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An all American, family friendly, road trip in 8 glorious stops

People embark on road trips across America with excitement and passion, but this can soon turn to desperation as they realise the sheer size of the distances involved, not to mention the tiredness and the lack of scenery due to being endlessly stuck on a highway. Well it needn’t be this way. At Rhinocarhire.com we’ve discovered a more pleasurable option. A 500km round road trip that has all the sights, scenery and authenticity you were hoping to see from America with less of the exhaustion, angst and fuel costs. Ideal for families and those that don't fancy endless hours behind the wheel.
family friendly USA road trip
Long distance road trips are typicall not family friendly, but not all road trips have to be long

Stop 1: Your epic circular road trip begins and ends in San Francisco: a city of breath taking beauty and iconic monuments. Just a 30-minute drive west from San Francisco International Airport you will find yourself at your first stopping point, the San Francisco Bay Area of San Mateo. Here you can mesmerise in the wonderful wildlife and observe areas of outstanding natural beauty such as the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.   

Stop 2: Back in the car and we’re heading south along State Route 1. It’s now starting to have that all American road trip feel, with views of the ocean’s surf breaking against the rocks. It’s only 10 minutes before we reach the small town of Half Moon Bay. This small fishing town is the perfect opportunity to have a lunch of seafood washed down with a glass of West Coast IPA.

Stop 3: In true road trip style, we’re avoiding the highway and opting for the more scenic Route 35. The scenery snakes through the Santa Cruz Mountains here at an awe-inspiring rate and it’s the real west coast that we’re experiencing; pumpkin patches, scarecrows in fields and vistas of the redwood forest. On arrival at our next stop the Santa Clara Valley, or as it is famously nicknamed, ‘the silicon valley’ the scenery changes to a more urban landscape.

Stop 4: Driving along the busy highway reminds me of the pleasures of this type of road trip; we need only be on it for 15 minutes before we arrive in downtown San Jose. The views are magnificent and ever changing. This time the view from the window is that of glass tower blocks and office lined boulevards.

Stop 5: With the road calling, the interstate 880 will head back north, 75 kilometres along the bay to Oakland. The view from the car window here is of wide lanes and pick-up trucks going about their daily routines. It’s busy and the traffic is heavy, but knowing the next stop is just 30 minutes away relieves any due angst. On visiting Oakland you will see text book America, it’s welcoming and wholesome.

Stop 6: The road north takes us to our penultimate stop Jenner in the coastal hamlet in Sonoma County. The Sonoma countryside is a tourist’s dream destination with premium wine, French style bistros and magnificent scenery. With the wide range of crisp chardonnay on offer the Sonoma County is the idea place to stop off and relax.

Stop 7: When you decide it is time to hit the road again, the spectacular Route 1 along the Pacific coast highway is your destination. The grasslands and rugged mountains frame the ocean on this last leg of the journey. This is the perfect destination to be lazy and experience the silver beaches and bask in the golden sun. It seems as though we have seen so much of the West coast and the fuel tank is till half full.

Stop 8: Finally and splendidly San Francisco appears in the windscreen. The view of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge marks the end of the road trip and it’s fabulous! The Victorian rooflines, and atmospheric fog are the San Francisco of films and the cable cars will provide all visitors with the most wonderful panorama, ending this all American, yet ever so easy, road trip.

Affordable car hire is available in San Francisco, both downtown and at SFO Airport.
Chloe Demaret
Posted: May 04, 2016 by Chloe Demaret
About the Author -

Travel writer, social media guru, Chloe keeps our readers and customers up to speed with all the car rental and travel trends on our blog. Favourite destination: Dubai.

Last updated: Friday, July 3, 2020
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