If you are planning on touring the USA coast to coast in a Rental car (or caravan), you can visit many landmarks and places of interest without worrying about wearing down your own vehicle in the process. This will require you to visit a car rental facility so that you can get a good car to take you across the vast expanse of land that is the United States of America. Finding the best car rental company available in your area needs you to be proactive as well as hardworking.
The good news is that you will get most of the information that you need to make a decision on the internet. There are various websites that serve as online aggregators of car rental deals. This means that you can get the cheapest car rental hire in your locality without even having to leave the safety and comfort of your own home. [We have already spoken about U.S.A. coast to coast and the 10 best tips to do it]
After signing on the dotted line and verifying all the other small details of a holiday car hire contract, it is time to plan your cross country trip across the USA. For you to say that you have actually gone through the USA coast to coast in a car rental, then your route will need to have stops in at least 48 states for it to be feasible. Usually you need 20-30 days to complete the tour, depending on what you want to see or how fast you want to proceed. You will cover at least 2671 miles in the shortest route, but the average mileage usually is 3200.
There are many classic and interesting highways for you to traverse the country on.
This is going to be a life changing experience as you will have the opportunity to meet and interact with different people, as well as savoring the scenery.
The following are some of the highways that you should drive on…
The best routes in a USA Coast to Coast with a rented vehicle
The Columbia River Scenic Highway, Oregon
This is a classic highway that is over a century old. Drivers driving their cars on this road that stretches from The Dalles to Troutdale. You will be treated to numerous waterfalls and mountain scenery that will blow your mind. It is also interesting to note that there are many pull offs along the highway.
These afford you the opportunity to stop your car and observe or take pictures of the beautiful scenery surrounding you. While still on the Columbia River scenic Highway, you could also take a detour to the Timberline lodge, which is an iconic mountain park hotel.
Route 66, from Illinois to California
This is one of the most moving and iconic stretches of tarmac in the entire country. Route 66 is deeply ingrained into the psyche and collective consciousness of America. You will find the route referenced or shown in many amazing and awe inspiring novels and movies that have defined American culture for decades.
For example, Route 66 features in the Grapes of Wrath, a novel and in Rain Man, a movie. It is unfortunate that a large portion of the highway has been engulfed by interstates. However, there are long stretches of road that still retain the two lane structure of Route 66.
Hill Country Hideaways, Texas
This is the right highway to satiate your cravings for the canyons and undulating plains of the State that is sometimes referred to as the Lone Star State. You will also get the chance to experience the pleasure of driving a car in the middle of nowhere, for this is what you will feel for the most part of the journey across the country. The roads will be winding in an absolutely thrilling manner, which is guaranteed to make your driving experience memorable. While driving through Texas, take the chance to sample some of the bed and breakfast inns dotting the landscape.
The Great River Road, from Minnesota to Louisiana
The Great River Road is another big road that has captured a large part of the national psyche and collective conscious of the people. It has even been included in songs by great artists such as Bob Dylan and other artists and writers such as Mark Twain and Muddy Waters. The Great River is an excellent road for you to travel along the might Mississippi river from north to south. The best strategy to use in travelling on this highway is to break the trip into small bits and pieces. This will allow you to fully appreciate the hilly terrain that you will undoubtedly come across.
The Pacific Coast Highway, from San Luis Obispo to Monterey, California
The Pacific Coast Highway is your chance to appreciate the stunning views of the Big Sur as it snakes through the seaside cliffs, as well as touring the wine country of Paso Robles. The arty town of Carmel will also be on your path. This stretch of road is strategically placed to give you an accurate snapshot of one of the most beautiful places in the country.
You will move from mountains to the ocean with nothing but a thin layer of asphalt beneath the wheels of your car rental. While any direction is ok for starting the trip, the best way to start would be from the south to the north.
The Overseas Highway, from Miami to Key West, Florida
If you want to feel like you are floating for the most part of your trip, then driving on The Overseas Highway should leave you feeling as if you were travelling on some magical means of transport from the future that allows you to hover over the water. The road was initially designed and built to be the Florida East Coast Highway. However, the highway ended up in a different place in the country. For almost more than half the journey, you will have an amazing sensory that comes from feeling like you are floating on water. This is definitely a good drive to remember for a long time.
The Million Dollar Highway, from Silverton to Ouray, Colorado
It is not called the Million Dollar Highway for nothing. Snaking in between two historic gold mines, nothing else will give you a fuller understanding of the excitement and euphoria of the gold rush than driving on the same road that hundreds of people seeking fortune travelled on decades ago.
It was said that the fill dirt of the road contains gold, while others claim that a million dollars was expended on the construction of the Million Dollar highway. This will certainly be an interesting segment of your trip across the country in a rental car.
Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina
This is a 105 mile drive through the mighty mountain ranges of the Appalachians. There is an opportunity waiting for you to explore the Shenandoah National Park. Interestingly enough, you can also connect to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the process. The mandatory speed limits will make your drive on this scenic stretch of asphalt and tarmac eye opening and relaxing. The Linn Cove Viaduct is an amazing feat of engineering that will also pique your interest as you snake your car rental on the road and pass among the treetops. You can also spend some time in Charlottesville, which was the home town of Thomas Jefferson. A lot of history and beautiful scenery is what you should expect on this leg of your trip across the country, USA coast to coast in a car rental.
So many roads, uh? That’s why you should do the USA coast to coast in a Rental Car, safe and covered by insurance.
Do you have doubts on renting a car? Take a look at our Most Popular Questions page!