Travel Advice

Our Top 5 Favourite Road Trips

Top 5 Road Trips

We love driving and exploring new places, well we should do as those two activities take up the majority of our blog name! So, when we recently came across Chill Insurance and their ‘Irish drives eBook series’, it got us thinking about our favourite road trips. Road trips give you the freedom to explore in your own time, allowing you to take the ‘other’ road and just seeing where you end up. We must admit although this usually ends up being good fun, things can become eventful, like having to dig your car out of black volcanic sand in an 80mph snow storm.

San Francisco To San Diego, USA

The Golden Gate Bridge

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge

One of the classic USA drives, the 600-mile Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to San Diego takes in one amazing destination after another. Try whale watching in Monterey before driving the twisting roads of Big Sur. Visit the vineyards around Santa Barbara before arriving in La La Land itself. if you fail to get a role in the next Hollywood blockbuster then continue down the coast to ‘classy‘ San Diego, thanks to Ron Burgundy, from the film Anchorman for the description.

The Ring Road Of Iceland

Godafoss Iceland

Goðafoss, just off Iceland’s route 1

The 850 mile Route 1 ring road around Iceland is a perfect trip to experience the beautifully rugged landscape of this volcanic island. From snow-capped mountains and glaciers to black sand beaches and of course, waterfalls.

We would recommend taking at least 7 days to complete the route, maybe slightly longer if you want to make the most of all the route has to offer. We particularly loved glacier hiking on Svínafellsjökull, Goðafoss, Lake Myvatn and Akureyri. In the summer months a standard car is fine but when we visited in February we were glad we had a 4 wheel drive.

The Ring Of Kerry, Ireland

Killarney National Park

Killarney National Park, County Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a beautiful 110-mile circular drive in the South West of Ireland. Although it can be done in a day, like all these road trips the longer you take, the more you can discover and enjoy. The best place to start is Killarney, spend a night there first to get experience the Irish craic at a couple of its traditional music pubs. If you are not suffering too much from the night before get an early start and head to the rugged Killarney National Park for some spectacular views but don’t forget your raincoat.

New Orleans To Memphis And Nashville, USA

New Orleans at Night

An atmospheric New Orleans at night

After experiencing the drink, jazz, food and voodoo of New Orleans take Highway 61, the Blues Highway north to Memphis. Stop off in Natchez to visit the grand antebellum mansions and don’t forget to wear your best hoop skirt embellished with as many ribbons and bows that you can fit. Also, if you are interested in American Civil War history the city Vicksburg is definitely worth a visit. For those with more time, take the old Natchez Trace Parkway, a 444-mile scenic drive through three states.

Memphis needs no introduction with its rich musical heritage and famous for a young singer called ‘Elvis’, you may have heard of him! Finally, get your cowboy boots on and head east down the I-40 to Nashville and an evening at the Grand Ole Opry.

Venice To The Dolomites, Italy

Driving To The Dolomites

Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites

We know, Venice with all its canals doesn’t sound like the best place to start a road trip. We actually start from Venice Marco Polo airport which is only a short flight from the UK, you can get some great views of Venice and the Grand Canal as the plane comes into land.

Taking a trip into the beautiful Dolomite mountains of Northern Italy is probably the last thing most visitors to Venice think about, but the snow-capped mountains and exclusive resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo (host of 1956 Winter Olympics) are only two and a half hours away. Not long after leaving Venice the scenery starts to change and the mountains start to loom up on the horizon. Make sure to take your time and being Italy, there is always somewhere to stop and grab a coffee and enjoy the view.

*PR collaboration.
Our Top5 Favourite Road Trips - Europe and the USA

Our Top 5 Favourite Road Trips – Pin For Later

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  • Hannah
    December 16, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Ooh, great list! We’ve driven San Francisco down to San Luis Obispo (would love to carry on down to San Diego one day). We’ve also done Ireland and Italy too. Iceland is on our list for sure (we keep transiting through Iceland and not stopping – shame on us). But the one highest on the list is that New Orleans > Memphis > Nashville road trip – we really want to do a big loop to include Chicago, and also the Great Smoky Mountains too. Methinks our hire car will be a little less flash than your Lambo though 😉

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 16, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      Unfortunately, the Lambo and Ferrari were only for an afternoon! There again, we have noticed that any rental car seems to be twice as fast as your own car. Ireland is really picturesque, Iceland is stunning (you need, to get out of that airport) but our current favourites are the southern states of the USA.

  • Fiona Maclean
    December 16, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    I tend to avoid driving, thanks to being blessed with zero sense of direction. But, particularly in the US it’s almost a necessity to make the most of the country. I love your round up – I recognise some of the routes – while I haven’t driven to Cortina, I can see why it’s worth doing for example. What I need is a partner who has an inbuilt GPS. Then I could actually experience things as you do.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 16, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Thanks to the removal of ultra-expensive roaming charges we find Google Maps the easiest way of getting around. None of these drives were particular hard, that honour goes to driving through Madrid at midnight due to a delayed flight and before the days of GPS, we ended up having to follow a taxi.

  • Indrani
    December 17, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I have done the road trip from Venice to Verona to Milan… basically city hopping. Your trips sound amazing. The first to be added to my dream list the road trip through Iceland. I hope I can do that some day.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 17, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      We loved Iceland so much that we actually visited twice in 2017. Although there are lots of tourists around Reykjavik, as you go North or East it does get very quiet.

  • Lydia Smith
    December 18, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    You sure have two of my best roads on this list. The best for me so far though is the Ring Road of Iceland. I can’t count the number of pictures I took on this road. It was so dreamy that I wanted to capture every bits of it. Glad to know someone felt the way I felt on this road.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 19, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Yes, we loved Iceland. Ended up visiting twice in 2017, Feb and August.

  • Agness of a Tuk Tuk
    December 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Wow! These are all awesome road trip destinations, Mr And Mrs W! When’s the best time of the year to undertake the San Francisco To San Diego road trip?

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      We did it in June, which was quite warm (except the waterfront in San Francisco, which was freezing). Saying that, the sea breezes were nice and it was more comfortable than inland.

  • Lucy
    December 18, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    These sound like great road trips, some eventful! I laughed when you said you were digging your car out of volcanic sand in a snow storm! If I’m going on a road trip I prefer good weather conditions and not in winter. We went on a road trip from Genoa to Siena in Italy last winter and it was a nightmare.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 19, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      We had quite wintery weather in Iceland but it was February so expected. Glad we had a 4WD although I still got it stuck, luckily we got it out without calling for help.

  • Shruti
    December 19, 2017 at 8:34 am

    The Ring Road in Iceland is our favourite as well. We went there on our honeymoon and we could not have asked for more. The Ring of Kerry is on our list next. Lets hope we can tick it off soon. Irish pubs, Killarney National Park, sounds perfect!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 19, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      Yes, the Irish route is very pretty, best wait for the Spring to get the better weather and lighter evenings.

  • Nisha
    December 19, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Each one of your trip has some great landscape and scenery. I would really like to do the Iceland Ring Road . Have heard so much about it. There are lot of beautiful spots just off the main road.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      December 19, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      Yes, must try and do the Iceland ring road if you get the chance.

  • Elisa (World in Paris)
    December 19, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    You have some cool proposals there, each of them spectacular in its genre. Road tripping the US must be fantastic but admiring Ireland and Iceland’s landscapes from the car must be amazing as well. Maybe I would add something of New Zealand to your list?

  • Rosemary
    December 19, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    Road trips are so much fun. One of favorite was around New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville as well….although all done at different times! The Ring Road of Iceland looks magical and one road trip I’d love to do. Great round up of experiences and fun to read.

  • Meg Jerrard
    December 20, 2017 at 4:41 am

    Awesome road trips! I’ve done the East Coast USA, and you’re right, it’s such an incredible stretch. We went past San Fran all the way up to Alaska which was quite epic, though my favorite stops were in that San Deigo – San Fran stretch, the Pacific Coast Highway was incredible. The Ring Road in Iceland also ranks among my most favorite road trips; next up is hopefully the Ring of Kerry!

  • Agness of a Tuk Tuk
    December 20, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    These are some awesome road trips which I definitely have to add to my bucket list, Mr and Mrs W. I fell in love the Venice to the Dolomites destination. 😉