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Travel News Solo Road Trip Ideas – Just You and The Open Road

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Solo Road Trip Ideas – Just You and The Open Road

Traveling might not seem like something you would try on your own but traveling solo can be incredibly liberating. Check out our solo road trip route suggestions.

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One of the most freeing and adventurous trips you can take is a solo road trip. You’re able to freely explore tiny villages, discover secluded beaches, and take as much or as little time at each destination as you want.

While this is something you may associate doing with friends, embarking on a solo road trip not only allows you to do everything on your own terms, but it allows you to have alone time, resulting in mental space and clarity. When you’re traveling solo, the road is the best company. 

Why Road Trip Solo? 

Imagine driving on a long stretch of black, smooth road, listening to your favorite album on repeat, belting out the words to your favorite songs, sipping on an iced coffee at a roadside stop you chose, basking in the sunlight that shines through the open windows of your very own car.

Taking a solo road trip is the perfect way to clear your mind, escape from any overwhelming stress you might feel from work, put away your phone, and explore a part of the world you’ve never been to before. It’s empowering, enlightening, and enjoyable.

The New England Solo Road Trip

New England Road Trip Route:

  1. Portland, Maine
  2. Manchester, New Hampshire
  3. Boston, Massachusetts
  4. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  5. Newport, Rhode Island

This road trip takes you through the crumbling forts of Maine, the gentle lake waters in New Hampshire, the rocky shores of Massachusetts dotted with lighthouses and the vibrant streets of Rhode Island. This road trip only takes about half a day, so you could do this trip quickly if you’re short on time.

Since your first stop is Portland, you’ll want to kickstart your day with a delicious meal. Hugo’s Restaurant offers mouthwatering food like lamb tartare, asparagus salad, and halibut.

If you break this trip up into two days, you could spend the night in Boston at The Lenox. This hotel is in a wonderful location near many sightseeing spots in Boston. The rooms are modern, and the décor is homey and comfortable.

The Pacific Coast Highway Solo Road Trip

Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Route:

  1. San Francisco, California
  2. Santa Cruz, California
  3. Monterey, California
  4. Pismo Beach, California
  5. Santa Barbara, California
  6. Malibu, California
  7. Los Angeles, California
  8. San Diego, California

Stretching from northern to southern California, this road trip will take you about 10 hours if you don’t stop. This scenic route is one of the most beautiful drives in the world and is an ideal journey for a solo road trip. You’ll start in northern California in San Francisco and cruise through places like Big Sur, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and end in San Diego.

Stay in the spectacular Ventana Big Sur, which offers a fun, lively vibe, swimming pool, and tasty cocktails. You’ll probably want some healthy, organic food after all of that driving, so head over to Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles to indulge in food like cured smoked salmon sandwiches, white sea bass, and golden summer salad. Read our full Pacific Coast Highway road trip guide here.

Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Coast Highway

Route 66 Solo Road Trip

Route 66 Road Trip Route:

  1. Chicago, Illinois
  2. Carthage, Missouri
  3. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  4. Amarillo, Texas
  5. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  6. Flagstaff, New Mexico
  7. Santa Monica, California

This is probably the most well known and iconic road trip in the world, which is why it’s so perfect as a solo road trip. This route will take you about 10 days; the perfect amount of time for a nice holiday from work and a chance to truly explore the cities, national parks, and deserts of the country.

You’ll drive through the bustling city of Chicago, travel through 7 states and enjoy a much-needed drink when you finish your trip in Santa Monica.

A restaurant you should definitely eat at on your road trip is The Misfit Restaurant and Bar in Santa Monica, California. This lively restaurant serves up some mouthwatering dishes like cauliflower fried rice, lobster sliders, avocado toast, and tasty drinks.

Since you’ll most likely start your road trip in Chicago, we recommend staying at Viceroy Chicago, which offers a beautiful pool, cozy and clean rooms, and an onsite restaurant.

Route 66  solo road trip route
Route 66 road trip route

South Island, New Zealand Road Trip

South Island Road Trip Route:

  1. Queenstown, New Zealand
  2. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
  3. Kaka Point, 9271, New Zealand
  4. Dunedin, New Zealand
  5. Timaru, New Zealand
  6. Christchurch, New Zealand
  7. Kaikoura, New Zealand
  8. Nelson, New Zealand
  9. Westport, New Zealand
  10. Fox Glacier, 7886, New Zealand

This solo road trip will take you through forests, over mountain passes, along cliff sides with spectacular views of the sea, and past giant frozen glaciers. This road trip is relaxing; you’ll drive on smooth asphalt and past some of the most breathtaking scenery you may ever see in your life.

This trip can take a couple of weeks or more, depending on where you want to stop. If you’re starting your road trip in Queenstown, then definitely check out Botswana Butchery for some duck fat roasted potatoes, local oysters, and lamb dishes. Sherwood Queenstown is a lovely hotel in Queenstown with a welcoming, friendly atmosphere, organic wines, and a peaceful courtyard.

New Zealand South Island Solo road trip route
Queenstown, New Zealand

Time to Hit the Road!

There are tons of different road trips you can take, all interchangeable for your liking. Whether you’re a culture fanatic, a nature enthusiast, or a foodie, these solo road trips will keep you busy exploring some spectacular corners of this world.

Looking for more road trip tips and inspiration? Check out these guides:

How to Prepare for a Road Trip

Road Trip Essentials

Road Trip Hacks

Cross-Country Road Trip

Best Car Rental Discounts