With the world-renowned Illinois Regent Street Motor Show set to take place on 2 November 2019, we have rounded-up some of the best driving routes and road trips across the world. From hiring a Cadillac and driving the Mother Road of Route 66, to winding through the Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road, to reach the summit of the emirate’s highest peak; we’ve got you covered with a list of the world’s greatest roadtrips!
The most famous drive in the US – Route 66, Illinois
Easily the most famous drive in the US, Route 66 takes visitors on the ultimate road trip across a 2,448-mile stretch of American roadway, and it all starts in the heart of Chicago, Illinois.
If short on time or conscious about cash the Illinois part of the route allows you to tackle it over a long weekend, with plenty of Americana to see for free on the way. Witness some of America’s most famous “muffler men”, huge fiberglass advertising sculptures, such as the Gemini Giant and Paul Bunyon Hotdog Statue, or tuck into a burger at a local diner such as Cozy Dog Drive In and Weezy’s – there is plenty to fill up your Instagram feed.
Chicago, Illinois is the iconic starting point of Route 66. Be sure to secure a CityPASS for priority entry to the lake-side city’s most popular sights and attractions, such as Skydeck Chicago and 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck.
Drive a Cadillac and enjoy the ‘Mother Road’, with the wind in your hair on this legendary road trip. Stop by the Original Historic Route 66 Brick Road and Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museumfor the full historical story, and rest your head on route at Inn at 825 which is on the National Register of Historic Places.Many will agree that autumn is undoubtedly the best time of year for this trip of a lifetime, as it showcases the stunning fall scenery. When home, relive the experience at the Illinois Route 66 Regent Street Motor Show, taking place in London on Saturday 2 November 2019. The free, family-friendly event is the UK’s biggest free-to-view car-themed spectacle, and the Illinois Office of Tourism will be running a competition to win a free trip to Illinois, the “Prairie State”, for the real American experience.
A world wonder in Ontario – Toronto and Niagara Falls
Ticking off some of the world’s most iconic sights, this road trip takes visitors from the buzzing city of Toronto, to the beautiful Niagara Falls and Blue Mountain. In Toronto, visitors have a huge array of activities and sights to choose from, including the CN tower and Edge Walk, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum, Kensington Market, The Distillery District and Toronto Islands.
Next on this roadtrip is Niagara Falls where 150,000 gallons of water pass over the falls per second. Visitors can get up close and personal on a number of different tours, including Hornblower Niagara Cruises, Journey behind the Falls, Niagara Jet Boat Tours, WildPlay ZipLine and Whirlpool Adventure Course. Holidaymakers can then continue on to the picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake in the heart of Ontario’s wine region or Niagara’s South Coast – famous for its small town charm and laid-back beach vibe. This road trip ends in the beautiful Blue Mountain Resort, where guests can enjoy activities such as kayaking, golf, climbing and the ridge runner mountain coaster.
Canadian Affair offers a 9-night ‘Ontario Adrenalin’ package. The package includes return flights with Air Transat, 7 days intermediate car hire with fully inclusive insurance, a helicopter flight over Niagara Falls, a Whirlpool Jetboat tour and Niagara Falls Zipline experience, CN Tower Edge Walk and Distillery District Tour in Toronto, and a Blue Mountain active pack. Prices start from £1,412 per person flying from London Gatwick on selected dates in October. Flights also available from Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow; prices may vary.
Get off-the-beaten-track – 1000 Islands and Ottawa
One of the more off-the-beaten-track destinations in Canada, 1000 Islands is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Visitors can embark on a cruise of the 1000 Islands and experience the majesty of the St. Lawrence River and Millionaire’s Row before heading to Ottawa, along the Rideau Heritage Route, where visitors can discover charming villages and see working locks along the way. Ottawa, Canada’s capital, has a wealth of culture and history to offer.
The city’s centre is located around the stunning Parliament Hill with its grand Victorian architecture and museums, such as the National Gallery of Canada and of course, the park-lined Rideau Canal. Nearby points of interest include the Peace Tower, Bytown museum, Confederation Square and the Changing of the Guard. ByWard market, to the east of Parliament Hill, is home to a historic farmer’s market and offers a vast array of shops and a number of trendy restaurants and clubs to try.
Canadian Sky offers a package, which includes 1000 Islands and Ottawa as well as Toronto, Niagara Falls, Kingston, Algonquin Provincial Park, Huntsville, Wasaga and Barrie. Prices start from £1,629 per person based on October 2019 travel. This 10-night tour includes international return flights with Air Transat from London Heathrow, 1 night at a 3* Toronto airport hotel, motorhome rental for 9 nights, unlimited mileage and kitchen and personal kits.
Jaw-dropping desert views from Jebel Hafeet – Abu Dhabi
Rising 1,240 metres above the ancient city of Al Ain, and close to the Oman border, Jebel Hafeet is the emirate’s highest peak and UAE’s second. This towering rocky height is forged out of craggy limestone that has been weathered over millions of years, offering stunning views from the summit over the surrounding desert, which turns an orange and golden hue at sunset.
In the foothills of the mountain, over 500 ancient burial tombs have been discovered dating back 5,000 years, with artefacts indicating the importance of maritime trade across the Arabian Gulf. The 7.3-mile Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road can be driven to reach the summit. Or, for those in need of a challenge, we suggest jumping on a bike and beginning the long slow ascent in search of breath-taking views.
A scenic route – Sussex Modern
Sussex Modern, a carefully curated collection of galleries, museums, artist houses, performance venues and thriving wineries, recently launched a website helps visitors discover the best of the county’s modern culture through personalised itineraries and road trip suggestions.
Visitors can begin their scenic route at Kingley Vale, one of the finest yew forests in Europe. With their twisted yews among the oldest living things in Britain, Kingley Vale’s extensive chalk grassland is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southern England. Head 55 miles east down the coast to visit the legendary Devils Dyke for some of the most beautiful views in the UK.
A short drive east through Sussex countryside will take visitors to Charleston House which showcases contemporary work of artists today. Travellers can unwind after a day exploring Sussex’s natural landscape and rich cultural heritage at Rathfinny Wine Estate, a beautiful Sussex vineyard producing fine, award-winning sparkling wine. Rathfinny also have a fantastic restaurant and charming Flint Barns that guests can stay at on a B&B basis.
The historic Route 66 – Arizona
The longest remaining intact section of Route 66 can also be found in Arizona, running a total of 157 unbroken miles, from Seligman to Topock.
For those starting in the east, a stop off at the Historical Wigwam Motel, is recommended for the Instagram-minded, and where weary travellers have been laying their heads for nearly 70 years. To the west, explore the hidden gem that is the Hackberry General Store, one of the oldest landmarks of the acclaimed route and home to important artefacts and signage for a stroll down memory lane.
The giant Route 66 sign is not-to-be-missed, attracting thousands of tourists year upon year seeking the iconic photo opportunity. For those hoping to view the most captivating vistas Arizona has to offer, journey to the towering sandstone rock formations of Monument Valley or visit Lake Powell where the spectacle of sprawling pools against the arid desert is truly a sight to behold. Littered with historical landmarks and incredible stop-offs Arizona’s Route 66 is the ultimate road trip, combining man-made magic and natural wonders.
Breath-taking views of desert scenery – Scottsdale
Located in the middle of the Arizonian desert, Scottsdale is the perfect route to enjoy breath-taking views of the desert scenery by car. Guests can step into the wild, untamed Sonoran Desert and discover what Scottsdale has to offer, beyond the world-class resorts and spas and western cowboy culture. For beautiful daylight views of Scottsdale, visitors can travel by to Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and one of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, nestled in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains. As the day goes on travellers can enjoy scenic sunset views whilst driving through Pinnacle Peak or past Bartlett Lake. In a destination that boasts 330 days of sunshine, it is the perfect place for explorers looking for an idyllic road trip that takes in some of Arizonas more luxurious offerings.
Southern America road trip – Texas to Nashville
For a truly authentic experience of Texas, begin your journey in Fort Worth. Home to the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive and year-round rodeo in the famed Stockyards Historic District, visitors will experience the rich western heritage of the city. Travellers in 2020 will have the opportunity to see the new Stockyards redevelopment which will welcome a plethora of new shops and restaurants to the area, along with the new luxury Drover Hotel.
Travel 32 miles east to Dallas to experience the cosmoplitan buzz of the city. Boasting an impressive arts district, a selection of luxury hotels and vibrant neighbourhoods, Dallas is a must visit destination on your Southern road trip.
Leave Texas and head north east to Memphis – the ideal stop-off point on your journey to Nashville. Next, turn up the country music and head for Nashville. Famed for its multi-genre music scene, creative neighbourhoods, local cuisine and southern hospitality, it is a destination not to be missed. With a boutique hotel boom in 2019 and household names such as Virgin Hotels, Four Seasons and the Marriott Edition set to hit the city streets in 2020, there has never been a better time to visit Music City. Roll down the windows, turn the music up and ride into Nashville.
Road trip through the Silver State – Nevada
There’s nothing quite like the freedom of hitting the open road on a self-drive tour. With varying climates and terrains, Nevada has something for every budding explorer keen to discover what the Silver State has to offer. With huge open spaces encased by mountains, and a selection of amazing national parks, Nevada is also a nature lovers dream. From driving ‘The Loneliest Road’ in America and relaxing at the Grand Basin National Park to exploring Lake Tahoe, Elko and Ely, Nevada is a traveller’s playground whether they’re going solo, as a couple or with the family. The State packs some beautiful landscapes and some wonderfully smooth roads that are perfect for long-haul driving.