“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road
America is the home of the road trip. Defining books like Kerouac’s On The Road and epochal movies of our generation, such as Thelma and Louise and Easy Rider have only added to its ageless allure and romanticism.
Throw in a terabyte of road-inspired rock and pop songs to soundtrack a lifetime of coast-to-coast drives and the biggest challenge is to turn off the legends – and turn down the music – and make your own experience out of the journey.
That’s where the US experts at Adventure World come in.
Below they’ve steered us into the best spots to experience this vast and varied landscape where you and your navigator are the real stars of the show.
1. The 7 wonders of Oregon
With breathtaking landscapes stretching from the dramatic Wallowa Mountains in the east to the stunning coastline on the west, Oregon is a haven for adventure and wilderness lovers. Situated between Washington and California and made up of seven diverse regions, Oregon has it all – mountains, valleys, high desert, cities, small towns and almost everything in between.
Boasting the highest number of scenic byways in the United States, a road trip is truly the best way to explore Oregon’s ever-changing diversity of scenery and take in the surf, snow, hiking trails and western-style towns along the way.
You’ll need at least a week, preferably two, to really enjoy everything this majestic state has to offer. Highlights include the microbreweries of the state capital Portland, the Columbia River Gorge and the stunning vistas of Hells Canyon to the former gold rush town of Baker City, the Painted Hills, Smith Rock State Park and Crater Lake National Park.
2. Stunning Southwest
Another combination of stunning coastal scenery and natural wonders, the Southwest of the USA is a fantastic region to explore by road, full of awe-inspiring bucket-list moments. Covering California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and more, the Southwest is a cacophony of sights, national parks, flavours and sun.
More than a third of America’s national parks are in the Southwest, making the region a fantastic opportunity to cover several in one road trip – especially as a large portion of the iconic Route 66 runs through the area.
Allow two weeks if you can to hit all the high spots, which include the two unique national parks of Arches and Canyonlands.
3. The Rockies
From the jagged peaks of the Tetons to the stunning lakes of Glacier National Park, road tripping through the Northern Rockies in Montana and Wyoming is a nature-lover’s dream. Immerse yourself in a world of snow-capped peaks, scenic lakes, geological curiosities and cowboys on horseback.
Marvel at the great national parks in the region, including the world’s first – Yellowstone National Park, with its colourful hot springs, mud pots and geysers – and Grand Teton, with more than 3000km of trails.
Other highlights in the region include Cody, Red Lodge and the laid-back college town of Bozeman. Continuing north, the adventure then heads to Missoula and Glacier National Park before ending in Whitefish, Montana.
4. The deep south
Packed with history, glorious architecture, famous landmarks and friendly people, it’s no wonder the southern region of the United States holds so much appeal. Cruising through Georgia, South and North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana provides a taste of all the south has to offer – its gorgeous antebellum homes, delicious cuisine and musical history truly come alive on the road.
Venture through the 21 squares of Savannah and 346-year-old Charlestone before heading northwest to diverse Ashville, journey along the Blue Ridge Parkway, visit the highlights of Nashville, Memphis, Vicksburg and Jackson before finishing in the cultural melting pot of New Orleans.
5. New England
New England is situated on the east coast of the USA, bordered by New York to the west and south, and Canada’s New Brunswick and Quebec to the north. Most famous for being the site of the country’s first Thanksgiving celebration, the roads of New England have a lot more to offer than a history of turkey and stuffing.
Starting in the stunning state capital of Boston, discover the charming inns and unique hotels of the region as you make your way through Kennebunkport, quaint fishing villages along the Maine Coast and Acadia National park before heading inland to the White Mountains, a landscape dotted with historic villages and enchanting covered bridges.
Proceeding on to Stowe, The Berkshires, Newport and Cape Cod, your map will guide you back to Boston to complete the ultimate New England journey.
For more information on these road trips, and more, visit www.adventureworld.com.au