A road trip to the USA is one for the bucket list. With more than 50 states and countless attractions, there is no perfect route to take from north to south or east to west. Careful planning is essential to ensure you are reaching all of the attractions you want to see. From famous world cities to stunning natural scenery, here are 10 of the best attractions to visit on a road trip across the USA.
10 Places to Visit on a Road Trip to the USA
#1 Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone is the grandad of national parks. It was the first park to ever be formed, in 1872, and now spans more than 3,500 square miles of pristine wilderness, home to bears, wolves, cougars, bison, elk and more. It is also home to volcanic geothermal pools and the famous Old Faithful geyser, with millions of people visiting the park every year.
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#2 The Grand Canyon, Arizona
Another iconic natural feature, the Grand Canyon has been carved over millions of years by the Colorado River and now stretches for more than 270 miles across Arizona. In places it is 18 miles wide and over a mile deep, making it one of the most breathtaking places to visit in the USA. One of the best ways to see the canyon is by helicopter, with numerous local operators running trips to the canyon.
#3 New York City, New York
Where to begin with New York? Arguably the most well-known city in the world, highlights including the Statue of Liberty, United Nations headquarters, Rockefeller Centre and Empire State Building make New York one of the must-visit metropolises on any road trip to the USA. It is the most populated city in the country and also the financial capital.
#4 Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
One of America’s more unusual attractions, Mount Rushmore is one of the best places to visit in the USA. Carved into the stone cliffs of South Dakota’s Black Hills, the weathered faces of US Presidents’ George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln gaze back at you as you arrive at the memorial. Construction began in the late 1920s and the four presidents were chosen to represent the birth, growth, development and preservation of the USA respectively. More than three million people visit Mount Rushmore every year.
#5 San Francisco, California
Home to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and known for its steep hills and the stunning San Francisco Bay, San Francisco is one of the most picturesque cities in the whole of the United States. Located on the western coast of California, it makes the perfect place to start or end a US road trip.
#6 Los Angeles, California
Home to Hollywood royalty, Los Angeles is another Californian destination that has to be a part of any road trip to the west coast. Home to golden sandy beaches, glorious weather and a host of unique restaurants, the main attraction of the city is probably the famous Hollywood sign, adorning Instagram snaps of travellers the world over.
#7 Big Sur, California
More stunning natural scenery can be found as you head inland from the Californian coast. Big Sur is an outstanding natural wilderness, home to towering redwood trees and a variety of wildlife. There are isolated beaches to explore and cascading waterfalls to admire, with a plethora of hiking trails and campsites to enjoy if you choose.
#8 Monument Valley, Utah & Arizona
Straddling the border between Utah and Arizona, Monument Valley is a 17-mile road trail within the Navajo Nation Reservation. The road winds around multiple impressive sandstone rock formations, known as buttes. Each butte has its own name and the largest is more than 300 metres tall. Visitors to the area can pay a small fee before taking their own vehicle through the valley.
#9 Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas needs no introduction. A playground for the rich and famous, as well as those on stag do’s, birthdays and other celebrations, it has long been a home of debauchery. With luxury casinos, expensive restaurants and fun-filled rides and rollercoasters, it’s one of the most iconic places to visit in the USA and well worth a day or two of your road trip.
#10 Antelope Canyon, Arizona
The final highlight on our list is a lesser-known attraction, which is a must-visit for travellers to Arizona. A slot-canyon, the site has become popular with photographers because of the incredible display of sunlight reflecting off the deep walls of the canyon. The canyon provides a source of income to the Navajo tribe and is accessible by guided tour only.
An American road trip is a bucket list experience, everyone should enjoy the thrill of travelling across the gigantic country under their own steam at some point. With a host of fascinating modern cities and spectacular natural scenery to boot, the only struggle is deciding where to start your adventure.