America. The home of Hollywood, the Statue of Liberty, and many, many miles of open road.
If it’s the latter that appeals to you most, then pack your bags and head stateside, because no-one does road trips better than the Americans.
Charming coastal towns, rugged mountain ranges and vast expanses of desert can all be found in one country, albeit miles apart. But if you want to see it all, there’s no better way to do so than in an open-topped convertible, or astride a Harley Davidson.
Plan your road trip
While it may seem like the most boring part of a trip, good planning is essential and can make or break your expedition. You don’t want to find yourself map-less in the middle of the Mojave desert, or stranded in California with not enough fuel money to make it any further.
Ok, so these may be the worst-case scenarios, and realistically bad planning will probably only lead to a few wrong turns, but none-the-less it’s stress that can be avoided by a couple of hours of prep.
So what do you need to consider? There’s the obvious – car hire, destination, waypoints and routes, as well as money for petrol, food and accommodation.
Then there’s the less obvious. Make sure that you have hired the right vehicle for your trip. If you are planning on going off road, then a Mustang may not be the smartest of choices, while a Wrangler isn’t the top option for a comfortable cruiser. Investigate thoroughly before hiring a car to ensure that you get the best deal, and insurance is covered too!
A money saving tip is to load up on America’s renowned road snacks in advance, as roadside shops and service stations often charge a lot more than a supermarket will.
Finally, make sure you have adequate entertainment for the many miles you will be covering. Music, games and films can keep passengers relaxed and spirits high!
So where to go then?
There’s hundreds, if not thousands, of great road trip routes across America, but different destinations suit different people.
When travelling with children, a road trip with stops at waterparks and amusement centres is a good idea.
However, if you’re on a budget, then certain areas are best avoided, as prices can be higher for tourists.
And if you’re a culture lover, then where better to head than a historically significant city?
Ultimately, where you go is up to you. But here are our suggestions…
1) Californian coastline
Topping the list is California’s coastline. Driving the Pacific Coast Highway is a trip that everyone should make at least once in their life, experiencing the best that the West coast has to offer.
The 94-mile stretch from Monterey to San Simeon makes for an ideal mix of scenery. Starting in the historic fishing town Monterey heading in the direction of Carmel, you’ll pass the soaring red trees of Big Sur, and finally arrive in San Simeon.
Here, culture lovers can culminate their trip with a tour of Hearst Castle, the massive historical estate and its 127 acres of gardens that once belonged to newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst.
2) The East Coast
If the West isn’t really your style, then head to America’s East Coast, where you will find amazing scenery and even better roads.
Begin your journey in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and take in the quaint beaches and rural scenery, before you hit the 40-mile long dual carriageway Route 6A. Along the way, you will pass through towns including Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, Brewster and Orleans.
The Cape Cod Museum of Art is well worth a visit, if you can drag yourself away from the open road, as is Nickerson State Park.
3) Go South
If you are looking to take an extended break on the road with your loved one, then head south to the Appalachian Mountains.
Start in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and take a trip along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. You will pass through Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee on the 469-mile long drive.
But be warned, you will probably want to take longer than anticipated on the drive, in order to truly explore the area’s natural beauty.
4) Coast to Coast
Crossing America coast to coast is an eye-opening experience. The journey between the East Coast and the West Coast can vary from around 2,600 to 3,200 miles, depending on which route you take. The shortest, Route 80, is known as the Southern Pacific route, while the longest road is Route 50.
While sticking to one road may sound a bit dull, you can rest assured that the variety of environments you’ll pass through will make the trip anything but!
Other roads that will take you coast to coast include Route 30, which runs from Oregon to Atlantic City, New Jersey and Interstate 10, from Santa Monica to Jacksonville, Florida.
Finally, families looking to explore America are advised to head to Florida. Home to an abundance of theme parks, beaches, and shopping centres, there is always plenty to do in the Sunshine State.
While a trip of this type may involve more time out the car than on the road, driving around will allow you to take things at your own pace, and enjoy quality family bonding time!
So whatever your desire, it’s time to hit the road. Let us know your ideal American road trip in the comment section below.
November 11, 2016