Tuesday, 25 September 2012 7:15 AM
The modern classic On The Road, written by Jack Kerouac in 1957, has finally been made into a film (due to be released in October) starring Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund. A semi-autobiographical novel, On The Road defined the iconic ‘beat’ generation and follows Salvatore ‘Sal’ Paradise and his new friend, Dean Moriarty, as they road trip the US in a quest for self-knowledge and experience.
In celebration of its release, we’ve picked out our top five American road trips!
From its beginnings in the 1920s, Route 66 – which stretches from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California – has become one of the most famous drives in the world. Snaking some 2,400 miles through eight states and three time zones, the historic Route 66 has been dubbed the ‘main street of America’. Oklahoma is home to 400 miles of the drive, more than any other state, and is home to three Route 66 museums showcasing the route’s rich history, including the famous migration of families heading west during the Great Depression of the 1930s, made famous in John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath.
California’s Pacific Coast Highway:
Stretching along the Californian Pacific coast for approximately 123 miles – between Dana Point and the city of Oxnard in southern California – the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most-loved, and most scenic, drives in the world. It’s even dubbed ‘Route 2066’ in homage to the famous Route 66. For those that want to make more of a trip of it, you can drive the entire west coast of the US from the border of Canada to the border of Mexico – nearly 2000 miles.
Big Sur on the Pacific Coast Highway
Going-To-The-Sun Road, Montana:
Completed in 1932, Going-To-The-Sun Road (which borrows its name from nearby Going-to-the-Sun Mountain) is a 50-mile highway winding through the spectacular Glacier National Park in Montana. Passing through cedar forests, past glacier lakes and along windswept alpine tundra, the highway is the ideal way to enjoy the scenic surroundings. A feat of engineering, the road was made a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark as well as listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Parts of the route close at certain points during the year. Click here for more information.
Going-To-The-Sun Road, Montana
Million Dollar Highway, Colorado:
The Million Dollar Highway is a stretch of twisting tarmac through the San Juan Mountains in the Canadian Rockies. Marked on maps as US 550, the ‘million dollar’ section of the road refers to the steep 25-mile winding ribbon of road connecting the old, historic mining towns of Ouray and Silverton. It is part of the scenic San Juan Skyway – a 232-mile loop of road traversing the San Juan Mountains, which takes on average seven hours to drive.
Million Dollar Highway, Colorado
The Overseas Highway, Florida:
The Overseas Highway, sometimes called ‘the highway that goes to sea’, is a modern-day wonder and a must-see for any avid road-tripper. It is the ‘magic carpet’ by which visitors from Florida's mainland can cross countless coral and limestone islets to the Florida Keys. The highway — the southernmost leg of US 1 — follows a trail originally founded in 1912 when Henry Flagler extended his Florida East Coast Railroad from Miami to Key West.
The Overseas Highway, Florida
Have we missed out your favourite US road trip? Comment below!
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