Whether you’re driving up the Pacific Coast Highway in California with the wind in your hair, scoping out the Grand Canyon and Painted Desert in Arizona, or stopping by Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, road trips are a true American pastime, and so is finding a few great places to lay your head down at night after a long day in the car. If you’re planning to head to the USA for a holiday, here 10 of the coolest (and most reasonably priced) road trip hotels in the country…
Susitna Place in Anchorage, Alaska
On your way into the wilderness along Seward Highway in Alaska? Make a pit stop in Anchorage the night before and enjoy the mountain view on one of Susitna Place’s large decks while staying warm. Winter prices are as low as $75, and summer prices start at $115.
Looe Key Reef Resort & Center in Ramrod Key, Florida
The 127 mile drive from the southern tip of Florida to Key West has some of the most beautiful water vistas in the world as you drive from bridge to bridge suspended over the ocean. You’d think that a hotel in this area would be outrageously expensive, but at Looe Key, rooms start at $89 during the week and $99 on the weekends. And if the room itself doesn’t offer much to make it stand out, the fact that the hotel is attached to a full-service dive center is a definite plus.
The Channel House in Depoe Bay, Oregon
When driving through Oregon, you owe it to yourself to stop in Depoe Bay for some whale watching, and if your stay lingers on into the evening, the Channel House is the place to stay. Not only are the prices fantastic (starting at $100!), rooms that overlook the ocean actually include binoculars to aid you in your whale-watching.
Thunderbird Suites in Scottsdale, Arizona
After stopping by the Sugar Bowl in Old Town Scottsdale, head over to the Thunderbird Suites for a comfortable night’s stay that starts at less than $100. It’s just a few minutes from Old Town, so it’s the perfect place to rest after a day of driving. Have a four-legged friend with you? No problem. Thunderbird Suites is not only pet-friendly, they offer Buddy Meals so that you and your pet can have a meal as soon as you arrive!
Peaks of Otter Lodge in Bedford, Virginia
The 450 miles of road between Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is full of scenic overlooks, towering mountains, forests as far as the eye can see, and precious few places to stay. Luckily, one of those places is Peaks of Otter Lodge, a rustic stay that leaves you nestled comfortably in the natural surroundings (deer and bears are common sights) for rooms starting at $122.
Mendocino Inn and Garden Suites in Mendocino, California
You’re not going to be driving after indulging in some of the great wines around Mendocino, so check out the place rated Best Wine Country Hotel in 2009 and 2010. With praise like that and an oceanfront view, you might expect high prices, but online rates can be found for less than $130 a night.
The Boulevard Hotel and Bistro in St. Joseph, Michigan
Drive along the shore of Lake Michigan for an afternoon and you’ll discover lots of sleepy little towns to go along with the amazing view. Plan for your day to end in St. Joseph so that you can stay at The Boulevard. It not only overlooks the lake, but rooms can be had for around $130, which is wonderful since you’re going to want the extra money to spend on the bistro’s renowned food.
Cali Cochitta Bed & Breakfast in Moab, Utah
Moab has two national parks with some of the most striking scenery in the world, which makes it an awesome driving destination. But just because you’re in small-town Utah doesn’t mean you have to settle for a cheap chain hotel. Cali Cochitta is a stunningly gorgeous Victorian home that has been renovated and transformed into a hotel with completely modern amenities that somehow still manages rates that start around $135.
Groveland Cottage in Sequim, Washington
If you’re driving through the Pacific Northwest, you owe it to yourself to stop at Groveland Cottage in Sequim. The actual cottage is just a nice, cozy place to lay your head, but it has an interesting story (it used to be an estate belonging to a wealthy merchant in the area), and it’s incredibly close to where you should begin your trip the following day, in Olympic National Park and the Dungenees Spit Wildlife Preserve. Prices start from $135-$155.
The Rhinecliff on the Hudson River
Spend the day touring the actual Sleepy Hollow where Washington Irving set many of his most famous stories, then enjoy staying in a historic hotel that’s perched on the Hudson River and has an amazing view of the countryside. Don’t worry, though, it’s been refurbished to include all of the modern amenities. Starting at $199, it’s on the pricier side, but the country charm is worth it.
Entry to the USA
If you’re travelling from the UK to America for a holiday make sure you apply for your ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) online. This quick and easy system was developed to replace the traditional Visa (for certain countries) for stays of 90 days or less. Just fill in the application on the website with your passport details, an email address and a credit or debit card. If all the data is correct you’ll receive your authorization document within minutes.