A road trip is an amazing way to explore America. You’ll be out on the open road, free to head to see any landscape or town that takes your fancy on your way to the destination. Whether you want to drive through magical mountains or take in the fresh breeze near the sun-draped coastline, there’s an American road trip for you. If you cannot wait for your next adventure vacation read on for ideas on which American road trips to add to your bucket list.
The rise of the road trip
Slow travel is becoming increasingly popular. This is a form of travelling where you take the time to truly experience the culture and beauty of a place. Rather than quickly ticking off your tourist wish list, you’re gradually assimilating into your new environment. And it’s a form of travelling that has grown more popular as people look to travel more sustainably and mindfully. A road trip is a good form of slow travel: you’ll have the freedom to cruise around an area, taking in advice from locals and seeing all the best sights when you choose.
Why choose the USA for a road trip?
America is an excellent choice for a road trip. It’s long been a haven for road trips, owing to the sheer variety of its geography: from sleepy towns to buzzing cities and all sorts of different geographical features, you’ll always find something new on your American road trip. Just be careful when driving on some dangerous roads and always stay alert and focused on the road to avoid being involved in a car accident!
Road trips for the bucket list
Route 66 is one of the most famous road trips in the world. This 2400-mile journey from Chicago to Santa Monica is on the bucket list for people all across the globe. If you’re particularly interested you can visit the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum in Pontiac, Illinois.
As you can imagine the world-famous route has plenty of highlights along the way, from historical buildings and natural wonders to roadside diners and it’s recommended to allow at least two weeks to comfortably see everything at an average pace.
Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1)
If you want to take in scenic coastal roads, stopping at golden beaches along the way, the Pacific Coast Highway is for you. Starting in San Francisco and finishing in southern LA this 518-mile section of the Pacific Coast Highway has so much to offer.
Leaving the sites and sounds of San Franciso behind the next major point on the pacific coast highway is Santa Cruz, a friendly beach town, famous for its surfing and Broadwalk. The Santa Cruz Broadwalk features an old-fashioned rollercoaster, where a ride, if you are brave enough, provides perfect ocean views. If the rollercoaster isn’t for you grab some cotton candy and enjoy the arcade instead.
A quick stop in Monetary is recommended as you make your way southwards, visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium if you do, and for fans of Big Little Lies, Carmel By The Sea is just next door.
For those who wish to see animals in their natural habitat, large Elephant seals gather at Piedras Blancas Rookery near Big Sur year round, with October through to May being the best time to see them.
If you have the time and feel like you wish to carry on south, join Highway 5 and head south to San Diego.
The Overseas Highway, in Florida, is a unique 113-mile road which leaves you with the sensation of driving on the water as you pass coral and limestone inlets in this very scenic drive. Running from Key Largo to Key West through 42 bridges, the road can take approximately 2 hours to drive one way. However, taking your time to explore is a must.
Columbia River Scenic Highway
This highway was built especially for staring at the spectacular scenery. This 70-mile road will take approximately 3 to 5 hours to drive but you might want to leave longer for sightseeing and hiking. Famous for the Columbia river which runs through the Columbia river gorge and is framed by walls of basalt. Just be prepared to pack your waterproofs as it’s known to rain!
An American road trip can make for a memorable holiday. And by picking any of the routes above, you should be all set for a wonderful break.