The American road trip is a cultural rite of passage that symbolises freedom and carefree adventure. With a country as large as the United States to explore, there are plenty of routes to choose from with each journey boasting a unique and unforgettable experience along the way. Whether you are a fan of the desert, the forest or the ocean, there is definitely a route out there that will satisfy your personal preferences. Here is a handful of the very best and most iconic American road trips that you just have to experience.
1. Overseas Highway – Miami to Key West
This 127.5 mile journey takes about four hours and has the potential to incorporate picnics, kayaking, swimming and a whole bunch of glorious sightseeing. One of the highlights of the route is the 7 mile long bridge between the mainland and the Keys, a long and narrow marvel that gives you the impression that you are literally driving on the water!
2. Pacific Coast Highway – San Francisco to Los Angeles
This cliff hugging road trip takes you along 123 miles of the Californian coast, with endless ocean views to sit back and enjoy. Coastal towns like Carmel and Monterey are perfect spots for a meal break as you travel from one iconic American city to another.
3. Route 66 – St. Louis to Amarillo
Arguably the most iconic of all the American road trips, Route 66 has been the inspiration for generations of classic rock and literature. A real commitment at 2200 miles long, it is one of the country’s original highways and runs from Chicago to California. No other road trip will provide you with as diverse a taste of American life and culture as Route 66. The scenery is fabulous and the roadside attractions bizarre and fascinating.
4. The Blue Ridge Parkway – The Great Smoky Mountains
America’s longest linear park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, extends 469 miles through 29 different counties across Virginia and North Carolina. A picturesque road that is surrounded by the stunning green valleys descending from the Blue Ridge Mountains, this road trip can be a very atmospheric and eerie one as the area can often be covered in mist. And the best part of this road trip? You can pop in to Dolly Parton’s theme park Dollywood along the way!
5. Great River Road – Memphis to New Orleans
Covering over 2000 miles along the historic Mississippi River, the enormous Great River Road crosses through ten different states. Giving a flavour of the both the historical and modern sides of the American South, the road trip incorporates old plantation homes, the infamous Mississippi Crossroads, old Indian burial grounds and, of course, countless opportunities to experience some of the best barbecue you will ever eat in your life.
Hire a convertible, make sure you have direct car excess on your insurance, put the top down and put your foot down. No matter where you go and what you choose to stop at and sightsee, it will be a once in a lifetime experience.