Amanda Williams a RoamRight Blog Author

3 U.S. Road Trips to Take Before You Die

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Road tripping across the long expanses of highway in the United States is a bucket list item for travelers of all nationalities. Whether it's the desert, the ocean, or the forests of the U.S. that you want to see, chances are that there's a road that runs through it.

With so many miles of highway crisscrossing America, however, how do you know which route to take?

Here are three American road trip routes that should satisfy just about every interest:

Route 66

The famous Route 66. It has a song about it, blue jeans named after it, and a firm place in the heart of most Americana. Sadly it doesn't exist in the way that it used to anymore. With the building of Interstate 40, Route 66 and many of its quirky roadside attractions fell into disuse and disrepair. You CAN still drive the length of Route 66, though. Just don't expect nice roads or very many attractions anymore.

Starting in Chicago, you can hit up the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial, eat giant steaks and spray-paint some cars (at the Cadillac Ranch) in Amarillo, TX, detour in New Mexico to visit funky Santa Fe, detour again to visit Monument Valley on the Utah/Arizona border, stop to see the Grand Canyon and/or Sedona in Arizona (more detours), and end in Los Angeles by walking out onto the Santa Monica Pier.

This is by far the most iconic route through the United States, and will also take the longest. But it's also one of the most customizable road trips thanks to the wealth of things to see in the American West.

The Pacific Coast Highway

Once you're in LA, why not pick up another great American road trip – the Pacific Coast Highway? Highway 101 runs from San Diego, California, to close to the Canadian border in Washington state. This route is diverse – and a little wild. From the inviting beaches of southern California to the rugged, windswept coast of Oregon, to the dense, wild forests of western Washington, this Pacific route is unique in its embrace of Mother Nature.

Starting in San Diego (or Los Angeles), you can stop in Santa Barbara, check out the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, drive through the Avenue of the Giants in Redwood National Park (or even take an extended detour to Yosemite), check out windswept capes and Cannon Beach in Oregon, and end with an exploration of Washington's Olympic Peninsula.

Even though it's not on Highway 101, you could end your trip in Seattle, on the Puget Sound.

The Old South

Moving from the West Coast to the East, the last road trip I recommend is one through the “Old South.” This is usually defined as the East Coast states south of Maryland – states with strong ties to America's colonial past. Not only can you get a nice dose of U.S. history on this route, but you can also experience the country's famous “Southern Charm.”

You can of course always start in Washington, D.C. and get a taste of the present-day capital before stepping back into history. Then visit Virginia's “Historic Triangle” (Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and the battlefields of Yorktown), check out the spot where the Wright brothers made history with the first powered flight in North Carolina's Outer Banks, take a carriage ride through historic Charleston, SC, visit an antebellum plantation, and relax in the green squares of Savannah, Georgia. You could then continue on into Florida, hitting up perhaps St. Augustine, Cape Canaveral, and Everglades National Park before ending up in the Florida Keys.

And along with the history, don't forget all the delicious Southern food you'll find along this route!

Which U.S. road trip would YOU most like to take? Tell us in the comments!

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About the Author

Amanda Williams

Amanda Williams, a RoamRight Blog Author Graduate student by day and avid traveler and blogger by night (and on weekends and during holidays), Amanda is just a small-town Ohio girl trying to balance a "normal" life with a desire to discover the world beyond her Midwest bubble. Amanda's adventurous nature and inability to say "no" have led her to some pretty amazing adventures all around the world. But she has no desire to stop exploring anytime soon. Read Amanda's blog, A Dangerous Business, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

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