RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip


RoadTrip Music
In Association with

Pacific Coast Highway
Drive Time: Pacific Coast Highway

Blue Ridge Parkway
Drive Time: Blue Ridge Parkway

Route 66

Drive Time: Autobahn


Take some great classical music along on your next road trip with these four collections from Sony BMG Masterworks. Inspired by some of the world's greatest drives, each CD includes selections from Beethoven and Ravel to Copland and Gershwin. Performances by the Boston Pops, Leonard Bernstein, and a host of others make these compilations great enhancements to any journey.

California's Pacific Coast Highway ranks as one of the most spectacular roads in the world. Beethoven never saw it, but the first movement of his sixth ("Pastoral") symphony could have been inspired by that iconic coastline. A couple of selections from Sibelius and Grieg also capture the boundless feel of the edge of the continent, as do pieces by Nielsen and Rodrigo. This CD would also go well with a drive farther north in Redwood country and the Oregon coast, as well as in Acadia on the eastern seaboard.

If music were a road, it might well be the Blue Ridge Parkway. Gershwin and Copland are ideal accompaniments to a meandering journey along this all-American route, and the other selections on this CD reflect and enhance the feeling of misty vistas and peaceful forests.

Any trip on Route 66 demands music. This CD includes, among other selections evocative of the American West, the theme from "Route 66," the theme from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," and the theme from "The Magnificent Seven." While it's great for a trip on the real "Mother Road," it's also an easy way to get that "two-lane blacktop" feel wherever you might be.

The word "Autobahn" automatically conjures speed. This is the collection for fast-moving highway journeys. How can you improve on Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" and the "William Tell Overture" to capture that "hammer down" feeling? And there's also "Beyond Thunderdome" from Mad Max, and selections from Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody" and Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture."

It's easy to think that road trip music has to have words, and there's no question that singing along is a great traveling tradition. But for those times when words don't belong -- when you're on a solo road trip, lost in reverie, or you just want some mood-lifting background sounds -- these well-chosen collections of classical and pop masterpieces can enhance any route you might find yourself on.

Megan Edwards

Fuel Cost Calculator