The World’s Best Road Trips: What Places Do People Want to Visit?
Where are the most popular road trips in the world?
Once you pass your driving test, you are free to travel the open road and really get the best out of your new found freedom. Whether you’re a new driver or have decades of experience, these road trips are some of the best adventure ideas you can experience. The possible journeys are endless.
Using Google search data we have been able to establish which road trips are the most popular across the globe, and which ones interest residents of different nations the most. We have listed the best road trips across the world, the best in the UK, and the best in the US.
Updated for 2023, this report details the most popular road trips across the world, UK, and US, and how our road trip preferences have changed over the last year.
The World’s Most Popular Road Trips 2022
1 – Route 66 – 6,523,000 Global Annual Searches
Moving from second place last year to the top spot this year is Route 66. Bobby Troup cemented the legacy of the world-famous Route 66 with the lyrics “Get your kicks on Route 66”. Route 66, located in the US, stretches almost 4,000 kilometres from Santa Monica to Chicago. The road was once the main route across the country, however, it has more recently become a quieter, more scenic way to cross America due to the development of other main roads.
2 – Big Sur – 4,625,000 Global Annual Searches
With over 4.6 million searches, the second most popular road trip right now was 2021’s most popular. Big Sur Coast Highway, California, USA, is a section of road on California’s ‘State Route 1’ and is breathtakingly stunning. Expect to experience a windy coastal cliff edge flanked by the bright blue Pacific Ocean on one side and the towering Californian mountains on the other.
3 – Dolomites – 3,337,000 Global Annual Searches
In northern Italy, we find some of the greatest driving roads in the world, and the Dolomite mountains are no exception. The Great Dolomites Road is a road trip between Bolzano and Cortina d’Ampezzo that travels right across the mountain range and allows road trippers to take in some spectacular Italian views along the way.
4 – Salar de Uyuni – 2,575,000 Global Annual Searches
Salar de Uyuni is one of the most striking and spectacular landscapes on the planet. Home to the largest salt flats in the world, the Salar de Uyuni sits amongst the Andes mountains in Bolivia. In total over two and a half million people searched for the Salar de Uyuni in the past year, making it one of the world’s most searched for road trips.
5 – Blue Ridge Parkway – 2,046,000 Global Annual Searches
Blue Ridge Parkway finishes our top five most popular global road trips with just over two million annual searches. The parkway is America’s longest linear park, running for 469 miles, and has been the most-visited part of the National Park System every year since 1946, except for four. Blue Ridge Parkway is a new entry to the top five most popular road trips in the world.
Every Country’s Favourite Road Trip
Route 66 is the road trip location that is the most searched in most countries with 46 nations having it as their most popular road trip. The second and third routes which came top in the most countries are the Dolomites and Big Sur, being the most popular in 21 and 19 countries respectively.
The Most Popular British and Irish Road Trips
1 – NC500 – 739,700 National Annual Searches
Maintaining its number one spot as the most searched domestic road trip by British citizens is the North Circuit 500 (NC500) in Northern Scotland, achieving over 150,000 additional annual searches compared to last year. This beautiful and majestic road trip has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it is no surprise as to why, with beautiful driving roads flowing through spectacular mountains and coastline.
2 – Ring of Kerry – 57,300 National Annual Searches
As the name suggests, the Ring of Kerry is a circular route around the southwestern Irish county. Kerry is one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland and this road trip takes you out to the coast from Killarney, where visitors will find fantastic views of the breathtaking Skellig Islands. Movie fans should note these islands were featured in the Star Wars movies. The Ring of Kerry was third place last year.
3 – Glasgow to Inverness – 32,400 National Annual Searches
Knocking the Wild Atlantic Way (last years second place) out of the top three is Glasgow to Inverness. From Scotland to Ireland and back again, our third most-searched-for UK road trip is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, spanning incredible roads from Glasgow over to Inverness. This trip takes you past Loch Lomond, the Trossachs, Ben Nevis, and many other must-see Scottish landmarks.
The Most Popular US Road Trips
1 – Big Sur 2,729,000 National Annual Searches
Big Sur is the most searched US road trip by Americans with over 2.7 million annual searches. While still the most searched, Route 66 saw over 500,000 less searches this year compared to 2021. One of the more spectacular aspects of this route is the exquisitely engineered bridges that span rivers and gorges where they meet the ocean, with the Bixby Creek Bridge being one of the finest examples.
2 – Route 66 – 2,277,000 National Annual Searches
With over 2 million annual searches in America, Route 66 comes in second for the US’ most searched for road trips. Although it is no longer possible to drive the original Route 66 uninterrupted, due to decommission all the way from Chicago to Los Angeles, much of the original route and alternate alignments are still drivable; some original stretches are quite well preserved.
3 – Blue Ridge Parkway – 1,925,000 National Annual Searches
National Parkway and All-American Road, the Blue Ridge Parkway rounds off our American top three road trips. This trip covers part of the Appalachian mountains and the road through them has spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. The US top three is unchanged from last year, cementing these road trips as America’s favourites.
- We looked at multiple online articles listing popular routes to create lists of global, US, and UK road trips to reveal 80 global road trips, 25 UK trips, and 25 US trips.
- By using Google Ads Keyword Planner we were able to find out the number of annual searches globally and domestically for each road trip, taken on 01/04/2022.
The 2021 World’s Best Road Trips Report
If you want to read our previous report you can download it here:
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