The United States of America is such a vast and incredible country. It is a great American dream for most who live there to road trip from one end of the country to the other and after doing it it is not hard to see why.
Start in New York City to get your fix of the largest and most versatile city in the country with more than 50 hostels to choose from. There is nothing that you cannot find in New York, so take your time and explore. There are plenty of hostels, just make sure you book early. From here head down through Philadelphia and see the liberty bell on your way to Washington, DC. Check out the museum strip and impressive marble architecture of the capital city.
Head down through the Virginias to the music heart of the country. Start in Nashville and get your country music fix before heading south to Memphis to get in touch with the blues and have some of the famous ribs along Beale Street. As you head further south you will get to New Orleans, home of jazz music and some of the best music festivals in the country.
For a bit of upper class beach time, you can head over to Florida and check out the Everglades or Disney World in Orlando (limited hostel options), or work on the tan at Miami beach (lots of great hostels to choose from). Or instead you can head west into Texas and check out some more music in the capital, Austin (offering a surprising number of hostels for a small city). The Carlsbad Caverns here are some of the largest caves in the world and are very impressive. Moving along into New Mexico and through to Arizona you will arrive into canyon and cactus land. Check out the giant saguaro cacti as you drive through the area. Visit Monument Valley, Mesa Verde and head up to the Grand Canyon. From here it is a short drive over to Vegas to try your luck with some gambling and live the life of luxury for a while.
Explore the California coast from here going through the Joshua Tree National Park or Death Valley to get over to Los Angeles. Visit Hollywood and check out the home of the stars before heading up to San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway, one of the most spectacular drives in the world. The Yosemite National Park is worth spending a couple of days in hiking as it has some incredible scenery and wildlife here, and there are some great hostels in Yosemite that are well situated for nature lovers.
Keep heading north up to Oregon and Washington state to hang in Portland and Seattle. They have some incredible wine and hiking through this region so get your walk and drink on. Heading back east you will find the Glacier National Park in Montana, home to some of the American Rocky Mountains. Check out the first national park in the United States, Yellowstone, heading south from here into Wyoming. The crazy landscape and features will blow your mind and will be unlike anything you have ever seen.
Make your way back to New York through South Dakota, visiting Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Wall Drug, and the Badlands along the way. There aren't a lot of hostels in South Dakota, or in the Midwest in general, so you may want to consider other accommodation options, including camping. Head over to the lakes and check out the cities of Madison, Milwaukee, and of course Chicago! Home to the Blues Festival, Chicago is a fabulous city that is not to be missed along the way, featuring about a dozen hostels.
There is so much to do in the United States you can spend your entire life trying to get through it and still not see everything. Hostels only tend to be in major cities along the way so do your research before you leave as you don't want to be stranded along the way.
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We visited the Big Island in 2004 and are going again this year. We loved it. It was great to visit the towns/cities when we wanted, but also easy to get away and enjoy solitude on many quiet beaches. The rainy, jungled, Hilo side had dramatic thunder storms -- very cool! Kona was definitely more touristy, but …
Visit Sacramento -- it's a tranquil place. I suggest enjoying a delicious coffee in the naked lounge -- it's great!
Monroe is a beautiful little town full of friendly people. I would love to visit there again very soon
Gainesville is mostly a college town, so if you're there you're probably there to do something related to the university, such as going to a game.
If you are going to visit San Diego make sure you stay in Pacific Beach. The beach is awesome with some great surf and the nightlife is impressive. Heaps of great bars with some really good drink specials.
Beware of "work trade" scams on Maui . A "work trade" on Maui typically is labor, babysitting, housecleaning, or other job (like at a hostel or private residences) in exchange for a room. I was on Maui for 6 months: For 3 months, I babysat at a hostel for the owners' child, gave the child daily art lessons, worked …
Sabino canyon, although a 3 mile walk from the end of the bus line, is the closest (and possibly most awesome) place to hike in Tucson.
Flagstaff... cool place with cheap skiing!
Buffalo is a weird town, not much going on. It seemed strangely deserted when we arrived on a Saturday night. But I would recommend a stay in the Buffalo hostel if visiting Niagara Falls (a short bus ride away).
Big Bear Lake is an awesome town hidden in the mountains. I felt like I was in the Alps! I stopped there on my way to Las Vegas and Joshua Tree. I stayed for three days when I only planned to stop for the night. I went kayaking and hiked to Castle Rock which has great views of the lake and alpine forest. I'd love to …
The harbor in Juneau has the feel of a movie set -- it has been ruined by the big cruise ships.
Sausalito sits just over the Golden Gate bridge from San Francisco. It's a wonderful port town with higher-end shops, good seafood, and pubs and bars. There are tons of sailboats in several marinas. There is a nice ferry to San Francisco. I'm a native of Marin County -- it is filled with mostly friendly people …
Arches National Park was full of wonderful sights. The La Sal Mountains are gorgeous!! I love Moab and will come back there someday.
I love New Orleans. I plan to move to this beautiful city. Go down, you won't regret it at all. Party or relax, you'll love it.
Pack a sweater! Because Santa Cruz is in California and a beach town, many people think it will be warm and sunny. Actually, it can get surprisingly cold. Also, don't count on swimming in the ocean, unless you wear a wetsuit. As with most of Northern California beaches, the water is freezing.