If you’re a fan of the road trip, you’ll have to go some to beat the US as a travel destination. This vast, vibrant country is home to thousands of kilometres of tarmac, which are ripe for exploration. Whether you’re desperate to soak up the enigmatic vibes of the cosmopolitan cities, you want to see the lakes, mountains, and valleys or you’re after some classic Southern charm, there’s a road trip out there for you. If you’re considering visiting America, here are of some of the best routes on offer.
Pacific Highway: San Francisco to San Diego
If you did this drive without stopping, it would take you around 8 hours, but why would you ever do this when there’s so much to see en route?
Before you set out on the open coastal roads, take at least a couple of days to explore wonderful San Fran. Get the Instagram snaps at the Golden Gate Bridge before taking a stroll around Union Square, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s Wharf. When you’ve had your fill, it’s time to head south.
Follow the coast road, take in the ocean views, and head for Los Angeles, taking an hour or so to stop off at Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Big Sur. If you’re a fan of the beach and dramatic landscapes, this part of the trip won’t disappoint. Take a day to splash around, sample the surf and enjoy some fresh seafood with a view. As you approach LA, stop off in Santa Barbara or Malibu if you’re not quite ready for the bright city lights just yet. These beachside beauties are a world away from the traffic and noise of La La Land.
When you reach LA, there’s a hefty list of sightseeing musts to get through. Visit the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Observatory before star spotting on the Walk of Fame, and window shopping up a storm on Melrose Avenue. Muscle Beach and Santa Monica Pier are well worth a trip when you’re ready to escape the hustle and bustle.
Around 2 hours from LA, you’ll find cosmopolitan but effortlessly cool San Diego. This stunning waterfront city is a great place to round off a memorable road trip. Discover Downtown, visit Balboa Park and walk up to Cabrillo National Monument to get incredible views of the city.
The South East corner
This simple road trip doesn’t involve a huge amount of driving, but it’ll take you to some fascinating places along the way. Starting your road trip in Charlotte, you’ll take in the sights and sounds of the South with visits to charming Charleston, beautiful Savannah, hip Jacksonville, and forward-thinking Atlanta. This multi-stop city tour will enchant and intrigue you, with so many different experiences on offer.
Starting in Charlotte, spend your days exploring the cultural gem that is NoDa art district before trying your hand at rafting at America’s Whitewater Center. From here, while away hours soaking up the atmosphere of one of the USA’s oldest cities in Charleston. If you’re lucky with the weather, take a trip to Folly Beach and historic Battery Park.
Back on the road again, wander through Savanna’s green spaces, and embrace the cafe culture. Artisan foods and organic produce is all the rage here. Finally, make your way to Atlanta via Jacksonville, which will enthrall you with its impressive collection of museums, parks, shops, and beaches. When you reach your destination, make for Downtown Atlanta, where you can happily spend hours exploring and take a tour around both CNN Center and Georgia Aquarium.
Utah’s national parks
If you’re keen to immerse yourself in the wonders of Utah’s spectacular national parks, this is the trip for you. Starting at Zion, you’ll travel to Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and the Canyonlands. En route, you’ll discover everything from domineering sandstone cliffs and plunging valleys, to hanging gardens, vivid blue-green lakes, and hoodoos. This is the place to be if you’re keen to test your mettle and try adventure sports or marvel at the weirdness and wonderfulness of nature. For an authentic open road experience, spend at least one night camping underneath the stars.
There’s nothing like a road trip if you want to get out and about and enjoy myriad experiences in the same vacation. The US is a veritable gem for travellers with a sense of intrigue and adventure, and there’s so much to see and do. These routes are just the tip of the iceberg, and you could go on driving and discovering for years if you had the time and the inclination.