Take the road (trip) less traveled in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Photo: Getty Images)

Road Trips

12 Must-Stay Hotels in the U.S. & Canada Worth Planning a Road Trip Around

Unbelievably scenic road trips come with the territory when you hit the highway across the United States and Canada. And with them comes the chance to stay at any number of fantastic hotels along the way. In fact, some hotels are so great they merit planning a road trip around. 

So, with a wonderful hotel with a deep sense of place as your base, set out to explore wildernesses that include spots like the Everglades in Florida and Utah’s iconic red canyons, as well as Hawaii’s lava fields, the shimmering glacial lakes of the Canadian Rockies and more landscapes — and routes through them — to remember. 

As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip. 

JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, Florida

aerial view of cabanas on the beach at JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort
Cabana time is calling at JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. (Photo: Marriott International)

For a southwest Florida road trip that mixes wild nature at your doorstep and peak relaxation in a gorgeous beachfront setting, the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort beckons. 

You’re within a short drive of epic forays into Florida nature here, including Everglades National Park and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, where you might spot alligators and the elusive ghost orchid. 

Oceanfront rooms at the hotel bring awe-inspiring Gulf of Mexico views sweeping in, there are lounge chairs waiting for you on the sugar-fine sands, and the hotel’s Spa by JW is one of the finest wellness oases in the entire state. And if golf is your thing, two championship courses are yours for the taking. 

W Hollywood

A view of the rooftop pool at W Hollywood,
Enjoy the stunning views from the rooftop at W Hollywood. (Photo: Marriott International)

Launch a SoCal road trip from one of its most storied hearts when you kick things off at the buzzy W Hollywood. Situated right along Hollywood Boulevard, the swanky hotel has live music every Friday and Saturday night in the Living Room to cue up the weekend in style.  

Hit iconic sites like the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Capitol Records Building. Then head south to road trip along California’s spectacular coastline, stopping in Laguna Beach and Carlsbad along the way to watch the surfers and hike among wildflowers.  

The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver

A view of The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, featuring its pool. The background shows a scenic waterfront surrounded by mountains.
Immerse yourself in the picturesque scenery of Canada’s western coast at The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver. (Photo: Marriott International)

One of Canada’s legendary west coast road trips includes island hopping by car and ferry along the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. 

Kick off the journey with a ferry trip with your car from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver that travels through the glistening waters of Howe Sound to the coastal hamlet of Langdale. You can experience the Sunshine Coast’s pretty pockets (galleries, pristine beaches and quaint cafés await) as a day trip from Vancouver or plan to linger longer. 

When you’re back in Vancouver, check in for a restful, wellness-focused respite along the waterfront at The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver. Delight in the beautiful outdoor pool, breathtaking mountain vistas and the city’s beloved Stanley Park at your doorstep for urban hiking, picnicking on the beach, biking and other outdoorsy pursuits. 

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection 

A view of the ocean and the beachfront by Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection.
Take in Pacific views at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection. (Photo: Marriott International)

Road trips into Hawaii’s ranch-rich paniolo (cowboy) country served up with spectacular Kohala Coast views are on the adventuring itinerary when you make Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection your base on the Big Island. 

While it would be easy to never leave the property thanks to all of the resort’s amenities — championship golf, tennis, a stunning beach and an oceanfront pool among them — you’re surrounded by beach parks for snorkeling and bodysurfing (Spencer Beach Park and Hapuna Beach State Recreation area) and other tempting Hawaiian landscapes. 

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, a two-hour road trip south, is a fascinating place, with frequent eruptions from Kilauea and Mauna Loa and hiking trails that cross lava fields where you might see petroglyphs. 

Moxy Halifax Downtown

A cozy lounge at Moxy Halifax Downtown with a foosball table in the center.
The cozy lounge at Moxy Halifax Downtown is the perfect hang-out spot after a road trip. (Photo: Marriott International).

Lobster dinners, live music at cozy local pubs and a dedicated cold-water surf scene make Nova Scotia a road-tripping haven if you love the great outdoors and fresh seafood options everywhere. 

Kick off the fun in Nova Scotia’s lively capital city, Halifax, with a stay at the Moxy Halifax Downtown. Canada’s first Moxy is a hip spot on Cogswell Street located in a stellar setting, just a short stroll from the Halifax waterfront, galleries and boutiques. Enjoy the hotel’s interactive lounge and be welcomed with a complimentary signature cocktail.  

When you’re ready to explore, make the property your launch point for road trips farther afield in some of Canada’s most stunning provinces, including traveling to Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (known for lobster, mussels, oysters and scallops) in the Maritimes provinces. 

Renaissance Nashville Hotel

A lounging & dining area at Renaissance Nashville Hotel with sleek windows that fill the area with natural light.
Renaissance Nashville Hotel helps you explore the best of downtown Nashville. (Photo: Marriott International)

Music City is always a good idea, whether for a girls trip, something romantic or some flying-solo fun. And when you stay at Renaissance Nashville Hotel, downtown Nashville’s highlights and major venues like Bridgestone Arena, Ryman Auditorium and the expansive nightlife of Broadway are just outside the door.  

You might fancy a drive out of town, too. Visit surrounding towns like Franklin, known for its antiquing, and the rural riverside hamlet of Kingston Springs, where hiking or kayaking at Harpeth River State Park plunges you right into Tennessee’s stunning nature.  

The Clancy, Autograph Collection

The seashore of Point Reyes.
Recharge by the stunning seashore of Point Reyes with a stay at The Clancy, Autograph Collection.

You could spend a lifetime and still not experience everything a worldly city like San Francisco brings to the table. But a stay at The Clancy, Autograph Collection in the SoMa district plunges you into a space with a distinct sense of place, with decor touches that include an art installation made of spray-paint cans that nods to the city’s murals and a stairway inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge. 

When you’re ready to hit the open road on your Bay Area road trip, cross that iconic red bridge to visit postcard waterfront towns like Sausalito and Tiburon.  

Or venture further north still to Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay, where some of the country’s tastiest oysters grow in the oyster beds just offshore (and are proffered at rustic area restaurants like The Marshall Store).  

Hotel Paso del Norte, Autograph Collection

A large, decorated hall with a bar and seating at Hotel Paso del Norte, Autograph Collection.
Sink into the beauty of Hotel Paso del Norte, Autograph Collection. (Photo: Marriott International)

El Paso, Texas, has a tendency to gobsmack travelers who seek it out thanks to a culture squarely at the crossroads of Mexico and America and an eclectic food scene serving up everything from authentic taquerias to artisanal bagel shops. 

You’ll make the most of staying in the city when you check into Hotel Paso del Norte, Autograph Collection, which occupies an iconic building that’s stood for more than a century at the heart of downtown and has an outdoor pool and spa for modern travelers to enjoy.  

If you can pull yourself away, hit the road north into neighboring New Mexico to ogle the fascinating landscapes of the world’s largest gypsum sand dunefield at White Sands National Park, just 1.5 hours (but an entire world) away. 

SpringHill Suites Springdale Zion National Park 

A view of Springhill Suites Springdale Zion National Park, surrounded by rocky natural scenery.
Zion’s rocks loom large at Springhill Suites Springdale Zion National Park. (Photo: Marriott International)

For exploring one of the most legendary national parks in Utah, it’s impossible to choose a better road-tripping base than SpringHill Suites Springdale Zion National Park, located right along the Virgin River and just a mile from Zion National Park’s entry gates. 

From March through late November (and during the holiday season in late December), you’ll need to use the park’s shuttle bus to access the breathtaking Zion Canyon Scenic Drive that winds past popular trailheads at Emerald Pools (where waterfalls plunge into a deep green pool) and Weeping Rock. 

Outside of those peak months, you can road trip on your own into the park — as well as to other spots farther afield, like Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon’s North Rim — from the hotel. 

Make time to kick it in the hotel’s hot tub and pool, surrounded by canyon and red rock views that ground you firmly in this beautiful place. 

JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District 

Spoonbills soar on Jekyll Island. (Photo: Getty Images)

A road trip into coastal Georgia’s Lowcountry comes with comfort food and killer local seafood plus historical sites and sandy beaches. 

What could be better? Check into the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District, right on Savannah’s historic riverfront and easily walkable to shopping, bars and restaurants, and you’ll be ensconced in luxury when you’re not out seeing the sights — maybe nestled in a plush cabana by the rooftop pool. 

The golden beaches of Tybee Island are just a half-hour drive from the hotel, and you can venture into South Carolina to visit Hilton Head to sample local shrimp and oysters or play some golf in just 40 minutes. 

Drive 1.5 hours south for a fun day trip to Jekyll Island, the southernmost of Georgia’s Golden Isles, where 25 miles of paved biking trails wind through marshes and along the beach 

Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, Autograph Collection

Bright green lake surrounded by the Rocky mountains in Banff National Park.
Banff National Park is a can’t-miss road trip destination. (Photo: Getty Images)

Full of towering peaks, Alberta is a stunner of a Canadian province that just begs for a road trip adventure. Along your route, make sure to indulge with a relaxing stay at Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, Autograph Collection, where the Canadian Rockies sprawl all around you and horseback riding, hiking, golf and downhill skiing are within easy reach. 

Set out for a scenic drive along the Kananaskis Wildlife Trail Loop (Highway 1 and Highway 40), which fringes Banff National Park, and you can visit the cute towns of Canmore and Lake Louise along the way.  

Retreat to the hotel later to relax with a round (or two) of hydrotherapy in the on-site Kananaskis Nordic Spa, with outdoor hot and cold pools, sauna and steam cabins, and a bistro serving craft beers and sharing platters.  

The Gunter Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

A view of the San Antonio riverwalk, lined with restaurants.
Stroll by San Antonio’s iconic riverwalk. (Photo: Getty Images).

Saddle up for more Texas fun in San Antonio — right along the Riverwalk, the city’s best known waterfront landmark, to boot. The Gunter Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk mixes history with a modern stay, occupying a 1909 building on the National Register of Historic Places that’s home to one of the city’s most fun speakeasies, Bar 414

Texas’s gorgeous hill country is a quick drive west from the city, too, when you’re in the mood for ranch views, rolling vistas and winery pit stops. You’ll also have a chance to fuel up (or charge your electric car) and stock up on road snacks at the famous Buc-ee’s in New Braunfels.