On beautiful sunny days like this, it’s inevitable that our thoughts drift from the stuffy 9-5 to dreams about hitting the open road, and what better place to put a pedal to the metal than in the grand ol’ US of A?
Here are some of the places we would visit if we were able to do the great American road trip:
Navajo Bridge, Arizona
This magnificent steel structure stretches over Colarado River’s Marble Canyon. It is a truly spectacular sight, and if you find yourself driving a car in the Grand Canyon area, I highly recommend you pay it a visit.
There are two bridges, and while they look fairly alike, they were actually opened over 65 years apart. The original bridge was erected in 1929, but was replaced in 1995 with a wider structure that could cope with modern day traffic. However, the original bridge still stands today, so pedestrians can admire the amazing view of the river some 143m beneath.
Heceta Head Lighthouse, Oregon
If you’re driving about Oregon and fancy a decent postcard picture, then head to the coast where you can capture one of the most photographed sites in the state: the Heceta Head Lighthouse.
The 17m tall structure was built in 1895, and can shine a beam visable for 34km, making it the strongest light on the Oregon coast. Of course, it attracts more than just boats. Every year, hundreds of tourists flock to the site to take beautiful pictures just like the one above.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs, Colorado
If the toll of the road trip is getting you down, then you should check out Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Colorado.
The natural mineral springs maintain a temperature of around 39 – 43C, and the surrounding areas are stunning. Add that to the fact there are staff on hand to dish out massages and other theraputic treatments, and it makes it the perfect place to relax after a hard day’s driving!
The World’s Largest Pistachio Nut, New Mexico
Before you ask – no, it’s not a real pistachio. However, this huge steel structure is a real feat of engineering for a mere foodstuff replica. It stands over 9 metres tall and has a concrete base nearly 3 metres deep.
The nut stands outside McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch, which sells a mouthwatering selection of pistachio products. The red chilli pistachios are a firm favourite, but if you fancy something a bit different, why not try the lemon-lime flavour?
Trees of Mystery, California
The Trees of Mystery is a great little hiking trail for those who want to break away from the driver’s seat for a while. Babe the Ox (pictured above) will greet you at the entrance, and inside you will find trees that have twisted and contorted into the most fantastic shapes.
There is also a free Native American museum and a cafe on site. If you can’t be bothered hiking to see the best of what the California Redwoods have to offer, never fear! A nifty little skytrail will take you around the key spots for no effort whatsoever!
Top tips for car road trips:
- Be spontaneous. Sure, plan a rough route, but resist the temptation to plan a rigid timetable. You never know where your trip will take you.
- Do all the boring stuff you have to do with your car to make sure it is in good nick. Get it serviced, and compare car insurance to make sure you are fully covered. You don’t want your trip ruined by an expensive car repair.
- Stock up on car snacks to keep you going through the long drives. Trail mix, bottled water and boiled sweets are great road trip fodder. But of course, keep your apetite up for those delicious roadside cafes!
Can’t get enough of our road trip goodness? Check out the map below for some more cool spots:
Have you done an American road trip? Have you been to any of the places I’ve mentioned, or maybe somewhere even better that’s not on the list? Tell me about them in the comments below!