An all-American road trip is an all-time bucket list favourite. Like portion sizes, landscapes are super-sized in the USA, lending any self-drive holiday an epic quality that you can't find anywhere else. Explore the beaches of California's Big Sur, cross Death Valley to reach the Grand Canyon, drive through the Deep South and get lost in forests of giant Redwoods. Bulging at its borders with natural beauty, the USA is a brilliant destination to discover by road and to keep coming back to year after year.
Packed with music, food and warm Southern spirit, America's Deep South explodes with a character all of its own. It's a place to celebrate life. Explore the atmospheric French Quarter of New Orleans, hop between honky tonk bars in Nashville, pay homage to Elvis at Graceland and tuck into a traditional Texan BBQ. Between cities, the Deep South is packed with gorgeous scenery, from the weeping oak tunnels of old plantation houses to the bluebonnet fields of Texas and the swamps of the Mississippi Delta. If you're looking for a USA road trip with real personality, look no further.
When to take a Deep South road trip: The Deep South experiences scorching summers, so if you feel more comfortable in milder weather, try travelling in late spring or early autumn.
Made up of California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona, the American Southwest boasts more National Parks than you can shake a stick at. It's a natural playground packed with epic scenery that will make you feel pint-sized. Stand beneath the cascades of Yosemite Falls, hike between giant trees in Sequoia National Park, gaze out over the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon and stare up at the mammoth swirls of Antelope Canyon. As you travel inland, stop for a flutter amidst the bright lights of Las Vegas and end your adventure with a trip through Monument Valley to the Grand Canyon.
When to visit the American Southwest: Home to many national highlights, the American Southwest is perennially popular and can become crowded over the school summer holidays. To avoid the hoards, travel before July or after the end of August.
Laid-back and lefty, the cities of Seattle and Portland are overflowing with independent coffee shops, craft breweries and farm-to-fork restaurants. Beyond the bright lights, you'll find wild beaches in Oregon, native rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula and glaciers at Mount Rainier National Park. Hike through alpine meadows to jaw-dropping Crater Lake, kayak on the Cascade Lakes and taste wine in Oregon's vineyards. Less touristy than California and the Southwest, it's somewhere for relaxed escape that balances culture with nature. If you're after the ultimate outdoor adventure, disappear into Colorado's Rocky Mountains and get back to the bare necessities.
When to visit the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains: High summer sees the best weather in the Pacific Northwest, so it's best to plan a visit between June and September. Autumn is spectacular in the Rocky Mountains, so try heading for Colorado in late September.
Hollywood Boulevard, the Golden Gate Bridge, Big Sur - California needs no introduction. Mixing glamorous cities with gorgeous scenery, California is an unbeatable spot for an iconic American road trip. Live it up in Los Angeles, stretch out on the beaches of San Diego, sip wine in the Napa Valley and spot whales off the coast of Monterey Bay. Lap up the Great Outdoors in Yosemite National Park, hike between giant redwoods, take a kayaking trip on Lake Tahoe and ride the tram around San Francisco. California is blessed with so much variety that one road trip here will never be enough. We're willing to bet that you'll be left wanting more.
When to visit California: A coastal fog rolls in over the Californian coast in the height of summer. The fog generally clears by the afternoon, but if you're looking for bright blue skies, it's best to travel in May or around September/October time.
Steeped in history and dripping with rural charm, New England is wonderful road trip territory. Follow the Freedom Trail and grab a lobster roll at Boston Harbour before driving through Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. Explore the beaches of Cape Cod, set off on whale watching adventures, take the cog railway to the summit of Mount Washington and spend a day hiking in the White Mountains. Peaceful and compact, this area is perfect for relaxed road trips. Swim in mountain lakes, tuck into clam chowder and start each day with homemade Vermont maple syrup.
When to take a New England road trip: Famous for its flaming autumn foliage, New England's natural beauty hits an extra high in late September, with orange leaves set against the white cladding of the houses and churches.
For a road trip with a tropical twist, try driving across the Sunshine State or Hawaii. In Florida, you can lap up the Art Deco glitz of Miami, laze on palm-lined beaches, spot alligators in the Everglades and drive across the Overseas Highway to the Key West for afternoon margaritas and serious relaxation. On the way, you can swing by the Kennedy Space Center and whip through Orlando's magical theme parks. In Hawaii, you can drive to hidden waterfalls, volcanoes, and secret sandy bays. Beautiful, laid-back and packed with Polynesian spirit, it's an exceptional choice for an exotic USA road trip.
When to take a road trip across Florida or Hawaii: Warm all year round, Florida is the perfect place for a winter escape, although it can feel a little crowded. November and March, either side of the high season, are often the best times to travel. Hawaii's dry season runs from April until October, with July and August seeing the busiest in-flux of tourists.
If your looking for a trip that's all about the Great Outdoors, swap hotels for campsites and travel the USA in a campervan. Perfect for exploring the National Parks, you'll find that a campervan gives you ultimate freedom and independence. There are brilliant campsites scattered all over the country, making it easy to get right into the heart of nature. Cook meals by a campfire, sleep under starry skies and wake up in the wilderness. It's a fabulous way to feel off the map and there are campervans suited to every kind of travellers. There's no better way to hit the open road.