Top down, the freedom of the open road and a stirring tune by the Eagles playing high, a road-trip across the USA is a long-established way to experience the best bits of this diverse land. With so many things to see and destinations to choose from, here’s our pick of the nation’s greatest routes:
Perhaps the most famous American highway is the historic Route 66. Stretching from West to East, visit Downtown Chicago and the working ranches of Amarillo, head to colourful Santa Fe in New Mexico and gaze in awe across the Grand Canyon. Experience the sights and sounds of electric Las Vegas, see the surfers of Santa Monica and go star-spotting in glamorous Hollywood.
For a dramatic and stirring mountain views, jump on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the south of the country which runs through the Appalachian Mountains through Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. The Skyline Drive is a particularly impressive 105-mile length of road through the Shenandoah National Park. Travel in autumn for spectacular displays of the fall and look out for whitetail deer and black bears.
Geologists and adventurers will love Route 89 which cuts through the heart of the USA. 1,282 miles in length, cruise from Flagstaff, Arizona to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, finishing in Montana. Linking seven of the nation’s national parks, see fantastic landscapes including the Sonoran Desert, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Salt Lake and wide volcanic lava plains. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for grizzly bears and huge American bison in Yellowstone!
Music lovers might be tempted by The Blues Highway along Route 61 which runs for 1,400 miles from Wyoming to Louisiana though New Orleans and Mississippi. An immersive journey into the vibrant soul, R&B and gospel influences of this region, music spills onto the road from every street corner. Look out for regular blues nights in Memphis, a host of Jazz festivals in New Orleans as well as live jam sessions at Hopson Plantation, an historic cotton farm in Clarksdale.
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