The classic road trip is and will always hold a special appeal to Americans. It’s built into their culture. The thrill has dwindled for a while in the face of fast and super convenient flights that can take a traveler to the point of destination in a fraction of the time. Yet, the culture of road trip continued, particularly down America’s iconic routes.
With the improvement of wonderful roads and highways, the advent of reliable, comfortable RVs and other motor vehicles, and the amazing advancement communication technologies, road trips has just become more appealing. The culture has even contagiously spread through the other races and places.
You don’t have to be an American to appreciate the value of road trips because it is mostly about dreams and dreaming. The drive makes you dream of the good life. The landscapes bewitch you and take your mind away from what’s real. That is exactly what you try to achieve when you lay still in a spa for a massage or relaxation; this time you do it right in the middle of the road and life.
Driving Off Into the Sunset
You too can have a great time dreaming real and impossible dreams. Home Away – Travel Ideas suggests a drive along the West Coast in the post The Best West Coast Road Trips
“… when it’s balmy and breezy from Mexico to Alaska. Whether you have a week off or a handful of free weekends on the horizon, we’ve assembled a hit list of West Coast road trips that rev our engines. All you have to do is drive.”
“Explore the West Coast on a road trip past rugged coastlines, along picturesque beaches and, even, into America’s great wilderness. From California to Alaska, any of these five routes will take you on a spectacular drive.”
- Pacific Coast Highway: This is an iconic route; California’s Route 1 starts in Monterey and through the mountainous and scenic Big Sur. Watch out for landmarks such as the Monterey State Historic Park, Larkin House, Casa Soberanes, Bixby Bridge, Royal Presidio Chapel, Hurricane Point and 1889 Point Sur Lighthouse. Other places of interest along this route are Carmel-by-the-Sea, Old Coast Road, Point Lobos State Reserve and Hearst Castle.
- Olympic Peninsula: This region is fairly untamed. It is recommended that you start from Seattle and take U.S. Route 101 through Port Angeles and Aberdeen. Landmarks worthy of being visiting are Port Townsend, Dungeness Spit, Port Angeles, Neah Bay, and Lake Crescent.
Columbia River Highway: A perfect spring break road trip can start 13 miles east of Portland along Interstate 84. The highway is a veiled jewel in the Pacific Northwest. Along this highway, don’t fail to stop at the Columbia River via Mosier to The Dalles Gorge or Troutdale to Dodson. The former will bring you to some memorable attractions such as The Portland Women’s Forum State Scenic Viewpoint , the Vista House, Multnomah, Latourell Bonneville Dam, the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles, and the Wasco County Museum. If you’ll take the latter, don’t miss the Lewis and Clark State Park and the antique shops and a historic downtown in Troutdale.
- Portland to Redwood National Park: The best route to this park is U.S. 101 South/Oregon Coast Highway through northern California. The park features 2,000-years-old trees, trails for cycling and hiking and cycling. The best route to take from Portland is down the Oregon coast and back through the Deschutes National Forest for a glimpse of the Crater Lake. The other attractions include hiking at Mount Scott and visiting the charming coastal towns along Oregon’s coast, and Tillamook.
- Seattle to Alaska: If you really want to get in touch with nature, a road trip from Seattle to Alaska is the adventure for you. You’ll travel by road and sea to get to Ketchikan, but it’ll be well worth the trip. From Seattle, head to Vancouver to see the Stanley Park Seawall, visit Prince George and Prince Rupert, and board the Alaska Marine Highway System. From Ketchikan you have the option to take a cruise back to Seattle.
To many Americans, road trip goes beyond driving or riding to see distant exotic destinations. It’s about exploring, relaxing, learning and getting in touch with cultures and people you meet along the way. You don’t have to be an American to live the glorious experience. Any of these routes will be as pleasing as the others, but note which attractions you like to see best to decide.