Top Tips… The USA!

Top 3 Reasons To Visit  ·   Jack’s Bucket List 6  ·   Tales From The USA

The United States of America. A country that kick-started my love of road trips, as well as opening my eyes to some of the single-most impressive geographical features on planet earth. From the sprawling conurbations in the East, to the great plains of the centre, to the sun-drenched National Parks of the West; America is a country where you will never be bored – or hungry.

Top 3 Reasons To Visit

1. Incredible Road Trips

Where on earth do I start? Route 66 (more details below), California’s Route 1, Highway 61 (New Orleans to Wyoming), US Route 30 (Oregon to New Jersey) and the Blue Ridge Parkway are just some of epic roads that zigzag their way across the states. Load up the classic American convertible with supplies for a few weeks and speed off into the sunset – driving in no other country is quite the same.

2. National Parks Aplenty

Fifty-nine to be exact. Mainly concentrated in the Western states, American National Parks are usually well preserved and provide a welcomed escape from the rowdiness and noise of the cities – with the exception of the overly-crowded Yosemite. Yellowstone (more details below), the Everglades, Grand Canyon, Death Valley and Redwood are just some of the National Park’s worth visiting this vast country to see. Make sure you do before a certain president turns them into fairground attractions.

Yosemite National Park, CA

3. Giant Things

America does ‘big’ like no other, and the list of old, pointless attractions dotted around the country is rather extensive. From the world’s largest ball of twine (in Cawker City, Kansas), to the world’s tallest filing cabinet (in Burlington, Vermont) – visit just a few to experience the great American spirit of the past.

Jack’s Bucket List 6

1. Visit Yellowstone – Wyoming (1 week)

Whilst some American National Park’s leave a lot to be desired (in terms of over-crowing and organisation), Yellowstone is not one of them. Maybe due to its location (not as accessible as the Californian NP’s), the first designated ‘National Park’ in the world provides you with a real sense of remoteness, plus you don’t have to drive around for two hours looking for a parking space when you get there. Depending on the time of year you choose to visit, bears, lynx, bison, moose and mountain goats can all be spotted in the back-country. Old faithful (see right) is also worth a visit, but don’t try to soak in any of the hot springs, or you may end up like Colin Scott: dissolved. ( $30 for a seven-day pass

2. Listen to jazz – New Orleans (1 weekend)

New Orleans is special, and when we visited, it felt like nowhere else we had been to in America. Relaxed drinking laws, incredibly friendly locals and music on every street corner, we could have stayed there a fortnight (or perhaps a lifetime). Some call it the birthplace of jazz and, whilst it wasn’t a genre I would usually listen to on the radio, an evening in a New Orleanian nightclub gave me my jazz awakening – La La Land style. Whilst I wasn’t quite dancing on the grand piano, I challenge any right-minded person not to have a fantastic time in this city. Visit between February and May to avoid hurricane season, and the sticky heat and crowds of the summer months.  (

3. Experience real football – Most American cities, but Philadelphia is best (1 day)

For those who think this is not for them (if you don’t like sports for example), hear me out first. Going to an American football game is more than just sitting in a cold seat and watching twenty-two players run into each other for three hours. It’s a full-day experience, which begins around 9am in the adjoining car park! The ‘Tailgate’ involves fans from both sides getting together for a giant party involving bbq’s, beer, marques, games and all manner of attractions to keep the casual supporter entertained. When the game starts, everyone filters into the stadium for a ‘break’, before continuing the festivities outside after the final whistle has blown. A modern-day American experience. ( from $40 depending on which ground you are going to

4. Take the Bourbon Trail – Kentucky (3 days)

Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey to name but a few – Kentucky is built on bourbon. Don’t confuse this with whisky, as a native Kentuckian will almost always be offended – bourbon is distilled from corn whilst whisky uses malted barley – so now you know! It’s so popular in this part of the world that you can now undertake a tour that takes you to every distillery in the state, with samples included! You could even choose to extend your own tour, like we did, into neighbouring Tennessee to incorporate Mr. Jack Daniel. Once you’ve successfully tried samples from all the distilleries on the tour, you are awarded with a t-shirt and a fully-stamped bourbon trail passport! Try getting into Saudi Arabia with that one. ( $149 for a one day tour

The Road Trip. Drive Route 66 – Chicago to Los Angeles (1 month)

The iconic ‘Mother Road’. A symbol of prosperity in early 20th century America, the road offered dreamers the first chance of a new life on the west coast. Many travelled, building fantastic things along the way: Cadillac Ranch, Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park, the Milk Bottle Grocery and the Blue Whale of Catoosa (see left), amongst countless other grand attractions! Towns we now consider infamous Route 66 stop-offs, popped up along the road and, to-this-day, provide a fantastic time-capsule of a bygone era of dusty gas stations and neon-lit motels. Don’t rush your trip, rent or buy a cheap American car and meander along one of the most famous roads in the world. (

Wildcard. Visit hidden beach paradises – American Samoa (2 weeks)

As this category is the wildcard, I like to choose somewhere that wouldn’t immediately spring to mind, and American Samoa certainly doesn’t. Located almost in the centre of the Pacific Ocean, ‘AS’ is not high on the list of American tourist hot-spots (not even Pacific island hot-spots), and that’s exactly why you should consider visiting here. The National Park located on its central island, Tutuila, is included in the fifty-nine NP’s of America, but none look quite like this. Explore the five volcanic islands that make up AS, or dive amongst the near-pristine reefs that surround them – who would have thought that America could be so idyllic? ( $770 flight return to/from Los Angeles

American Samoa

Tales From The USA

The Maine Objective

November 30th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager circumnavigated skyscrapers in NYC and soared with the Eagles in Philly before reaching a frostbitten New England. In week fifteen, the journey nears its conclusion as a momentous milestone draws closer. Day 99 – Brattleboro, VT to Gorham, NH Our final few days in America begun with a leaky water carrier…

Enter the Bird’s Nest

November 23rd, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager passed through ten states, and Washington D.C. for good measure, from Florida in the scorching South to New York in the bustling North-East. In week fourteen, the journey breaks South to fly with the Eagles before soaring high into a freezing New England. Day 92 – New York, NY Our week…

Capital Investment

November 18th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager travelled as far South as South goes, encountering All Hallows’ Eve in Key West before visiting Baloo in Orlando. In week thirteen, the journey heads North on a state-a-day quest through Appalachia towards the nation’s capital and beyond. Day 85 – Orlando, FL to Charleston, SC So today would be our…

All Hallows’ Keys

November 7th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager met with Patricia in Texas and followed her destructive path around the Gulf of Mexico before breaking free in the Sunshine State. In week twelve, the journey reaches the absolute end of the road before the final Northern leg begins in earnest. Day 78 – Venice, FL to Miami, FL Summer…


October 29th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager entered the Deep South for the first time, following the old Bourbon Trail through Kentucky and Tennessee, before re-joining Route 66 in Missouri. In week eleven the journey stalls in the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Patricia has her spectacular say. Day 71 – Chandler, OK to Denton, TX Just a…

The Bourbon Trail

October 22nd, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager witnessed birthday celebrations in Chicago, came up against The Fighting Irish and braved Motown. In week ten the journey follows the old Bourbon Trail from Jim Beam country to Jack Daniel’s before crossing the Great Plains for the final time. Day 64 – Cincinnati, OH to Glasgow, KY We began week…

Searching for Sugar Man

October 18th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager exited the Great plains, visited several breweries and caught its first glimpse of the Windy City. In week nine the journey pauses in Chicago for a name-day celebration and some pizza pie before heading North to see whatever is left of illustrious Motown. Day 57 – Chicago, IL Chicago town. America’s…

Great Lakes and Amber Nectar

October 14th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager returned to the wilderness of the North, visiting the Rockies for the final time whilst commencing its crossing of the Great Plains. In week eight the journey heads South-East, through the flat, vast land of ten thousand lakes, towards America's second city. Day 50 – Bismarck, ND to Fargo, ND As…

Great Plains and Prairie Dogs

October 2nd, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager finally made it out of Sin City, circled the Grand Canyon and visited the home of Heisenberg. In week seven the journey heads North, through colder climates and the Rockies for the last time as the group splits once more. Day 43 – Santa Fe, NM Our bedraggled arrival in Santa…

308 Negra Arroyo Lane

September 27th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager survived the Mexican border, Death Valley and even Hollywood as the minivans ended the week rolling down The Strip. In week six the journey temporarily halts in Vegas before continuing East through the home of Heisenberg, Pinkman & Fring towards Santa Fe. Day 36 – Las Vegas, NV It was the…

Rags to Riches

September 24th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager headed inland to view some large slabs of granite and a water-less waterfall before moving South through a drought-plagued state towards Los Angeles. In week five the journey visits Hollywood, gets as close to the Mexican border as one would dare and visits the hottest place on earth. Day 29 –…


September 12th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager travelled through the tallest forest in the world, crossed the most famous bridge in America and felt the spray of the Pacific Ocean on its windscreen once again. In week four the journey heads inland to the very heart of California before doing a quick U-turn to continue down the Pacific…

Redwoods and Golden Gates

September 3rd, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Last week, the Voyager made safe passage across a tricky national border, survived a forest fire and lost a race to a Montanan bar. In week three the journey continues South along the Pacific coast through the tallest forest in the world and on towards an iconic American city. Day 15 – Portland, OR The…

Rendezvous at The Rhino

August 29th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees In its first seven days the Voyager has ascended high mountain roads, camped next to glaciers, visited two national parks and crossed a provincial border. In week two the backdrop of The Rockies remain as the journey heads South, across the American border, into Montana for a meeting in Missoula. Day 8 – Banff Week…

Bears and Ex-Rabbits

May 13th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees A long winding climb in the cold Alaskan dusk led us up to Hatcher Pass. Hidden amongst the snow-covered peaks of the Talkeetna mountains was a road unlike any I had seen before. Not a soul in sight and bitterly cold, we ascended until the tarmac turned to snow and we could not go any…

Alaska for a Lift

May 7th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Time to head beyond the wall to the most Northerly part of my North American journey, and quite possibly the furthest North I will ever go. Less than a day's drive from the arctic circle, the next stop on my trip was Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska. More than half of Alaskan's live in…

Man Overboard

February 11th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees It was the morning after the night before, although that is always the case, and I had to catch a bus to Wai'anae Boat Harbor on the West Coast of O'ahu. Having got off the bus five stops too early, a sweaty jog in the mid-morning Hawaiian sunshine was required in order to catch the…

Hawaii Five-0

February 4th, 2015 Jack Noah Rees Aloha! Welcome to O'ahu. What better way to start my journey across America than in the 'Paradise of the Pacific' - Hawaii. Having been living in a Canadian winter for the last four months, the weather here certainly gave a shock to the system. Once I was outside Honolulu airport the humidity made it tricky…

Updated: Winter, 2017.

Join Jack on the Road...

No marketing, spam or third-party sales. Just tips, guides and plenty of tales!

I will never give away or sell your e-mail address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published.