5 iconic roads you need to experience in the USA

  • 5 iconic roads in North America

It is believed that there are over 160,000 miles of motorways, or as they call them highways, in the USA – that's a lot of road! And if you're looking to travel across this amazing continent, you may want to consider heading on one of these iconic roads and finding out why they are often considered the 'classics'.

 

Route 66

Perfect for: the ultimate Americana road trip
What tour to go on: Canyon Adventure

Route 66

Ah, Route 66. Probably the most famous road in the whole of the USA, no other has really captured the imagination of travellers all over the world – and there's a reason why. Connecting Chicago, Illinois, with the glittering Santa Monica on the Californian coastline, the highway was the first of its kind and now it takes all sorts of visitors across eight states and three time zones.

One of your major highlights on this route will be the town of Seligman, often dubbed as the 'birthplace of Route 66'. Founded in 1886, this area is the longest remaining stretch of old Route 66 that is still preserved in the USA – that is because the route no longer officially exists as it was decommissioned in the 1980s.

That has not stopped enthusiasts taking the highway on, however. And you'll soon realise why so many still believe it typifies the USA – the sights you see, the people you meet, this is America, then and now. If it's pure Americana you're after, you'll get it in bucket loads here!

Check out the Canyon Adventure Road Trip

 

Pacific Coast Highway

Perfect for: coastal landscapes and big city stopovers
What tour to go on: Pacific Coast

Pacific Coast road trip

Just look at this winding, snaking epic stretch of road, it's a real stunner isn't it? Travelling along Route 1 will definitely put a smile on your face, with heaps of stunning scenery from start to finish. Starting from the northern border with Oregon and then stretching to San Diego, the unbelievable coastal views are never ending. Over these 1,000 km you'll enjoy seaside villages, pristine forest, wine making regions and world-famous landmarks.

Along the way, you'll have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a selfie with San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, check out the depths of Monterey Bay Aquarium, top up your tan on Santa Barbara beach, and mingle with the rich and famous on LA's Hollywood Boulevard. With spectacular regions, such as Big Sur, and bustling cosmopolitan cities all on one highway, what more could you ask for?

Check out the Pacific Coast trip

 

Extraterrestrial Highway

Perfect for: off the beaten path
What tour to go on: Grand Trek

Extraterrestrial highway road trip

UFO sightings. Crop circles. Alien abductions. Yep, this is just the everyday norm of the Extraterrestrial Highway, if you believe the legends of course. Actually called Nevada State Route 375, this route may take you through some unremarkable desert landscapes, but it is the attractions along the way that are pretty remarkable.

Highlights include the Black Mailbox (which is actually oddly white!), a popular spot near Area 51 to catch UFO sightings, the Area 51 Research Center, which while is closed will still enable you to get a cool shot of the yellow trailer that investigated Area 51 alien cover-ups, and the UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell. And let's not forget all the various UFO crash sites in Carlsbad, Kingman, Ely and Aztec. Creepy stuff.

Check out the Grand Trek

 

Blue Ridge Parkway

Perfect for: foliage landscapes and vistas
What tour to go on: Southern BLT and Best of the East

Blue Ridge Highway road trip

Connecting two national parks along a chain of mountains, there is epic, and then there is the Blue Ridge Parkway. Regardless of whether you are hiking here in the spring and summer or are catching the golden foliage in the autumn, you can be guaranteed breathtaking views here, that's for sure!

Major stopoff points include the gushing Crabtree Falls, Rough Ridge to enjoy the world-famous views, and Skinny Dip Falls, a great spot for some bathing but probably without your clothes off, regardless of what the name suggests!

Check out the Best of the East

 

Going to the Sun Road

Perfect for: glacial lakes, snowcapped mountains and movie references
What tour to go on: Rocky Mountain High

Sun Road

While other road trips may be an option, if you're visiting Glacier National Park, you'll have no choice but to take this highway – it's a good thing that it's pretty incredible though! Due to the road crossing the entire park, you'll be seeing snowcapped rugged mountains, forested valleys and crystal blue glacial lakes on either side of you.

And while you're on this highway, you may feel a spot of deja vu. That's because this highway has been featured in the likes of The Shining, Blade Runner and Forrest Gump. And for good reason we say.

Check out the Rocky Mountain High

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