As we put 2022 in the rearview mirror, we’re looking back at some of the year’s most popular road trip destinations and trends. Based on trip planning data and survey responses, Roadtrippers users planned more than 3.9 million road trips in 2022, stretching from Alaska to the southern tip of Florida.
You visited national parks, stayed in classic roadside motels, and got your kicks on Route 66. You traveled with partners and family, and your average route distance was 1,000 miles. Keep reading for even more road trip takeaways from 2022.
Top 20 Extraordinary Places added to trips
Roadtrippers’ database of Extraordinary Places features the most spectacular, can’t-miss locations around the country—from majestic natural wonders to meaningful monuments to oversized roadside attractions. A significant portion of the top 20 Extraordinary Places added to trips in 2022 are along Route 66. This includes the number one stop, Oklahoma’s Blue Whale of Catoosa, a former swimming hole that gets particularly festive during the holidays.
But whether you’re drawn to the evolving public art of Amarillo’s Cadillac Ranch or looking to sell your soul for guitar licks at the Devil’s Crossroads in Mississippi, all of these Extraordinary Places are well worth a visit.
1. Blue Whale of Catoosa
2. Wigwam Motel No. 7
3. Santa Monica Pier
4. Cadillac Ranch
5. Wigwam Motel No. 6
6. Grand Canyon National Park
7. Yellowstone National Park
8. Badlands National Park
9. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
10. Gateway Arch National Park
11. Acadia National Park
12. Golden Gate Bridge
13. Havasu Falls
14. The Alamo
15. Space Needle
17. The Manitou Cliff Dwellings
18. Coral Castle
19. Devil’s Crossroads
20. Motown Museum
- 85 percent of survey respondents said that finding Extraordinary Places is their favorite road trip activity.
- Almost half of the 20 most added stops are along or near Route 66.
Top 10 national parks added to trips
Thanks to its abundance of scenic vistas, the West is always the most popular region for national park visits—but Roadtrippers users kept things interesting this year by increasing their visits to parks throughout the U.S. Intricate cave systems, colossal arches, and towering trees clearly piqued your interest in 2022, but not enough to shake Yellowstone, the nation’s first national park, out of the top three.
- Grand Canyon
- Crater Lake
- Great Sand Dunes
- Gateway Arch
- Last year, more people planned a visit to Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Zion national parks than they did this year.
- Parks with increased planned stops in 2022 compared to 2021 include Gateway Arch, Mesa Verde, Rocky Mountain, Redwood, and Mammoth Cave national parks.
Top 10 state parks added to trips
Even though one state—New York—may have won the 2022 state park popularity contest, Roadtrippers users aren’t partial to any single region, landscape, or attraction. From hot desert ecosystems and petroglyphs to thrilling waterfalls near the Canadian border, these state parks had roadtrippers traveling near and far for unique experiences this past year.
- Niagara Falls
- Maquoketa Caves
- Watkins Glen
- Valley of Fire
- Palo Duro Canyon
- Hanging Rock
- Cumberland Falls
- Pfeiffer Big Sur
- Letchworth State Park
- Maquoketa Caves and Watkins Glen saw increased popularity among Roadtrippers users in 2022.
- Half of the state parks on this list are east of the Mississippi River, with three in New York state.
Top 10 states with the most stops added to trips
As Roadtrippers users leaned heavily westward when it came to states with the most planned stops this year, it’s no surprise that Missouri, the one Midwestern state to sneak onto the list, is home of the “Gateway to the West.” While a few of last year’s most popular states didn’t make the cut in 2022, the top five remained unchallenged.
- South Dakota
- New Mexico
- Oregon and Missouri are new in the top 10 this year, replacing Tennessee and Montana; Texas saw more stops planned in 2022 compared to 2021.
Top 10 cities for starting a road trip
As we all know, road trips are more about the journey than the destination—but no matter where we’re going, we all have to start somewhere. In 2022, travelers hit the road from all across the country, but cities in the desert Southwest, in the Pacific Northwest, and along the California Coast were the most popular places from which to launch a road trip.
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- Only three cities on this list are east of the Mississippi River: Nashville, Orlando, and Chicago.
Most popular trips to take
Planning your own route is fun, but sometimes we just want to follow in someone else’s footsteps. These were the most popular pre-made trips and routes saved by Roadtrippers users this year.
- The top things to do on a Route 66 road trip
- The ultimate guide to Yellowstone National Park
- The ultimate guide to Grand Canyon National Park
- The top things to do on a Blue Ridge Parkway road trip
- How to best experience Zion National Park
- The top things to do on a Pacific Coast Highway road trip
Top interstate guides
- The top things to do on an I-80 road trip
- The top things to do on an I-40 road trip
- The top things to do on an I-95 road trip
How roadtrippers traveled this year
We surveyed our users this year to get a better understanding of road trip habits and vehicle preferences. We found that you travel far and often—on average, four road trips per year—and most of you travel with your significant other. Electric vehicles are here to stay, and Roadtrippers users are getting on board. But it’s not all smooth sailing—charging station availability is still a major hurdle.
Road trip companions
User data and responses collected from the Roadtrippers app and two email surveys sent to Roadtrippers’ list of newsletter subscribers.