Even after our school days are long gone, there’s something about the beginning of spring that gets us excited for a “Spring Break” or “Summer Vacation.” The possibilities are endless, but one option that’s always exciting is a lengthy road trip—especially one that involves driving from coast to coast. Depending on where you live, you may have to fly somewhere to start your journey on a coast, and you’ll certainly want to look up car rental information. But being able to say you’ve dipped your toes into the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean mere days apart will be worth it.. and so will the scenery.
Of course, you’ll have more than one option for such a journey. We recommend trying one of these four routes:
The Lincoln Highway
The Lincoln Highway was one of our country’s earliest transcontinental highways. Using this route, you’ll start in the middle of New York City and end up in San Francisco (or vice versa, depending on which coast you begin with). You’ll drive through parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, swing through Chicago, coast through Nebraska and hit Denver before driving through parts of Wyoming. Salt Lake City and Nevada are next, followed by the Golden Coast.
Needless to say, driving this route will expose you to a lot of diversity. You’ll see a few of the country’s largest cities while cruising through plenty of wide open spaces. This is a great choice for a first cross country road trip because it’s pretty tough to get lost.
Washington State to Florida
If you’ve got a solid week or two to spend driving, why not try a drive from one opposite corner to the other? For this route, getting a hybrid car rental is a good idea even if you own a car—you’ll save on gas mileage and avoid common wear and tear issues on your own vehicle. Plus, you can drive down and fly back home (unless you’d really like to try a different route back!). You’ll start your journey on the beautiful Pacific Northwest Coast and end up on a white sandy beach in Florida.
There are several routes you can take from Washington to Florida. The quickest way is to take I-90 East to Highway 212 East in Montana, dropping down through South Dakota before getting on I-29 South. You’ll see parts of Iowa, drive through Missouri and pass through parts of Kentucky before reaching Nashville (which would be an amazing place to stop for a few days). Take I-24 East and I-75 South to see more of Tennessee and Georgia before you cross the border into sunny Florida. You can head south to Miami to enjoy some of the most famous beaches in the country, or you can cruise over to a quieter part of the coast, like the beautiful Vero Beach.
North Carolina to California
Carolina to California sounds lovely, doesn’t it? After all, it’s Spring Break, so you might as well drive from sunny coast to sunny coast. We recommend going from the Southport area to San Diego. And if you take I-120 West, you can get there in a few days.
The fastest route will take you through most of South Carolina, through Atlanta and the heart of Alabama. Since you’ll drive through Texas, you may want to take a slight detour off I-20 West, head south and check out Austin and San Antonio. Both cities have plenty of attractions worth exploring. After that you’ll drive through Southern New Mexico and Arizona before entering California. This is one road trip where shorts and sunscreen are encouraged for the duration of the drive.
US Highway 6
Want to go coast to coast on one singly highway? It’s possible! US Route 6 is the longest transcontinental highway in the country. The highway starts in Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod all the way to Inyo County, California. You’ll be treated to stunning scenery in Indiana, Illinois, Utah and Colorado and the peaceful plains of Iowa and Nebraska. This route includes a little bit of everything, and you’ll be able to do it in a few days, though we recommend enjoying it over the course of at least a week. You’ll want to stop and take pictures in every state you drive through.
Ready for your coastal quest? Search Car Rental Express for car rental deals and start mapping your route for Spring Break.