Nevada to Arizona
Inspired by: Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
The countercultural vices of the 1960s may have faded a fair bit since Hunter S. Thompson penned his hallucinatory book Fear & Loathing back in the early 1970s, but big, brash and neon-soaked Las Vegas is still called Sin City for a reason – the city rising boisterously from the desert like a vision. On release, Thompson's book was given the subtitle 'a savage journey to the heart of the American dream', and a road trip to the Canyon Country out east of Vegas is just that: hot, sticky and iconically American, taking in some of the most outrageous scenery in all of the USA, including the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley in Arizona, Arches National Park and the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon in Utah, and more cacti than you can shake a stick at every mile along the way.
Pacific Coast Highway
Oregon to California
Inspired by: Big Sur by Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac might've made himself famous by travelling all the way around the US on a road trip that inspired his iconic novel On The Road, but the Pacific Coast Highway in Oregon and California is where his heart rested. On a road trip around this magical country, you can discover the deep redwood forests, high mountains and iconic sights like the Bixby Creek Bridge (pictured above) that run through both the The Dharma Bums and Big Sur, novels which see Kerouac explore Buddhist faith, sobriety and the greatness of nature.
Inspired by: The works of Ernest Hemingway
For about a decade between the late 1920s and the early 1940s, modernist master Ernest Hemingway spent his time out at the end of the Overseas Highway in Key West, soaking up sun and using it as a base to finish up books like A Farewell to Arms. Although his most famous books spend time exploring the European mainland, from the bullfights of Pamplona in The Sun Also Rises to the streets of Paris in A Moveable Feast, it was this part of the world that Hemingway called home for the longest time. Driving there takes a little over three hours from Miami, but you could spend a week driving island to island on the road above turquoise waters. Head out on a fishing trip and you might even catch a big'un like the marlin in The Old Man and the Sea, too.
Illinois to California
Inspired by: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Adam Alexander Photography
The single-most inspiring road in the world of literature, music and folk legend, Route 66 – a place of hope, swagger and faded glory – is a must-do road trip for any traveller who's into old-school Americana. Carrying you from Chicago to Santa Monica via the great southwestern states of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, the road was once the principal route out west to California for poverty-stricken families in the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression, when it was given the nickname 'The Mother Road' in John Steinbeck's famous novel The Grapes of Wrath. Since then, it's largely been replaced by interstate highways, so is a relatively quiet drive with tons of scenery, from ghost towns to the Grand Canyon, cowboy culture to the casinos of Vegas.
Circular from Massachusetts
Inspired by: The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Ah New England, that beautifully leafy part of the American East Coast, home to great seafood, inspiring cities, acres and acres of protected forest and miles of idyllic sandy beaches. Heading out on a drive from Boston, you can learn about the Puritan history of Massachusetts that inspired Arthur Miller's hit allegorical play The Crucible, which centres around the Salem witch trials of the 1690s. With history buffs in mind, the drive takes in the landing spot of the Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth and heads up to Cape Cod, while nature lovers will delight in the iconic, resplendent scenery of Acadia National Park in Maine.
For specialist insight, the latest offers and to book your next USA road trip, contact a Wexas Travel specialist on 020 7838 5944.