DISCOVER THE ULTIMATE AMERICAN ROAD TRIP

One Small <strong>Step</strong>

One Small Step

Washington - Texas

Marking 50 years since the Apollo 11 lunar landing, this stellar road trip takes in 11 stops and one of America’s most iconic roads – covering around a tenth of the distance to the Moon in the process. We start in New York’s Smithsonian Museum, before following America’s east coast down to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral, where Apollo 11 blasted into the cosmos on 16 July 1969, and finally onto Houston, Texas – a city synonymous with space travel.

What to drive:

Make the most of your US road trip with something from our American Collection:

Ford Mustang GT coupe

Ford Mustang GT coupe

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Chevrolet Camaro Coupe

Chevrolet Camaro Coupe

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Dodge Challenger coupe

Dodge Challenger coupe

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Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

One Small Step

Stop 1: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum 1/11

Start your lunar-themed adventure in Washington DC at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. There are few better places in the world to learn about space travel and swot up on the lunar landings. It’s where you can get up close with the hypersonic North American X-15 – the rocket-powered plane used to train Apollo 11’s crew. You’ll also find the Apollo Lunar Module 2, similar to the one that landed on the Moon, and – as of summer 2019 – Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit.

Independence Ave at 6th St, SW Washington, DC 20560

http://airandspace.si.edu

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Uptown Theater, Washington DC, Virginia

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Stop 2: Uptown Theater, Washington DC, Virginia 2/11

A year before the lunar landings, Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey set the public’s imagination alight, putting space travel at the forefront of audience’s minds. The film made its world premiere at the Uptown Theater which continues to operate today, showing the latest releases. Opened on 29 October 1936, the Art Deco cinema was built by the Warner Brothers – their 14th theatre in Washington DC.

3426 Connecticut Ave N.W., Washington, District of Columbia 20008

https://www.amctheatres.com/movie-theatres/washington-d-c/amc-uptown-1

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Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

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Stop 3: Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina 3/11

It wouldn’t be a great road trip without a truly great road, and the Blue Ridge Parkway is a driver’s 469-mile dream, weaving its way through the East Coast’s lushest scenery. It starts between Waynesboro and Afton in Shenandoah National Park, ending in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You’ll find the best photo opportunities at Cumberland Knob (milepost 217.5), Doughton Park (mileposts 238.5 to 241) and the Linn Cove Viaduct, pictured (starting at milepost 304.4), where our route leaves the parkway.

Blue Ridge Pkwy, Afton, Virginia 22920, USA

https://www.blueridgeparkway.org/

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Staunton River State Park

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Stop 4: Staunton River State Park 4/11

Get lost in space by looking skywards at Staunton River State Park – Virginia’s first International Dark Sky Park. It’s one of the best places on the East Coast to watch the night sky, with telescopes for hire so you can enjoy some epic stargazing. There are some 2,400 acres of meadows, woodland and water to explore here, while the rustic cabins offer a cosy night’s stay complete with stunning views. There are camping facilities here too, along with a swimming pool, water slides and a water playground.

1170 Staunton Trail, Scottsburg, Virginia 24589-963

https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/staunton-river#general_information

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DuPont Planetarium, South Carolina

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Stop 5: DuPont Planetarium, South Carolina 5/11

Every Saturday, the University of South Carolina opens the doors to its DuPont Planetarium for public shows. It’s worth booking a spot in advance to enjoy one of the family-friendly events and lectures offering insights into the world beyond our own. You can also have fun measuring how much you’d weigh on other planets and be dazzled inside a walk-in kaleidoscope.

471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801

https://rpsec.usca.edu/planetarium/

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Ocmulgee Mounds, Georgia

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Stop 6: Ocmulgee Mounds, Georgia 6/11

We might wonder what breakthroughs humankind has in store for the future, but the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park gives us a fascinating glimpse thousands of years into the past. It’s believed humans first settled in the area during the Paleo-Indian era (17,000 to 9,600 BCE) – and have been here ever since. Visit the museum to see around 2,000 artefacts spanning almost 12,000 years, or head out on to one of the park’s many walking trails for some fresh air.

1207 Emery Hwy, Macon, GA 31217

https://www.nps.gov/ocmu/index.htm

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Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida

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Stop 7: Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida 7/11

The highlight of any space-based road trip has to be Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center next to Cape Canaveral. It was here, on 16 July 1969, that astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin stepped on board Apollo 11 to blast their way into history. Take one of the bus tours to explore parts of the vast site you’d otherwise be unable to see, such as Apollo 11’s Launch Pad 39A. Meanwhile, the Visitor Complex is packed with attractions for families, with regular ‘meet an astronaut’ events.

Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953

https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/

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Space View Park, Titusville, Florida

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Stop 8: Space View Park, Titusville, Florida 8/11

Just over 10 miles away – as the crow flies – from the Kennedy Space Center, Space View Park is a prime spot to count down rocket launches. And while you might not be able to follow in the Apollo 11 astronauts’ footsteps, you can find their handprints at the park. If you’re there for a launch, you’ll be able to listen to the live radio feed from NASA’s control room, too. There’s also plenty of wildlife around the park – including manatees, dolphins and hawks – so keep your eyes peeled.

8 Broad St, Titusville, FL 32796

https://www.titusville.com/Page.asp?NavID=207

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Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort, Florida

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Stop 9: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort, Florida 9/11

Of all Florida’s theme parks, Walt Disney World’s Epcot stands out as the one that most embraces science, the future and worlds beyond our own. It’s a place where Disney magic mixes with inspiring attractions like the Mission: SPACE Advanced Training Lab, an interactive adventure where you can embark on a simulated mission to Mars. Other highlights include the Avatar Flight of Passage’s otherworldly 3D experience, piloting your own two-seat spacecraft on the Astro Orbiter, and delving into other countries’ cultures around the World Showcase.

200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821, USA

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en_GB/destinations/epcot/

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New Orleans

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Stop 10: New Orleans 10/11

A captivating stopping point between Florida and Texas, New Orleans is one of the US’s best loved and most energetic cities. The Big Easy played a significant role in the Apollo 11 launch too, however – as the Saturn 1C booster rocket was built at Nasa’s Michoud Assembly Facility, which still operates today. Head to Bourbon Street in the French Quarter – the historical and reigning heart of the city – to experience the best of New Orleans life. If you’re here before Lent (specifically, around Shrove Tuesday), stick around for the city’s kaleidoscopic Mardi Gras celebrations.

New Orleans, Louisiana

https://www.neworleans.com/

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Space Center, Houston, Texas

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Stop 11: Space Center, Houston, Texas 11/11

Ever since Neil Armstrong’s voice crackled over the radio to report: “Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed”, the world has associated this Texan city with space travel. Cape Canaveral may have the launch pad, but Houston is arguably NASA’s home. It’s from here that the agency’s Manned Spacecraft Center stays in constant contact with its astronauts, floating in space hundreds of miles above Earth. Visit the official visitor centre to find incredible exhibits and lunar artefacts, go behind the scenes of NASA, and learn more about the science behind space travel.

1601 NASA Pkwy, Houston, Texas, USA 77058

https://spacecenter.org/

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