Woman looking out of camper van window.


Make like Thelma & Louise with these 4 awesome USA road trips (minus the cliff dive)

Published September 22nd, 2016

It was in the wise words of Thelma aka Thelma & Louise that she said, “I feel awake, wide awake. I don’t ever remember feelin’ this awake. You know what I mean?” after shooting a man and taking off in a ‘66 Thunderbird with her best friend in arguably the best road trip movie ever.

Now we’re not saying you should shoot anyone and spark a nationwide man(or woman)hunt across the US (even if it did feature Brad Pitt), but starting with a ‘66 Thunderbird and one of these killer US road trips is a sure fire way to get you on the road to feeling wide awake again, (spoiler alert) minus the cliff dive ending.

Or even better, get someone else to do the driving and loop in even more mates for the ultimate road trip adventure with 20% off Topdeck USA trips until September 30th.

1. California Calling

Follow this one week West Coast itinerary starting in LA and you will still get to hop along Route 66 between Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Hike around the canyon rim before moving on to a hidden nugget (literally, it was once a gold mining town) Mariposa, just on the outskirts of the famous Yosemite National Park.

Drive into the park and discover its many hikes or hire a bicycle to really work up a thirst in time for your next stop Napa Valley. Once you’ve tasted all the best wine in California make your way to the shining finish line of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

2. Southern Charm

Starting on the East Coast in NYC, take some time to explore this wild city but don’t worry if you don’t get to it all, people have lived here their whole life and only seen a tiny fraction of what the city has to offer. After soaking up some NYC culture it’s time to start your 10 day trip and get a better feel for the political pulse of the US, starting your descent South to Washington DC.

From there it’s on to Charlotte, Savannah and Orlando for a real taste of southern hospitality! Down here, get your beer or cocktail ‘to-go’ and see where Forrest Gump waited for the bus before hitting up the theme park capital of the world. Then it’s time to put on your dancing shoes for your final stop in MIAMI!

3. Road to Lake Tahoe

For a kicker two week West Coast road trip start out in Los Angeles before heading to San Diego to say hi to the city’s 87 craft breweries, making it the beer capital of Cali . Then it’s time to make your way to the Grand Canyon, stopping in Prescott, home to the world’s oldest rodeo and Whiskey Row.

After walking the rim of the Grand Canyon go see Zion National Park to really soak up the best wildlife California has to offer before throwing yourself into your next stop sin city, Las Vegas. Don’t forget there’s more to do in Las Vegas but gambling, mix up your time and see Brittany perform or have a go at indoor skydiving.

Finally arriving at Lake Tahoe on this epic adventure, you will be pleased to know it is one of the sunniest places on earth averaging 300 clear days a year. Soak up those rays by the lake before heading to foggy San Francisco for your final stop.


A photo posted by I Get Around (@igetaround78) on

4. The Ultimate Coast to Coast

This is it, the granddaddy of road trips driving from coast to coast starting in Los Angeles over 24 days. First up it’s time to burn some midnight oil (and some cash) in Las Vegas or check out the neon museum where the city’s huge neon signs go to retire. Now in need of some nature (and a detox) head to Monument Valley in the Grand Canyon for some serious perspective.

En route to Santa Fe stop in the old mining town Durango for a spot of white-water rafting or hiking. Put on your culture cap because Santa Fe is up next, renowned for its Pueblo-style architecture and rich arts community, spend the day exploring its many museums. Keep that cap on because the next stop, Amarillo, is host to an art installation of half-buried Cadillacs called Cadillac Ranch.

Stop in San Antonio for the world’s largest cowboy boots on your way to the music capital of the USA, Austin. Not only can you walk down 6th Street and hear live music flowing from every bar but Austin is also host to some killer thrift shopping. Don’t forget to ‘Keep Austin Weird’ while you’re in town. Keep making your way to another city known for its music, New Orleans, but first stop in Lafayette which has more restaurants per capita than any other American city.

The foodie experience doesn’t stop there, when you arrive in New Orleans prepare yourself for some of the best seafood of your life. We’re talking crawfish and shrimp jambalaya, and don’t forget to try the city’s poboy specialty. Walking into Memphis, it’s time to pay a visit to the King at Elvis Presley’s former residence, Graceland before heading through to T Swifty and Reese Witherspoon’s home of Nashville.

Moving on, it’s time to take yourself out to the ball game and see the Cubs play at Wrigley Field in Chicago. But now you’re on the home run as the eastbound stops stack up. Final stops include Cleveland and Washington DC before your arrival in New York, New York!


Vegas, you've been a blast...now on to the next adventure #EJStyleRoadTrippin #EJStyleTravels

A photo posted by Emma Hill | EJ STYLE (@emmahill) on

The only thing better than being able to drive all of these killer road trips would be if someone would do all the driving for you... and if you could fit more than just three of your best friends in the car.

Well guess what, that’s what a Topdeck tour is for, and yes all of these USA road trip itineraries are covered plus heaps more options. Adding a cherry to that American pie is the fact that for a limited time only you can get 20% off Topdeck USA trips exclusively through Student Flights.

Student Flights

Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.