Top 30 destinations Americans want to drive to on a road trip

Ever felt the sudden urge to get in your car and just drive? You’re not alone — as 64 percent of Americans agree they want to hop in the car with their friends and take a spontaneous road trip, according to new research.

The survey asked 2,000 Americans which regions of the United States they were most itching to travel through and where they would most like to stop on road trip.

The Southwest came out on top at 38 percent, beating out the Northeast (27 percent) and the South (26 percent) — by over 10 percent.

The Grand Canyon (44 percent), Yosemite National Park (32 percent) and Yellowstone National Park (32 percent) are the most sought-after stops on a road trip — from a prequalified list of 30 destinations across the United States.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Sixt, the survey also examined what makes the ideal road trip — from the company we keep to essentials we bring to what makes the ideal road trip car.

Classic family road trips are still in fashion — with four in 10 preferring to spend time with their family, but Americans have a strict three-day limit when it comes to these.

This may have to do with the potential of six “car-guments” (car arguments) a family will have over that period of time — that’s an average of two a day.

From road trip essentials and routes to take, the average road trip takes at least two to four weeks to plan out and a further one in 10 are more particular, taking more than three months to plan a road trip.

The top essential for Americans on the road isn’t water — or even a first aid kit — but rather snacks.

With the average American chowing down on at least four snacks during a five to six-hour trip — it comes as no surprise then that snacks topped the list of road trip essentials.

Half of respondents chose pretzels or chips as their go-to road trip snack — with candy and chocolate closely behind, at 43 percent and 42 percent respectively.

Modern times seem to have taken a toll on classic road trip games, though, as three in 10 prefer to keep to themselves and play games on their phone or tablet.

A quarter of Americans do keep the nostalgia alive, however, opting to play I spy and the license plate game.

The appeal of a spontaneous road trip is very much alive — as 64 percent want to just get in the car and drive with their friends one day.

More than three in 10 Americans would actually prefer to take a longer route to enjoy the scenery, with 48 percent also opting for local or country roads rather than major highways.

“Road trips offer the flexibility to create your own journey,” said Daniel Florence, COO of Sixt. “Renting a car plays a central role in the overall experience.”

Americans were also asked about their car preferences for both a one-day road trip and a week-long road trip.

Three quarters of Americans would like to drive around in a convertible or sports car for a day trip, but when it comes to a week-long trip, Americans prefer an SUV or truck — at 62 percent.

“Taking a road trip means spending hours behind the wheel, so why not get a car you absolutely love?” said Daniel Florence, COO of Sixt. “We pride ourselves in offering the highest share of premium, luxury and extraordinary cars in the industry, giving people more options to find the perfect car that makes driving a little more exciting.”


  1. Snacks 66%
  2. Phone chargers 62%
  3. Water/sports drinks 52%
  4. Camera 45%
  5. Blanket 41%
  6. First aid kit 41%
  7. Flashlight 39%
  8. Tissues 37%
  9. Travel pillow 36%
  10. Hand sanitizer 35%


  1. Pretzels/chips 51%
  2. Candy 43%
  3. Chocolate 42%
  4. Nuts 40%
  5. Trail mix 37%
  6. Beef jerky 35%
  7. Protein bars 33%
  8. Grapes 29%
  9. Popcorn 25%
  10. String cheese 25%


  1. Grand Canyon, Arizona 44%
  2. Yosemite National Park, California 32%
  3. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 32%
  4. Niagara Falls, New York 31%
  5. Florida Keys, Florida 31%
  6. Las Vegas, Nevada 28%
  7. Lake Tahoe, Nevada and California 28%
  8. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota 25%
  9. The Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee 24%
  10. Glacier National Park, Montana 23%
  11. Cape Cod, Massachusetts 22%
  12. Nashville, Tennessee 22%
  13. French Quarter/New Orleans, Louisiana 21%
  14. Zion National Park, Utah 21%
  15. Monument Valley, Utah and Arizona 21%
  16. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington 21%
  17. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah 20%
  18. Death Valley National Park, California 20%
  19. Crater Lake, Oregon 20%
  20. The Alamo, Texas 19%
  21. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado 18%
  22. Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico 18%
  23. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky 17%
  24. Black Hills, South Dakota 16%
  25. White Sands National Park, New Mexico 16%
  26. The Finger Lakes, New York 15%
  27. Teddy Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota 13%
  28. Rosewell, New Mexico 13%
  29. Cadillac Ranch, Texas 11%
  30. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Kansas 9%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

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