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The USA is one perfect 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 of the possibilities, here are a few of our favourite self-drive routes. But this is just a sample of what’s on tap in the USA: Whether you crave big open spaces or bustling city places, the States have something for you.
You better like the outdoors because things are about to get wild!
This unforgettable drive delves into thick forest and coastline.
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.
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.
Connecting Chicago to Los Angeles across the heartland of America, hit the gas and head west.
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.
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.
Buckle up for an adventure of the toetapping kind,
this is a musical pilgrimage to the heart of jazz, blues, rock n’ roll.
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.
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.
Hit the major highlights of some of the USA’s most famous national parks in Utah.
From enormous canyons to spectacular cliffs, this drive packs in the sights.
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.
The Grand Canyon. There’s nothing to match it any place on Earth.
Discover the multi-coloured bridges at Natural Bridges National Monument.
A Texas-sized road trip with a huge dollop of culture and history to boot — welcome to cowboy country!
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.
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.
Read more about the USA here.
Daily car rental starts from $110 but you’ll also need petrol, accommodation and food.
Get smart about parking. In any major city, return your rental car before exploring. That’s a day you needn’t fork out for!
Many US petrol stations require payment before you pump.
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.
Paying in cash is generally an option, but hiring an electric pass can make things simpler.
VIDEO FROM HOUSE OF TRAVEL
Where should you go in the Americas?
7 of the USA's most iconic cities.