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The Motorists' Guide

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Guide to Driving and Road Trips in the USA
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  2. Who has done any of these? Pacific Coast Highway Surely the most dramatic US road trip of them all, California’s Pacific Coast Highway comprises the Dana Point to San Francisco portion of State Route 1, travelling 655 miles along the crashing shoreline of the Pacific Ocean, its twists and turns peppered with beaches, cliffs and vibrant cities. Top stop-offs along the way include the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, the surfing beaches of Malibu, the rugged scenery of the Big Sur and chocolate box houses of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Allow around five days to get a flavour for it; longer to see it all. Route 66 The most famous road trip in the world, Route 66 covers the 2,448 miles between Chicago and Los Angeles. Crossing no fewer than eight states and three time zones, this epic adventure takes you from glittering cities to dusty deserts, with plenty of middle-of-nowhere towns scattered in between, so you’ll need to take your time. Two weeks ought to do it; although allow a lot longer if you want to linger in LA at the end or take a diversion or two – the Grand Canyon is a popular choice. Orlando to the Florida Keys Driving from the theme parks of Orlando to the pristine beaches of the Florida Keys is quite the adventure. Once you leave the bright lights of Miami behind, you’ll hit the Overseas Highway, 113 miles of tarmac linking the Florida mainland to the 1,700 islands of the Florida Keys, traversing vast expanses of turquoise water as it goes. The route passes through 40 islands on its way to Key West, with popular choices for a night or two’s stay along the way including the water sports paradise Duck Key, colonial-style Key West, and Islamorada, where you might be lucky enough to spot bottlenose dolphins frolicking in the surf. Blue Ridge Parkway The Blue Ridge Parkway is less of a road trip and more an extended scenic drive, but it’s truly spectacular so we just had to include it in this list. Stretching 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, this tree-lined route is especially impressive in autumn when the leaves are golden and the skies are blue. Allow at least three days, if not longer, as you’ll no doubt stop for plenty of photos of the waterfalls, rock formations, forests and mountain viewpoints. New York to Boston The 217 miles between New York and Boston is a good road trip option if you’re short on time, or just want a taster of a US road trip without the commitment of a cross-continent extravaganza. You can easily bulk it out with extended stays in both New York and Boston, and stopovers at the seaside city of Newport, Rhode Island, and the town of Mystic, Connecticut, famous for being the inspiration and filming location for 1988 film Mystic Pizza starring Julia Roberts. The Grand Circle The most famous national park road trip in the USA, this circular tour takes you from the roulette wheels of Las Vegas to no less than six national parks, which are, wait for it: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, and Grand Canyon, before returning to Sin City once more. Of course there’s always the option to continue on to Los Angeles, San Diego or San Francisco at the end, or even go the whole hog and add in a stop at Yosemite. You’ll need at least two weeks to do this one justice, longer to explore the parks in detail. Alaska's Parks Highway The George Parks Highway, usually shortened to the Parks Highway, runs 358 miles from Anchorage to Fairbanks, parallel to the Alaska Railroad, passing Denali National Park and crossing over 40 bridges. The terrain here is rugged and wild, with snow-covered mountains constantly looming above, and with the 6,190m peak of Denali, North America’s highest mountain, visible throughout the route. Driven in one go, the highway takes about seven hours, but who wants to drive it all at once? Add in a few days at either end plus a stopover in Denali National Park to really make the most of your time. Hawaii's Road to Hana Along the northern shore of Maui, among lush tropical forests and glinting waterfalls, lies the much-travelled Road to Hana, a 64.4-mile highway linking Kahului, in the north, to Hana, in the south. But the destination is not important here; what matters is the long, winding journey crossing more than 50 bridges, numerous waterfalls, plunging cliffs, and passing the occasional black sand beach. Take your time, stop for photos, hike the forests and dive into the swimming holes you pass along the way. You’ll need a full day to do this one justice. Coast to Coast Well if you’re going to go on a road trip across America, you might as well do it properly, right? Coast to coast can be anything you like – popular choices include New York to LA, trying to fit in every state (you’ll need about two months for this) or as data scientist Randy Olson worked out, some kind of convoluted loop linking all 47 national parks in the continental USA (excluding Alaska, Hawaii and the overseas territories) in the shortest way possible, a 14,498-mile journey that takes a minimum of two months. Original article source: https://www.flightcentre.co.uk/uk-travel-blog/9-best-american-road-trips
  3. Route 66, known as the Mother Road starts in Chicago and travels 300 miles through Illinois. Take it to Joliet and visit the historic Rialto Theater that plays host to world-class entertainment. Stop off at diners who specialize in delicious, homemade food, and visit Starved Rock, voted Illinois' number one attraction, with its huge bluffs, deep canyons and majestic waterfalls.
  4. 322 miles in one day. Steve travelled to Las Vegas to take a 2018 Ford Mustang convertible on a short road trip through too glorious states. Las Vegas – a city synonymous for gambling, partying and generally a play ground for the rich and famous. However, what if you want a change from the hustle and bustle of the city and see more of what the silver state has to offer? The answer is to hire a car and I have devised a perfect road trip which allows you enjoy some of the amazing scenery, ghost towns, mining towns and route 66 which all helped make the states of Nevada and Arizona both famous and rich. Below is a picture of the planned route. Tips for driving in Nevada & Arizona · You can turn right onto a road even if your traffic light sequence is on red if it is safe to do so. · We would recommend obeying the speed limits as he had been warned we would see lots of Police cars. We only saw four marked Police vehicles but there were probably plenty of unmarked cars we didn’t see! · Plan your route as phone signal can be limited in certain remote locations. · Fuel stations can be limited when you’re out in the desert and as such we would recommend not letting the fuel tank fall below the ¼ tank mark. · Always where your seatbelt whilst driving · Never pass a school bus with the stop sign out. · Never use your mobile phone whilst driving except through a hands free device. · Children 6 years or younger are required to have a child restraint system. · Do not drink and drive. Speed limits 15mph - School Zones 25mph - residential areas 45mph - Areas going into towns 65mph - Urban freeways, rural highways 70mph - Rural interstate freeways Our recommendations · Don’t stop at fort Mohave unless you require a break · Do visit the Hoover Dam · Consider visiting Chloride ghost town (off route 93) · Take plenty of pictures Have fun! Starting location Most of the car rental companies are situated near to the McCarran Airport, which are a short taxi ride from most of the hotels situated near to the strip and cost approximately $20 for a ride there or back. To get the best deals on hire cars my advice is to book as early as possible and pay in full at the time of booking. Besides getting a cheaper price this also allows you to splash out on a nicer vehicle is desired. For example a similar Ford Mustang to the one I have on test would cost you £111 from Alamo if booked months in advance, whereas on the day it would have cost you more than double the price. The rental charge is for a full 24 hours from the time of booking and we’d recommend collecting your car at around 7am. This sounds early, but believe me the trip is worth it. Rental car location address: McCarran Airport Rental Car Return, 7231 Gilespie St, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA Red Rock Canyon The first point of interest on our road trip is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area and features a 12 mile drive around beautiful scenery. Leaving the rental car lot its approximately a 30 minute drive to Red Rock Canyon along Route 215 & 159. Arriving at red Rock there is a toll booth where you pay the $15 vehicle fee to drive around the site. You will not be disappointed in spending the $15 as the views are breath taking and the following pictures do not do the area justice. Red Rock address: Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center, 1000 Scenic Loop Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89161, USA Nelson ghost town After leaving red rock Canyon you have to back track yourself along route 215 and subsequently join the freeway, which becomes route 95 that takes you directly out of Las Vegas and into the wonderful Nevada desert. You need to keep an eye out though for the left turn for route 165 which takes you directly to Nelson. However there are two parts of Nelson, the first part that will come into view is the more modern buildings. Don’t stop here, instead carry on around the corner and you’ll be met by the rustic mining town. Once you’ve parked the car, head over to the visitor centre to check in and be given relevant safety information but to be fair your main danger is rattle snakes. The owners of the ghost town are lovely and they kindly ask if you’re going to take lots of pictures to pay a measly $10. The visitor centre does have cold drinks for sale in the freezer, but be warned you might get a surprise, as the carcases of the rattle snake caught in that year are kept in there! Nelson is lovingly preserved and you cannot be impressed by the town’s charm. From Red Rock Canyon, Nelson is an hour’s drive and approximately 60miles . Nelson address: Nelson, NV 89046, USA Colorado River As you leave Nelson turn right out of the carpark to head through the Eldorado Canyon and drive the 5 miles approx to the majestic Colorado River. You’ll find the road is a dead end but offers great views of the surrounding area. Oatman Arizona Leaving the Colorado River you head back along the 165 and re-join the 95 to head towards Arizona. On our trip we stopped at the town Fort Mohave which was 1 hour 35 minutes from Nelson but other than getting a bite to eat we didn’t find anything else of note at the town. Therefore we’d recommend driving straight through the town to another famous ghost town – Oatman. To get to Oatman you have to come off route 95 and take route 163 through the Mesquite creek to reach the town. On the way you’ll go through, yet more stunning scenery in the Mojave Desert. As you get nearer to Oatman you’ll discover that you have come onto the world famous Route 66 which not only passes through Oatman but will take you to our next destination as well. Oatman is another well preserved ghost town with plenty of shops, bar and hotel. There’s also a small mine you can enter as well as a jail and museum which were both closed on our visit. It’s worth noting that if you intend to visit the town on a weekend, they often do wild west style shoot outs on the main road. Another curiosity for the town are the semi wild Burros that roam the streets. These donkey like creatures were once domesticated in the twos boom years but as they escaped from their owners throughout the decades the breed became more wild. But it has to be said they love to be fed and fussed over! Kingman Arizona Leaving Oatman, you continue along the historic Route 66 for just under an hour to arrive at the town of Kingman. However before I discuss Kingman I want to talk about the fantastic drive to the town via the world’s most famous highway. The drive between Oatman and Kingman is breath-taking but can alos be dangerous if you chose to drive irresponsibly. The stretch of 66 we were on had shear drops, uneven surfaces at the edge of the highway and tight turns. It is truly an amazing experience but as already mentioned it would not suffer fools. On arriving at Kingman there is a fantastic traditional diner where food and drink is served with enthusiasm. The staff were friendly and genuinely interested in talking to us both about our trip but also about the UK. Next to the diner was a second-hand car lot which sold muscle cars and hotrods which stood out. I definitely wanted one or two! Unfortunately because we had arrived at Kingman at 9pm not a lot of places were open and couldn’t get a full flavour of what the town had to offer. After we were finished at the diner we picked up route 93 and headed back towards Las Vegas with a plan to visit the Hoover Dam before it closed at 9pm. unfortunately we arrived 15 minutes late and thus couldn’t visit the Dam. After this setback we decided to return the car to the rental company and which concluded our road trip. The Motorists Guide View: Thanks for reading our Nevada & Arizona road trip, we hope we have inspired you to complete a US road trip of your own and we can assure you that you won't be disappointed! Have you done a road trip that you think we should consider doing? Then don’t hesitate to contact us!
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