Forgo the crowds at Barton Springs and instead cool off at Hamilton Pool Preserve, a lesser-known oasis. Approximately 23 miles west of Austin, this historic swimming hole was formed when an underground river collapsed. Hamilton Creek spills out over limestone cliffs to create a 50-foot waterfall. It's an approximately 10-minute "hike" from the parking lot to the pool so wear sensible shoes and leave the rolling cooler at home or you'll be cursing the stairs and uneven ground. If you're visiting Austin as well, Franklin Barbecue is worth the wait (we promise) and the landmark Allen's Boots has more than 4,000 pairs to chose from (along with hats, clothing and other accessories). 960 1280

Sandra Hintzman, flickr  

St. Michaels, Maryland

St. Michaels, Maryland

To enjoy a quiet weekend on the water, head to Maryland's Eastern Shore. Wander through the charming, historic town of St. Michaels (which dates back to Colonial times) popping into boutiques, stopping for a scoop at Justine's Ice Cream Parlour or capping off the day at Carpenter Street Saloon. The real attraction here is the water: spend the day sailing, jet skiing, kayaking or even crabbing. We suggest checking into the Inn at Perry Cabin -- yes, the one from Wedding Crashers -- or at least stopping by the premises for an aperitif and to see the sunset over the water from an Adirondack chair. 960 1280

Brain Gratwicke, flickr  

Washington, DC

Washington, DC

The most obvious choice for a full-blown Fourth of July celebration, DC's A Capitol Fourth concert doesn't disappoint with the National Symphony Orchestra providing the soundtrack for a spectacular fireworks display. Locals know it's not the only thing to see at night: Skip the crowds (and sweltering humidity) by taking an evening walking tour of the National Mall -- the brightly lit monuments and memorials are just as beautiful after dark. 960 1280

Meinzahn  

Jersey Shore, New Jersey

Jersey Shore, New Jersey

The Jersey Shore, stretching from Sandy Hook to Cape May, has undergone major recovery efforts since Superstorm Sandy -- and the more recent Seaside Heights boardwalk fire. The shore welcomes visitors looking for an All-American summer vacation filled with beaches, lighthouses, ice cream shops, amusement rides, mini golf, fishing and more. While there is still work to be done, downtown Asbury Park has been revitalized, as have most of the region's tourist-heavy destinations. Spend a day in the kitschy town of Wildwood, home to the widest beach in the state and a boardwalk that lives up to its namesake, or stay in nearby Cape May, known for its Victorian houses, historic lighthouse and gourmet restaurants. 960 1280

E+ / Getty Images  

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Just 21 miles south of Charleston, Kiawah Island is a coastal island and world-class golf resort. While beautiful Beachwalker Park is open to the public (and provides lifeguards, picnic areas and parking), we recommend staying at the 5-star Sanctuary Hotel or renting one of the homes or villas to access the slew of amenities the resort has to offer (including its top-ranked spa). Play a round of golf at Ocean Course (1 of 5 award-winning golf courses on the island), enjoy tennis on clay or hard courts, canoe through marsh-lined creeks or simply spend a day at the beach enjoying more than 10 miles of pristine shoreline. 960 1280

Panoramic Images / Getty Images  

Pacific Coast Highway, California

Pacific Coast Highway, California

Hop in a car, better yet make it a convertible, for a weekend road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway. Take a detour on the private 17-Mile Drive, which hugs the craggy coastline from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach. The drive not only offers views of the picturesque 7th green, but also one of California's best known landmarks, the Lone Cyprus. Back on the PCH stop a few miles south of Monterey in the artsy town of Carmel-by-the-Sea -- once home to photographer Ansel Adams and writer Sinclair Lewis -- where you can spend the night at the romantic Highlands Inn, a Park Hyatt resort overlooking the Big Sur coast. Following brunch at Mission Ranch, snake along the 30-mile stretch from Carmel to Big Sur for cliff-top dining at the Nepenthe Restaurant. End the weekend 65 miles south in San Simeon at the eccentric Hearst Castle, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst's enormous estate. 960 1280

Aurora / Getty Images  

San Juan

San Juan

Though it's not located on the continental US, increasing direct flights from the East Coast are making Puerto Rico a viable long-weekend option. Puerto Rico is also becoming a popular year-round destination, but visit before July if you don't want to chance a hurricane. Once you land on the island, check into the luxurious St. Regis Bahia Beach resort for a secluded-island vacation or stay put in the town of San Juan. We recommend strolling Old San Juan's colorful, narrow streets, checking out the casino and nightclub inside the San Juan Hotel, and mingling with locals over live salsa at Nuyorican Cafe when not basking on the beach. 960 1280

Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Roughly 80 miles northwest of Denver lies the majestic Rocky Mountain National Park. Families should make Estes Park -- at the east end of the park -- their base camp to experience unbelievable views from the Estes Park Aerial Tramway (which climbs over 1,000 feet in less than 5 minutes), kid-friendly hikes like the easily-accessible Alberta Falls and after-dinner ghost stories at the infamous Stanely Hotel. Those looking for solitude from the summer crowds -- and who are willing to brave a challenging hike (12.6 miles roundtrip) -- will find solace at nearby Lawn Lake, as well as 13,000-foot granite peaks, catch-and-release trout fishing and wildflowers ringing the western edge of the lake. 960 1280

Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images  

Sonoma County, California

Sonoma County, California

Escape up US Highway 101 into Northern California's wine country for a weekend of good food and fine wine in Healdsburg, CA (just 70 miles north of San Francisco). Start the weekend off at the Healdsburg Farmers Market where you can pick up Pug's Leap goat cheeses, a variety of bottled olive oils, fresh butter and other produce -- all sustainably grown on farms within 10 miles of the town's Spanish-style plaza. Flying Goat Coffee and food trucks are also on site if you aren't full from the vendors' food samples. With more than 150 wineries dotting the Wine Road (made up of the Dry Creek, Alexander and Russian River Valleys) refrain from ending up Sideways by renting a bike from Wine Country Bikes or joining one of their guided tours. Afterwards, dine at Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen inside the minimalist Hotel Healdsburg -- a stylish and convenient choice to stay as well. 960 1280

Getty Images News / Getty Images)  

St. Louis

St. Louis

Ah, baseball. Nothing epitomizes summer leisure more than taking in a game that involves a stretch somewhere into its third hour. Cheer on the St. Louis Cardinals -- beer in hand -- fittingly, at Busch Stadium. Afterwards, check out Three Sixty rooftop bar perched atop the nearby Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark -- one of the best rooftop bars in the country. You'll get a bird's-eye view of the ballpark, the soaring Gateway Arch and more -- all from 400 feet above downtown. If you haven't filled up on stadium fare, indulge in gourmet bites like mini lobster rolls or have a House Kit Kat Bar for dessert. We suggest making Moonrise Hotel -- a unique, boutique hotel property on the famous Delmar Loop -- your home base for the weekend. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Chicago

Chicago

Cap off the summer in Chi-town. Grab a grassy spot and picnic at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park for the annual (free) Chicago Jazz Festival, a favorite among Chicago's many Labor Day weekend festivals. Spend the day strolling along the glistening Lake Michigan shore, taking in the expansive skyline as you round the North Avenue Beach curve and taking a break at Oak Street Beach Food + Drink. If you have kids, treat them to one last fireworks show at the Navy Pier before school starts. 960 1280

Panu Tangchalermku, flickr  

Carhenge features 38 vintage American cars planted in the ground or stacked upon each other and positioned in a circle. 960 1280

Photo by cm195902 through Flickr Creative Commons  

More than 50,000 visitors head to the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch in Arizona each year to see over 1,600 ostriches. 960 1280

Friends and family of the Animals at RCOR  

The Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch is without a doubt the most exotic roadside petting zoo in the country. 960 1280

Friends and family of the Animals at RCOR  

Visit the world's only palace built out of corn that has stood in South Dakota since 1921. 960 1280

Corn Palace  

The towering 170-foot water tower shaped as a bottle of catsup has been in Illinois since 1949. 960 1280

Photo by anneh632 through Flickr Creative Commons  

Minnesota boasts a 55-foot fiberglass mega-statue of the Jolly Green Giant himself. 960 1280

The center of tiny Darwin, MN, revolves around the world's largest ball of twine weighing in at 17,400 lbs. 960 1280

Pigeon Force, TN, is a roadside extravaganza with spots like the upside-down WonderWorks interactive adventure center. 960 1280

The Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism  

The fun at Pigeon Forge continues at the Dinosaur Walk Museum with a 45-foot T-Rex and a 35-foot prehistoric alligator. 960 1280

The Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism  

Weeki Wachee, FL, is home to the world's only underwater mermaid cabaret, an underwater spectacle with dancing mermaids. 960 1280

John Athanason, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park  

See Episode Guide

Watch It

View Full TV Schedule

On TV

The Hot List

Explore America’s most stunning scenery.
Join the conversation on Social Media!
Stay updated on the latest travel tips and trends.
Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.