8 Ways to travel the United States

Mar 17, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. ET

While air travel is usually the fastest way to get from point A to point B, don't miss out on these fascinating ways to see the United States up close and personal.

Woman on bicycle giving thumbs up


Biking adventures

It's possible to see great swaths of beautiful terrain by hopping on a bike and riding through the mountains, deserts and forests of America. Even inexperienced riders can travel 20 miles per day, which makes biking a more efficient option than hiking. If you're nervous about biking solo, check out a guided tour like those offered through Lifecycle Adventures.


Hiking trips

The national parks in America are sights to behold, and you need to do so up close and personal. Go to the U.S. National Park Service to find a national park near you, and then plan a hiking trip so you can enjoy the flora and fauna at eye level.


Train rides

What trains lack in efficiency, they make up for in beauty and ambiance. Check out National Geographic's gorgeous train rides through beautiful America for an idea about which ride to select. Still not sure? The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a great place to start because the views are breathtaking and your family will get to experience a real 1920s steam engine train ride.


Walking tours

Unlike hiking through the wilderness, a professional walking tour will allow you to experience the culture and history of some of America's most interesting cities. You can walk through Revolutionary War history on Boston's Freedom Trail, see the monuments in the U.S. capital or find more unique tours like those offered by top-of-the-line travel company Classic Journeys.


Puddle jumping

Since America is so expansive, air travel sometimes has its place. Puddle jumping from location to location — particularly when a geographic area is small but water or mountains preclude an easy drive — can be a great way to see isolated destinations. Consider, for instance, travelling to Washington State and then puddle jumping on Kenmore Air to the San Juan islands.


Bus rides

A trip by bus takes a little longer than traveling by vehicle, but the cost savings are worth it. You can travel from New York to Miami for as little as $125 on a Greyhound Bus, after all! Buses are especially helpful if you hope to see several cities in a geographic region of the United States, but don't want to purchase airfare or a rental car.


Boat or ferry trips

Anywhere you find water in the U.S., you're bound to find an option for boat or ferry travel. Hop onto a boat for a refreshing adventure that takes you out of the driver's seat. Consider taking a river boat cruise on the Columbia River or a fall foliage cruise through New England when the colors start changing in autumn.


Road trips

Whether you're traveling by car, motorcycle or RV, you simply must take a quintessential U.S. road trip at least once in your life. Check out these 20 awesome road trips for ideas about how and where to plan your trip!

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