Whether it’s by campervan or rental car, there’s nothing quite like hitting the open road to truly get an authentic sense of what a country is like. Boasting countless sights, as well as the freedom to explore at one’s own pace, a road trip can be an unforgettable experience, no matter the destination. With that being said, some routes are more popular than others, and now, a new study on the most frequently used Instagram hashtags has revealed the top road trips and pit stops around the world. Created by analysing the amount of times each location has been tagged on the app, the list includes well-known routes in the United States, Australia, Iceland and Canada.
“Instagram is a hugely popular social platform for the youngsters among us, families, friends and couples, all of whom love to get that perfect photo and filter to share with their followers; and these scenic road trips are no different,” said Emma Grimster, spokesperson at TravelSupermarket, who put the study together. Looking for inspiration for your next road trip? These are the top ten tagged routes.
Completed in 1926, the iconic Route 66 connected Chicago and Los Angeles across the heartland of America. Today, the route is as popular as ever, and has been tagged 1,198,035 times, making it the most Instagram-worthy road trip in the world. “Starting in Chicago and ending in Santa Monica in the suburbs of Los Angeles, it comes as no surprise that Route 66 has come out on top with its 2448 miles of stunning views. Tourists travel through the likes of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California lending plenty of opportunities to capture that perfect snap for Instagram,” Emma Grimster told Lonely Planet Travel News.
The Great Ocean Road (B100) is one of Australia’s most famous road-touring routes. Taking travellers past incredible surfing breaks, through pockets of rainforest and calm seaside towns, and under wildlife-filled tree canopies. Sights include sheer limestone cliffs and dairy farms, and travellers can get up close and personal with the crashing waves of the Southern Ocean. Proving a popular choice on Instagram, the #GreatOceanRoad hashtag was used 928,503 times.
Named as one of Lonely Planet’s Most Epic Drives, Ruta 40 is Argentina’s longest highway (approximately 3100 miles long) and passes through 20 national parks, climbs 28 mountains and crosses 18 major rivers. The route proved popular with users of Instagram too, and was tagged 732,808 times on the app.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile long ribbon of road that weaves through Virginia and North Carolina. Spanning the southern and central Appalachians, it offers an exceptional views of the regional flora and fauna and is renowned for its biodiversity and wildlife. Sites along the route include Whitewater Falls and Mount Mitchell, the highest mountain peak in the eastern United States.
In west-central New York, the hills are cut through by 11 long narrow bodies of water appropriately named the Finger Lakes. Known as an outdoor paradise (as well as the state’s premier wine-growing region) the area also boasts beautiful scenic drives, and to the west, Keuka Lake is bordered by two small state parks that are particularly attractive. The region proved popular with Instagrammers, coming in fifth position with 241,295 hashtags.
Serving Valley of Fire State Park, an area known for its 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops, this sprawling desert road weaves its way past miles of stretching landscape. Ranking sixth in the study, the route was tagged on Instagram 143,712 times.
Also known as Route 1, the Ring Road was completed in 1974, and encircles the island to connect most of the inhabited parts of the country. Leading to some of the country’s best-loved attractions, such as the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, the route has experienced steadily increasing numbers of visitors over the past ten years.
Part of the Norwegian Scenic Route, Trollstigen (road 63) twists through 11 hairpin bends as it climbs up to Stigrøra (858 metres above sea level). Cutting through the mountain in certain places, it includes a natural stone bridge across the Stigfossen waterfall. The road is the result of engineering work dating back 100 years, and offers stunning viewpoints. A popular choice for visitors to Norway, the route was tagged 55,800 times on Instagram.
The highest road in North America, the Icefields Parkway in Alberta takes travellers about as close as they can get to the Rockies’ craggy summit in a vehicle. Roadside stops offer the chance to take in the parkway’s brilliantly-coloured glacial lakes, waterfalls and vantage points. Coming in at number nine, #icefieldsparkway was used 54,153 times on Instagram.
Taking a drive on the Cabot Trail is arguably Nova Scotia’s most famous recreational activity, and the route takes visitors along winding roads and past serene lakes. The Canadian route ranked tenth in the study, with #cabottrail being used 51,562 times.