Forget Flying – See the US by Car, Train, or Bus

Forget Flying – See the US by Car, Train, or Bus

You’ve been dreaming of that iconic cross-country road trip for years, picturing yourself cruising down Route 66 with the wind in your hair. But between work, family, and other responsibilities, it always seems out of reach. Well, what if we told you that you don’t need to go big or go home? 

This summer, why not finally check that dream US road trip off your bucket list by seeing America up close via car, train, or bus? We’ll give you the lowdown on planning shorter 1-2 week driving itineraries, scenic Amtrak lines and routes ideal for soaking in those amber waves of grain, and even tips for navigating the Greyhound. 

You’ll return home with memories to last a lifetime without needing a month of vacation. Let’s hit the road! You don’t have to break any rocks or deal with any US Passport name change. Just grab your luggage and let’s go.

The Benefits of Seeing the US by Ground Transportation

Forget the hassle of flying and see America’s diverse landscapes at your own pace by car, train, or bus.

Cost Effective

Traveling by ground is budget-friendly compared to flying. You’ll save money on baggage fees, airport parking, and overpriced airport food. Renting a car or booking a bus ticket is often cheaper than multiple plane tickets for a family or group.


You have the freedom to stop wherever you want for photos, food, or fun. Feel like detouring to see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine? Go for it! With no strict schedules to follow, you can craft an itinerary tailored to your interests. Stay an extra day in a place you love or leave a spot early if you’re not feeling it.


Enjoy spacious seating, the ability to move around, and access to amenities like restrooms, entertainment systems, and power outlets. Road trip in your own vehicle or book a bus with plush reclining seats, WiFi, and outlets at each seat. Most train routes offer coach and first-class seating with additional legroom, tables, and lounge access.


Some of America’s most stunning vistas are best viewed from the ground. Snap photos of the desert scenery in the Southwest, the towering redwood forests in Northern California, or the rolling blue hills of Kentucky. Spot roadside attractions and hidden gems not visible from the air.

For an affordable adventure with opportunities to bond with travel companions, ground transportation reigns supreme. Pack your patience, map out an epic route, and hit the open road for an unforgettable journey across America. The spacious seats, flexibility to stop whenever or wherever, and cost savings compared to flying will make the extra time well worth it. Forget flying—embrace the journey!

Planning Your Route: Coast-to-Coast Road Trips, Cross-Country Train Journeys, and More

Coast to Coast

A epic road trip adventure! Driving from one side of the US to the other is a bucket list item for many. Head west from New York City or Washington DC to Los Angeles or San Francisco. Stop at national parks like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite along the way. Or start on the west coast and head east, maybe stopping in Vegas, Austin and New Orleans. The options are endless!

Amtrak’s Long Distance Routes

For a leisurely journey without driving, consider Amtrak’s long distance rail routes. Their Coast Starlight travels up the west coast from LA to Seattle. The California Zephyr crosses the Rockies from San Francisco to Chicago. The Empire Builder heads from Chicago to Portland. Sit back and enjoy stunning views in comfort. Meet fellow travelers in the dining or sightseeing cars. 

Iconic American Highways

Get your kitsch on and cruise Route 66, the “Mother Road” from Chicago to LA. Or take the Pacific Coast Highway down the California coast. Head up Highway 1 along the east coast. Stop at classic diners, motels and roadside attractions along the way.

Bus Tours

Don’t want to drive or plan the details? escorted bus tours are a great option. Companies like Greyhound, Megabus and Bolt offer cross country routes with stops at major destinations. Or consider tour companies like Contiki, Intrepid or G Adventures that cater to younger travelers. They handle the logistics so you can just enjoy the ride!

A US road trip is the adventure of a lifetime. Whether driving coast to coast, riding the rails or escorted tours, an iconic cross country journey will give you memories to last forever. Start planning your great American adventure!

Tips for Riding the Rails, Life on the Road, and Exploring America’s Heartland

Riding the rails is a classic way to see the heart of America. Amtrak’s long-distance trains traverse scenic routes from coast to coast. For budget-friendly travel, opt for a coach seat or book a roomette for privacy. Some tips:

  • Bring snacks, books, chargers – rides can last over 24 hours. 
  • Dining and sightseeing cars provide meals, panoramic views and socializing.
  • Stopovers allow you to explore cities along the way. The California Zephyr stops in Denver, Salt Lake City, Reno and San Francisco.

Road tripping gives you flexibility to go where you want, when you want. A few pointers:

  • Stock up on maps, audiobooks, playlists for the open road.
  • Don’t drive more than 8 hours a day – switch off driving to avoid fatigue.
  • Try regional cuisine at diners, drive-ins and dives along the route.
  • Book motels in advance or look for “vacancy” signs in small towns.

America’s heartland has scenic beauty in spades. Some spots you can’t miss:

  • Badlands National Park in South Dakota with stunning rock formations and prairie vistas.
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial, also in South Dakota, featuring four epic presidential heads carved in granite.
  • Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis, Missouri. Take a tram to the top of the 630-foot arch for panoramic views of the Mississippi River.
  • Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. One of the greatest natural wonders of the world with colorful cliffs and mesas.
  • Yellowstone National Park, America’s first national park with geysers, hot springs, mountains and massive waterfalls.

Forget the hassle of flying and see the real America up close on your own schedule. Whether you travel by rail, road or both, adventures await in the heartland.