The Best USA Road Trips

Posted on March 05, 2018

There’s something about a road trip that appeals to the nomad in all of us.

The US has many famous trails (Route 66, anyone?) but there are also hidden gems and unexpected beauty found on many less famous tracks.

1. Autumn colours

The Midwest and surrounding areas abound with radiant autumn reds, golds, crimsons and purples in September and October each year.

The Lake Superior Circle Route features stunning scenery through Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ontario, Canada. 2100-odd miles of golden forest, tranquil lake views, roaring waterfalls and lake-shore lighthouses will enthrall and delight you.

Stretch your legs with a stop at the Emerald Drive parking area in Wisconsin, and hike along the Ice Age Trail, a 1600km trail of ice-age landscapes and glacial carvings in the Kettle Moraine State Forest.

Worldcare Australia - Autumn Colours - USA Road Trips

The Appalachian Forests offers scenic mountain-scapes, adventure and eclectic food. Start at Asheville in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and enjoy its many galleries and artist’s studios. Then wander through the stunning Roan Mountain State Park, stopping to enjoy and photograph its spectacular scenery.

Stay a couple of nights at a mountain log cabin, enjoying the crisp mountain air filled with the scent of woodsmoke, the babble of clear running streams, and fishing for freshwater trout.

Autumn colour viewing is a popular activity throughout the US at this time, so it’s best to book. Check with the US Forest Service for regular updates on the best places to view.

2. Author’s tracks

Follow John Steinbeck, Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac down the rugged beauty of Pacific Coast Route 1. Meander through Big Sur, famous for its winding panorama of huge redwoods on one side and rocky beach cliffs on the other. Big Sur has been immortalised in Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac’s works and in the films of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.

Worldcare Australia - Big Sur California Road Trip

Active residents have preserved its charming historic Spanish heritage and the area has a cosmopolitan vibe and a vibrant arts scene.

3. Road trip blues

Driving from Vicksburg to Memphis, you might hear faint echoes of Muddy Waters, Bessie Smith, B.B. King and Elvis, among others, who travelled this road on their way to Memphis, the birthplace of the blues.

The B.B. King Museum in Indianola tells the history of the black Americans’ struggle via the life of this performer. Take a trip to Club Ebony where this legendary musician played, as well as Ray Charles and other famous blues artists.

In Merigold, Cleveland, visit the last authentic rural junk house. Bring your own liquor and buy mixers in-house. The Stax Museum of American Soul Music features the work of Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes and others. Then drive on to Graceland to pay homage to the King.

4. Island hopping

Worldcare Australia - Kauai Hawaii

Travel the Eastern and Northern Shore of Kaua’i, Hawaii, for 26km of waterfalls, old plantations, waterlogged caves and the beaches of the rugged Napali Coast.

In Princeville, take a trip up the tranquil Hanalei River or a tour to the beautiful Fern Grotto.

5. Parks and geysers

Start with a dip in the geothermal hot springs at Bozeman, Montana before starting the 220km trip through Yellowstone National Park. Head down to Wyoming for a view of historic Old Faithful’s eruptions of steam and water projected high into the air almost hourly.

Worldcare Australia - Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone is famous for its beautiful native wildlife and stunning panoramic views of forests, lakes, mountainsides and waterfalls. Take a break for birdwatching, or rafting if you’re feeling energetic.

6. Desert escapes

Abandoned mining towns, desert heat, dust and more than 1000 species of exotic flora – all part of the charm of Death Valley National Park in California.

Apart from its stunning natural vistas and sweeping views, Death Valley has also been used as the location for many movies including Star Wars Episode IV, Confessions of a Hitman, and King Solomon’s Mines.

Dante’s View is a good starting point for a road trip, looking down across the valley to the Panamint Range, for a full view of the size and diversity of the landscape.

Worldcare Australia - Death Valley Road Trips

Plan to visit 20 Mule Team Canyon, named for the iconic twenty-mule teams used to haul wagonloads of borax from Furnace Creek to the railhead near Mojave, a 165-mile, 10-day trip across primitive roads.

Pay your park entrance fee, pick up maps and view the exhibits at the Visitor Centre at Furnace Creek, home to many resorts and amenities.

Visit DV Junction, now a ghost town but originally a borax-mining centre, which now hosts the Amargosa Hotel and Opera House.

Like what you've seen?

Join over 1 million people with Worldcare Travel Insurance

Share this story:
 

BLOG

Refine your reading

You might also like

Worldcare Travel Insurance: Worldcare and Allianz Global Assistance are trading names of AWP Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 AFSL 245631 which issues and manages travel insurance as agent of Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. We do not provide any advice on this insurance based on any consideration of your objectives, financial status or needs. Before making a decision please consider the Product Disclosure Statement. If you purchase a policy we receive a commission which is a percentage of your premium - ask us for more details before we provide you with any services on this product.

Worldcare Emergency Home Assistance: Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. See Worldcare Emergency Home Assistance Terms & Conditions for details. Worldcare Emergency Home Assistance is provided by AWP Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 trading as Allianz Global Assistance.