Sometimes the road most travelled is most travelled for a reason.
And in no place is that truer than in the United States of America, where going on a road trip is surely the best way to explore the country’s vast landscape and rich, fascinating history.
It’s no wonder that America is the spiritual home of the classic road trip, given how geographically large the country is and how much time it would take to see and do everything there is to see and do in the Land of the Free.
Unfortunately for me, time will not be on my side when I head to America for my honeymoon later this year. So my fiancé and I are in the very early stages of planning an abbreviated road trip along America’s famed Pacific Coast Highway – a drive that we hope will take in some of these amazing US attractions…
I left my heart in San Francisco when I visited in 2011 – one of only two times that I’ve ever visited the United States (I was in New York for Thanksgiving a few years prior).
There are so many fun things to see and do in San Francisco but highlights include the infamous Alcatraz, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and the popular Pier 39. By planning San Francisco city excursions now, before my honeymoon, I’ll be able to make the most of my trip by saving time and money.
Yosemite National Park
Best-known for its stunning landscape, including spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls and forests, Yosemite National Park is roughly three hours from San Francisco but a veritable world away in terms of natural wonder.
Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, most of Yosemite National Park is designated wilderness and is home to countless species of critters – including bears. Oh my!
The irrepressible City of Angels might be the US city that this traveller is most looking forward to visiting next.
The Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, Beverly Hills, Hollywood; these places are as famous as it gets thanks to the mass marketing of American culture through film and television. I don’t care if it’s cliché, I want to gaze up at the Hollywood sign, walk the Walk of Fame and do a sightseeing tour of movie stars’ homes.
Most of all, I want to drive along Rodeo Drive and Sunset Boulevard – preferably in a convertible with the top down.
I got engaged in Bali and I will get married in Auckland – but I seriously can’t wait to honeymoon in Vegas! Sure, it’s off the Pacific Coast highway a little bit, but you can’t miss partying in Vegas.
I’m not much of a gambler (I once won $50 on a slot machine and immediately quit while I was ahead) but still I can’t wait to try my luck at the Bellagio, the MGM Grand and at Caesar’s.
Of course, there are other things to do in Vegas – including going on a drive to the next thing on our US road trip hit-list…
The Grand Canyon
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of America’s great tourist attractions, boasting amazing views over the famous Grand Canyon National Park and others.
Sure, it’s just a big hole in the ground – but you can’t very well go on a road trip to Vegas and not drive the extra four hours or so to see it.
Much closer to Vegas is the Hoover Dam, dubbed one of the greatest achievements of the 20th Century.
Whether or not the Hoover Dam compares to another remarkable man-made structure I visited – Angkor Wat in Cambodia – remains to be seen, but still I look forward to visiting this colossal concrete structure in Southern Nevada.
What are your recommendations for must-see tourist attractions along or near America’s Pacific Coast highway?