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Why a Road Trip is the Best Way to Explore America

Roughly the size of the whole of Europe (excluding Russia), the United States is far more environmentally diverse than most other countries on the planet. From the sprawling urban metropolises of places like New York and Los Angeles to the countless quaint small towns along Route 66 and all throughout the nation, a visitor can experience both the quietly beautiful and loudly grand centers that make up the country. Perhaps most important, as a nation of immigrants, America pulls together a melting pot of cultures, designs, and foods from every corner of the world, from the English colonial territories of the East Coast to the French-inspired centers of the Gulf Coast onward to the Spanish-infused properties of the West Coast.

Simply flying to New York or Washington might be a fun vacation for a weekend but if one wishes to truly experience America, it is incomplete. To truly experience the United States, it takes driving through the flatlands of Kansas, bounding around the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and cruising past the Pacific Ocean along the California beaches. Just make sure to get adequate coverage with affordable online car insurance before taking off, since insurance requirements can vary from state to state.

Stopping by one American city won’t give you the whole picture of America as only a coast to coast American road trip can really give a person the real feel of the United States. On one day, one can experience the bustling joy of the San Francisco piers and then two days later, absorb the vast majesty of Arizona’s Grand Canyon. You can visit the beautiful achievement of South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore on Monday and then have a hot dog in Wrigley Field in Chicago on Wednesday.

The most important thing about ensuring the success of a cross-country trip in the United States is planning a route. Naturally, one should pick a West Coast city (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, etc) and an East Coast city (New York City, Washington, Miami, etc) and then mark a pathway in between. The most obviously enticing pathway would be from Los Angeles to New York City (or vice versa) but that might not exactly be the case for everyone. Take an honest look at the things in America that you really want to see and then plan a route that can reasonably include all those things.

If you really want to see a primarily patriotic version of America– Mount Rushmore, the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, the Lincoln Memorial– then drive from Seattle to New York before heading down to Philadelphia and ending in Washington. If wanting to experience a diversity of natural landscape, start in San Francisco and drive through Yosemite National Park before pivoting down to the Grand Canyon, then zig-zag to the Kansas flatlands and down into the bayous of Louisiana before finishing up on the beaches of Florida.

As you enjoy your road trip, be cognizant of the tips for driving in the US. Before you begin your trip, research the road laws of the states you plan to pass through. Some states require that you hold an International Driving Permit if your driver’s license is not from the US in addition to the driver’s license. Be aware that Americans drive on the right side of the road if you are from a country that does not. Also, be aware that America measures road distances and speeds in miles, not kilometers so a good understanding of the conversion can help prevent getting pulled over by highway patrols. It is also prudent to account for costs for fuel and food as a road trip will last days, maybe even weeks. If you plan it right, a coast to coast American road trip can be one of the most magical times of your life.


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