An impromptu, vacation by road is sometimes just the right excitement needed to spice things up in life. Whether alone, with friends or family, the United States gives us ample opportunity to explore the picturesque landscapes, breath taking coastlines and yet-to-be-commercialized little town jewels – all just a drive away.
From the never-ending list of possibilities, here are the top five driving vacations in the US:
#5, Route 66, Chicago to Los Angeles
This route is termed as the Original Mother Road as it was the road taken by young men in the 1930’s from the Midwest to Los Angeles in search of better livelihoods. The drive still shows the authentic old road but one needs to prepare a personal map as maps nowadays do not plot Route 66.
The Route 66 driving vacation is a 2448 mile journey through 8 states and 3 time zones. The drive should ideally start from Lake Shore Drive passing through the Illinois covering The Sears Tower, Navy Pier, Ozark region, Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon National Parks, Meteor Crater, and if you haven’t seen it yet, The Strip in Vegas.
#4, Landscapes and National Parks of the West, California
The fourth largest state in the U.S., California, has some of the most gorgeous natural sights in the world. When you couple it with a few neighboring states, a wondrous road trip is born.
Starting from Los Angeles, covering the mighty 800,000 acre Joshua Tree National Park, Heard Museum and Botanical Garden in Phoenix, the cactus collection at Saguaro National Park, Grand Canyon, Death Valley and the Yosemite National Park you can make your way to San Francisco and enjoy one of the best driving vacations in the US!
#3, Canyons, Springs and Cliff of Rocky Colorado
Starting in Denver, you can drive to the top of the highest peak in the west, Pike’s Peak. Admire the beauty of the scenic Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods, Florissant Fossil Beds, Black Canyon and visit the Mesa Verde National Park to see ancient cliff dwellings. Then, drive into the bombastic flamboyance of the Rocky Mountain Park sprinkled with cool water lakes, soothing flowers and majestic peaks.
#2, Upstate New York
There’s more to the State than just the Big Apple – New York City. Wondrous landscapes, farmlands and cultural heritage can be found in addition to breath taking sights such as the 1000 islands sparkling in the St. Lawrence River.
Starting in Manhattan, make your way to the Hudson Valley to appreciate the Highlands, castles and historic towns. Drive to Albany, the state’s capital and the fourth oldest city in the U.S. and then go horse-back riding in Saratoga Springs.
From the crystal blue waters of Lake George, enjoy a peaceful walk in The Adirondack Park before driving to Thousand Islands. You can meander through Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo before reaching the awesome Niagara Falls. Many return from here but if you’re interested you can continue to Catskills for fly fishing and hiking.
#1, Pacific Coast Highway, California
The best driving vacation is termed as America’s ‘Most Beautiful Drive’ and as the ‘Best Free Attraction’ this highway runs along the northern coast of California and has some of the best views in America. Officially named California Highway 1, its enthralling beauty makes it better known as the Pacific Coast Highway. Hugging the west coast, you find blue waters with crashing waves and barking seals on one side, while towering cliffs and lush forests on the other.
Taking the road between San Francisco and Los Angeles, your to do list should include the classic town of Monterey, agricultural town of Half Moon Bay, spectacular 17 mile drive at Pebble Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row, the magnificent Hearst Castle and the sky kissing views of Yosemite National Park.
Oh, and if you’re a chocoholic like me, then you certainly won’t be disappointed with the copious amount of Swiss chocolate on offer in the city!