Girl with feet up on the dashboard of a car driving through the USA.

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10 #awesome stops on a USA road trip

Published July 6th, 2016

Bob Dylan sang about it, Hunter S Thompson wrote about/lived it Gonzo-style, the people in the Walking Dead do it all the time, and, if you’ve got Netflix, you will know Paul Rudd’s been at it recently en route to the America’s deepest pit (strangely with Selena Gomez in tow).

If you haven’t picked it yet, then no, we’re not talking about hallucinating on drugs or escaping a zombie apocalypse (or those damn bats), but embarking on a good old-fashioned road trip across the USA.

So forget being a spectator and get your kicks on Highway 66 because there’s loads of #awesome stuff to see along the way.  (Plus, if you’re super duper lucky, you will come across plenty of the weird and wonderful roadside amusements from Florida’s Airstream Ranch to Connecticut’s Cushing Brain Collection and Virginia’s Foamhenge).

Student Flights has teemed up with Topdeck to bring you some amazing USA tour deals. Along the way you could stop to see…

1. Grand Canyon, Arizona (California Calling, 7 Days) 

At 446 kilometres long, 29 kilometres wide and 1.6 kilometres deep, this is one magnificent canyon to behold. And so it should be, being one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Enjoy the 2 billion-year-old formation and all of it’s rock shapes and colours from the Scenic Rim and popular stops Watch Tower and Grand Canyon Village. Get adventurous and breath in the fresh air goodness on a hike, like popular Bright Angel Trail.


 

A photo posted by GrandCanyonNPS (@grandcanyonnps) on


2. Forest Gump bench, Savvanah, Georgia (Southern Charm, 10 Days) 

Not exactly a day trip (well it was for Forest), but tell me you wouldn’t get a kick out of sitting down and belting out ‘life is like a box of chocolates’ or listing all the things you could do we shrimp on THE bench from Forest Gump? Home of the Southern Belle, iced tea and swamps, there’s more to do in small town Savannah – like marvel at the colonial buildings and moss-dripped giant oak trees, take a horse drawn cart through the manicured parks or sip on some home made lemonade.

3. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco (Coast To The Bay, 14 Days) 

Yes see the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf, but when in San Francisco don’t look past Golden Gate Park. Starting up near Haight-Ashbury, this park is part of the city’s hippie heritage. Today still expect some hippies lazing on hills (or in trees, I can confirm this first-hand and no, I didn’t get stuck), but also sites that attraction 13 million visitors a year including 10 lakes, bison paddocks, Japanese Tea Garden, archery fields, Beach Chalet, Conservatory of Flowers, science centres and many a musical stage.


 

A photo posted by Tiahli Martyn (@tiahlimartyn) on


4. Las Vegas, Nevada Desert (Coast to Vegas, 10 Days) 

A desolate setting doesn’t holdback the bright lights, black jack and debauchery that goes on in 24-hour Viva Las Vegas. Get the glitter versions of the world’s famous landmarks, from gondola rides at The Venetian to erupting volcanoes at The Mirage, gamble a few greenbacks at the Bellagio or Ceasar’s Palace and if there’s time between slots hit up a show (Celine or Britney, perhaps), the shopping outlets, or indoor theme park/fun house Adventuredome.


 

A photo posted by ℜɑƒᵃєʟą (@nativadomar) on


5. Bourbon Street, New Orleans (School Of Rock, 10 Days) 

New Orleans needs no introduction, nor does the city’s endless line of festivals and celebrations throughout the year including Mardis Gras. Walk, eat (think Cajun and Creole), drink, dance and listen to music on your own tour of New Orleans’ most famous street. The historic pubs and clubs on Bourbon Street are a great way to start the night before you dance the night away soaked up in the city’s distinctive vibe and jazz, blues and reggae tunes.


Need more USA inspo?

The most patriotic monuments in the USA

How to survive long-ass bus trips

Ultimate festival guide: USA edition


6. Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada/California (Road To Lake Tahoe, 14 Days) 

Dubbed America’s best lake, this blue and green sparkling beauty provides a year-round adventurers playground for all who come to enjoy. It happens to be the country’s second deepest lake and one of the highest, at 6255 feet above sea level, surrounded by pointy peaks (yes, ridiculously good looking views). In summer, water sports from kayaking to paddle boarding are popular as is hiking the surrounding wilderness. As winter’s frosty touch falls, the place is a snowboarding and skiing paradise.

7. Yosemite National Park, California (Golden States, 10 Days) 

If you love nature you won’t want to leave Yosemite National Park, America’s 3000-year-old mammoth ‘Crown Jewel of Wild Spaces’. It’s a nature lover’s paradise with hiking, camping, climbing and too many amazing viewpoints to enjoy across diverse scenery including granite cliffs, ridiculous waterfalls, glaciers, lush meadows (think Reese Witherspoon in Wild) and ridiculously tall Giant Sequoia trees. Yep, there’s bobcats, black bears and bighorn sheep too.



8. Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and New York State, USA (USA & Canada Adventure, 12 Days) 

We’ve got a few profile pic competitors in this list, but for the ultimate postcard pose you can’t go past Niagara Falls! The highest flow of any waterfall in the world, and probably the most visitors, three falls (the biggest in Canada) make up Niagara. Get up close and personal with some 170,000 cubic metres on a boat tour and hot tip – waterproof cameras are recommended! Then, no matter what side of the border you’re on enjoy attractions like Waves Indoor Waterpark, Fallsview Indoor Waterpark and the Niagara Skywheel.



9. Statue of Liberty, New York City (Stars & Stripes, 13 Days) 

Seeing as we’ve covered a park already, we’re going to overlook Central Park (and Times Square) and head for the blooming obvious and perhaps most iconic landmark in the United States. If you haven’t seen Lady Liberty in person before, it’s definitely one to cross off your bucket list. A gift from the French in camaraderie of freedom and liberty in 1886, 152-foot lady was once a beacon of hope to millions of immigrants and still greets some 4 million visitors each year.

10. Nashville, Tennesee (Road Trip USA, 24 Days) 

A good old love of country music, secret addiction to hit series Nashville (seriously Deacon, get your shite together already), or wannabe songwriter, you will be please to see Nashville Tennesee round out our 10 #awesome stops on a USA road trip tour. If you’re into the honky tonk, this place is for you (hello Country Music Hall of Fame and Elvis recording studio), if not you will still get a kick out of the endless festivals, events and longnecks served at venues along the legendary Honky Tonk Highway.


 

A photo posted by Matei Maria (@mariamatei_) on



See the USA on sale! Snag a great range of discounted Topdeck tours and layby your flights for just $1!


 

Jolee Wakefield

A seasoned backpacker and travel writer, Jolee has spent the past decade wandering the globe in pursuit of good vibes, unusual conversations and unforgettable adventures like cave diving in Mexico, mountain climbing in Borneo and learning (failing at) local dances in the Pacific nation of Kiribati.

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