The Top Ten best Road trips in the USA
Following on from our previous blog post covering the best driving roads in Europe we now turn our attention to the best to be found in the United States of America. The people of the USA are famous for their love of cars and their straight roads; here is our pick of the top ten road trips an expat in the US of A should experience.
Big Sur, California
This iconic route is 90 miles long and part of Route 1, the road that extends along the entire length of the state of California. Big Sur’s beauty is not overrated after all it is located between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The road has Redwood groves on one side and rocky beaches with sea lions on the other and thanks to its relatively isolate nature it remains remarkably unspoilt. It’s a good idea to devote a long weekend to see all the sights and its best to drive the route in May or September for fewer crowds.
Seward Highway, Alaska
This route traverses the vast wilderness of Alaska and takes in the spectacular beauty of the USA’s least populated state. The road is 127-miles long and links the city of Anchorage to the small port town of Seward. The route takes you past massive glaciers, majestic fjords and hugs the base of the Chugach Mountains. For a feeling of isolation this route is hard to beat.
Columbia River Highway, Oregon
This highway is classed as a national historic landmark and runs for approximately 75-miles through Oregon from the city of Troutdale and The Dalles. The road cuts through the Columbia River gorge and offers drivers with plenty of great views and opportunities for hiking and exploring.
Going-to-the-sun road, Montana
Being the only road through the huge Glacier National Park in Montana it offers stunning scenic views. This engineering marvel spans 50 miles through the heart of the park’s wild interior winding around mountainsides and offering the best views in the state. The best time to attempt to traverse this route is in the summer when the snows have cleared. In winter snowdrifts can get a high as 80 feet high!
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
A drive around Massachusetts’ vintage Cape Cod serves up miles of beaches, restful resort towns—and, yes, lobsters and clam shacks. There are capes all along the New England coast, but when anyone talks of “the Cape,” the meaning is immediately clear. This route offers great coastal views and quaint little coastal towns. Be sure to stop in one of them and savour the delicacies on offer.
Highway 101, Oregon
Every bend in the road along its 350-mile length seems to reveal yet another natural wonder: waves breaking on the cliffs of Cape Kiwanda; sea stacks rising off the coast at Bandon; Cape Perpetua carpeted in rainforest; and the unforgettable scent of evergreens mingling with the salty sea air.
Great River Road, Louisiana
A rambling trip along the Upper Mississippi takes you through four Midwestern states, beginning in Saint Paul, Minnesota and ending in Dubuque, Iowa. It winds over hills, along bluffs and through old river towns, taking in Indian burial mounds, pioneer log cabins and quaint villages recalling the heyday of river travel.
Million Dollar Highway, Colorado
For a taste of the old America take this 24-mile route in the southwest of Colorado. The Million Dollar Highway traverses the Uncompahgre Gorge to the summit of Red Mountain Pass, where a series of hairpin turns (no guardrails!) flank stomach-churning vertical drops. The countryside in spring is decked in wildflowers during with wildlife including elk, mountain goats, black bears, and deer. Most of the towns on the route retain their buildings from the 1870’s evoking the frontier spirit.
Sea Islands, Georgia
This island hopping route takes you over bridges, causeways and in some cases ferry’s as you drive from island to island. The area has pristine beaches, golf courses, marshes and forests. To take it all in it is advised that you take at least a weekend to see the sights.
This road trip is for die-hard adventurers. The famous original route 66 was often nicknamed the main street of America or the Mother Road and was immortalised in both film and music. Sadly it no longer appears on maps after the authorities replaced it with a more modern road system. So it takes some research to make sure you find the road. This trip is a pure slice of Americana and if you manage to complete the route in a classic roadster or muscle car then you can cross this off of your automotive bucket list.