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NORTH AMERICA - USA - ROAD TRIPS

GEAR UP FOR A USA ROAD TRIP

Avatar   By Anna Sarjeant - House of Travel Content Specialist


The USA is the number one destination for an epic road trip. It’s the wrong side of the road but the right side of freedom. To give you a taste, here are some of our favourite self-drive routes. But this is just the tip of what’s on tap in the USA: Whether you crave big open spaces or bustling city places, the States have something for you.

 

Wild Northwest

You better like the outdoors because things are about to get wild! This unforgettable drive delves into thick forest and coastline.

Wild Northwest USA Road Trip

BEST TIME TO VISIT

May through October

TYPICAL TRAVEL TIME

11 days/10 nights

With unique food experiences, wildlife and scenic sights, a Northwest adventure is where beautiful nature meets beautiful cityscapes. Visit Redwood National Park; home to some of the tallest trees on earth. In Portland, enjoy farm-to-table cuisine and craft breweries around every corner. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, an ATV ride on the Oregon sand dunes will leave you exhilarated. Finish up in stylish Seattle. Full of hip new trends and the best cup of coffee in America.

HIGHLIGHTS

Redwood National Park. Walks last as little as one hour and as long as an entire day. Shop at Pikes Place Market in Seattle. A foodie’s haven, and a sanctuary of bakeries, fish mongers, butchers and distilleries.

Classic Route 66

Connecting Chicago to Los Angeles across the heartland of America, hit the gas and head west.

Route 66 USA Road Trips

BEST TIME TO VISIT

April through October

TYPICAL TRAVEL TIME

16 days/15 nights

It goes without saying it’s iconic, it goes without saying the landscape is jaws to the floor, eye-popping, drool worthy fantastic. We’re talking about historic Route 66 of course. Highlights include the Mississippi River and the Petrified Forest National Park, as well as ample roadside quirks such as a home-made sculpture park called ‘the forest of bottles’, rows of garishly painted cars known as Cadillac Ranch, and countless ‘shoe trees’, which you’ll feel compelled to add to.

HIGHLIGHTS

Wigwam Motels. Back in the 30s there was an entire chain of these tepee-shaped abodes, but now they’re almost extinct. A Route 66 landmark – keep your eyes peeled. Oklahoma. Experience the nation’s longest drivable stretch of Route 66.

Southern Music Journey

Buckle up for an adventure of the toetapping kind, this is a musical pilgrimage to the heart of jazz, blues, rock n’ roll.

Southern Music Journey USA Road Trip

BEST TIME TO VISIT

September through June

TYPICAL TRAVEL TIME

7 days/6 nights

In New Orleans, even the street performers possess more talent than your average mainstream musician. But then, this is the Deep South and you’re in the realm of legendary greats. Explore the birthplace of jazz then head for Graceland, Elvis Presley’s former home, and Sun Studio, where he recorded his first record. For modern vibes, Beale Street remains the premier hangout for musical prodigies. And in Nashville you’ll find plenty of country music for a last hurrah before home.

HIGHLIGHTS

Mississippi Blues Highway. Look out for blue markers where you can read about famous musicians. BB King Blues Blues Club in Memphis and the National Civil Rights Museum are must do’s as is catching a show at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. This concert is also a live radio show and has been running since 1925.

National Parks

Hit the major highlights of some of the USA’s most famous national parks. From enormous canyons to spectacular cliffs, this drive packs in the sights.

National Parks USA Road Trip

BEST TIME TO VISIT

April to June and September to October

TYPICAL TRAVEL TIME

9 days/8 nights

A greatest hits tour of American national parks, this drive gets you into the heart of the Grand Canyon South Rim. From there, explore the canyons carved by the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park and the iconic rugged landscapes of Monument Valley. Make stops in Capitol Reef National Park, with its stark landscapes of red and white sandstone, and see why Native Americans called it the Land of the Sleeping Rainbow. Finally, glimpse the famous spires of Bryce Canyon before getting back to civilization in a big way with Las Vegas.

HIGHLIGHTS

The Grand Canyon. There’s nothing to match it any place on Earth. Discover the multi-coloured bridges at Natural Bridges National Monument.

Texas Trails

A Texas-sized road trip with a huge dollop of culture and history to boot - welcome to cowboy country.

Texas Trails USA Road Trip

BEST TIME TO VISIT

October through May

TYPICAL TRAVEL TIME

10 days/9 nights

Explore the best of the ‘Lone Star State,’ and tax-free shopping across the state of Texas while you’re at it. Live large and think big in Dallas. Then visit Texas’ largest city, Houston and Nasa’s Space Centre. San Antonio is home to the Alamo, an old Spanish fortress, and in Austin, AKA the ‘Live Music Capital of the World,’ even your coffee is served with a side dish of rhythm. The city’s other must-sees include the world’s largest urban bat colony: Watch them take flight from Congress Avenue Bridge.

HIGHLIGHTS

Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Boasting the largest and most eclectic art collections in the southwestern United States. Fort Worth. Visit the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the National Cowgirl Museum.

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ABOUT ANNA SARJEANT

As a self-confessed travel addict, the majority of my wage, time and daydreams are spent seeing as much of the planet as my pay packet will allow. My love for a good jaunt may have been brought on by an inquisitive mind, but I am more inclined to think it was induced by several childhood holidays spent in a rain-lashed caravan. Up a mountain. On a farm. In Britain. Bored.

More about Anna >

TIP SHEET


COST

Daily car rental starts from $110 but you’ll also need petrol, accommodation and food.

PARKING

Get smart about parking. In any major city, return your rental car before exploring. That’s a day you needn’t fork out for!

FILLING UP

Many US petrol stations require payment before you pump.

BACK ROADS

Multi-lane interstates get you from A to B the fastest, but concrete views aren’t for everyone. It’s worth taking the scenic route for diversity.

TOLL ROADS

Paying in cash is generally an option, but hiring an electric pass can make things simpler.




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