We’re not quite sure what it is but whenever we think about the great United States of America, one phrase comes to mind: road trip. Blame Jack Kerouac or perhaps Thelma and Louise, but for us, the States’ endless highways and dramatic landscapes hold an undeniable air of adventure, with more than just a touch of glamour.
A continent of such vast proportions and distinct diversity promises a completely different experience depending on what part you opt for – whether you’re after the salty sea air of California or the parched panoramas of Nevada, one thing is for sure: this will be a holiday like no other.
Take a look at our ideas for the best luxury road trips around the US, packed with adventure and fully customisable to what you’d like to see and do – all you need to do is grab your keys and go.
1. Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon
We like to start with a bang, and where better to do so than in the bright lights of Las Vegas, where the phrase "life in the fast lane" never rang truer. Then rev up and steer for Utah, a state of mind-blowing natural wonders, like the burnt orange hoodoos of Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, and the Wild West-worthy desert of Monument Valley. End on a high with the awesome Grand Canyon, where vast rusty tiers of rock plummet into the waters of the Colorado River – something everyone should see at least once in a lifetime.
For a taste of the Wild West and the open road, read more about this Vegas and Southern National Parks self-drive.
2. Miami & the Florida Keys
For a completely different flavour, this sun-soaked road trip kicks off at Miami’s infamous South Beach where you can sit back and watch the locals strut their stuff while you sip on a top-notch mojito. Then hop in the car and make for the Overseas Highway – arguably one of the best places to drive in the world, with incredibly turquoise water stretching as far as the eye can see and delivering you straight to the idyllic Florida Keys. Chill out on the Caribbean-style beaches of Little Palm Island; cruise past the candy-coloured clapper-board houses of Key West and swim with the dolphins at Islamorada on this blissful, laidback self-drive – sunglasses are a must.
To feel the sun on your skin as you cruise along, take a closer look at this Florida self-drive holiday.
3. San Francisco to L.A.
California in a convertible – need we say more? Begin in San Francisco, where the morning fog clears to reveal the epic Golden Gate Bridge and old world trams climb past the ‘painted ladies’, the brightly-coloured Victorian houses that line the hillsides. Leave the city behind, take the hood down and steer along the famed Highway One, tracing the Pacific coastline and stopping off at the vineyards of Carmel, the crashing waves of Big Sur and the sun kissed, Mediterranean-like town of Santa Barbara. Finish up in Los Angeles, the town of dream-chasers and go-getters, and a hub of hustle and bustle in the shadow of the iconic Hollywood sign: the climax to an amazing all-American journey.
To breathe in the fresh sea air as you sail down Highway One, read more about this California road trip.