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America's greatest Road Trips

Six breathtaking trips to discover the USA

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Six breathtaking road trips in the USA

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Scroll down for information on the six routes

Map markers
: red major airports – blue: historic sites  – green: national parks, landscapes.

    Road trips are for discovering America's Great Outdoors. And it is great in different senses. Visiting the USA means visiting a continent rather than visiting a country, meaning that visitors planning a trip very much need to know what kind of  trip they hope to enjoy once there. "Doing the USA"  in a single trip, as you might "Do Scotland". Don't even think about it, even if  you have several months to spare
    In today's world, where we've woken up to the potential disasters of climate change, some people have hesitations about driving long distances; but road trips are not the gas-guzzling activities they used to be. E-vehicles can be hired all over the USA, and recharging points are available in many locations, including stores, hotels and parking lots. And road-trips are not what they used to be; gone are the days when the ultimate road trip involved hiring a massive 6-liter Cadillac, or  a Chevrolet Camaro SS with 6.2 liters under the hood.  You can find hire cars that do over 30 miles to the US gallon.

    Each of the six routes below starts and finishes at a international airport with direct flights from Europe, or indirect flights via another hub.

Six wonderful road trips to discover the USA

1.  The Mother Road - Route 66

From Chicago to LA,  "more than two thousand miles all the way"  See detailed Route 66 Map and guide
Getting there: Both Chicago's O'Hare airport and Los Angeles International airport have direct connections with cities all over the world.

2  The Pacific Highways

Seattle to Los Angeles - Hug the coast of the Pacific Ocean, mostly on US 101 and California 1, all the way from Seattle, via San Francisco to Los Angeles. Optional continue to  San Diego. This has to be the best seaside highway in the world, with spectacular views. But don't expect any swimming north of San Francisco - the waters of the Pacific are cold.
Getting there: Seattle has direct flights from London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other major European and Asian cities;  Los Angeles International airport has direct connections with cities all over the world.

3  The Mountain West

San Francisco to Denver. Discover Yosemite National Park, Bodie ghost town,  Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and plenty of astonishing scenery.
Getting there: Both Seattle and Denver airports are served by direct flights from major airports in Europe and Asia

4. America's Deserts

Denver to Salt Lake City  Start by taking in one  (or both) of two amazing historic steam railways, the Cumbres & Toltec or the Durango and Silverton. Then see the historic cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, before continuing to the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the Hoover Dam, Las Vegas if you want it,  and three astonishing natural parks, Capitol Reef, Arches and Bryce Canyon.
Getting there: Both Salt Lake City and Denver airports are served by direct flights from major airports in Europe and Asia

5.  Highway 51 and 61 - the Blues road 

From (Minneapolis or) Chicago to New Orleans via the Mississippi valley,  Mephis,  Vicksburg and Baton Rouge. See Cities of the Heartland .
Getting there: Chicago airport has direct flights to airports in major Europe cities; New Orleans has direct flights to London and Paris, and connecting flights to other palces

6   The Southeast coast -

  Raleigh-Durham to Miami (1550 km). This seaside route takes you through the historic towns of Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, and Saint Augustine, and through plenty of beach resorts such as Daytona Beach and Miami. For a unique experience, extend the trip by following the "Overseas highway", a  110 mile series of bridges running all the way out to Key West.
Getting there: Miami airport has direct flights to airports in major Europe cities; Raleigh Durham has direct flights to London and Paris, and connecting flights to other palces

More information on selected cities

Boston, ChicagoLas Vegas,  Los Angeles, Miami, Memphis, New OrleansNew York, Philadelphia, San Francisco,  Sacramento, Seattle, Washington DC

More things to see :   Interactive map of main rourist cities and sites in the USA

For more background to the USA.....

Book / ebook     A Background to modern America -  people, places and events  that have played a significant role in the shaping of modern America. A C1-level Advanced English reader for speakers of other languages, and anyone wanting to  learn some of the background to today's USA.  Twenty-two texts, with vocabulary guides and exercises.

For California, discover About-California.com, a short guide for visitors.

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Discover the U.S.A.
its past, its present, its future.
The people, places and events that made modern America - Elvis Presley, M-L King, J-F Kennedy, the Mississippi, Route 66 and a whole lot more....  

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Health care for visitors and tourists to the USA

People visiting the USA as a tourist, even those with US citizenship, are very strongly advised to take out a travel health insurance policy to cover their stay/s in the USA. Medical costs in the USA can be very high, and even a simple visit to a doctor can cost typically between $100 and $200, and a day in hospital may well cost over $3,000.

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