Exploring the US with a Rental Car

A country the size of the USA would take weeks, months, or perhaps years to explore fully, and most visitors will tend to concentrate their journey around a specific state, or a smaller locality. Explore the US with a car rental service, many companies will offer pick-up in one area, with drop-off in another, allowed the maximum variety in the trip and avoiding the necessity to retrace your route back to its starting point.

Historic Route 66

Boston and the New England area are popular destinations in the late summer and autumn, and the areas around Vermont, four hours or so to the north, are also popular winter sport destinations. Using Boston as a starting point, and striking inland, it’s only a few hours before you reach The Berkshires, in West Massachusetts, a heavily-wooded area of hills with many opportunities for walking, biking and hill climbing, as well as many cultural attractions. Tanglewood, near Lenox, is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and is also host to a variety of jazz and popular concerts in a season spanning June through August. Stockbridge is home to the Norman Rockwell Museum, dedicated to the works of one of America’s most famous painters and illustrators.

Although much of its original highway has been torn up and replaced or bypassed with modern interstate roads, it’s still possible to follow much of the original and iconic Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. This takes you through the heart of the USA, through much of Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona, as well as cutting through smaller segments of Kansas and Texas, before ending up in California. There’s a wealth of heritage sites and attractions along the way, and a trip of this magnitude is likely to be a memorable one.

Neon Cowboy

California offers a route following the west coast of the country, the Pacific Coast Highway, running from Crescent City and the Oregon border in the north, and connecting with San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego and the Mexican border in the south. The Pacific Coast Highway has a wide variety of tourist attractions along its route; redwood forests in the north, historic towns between Monterey and San Francisco, sunny beaches in the south, and of course, the attractions offered by the various cities and towns along the way. A little further inland, and around five hours or so from Los Angeles, are the bright lights of Las Vegas, just over the Nevada border. As well as the obvious attractions of the casinos, shows and resort hotels, Las Vegas, although some distance from the official Grand Canyon National Park, is a few hours from the western end of the canyon itself, and it’s possible to take in the Hoover Dam as well as a few canyon viewpoints in a single day trip.

To the south, Florida is home to some of the largest theme parks in the world, including Universal Studios Florida, Seaworld Orlando, and of course, the most-visited theme park in the world, Walt Disney World, subdivided into Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studio, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot, as well as a number of smaller entertainment venues. A road trip through Florida could also take in Kennedy Space Center, the launching point for all of NASA’s space exploration missions. Kennedy is around an hour from Orlando, and the visitor centre offers tours of the facility as well as displays and exhibits on the history and future of space exploration, and the Astronaut's Hall of Fame

Of course, a short article such as this can only hint at the scope of road trips that could be scheduled through America, and with many cities, airports and towns offering flexible services, US visitors and tourists have a wide variety of destinations and touring opportunities to choose from.