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3 Unforgettable USA Road Trips

24th April 2015

The best way to experience the incredible diversity of the USA is by jumping in the car and taking the time to tour the nation. Driving on the wrong side of the ride and navigating multi-lane highways will all be part of the fun, as you discover America like a local. Go at your own pace as you tour California’s magnificent coastline, explore the most beautiful national parks or jump on Route 66. Grab your American snacks and get ready to go where the wind blows. Here are three unforgettable road trips in the USA.

Tour California’s Coast

Los Angeles to San Francisco

California’s legendary Pacific Coast Highway is touted as one of the best road trips in America, with unrivalled coastal scenery every step of the way. As you navigate through a dizzying array of twists and turns, the highway will take you from Los Angeles up to San Francisco. First stop will be Malibu before landing in laid-back Santa Barbara where you can admire the stunning Mediterranean architecture and gorgeous beaches. Continue on to Morro Bay and see the fascinating volcanic plug, Morro Rock that protrudes off shore.

The Pacific Coast Highway takes in the best of the western coastline. The Pacific Coast Highway takes in the best of the western coastline.

Another highlight of the drive will be exploring Big Sur, with its dramatic coastline due to the Santa Lucia Mountains abruptly meeting the Pacific Ocean. A little further is Monterey Bay, home to the famous aquarium and the historic waterfront district, Cannery Row. Before you know it, you’ll be visiting Santa Cruz before completing your journey in San Francisco. If you are feeling adventurous, continue your adventure by visiting the premier wine regions, Napa Valley and Sonoma.

National Parks Adventures

Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park

Sin city offers much more than bright lights and entertainment. Close to a number of national parks, it’s the perfect point to start a nature-filled road trip. Drive through St George to Zion National Park, known for its diverse terrain featuring canyons, monoliths, rivers, forests, natural arches and the stunning Emerald Pools. Next will be Bryce National Park, where you can admire the spectacular hoodoos, particularly impressive at sunrise or sunset. Nature enthusiasts can continue on to the Capitol Reef National Park in the heart of red rock country.

The drive to the Grand Canyon is always spectacular. The drive to the Grand Canyon is always spectacular.

Along the way, you can marvel at America’s incredible scenery on Route 12. The stand out feature of the park will be the Waterpocket Fold, which is a striking geologic monocline that extends almost 100 miles. There’s also the rugged wilderness of Monument Valley Tribal Park, which has appeared in a number of films and television shows. Save the best for last with a final stop at the Grand Canyon National Park and see the cavernous Grand Canyon shimmer at sunset.

More top stops. Top 5 Soulful Southern Stops in the USA

Drive into nature. The United States of Great Outdoors

Big city break. 8 Free Things to do in New York City

Jump on Route 66

Dallas to Santa Monica

Begin your road trip in Dallas, Texas where barbecue is king and football is a religion. Journey to Amarillo Texas, home to cowboys and oil fields, and stop by the infamous Cadillac Ranch, a bizarre art installation made of brightly coloured Cadillacs. Cure those hunger cramps with lunch at the Big Texan Steak Ranch, where you can attempt to devour one of their famous giant 72oz steaks. Make your way through New Mexico to Albuquerque, and take a ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway through the towering Sandia Mountains.

Route 66 is the iconic American road trip. Route 66 is the iconic American road trip.

The next stop is the Petrified Forest, where you can tour the beautiful Painted Desert and admire the Blue Mesa with its remarkable blue grey colourings. Take a tour of the Grand Canyon National Park and explore the isolated trails of the North Rim or the cascading Havasu Falls. River rafting through the Colorado River is also an option. Pass through Las Vegas, where you can see a live show, enjoy a spot of shopping or try your luck at a casino before landing on the sandy shores of Santa Monica – the official end of the trail.

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