Ever dreamt to go on a road trip to the US? The country being huge, it might be difficult to choose between all the different cities and landmarks to visit, along with the routes to take! The really special thing about the US is that it offers a variety of atmospheres and climates even within a few kilometers’ range. If you want a total contrast between nature and civilisation, I recommend you start your trip in Arizona, visiting the Grand Canyon, one of the biggest and most impressive parks of the world, and moving along to the “sin city”, Las Vegas.
The Grand Canyon is a large natural area in the North of Arizona, hosting the US’ oldest National Park. It is a protected territory classified at the UNESCO world heritage. The park covers 4,927 sq. kilometres ( (1,902 sq. miles) and its average depth is 1,300 metres (4,265 ft.). The Canyon has been eroded throughout the years by the Colorado River, which gave these colour layers to the canyons. It is really huge so you will have to choose a part to visit. I advise you to stay close to Grand Canyon village, which is nice to visit and you can also stay at the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn.
The Grand Canyon is a magic place and to enjoy it properly you should stay at least two days. As the park is protected, wild animals are totally free of their movements so it is really possible to encounter deers as well as chipmunks and squirrels. They have always lived with humans hanging around them so they are not afraid at all, you can get really close!
Step 2: Have a break in Seligman, and "get your kicks" on Route 66!
Seligman is a small town of Arizona and birthplace of the Historic “Route 66”. This is the perfect place to stop during your road trip. As there is still a long road to reach Las Vegas it is better to get some rest in Seligman (which is located 103 miles, that is to say 165,7 km, from the Grand Canyon village). Seligman is the opportunity for you to get in touch with America’s heartland . You will feel like in a Western film, in a arid land, with hot and dry wind blowing in your face. Moreover it is really quiet, as the city counts only 500 inhabitants, and very few tourists. The city is decorated in a typical “fifties’” style: there are old cars parked on the side of the road, old storefronts such as barbershops, and other traditional shops. You can even find the same car as in the Pixar film “Cars” which has been inspired from this town.
Step 3: Have Lunch in Seligman
At this point of the journey you have already driven a hundred miles (about 161 kilometers). After strolling around the city you’ll need to fill your belly with a typical American lunch at the Delgadillo’s Snow cap drive-in. This historic fast food was built in 1953 by a local resident. It is a very special place, not only for its historic side, but also because of its design and features: you can indeed contemplate the old collection of automobiles of the owner, and the restaurant has a very “kitsch” design, like what you could see in films such as Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction”. The hot dogs and burgers are exquisite and a menu will cost you less than 10 USD.
Step 4: Discover Las Vegas’ measureless nightlife
After Seligman you have 176 miles (about 283 km) to drive. Upon your arrival to Las Vegas, you will probably be amazed and astonished by the huge buildings and impressive atmosphere that emerges from the city. If you are not a casino player, I recommend that you visit different hotels, as they are all very differently decorated. In my opinion, hotel “The Venetian” is the most amazing: can you believe that this picture has been taken in Las Vegas under about 40 Celsius degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit)?
You can also cruise the “canal of Venice” in gondola inside the hotel, which is open for free visits. You will also find Italian restaurants and shops. For an impressive show, you can watch the fountain of the Bellagio hotel, which is illuminated every night and animated with songs such as the famous “Con te partiro” from Andrea Bocelli. The Circus Circus Hotel is a great compromise if you are travelling with kids or teenagers because it offers different shows, a lot of attractions open to the younger ones, and of course a casino for the adults. It is one of the less expensive hotels in Las Vegas but it is well located, on the Strip, the main boulevard where all the attractions are.
Useful tips before leaving:
Planning a road trip is a big deal, as it is going to take a lot of your time and money but, trust me, it is worth it!
Let me give you a few tips regarding the preparation of your trip.First of all, you have to choose what you want to see and accept that you won’t be able to see everything. It is horrible to choose between amazing-looking places but you will come back, have faith! Then, it may be obvious but do not forget to rent a car offering a GPS tracking system: the US are big and you don’t want to get lost in desert areas! My last advice would be to buy an icebox and bring a lot of water with you, especially for those who decide to travel in summer. Here we are! Now you are ready for the big adventure! One last thing: do not forget your camera, you will need it!
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