Winter in the USA might bring cooler temperatures and snow in some areas, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside! Take the opportunity to explore the USA with an epic road trip and see some of the country in all its winter glory. There’s a good chance that popular areas will be experiencing smaller crowds so it’s the perfect time to tick off some tourist attractions.
With so many impressive roads to choose from, the hardest part will be picking what route to take. We’ve put together a list of the top 5 USA road trips to take this winter to help you plan an unforgettable vacation. Pack the car, grab some snacks and put on your playlist – it’s time to hit the road!
1. Florida Keys, Florida
Struggling with frigid winter temperatures, iced windscreens and paths covered in snow? Head somewhere warm for your winter vacation! Florida offers pleasant temperatures all year round making the picturesque drive down Route 1 the perfect place to escape the cold. Stretching for 113 miles, this road will allow you to enjoy the best scenery Florida Keys has to offer. Stunning, white sand beaches, charming Victorian architecture, and plenty of places for kayaking stops – why wouldn’t you want to head to Florida this winter?
2. Arches National Park, Utah
The sandstone formations in Arches National Park are mesmerising at any time of the year, but seeing them under a blanket of snow is truly breathtaking. The best part is that winter is the low season for the area so you’ll be able to enjoy the scenes in peace. Follow the Scenic Drive and stop off at the various points for the best views.
3. The Pacific Coast Highway, California
This drive is one of the all-time greats, so why not tackle it in winter? California offers nice weather compared to other states, especially if you travel in the first half of winter before the rain hits. A road trip is a great way to soak up some late sun while enjoying the view, and the scenery doesn’t get much better than The Pacific Coast Highway. Check out hotspots such as Venice Beach and Santa Monica, or stop in at coastal towns like Pismo Beach for long stretches of sand and relaxed vibes. If you have time, factor in stops at some of the national parks along the way.
4. Big Island, Hawaii
Is there a better place to escape the winter than Hawaii? You certainly won’t be worried about snow and winter jackets as you enjoy a cocktail by the pool. The tropical weather makes for an epic road trip, so hire a car and start your island lap!
You’ll either fly into Kona or Hilo Airport and it’s easy to start your road trip from either town. To enjoy a lap around the island you’ll want to allow at least a few days, especially if you plan on stopping at the different beaches and the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
5. Salt Lake City, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada
Get off the beaten track with a road trip between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. If time is on your side, forget about the boring freeway route that takes you directly between the two destinations, and take the backroads instead. You’ll be in for a real treat as your wind your way through winter scenery, stopping at the various national parks on your way. Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Snow Canyon State Park and Valley of Fire State Park are all excellent options with fantastic natural scenery. Finish your trip with a few days living it up in Sin City!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com