Are you ready for the ultimate American road trip? Buckle up and get set to explore the best of what the United States has to offer with this three-week journey across the country. But when is the best time to hit the road? The answer to this question depends on the destinations you plan to visit. For example, if you plan to visit national parks, it’s best to avoid the peak summer months when the parks are most crowded and the weather is hottest. Spring and fall are great options, as the weather is milder and the crowds are smaller.
Your first stop on this epic adventure is none other than Route 66. This iconic road trip takes you through the heart of America, passing through small towns, deserts, and mountains. Make sure to stop at famous Route 66 landmarks such as the Wigwam Motel and the Cadillac Ranch. Next, head to the Grand Canyon National Park. The awe-inspiring views of the canyon cannot be described in words, so make sure to bring your camera. Hike to the bottom or take a helicopter tour for a bird’s-eye view.
Here’s a sample itinerary to help you make the most of your 3-week road trip:
Day 1-5: Start your journey on Route 66, make stops in Chicago, St. Louis, and Oklahoma City.
In Chicago, take a stroll down Michigan Avenue and check out the famous Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) for a panoramic view of the city.
Visit the Art Institute of Chicago and check out the famous American Gothic painting.
Head to St. Louis and take a guided tour of the Gateway Arch, which offers a unique perspective of the city from the top.
In the evening, catch a baseball game at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Take a boat tour of the Mississippi River, to see the famous Gateway Arch and the historic Eads Bridge.
In Oklahoma City, visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, which honors the victims of the 1995 bombing. Take a walk through the outdoor Memorial, where you’ll find the Field of Empty Chairs, a powerful symbol of the lives lost in the bombing.
Day 6-9: Head to the Grand Canyon National Park, and explore the park by foot or by helicopter
Spend a full day at the Grand Canyon, taking in the breathtaking views from the South Rim.
Hike to the bottom of the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail or take a helicopter tour for an aerial view.
Visit the historic village of Tusayan, just outside the park’s gates, for a taste of the old west. Take a visit to the Tusayan Museum and IMAX theater for more information about the history and geology of the canyon.
Take a leisurely drive along Desert View Drive, where you’ll find several scenic overlooks and historic structures, including the Watchtower.
Day 10-14: Drive to Yosemite National Park, and spend time hiking and exploring the park
Take in the stunning granite cliffs and waterfalls of Yosemite Valley.
Hike to the top of Half Dome or Glacier Point for panoramic views of the park.
Take a guided tour of Mariposa Grove to see the ancient sequoia trees.
If you’re feeling adventurous, go rock climbing on El Capitan, or take a guided tour of the Ansel Adams Gallery, which showcases the famous photographer’s work. If you visit the park in the spring, enjoy the wildflowers and waterfall season.
Day 15-21: Continue your road trip and make stops at any other destinations that you would like to visit.
Depending on your interests, there are many options for additional destinations to visit. Some popular choices include Yellowstone National Park, Zion National Park, Mount Rushmore, The Great Lakes, Miami or San Diego.
Remember to plan ahead and make reservations for your accommodation, as well as checking the weather forecast, and packing accordingly.
Please note that 3 weeks is a good amount of time to cover those destinations but you can adjust the itinerary according to your preferences and time availability. This road trip across the United States is a journey of a lifetime, and with a bit of flexibility, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures and enjoy the ride!