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Kai Kelly
Kai Kelly

The Great American Road Trip (Part 2)


St Pete Beach itself was one of the bigger disappointments we experienced during our road-trip. The resort was entirely unremarkable, a little run down and the beach was more shell than sand. The not so appealing water was divided from the beach by a border of red seaweed, and an abundance of dead molluscs, and crustaceans.




The Great American Road Trip (Part 2)



How many nights did this take? Two I think? Did you also take two days to drive back? We are planning a family trip to California and this itinerary sounds perfect. We have six nights. Leaving from LA and onward. We have to end up in Anaheim at the end of the roadtrip. How would you break it down? Do you think kids would like it?


The first step to planning any road trip, be it a leisurely weekend loop around your home state or a cross-country epic is to buy a National Geographic Adventure Atlas. Accept no substitutes and never leave home without it!


Hopefully this post and my previous post on Roadtripping Rules will help get you started! Stay tuned for future posts on How to Afford A Killer Road Trip, recruiting co-pilots, packing, the fine art of Boondocking, my all-time favorite drives and lots of stories and photos from my past seven years on the road. As always questions, comments and suggestions welcome!


This is some of the most beautiful scenery in America! One of my favorite road trips moments ever was an early-morning drive on the PCH just north of L.A., listening to Sigur Ros while feeling the cool, crisp ocean air coming into my open windows. There are so many spots to pull over for cool views of the ocean and coastline.


Glacier National Park in Montana holds one of the true gems of American road trips: Going-to-the-Sun Road. This 50-mile road was an engineering landmark when it opened in 1933. The road winds its way through the mountains of Glacier National Park.


Looking for an awesome road trip playlist or advice on which snacks and necessities to bring along on your adventure? Consider this section a road trip planner with these articles featuring road trip tips:


The best way to find your rental car is to search through Discover Cars, which will sift through dozens of companies to find the best combination of low prices and reasonable rental terms for your USA road trip.


Route 66 is the quintessential American road trip, inspiring songs, movies, and novels. Starting in Chicago and ending in Santa Monica, Route 66 passes through nine states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California.


With nearly 3,000 miles of driving to do between NYC and LA, you have extreme flexibility to create your own USA road trip itinerary, but the most direct route (a mere 44 hours of drive time, not including stops and traffic!) will take you to Chicago, across the open fields of Iowa and Nebraska, through some stunning nature Colorado and Utah, and right through Las Vegas before delivering you to the beauty of the Pacific Ocean.


Of course, there are more spots scattered throughout that are within a short drive of the Parkway. That, along with its length, is why this is one USA road trip that will take some time, if ever, for you to complete.


Driving from Orlando to New Orleans gives you plenty of options for stops along the way as well as enough to fill up an entire vacation at the starting point and ending point of the road trip. From springs to beaches to caverns, there is plenty to see along the way to break up the trip.


The length of this road trip depends on a few factors including how long you want to spend in Orlando and New Orleans. The drive itself only takes about 9 hours, but if you want to spend time at the springs, beaches, and caverns, stretch it out to a 2 or 3 day drive, with a few days on either end to explore Orland and New Orleans.


With rugged driftwood-strewn beaches, snowcapped peaks, small towns, and major cities, Washington state is a true gem. With incredibly diverse landscapes and lots of adventures to be had, this Pacific Northwest destination is one of the best places to take a road trip in the United States.


This Colorado road trip highlights diverse outdoor fun in Great Sand Dunes National Park, Pagosa Springs, Durango, Mesa Verde National Park, Telluride, Ridgway, Ouray, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Crested Butte, and Buena Vista.


Starting from Denver, you can easily craft a fantastic road trip plan. USA national parks are in abundance in the west, but from Denver, you can hit three of the most legendary in short order: Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and the ever-popular Yellowstone National Park.


Ten days is a good starting place for this American road trip, but you can do an abridged version in one week, and the sky is the limit as far as how long you can take to explore every nook, cranny, and slot canyon in the region!


Packed with beautiful forests, idyllic hot springs, historic towns, and a lesser-known but beautiful national park, Northwest Arkansas is the perfect option for travelers looking for an interesting but off-the-beaten path US road trip destination.


Kauai is one of the most unique and beautiful destinations on earth. However, when most people visit, they experience the inside of their resort and maybe a few beautiful places on day trips. In truth, the best way to experience this incredible island is on a road trip to all of the best places on the island!


When you think of Hawaii you may not think of a road trip but prepare to have your mind altered. When traveling on the island of Maui driving the road to Hana is a MUST! The scenic drive takes you from Kahului to the east side of the island to the town of Hana.


Everybody skips over Arkansas and Missouri when they suggest road trips, big mistake. Some of the best driving roads and scenery are located in the Ozarks and Quachita National Forests. Start in Springfield, Mo to the north. Stops could include Branson, Mo, Buffalo National River, Little Rock, Ar, Hot Springs, Ar, Talimena Scenic Drive from Mena, Ar then back north through the river valley of Fort Smith, Ar,, up Hwy 23 (Pig Trail) to Historic Victorian Eureka Springs, Ar. Then back to Springfield, Mo. You could easily spend 10-14 days on this road trip and see very diverse entertainment, scenery, hiking and waterfalls, mineral and hot springs, mountain and valley vistas. Best time to travel would be spring and/or fall. Scenery rivals anywhere in the country.


What is more American than a road trip across the country? Honestly, we struggle to think of many things. There is no other country in the world that will take you through landscapes, experiences, and memories as diverse as the United States of America.


Route 66 is the all-American way to see the United States. Starting in Chicago, and taking travelers all the way down to Los Angeles where the route ends in at the Santa Monica Pier, this way of seeing the country will not let you down. What people love most about going via Route 66 is the roadside attractions. Be sure to check out our guide to quirky roadside attractions in each of the 50 states before embarking on your trip so you can hit the highlights all along the way.


Since that trip, I've been on several more road trips in the United States, covering everything from the Southwest to the Pacific Northwest to the Old South. Each one has been unique in its own way, but the things I learned on that first trip with my sister still remain true today.


The average road trip dream probably consists of just throwing a few things into the trunk of a car and hitting the road. But the reality is that a good deal of planning is necessary if you want to have a successful, stress-free journey.


The clothing and other odds and ends you pack for your road trip will of course depend on where you're going at at what time of year. But there are definitely a handful of things I highly recommend bringing:


Thank you for a great post, by far one of the best I have come across.My partner and I are planning on a one month trip next summer. Ideally from NY, Louisville, Chicago, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Utah and through Arizona to Las Vegas and LA, maybe San Francisco, fly to Miami 1or two days, and then fly NY and out. Would love to drive to Florida too and even all the way to New York, but thinking we may already be a bit ambitious with what we have crammed into one month without that. What do you think?


The Black Hills of South Dakota are one of the most magical places in all of America and no road does a better job of displaying them in all their glory than the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway. This is truly one of the great All-American Road Trips.


The Avenue of the Giants is a magnificent 31.5 mile drive that weaves you through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park located about an hour south of Eureka. This road trip is one of the most epic USA road trips packing a major punch in just 31 and a half miles.


One of the most fun parts of planning a US road trip (at least for us anyway) is plotting it all out on a map. Seeing all those little points come together and the significance of each one gets us every time.


We (my husband, 2 girls and I) recently spent 14 days traveling around Scotland. In the 14 days we covered a lot of miles and many of them were on single track roads. The scenery is spectacular, you see mountains, valleys, lakes, forests, waterfalls, and wildlife everywhere. Scotland really is a country that is perfect for an epic road trip.


Note that if you are doing this road trip in the summer, hiking is generally not recommended as it gets very hot, often in excess of 100F / 37C. Visiting the Valley of Fire at this time of year is not as pleasant an experience as in the cooler months.


You could also do this trip in winter of course, but it will be a lot cooler. In addition, some of the national parks, and especially Yosemite, can have restricted access in winter if there is a lot of snow. In particular, the east exit from Yosemite, the Tioga road, is usually closed from November through May. In this scenario you would be looking at a lengthy detour to travel to Death Valley, and might instead prefer to return to San Francisco.


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