Freedom and the open road – it’s possibly more American than Elvis Presley. Road-tripping is one of the best ways to explore, connect with and enjoy the American continent.
What you’ll need:
- Transport. Even if you are only visiting USA, buying or renting a classic car or van is one of the best ways to road-trip
- Supplies.Make sure you’ve stocked up on enough food, water, toilet paper and recreational supplies to last longer than the journey will.
- Good company. If you are you own best company that’s great, but the best experiences are shared ones; so make sure to take someone who you are comfortable being around for long periods of time.
- Killer tunes. There are enough songs about the open road and coast-to-coast journeys to soundtrack an entire lifetime or more. My ultimate road trip USA playlist would definitely be an assortment of American bands and icons (think Grand Funk Railroad, Journey and Johnny Cash), 80’s rock classics, killer ballads and a number of sing-along jams for times of barren dessert.
- Stay off the interstates. If you plan on seeing the landscape and enjoying new people and places you should try to include some quieter back roads and state routes.
Road trip ideas for the ultimate American Experience:
If an American road trip is what you are looking for, from long coast-to-coast journeys or short photographic excursions here are a few great long-distance road trip ideas to get you started (tweaking and creating your own routes is part of the fun):
Legendary Routes.Route 66 is one of the most famous routes of all time. Originally one could take a 2,451 mile trip from Chigago to Santa Monica along this route, but over time has lost sections to become a series of historic byways. There is a 320 mile stretch in Arizona from the Petrified Forest to Kingman, via Winslow and Flagstaff – that should definitely be included on your itinerary (go to historic66.com and 66in2weeks.com for more information).
Highway, or US Route, 61, nicknamed the “blues highway” for the historical and musical culture of the region, connects New Orleans to Wyoming along 1,400 miles of open road. According to legends about this route, the crossroads of highways 61 and 49 are where blues legend Robert Johnson met the devil.
Coast-to-Coast. There are a number of options to choose from if you are looking to traverse the continent. At 3,365 miles long and the longest road in the country, US Route 20 will take you from Oregon to Boston (broken at Yellowstone National park, which is also a great addition to any road-trip experience).
Southern routes include Interstate 10 (Santa Monica to Florida) and Route 6 which is over 3,200 miles long (all these routes can take around 2-3 weeks of easy driving). If possible try to incorporate sections of the Lincoln Highway (Route 20/30 from Oregon to New Jersey) and see some of the many great historical locations available to add value to your trip (think Lincoln’s Cabin etc.).