Most Incredible USA Road Trips - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Most Incredible USA Road Trips

The USA has some of the best road trips available, and we have looked at a few of our favorites to entice you to get behind the wheel of your vehicle and head out into the sunset. We have detailed your options from one side of the country to the other, from the West Coast to the East, along with some gems from the heartland.

Route 66 Adventure

We need to start with what might be one of the most famous (if not the most famous) road trips in the world, Route 66. Although many outsiders think this is a coastal trip, it actually begins in Chicago and heads west until you hit the ocean in Los Angeles. This is probably why it is also known as “The Main Street of America”. Be sure to start your journey in the warmer months as the roads can become snowy. Likewise, a large portion of the road goes through desert, so it is likewise advisable to avoid the peak summer season. Route 66 lets you take in fantastic places such as St Louis, Oklahoma and Tulsa and Albuquerque in New Mexico. You can also have a slight detour to see the Grand Canyon, Santa Fe and then cross Arizona to reach the Pacific Ocean. The trip is 2,278 miles, and although you can do it in a week, we advise taking two to make sure you see all the sights, museums and restaurants along the way.

Boston to Miami

This trip is for those with plenty of time and a real love of driving. On this journey, you will see the historic places where the pilgrims first landed and the early settlements further down the coast. You can discover some of the gems of the East Coast that many tourists miss because they are on package tours. Starting in Boston, you head south towards New York and then onto Philadelphia. After a stop there you can start hitting the slightly quieter roads until you reach the capital, Washington DC. Continue with a pleasant drive down through Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia where you can stop off at all the seaside areas where early settlers set up. After that, it is time to drive the length of Florida stopping off at Daytona Beach, West Palm Beach before arriving in Miami after a mammoth 1,500-mile drive. Our advice is to take at least a few weeks as there is so much to see and do on the way, any less and you will be beating yourself up for missing out.

Pacific Coast Highway

A trip on the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most beautiful sightseeing drives you will ever undertake. Start in San Francisco, hit the coast, and keep heading south. You will pass through Santa Cruz, Carmel-by-the-sea and Morro Bay before cutting inland for a bit until you reach the coast at Santa Barbra. The views along the way are stunning, and there are lots of places to stop for the night where there is fabulous accommodation and numerous restaurants are available. You will see rugged coastlines, towering trees and some of the most magnificent beaches in all of the USA. As you reach LA, you can look forward to visiting Universal Studios in Hollywood for a tour and visit the Walk of Fame to find your favorite film stars. This a fantastic trip as both San Francisco and LA have great attractions to keep you entertained before and after your journey.

The Blue Ridge Parkway

If you are looking for stunning mountain views, this is the trip for you. The route takes you from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia down through the Appalachian Mountains and finishes at the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. Although the distance if less than 500 miles, you will want to take your time as there are many trails to walk and sights to see along the way. The speed limit is only forty-five miles per hour for much of the journey, which will ensure you have a leisurely drive. Our advice is to head here for autumn to get the full spectrum of colors as the trees change throughout the fall months into amazing reds, browns, and greens.

The Las Vegas Loop

The Las Vegas Loop is excellent for those with less time but want to see some authentic American culture. It starts and finishes in Las Vegas, and you can visit the Grand Canyon, Monuments Valley, Red Rock Park, and the Hoover Dam. Most areas have a lot of Native American settlements, and Monuments Valley is a Navajo park so you will need to be respectful of their customs. Many people like to rent SUV’s for this trip, but it isn’t necessary as a standard sedan will do just fine. Going on an adventure around the Las Vegas Loop breaks up the bright lights and party atmosphere of those holidaying on the strip. Remember that you are in a desert so use common sense on what to bring to protect yourself from the endless sun throughout the day and the cold nights that a desert can bring.

Chicago to New Orleans

Driving straight through the middle of the country from the North to South is an excellent choice for those looking for a variety of sights, sounds, flavors and smells along the way. Starting in Chicago, you head south towards St Louis where you can soak up the culture with blues and jazz musicians found on every corner. The Mississippi River runs through the center and gives you a real taste of what’s to come along your route. The next stop will be the birthplace of Elvis Presley in Memphis, and here you can visit the Elvis Museum and experience the world barbequing championships which are held in the city each year. After Memphis, you will notice the culture and food change to a more Creole taste as you make your way towards New Orleans to visit the famous Bourbon Street and walk around the French Quarter. The trip is about a thousand miles depending which way you go, but take your time to soak up the diverse culture along the way.

The USA is so diverse that everyone can find a road trip that suits their style and interests. Consider the length of your preferred trip and make sure to allocate enough free time to be able to take all of it in. With good preparation ahead of time, all you’ll need to do is get your bags packed and get ready to head out onto the open road and discover the wonderfully varied sights this great country has to offer.

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