• Credit Jackie Appleton

Favourite Road Trips

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Looking for inspiration? Here are just a few ideas based on some of our favourite road trips. This selection will give you a taste of the possibilites; whether your interest lies in wildlife, photography, spectacular scenery, geology, history of you are planning a family adventure, let us help you plan the perfect trip.

BB King Mural Clevand MS web

 

Rhythm and Roots

…a musical discovery tour. Trace the roots of American music and experience the unique cultural landscapes that gave birth to the Blues, Country and Rock-n-Roll.


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Blue Ridge NC1

 

The Skyline Drive & The Blue Ridge Parkway

…follow the Appalachians from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia to the Great Smoky National Park in North Carolina; this relaxed and easy drive offers endless hiking trails, blue-grass music, spectacular mountain vistas, wildflowers, sparkling waterfalls, black bear and the brilliant fall foliage that is any match for New England…


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Western USA

 

The Grand Circle

This exhilarating route is surely one of the most spectacular road trips in the US. Allow at least 10 days to ensure you have time to explore the wealth of National Parks – Bryce, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon to name just at few. The names evoke the scenery and the wilderness you will encounter and remember for ever. With so much to see along the way it is difficult to know where to start and what to include – here is one suggestion, beginning and ending in Las Vegas…


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Highway 1- Central Coast 4 cr cttc

 

The Pacific Coast from Seattle to LA

Follow the dramatic Pacific Coast Highway – a 1500 mile trip which takes you through Washington, Oregon and California. Rain forests, endless beaches, lighthouses, estuaries teaming with diverse wildlife, giant redwood forests, interspersed by vibrant and cosmopolitan cities – this route has just about everything. Although you can do the journey in a few days we would suggest you take your time to fully enjoy the trip. Here’s one suggestion..


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California & Las Vegas 020

 

 

 

 

 

The East Coast from Washington DC to Florida

Take a drive down the USA’s Atlantic Coast and on the way discover beautiful beaches, a rich and interesting history, warm and genuine hospitality, charming towns and cities and an abundance of wonderful wildlife.


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Yellowstone geyser

 

The Wild West

…from the Badlands of South Dakota to Yellowstone; this drive will take you through some of the most wild and beautiful landscapes imaginable. Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, the Bighorn Mountains and Cody before entering the spectacular scenery of Yellowstone National Park, with its legendary geyser basins, hot springs and assorted geothermal oddities, not to mention its stunning wildlife.


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glacier

 

Alaskan Adventure

Explore Alaska’s stunning landscapes – rugged mountains, alpine meadows, crystal lakes, glaciers, diverse and abundant wildlife. With more scenic highways that any other US state, this is the ultimate driving destination. Incorporate Alaska’s Marine Highway, where whales, rare birds, sea-otters and sea lions can be viewed from the deck, to make this a truly memorable trip.


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El Capitain cr Robert Holmes

 

From San Francisco to Vegas

Your journey starts in one of world’s truly great cities before heading south along the Pacific Coast Highway. Then drive across the Sierra Nevada Mountains, through the weird and wonderful Death Valley to the city of sin, Vegas …

 


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4.2

 

Route 66

No list of road trips is complete without the Great Mother Road, Route 66. Much of the original route has now been bypassed by the interstates but many stretches are still driveable and accessible. During the thirties, thousands travelled west to California, to escape poverty in the dust bowls. Motels, diners, neon lights, museums, kitsch and other nostalgic reminders of a different era…


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Kluane

 

The Golden Circle – a Taste of Yukon and Alaska

Here we suggest a spectacular mountain self-drive journey which offers a taste of Alaska and Yukon. Drive through dramatic rocky landscapes, past deep blue lakes and experience the excitement of the Klondike Gold Rush. This is a trip for adventurers with opportunities for canoeing, Kayaking, hiking and superb wildlife viewing…


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Region: Carolinas

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The Carolinas – take a drive down the USA’s Atlantic Coast and on the way discover beautiful beaches, a rich and interesting history, warm and genuine hospitality, charming towns and cities and an abundance of wonderful wildlife.  Your journey may encompass the Capital Region, Washington DC, Virginia, the Carolinas and Florida.  Home of the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Great Smokey Mountains National Park – an International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. Yet another totally different area, and alternative to New England for Fall colours, or a journey through history both recent and not so recent .

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Carolinas - Grandfather Mountain  Carolinas - North Carolina Fall colours 2 (1)  Carolinas - Smoky Mountain Railway Carolinas

 

 

The East Coast USA

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Enjoy the city and beach plus small towns and villages between Washington DC and Orlando.

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The East Coast USA

Take a drive down the USA’s Atlantic Coast and on the way discover beautiful beaches, a rich and interesting history, warm and genuine hospitality, charming towns and cities and an abundance of wonderful wildlife.

Day 1: Washington DC
Day 3: Williamsburg, VA
Day 4: Outer Banks
Day 6: Wilmington, NC
Day 8: Charleston
Day 10: Savannah
Day 12: Jekyll Island
Day 16: Depart Orlando

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Description

Take a drive down the USA’s Atlantic Coast and on the way discover beautiful beaches, a rich and interesting history, warm and genuine hospitality, charming towns and cities and an abundance of wonderful wildlife.

Day 1: Washington DC
The journey begins (or ends) in the Capital City. There is so much to see and do including the famous Smithsonian Institution, the Holocaust Memorial Museum the Jefferson Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, the Washington Monument and The White House Visitors Centre. Take a cruise on the Potomac River. In the evening head for Dupont Circle where there is the opportunity to taste the city’s international culinary skills and nightlife.
Washington DC 2 nights

Day 3: Williamsburg, VA
Pick up a hire car and head south to Williamsburg – here you can step back in time and experience the living museums and battlefields of America’s Historical Triangle, Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown.
Williamsburg 1 night

Day 4: Outer Banks
Continue south to the Outer Banks, a chain of barrier islands which stretch along the North Carolina coast. The area is known for its picturesque lighthouses and for its pirate lore – Blackbeard once sailed these waters. The area provides nesting grounds for resident and migratory birds and sea turtles and is home to wild horses which are thought to be descendants of Spanish mustangs which were shipwrecked off the coast. This is where Sir Water Raleigh settled his legendary lost colony of Roanoke. Visit the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kill Devil Hills – here the first powered flight was launched in 1903.
Outer Banks 2 nights

Day 6: Wilmington, NC
Continue to Wilmington; set beside the Cape Fear River, this attractive and historic town was vital as a blockade- running port during the Civil War and is now gateway to miles or pristine and un-crowded beaches.
Wilmington 2 nights

Day 8: Charleston
Cross over the border into South Carolina where you will find glitzy Myrtle Beach, part of the Grand Strand and the second most visited family and beach destination in the USA (after Florida). Hidden amongst the motels, malls, theme parks and amusement arcades you will find some gems – stunning state park beaches, wonderful Brookgreen Gardens and the picuresque fishing village of Murrels Inlet (a great place to stop for lunch and sample delicious seafood). On to gorgeous Old Southern city of Charleston, which blends, charm, history culture and great cuisine with warm southern hospitality.
Stroll or take a horse drawn buggy ride along narrow tree lined streets, past antibellum mansions, stunning gardens and historic churches. Enjoy a glass of wine in a rooftop bar as the sun sets over the harbour. Take a boat trip out to Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Kayak along tidal creeks and watch pelicans swoop down into the ocean.
Charleston 2 nights

Day 10: Savannah
Today, drive through Beaufort and on to the historic and romantic city of Savannah. Savannah’s role in the Civil War is legendary—a key city in the Confederacy it was one of the only towns left standing during Sherman’s famous “March to the Sea”. Stroll through historic squares which are filled with statues, fountains and lush vegetation. Take a trolley tour to see some of the restored buildings. In the evening walk along River Street and dine at one of the excellent restaurants.
Savannah 2 nights

Day 12: Jekyll Island
Today drive to Jekyll Island; once a winter playground for the rich and famous, it is the smallest of Georgia’s coastal islands. The Georgia coast is known for its natural beauty, eco tourism and unique islands which are waiting to be explored. There is a wealth of outdoor activities to be enjoyed including horse-riding, cycling, golf and wildlife viewing.
Jekyll Island 2 nights

Day 14: St Augustine Beach
And finally down into Florida for your final 2 nights. Founded in 1565, St Augustine is the oldest European-established city in the US. Stroll through the delightful historic city centre with its quaint cobblestones, historic homes and museums. With miles of beautiful beaches, it is the perfect place to relax and unwind at the end of your trip.
St Augustine Beach 2 nights

Day 16: Depart Orlando
Drive to Orlando Airport where you will drop off your car hire in time to check in for your direct flights back to the UK

East Coast USA - web alligator Georgia tourism

 

 

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Little Gems

The Carolina’s coast is a great destination for a family beach holiday and for the golfers amongst you, there are several excellent courses you might like to try.  Consider extending this holiday with a few additional days at the beach before completing the itinerary.

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An American Civil War Journey

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Discover the US Civil War history in this itinerary.

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An American Civil War Journey

During the American Civil War the eastern states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania were rarely out of the headlines. Few parts of these states escaped the conflict with battles fought from the mountains to the Atlantic Coast. This itinerary suggestion takes you to just some of the key historic sites of this Eastern Theatre.

Day 1: Arrive Washington DC
Day 3: Manassas
Day 4: Fredericksburg
Day 5: Richmond
Day 7: Charlottesville (via Appomattox)
Day 9: Shenandoah Valley
Day 11: Antietam and Harpers Ferry
Day 13: Gettysburg
Day 15: Depart Washington
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Description

During the American Civil War the eastern states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania were rarely out of the headlines. Few parts of these states escaped the conflict with battles fought from the mountains to the Atlantic Coast. This itinerary suggestion takes you to just some of the key historic sites of this Eastern Theatre.

Day 1: Arrive Washington DC
Fly to Washington DC for a 2 night stay in this cosmopolitan Capital city. There is so much to see and do including the famous Smithsonian Institution, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Jefferson Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, the Washington Monument and The White House Visitors Centre. Take a cruise on the Potomac River. In the evening head for Dupont Circle where there is the opportunity to taste the city’s international culinary skills and nightlife.
Washington DC 2 nights

Day 3: Manassas
This morning pick up your hire car and head to Manassas National Battlefield Park. Known as the Battle of Bull Run, this was the first major battle of the Civil Way in July 1961. A year later, in August 1062 a “Second Manassas” battle under General Lee was fought again – one of Lee’s most decisive victories. Run by the National Park Service, a wide range of activities are offered including a driving tour of the area, walking trails, scenic vistas and presentations about the history of the Battlefield.
Manassas 1 night

Day 4: Fredericksburg
Spend the day exploring Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park – with four major Civil War Battlefields (Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania) and four historic buildings this is where the Civil War reached its bloody climax and no place more vividly reflects the War’s tragic cost in all its forms. A town bombarded and looted, farms large and small ruined, refugees by the thousands forced into the countryside and more than 85,000 men wounded; 15,000 killed-mostly in unknown graves.
Fredericksburg 1 night

Day 5: Richmond
Continue South to Virginia’s State Capital, and once the Capital of the Confederacy. Visit the Museum of the Confederacy which houses one on the most comprehensive collection of Civil War artefacts. Located on the James River, there is more to this city than history – it is rapidly becoming a cool and popular destination – many of the old waterfront warehouses have been restored to shops, restaurants, bars and breweries – and there are even white- water rafting activities passing though the centre of town.
Richmond 2 nights

Day 7: Charlottesville (via Appomattox)
Head west to Appomattox, the historical town when General Lee surrendered to General Grant to end the Civil War. Visit the McLean Court House where the war was officially ended in 1865. The surrounding National Historic Park commemorates the end of the War – walking tours allow you to explore the historical buildings as they were back then.
Continue on to Charlottesville, once home to Thomas Jefferson – visit his former home, Monticello.
Charlottesville 2 nights

Day 9: Shenandoah Valley
Known as “Virginia’s Crowning Glory” the scenic Shenandoah Valley was where Stonewall Jackson campaigned in 1862 and where Sheridan’s Union forces battled in 1864. Spend a day touring the valley and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District. All battled out?… then take the Skyline Drive along the crest of the mountains through the woods and past spectacular vistas. Walk in the shade of oak trees along the Appalachian Trail, discover the stories from Shenandoah’s past, or just relax in the wonder of wilderness.
Luray 2 nights

Day 11: Antietam and Harpers Ferry
Short drive to Antietam where you will be based for 2 days, staying in a historic bed and breakfast property overlooking the famous Antietam Battlefield…
At dawn on 17 September 1863 Union forces mounted a powerful assault on General Lee’s left flank. Often seem as a Pyrrhic victory, this was the single bloodiest day in American military history. Take a self guided auto tour through the battlefield.
Spend time exploring nearby Harper’s Ferry – so much history is associated with the place. In 1859, abolitionist, John Brown, mounted an abortive raid on the armoury – he was subsequently tried and hanged but his act was seen as an important catalyst to civil war. Because of its strategic importance in terms of the both the railroad and rivers, the site changed hands 8 times during civil war.
If time allowed then another night here exploring the eastern panhandle of West Virginia (the only State formed during the Civil War) would be highly recommended. Drive along the historic and scenic George Washington Trail, visiting quaint and historic towns such as Shepherdstown, Berkeley Springs and Martinsburg
Antietam 2 nights

Day 13: Gettysburg
And finally to Gettysburg. Although the battle here did not end the Civil War, it was seen as one of the greatest battles and a significant turning point. It was also the inspiration for Abraham Lincoln’s immortal “Gettysburg Address”. Begin your tour at the Visitor’s Centre by watching the film “A New Birth to Freedom”. Hiring a private guide to tour Gettysburg will enhance your experience.
Gettysburg 2 nights

Day 15: Depart Washington
Return to Washington for your return/onward flights – or perhaps drive to New York for a stay in the Big Apple before your return home.

This is just one suggestion for a tour of this area; it can be adapted and amended in any way to suit your own particular interests. Call us to find out more

Photographs by kind permission on CRUSA (Capital Region USA) and West Virginia Division of Tourism

American Civil War - Antietam American Civil War - Blue Ridge Parkway American Civil War - Harpers Ferry

 

American Civil War - NV10042905V_115.TIF  American Civil War - Shepherdstown

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Little Gems

***Antietam Overlook Farm B&B, a 19th century style Country Manor Inn, enjoy the magnificent surroundings, overlook Civil War history, view rolling mountains and the land of four states***
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I never realised there was so much to see in this area
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Region: Capital Region

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Many Americans never have a passport, and when you look at the diversity of landscape and experiences within their borders, it is little wonder. The Capital Region, Washington DC, the Carolinas and Virginia encompass the very heart of this extraordinary nation. This is the home of the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Great Smokey Mountains National Park – an International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. Yet another totally different area, and alternative to New England for Fall colours, or a journey through history both recent and not so recent .

Capital Region - Grandfather Mountain  Capital Region - North Carolina Fall colours 2  Capital Region - Smoky Mountain Railway Carolinas

Capital Region USA

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It is difficult to decide when to visit Washington DC and the Capital Region USA. Read our bespoke itinerary exploring Washington DC and the Capital Region.

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Capital Region USA

It is difficult to decide when to visit Washington DC and the Capital Region USA. In the spring the parks and orchards are flamboyant with blossom and the stately homes, with their well-manicured gardens, are at their best. The summer has long hot days, which encourage you to spend time in beautiful Chesapeake Bay with its 260 miles of stunning coastline. The autumn, with long hot “Indian Summer days”, transforms the countryside into a riot of colour that equals that of the famed New England in the Fall.

Day 1: Washington
Day 3: Baltimore
Day 4: Annapolis
Day 5: Chesapeake and the Eastern Shore
Day 7: Virginia Beach
Day 9: Williamsburg
Day 11: Charlottesville
Day 13: Shenandoah National Park
Day 15 Washington
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Description

It is difficult to decide when to visit Washington DC and the Capital Region USA. In the spring the parks and orchards are flamboyant with blossom and the stately homes, with their well-manicured gardens, are at their best. The summer has long hot days, which encourage you to spend time in beautiful Chesapeake Bay with its 260 miles of stunning coastline. The autumn, with long hot “Indian Summer days”, transforms the countryside into a riot of colour that equals that of the famed New England in the Fall.

The suggested itinerary below works equally well in reverse.

Day 1: Washington
Fly to Washington DC. Attractions include the Smithsonian Institution, the Holocaust Memorial Museum the Jefferson Memorial, the famous Arlington Cemetery, the Washington Monument and The White House Visitors Centre. Take a cruise on the famous Potomac River.
2 nights Washington DC

Day 3: Baltimore
Drive to Baltimore. Visit the Baltimore Maritime Museum, the USS Constellation, the only surviving Civil War era all sail warship and The National Aquarium in Baltimore. Children particularly love Port Discovery, the interactive children’s museum designed by Walt Disney.
1 night Baltimore

Day 4: Annapolis
Annapolis, the “Sailing Capital for the USA”, is located at towards the northern end of beautiful Chesapeake Bay. Take a yacht excursion or even learn to sail a yacht on Chesapeake Bay
1 night Annapolis

Day 5: Chesapeake and the Eastern Shore
Visit the Chesapeake harbour town of St Michaels, where you can feast on the local speciality, crab. Visit Tilghman Island and take the ferry to Oxford. Cambridge has many historic buildings and museums. Visit the Blackwater National Wildlife reserve. South Dorchester County has been called the “Cape Cod of the South” with its quaint waterman’s villages.
2 nights Eastern Shore

Day 7: Virginia Beach
Drive down the Delmarva Peninsular to Virginia’s Eastern Shore and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Kayak the coast to search for dolphins and hike in False Cape State Park.
2 nights Virginia Beach

Day 9: Williamsburg
This 18th Century town was rescued by the Rockafeller family and superbly restored. Today it is a living museum set in over three hundred acres with its own hotels, shops, and old taverns. Visit Busch Gardens Water Country Park.
2 nights Williamsburg

Day 11: Charlottesville
Drive to Charlottesville. Visit the former home of Thomas Jefferson, Monticello. Take a stroll through Charlottesville where you will find some of the best restaurants and bistros in the region. Try the local wines – there are over 20 of the USA’s finest wineries in the area.
2 nights Charlottesville

Day 13: Shenandoah National Park
Take the Skyline Drive along the crest of the mountains through the woods and past spectacular vistas. Walk in the shade of oak trees along the Appalachian Trail or discover the stories from Shenandoah’s past. Visit Luray Caverns, the largest caverns on the east coast.
2 nights Shenandoah National Park

Day 15 Washington
Drive back to Washington Dulles Airport and fly home to the UK.

Capital Region USA - baltimore      Capital Region USA - chesapeake

Capital Region USA - luray      Capital Region USA - Whitehouse

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Little Gems

Washington, the majestic capital city is well worth exploring – the gracious Avenues, historic monuments and of course, the magnificent White House overlooking it all from its position on Capitol Hill.
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Summer Holidays 2015 – USA, Canada, Southern Africa or Australia?

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Vicki Tester

 

With the sun starting to shine and the temperatures beginning to rise, our thoughts turn to the summer – the hopes that the weather here in the UK will be lovely, and the realisation that it’s probably not likely! If you haven’t already planned your summer holiday, now is the time to think about it. Flights and accommodation are starting to get very busy for the peak travel dates in July and August and before long it will be tricky to find availability.

Consider the United States or Canada – perfect for a family holiday with plenty of diverse attractions to include – vibrant cities, wild national parks, stunning scenery and of course beautiful beaches. Get out on the open road in a hire car or motorhome, and explore at your leisure. We can help you build an itinerary to cater for your interests and preferences.


Picture courtesy of Gill Kemp

Picture courtesy of Gill Kemp


Or how about Southern Africa? Whilst our summer is their winter, this time of year brings glorious clear skies, great game viewing and a fascinating culture. The exchange rates with the South African Rand at the moment make this a very affordable region to consider.


Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis


Finally, if your timeframe allows, consider a bespoke or tailor made trip to Australia – the northern tropical part of the country will be in its dry season – the best time of year to travel. Enjoy beautiful sandy beaches, the incredible Great Barrier Reef or the ancient Daintree Rainforest. The north west of the country is home to the Kimberley region – a wild and unspoilt outback best explored by four-wheel drive or by expedition style ship along the coast.


Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson


For more information on any of these ideas or to make them part of your bespoke tailor made holiday, please give us a call on 01323 446550 or email us at info@experienceholidays.co.uk  see our website for lots more holiday ideas www.experienceholidays.co.uk


Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson


 

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