Motorcycle road trip through the canyon

Motorcycle Road Trip Guide: Scenic Rides Across the U.S.

Planning the ultimate motorcycle road trip? Make sure to include scenic routes, stunning landscapes, and stops with beautiful weather on your itinerary! Whether you want the best motorcycle roads for a quick adrenaline rush full of twists and turns or an easy going, long-distance adventure with great views, find ideas for vacations across the U.S. in our guide.

Beartooth Highway Road Trip

Looking for a quick motorcycle trip? Weave through Shoshone National Forest as you make your way to Yellowstone National Park on the scenic US-212. Just don’t wait until winter! The Beartooth Scenic Highway closes during colder months due to the high elevation and winding bends. While on this road trip, make sure to check out these three stops in Wyoming and Montana along the way!

  • Cody, WY
  • Red Lodge, MT
  • Cooke City-Silver Gate, WY

Cody

Learn about the history of the American Frontier at one of the five museums housed in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Dive into the local culture, get your face painted, and enjoy top-notch bull riding during the summer months at the Cody Nite Rodeo. Or enjoy a steak dinner with a bucket of beer at Cassie’s Supper Club.

Red Lodge

Take advantage of the pub, restaurant, and frequent live entertainment at the historic Pollard Hotel. Weave along US-212 and stop at Rock Creek Vista to observe the natural geography. Make a slight detour to Tibbs Butte to put a few miles under your hiking boots. Or order the Fish & Chips or the Bacon Cheeseburger and follow it with soft-serve ice cream for dessert at The Red Box Car.

Cooke City-Silver Gate

Enjoy all-day breakfast items, sip a Huckleberry Mocha, or grab a sandwich for later at Pilot’s Perk. Take in the natural scenery while driving on the winding roads that lead to the entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Visit the park to see bison, bald eagles, and wolves in Lamar Valley or take a guided hike. Extend your trip and continue motorcycle touring all the way to the stunning Mammoth Hot Springs, where you can check out the museum or the visitors center. You can even soak in the warm, mineral-rich water at Boiling River Hot Springs!

Black Hills Road Trip

There’s a reason Sturgis is held in South Dakota! If you’re looking for motorcycle travel ideas in the Midwest—where the roads you take are the destination—discover unmatched scenic byways in South Dakota and Wyoming. Plus, there are plenty of outdoor activities and places to stay along the way!

  • Custer, SD
  • Sturgis, SD
  • Sundance, WY

Custer

Set up camp at the quaint Bavarian Inn and cool off at the swimming pool. Indulge in cheese curds, fried pickles, and other grub at Black Hills Burger & Bun. Head to Badlands National Park to see Bighorn sheep, hike through the prairie, and take the long way back to Custer on SD-44—the views are worth the extra miles! If you have more time, complete the 70-mile loop on Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway through Custer State Park. Be sure to visit Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore, too!

Sturgis

Stick to the scenic routes as you weave through Black Hills National Forest—and don’t miss a chance to pass through the town of Nemo and drive on the beautiful Vanocker Canyon Road. Stop in historic Deadwood to visit the Days of ’76 Museum before continuing onto Boulder Canyon Scenic Highway to Sturgis. Meet up with other bikers at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. Or make a pit stop at The Knuckle Saloon to check out the brewery, play a game of pool, or bite into a patty melt.

Sundance

Detour through Spearfish so you can cruise below soaring limestone cliffs and towering spruce trees on the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. Cross into Wyoming and make Bearlodge Mountain Resort home base while you go hiking at Bear Lodge Mountain or fishing at Keyhole State Park. Visit the Devils Tower National Monument to explore hiking trails, watch for prairie dogs, climb the side of the tower, or go stargazing at night. Or grab some Taco Pizza, have a cold beer, and catch up on your vacation laundry at Cowgirl Pizza and Laundromat.

Coastal Highway Road Trip

The East Coast is home to one of the most stunning motorcycle roads in the U.S. Not only does this stretch of US-1 offer breathtaking seaside views, but the Coastal Highway is full of charming towns,  fresh seafood, and lighthouses to explore. Here’s where you’ll want to stop along the way!

  • Kittery, ME
  • Portland, ME
  • Rockport, ME
  • Bar Harbor, ME

Kittery

Enjoy Portsmouth Harbor Cruises and take in views of the Piscataqua River by boat. Head to the Kittery Premium Outlets to pick up gear at the Columbia Factory Store or new shades at Sunglass Hut. And don’t miss out on the “Chowdah” of the Day, steamed clams, and lobster rolls at Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier by the water.

Portland

Enjoy the picturesque Casco Bay as you drive to the Portland Head Light to visit the museum or have a picnic near the lighthouse. See the works of regional and world-renowned artists at the Portland Museum of Art. Try a flight of craft beer at Austin Street Brewery—and be sure to veer off the beaten path to visit the Industrial Road location so you can explore the beautiful Portland backroads on your way to the brewery!

Rockport

A great motorcycle ride isn’t complete without good photo opportunities! Find them in Maine’s MidCoast city of Rockport. Go bird-watching, cross-country hiking, or horseback riding at Camden Hills State Park. Relish the breeze from the Penobscot Bay and play 18 holes at Goose River Golf Club. Or treat yourself at Nina June to duck, rabbit, and oysters while watching sailboats cruise into the harbor.

Bar Harbor

Stay the night at Saltair Inn, a cozy bed-and-breakfast complete with fireplaces, waterfront views, and a tasty breakfast each morning. Hike the Shore Path, check out the tide pools, or go on a bike tour at Acadia National Park. Or indulge your taste buds at Udder Heaven Ice Cream Retreat with a Devil’s Dirt Sundae, dipped waffle cone, or made-to-order crepes.

Florida Keys Highway Road Trip

When it comes to motorcycle vacation destinations, there are few as airy and surrounded by water as US-1 in Florida. Pack your saddle bags for warm weather, salty breezes, and a relaxing ride as you make these stops along the Overseas Highway.

  • Miami, FL
  • Key Largo, FL
  • Key West, FL

Miami

Get your fill of exciting nightlife, great restaurants, and art deco architecture in Miami. Visit South Beach to cruise down Ocean Drive or go fishing on the pier at South Pointe Park. Build a sandcastle, squeeze in a workout, or play a game of volleyball at Lummus Park. Or stop at Mandolin Aegean Bistro for baked feta, lamb chops, and spicy kebabs.

Key Largo

Make a pit stop at Everglades National Park to take a guided boat tour, observe manatees in their natural habitat, or hike along a grassy path. Go swimming, scuba diving, or ride in a glass-bottom boat at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Prepare to feel like a bird soaring over open water as you ride across the Seven Mile Bridge that stretches from Marathon to Little Duck Key. Or swing by the historic Caribbean Club for a daiquiri, join in on karaoke night, or listen to live music.

Key West

Tour the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum and stroll through the surrounding gardens. Visit the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservancy—located near the southernmost point of the Continental U.S.—to see hundreds of species of butterflies and study their life cycle. Or unwind at Caroline’s Cafe and order peel-and-eat shrimp, a Caribbean Steak, and a slice of Key Lime Pie.

Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

Dreaming of a scenic motorcycle ride? Endless pavement, oceanfront views, and lots to eat and drink along the way make SR-1 along the California Coast one of the best motorcycle roads in America. If you’re a biker looking to get in touch with your surfer side, check out these stunning stops!

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Big Sur, CA
  • Morro Bay, CA
  • Santa Barbara, CA

San Francisco

Those looking for the best motorcycle rides in Northern California should start their Pacific Coast Highway adventure in San Francisco! See the Golden Gate Bridge from a new perspective before stretching your legs or learning about the area’s indigenous populations at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Try your hand cornering the eight hairpin turns of the famous Lombard St, known as the crookedest street in the world. Looking for a biker bar? Grab a drink or go dancing at Apple Jacks Inn.

Big Sur

Pause in Carmel-by-the-Sea—an excellent motorcycle destination on your way to Big Sur—to attend a photography workshop or check out the latest exhibit at Carmel Visual Arts. Continue toward Big Sur and prepare for a view straight out of a postcard as you cross the Bixby Bridge. Watch the sunset, go hiking, or have a picnic at Pfeiffer Beach. Head to the Esalen Institute to soak in hot springs with cliffside views or get a couples massage. Or unwind with a glass of Napa Valley wine or enjoy a Shrimp BLT on the terrace at Nepenthe.

Morro Bay

Stop in San Simeon at Hearst Castle to tour the ornate hilltop mansion—just be sure to make a reservation ahead of time! Cruise over to Morro Rock Beach to see the famous extinct volcano or go for a swim. Rent a boat at the marina, test your swing on the oceanside golf course, or stop to explore the Museum of Natural History all located within Morro Bay State Park. Make a reservation at Windows on the Water and indulge in fresh halibut, ginger-dressed crab cakes, or an octopus salad. Or visit Pismo Beach, the “Clam Capitol of the World,” to eat clam chowder and other fresh seafood at Splash Cafe.

Santa Barbara

Head to Stearns Wharf to eat prime rib at The Harbor Restaurant and grab dessert at the Great Pacific Ice Cream Company. Spend some time at the Santa Barbara Zoo to see snow leopards, Chilean flamingos, Asian elephants, and other animal species! Catch a jazz concert, see a comedy show, or watch ballroom dancing at Lobero Theatre. Dreaming of a long-distance motorcycle ride? Extend your trip to Los Angeles or San Diego for even move picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean.

Tail of the Dragon Road Trip

When it comes to North Carolina and Tennessee motorcycle roads, none are as famous as the Tail of the Dragon. Located on the border of both states, this stretch of US-129 delivers 318 curves in 11 miles. Check out these thrilling stops along the way as you ride!

  • Tellico Plains, TN
  • Deal’s Gap, NC
  • Oliver Springs, TN
  • Asheville, NC

Tellico Plains

Cross sleeping in a log cabin off your bucket list at The Lodge at Tellico—you can even roast s’mores over a fire pit, wash your motorcycle, or have a BBQ here. Eat a tuna melt, homemade soup, and Strawberry Pretzel Cream Pie while taking in views of the river at Tellico Kats Deli. Enjoy some of the best riding on the Cherohala Skyway (also known as “A Drive Above the Clouds”), which stretches from Tellico Plains to Robbinsville. Take in the heavily-forested mountains on the scenic highway and stop to hike at Nantahala National Forest or go fishing at Cherokee National Forest.

Deal’s Gap

Visit the home of the Tail of the Dragon road for a thrilling ride without businesses or driveways on the 11-mile stretch to slow you down (Note: This route is recommended for advanced motorists only). Discover more scenic and slow-paced routes at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where Cades Cove offers a chance to see black bears and unbeatable mountain views. Head to the Fontana Village Resort Marina to rent a kayak, hop on a pontoon, or grab gear for Spotted Bass fishing. Or stay the night at the Deal’s Gap Motorcycle Resort and stop by the Dragon’s Den Grill to grab breakfast or a burger.

Oliver Springs

Experienced riders looking for one of the best motorcycle roads with fewer tourists but plenty of thrills can take on Devil’s Triangle, a rugged 44-mile loop that ascends to 2,195 feet. Visit Wind Rock Park to enjoy live country music, watch recreational rock crawling, or stay in wood-cabin lodging. Or dig into stuffed taters, smoked meatloaf, or baby back ribs at Bray’s BBQ.

Asheville

Take in the very beginnings of the Blue Ridge Parkway as you cruise from Cherokee to Asheville. Trade in two wheels for four and explore the antique car museum at Grovewood Village, which also houses current artist studios, a sculpture garden, and a woodworking museum. Check out a photography exhibit, attend a wreath workshop, and explore the diverse flora in the 65-acres of manicured gardens at The North Carolina Arboretum. Or head over to Jack of the Wood for local craft beers, Scotch eggs, and excellent live music.

Looking for more motorcycle road trip ideas? Give these best national park road trips a try! Thinking about taking an RV vacation instead? Check out some of these top RV road trips across the U.S.!

USA's Most Scenic Motorcycle Road Trips