One of the best ways to discover America is by hitting the open road. Whether you dream of exploring the breath-taking California coast, the beaches of Florida or the iconic Route 66, the choice of road trips across the USA is endless. If you’re planning your next holiday and you want to have the adventure of a lifetime, keep on reading. Here are 5 American road trips to inspire your next holiday.
1. California Fly/Drive
Oh California! One of the most iconic states in America is best enjoyed by road. This west coast state offers a really unique blend of cosmopolitan cities with breath-taking nature and even more gorgeous beach resorts. For anyone thinking of doing a California road trip, we highly recommend you begin your route in San Francisco and travel south towards Los Angeles or San Diego, if time is on your side. In San Francisco, take in popular attractions including Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf. And after your time in the city, pick up your car and hit the road!
If you adore hiking, head inland to Yosemite National Park or even Napa Valley if you would like to try some wine tours on your holiday. Once done, head back to the coast and plan some stops in gorgeous Monterrey or Carmel before driving along Highway 1 which hugs the coastline. Driving over Bixby Bridge will leave you breathless as the rugged coast gives you views you won’t see elsewhere.
Santa Barbara, known as the American Riviera, also needs to be on your list. This stunning, Spanish inspired city is Southern California at its finest and a few days here will have you feeling those laid back beach vibes you see on so many tv shows and movies. The food and shopping in Santa Barbara is also exceptional.
Next stop is Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world and home to a huge array of attractions including Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Boulevard, Santa Monica Pier and Universal Studios Hollywood. If time allows, be sure to take in a few days in gorgeous San Diego before your flight home.
California Fly Drive Suggested Itinerary:
- San Francisco – 3-4 nights
- Yosemite or Napa Valley – 1-2 nights
- Monterrey or Carmel 1-2 nights
- Santa Barbara – 2 nights
- Los Angeles – 3-4 nights
- San Diego – 2-3 nights
2. Florida Fly/Drive
When you think of the sunshine state of Florida, your first thought is often Orlando, but this gorgeous destination has a huge array of cities to visit across both of its coastlines. Every Florida holiday needs to have Orlando on its agenda, and it is also a fantastic starting point. While here, check out Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World and SeaWorld Parks before hitting the open road and experiencing the rest of this gorgeous state.
If you head to the west coast of Florida, be sure to check out St. Pete/Clearwater to enjoy the multi-award winning beaches, dolphin watching, great food and the excellent art and culture scene. Nearby you will also find Tampa Bay which is home to Busch Gardens as well as a really trendy dining and nightlife scene. Head south from here and discover Naples and the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel, three quieter cities in Florida that offer gorgeous beaches, exceptional dining and a more low key Florida experience. Once finished, we recommend you head east across the Everglades to Miami. This exciting city will captivate you with its colourful, art deco charm and its Latin vibes. If you can extend your stay even further, head north of Miami to Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach or go south to the breath-taking Florida Keys.
Suggested Florida Fly Drive Itinerary:
- Orlando – 5 days+
- St. Pete/Clearwater – 2 days
- Naples or Fort Myers and Sanibel – 2 days
- Miami – 2-3 days
- Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale – 2 days
- Florida Keys – 5 days+
3. American South Fly/Drive
With a rich history, delicious cuisine and music at its heart, the American South is one of the most interesting places you can visit in America. This region of the USA is home to a huge array of major cities, all with their own personality as well as vibrant and historically significant smaller towns. If you would like to capture the best of the American South, we recommend you start your road trip holiday in Atlanta where you can enjoy the World of Coca Cola, National Center for Human and Civil Rights and so much more. After a day or two, head to Chattanooga. Always a popular spot on American South itineraries, in Chattanooga you can take in its rich railroad heritage, enjoy incredible views from Lookout Mountain and so much more.
Next up its trendy Nashville, the hub of Country Music and the heart of the American South. While here we recommend you catch a show at the Grand Ole Opry, visit the Ryman Auditorium, Country Music Hall of Fame and hit up some Honky Tonks on Broadway! A tour of Studio B is also a must to stand in the shoes of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and many more greats. Musical Memphis is up next and first on your list needs to be a visit to Elvis Presley’s home Graceland. Other popular things to do in Memphis include the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and Sun Studio.
Jackson is the capital of Mississippi and also worth a few days exploration on your trip. While here, check out the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, Old Capitol Museum, Museum of Mississippi History and much more. Your final American South road trip stop should be New Orleans. Embrace this fun city by enjoying the amazing live music throughout the architecturally distinct French Quarter. Other highlights include Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, National WWII Museum and so much more.
Suggested American South Fly Drive Itinerary:
- Atlanta – 2 nights
- Chattanooga – 1 night
- Nashville – 3-4 nights
- Memphis – 2 nights
- Jackson – 1 night
- New Orleans – 2-3 nights
4. Route 66 Fly/Drive
Pack up the car and get ready to journey along the mother road which will take you through the heart of America from Chicago, Illinois right down to the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, California. This exciting road trip will take you through major cities, numerous quaint towns, by iconic American diners, unique attractions and a whole lot of country side! Begin your journey with a few days in Chicago as you explore the best of the city including Navy Pier, a visit to the iconic Chicago Bean, Skydeck Chicago and shopping along Magnificent Mile. As you journey across America, take in stops in St. Louis, Springfield, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque and Holbrook before making it to the breath-taking Gran Canyon. Be sure to spend a night or two at the Gran Canyon to enjoy its vast, stunning beauty before making your way to Viva Las Vegas! If you’ve never been to Vegas before, definitely consider spending 3-4 nights here to take in the cities wonderful vibe, food scene, nightlife and fantastic shows.
The last stop of your trip will be the gorgeous Los Angeles. This city offers so much for every type of holiday maker with a huge array of attractions, districts and up and coming neighbourhoods to explore.
Suggested Route 66 Fly Drive Itinerary:
- Chicago – 3-4 nights
- St. Louis – 1 night
- Springfield – 1 night
- Oklahoma City – 1 night
- Amarillo – 1 night
- Albuquerque – 1 night
- Holbrook – 1 night
- Grand Canyon – 1-2 nights
- Las Vegas – 3-4 nights
- Los Angeles – 3-4 nights
5. New England Fly/Drive
New England is one of the prettiest regions in America to enjoy on a road trip holiday. Most popular during Autumn due to its stunning fall foliage, this region is charming, quaint and the perfect place to explore by car. The best place to start your New England fly/drive is Boston. Boston is one of the USA’s top city destinations from Ireland. Its charm, huge array of attractions, fascinating history and so much more makes it so. While here, be sure to check out the Freedom Trail, Fenway Park, Faneuil Hall, Harvard University and so much more. When you have finished exploring this walkable city, pick up your car and hit the road. Your first stop needs to be the gorgeous region of Cape Cod. This idyllic coastal region is home to a huge array of gorgeous beaches to enjoy as well as incredible local seafood cuisine. After your couple of days relaxing, head to Newport, Rhode Island which is built around a gorgeous harbour. Take in the impressive yachts, check out Bowen’s Wharf and Fort Adams State Park while here.
Next on your trip is the picturesque town of Mystic. Mystic is famous for having over 600 ships built in its small village for over 135 years since 1784. This gorgeous town is straight out of a fairy-tale and mesmerises everyone who visits. Also, worth checking out here is the Mystic Seaport Museum and Olde Mistick Village. Next up should be New Haven, where you can embrace the Ivy League life with a tour around Yale University. The grounds of this impressive university campus will blow you away. For your final stop, head to Hartford Connecticut. Enjoy a day or two here exploring the Mark Twain House and Museum, the Connecticut Science Center and Connecticut’s Old State House before your flight home.
New England Suggested Fly/Drive Itinerary:
- Boston 3-4 nights
- Cape Cod 2-3 nights
- Newport – 1 night
- Mystic – 1 night
- New Haven – 1 night
- Connecticut – 2 nights
So, there you have it, 5 American road trips to inspire your next holiday. If you would like any more information on any of the itineraries above, or variations of them, our USA Travel Experts are available by phone on 01-6995329 seven days a week to help you plan your perfect, tailormade American holiday.
Hi, I am interested in your California fly drive itinerary. Can you help me with flights and hotels etc? hoping to leave from Dublin or Belfast (whatever most cost effective) any time from 29th July. Many thanks. Geraldine