Traveling in the United States usually involves hitting all of the major cities like Vegas, New York, or San Francisco. While there is plenty of amazing sights to see and everybody should do it once, on a return trip you might want to consider a different approach. There are all sorts of great places in the USA outside of the big cities that people like to refer to as the ‘real America.’


If you want to get this authentic experience, flying from place to place isn’t the way to go about it. Instead, you should rent a car and drive it for yourself. There are so many great little places to discover on the way but if you fly, you’ll bypass all of them completely. Driving for yourself gives you far more freedom over your schedule and allows you to make some discoveries on the road. If you’re swayed by the idea of an all American road trip, these are some of the highlights you should try to fit in.

Route 66

Route 66 is the most iconic road in the world. It’s a huge part of American culture and even if you don’t do the whole thing, you should try to visit some of the highlights while you’re in America. Large parts of the route have been changed into big highways but there are still large sections of the original two lane road. The views are stunning and cruising down route 66 feels like being in a classic American movie. The grand canyon is one of the most popular sights along the way but you should also try to stop into some of the traditional trading posts along the way. There are also a bunch of crazy tourist attractions like the world’s largest catsup bottle and the Cadillac ranch.

Hill Country Hideaways

If you’re big into movies set in the southern states, this is the route for you. Some of the cities might disappoint because they’ve been modernized and lost some of that traditional charm but the Hill Country Hideaways have retained it all. The landscape is littered with great canyons and picturesque rivers that you can drive through on an old style two lane highway. If you want to stay somewhere more old fashioned, head for a place called Utopia. There are plenty of quaint bed and breakfasts to stay in while you see the local sights including the Sabinal River.

Million Dollar Highway

The name is enough to draw people in but there is a dispute about its origin. Some people claim that it’s because the highway costed a million dollars per mile to build but others claim that’s nonsense. Instead, they say it got the name because the dirt used to fill the road came from mine waste and so had lots of gold ore in it. Considering it links two gold mining towns, that seems more likely. Whatever the origin of the name, it makes a great road trip destination because of the great views of parts of America that are reminiscent of the old west.

If you’re hopping from city to city on a plane, you miss out on so much of the ‘real America.’