California, Chicago, Destinations, Journal, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York City, United States

Road Trip Across the USA

April 23, 2015

Dennis and I have road tripped from the East Coast to the West Coast, and have lived on both of those coasts AND smack dab in the middle of the Midwest.

Each place is awesome in different ways, but there are absolutely a few “must see” cities. What are those top cities to hit if you are road tripping across the US? I have made a list of four US Road Trips to get your juices flowin’ and hit the road!

First though, check out the cities that we visited during our last six months in the US to get some ideas for what made the list…

The Heenan 2014/2015 US Road Trip Map 

US Map V2

Each city and state are incredibly unique. Take a look at a few of the highlights!

San Francisco


Napa Valley




New Jersey

new jersey

New York


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Phew… That’s a lot of highlights.

So, if you are planning a road trip in the US, what destinations should you make sure to see?

1) Seattle, Washington – San Diego, California

The Pacific Northwest to sunny SoCal is an ultimate road trip. Seattle is one of a kind in mountainous views, coffee (first Starbucks!) and artistic culture. Wear a raincoat in case it drizzles, but Seattle is one of my favorite cities in the US. From there, you need to visit Portland, Oregon for a unique, free-spirited culture and incredible outdoor activities, like hiking.

Then you will need to make your way down through Northern California, see the beautiful forests in Yosemite, followed by San Francisco (incredible food and culture), Napa Valley (wine!), and Silicon Valley (tech companies galore). As you make your way down the coast, stop in Santa Barbara and then hop on Highway 1 (AKA Pacific Coast Highway/PCH) to Los Angeles and then through Orange County for an incredibly scenic drive along the coast. Finally, make your way to San Diego for some laid back time in the sun!

There are so many awesome cities in California, so if you are going to road trip down the state, I highly recommend it!

 2) Chicago, Illinois – Minneapolis, Minnesota – Denver, Colorado

Though an more unique choice of road trip, this route offers a little bit of everything. Start in Chicago for incredible pizza, theatre, and sports. Then make your way over to Minneapolis for awesome winter sports, boating on the beautiful lakes (there are 10,000 to choose from!), great comfort food and super nice people. Finally trek your way to the mountains of Colorado for hitting the slopes, or just sipping cocoa in the lodge. :)

3) Boston, Massachusetts – New York City – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Washington D.C

The East Coast is a world of it’s own…and so much fun! Start in Boston for amazing accents, great food and a loyal hometown-feel. Make your way over to the Big Apple, NYC for endless entertainment, food and sightseeing. Next stop over in Philadelphia for some original Philly Cheesesteaks, and lastly make your way down to our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C. to experience great history, museums and sightseeing.

4) Austin, Texas – New Orleans, Louisiana – Orlando, Florida

There’s nothing quite like the South of the US. Start in Austin, Texas to experience this up-and-coming metropolis of sorts. Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the US and is a must-see destination. From there, make your way over to New Orleans, Louisiana (bonus points if it’s during Mardi Gras!) for a unique experience of culture including a lot of seafood jambalaya and jazz music. Lastly, make your way over to Orlando, Florida to visit the happiest place on earth–Disney World! Don’t forget to hit up the beaches while there too.

So, those are a few great options for road trips in the US. Now, back to you! Any other road trip recommendations?

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