Get your kicks on Route 66 (Audley)
List Words : Wanderlust team | 18 October

Hit the road, Jack: 8 great American self-drive road trips you’ll want to book now

No other country in the world does a road trip like America. Big, brash and epic - all roads lead to the adventure of a lifetime. From Route 66 to the byways of Georgia, get behind the wheel and drive.

1: Welcome to Canyon Country

Red Arch road tunnel, Bryce Canyon (Dreamstime)

Red Arch road tunnel, Bryce Canyon (Dreamstime)

Wind your way through some of the USA’s most epic landscapes on this two-week driving holiday in the national parks of canyon country with Wexas Travel.

The deserts of south-west USA are home to a geological wonderland of twisted rocks, gravity-defying arches, towering spires and plunging canyons, best explored by car. You’ll swap the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip for Zion's cliff-framed meadows and hanging gardens, drive through Bryce Canyon's cavernous amphitheatres and the buttes and mesas of Monument Valley, before heading south to the Grand Canyon and the sacred gorges of Sedona.

Epic.

Trip: Canyon Country & National Parks Self-Drive

Who: Wexas Travel

When: No fixed departure date

How long: 15 days

How much: From £3,580 (inc. flights)

2: North by north west to adventure

Road winding through Olympic National Park (Dreamstime)

Road winding through Olympic National Park (Dreamstime)

Discover the incredible diversity and beauty of the Pacific North West on this 21-day driving holiday with Audley.

Across three weeks, you’ll take in the many contrasting parts of this extraordinary corner of North America. From the epic landscape of Canada's Rocky Mountains to the charming cities of Vancouver and Seattle, driving gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in all this natural beauty.  There are plenty of chances to get out of your car, too, for a spot of kayaking, cycling and hiking in lesser-visited national parks like Olympic, Glacier and North Cascades.

It’s the ideal itinerary for anyone who wants varied scenery, excellent wildlife viewing and the buzz of a city break.

Trip: Canada & USA Pacific Northwest Self-Drive

Who: Audley

When: No fixed departure date

How long: 21 days

How much: From £3,310 (inc.flights)

3: Into the great wide open

Highway in Alaska (Dreamstime)

Highway in Alaska (Dreamstime)

Explore the wildlife, the national parks and the wide open spaces of USA’s largest state on this epic self-drive adventure with Wexas. 

Starting in Anchorage, you’ll discover the delights of Mt. Mckinley, Denali National Park and Fairbanks, the Golden Heart City of Alaska. Next, you’ll follow the Top of the World Highway to Dawson City in the Yukon, before travelling along the legendary South Klondike Highway to Skagway and the magnificent Kluane National Park.

It’s the USA, but on a much larger scale.

Trip: Alaska & The Yukon: National Parks Self-Drive

Who: Wexas

When: No fixed departure date

How long: 19 day

How much: Price on application

4: California dreamin’

A road in Yosemite National Park (Dreamstime)

A road in Yosemite National Park (Dreamstime)

Take a loop through the north of California and discover the very best of what the Golden State has to offer on this self-drive holiday with Exsus Travel.

Starting in the bohemian streets of San Francisco, you’ll head to the sun-drenched vineyards of Napa Valley and sample some of the finest wines in the world. Your itinerary will then take you through California’s most extraordinary landscapes and national parks whose names are famous throughout the world: Yosemite, Sequoia and Joshua Tree. 

There will be plenty of opportunities to park up and go white water rafting, hiking or rock climbing or simply unwind on a beach in San Diego.

Trip: California National Parks Self-Drive Holiday: Yosemite, Sequoia And Joshua Tree

Who: Exsus Travel

When: No fixed departure date

How long: 11 nights

How much: From £3,250 (inc. flights)

5: Get your kicks on Route 66

Historic route 66 route marker sign in New Mexico (Dreamstime)

Historic route 66 route marker sign in New Mexico (Dreamstime)

Here’s one for your travel bucket list - a long and languorous drive along America’s ‘Mother Road’, Route 66, with Audley.

You’ll join the world’s most famous highway in Chicago and follow it through the rural heart of America. Along the way you’ll fill up at art deco gas stations, eat in 50s diners and roll through vast, empty landscapes. From the grandeur of the Grand Canyon to the excitement and bright lights of Las Vegas, you’ll experience America’s enigmatic past and present and perhaps a hint of its future too.

Trip: Historic Route 66 Self-Drive

Who: Audley

When: No fixed departure date

How long: 19 days

How much: From £2,980 (inc. flights)

6: Georgia on your mind

A rod through the Great Smoky Mountains (Dreamstime)

A rod through the Great Smoky Mountains (Dreamstime)

Take your time and immerse yourself in Georgia’s particular charms on this 15 day southern self-drive with Audley.

From magnificent mountains to sun-drenched beaches, this is a southern road trip you’ll never want to end. The roads through the Great Smoky Mountains offer an extraordinary panorama around ever bend. The sand dunes of Jekyll Island are made for exploring. And the charms of historic cities such as Wilmington, Charleston and Savannah while have you want to put up your feet and linger a while.

This is the hospitable South you’ve heard so much about. Fire up your engine and discover it first hand.

Trip: Georgia & the Carolinas Self-Drive

Who: Audley

When: No fixed departure date

How long: 15 days

How much: From £3,235 (inc. flights)

7: Racing Arizona

Highway in Monument Valley, Utah / Arizona, USA (Dreamstime)

Highway in Monument Valley, Utah / Arizona, USA (Dreamstime)

Lose yourself on the road less travelled on this self-drive discovery tour through Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado with Audley.

The variety of landscapes is astounding. From dusty, cactus-strewn desert to green forests and craggy mountains, this is an America few get to see. Along the way, you’ll encounter the region’s Ancestral Puebloan tribes, whose ancient cliff dwellings can still be seen today, and stay in the 16th-century Spanish town of Santa Fe.

There are ghosts towns too, reminders of a mining past that has come and gone.

Trip: Arizona and New Mexico Discovered Self-Drive

Who: Audley

When: No fixed departure date

How long: 14 days

How much: From £1,775 (inc. flights)

8: Big views along Big Sur

Bixby Bridge on the Big Sur (Dreamstime)

Bixby Bridge on the Big Sur (Dreamstime)

Experience some of the West Coast's most dramatic ocean scenery as you drive along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway on this California Self Drive holiday with Audley.

Starting in San Francisco and driving south along the Big Sur towards Los Angeles, you will encounter everything that makes life in Californian so enviable - the hipster buzz of San Francisco, the soft sand beaches of Pismo, whale watching off Monterey and star-spotting in Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

Magic moments await around every corner and you can decide whether to move on or linger.

Trip: Coastal California Self-Drive

Who: Audley

When: No fixed departure date

How long: 10 days

How much: From £2,680 (inc. flights)