5 Bucket-list American Road Trips

Since Bertha Benz completed the first long-distance drive back in 1888, road trips have been the epitome of pioneering freedom. Route 66 might be the most famous, but our bucket-list picks showcase America’s strikingly diverse landscapes – from the lonesome west to an astonishing Florida road trip – so you’ll always be breaking new ground too.

5 Bucket-list American Road Trips


The Incredible Coastal Wonder – Florida Road Trip

It was Ernest Hemingway who said ‘in order to write about life, first you must live it’ – and it’s no surprise to us that the writer chose the dynamic land of Key West as his home. Essentially 100 miles of bridges connecting slithers of tiny islands, a Florida road trip heading south from Miami along the Keys is truly one of a kind.

And if the freshest seafood, serene stretches of golden sand and sublime tropical wilderness isn’t enough to win you over, then the Turtle Hospital in Marathon sure will. There you can learn all about the endangered sea turtles as they’re rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Bear in mind that the road along the Keys can be closed when strong weather warnings are in place – so just be sure to check the conditions before you set off.


The Classic American Road Trip – Route 1

Winding along the western coast from the manmade majesty of the Golden Gate Bridge, past the natural craggy cliffs and feisty oceans around Big Sur and down to Los Angeles, it’s instantly clear why Route 1 has become one of America’s most iconic road trips.

This road trip passes through such a variety of places and things to do that you could spend a lifetime travelling back and forth without ever experiencing the same trip twice.

Join the American Dreamers in the hedonistic City of Angels, laze amongst the rolling vineyards and mineral hot springs of Paso Robles, or channel the creative energy of beatnik San Francisco, where long days stretch into day-dreamy evenings in spirited dive bars.


The Suburban American Getaway – Cape Cod

If you’re journeying to the big cities of Boston or New York, the cowlick of land stretching out into the Atlantic is the ultimate small-town getaway. Cape Cod (or simply ‘the Cape’ if you want to sound like a local), is a favourite playground of many a city-dweller when the sun comes out – but the large expanse of coastline means you’ll always find a quiet spot just to yourself.

Through the window you’ll see endless miles of beaches interrupted only by the occasional clam shack, original holiday resort or old-fashioned ice-cream shop. Be sure to stop off at Hyannis and take a whale-watching tour off the coast – the Cape’s warm waters are thronged with these magnificent beasts throughout the summer.


The Lonesome West Route – Las Vegas Loop

Prefer the idea of baking dry desert to crystal blue waters? So does many the maverick who has made this landmark journey through the land of Spaghetti Westerns. Starting off in Los Angeles, you can tick four states off your to-do list – crossing the iconic Death Valley, the famous Grand Canyon, and the bright lights and clatter of the Las Vegas Strip all in one.

Weaving, as it does, through a desert, temperatures on this route hit over 45C on average from June through to August – so best leave the summer months to the local lizard population. Take it from us: the scenery is still at its best in the more temperate late 30s of spring and autumn.


The Jewel of the Deep South – Great River Road, Mississippi

Unlike what the childhood counting games told us, there is only one Mississippi. And as the road stretches ever longer into the heart of the Deep South, and the sun sets the brightest rays into the legendary river, you’ll wish the journey would never end. You can start the trip in Chicago, or you can join the route in any of the 10 states it passes between there and New Orleans, with live music, rich food and peaceful landscapes aplenty.

There’s no experience quite like the long afternoons spent in the dusty landscapes of the Deep South, enjoying a barbecue sandwich washed down with a Lynchburg lemonade under the shade of a Dogwood tree. And as the raging sun sets over your final destination, wake up with the rest of New Orleans for the vivid nightlife scene that

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