Driving on the other side of the road won’t seem so overwhelming when it means feasting your eyes on the rugged, unique and delightful sites of North America via an epic road trip. Pack your snacks and pump those tunes as you create unforgettable moments and memories completing one (or more) of the following cross-country, all-American road trips.
Pacific Coast Highway, California (San Francisco - San Diego)
The sunshine state holds so many sights, sounds and celebrities it’s hard to justify leaving California off the itinerary. Exploring the size and diversity of the state is best done by road. Delivering incredible views of the Pacific Ocean as you meander, you’ll also tick off some of the biggest icons of the country. Beginning in San Francisco, you can drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, make a pit stop in Los Angeles and follow the ocean into San Diego.
Route 66, Chicago – Los Angeles
To locals, Route 66 is known as “The Mother Road.” Sometimes it’s also referred to as “The Main Street of America” as it cuts straight across the country’s heart. The reason this route is also incredibly popular with visitors is that it is a great way to see all of the most iconic sights the nation has to offer. If you take your time, you can easily spend two weeks cruising through eight different states.
The easiest way to experience the drive is to jump on a cheap flight to Chicago and meander your way back to Los Angeles in some comfortable (preferably gorgeous) wheels. After witnessing all the finest deep-dish pizza Chicago has to offer, head through Illinois towards Springfield for the most common pitstop.
Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona will all show you their best and fill the journey will unmissable stops and sights. When you eventually cross the border from Arizona into California you will be full to the brim with nostalgia. Of course, you can always detour from the path and hit up must-see’s like the Grand Canyon before you pull into the shiny city of LA. The best thing about Route 66 is the freedom to cruise along and make it your own journey.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Lovers of beautiful scenery will relish the drive from Virginia to North Carolina, lovingly labelled the Blue Ridge Parkway. The blissful scenes are complemented by the “no big trucks” rule and the timid speed limit of 45. This means you can truly take your time and appreciate all the stunning vistas along the way.
Route 50, aka The Loneliest Road, California
It’s now known as the ‘Loneliest Road in America’ – but it hasn’t always been the case. Route 50 was so congested during the 1850s Gold Rush it was commonly referred to as the Roaring Road.
Now, the isolation of the road is deeply ingrained as you pass through Nevada’s eerily quiet desert. Many who live along the highway disagree with the title – because solitude doesn’t have to be sad. Starting in California, you can keep on trucking towards the east coast as far as the eye can see.
Great River Road
Everyone has heard of the Mississippi river, but did you know you can drive alongside the famous waterway through ten different states? It’s a nature-lover's dream and allows you to visit sweet little river towns along the way. Running north to south, the tour ends in delicious fried food of New Orleans.
Important planning before you kick into gear:
• Ensure your car has been recently serviced and is in perfect working condition
• Ask for an upgrade! International hire care companies often offer reasonable upgrades to your average people mover so you can cruise in style.
• Plan your route to ensure you have all the maps and apps locked in before you hit areas that off the grid. There are no Google Maps out in the middle of the desert!
• Have a rough idea of where you can get a good night’s sleep, and book rooms in advance wherever you can. Sleeping rough isn’t as glamorous as it seems.
• Take it slow! If you were on a strict schedule you would have opted for a cheap flight from A to B. Instead, take the time to relax and unwind and soak in all the sights at a leisurely pace. Take lots of rest stops and make the most of your time out on the road.