50 Awesome Songs for an American Road Trip

“Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway. Lookin’ for adventure, and whatever comes our way.” (Steppenwolf)

Imagine the scene. It’s you and your best buddies. The open road in front of you. Maybe you got the top down. The wind is in your hair. There are amazing views all around. A million possibilities await. You’re on a real American road trip. Life is good. Actually, life is amazing!

But the roads are long, and there’s only one thing that could make this trip ANY better! And that’s an epic soundtrack!

50 Best Songs for an American Road Trip


Music has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. From my mum’s cassette tapes on long family road trips, to the many rock bands I’ve been in over the last twenty years, so I like to think my taste in music is pretty ok… (my friends might disagree).

Think of this as the soundtrack to your adventure. Every great road trip movie has one! And believe me, every time those tunes come on the radio, you’ll be taken straight back to that amazing trip you had!

There’s some American classics and a few others I thought appropriate. There were so many more I could have added, but I limited it to 50! Enjoy!

50 Best Songs for an American Road Trip

1. Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac

2. Running on Empty – Jackson Browne

3. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

4. Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen

5. Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Venice Beach California

6. Bright Side of the Road – Van Morrison

7. Hotel California – The Eagles

8. Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty

9. Holiday Road – Lindsay Buckingham (the song from the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies)

10. Road to Nowhere – Talking Heads

California Road Trip Itinerary - Pacific Coast Highway PCH

11. I Drove All Night – Roy Orbison

12. (I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight – Cutting Crew

13. Drive – The Cars

14. I Wanna Know What Love Is – Foreigner

15. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynrd

Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

16. California Girls – The Beach Boys

17. Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley

18. Highway to Hell – AC/DC

19. The Gambler – Kenny Rogers

20. California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas

Las Vegas Itinerary

21. Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins

22. Great Balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis

23. On the Road Again – Willie Nelson

24. Maybe Tomorrow – Terry Bush (the theme song to The Littlest Hobo – remember that?)

25. San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)

Arctitecture in San Francisco

26. Holding Out For A Hero – Bonnie Tyler

27. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (a totally British song, but who can forget the opening scene in Wayne’s World?)

28. American Woman – Guess Who

29. Livin’ On a Prayer – Bon Jovi

30. We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel

California Road Trip Itinerary - Venice Beach

31. Dude Looks Like a Lady – Aerosmith

32. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses

33. Country Road – John Denver

34. Layla – Eric Clapton

35. American Pie – Don McLean

California Road Trip Itinerary - Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

36. Break on Through – The Doors

37. Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds (The Breakfast Club – enough said)

38. Born To Be Wild – Steppenwolf

39. Alright Now – Free

40. Paradise By the Dashboard Light – Meatloaf

Venice Beach, California

41. Black Velvet – Alannah Myles

42. We Built This City – Starship

43. Rockstar – Nickelback

44. Black Betty – Ram Jam

45. Crazy- Aerosmith

American Road Trip

46. Power of Love – Huey Lewis and the News

47. Take It Easy – The Eagles

48. Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader

49. Break on Through to the Other Side – The Doors

50. Proud Mary – Tina Turner

And if you want to freak yourself out, watch Deliverance and add on the Duelling Banjos!

Read More:

Play at full volume and enjoy! Have a missed any good ones?