Top 10 Must-Visit Motorcycle Tourism Destinations in the USA

Jun 19, 2023

Tags:routestravelusamotorcycle tourism

motorcycle tourism usa

In a world filled with predictable itineraries and tourist hotspots, riding a motorcycle breaks the mold. It's an invitation to embark on an adventure where the journey becomes as important as the destination. The wind in your face, the rumble of the engine, and the thrill of exploring uncharted territories—these are the ingredients that make motorcycle travel an unparalleled experience.

In this article, we're here to fuel your wanderlust and present you with a handpicked selection of the top 10 must-visit motorcycle tourism destinations in the USA. Whether you're a seasoned motorcyclist seeking new thrills or a two-wheeled wanderer ready to hit the road for the first time, these classic destinations will ignite your passion for exploration.

1. The Iconic U.S. Route 66

route 66

  • Location: Spanning from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California
  • Distance: 2,448 miles long, crossing eight states
  • Founded: November 11, 1926
  • Significance: One of the first roads in the U.S. highway system
  • Nicknames: The Mother Road, The Main Street of America, or simply Route 66

In motorcycle culture, U.S. Route 66 holds a special place as an enduring symbol of freedom, adventure, and life on the open road. It has been immortalized in literature, music, and films, becoming a part of the fabric of American folklore. Riding along this legendary highway is like taking a step back in time, experiencing the nostalgia of a bygone era.

Time Travel on Two Wheels

As you traverse the heartland of America, you'll encounter charming small towns, retro diners, vintage motels, and roadside attractions that have stood the test of time. The road itself presents a mix of straight stretches and winding sections, offering an exhilarating riding experience.

And if you're looking for the perfect ride to conquer U.S. Route 66, we highly recommend considering the legendary Harley-Davidson. With its iconic style, powerful performance, and rich heritage, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle will elevate your journey along this historic highway.

2. California 1: A Coastal Adventure

  • Location: Spanning the picturesque coastline of California 
  • Distance: Approximately 656 miles long 
  • Founded: Original construction started in the 1930s 
  • Scenic Beauty: Offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and coastal landscapes 
  • Highlight: Known for its winding roads and scenic vistas

One big reason riders love California 1 is because of its killer scenery. Picture this: cruising along the highway with the Pacific Ocean on one side and epic cliffs on the other. The combination of crashing waves, golden sandy beaches, and expansive blue horizons will make you feel like you're riding through a painting.

Discover the Coastal Magic

Start your journey in vibrant San Francisco, where you can ride across the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge and explore the city's eclectic neighborhoods. As you venture south, you'll encounter the charming coastal town of Monterey, known for its picturesque coastline and renowned aquarium. 

As you embark on the thrilling coastal adventure of California 1, there's one motorcycle brand that perfectly complements this iconic ride: BMW Motorrad. With their reliable performance and exceptional handling, BMW motorcycles are well-suited to tackle the twists and turns of this picturesque route. 

3. Blue Ridge Parkway: A Motorcycle Playground

blue ridge parkway

  • Location: Spanning 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina
  • Construction: Started in 1935 and completed in 1987
  • Scenic Beauty: Offers breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachian landscapes
  • Speed Limit: Set at 45 mph, allowing for a leisurely and enjoyable ride
  • Popular Seasons: Fall attracts visitors with vibrant foliage, while spring and summer showcase blooming wildflowers

The Blue Ridge Parkway is renowned among motorcycle enthusiasts for its unmatched riding opportunities. This nice road traverses through the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering a true playground for bikers. With its well-maintained roads and gentle curves, it’s the perfect balance of exhilaration and relaxation.

Motorcycle Bliss on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Parkway connects a wide variety of tourist hotspots and recreational areas. There is something for everyone, from breathtaking panoramas from picturesque vistas to little mountain towns that greet travelers with their hospitality. Don't miss the chance to visit iconic spots like the Linn Cove Viaduct, Mabry Mill, and Peaks of Otter.

For your Blue Ridge Parkway adventure, Ducati is an excellent choice. With their powerful engines, agile handling, and sleek design, Ducati motorcycles add an extra level of excitement to your journey. Whether you opt for a sporty Ducati Monster or a versatile Multistrada, you'll effortlessly navigate the twists and turns of this motorcycling paradise.

4. Ride Through the Mountains on Beartooth Highway

beartooth highway

  • Location: Connecting Montana and Wyoming, starting in Red Lodge and ending in Cooke City
  • Elevation: Reaching heights of over 10,000 feet, offering breathtaking mountain views
  • Scenic Beauty: Surrounded by the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains, showcasing pristine alpine landscapes
  • Road Conditions: Known for its well-maintained and winding roads, providing an exciting and challenging ride
  • Season: Typically open from late May to October, depending on the weather

Riding the Beartooth Highway in Montana and Wyoming is a unique experience that will leave you amazed by nature. As you make your way through the twists and turns of this mountain road, beautiful views will surround you at every turn. Nothing compares to the feeling of freedom and adventure that comes with riding through this rugged landscape.

Epic Views, Alpine Lakes, and Charming Towns Await!

Be sure to make a stop at the Beartooth Pass, the highest point on the highway, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Explore the stunning Beartooth Plateau and its alpine lakes, including the picturesque Island Lake. And don't miss the opportunity to visit the charming town of Cooke City, where you can refuel, relax, and immerse yourself in the local atmosphere.

When choosing a motorcycle brand for your Beartooth Highway adventure, Triumph motorcycles are an excellent choice. Whether you opt for the classic Triumph Bonneville or the agile Triumph Tiger, you'll have a machine that combines power, reliability, and a touch of elegance.

5. Deals Gap: North Carolina

deals gap road

  • Location: On the border of North Carolina and Tennessee
  • Distance: Approximately 11 miles long
  • Road Condition: Known for its challenging and twisty roads, including the famous Tail of the Dragon
  • Scenic Beauty: Surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains
  • Highlight: Features 318 curves in just 11 miles, offering an exhilarating and technical ride

Deals Gap in North Carolina is a mecca for riders seeking a thrilling and unforgettable experience. The diverse riding opportunities and landscapes in North Carolina make it a top choice for bike tourism. 

Taming 318 Curves

The main attraction of Deals Gap is the infamous Tail of the Dragon, a stretch of road that boasts 318 curves in just 11 miles. This challenging and technical road will put your riding skills to the test and leave you with an adrenaline rush like no other. As you navigate each twist and turn, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains.

With their powerful performance, sleek design, and innovative features, Victory motorcycles are built to conquer challenging roads like the Tail of the Dragon. Whether you opt for the Victory Octane or the Victory Cross Country, you'll experience the thrill and confidence that comes with riding a Victory on this iconic route.

6. Yellowstone National Park: Wildlife and Winding Roads

yellowstone national park

  • Location: Located primarily in Wyoming, with parts extending into Montana and Idaho
  • Size: Covers an area of 2.2 million acres
  • Established: Established as the first national park in 1872
  • Wildlife: Home to a diverse range of wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, elk, and bison
  • Scenic Roads: Offers scenic routes such as the Grand Loop Road and Beartooth Highway

Yellowstone National Park is famous for its hot springs and geysers, like the famous Old Faithful. Seeing this natural marvel is a sight to behold. But Yellowstone isn't just about geysers. It also has stunning waterfalls, vast meadows, and serene lakes, perfect for endless exploration and exciting adventures.

Navigate Yellowstone's Peak Season

The best time of year for a cross-country motorcycle trip to Yellowstone is during the summer months when the roads are open and the weather is nice. July is particularly recommended, as the park is in full bloom and the wildlife is active. However, it's worth noting that Yellowstone can be crowded during peak season, so planning your visit accordingly is a must.

With their exceptional handling, reliability, and versatility, Yamaha bikes are built to handle the diverse terrain and challenging roads within the park. Whether you opt for the nimble Yamaha MT-09 or the adventure-ready Yamaha Super Tenere, you'll have a reliable and exhilarating ride to complement your Yellowstone adventure.

7. Historic Journey Through the South With Natchez Trace Parkway

natchez trace parkway

  • Location: Extends from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee
  • Distance: Approximately 444 miles long
  • Historic Significance: Traces its roots back to ancient Native American trade and travel routes
  • Scenic Beauty: Offers picturesque landscapes of rolling hills, forests, and meadows
  • Speed Limit: Set at a leisurely 50 mph, allowing for a relaxed and enjoyable ride

The Natchez Trace Parkway holds a special place in American history. Originally used as a trade and travel route by Native Americans, it later became a vital thoroughfare for early settlers and explorers. Today, it stands as a living testament to the past, offering riders the opportunity to trace the footsteps of those who came before.

Discover the Southern Charm

As you journey through the Natchez Trace Parkway, you'll have the chance to explore charming towns and experience the warmth of Southern hospitality. Make a stop in historic Natchez, Mississippi, known for its antebellum mansions and rich cultural heritage. In Tennessee, immerse yourself in the lively music scene of Nashville, also known as the "Music City." 

Honda bikes offer a perfect balance of performance, reliability, and comfort, making them ideal for long rides through scenic routes. Whether you opt for the sporty Honda CB500X or the versatile Honda Africa Twin, you'll have a fun and trustworthy ride to accompany you on your historic journey through the South.

8. Cherohala Skyway

cherohala skyway

  • Location: Connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee, to Robbinsville, North Carolina
  • Distance: Approximately 43 miles long
  • Elevation: Reaches heights of over 5,400 feet, offering stunning panoramic views
  • Scenic Beauty: Surrounded by the lush forests of the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests
  • Road Conditions: Known for its well-maintained and smooth asphalt, providing an enjoyable ride

The name is a portmanteau of Cherokee and Nantahala, the two national forests through which it passes. Adventure motorcyclists are drawn to the Cherohala Skyway for its thrilling twists, turns, and elevation changes. The road presents a perfect balance of sweeping curves and challenging sections, allowing riders to fully engage with the ride and experience the thrill of motorcycling. 

A Serpentine Adventure Connecting Tennessee and North Carolina

Riders can stop at overlooks and pull-offs for breathtaking views and photo ops. Don't forget to stop by Bald River Falls, a beautiful waterfall near the end of the Skyway in Tennessee where you can enjoy the peace of nature.

Suzuki offers a range of bikes that combine performance, agility, and reliability, making them ideal for conquering the twists and turns of this scenic route. Whether you choose the Suzuki V-Strom for its versatility or the Suzuki GSX-S1000 for its sporty handling, you'll have a trusted companion for your Cherohala Skyway journey.

9. The Coastal Splendor of Big Sur

big sur road

  • Location: Stretching along the central coast of California
  • Distance: Approximately 90 miles of scenic coastal highway
  • Scenic Beauty: Offers breathtaking views of the rugged coastline, dramatic cliffs, and crashing waves
  • Road Conditions: Known for its winding and narrow sections, requiring caution and attention
  • Attractions: Features iconic landmarks like Bixby Bridge and McWay Falls

One reason Big Sur and Highway 1 are beloved by motorcycle enthusiasts is the sense of freedom and connection with nature that they offer. Feel the rush of the wind on your face, hear the crashing of the waves, and enjoy the thrill of taking on each new turn as you ride along the road. There's something about the open road and the breathtaking seaside scenery that really speaks to bikers.

Explore Coastal Thrills

Along the route, you'll encounter several iconic attractions and natural wonders. Make a stop at the famous Bixby Bridge, a magnificent architectural marvel that spans a deep canyon. Marvel at the beauty of McWay Falls, a picturesque waterfall cascading onto a pristine beach. Take the time to explore the charming coastal towns, enjoy fresh seafood, and relax on the pristine beaches that dot the coastline.

When selecting a motorcycle brand for your Big Sur adventure, Can-Am motorcycles offer a unique and exciting choice. With their three-wheel design, Can-Am motorcycles provide stability and maneuverability, allowing riders to fully embrace the twists and turns of the coastal highway. Whether you choose the Can-Am Spyder for its sporty performance or the Can-Am Ryker for its nimble handling, you'll have a thrilling and unforgettable ride along the splendors of Big Sur.

10. Going-to-the-Sun Road: A Glacier National Park Adventure

going-to-the-sun road

  • Location: Glacier National Park, Montana, USA
  • Distance: Approximately 50 miles of scenic mountain road
  • Scenic Beauty: Offers breathtaking views of glacial valleys, alpine meadows, and snow-capped peaks
  • Road Conditions: A challenging road with steep grades, tight curves, and narrow sections
  • Attractions: Highlights include Logan Pass, Jackson Glacier Overlook, and Saint Mary Lake

This remarkable road is best experienced during the summer months when it is open and free of snow. The official opening and closing dates of the road can vary depending on weather and traffic conditions, so it's essential to plan your trip accordingly. Keep in mind that safety should be a top priority on this challenging road. It's crucial to ride cautiously, obey speed limits, and be aware of wildlife that may cross your path.

Ride into the Wilderness

Glacier National Park is a true gem for motorcycle enthusiasts, and the Going-to-the-Sun Road allows you to immerse yourself in its natural wonders. From the iconic Logan Pass, where you can take in breathtaking panoramic views, to the scenic overlooks of Jackson Glacier and the pristine beauty of Saint Mary Lake, every mile of this route offers a feast for the senses.

For your Going-to-the-Sun Road adventure, Polaris motorcycles, such as Indian Motorcycle and Victory Motorcycles, are excellent choices. Polaris offers a range of powerful and reliable motorcycles that can handle the challenges of this mountainous road with ease. Whether you choose an Indian Chief or a Victory Cross Country, you'll have a thrilling and memorable ride through the awe-inspiring landscapes of Glacier National Park.

Diverse Riding Opportunities for All Bikers

The United States has an abundance of amazing roads that make it a dream destination for motorcycle enthusiasts. Just picture the sweeping curves of the Pacific Coast Highway or the breathtaking landscapes of the Rocky Mountains. American motorcyclists are truly spoiled for choice—it's like having a motorcycle playground at your fingertips!

However, before embarking on your two-wheeled adventure, it's crucial to find the right bike that suits your preferences and needs. This is where Riders Share comes in. As a leading platform in the motorcycle community, we bridge the gap between riders and their dream machines. 

Whether you're seeking a nimble sport bike or a comfortable cruiser, Riders Share provides a seamless platform for motorcycle rentals, allowing you to explore your passion without the need for ownership.