Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip. – Jon Bon Jovi

Taking those long road trips always spiked a great sense of wonder and adventure in me. You establish a special relationship with the place when you drive through its terrain, taking in the air-filled with its unique aroma, created from the local flora and fauna. Stopping at awe-inspiring viewpoints to appreciate mother nature's beauty entwined with understanding local history and food. All these nuances of a long drive make them memorable.

Here are a few road trips that we think will help you create and instill life long memories.

Most Scenic: Blue Ridge Parkway

If you're looking for a stretch of road that will provide breathtaking views and non-stop recreational pit-stops, then Blue Ridge Parkway should definitely be added to your road trip bucket list.

The 469-mile journey follows the Blue Ridge Mountains that connect Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You'll be able to enjoy waterfalls, hiking trails, and picnics with spectacular views.

Where to Eat:

Mabry Mill has a restaurant and gift shop with a rich history. You can even watch a live milling demonstration of grinding flour! Depending on the time of year, you could also experience a live music concert where you can have dinner to the sounds of The McKenzies, Easy Pickins, or The SouthFork Ramblers.

What to Look Out For:

Take a tour of the Appalachian mountain range, stopping at Looking Glass Falls of the Pisgah National Forest. Then hike on to the Daniel Ridge Falls and Slick Rock Falls. You'll be in awe of the spectacular surroundings on this moderate hike through hickory and oak forests. Asheville trails has a good list of hikes at Blue Ridge Parkway.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Most Classic: Route 66

Start your journey on the Classic Route 66 in Chicago at 99 E Adam Street and take a photo with the "Begin Route 66" sign. The 2448-mile route is paved with adventure with iconic landmarks and picturesque national parks. You can even stop and see The Guinness World Record World's largest covered wagon.

The spirit of Route 66 is in the details: every scratch on a fender, every curl of paint on a weathered billboard, every blade of grass growing up through a cracked street. —John Lasseter

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Where to Eat:

Stop and eat at Lou Mitchell's Diner in Chicago, established in 1923, before heading out on your journey. Known for their prime burgers and fluffy pancakes, it'll be a memorable meal on your road trip.

You can also stop at Ariston Cafe in Litchfield, which is the second oldest restaurant (established 1924) on Route 66 for a delicious meal.

What to Look Out For:

You'll be traveling through 8 states, and each has its own unique attractions. But it would be worthwhile looking out for the Meramec Caverns, Chain of Rocks Bridge, The Petrified Forest, and the Wigwam Motel.


Photo by Daniel Gregoire on Unsplash

Most Diverse: Big Island Loop Road

Escape the city and head to Hawaii to do the Big Island Loop tour. You'll start at Kailua-Kona and finish at Mauna Kea. You'll drive through some of the most breathtaking and scenic views as you pass active volcanoes and their lava fields.

Stop and take a swim in clear waters with black sand beaches against mountainous backdrops.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Where to Eat:

Too cool off, stop at Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, where you can experience their fruity shaved ice with a spoon of ice cream at the bottom.

For lunch or dinner, treat your tastebuds by going to the restaurant Under the Bodhi Tree. Here you'll find everything from local cuisine to vegan and vegetarian meals and American cuisine.

What to Look Out For:

For an experience of a lifetime, visit the Manta Ray Advocates and take a moonlight swim with the manta rays. During the day, see the island from a different view and take a stand-up paddle tour and explore the reef.

Photo by Max Gotts on Unsplash

Most Off-The-Grid: The Road to Nowhere

Take US-83, which starts at Swan River, Manitoba, then head south to Texas and on to Maramoros, Mexico, without taking any turns on the Road to Nowhere. This will feel like taking a trip back in time to the days of the Wild West.

On this trip you'll see some spectacular countryside that's dotted by farm and cattle communities and meandering Missouri River roads.

Photo by Brandon Mowinkel on Unsplash

Where to Eat:

The Model Bakery, in downtown Linton, will have you following your nose down the street with the aroma of the cheese buttons that have been freshly prepared. It's a traditional German dish that's better known as Kase Knoephla.

What to Look Out For:

With planes from World War II and vintage aircraft, you'll find that there is something for everyone at The Dakota Territory Air Museum. They're always renovating planes and adding to their collection, which includes planes like P-40K Warhawks and P-51D Mustangs.