UK passport holders are entitled to stay in the United States for 90 days and we plan to fill every one of them. Travel across four time zones and 35 of the 50 U.S. states on this once-in-a-lifetime road trip. Along the way you’ll stay in 18 diverse and unique American cities and clock up nearly 11,500 miles.
Your epic adventure kicks off in the Big Apple itself, New York City, meanders up the coast to charming New England, dips it's toe in the US side of Niagara Falls and cruises into the Windy City, Chicago. Then it’s the jaw-dropping scenery and parks of the Rocky Mountain States and the great Pacific Northwest.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all you'll cruise south down California’s legendary Pacific Coast Highway before you skid into the neon city of Las Vegas.
Let the wide open spaces enthral as you discover Utah, the Grand Canyon State of Arizona and New Mexico. Then its cowboy hats at the ready as you cross into larger than life Texas. And we’re not done yet as the music, bayous, plantation homes and mouth-watering cuisine of the Deep South are soon upon you. Next comes the Atlantic coast and the gentle southern cities of Savannah and Charleston.
Travel through the stunning Carolinas and into historic Virginia with the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park as the backdrop. You’re on your way to nation's capital, Washington DC. We’re in the home stretch now with just time to include 'The Cradle of the Nation', Philadelphia, home to the Liberty Bell before completing the tour back in New York City.
That's it - ALL the major USA highlights in one spectacular bucket list itinerary!
Price per person includes:
This road trip kicks off without the car because you’ll want to walk and ride and sniff the air in the city that never sleeps, New York.
Enjoy an open-top bus tour, the view from the Empire State Building, a carriage ride around Central Park or a Broadway Show. Times Square is always buzzing and a trip around Macy's flagship store is mandatory.
Distance: 133 miles
Collect your car locally and hit the road.
Wedged between New York and Boston, Connecticut may be small, but it boasts fine museums, galleries and restaurants. The Connecticut seashore looks out over Long Island Sound and is dotted with colonial villages and secluded coves. At Mystic Seaport, visit The Museum of America and the Sea, the largest maritime museum in the world. Alternatively, stop in the delightful seaside village of Old Saybrook where The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center was opened in 2009. Hepburn was raised in Connecticut and this is also the location of the Hepburn family beach home which she loved and later owned. The centre includes the Katharine Hepburn museum, so fans should definitely have a look.
Distance: 42 miles
It's a short drive today to Newport and America's smallest state, Rhode Island. There is an astonishing wealth of architecture in the birthplace of America's industrial revolution. Your overnight stay here is in glamorous Newport.
Check out the magnificent mansions on famous Bellevue Avenue, once the summer homes to the likes of the Vanderbilt's and other uber wealthy American families. Or take a leisurely stroll along Cliff Walk between Easton's and Bailey's beaches. In the evening, head to the waterfront to dine and enjoy the stunning views out to sea.
Distance: 70 miles
Welcome to Boston, where the mutinous locals threw a Tea Party at the expense of their British rulers in 1773.
Bursting with old-fashioned charm, pretty cobbled streets and pre-Revolution landmarks. A great way to explore the city is to stroll along the three-mile Freedom Trail which takes in all the sites of Old Boston. From the harbour, hop on a boat trip and enjoy a spot of whale watching off the Cape Cod coast. Like seafood? Then you'll adore the Union Oyster House, the oldest restaurant in Boston dating back to the 16th century.
Distance: 107 miles
Maine, known for tasty lobsters and lighthouses perched on rocky promontories, is your next stop. En route to Portland, stop at the pretty village of Kennebunkport for some famous clam chowder or sizzling lobster bake. Mooch around the eclectic shops, or take a guided tour around the historic district. Your overnight stop is the seaside resort of Portland, a lively town with a delightful port area lined with boutiques, pubs and restaurants.
Distance: 89 miles
It's time to leave the rugged New England coast behind and travel into the heart of New Hampshire's lake region and beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee. From your base, you'll be able to explore the majestic White Mountains and the northwest's highest peak, Mount Washington. Jump on the cog railway to the peak to enjoy views across New England and into northern Canada.
You'll also love the nostalgic train ride on the Winnepesaukee Scenic Railroad or a gentle cruise on the Winnipesaukee Belle, an authentic paddle wheel boat.
Distance: 70 miles
Today you'll journey along one of New England's most scenic roads - The Kancamagus Highway. This 34 mile route stretches from Conway to Lincoln. Designated as an American Scenic Byway its rich history and aesthetic beauty will delight. Slicing your way through the National White Mountain Forest, you'll enjoy breathtaking views of the Swift River, Sabbaday Falls and Rocky Gorge.
Complete with a little village green, tea rooms and antique shops, Woodstock is simply one of the prettiest villages in Vermont. Before you check in for the night, visit nearby Quechee Gorge to view the cascading waterfall.
Distance: 81 miles
Today you'll venture through the Green Mountain National Forest and the rolling verdant hills of Vermont to Lake George on the edge of the Adirondack Mountains. Nicknamed the Queen of American Lakes, the area has a rich history and a Native American heritage going back thousands of years. Visit the historical sites, museums and a spectrum of interesting galleries. Or, take to the water with a lake cruise, white-water rafting or relax on the beach.
Distance: 221 miles
The Finger Lakes region of New York State is known for its wine and Geneva by-the-Lake is the most romantic of all the towns in this region. Apart from the wineries there are plenty of breweries and hard cider producers too. If a tipple doesn't tickle your fancy try a spot of hiking, biking or a stroll around the numerous pristine state parks.
Distance: 118 miles
Thundering Niagara Falls needs no introduction. We've included two nights here so you'll have time to ride the Maid of The Mist and explore Old Falls Street USA. You may also want to consider crossing the border into Canada for pretty Niagara-by-the-Lake and the famous Ice-Wineries in the region.
Distance: 190 miles
You'll journey along the shores of one of America's Great Lakes, Lake Erie, stopping at picturesque places such as Presque Isle State Park or historic Kirtland, home to the first Mormon Church. Stop and hear the story of how the Latter Day Saint Movement had its headquarters here between 1831 and 1838.
Music lovers, be sure you leave time to visit Cleveland's top attraction - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The museum is chock full of the most impressive and iconic rock n' roll artefacts, plus a wide array of permanent and temporary exhibits.
Distance: 168 miles
If thrill rides are your thing, leave Cleveland early so you can stop in Sandusky - the home of Cedar Point, a 365 acre amusement park known as the Roller Coaster Capital of the World. Then it's on to Motor City and no visit is complete without a stop at the Henry Ford Museum.
Another Detroit must-do is the Motown Museum at Hitsville, USA. Berry Gordy’s legendary Motown made its mark on the music industry with a sound that has become one of the most significant musical accomplishments and success stories of the 20th century. Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Michael Jackson, the list goes on. You'll be surprised at just how impressive the museum is.
Distance: 245 miles
A consistent Best Small Town in America award winner, Traverse City, Michigan is quaint, but full of urban appeal. It is the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States and the hosts the annual National Cherry Festival the first full week of July.
The surrounding countryside is also ripe with grapes making this area one of the Midwest’s wine production centres. Traverse City is surrounded by thousands of acres of public parks, forests and freshwater beaches with an abundance of opportunities for outdoor adventure.
Distance: 298 miles
Chicago is hands down, one of our favourite US cities. There is so much to enjoy, the birthplace of the skyscraper - the architecture here does not disappoint. The food is impressive with everything from Chicago's signature deep-dish pizza to Ethiopian cuisine. Shopping, music, culture, the Windy City will certainly be your kinda town.
Distance: 281 miles
The first Europeans to settle in La Crosse were French fur traders who travelled the Mississippi River in the late 17th century.
Today, La Crosse’s brewing tradition is nearly as old as the state of Wisconsin itself, dating back to 1858 and the founding of the G. Heileman Brewing Company. Heileman’s doors closed in 1996, but City Brewing Company has taken up the standard along with Pearl Street Brewery, a craft brewery set up in a local historic building. A visit to their tasting rooms whilst in La Crosse is a must. You are also in the Dairy State it has to be cheese. On burgers, in fondue, as curds, don’t worry it’s all delicious – just try it.
Distance: 298 miles
The spirit and traditions of the Dakota Indians and early pioneers are recalled at numerous historic sites across southern Minnesotato Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This part of the USA is known for its antique shops, historic architecture and ethnic festivals. You'll pass trout streams, fishing lakes and endless rivers. Stop at the quaint town of Blue Earth, home to the world's largest statue of the Jolly Green Giant and the Giant Museum.
For a fascinating piece of roadside memorabilia, step back in time at the Buffalo Ridge 1880 Cowboy Ghost town before you arrive in Sioux Falls. Nestled just across the Iowa/Minnesota border, it offers a lively music scene in the evenings. For a walk on the wild side, experience life in a genuine roadhouse at Borrowed Bucks - no tie required.
Distance: 347 miles
Get ready for some unique attractions in this area. The Porter Sculpture Park at Montrose and the quirky Corn Palace in Mitchell where corn is art. Mitchell is also home to the Prehistoric Indian Village and the Dakota Discovery Museum. Perched atop the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Chamberlain is worth stopping for the views alone.
Take the highway through the eerie lunar scenery of Badlands National Park before you arrive in Rapid City, your South Dakota base for the next two nights. Tucked in the foothills of the Black Hills of Dakota, this is a fun western town. After discovering this state's incredible attractions such as Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse National Monument, Custer State Park or Wind Cave National Park, return to Rapid City and enjoy a chuck wagon ride followed by a cowboy supper.
Distance: 243 miles
Less than an hour’s drive north of Rapid City you'll encounter the infamous city of Deadwood. In the 1870’s, Deadwood Gulch was the site of the last frontier gold rush in North America. Fuelled by gold and greed, Deadwood began as a lawless camp of get-rich-quick prospectors and a district comprised of largely saloons, dance halls, card parlours and bodacious bordellos. Into this mix came frontier legends like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Today the whole town is a designated National Historic District and a delight to stroll around.
Your road trip today will take you through the Blacks Hills, Spearfish Canyon and across the border into the 'Cowboy State', Wyoming. In the distance you'll viewDevils Tower, a volcanic outcrop and pass through the teeny town of Sundance. The Sundance Kid did his only jail time here and you can relive the history in the museum, located in the courthouse basement. Enjoy the dramatic scenery as you travel through the Bighorn Mountains to your overnight stop in Sheridan. Explore Sheridan's Main Street and at certain times of the year you'll be able to take in a rodeo or lively western festival.
Distance: 129 miles
Today you'll cross the border into 'Big Sky Country', Montana. Your first stop should be The Little Bighorn National Monument, the site of a crucial battle in 1876 between George Armstrong Custer and the Sioux Indians. Learn about the history of the area and the battle at the interpretation centre.
Distance: 179 miles
You are in for real treat today, not only will you be exploring Yellowstone National Park, the world's first national Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, you'll arrive into the park via one of the most scenic drives in the world the Beartooth Highway.
Dubbed 'the most beautiful roadway in America' the highway climbs to an astonishing 10,947 ft as it winds its way through the northeastern part of Yellowstone. At the highway’s summit, you'll find yourself in a sky-high world of glacial cirques, clear alpine lakes and snow that lingers through the summer months.
Distance: 227 miles
Lava Hot Springs, En route to Idaho, you'll discover Grand Teton National Park. Every bit as impressive as Yellowstone, this truly spectacular mountain range lies just south of the park. Enjoy a hearty western breakfast at nearby Jackson Hole and then a stroll around the historic square.
If you didn't manage to spot any bears in Yellowstone, be sure to visit Yellowstone Bear World's drive-thru wildlife park in Rexburg, Idaho.
Arrive in Lava Hot Springs and head for the world-famous natural geothermal hot springs for a relaxing soak in temperatures in excess of 38C.
Distance: 270 miles
Distance: 171 miles
La Grande, Oregon is your two night base from which to set off on a 193 mile scenic byway through Hells' Canyon, the deepest river carved canyon in North America. This scenic byway explores the breathtaking beauty of rugged mountains, the mighty Snake River, alpine terrain and evergreen forest.
Travelling through farmland and mills, you'll pass the picturesque farming town of Lostine which leads to the Eagle Cap Wilderness, known as the 'Switzerland of America.' This is the heart of the Wallowa Mountains and Oregon’s largest continuous alpine area. More than 50 alpine lakes, beautiful wildflower-strewn meadows, granite cliffs and mountains create a stunning setting and habitat for a diverse variety of plants and animals.
Distance: 82 miles
Walla Walla has long been known as one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the US, but it’s as wine country that it is most celebrated. It's a short drive to this part of southern Washington State. Plan to arrive early and park up the car. Stroll along the pretty tree-lined streets, pop into the vintage boutiques then do a walking wine tour of the downtown area and delve into the numerous tasting rooms. Whatever you decide, we're sure you'll enjoy this area that has been recognised as one of the 'Best Small Town Main Streets in the USA.'
Distance: 269 miles
You'll journey through the heart of the majestic Cascade Mountains of Washington State before arriving in cosmopolitan Seattle. The Emerald City is FULL of things to do, but with just one day, it’s important to make the most of it.
Located downtown, Pike Place Market is an ideal place to start – especially if you arrive at lunchtime. This is the heart of Seattle’s foodie scene and bakeries, restaurants and coffee shops, including the original Starbucks, abound. Watch the famous fish-throwers at Pike Place Fish Company or mooch through the kitschy shops. Then work off that lunch with a stroll along the waterfront and enjoy the Olympic Sculpture Park. Then it’s on to the 520 ft high Space Needle – Seattle’s most iconic landmark.
Treat yourself to a sunset dinner cruise along Puget Sound with views of downtown Seattle or continue your exploration of downtown with a wealth of dining and entertainment options.
Distance: 173 miles
You'll be travelling in the shadow of Mt. Rainier today as you drive south through Washington State and the bohemian city of Portland. Referred to as the 'City of Roses', it boasts an abundance of rose gardens and parks. An interesting stop along the way is the Johnston Ridge Observatory overlooking Mount St Helens. Named after volcanologist David Johnston, he was camped out on this ridge observing the volcano when it blew. His final words were “Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it.” He was never found. There is an awesome view of the crater from here as well as some fascinating exhibits.
Portland has a growing reputation as a culinary centre and is proud to be part of America’s micro-brewery revolution. In the evening you'll find an endless choice of places to dine and listen to live music. This is one cool city.
Distance: 248 miles
If you fancy a good dose of retail therapy, Washington Square is an ideal stop as you depart Portland. Macy's, Nordstrom and a host of America's best brands are here under one roof. Cheescake Factory for lunch? You are bound to hike it off later. Back in the car, you're south-bound through the heart of Oregon's pristine wilderness to one of America's most breathtaking national parks, Crater Lake.
Crater Lake is immeasurably beautiful and has inspired people for thousands of years. Feast your eyes upon a deep, pure lake so blue in colour you will scarcely believe your eyes. The surrounding cliffs are almost two thousand feet high along with two picturesque islands and a violent volcanic past. From atop the crater you can gaze over the lake, then amble down and jump aboard a small boat that will take you on a cruise around Wizard Island.
Distance: 180 miles
Allow yourself time in the wild and woolly Rogue River region in south-western Oregon. Extraordinary wildlife viewing opportunities have made this area a national treasure and you can explore by jet boat.
It's a scenic byway all the way to your next stop the small town of Crescent City, California. Here you may wish to take long walks on the beach, hop on a whale watching tour or explore the lighthouses. Be sure to visit nearby Redwood National Park and meet the largest living organisms in the world. To appreciate them, you need to be up close. The Tall Trees Walk, an easy 5 mile hike, will have your neck craning to see the heights, some nearly 300 feet tall.
Distance: 227 miles
Meander south along the rugged California coast stopping at pretty seaside towns like Trinidad, Eureka, and Ferndale. Arrive in sleepy Mendocino referred to as the 'New England of California' as it resembles a quaint east coast fishing village. When the logging industry dried up, artists moved in and downtown is filled with galleries and eateries serving delicious, locally sourced products.
Distance: 154 miles
There's a reason Tony Bennett left his heart here. This City by the Bay is magic. You've got two nights to explore, but with so much to see, we'll help you plan your time here and sort out the attractions that need to be pre-booked such as Alcatraz.
One of our very favourite things is biking across the Golden Gate Bridge; looking back at San Fran from Sausalito from an outdoor cafe is just one of those must have experiences.
The neighbourhoods, cable cars, Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square, you aren't going to get bored here we can guarantee that.
Distance: 121 miles
Get ready for one of THE most scenic coastal driving experiences - The Pacific Coast Highway. This route, Highway 1, hugs the Californian coast from just below San Francisco to just short of Los Angeles. Along the way you'll encounter wilderness, wildlife, quaint California towns, lively seaside resorts, vineyards and whales.
As you near Carmel-by-the-Sea, you'll detour off the main road to famous 17-Mile-Drive which runs through Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach. Enjoy the awe-inspiring vistas and legendary sites, including the iconic Lone Cypress - one of California's best-known landmarks. You'll adore your overnight stay in fairy tale Carmel-by-the-Sea, a charming village perched above a dreamy white-sand beach.
Distance: 120 miles
Today is all about the drive. This exhilarating, twisting, cliff-hugging route along the coast starts as you leave Carmel-by-the-Sea and threads through Big Sur, where mountains plunge into the Pacific. Further south, the landscape mellows to oak-studded hills as the road passes ‘The Enchanted Castle on the Hill’, Hearst Castle.
Your overnight stay is in Paso Robles located in the coastal mountain range of central California, surrounded by some 170 wineries. It's safe to say there will be plenty of wine-tasting opportunities here.
Distance: 119 miles
Imagine London, Sydney or Buenos Aires; great food, shopping and culture. Scale them down to 20 square miles and replace traffic and crowded streets with pedestrian-friendly areas. Add wine. Now surround it with beautiful mountains, rolling valleys and miles of beautiful beach. Not to mention, exquisite hotels and outstanding cuisine. Welcome to Santa Barbara, the American Riviera.
Distance: 89 miles
Both a seaside town and bustling city, Santa Monica is brimming with activity. From surfing, biking and beach volleyball to shopping, people watching or simply soaking up the sun – outdoor activities are key. We suggest heading for Santa Monica Pier, the official end of Route 66 and an eclectic mix of fun and history.
Distance: 286 miles
We'll have to insist on an early departure from Santa Monica to make the most of today's drive and time in Las Vegas. Peggy Sue's 50's Diner is approximately half way and a great place to have breakfast. Try the Hot Rod Hot Cakes!
Just ten minutes up the street is Calico Ghost Town. Calico was a silver mining town and a big producer at the height of the silver strike. When the value of silver fell in the late 1890s, the miners left and Calico became a ghost town. It's worth a little stroll through; if nothing else you'll work off those pancakes before getting back in the car for the journey to Nevada.
VIVA LAS VEGAS! Park the car and hit the strip running. There is so much to take in. If you are keen to see a show, we'll suggest a few and get something pre-booked. Also worth considering is a helicopter night flight over the strip OR the next morning there's enough time to see the Grand Canyon by air before you are back on the road.
Distance: 158 miles
Leave the neon lights of Sin City behind as you travel north into Utah, home of The Mighty Five National Parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion. Sculpted by wind, water and time, the scenery in this state is some of the more dramatic you'll come across on your road trip.
Southern Utah makes quite an impression and your introduction is the magnificent Zion National Park. This 229 square mile park is laced with trails, slot canyons, waterfalls, hidden lakes and soaring cliffs. The park is accessible by regular shuttle service, so park up the car, put on your walking shoes and explore.
Nearby, you'll enjoy the petite ghost town of Grafton where the movie 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' was partially shot.
Distance: 116 miles
It's scenic byway all the way to your next stop, Page, Arizona. We recommend a break in Kanab, Utah, home to the Little Hollywood Movie Museum and interesting memorabilia from the 100+ movies and series that were filmed in this area, including Planet of the Apes, Billy the Kid, Desperado and Wagon Train.
Driving through this region, the heart of the Navajo Nation, you'll journey through a slice of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and skim man-made Lake Powell before arriving in Page. An absolute must-do from Page is Antelope Canyon. Over time, flash flooding has created deep, gorgeous passageways, called slot canyons, that you can walk through.
Distance: 138 miles
Few things will linger in your memory longer than your first glimpse of the Grand Canyon. The mile-deep chasm, carved by the Colorado River, is 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide in places. Its beauty and scale will humble you. Gaze upon nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history and appreciate that our own life span is but the blink of an eye.
The South Rim provides the best vantage point and there are many options available to make the most of your visit to the Grand Canyon. Bon Voyage will be sure to go over them with you.
Distance: 153 miles
13 miles north of the Arizona border, highway 163 runs straight as an arrow south towards the soaring red stone monoliths of Monument Valley. Members of the American Indian Tribe - Navajo Nation live and farm among the skyscraper-scale sandstone buttes that soar from the valley floor. This is a sacred place, not just to the Navajo, but to Hollywood too. Countless movies have been shot here since the early 1920s including She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, How the West Was Won, Apache, The Lone Ranger and Forest Gump.
Bon Voyage would be happy to arrange a guided tour with a local Navajo guide.
Distance: 157 miles
Travelling south from Monument Valley today, skirting the Hopi Indian Reservation, you'll encounter Canyon De Chelly National Monument, Arizona. Around A.D. 700 the Ancestral Puebloans began carving multi-storeyed dwellings into the sheer sandstone walls. They mysteriously vanished in the 1300s and the dwellings here are the oldest known houses in the U.S.
Arrive in the funky Route 66 town of Gallup by early evening to see 'Motel Row' lit with crazy, nostalgic neon lights. You'll be staying in the historic El Rancho Hotel, home of the Western movie stars in its heyday. Humphrey Bogart, Ronald Reagan, Kirk Douglas and Katharine Hepburn have all graced this Route 66 landmark.
Distance: 199 miles
You'll marvel during today's drive at the vast amount of open space in the USA. Nowhere quite demonstrates it as well as the west.
Stop off in Albuquerque for lunch and take in some Route 66 history. Breaking Bad fans can spot locations from the hit TV series and history buffs can stroll through Old Town.
Then it's a one hour drive to charming Santa Fe. We'll suggest a downtown hotel, so you can park up the car and explore by foot. The culture, art, history and food will exceed your expectations.
Distance: 168 miles
Leave America's oldest capital city behind and journey along Old Route 66 to Tucumcari. Here you'll experience a slice of Americana rarely seen nowadays, barely changed since Route 66's mid-century prime.
From Route 66 memorabilia to dinosaurs to larger-than-life sized murals, Tucumcari has it all. Don't miss the Mesalands Community College Dinosaur Museum where you can discover the world's largest collection of full-scale bronze dinosaur skeletons. Also worth a look, the New Mexico Route 66 Museum full of memorabilia from the Mother Road. Be sure to get your picture taken in front of the world's largest mural devoted to Route 66. In the evening, dine in one of the many kitsch diners and listen to sounds from the 1950s.
Distance: 224 miles
Yeehaw! You're entering Texas, The Lone Star State where everything is bigger and better than anywhere else in the US (that's according to the Texans!). As you cross the border, stop at the famous Route 66 roadside attraction, Cadillac Ranch, before you reach Amarillo where one of the country's best collections of Western artefacts can be found at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.
While in Amarillo, you might want to sample the huge steaks at Big Texan Steak Ranch. R.J. "Bob" Lee opened the Big Texan in 1960. Two years later a cowboy came in so hungry that he said he could "eat a whole cow." Bob decided to see if that was true. The cowboy quit after 72 ounces of meat, but Bob was still impressed and announced that anyone who could match it would get their meal for free. The offer still stands today, but you have to clear your plate within an hour!
If you are a fan of Buddy Holly, you'll know that he was born in Lubbock. You can visit The Buddy Holly Museum here where you find plenty of memorabilia including his personal record collection.
Distance: 319 miles
Howdy pardner. You're deep in the heart of Texas and cowboy country now.
The Fort Worth Stockyards celebrate the areas long tradition as a part of the cattle industry and they also happen to be the last standing stockyards in the USA. Apart from the historical significance, there is a huge array of entertainment.
Home to the famous boot making company M.L. Leddy's, there’s no better place to purchase the real thing. Then it’s on to the saloon where you can belly up to the bar and decide if you’re ready to brave a bit of line-dancing at the world’s largest honky tonk - Billy Bob’s Texas.
Distance: 199 miles
Before you cruise into the Deep South state of Louisiana, consider a stop in Nacogdoches. Founded in 1779, the oldest town in Texas is booming with history and stories from years past beginning with the Caddo Indians. In the 1800s this charming town was considered the gateway to Texas. Today it's a delight to explore the red brick streets and the Victorian mansions.
An interesting side trip before you pull into Shreveport is the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum at Gibsland. In 1934 after the multiple robberies, kidnappings and murders (at least 13) across the States, Bonnie and Clyde’s story came to an abrupt and bloody end when they were ambushed by police and gunned down on a lonely strip of road here in the northern Louisiana woods.
Distance: 123 miles
Enjoy breakfast overlooking the Red River at the Louisiana Boardwalk before travelling to downtown Shreveport to check out the Municipal Auditorium. It was here on 16th October 1954 that Elvis Presley made his stage performance debut; the rest, as they say, is history. Take a tour of this Art Deco building and learn how other stars such as Johnny Cash and Hank Williams catapulted into the limelight after appearing here.
Today you'll encounter one of the prettiest towns in the South, Natchitoches. Established in 1714 as the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase, this perky little place is famous for its meat pie (delicious) and it was the setting for the blockbuster movie, Steel Magnolias.
Set on the banks of the Red River, Alexandria lies deep in the heart of Louisiana. Sample the fabulous Creole and Cajun restaurants here in the evening, or pop into a bar to enjoy the live music.
Distance: 190 miles
The Big Easy welcomes you. This most intriguing city is steeped in a history of influences from Europe, the Caribbean and Africa. New Orleans is a melting pot of culture, food and music. From amazing Cajun cuisine to the very best jazz clubs, New Orleans is a feast for the senses. The historic neighbourhoods give a nod to their origins with creole cottages, fine ornate French balconies and even Egyptian and Moorish influences. The bustling, eclectic French Quarter could be a gaudy, bawdy monument to excess if not for the stunning 18th century Spanish architecture, world class jazz on every corner and food from around the world.
And food is serious business in New Orleans. People queue down the street every morning for beignets. Square pieces of fried dough that are just out of this world. The Po-boy sandwich is a local favourite along with jambalaya, gumbo and other Creole dishes you aren’t likely to find anywhere else in the US. Don’t be shy – try it all! Charming, friendly and full of life – this is one city you won’t forget in a hurry.
Distance: 225 miles
Travel back in time along the Great River Road and 'Plantation Alley.' This 70 mile stretch between New Orleans and Baton Rouge includes magnificent mansions and plantation homes. Stop and tour these grand dames dripping with Spanish moss and oozing history. Oak Alley is likely to be the most well-known - in fact, you might recognise the canopy of tree covered driveway from Forest Gump.
Travelling through Mississippi you'll journey among cotton fields along the fabled Blues Highway. A must-in this state is Natchez, set on the banks of the Mississippi River. This charming southern town is the oldest settlement on the river and boasts the largest collection of antebellum homes in the country. Park up and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride around the pretty historic district.
Famous for its National Military Park commemorating the 47-day siege and battle by General Ulysses Grant that is said to have changed the course of the Civil War, Vicksburg is a sleepy town on the banks of the Mississippi and your home for this evening.
Distance: 251 miles
Now you travel deep into Mississippi and along the Blues Highway and the heart of the Delta Blues region. Stand at the Crossroads in Clarksdale where legend has it that the Devil returned Robert Johnson's guitar in exchange for his soul. Elvis fans will want to veer off course slightly to the Presley family's humble beginnings in his home town of Tupelo, Mississippi.
Welcome to Memphis - The Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the Home of the Blues and the starting point of soul. Music legends including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, B.B. King and Otis Redding all recorded and performed here. No stay in Memphis is complete without a visit to Graceland, Sun Studio, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. At night, take a walk down Beale Street and relish the live, local talent.
Distance: 215 miles
Continue the music theme today as you journey east into the neighbouring state of Alabama and the town of Muscle Shoals on the banks of the Tennessee River. This town became the breeding ground for some of the most creative and defiant music in American history. The legendary Rick Hall brought black and white musicians together to create music that would last for generations while also giving birth to the unique 'Muscle Shoals sound.' Tour the FAME Studios where artists like Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett, Jimmy Cliff and Etta James have recorded their greatest hits.
If the music scene doesn't appeal motor on and visit the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, the Earth’s largest space museum featuring a full size Space Shuttle, a Saturn V rocket and the actual Apollo 16 capsule.
Distance: 108 miles
Travel through northeast Alabama's Gunter Mountains keeping an eye out for the nesting Bald Eagles. Stop for lunch at beautiful Lake Guntersville, the largest lake in Alabama. If a spot of bargain hunting takes your fancy, you're in the right spot. The Unclaimed Baggage Centre, in Scottsboro is a unique Alabama experience. This is where unclaimed 'lost luggage' from around the USA ends up, ready to be pounced upon by savvy shoppers looking for hidden treasures.
Before arriving in Chattanooga, take a ride on the world's steepest incline railway to the top of Lookout Mountain and enjoy views over seven states.
During your time in Chattanooga be sure to dine in the Riverfront District which includes the world’s largest fresh-water Aquarium, a 13-mile River Walk and the famous 1909 Chattanooga Choo Choo Terminal Station & Hotel Train. Let Bon Voyage reserve you a carriage on this famous train overnight - yes you can stay there.
Distance: 118 miles
Atlanta is a fascinating city. Home to Margaret Mitchell, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Coca-Cola, it's seen it all from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement. Full of southern charm, but with big city sophistication, you'll find plenty to keep your interest.
One of our favourite areas is Atlanta’s Buckhead district. Known as The Beverly Hills of the East, this luxurious neighbourhood offers not only legendary shopping, but fab entertainment and delicious dining options.
Distance: 248 miles
Savannah is the oldest city in the state of Georgia and was a strategic port city in the American Revolution and Civil War. Today, visitors are drawn by its elegant architecture, ornate ironwork, fountains and green squares. Savannah's beauty is rivalled only by its hospitality. It's known as America's most haunted city with myths and legends far too detailed to be made up.
With a pedestrian-friendly urban layout, emerald tree canopies and quaint cobblestone streets, this coastal city is a firm favourite among Bon Voyage travellers.
Distance: 116 miles
Founded in 1670 as Charles Town in honour of King Charles II, Charleston adopted its present name in 1783. Fast forward several hundred years and Charleston has been voted the No. 1 U.S. City by readers of Condé Nast Traveller, four times.
It’s no wonder with its rich history, well-preserved architecture, abundance of world-class restaurants and some of the most hospitable residents you will ever meet. Stand on the site of the first shot in the Civil War, tour an antebellum mansion, climb aboard a WWII aircraft carrier or stroll the pristine beaches.
Distance: 267 miles
Gateway to the Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville earned a reputation as a premier health resort in the 1890s. By the 1920s, Asheville was a destination for the rich and famous, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.
Today you’ll find a city steeped in history. Experience what Mark Twain coined as the Gilded Age in America's largest home, George Vanderbilt's 250-room Biltmore House. In fact, much of the architecture downtown was constructed by the same craftspeople who built Biltmore House. Interestingly, Asheville boasts more Art Deco architecture than any south eastern US city apart from Miami.
Distance: 237 miles
Today travel along 'America's Favourite Drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the many scenic routes in Virginia. The roads wind along ancient ridges, plunge into lush valleys and zoom through green pastures and brilliant fall foliage. There are endless villages and hamlets in this charming part of the Capital Region, USA.
During colonial times, Roanoke was an important hub of trails and roads. The Great Wagon Road, one of the most heavily travelled routes of eighteenth century America, ran from Philadelphia through the Shenandoah Valley. Nicknamed ‘Star City of the South’ for being the recreational, cultural and business hub of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke has an outstanding offering of cultural activities and outdoor pursuits along with host of breweries and wineries.
Distance: 124 miles
If you’re looking for small town charm, here it is. Renew your spirit with smiling, friendly people and a slower pace of life.
Luray is home to the world famous Luray Caverns, Shenandoah National Park, the scenic Skyline Drive and of course those Blue Ridge Mountains.
The caverns are one of the most interesting we’ve come across and definitely worth a visit. Cold air rushing out of a limestone sinkhole blew out a candle held by Andrew Campbell, the town tinsmith, on the morning of August 13, 1878. So began the discovery of Luray Caverns.
Campbell, along with several men and his nephew explored the area looking for a cave. The men dug away loose rocks for four hours before they slid down a rope into the cave. They could hardly believe what they saw. The party had discovered the largest series of caverns in the East, an eerie world of stalactites and stalagmites.
America's capital city is simply - monumental. From the Smithsonian museums to the White House, the Lincoln Memorial to the Vietnam Veterans Wall, DC is full to the brim with things to see and do. Make time for Arlington Cemetery where the eternal flame commemorates the life of JFK and America’s fallen fighters are remembered. Georgetown is one of our favourite neighbourhoods as is historic Alexandria with its cobbled streets and colonial homes.
You'll be glad to know you won't need the car anymore, so you'll return it here and explore by foot and Metro - then it's on Amtrak trains for the rest of your journey.
Board the train at Union Station for your two hour ride to Philadelphia.
One of America’s most historic cities, Philadelphia was founded in 1682 by William Penn. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the Revolutionary War and served as the temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C., was under construction.
Start your visit in the nation’s most historic square mile, Independence National Historical Park, home to Independence Hall and the iconic Liberty Bell. Visit the Betsy Ross House and don’t forget to make like Rocky up the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Reading Terminal Market is another visitor favourite. The enclosed public market is open seven days a week and is a true local hang-out. Restaurants in Philadelphia are world-class, but don’t forget to try the local delicacy the Philly Cheesesteak. Both Geno’s and Pat’s battle it out daily as to who is number one – luckily they are right across the street from each other, so try both just to be sure.
Just an hour and a half train trip and you're back where you started - phew!
As a UK passport holder, you are allowed to stay in the country for 90 days, so you still have a few days to play with. You can opt for a few extra nights in New York City or add them in along the way. Your Bon Voyage travel consultant will help you build the perfect USA bucket list road trip extravaganza!