There are so many amazing places to experience on a self-drive trip! Depending on your preference and how far away you live, you can fly in and rent a car, or do the entire thing as a road trip. I have some great pre-built trip ideas, and it’s super hard to narrow it down to just a few to tell you about!
Some of my favorite recommendations are for cities like San Francisco, New York, Miami, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and even a Honolulu/ Hawaiian island cruise. I’ll save those for later. In the spirit of social distancing, today I’ll highlight a few out-of-the-way locations.
The Green Magic of the Pacific Northwest – 6 or 7 nights
Beginning in Portland, Oregon and ending in Seattle Washington, explore two amazing cities and take in the beauty of the mountains and coast in between. Your road trip begins in Portland, Oregon, where you can shop quirky boutiques, scope out the funky street art, and taste your way through as many food carts as you can handle. Next, you'll visit Ashford to explore Mount Rainier and all of its activities and attractions. Your final stop will be in Seattle, Washington. Here, you can shop in outdoor markets and board Seattle's 175-foot-high Ferris wheel for a majestic panorama of the city and the Pacific Ocean. On a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of the Olympic Mountains!
Western National Park Road Trip – 9 or 11 nights
Get ready for an adventure in the American West! You’ll visit some of the finest national parks in the United States, fully immersing yourself in desert beauty. Begin with a night in Las Vegas, and then on to the rugged cliffs and wildlife of Zion National Park in Utah. After spending a night there, head to the always-photogenic Bryce Canyon National Park, where you’ll stay overnight. Then, it’s off to the Grand Canyon by way of Page, Arizona, which borders Lake Powell. You’ll spend 2 nights; hike famous trails into the canyon, and drive winding roads to get incredible views! Sedona is known for red rocks, great food, and art galleries. Finally, visit Lake Havasu City and relax at a beachfront resort, before returning to Las Vegas for a final night on the town. You’ll never forget your journey through the Wild West!
Song of the South: Memphis, Nashville, & New Orleans – 7 or 9 nights
Fly into New Orleans and pick up your rental car. As soon as you step foot in the French Quarter, you'll hear jazz pouring into the streets! Ride on the historic New Orleans Streetcar, check out Bourbon Street, catch a show at Preservation Hall, and indulge in scrumptious beignets from famous Cafe Du Monde! Your second stop will be Montgomery, Alabama. Known as a civil rights capital and the setting of the Montgomery Bus Boycott of the 1950s, this historic city boasts fascinating museums, top-notch restaurants, and noteworthy memorials that commemorate Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and other heroic activists.
Continue on to Nashville, Tennessee, nicknamed "Music City." Visit the famous Grand Ole Opry, experience the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, wander your way down Broadway, the heart of Downtown Nashville, where you'll find honky-tonks straight out of a postcard. Devour some barbecue and listen to some live country music!
Then you’ll drive to your last stop: Memphis, Tennessee. Nestled on the Mississippi River, this soulful city is the birthplace of blues and rock n' roll. Check out Sun Studio, where greats like B.B. King, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash all recorded albums. Consider visits to Presley's Graceland mansion, the Blues Hall of Fame, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Fly home from Memphis.
I have many more ideas for some self-drive options! Let me know if you have a particular place you’d like to visit, and I’m happy to help you out!