John Charles Kuralt, who spent more than 30 years of his life traveling around the world as a the host of CBS;s “Sunday Morning” once said that because of the American Interstate, it’s possible to travel form one coast to the other without actually “seeing anything or meeting anybody” along the way.
His statement holds true to this day.
This means, if you want to travel around the country, and have an authentic American holiday, you need to travel some quit back roads and state routes. Even people who don’t have enough time for a long-distance trip can visit some of the more striking, shorter routes on the list.
So here are five road trips you should take if you want to experience the American open road…
Top Four American Road Trips
Route 66’s Singing Road
- Distance: 38 miles
- State: New Mexico
- Start: Albuquerque
- End: Moriarty
A drive on the famous Mother Road – also known as I-40 – is in most cases at the top of traveler’s bucket lists. However, the iconic American road has a unique twist. Just east of Albuquerque, near Tijeras, you have a strip of so-called “musical road” – a series of strips on the highway that’s calibrated so if you drive around 45 mph, the vibrations in your car “play” the tune of “America the Beautiful.” You have to admit, it can’t get more American than that…
Florida’s Presidential Trail
- Distance: 1,045 miles
- State: Florida
- Start: Pensacola
- End: Key West
If you opt for the presidential Trail, you’ll be able to see an impressive number of historic sites relating to the country’s history and its former presidents. You can start the trip in Pensacola, where President Jackson served as Florida’s first governor. Down the line, you can visit Disney’s Hall of Presidents and The Presidents Hall of Fame in Clermont. Finally, you can visit the Little White House, President Truman’s winter house on Key West.
Lake Champlain Byway
- Distance: 134 miles
- State: Vermont
- Start: Middlebury
- End: Alburgh
If you want to escape the musty East Coast air during the summer, you should visit the Lake Champlain Byway along the lake of the same name in Vermont. You can see the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks along the way, in addition to a number of classic small towns, and of course, the beautiful Lake Champlain. You’ll also have a number of swimming and hiking options, for instance, Champlain Islands are a great spot for swimmers.
Alaska’s George Parks Highway
- Distance: 385 miles
- State: Alaska
- Start: Anchorage
- End: Fairbanks
Even though most visitors opt for taking a plane ride, the best way to see the true Alaska is to take a road trip along the Parks Highway. You can start your trip at Anchorage, go north to the famous town of Wasilla and maybe spend a night in the quirky climbing outpost of Talkeetna. Until recently, it was the only town in the world that had a cat for a mayor. At the end of the road, you can enjoy Fairbanks’ rich mining history and go sightseeing.
How to Plan Your Trip
· How Should You Travel
If you’re visiting the United States, you can use a service like Ride Free that offers tours in vintage cars like the classic Ford Roadster along the Route 66, along with self-guided moto-tours across the country. You can also rent a car from the service and drive it alone.
Another option you may look into is driveaways – driving someone’s car and just paying for the fuel. You should visit the Auto-Driveaway’s official website and check things out for yourself while there aren’t many cars available, you can easily get lucky and take someone’s sports car for a spin.
And if you’re planning to take the trip in your own car, you should definitely visit the mechanic for a checkup. If something’s wrong with the car, you need to repair it before you hit the road. Just make sure to find a good mechanic and use quality brands like Castrol, to ensure your car doesn’t break down.
· What to Avoid
First, you have to be aware that speed limits vary from state to state, and in some cases vary by the time of the day. Therefore, make sure to check the speed regulations in the state you’re visiting by visiting Virtual Drive’s site and download an app like Speed View that warns you about the speed limit.
And if you’re a tourist, you have to pay attention to small details like remembering not to pass a bus if the red lights are flashing. Also, keep in mind that you may actually turn right at a red light if the road ahead is clear – except a road sign says otherwise of course.
There’s nothing more liberating than a good-old road trip. Whether you’re racing the breeze along the coast or simply enjoying the picturesque scenery, hitting the road is one biggest pleasures out there. We hope this list will inspire you to pack your stuff, hit the gas and go out there to have a great time.