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Our Top Picks of the USA’s Greatest Road Trips

Author: Charlotte Boswell

The USA is one of the world’s greatest countries for road trips; from the coastal Highway 1 running through sun-kissed California to the iconic Route 66 and the quintessiential trails of New England. Which ever road trip you take you will travel through ever-changing landscapes; from dusty desert roads to lush green rolling hills, jagged mountain peaks and sparkling lakes. Stop off to admire quirky roadside attractions, make de-tours to vast national parks and spend nights in retro American motels. There are plenty of routes and road trip options for you to explore, so we’ve put together a selection of our top picks of USA’s great road trips to help inspire your journey.

1. New England

New England is made up of charming countryside, quaint islands and a striking coastline. Home to the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; New England is culture rich, historical and scenically beautiful. The perfect region for a road trip, and easy to combine with a New York City break. Experience contrasting sceneries of dominating mountain ranges, quaint villages with doll-house style homes, white steeple churches and the crashing Atlantic shore. Complimented beautifully by the leaves turning shades of orange and crimson in the fall, and equally as exquisite in spring and summer time when the lushcountryside is in full bloom.

Portsmouth New Hampshire USA
Portsmouth in New Hampshire

2. Great Lakes

The great lakes span across eight states and the Canadian province of Ontario. The five lakes: Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario are vast areas of sheer natural beauty and together contain 21% of the world’s fresh water. As well as being scenically stunning, the lakes are crucial habitats for wildlife, transportation routes and areas for outdoor activities. Spring and summer are wonderful seasons to explore the great lakes as the warm weather draws you to the water, andthe cool air in the evenings make camping in a national park a fun experience.

Chicago Skyline aerial view of Navy Pier
Navy Pier in Chicago

3. Route 66

Starting in Chicago, travel through the beating heart of America to Los Angeles on an iconic Route 66 road trip. A nostalgic journey back in time, complete with quirky roadside attractions, historic landmarks, spectacular national parks and retro motels, adding to the diverse flavours you’ll experience along the route. Stretching 2,448 miles, crossing eight states and three time zones, Route 66 was one of the original US highways and played an integral role as the main route for migrants travelling west to California during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. With sections of the road now protected and numerous landmarks, diners and signs preserved, today it is possible to live the American dream on this epic cross-country road trip.

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Route 66 road sign

4. The Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains are one of the world’s great mountain ranges which forms the backbone of North America, running from Canada all the way down to Mexico. A rugged region that emanates cowboy culture and is alive with compelling natural beauty. An ideal region for ranch holidays, wildlife watching and outdoor pursuits including canyoning and hiking. Road trips through this Rocky region offer a mesmerising mix of lakes, mountains, moose, elk, wide open spaces and charismatic Wild West towns. Ranching holidays in this region are popular in the summer months, so why not take advantage of the lower rates and cooler temperatures by travelling in the months of May and September?

Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park

5. Pacific Coast

The Pacific Coast of the USA conjures up images of California’s golden sandy shores, built-up suburban areas and the glamour of Los Angeles. However in reality there is so much more to it than that, and in fact, much of it is still untouched! The Pacific Coast’s landscape changes from almost desert in Southern California to dense green forests when you reach Oregon and Washington, with wild, open and breathtaking beauty in between. You can cruise the wide open roads with the wind whipping your hair for miles, enjoying the diverse scenery, historic sites and iconic cities at your own pace. May to October are great times to travel along the Pacific Coast, with weather getting warmer the further south you travel, just watch out for the San Fran fog that lingers around the months of July and August.

Brixby Bridge Big Sur Pacific Coast Highway California
Brixby Bridge near Big Sur

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