Is it just me or does everyone seem to be on a USA road trip this year? I can count at least 10 friends who have ticked this amazing bucket list experience off during 2017 and I can’t deny I’m a bit green with envy after seeing all their amazing photos! There’s nothing quite like getting your wanderlust tastebuds tingling like seeing the snaps and, well, the Snaps, from their incredible holiday even if you already have your own travel plans lined up. The trials of loving travel, your own plans will never be quite enough! Over the years I’ve ticked off many visits to Florida and New York, but I’ll be honest and say the USA never used to be high on my bucket list. I always had more of a fancy for tropical climes where I could battle with the language and live off street food, but over the years I must admit I’ve been heartily won over by the idea of the open road, the vast landscape and the food, oh my goodness, the food.
After spending two years travelling Australia, and much of it by car, I’ve really taken the road trip experience to the absolute maximum. From driving the beachy bliss of the Great Ocean Road down in Melbourne, to cruising around central Queensland dodging giant kangaroos, and even living out of a car for over 3,000km through Western Australia and the Northern Territory. I’m pretty well practiced at having the perfect road trip experience and I’m always looking out for the next opportunity – there’s just a freedom that comes with the open road that you don’t get elsewhere. Once you’ve experienced the magic of living this way, it’s hard to go back without constantly daydreaming of the amazing road trips that lie ahead. For me, the USA is a vast landscape that is just waiting to be discovered and the best way to do it is to hit the open highway with the stereo blaring and the roof down.
My top 5 West Coast road trip experiences:
Yosemite National Park & Yellowstone National Park
What first really captured my imagination about the USA was the spectacular landscapes and the incredible national parks that are scattered across the West. Yosemite and Yellowstone are among many I dream of visiting and hiking the trails while gazing on views I previously was only lucky enough to see on nature documentaries. The idea of being able to just lose yourself in the steamy geysers of Yellowstone and the giant, ancient sequoia trees of Yosemite is more than enough reason for me to be packing my trainers and hitting the road!
Despite me not being much of a city girl, I have long felt that San Francisco is a city I would instantly love. It’s quirky cool exterior and it’s artsy undertones would be just the place to inspire my writing and to set off my travels. I love the idea of seeing the Golden Gate Bridge looming out of the mist, and of walking the corridors of Alcatraz listening out for the ghosts of former prisoners.
Las Vegas & Grand Canyon
Of course, it wouldn’t be a West Coast road trip without one crazy Vegas experience! My girls and I have long dreamed of celebrating a joint birthday or a hen party in this amazing city but sadly life has stood in the way of this dream becoming a reality. Perhaps one day we will have our dream trip of putting it all on red, taking in the flashing lights and the crazy world that is Vegas, then waking up with the sunrise over the Grand Canyon as we cruise over in a helicopter.
Pacific Coast Highway
There are some roads that just demand to be driven – it would be rude to road trip the West without cruising along Route 66 and the Pacific Coast Highway. National Geographic have described the Pacific Coast Highway as the ultimate road trip and it’s easy to see why when what is one of the most scenic routes in the world takes you all the way from San Francisco to San Diego. Stretching over 1,000km, the drive will take you from pristine coastline to untouched forests, with plenty of seaside villages and wine making districts to stop off in along the way!
Now I’m not too fussed about the current Hollywood dreamboats, but LA is also the home of classic Hollywood glamour and I’m a sucker for a black and white movie. I’m talking about those suave gents like Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Cary Grant and who can forget the dancing shoes of Fred Astaire? And the beauties that captivated their onscreen hearts and charmed us all, Marilyn Monroe, Ingrid Bergman and Judy Garland. I wouldn’t mind taking a stroll down Hollywood Boulevard to see their names in stars, and who could resist a shopping trip along Rodeo Drive?
If my list has whet your appetite for some USA adventures then why not check out Trek America’s amazing packages for traveling the West Coast – they’ve got a trip to suit all travellers!
What are your dream USA road trip destinations? Do any of these get your wanderlust tastebuds tingling?
*First pic by Jamie Flint