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Top 5 USA Road Trips

The words 'road trip' and 'USA' seem to go hand-in-hand, with so many miles of the huge country to discover and wide, long roads to explore from. We've rounded up the top 5 USA road trips to have an all-American experience.

The Classic – Route 66

The ultimate all-American road trip often seen on people’s bucket lists, Route 66 starts in Chicago and ends all the way across the country in Santa Monica, California. The original route covered a whopping 3,940km and passed through 8 different states – although parts of the original road can’t be driven anymore, the full route can still be followed, with some sections on modern highways and others on the original road. Take the time to pass through small towns and stay in traditional all-American motels. The scenery is spectacular, and you can pick and choose which parts of the route you’d like to drive if you don’t have time to do the whole lot.

Ideal for: those looking for an all-American road trip
Recommended time: 5-7 days, depending how often you want to stop along the way

Rugged Beauty - Pacific Coast

Highway 101, also known as the Pacific Highway, covers much of the west coast of the United States, from Washington State in the North all the way down to Los Angeles in the south, hugging the rugged coastline along the way. Stay along the coast (switch to Highway 1 for the coastal experience), or cut in towards some of the nearby towns and cities occasionally: grab a donut from world-famous Voodoo Donuts in Portland, drive through a tree trunk in the famous redwood forest of California and spend some time exploring the stunning city of San Francisco.

Ideal for: nature lovers and surfers
Recommended time: 3-5 days, depending on stops

The Grand Circle – Monument Valley & Beyond

Be awed by the scenery in some of the country's best national parks, from the Grand Canyon in Arizona to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah with its colourful sandstone formations known as Hoodoos. Those with an adventurous spirit will enjoy this circular route as there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and camping in the spectacular surrounds. This road trip will take you through three states: Utah, Nevada and Arizona, which means you can stop for a few nights in Vegas if you’re looking to be awed in a completely different way!

Ideal for: adventurers
Recommended time: 1 week

Lobsters & Lighthouses - New England

For something a little different to the wide open desert of Utah, take a trip along the north-east coast of the USA in the region known as New England, which includes the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Maine. This isn’t a road trip to rush – spend a few days in a charming seaside village, getting your fill of lobster rolls and clam chowder and marvelling at the picture perfect lighthouses along the way.

Ideal for: lobster lovers
Recommended time: 1 week (check out this 7 night fly-drive holiday)

Fabulous Fall - Virginia

Travel to the USA in October and you’ll be rewarded with a blanket of orange, yellow and red-hued autumn leaves. There are plenty of states where you can see fall colours; one of the best is Virginia, which is full of national parks and mountains covered with trees. Stay in log cabins and enjoy the spectacular display of colour – remember to bring your camera – you won’t want to forget this!

Best for: photographers
Recommended time: 3-4 days

Written by Elle Croft

When Elle is not travelling, she's blogging about it over at A Bird in the Hand Travel. She believes that you don't have to look like a backpacker to travel, and writes about the stylish side of wanderlust, from stylish destinations to packing tips.

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