Driving Bucket List: 20 Iconic Highways

Take off on the world’s fastest, curviest, steepest and most scenic roads.
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Miami to Key West, Florida

Miami to Key West, Florida

This stretch of US 1, commonly known as the Overseas Highway, is only 113 miles, but there are plenty of reasons — from roadside souvenir shops to seafood shacks — to stop along the way. Once you enter the Upper Keys, refuel at Alabama Jack’s or Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen in Key Largo. Scuba divers will love John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which contains the only living coral reef in the U.S. (and an underwater park). Divers can also overnight at Jules Undersea Lodge, which claims to be the only underwater hotel in the world. Or spend the night at halfway point Islamadora in the Middle Keys. Options include Casa Morada or the family-friendly Hawks Cay Resort. Ma’s Fish Camp and Lazy Days Restaurant are popular eateries, while feeding tarpon at Robbie’s is another popular pastime. Continue down to Marathon for the Dolphin Research Center and Turtle Hospital. Grab a bite at the quirky Wooden Spoon, and leave time for Instagram opps along the iconic Seven Mile Bridge into the Lower Keys. From here, it remains a straight shoot into Key West. 960 1280

KenWiedemann  

New York City to the Catskill Mountains

New York City to the Catskill Mountains

The Palisades Parkway and Taconic Parkway are among the scenic routes to the Catskills, a diverse, woodsy region that’s evolved from its ‘50s stereotype of summer resorts. Your first stop should be Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, just an hour north of the city, for discounts on high-end brands. Further north, make time for charming Hudson Valley towns such as Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck. Book reservations in advance to dine at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park after you’ve visited the nearby Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site. If it’s in your budget, spring for the fairy tale-esque Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz. Meander north into the Catskills to hit artsy Woodstock (ironically, the eponymous music fest wasn’t held here, but some 50 miles west in Bethel). Stay at the cozy Woodstock Inn on the Millstream, catch a live performance at Levon Helm Studios, and go vegan at the Garden Café. Head northwest for Table on Ten in rural Bloomville, a down-home destination for farm-to-table goodness. Afterward, bed down in one of its three bedrooms. Leave time to wander quaint Delhi, then travel south along the name-says-it-all Upper Delaware Scenic Byway before heading back home. 960 1280

Michael Marquand  

Chicago to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Chicago to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

This resort town is where Gilded Age families with names like Wrigley had summer homes. Head north along Lake Michigan to Highland Park, where the Ravinia Festival holds outdoor concerts every summer. From here, turn west for handcrafted chocolate at Ethereal Confections in Woodstock. Once you cross the state line, catch a show at The Dancing Horses Theatre. As the name implies, this is an equestrian show where entertainers perform elaborate feats on festooned horses. Once in Lake Geneva, hike part of the 26-mile Lake Geneva Shore Path and ogle at the former summer estates of the wealthy. After working up an appetite, Popeye’s is a local institution for rotisserie chicken (not to be confused with the fast-food chain). Stay at The Baker House to channel the Gilded Age era. Astronomy buffs should make an excursion to Yerkes Observatory, while train lovers can ride the East Troy Electric Railroad, a remaining holdover of original electric lines.   960 1280

csfotoimages  

Austin to Fredericksburg, Texas

Austin to Fredericksburg, Texas

Wine-centric Fredericksburg in Texas Hill Country is a straight shot on 290, or a bit further along scenic US-281. If you choose the former, your first stop should be in bucolic Dripping Springs for Rolling In Thyme & Dough. If you’re hankering for barbeque, detour to The Salt Lick in Driftwood. Continue on to Johnson City (President Lyndon B. Johnson’s hometown), for The Sculpture Ranch & Galleries and Pedernales Falls State Park for swimming and camping. Once in Fredericksburg, base yourself at Magnolia House and hit the wine road for some of the dozens of wineries in the area. If beer’s more your thing, don’t miss Fredericksburg Brewing Company. Since Fredericksburg’s German past is still very present, experience it at Old German Bakery & Restaurant. Make a side trip to famed old-school dance hall Luckenbach to practice your two-step. If visiting in April, no Hill Country road trip is complete without driving past the famous wildflowers and bluebonnets that blanket the area. 960 1280

tomwachs  

Boston to Portland, Maine

Boston to Portland, Maine

From Boston, focus on the coastal towns, starting in Salem to learn about the witch trials. Meander north along the coast to Manchester-by-the-Sea, popularized by the movie, for its harbor and small-town charm. Further north, stop in Newburyport for shopping and enjoy dinner at the top of Newburyport Lighthouse before checking into the Compass Rose Inn. The next day, set off for the foodie haven of Portsmouth, New Hampshire for Black Trumpet Bistro, Caffe Kilim and more. Make time to visit Kennebunkport for a special dinner at the White Barn Inn Restaurant, then roll into Portland, another major foodie city. It’s more than just lobster rolls, but eat those too. In fact, you’ll find some of the best at the non-descript Fishermen’s Grill. Don’t leave before trying Duckfat, Central Provisions, Holy Donut (made with Maine potatoes) and Eventide Oyster Co. The craft beer scene is also strong; favorites include Allagash and Bissell Brothers. On your way home, swing into Scarborough to say hi to Lenny, billed as the only life-size chocolate moose in the world. 960 1280

DenisTangneyJr  

Seattle to San Juan Islands, Washington

Seattle to San Juan Islands, Washington

The remote San Juan Islands provide ideal Pacific Northwest vistas (think rugged landscapes peppered with Douglas firs) and a slower pace. While there are actually 172 islands, ferries only serve San Juan, Orcas, Lopez and Shaw. It’s an easy 90-minute drive up I-5N to the ferry crossing at Anacortes; luckily road trippers can bring cars onboard, but reserve ahead since many others have the same idea. Grab a bite beforehand at Gere-a-Deli before setting sail for Friday Harbor, considered the entry point into the islands. Fear not though, as this historic seaport has managed to retain its authentic appeal. Stay in town and poke into independent booksellers and jewelry shops, or hit the road to visit alpacas at Krystal Acres and wander lavender fields at Pelindaba Lavender Farm. Take the scenic byway route to Roche Harbor and overnight at the Roche Harbor Resort. On your way back, pop into San Juan Vineyards. Don’t leave before taking a whale-watching excursion to spot the famous orcas. 960 1280

LoweStock  

Los Angeles to Palm Springs

Los Angeles to Palm Springs

Palm Springs is experiencing a resurgence in popularity thanks to trendy new hotels and restaurants. However, much of the area’s appeal resides beyond this scene. Once you get out of dodge, follow Interstate 10 until you reach the Desert Hills Premium Outlets for designer discounts. Back on the road, pull off at Hadley Fruit Orchards for a date shake, then marvel at the wonderful weirdness of the Cabazon Dinosaurs. (You might remember them from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.) From here, detour 10 minutes north to the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm, a collection of wind turbines that generate energy. Once in Palm Springs proper, ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which slowly rotates as it ascends to 8,516 feet. Base yourself at the recently renovated L’Horizon Resort & Spa to visit Indian Canyons and Joshua Tree National Park, and learn about wildlife and desert conservation at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Nearby, College of the Desert Street Fair is a long-running weekend flea market where you can find everything from turquoise jewelry to Hawaiian shaved ice. And you can’t go wrong with baby back ribs and microbrews at Babe's Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse in Rancho Mirage. 960 1280

Stephanie Sawyer  

Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Yellowstone National Park

Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Yellowstone National Park

This is true of all road trips, but be sure to map out your route in advance as some roads, restaurants and hotels close during the winter, which can last through mid-April. Regardless of when you travel, majestic skies and backcountry terrain await, starting in Jackson Hole. Before heading to Grand Teton National Park, fuel up at the Chuckwagon at Dornans. Rib-sticking fare includes sourdough pancakes and biscuits in sausage gravy. Spend the day driving around Grand Teton, from Teton Park Road to Colter Bay Village before settling into a cabin at Signal Mountain Lodge. After a restful sleep, strike out for Yellowstone National Park after enjoying cinnamon rolls and a breakfast sandwich from Woodside Bakery. Once in the park, must visits include Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Mount Washburn and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Camping options abound, or turn in at the landmark Old Faithful Inn. 960 1280

lightpix  

Washington, D.C. to St. Michaels, Maryland

Washington, D.C. to St. Michaels, Maryland

The historic seaside village of St. Michaels was a shipbuilding port in Colonial times; more recently, Wedding Crashers was filmed here. After clearing D.C. traffic, continue on 50 East until reaching the state capital of Annapolis. Visit the U.S. Naval Academy, or head over to Ego Alley to watch boats and explore shops and restaurants. As it’s on Chesapeake Bay, go for seafood, whether it’s Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, Wild Country Seafood or Cantler’s Riverside Inn. Cross over to Kent Island to compare Blackwater Distilling and White Tiger Distillery, or take a factory tour at Paul Reed Smith Guitars. Head into St. Michaels to collapse at the Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond. In town wander the historic streets and explore the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Drive to nearby Tilghman Island for kayaking, fishing and sailing, and stock up on food supplies at the Tilghman Island Country Store. 960 1280

SeanPavonePhoto  

Glacier National Park, Montana to Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Glacier National Park, Montana to Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Start in Whitefish, a delightful ski town, before taking the impossibly scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road into Glacier National Park. Camp overnight or opt for the one-of-a-kind Sperry Chalet. (As long as you’re up for a 6.7-mile uphill hike and no hot water or showers.) The next day, stop for lunch in East Glacier Park village, then hop on 287 South for the state capital of Helena. Tuck into lunch at Steve’s Café, then continue south toward Bozeman and the Museum of the Rockies. A half hour south you’ll hit charming Livingston and its Old West vibe. Try Montana’s Rib & Chop House or Mark’s In & Out diner. Turn south toward Yellowstone and check into the all-inclusive Mountain Sky Guest Ranch. From here it’s on to Yellowstone. Take in Mount Washburn, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs (stick to the boardwalks; you can’t soak in these springs.) Make camp here before continuing on to Grand Teton National Park. Overnight at Dornans before concluding in Jackson Hole. Leave time to take in this posh ski resort, and recap your trip over dinner at Lotus or Rendezvous Bistro. 960 1280

kwiktor  

Chicago to Mackinac Island, Michigan

Chicago to Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island feels stuck in the 19th century, but in a good way. From Chi-town, stick to Michigan’s Gold Coast, where you’ll find rolling hills, farm stands, sand dunes and vineyards. After crossing into Michigan, stop for lunch at Charlie's Piggin N' Grinnin' (the name alone) in Benton Harbor. Sated, keep chugging toward Holland, best known for its tulips. (This year’s Tulip Time Festival is May 6-14.) Visit Windmill Island Gardens, the Big Red Lighthouse and New Holland Brewing, then rest at Lake Ranch Resort. From here, Traverse City and its food scene beckons. Since the area’s known for tart cherries, stock up at Cherry Republic. Elsewhere, consider Cousin Jenny's Cornish Pasties and the food trucks at Little Fleet. Next, pull off an hour north in picturesque Charlevoix before overnighting in Mackinaw City, the gateway to Mackinac Island via a 20-minute ferry ride. You’ll have to leave your car at the ferry lot since Mackinac Island is car-free, but between bikes, electric scooters and horse-drawn carriages, you’ll hardly miss it. 960 1280

catnap72  

Blue Ridge Parkway from Virginia to North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway from Virginia to North Carolina

The Blue Ridge Parkway connects the National Parks of Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains, but it’s more than that. Thanks to 469 miles of spectacular scenery and clearly marked places to stop along the way, it’s made for road tripping. Start at the beginning of the route in Shenandoah National Park; Skyline Drive sets the tone. Stop for a stretch at the James River Visitor Center, then continue to the Peaks of Otter. Consider staying at the Peaks of Otter Lodge (it’s the only one on the Parkway open year-round). Hike to a pioneer cabin from the Smart View Picnic Area. Continue a short ways to the early 20th-century Mabry Mill and eat a hearty country lunch at the eponymous restaurant. As you cross into North Carolina, Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is popular for its Gilded Age estate. Take photos as the iconic Linn Cove Viaduct wends through the treetops, then pull off for Linville Falls, the Museum of North Carolina Minerals, Little Switzerland and the Folk Art Center. Take a slight detour into Asheville, then visit Biltmore Estate; spend the night in town. Back on the parkway, fit in Mt. Pisgah and Waterrock Knob before reaching the end of the line. 960 1280

WerksMedia  

Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Portland

Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Portland

Head north over the Golden Gate Bridge to experience the less crowded portion of the Pacific Coast Highway. Arrive early to Muir Woods to walk among the towering redwoods, stop to hike in Point Reyes National Seashore, then eat all the cheese at Cowgirl Creamery. Pull off in Bodega Bay for the views, then continue on to Mendocino and check into Sea Rock Inn. Dine at Trillium Café before settling in for the night. After breakfast, drive to Glass Beach near Fort Bragg to look for said sea glass. Redwood National and State Parks are next; pick a scenic drive and consider camping overnight. Keep heading up the coast to Prehistoric Gardens, an offbeat attraction with life-size dinosaurs (not to be confused with Jurassic Park). Grab a bite at Shark Bites Cafe in Coos Bay, then stay at Heceta Head Lighthouse or the Whale Cove Inn in Depoe Bay. Either way, go whale watching in Depoe Bay since it's considered Oregon’s whale-watching capital. Before turning off for Portland, it’s worth popping into Tillamook Cheese Factory for not just its cheese, but its two-dozen ice cream flavors. 960 1280

Morey Milbradt  

New York City to Portland, Maine

New York City to Portland, Maine

Once you clear New York and lower Connecticut congestion, I-95 passes near picturesque coastal towns that become progressively more laid back. Drive past Greenwich, Stamford and Bridgeport before stopping in New Haven, home of Yale University. Tour the campus, then feast on pizza at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. Continue to Mystic, Connecticut, made famous by the movie, before pulling into Newport, Rhode Island for a night or two at The Chanler at Cliff Walk. The following day, tour the Gilded Age summer homes, including The Breakers. Bypass Boston traffic for Newburyport, Massachusetts. Its cobblestone streets, charming shops and walkable downtown make it a worthy stop. Foodies shouldn’t pass Portsmouth, New Hampshire; dozens of options range from Portsmouth Brewery to The Friendly Toast. Cap off the day at the Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport. Set out next for Portland Head Light, a historic lighthouse, before finally reaching Portland, Maine. Rejoice with celebratory oysters at Eventide Oyster Co. 960 1280

KenWiedemann  

Highway 61 (Blues Highway) from New Orleans to Nashville, Tennessee

Highway 61 (Blues Highway) from New Orleans to Nashville, Tennessee

Highway 61, also called the Blues Highway, is a historic stretch immortalized in song. It actually runs all the way to Chicago, but break it up to avoid pulling an Amazing Race. Start in New Orleans, and soak up jazz at Preservation Hall and The Spotted Cat Music Club. Venture into the Mississippi Delta and set out for Vicksburg; brush up on American history at Vicksburg National Military Park. Overnight here before making your way toward Clarksdale, Mississippi, considered the birthplace of the blues, but not before stopping for a thick milkshake at Chuck’s Dairy Bar in Rolling Fork, and visiting the Highway 61 Blues Museum in Leland. In Clarksdale, hit up Cat Head Delta Blues and Folk Art for all kinds of blues music. Catch live music at Ground Zero Blues Club, co-owned by Morgan Freeman, and Red's Lounge. If possible, time your trip for the Juke Joint Festival in April. Eat at Abe's Bar-B-Q, and experience sharecropper shacks by staying at the Shack Up Inn. Continue to Memphis for the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Rum Boogie Café, Graceland and Central BBQ. Spend the rest of the trip in Nashville, where music highlights include the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash Museum, Robert’s Western World, Grimey’s New and Preloved Music, and of course, the Grand Ole Opry. 960 1280

Dosfotos  

San Juan Skyway, Colorado

San Juan Skyway, Colorado

This 236-mile route passes through former mining towns in the San Juan Mountains, and is best done in summer when mountain roads are clear. Start in Ouray: Dubbed the Switzerland of Colorado, it also boasts five hot springs. Relax in the vapor cave at the Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa & Lodgings; Ouray Hot Springs Pool will reopen to the public following a multimillion-dollar renovation. Navigating the Million Dollar Highway between Ouray and Silverton takes skill, since it involves numerous switchbacks and few guardrails, but you get breathtaking scenery in exchange. Once in Silverton, take the One Hundred Gold Mine Tour. Next up in Durango, channel Harry Potter by riding the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which is still steam powered. Grab a drink afterward at Steamworks Brewing Company. Rest at the historic Strater Hotel before striking out for Mesa Verde National Park, best known for its 600 ancient Pueblo cliff dwellings. Branch off and conclude in Telluride, one of the top spots in the country for skiing, but a must year-round. It’s also great for food, from Brown Dog Pizza to Allred’s Restaurant). Splurge and recharge at Lumière Telluride before heading home. 960 1280

RoschetzkyIstockPhoto  

Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Miles of mountains and wild shoreline await on this part of the Pacific Coast Highway. Cruise along until reaching Santa Cruz and its boardwalk. After, drive another hour to Monterrey for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Quaint Carmel-by-the-Sea is just a few minutes away; rest near the ocean at La Playa Carmel. From here you’ll encounter some of the best views of your life from the Bixby Creek Bridge. Continue to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, or consider a mini-retreat at the nearby Esalen Institute. From here it’s on to Hearst Castle in San Simeon; don’t miss the elephant seals nearby. Further south, poke around town in Cayucos and hit up Brown Butter Cookie Company. San Luis Obispo is a short drive away; stay at the iconic Madonna Inn and explore this charming college town, including Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and Bubblegum Alley. Pismo Beach is en route to Santa Barbara, a fantastic beach town. Overnight at the latter before setting out for Malibu, and then wrapping at the famed Santa Monica Pier. 960 1280

photo by Chris Axe  

Big Island, Hawaii

Big Island, Hawaii

Unlike other Hawaiian islands, the Big Island offers everything from white- and black-sand beaches to active volcanoes. Start in Kailua-Kona, a great base for its beaches and shopping. Visit the historic Kailua Village, feast on fresh fish at Da Poke Shack, then head north to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. Continue along the black-sand beaches of the Kohala Coast to Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Follow the coast to the beautiful Pololu Valley for hiking and more black-sand beaches. From here, turn inland along the scenic Kohala Mountain Road to the lush green hills of Waimea, where you can experience working ranches and go horseback riding. After, it’s a short drive to the flagship of acclaimed Merriman’s. Overnight in Waimea, then continue along the Hamakua Coast to Akaka Falls State Park. Spend a couple days in Hilo at The Palm Cliffs House Inn; wander downtown, visit Liliuokalani Gardens and shop at the farmer’s market. Set out for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, then circle around the southern coast until reaching Kona Coffee Living History Farm. Back in Kailua-Kona, stuff yourself with malasadas (filled doughnuts) at Holy Donuts. 960 1280

P_Wei  

Route 66 from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Los Angeles

Route 66 from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Los Angeles

Route 66 stretches all the way to Chicago, but highlights in this section include curious roadside attractions, classic motels and all the kitsch you could want. After exploring Route 66 attractions in Albuquerque, strike out for Acoma Pueblo to learn about Native American traditions. Stop in Gallup, New Mexico to rest at El Rancho Hotel. You’ll soon cross into Arizona, the longest stretch of Route 66. Hike in Petrified Forest National Park and check out the Painted Desert Inn museum. Chow down at Joe and Aggie's Cafe in Holbrook, then check into the Wigwam Motel. (Yes, rooms are in wigwams.) Rested, keep on toward Flagstaff, then hit Seligman for Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In before spending the night at El Trovatore Motel. Continue to the former gold mining town of Oatman, where wild burros roam the streets. Pull off at the Mojave National Preserve, then stop at the preserved Roy's Motel and Café in Amboy, California. Eat up at Emma Jean's Holland Burger Café in Victorville, but save room for an egg cream at Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain in Pasadena. Celebrate your trip at the Santa Monica Pier, the literal end of the road for Route 66. 960 1280

Lady-Photo  

flowers and foliage in foreground with lake and mountain in background during the daytime
From Boston: Gloucester, Massachusetts

From Boston: Gloucester, Massachusetts

One of the most picturesque spots on Massachusetts’ North Shore is just 35 miles north of the city. The charming fishing community of Gloucester — the backdrop for "The Perfect Storm"— is full of historical folklore and a thriving arts scene. 960 1280
From Boston: Great Barrington, Massachusetts

From Boston: Great Barrington, Massachusetts

An easy two-hour drive into western Massachusetts, the Southern Berkshires town of Great Barrington spells romance and relaxation. Stroll through the historic downtown area, which is lined with charming boutiques and galleries, or meander along the Great Barrington Housatonic River Walk. 960 1280
From Chicago: New Buffalo, Michigan

From Chicago: New Buffalo, Michigan

Situated on Lake Michigan's Gold Coast, New Buffalo has been called the Hamptons of the Midwest and is jokingly dubbed the Irish Riviera, as a lot of Chicago's South Side Irish community vacations here. It's an easy day trip from the city, but the amazing beaches, sand dunes and prime fishing conditions make it a popular weekend getaway as well. 960 1280
From Chicago: Madison, Wisconsin

From Chicago: Madison, Wisconsin

Sure, everyone knows that Wisconsin stakes a claim to glorious cheese and beer, but what's less well-known is that Madison is the perfect family- or gay-friendly weekend getaway. Earning countless accolades for its eco-friendliness, this picturesque university town is progressive and has a burgeoning dining and culture scene. 960 1280
From Dallas: Glen Rose, Texas

From Dallas: Glen Rose, Texas

Southwest of Dallas, the quaint town of Glen Rose is home to Dinosaur Valley State Park, which is famous for its visible, well-preserved dinosaur footprints. If dino hunting doesn’t interest you, the park also offers trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding, as well as campsites, playgrounds and access to the Paluxy River. 960 1280
From Dallas: Grandview, Texas

From Dallas: Grandview, Texas

Well-heeled Texans mosey on over to Beaumont Ranch for a weekend spent in small-town, pastoral splendor. Swanky but unpretentious, this working ranch — which has 26 rooms and cabins — is the place to go for cattle drives, roping or shooting lessons, and relaxing trail rides. The real treats, though, are the traditional Chuck Wagon Meals. 960 1280

Susan E. Geissler  

From Los Angeles: Ventura, California

From Los Angeles: Ventura, California

Midway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Ventura is home to a vibrant Main Street, mom-and-pop antique stores, wine bars and the historic San Buenaventura Mission. The town tends to attract a hip, sophisticated crowd. 960 1280
From Los Angeles: Laguna Niguel, California

From Los Angeles: Laguna Niguel, California

Drive in to Laguna Niguel along Laguna Canyon Road from Interstate 405, winding through a canyon until you reach the ocean. In addition to providing top-notch views, this coastal community strongly supports the arts. The Laguna Art Museum showcases Californians, while dozens of crafts galleries, clothing boutiques and jewelry shops dot downtown. 960 1280
From Miami: Orlando

From Miami: Orlando

All signs point toward spending lots of vacation dollars at this popular tourist destination, but you don't have to blow your budget — or visit Disney — to have a good time in Orlando. Seek out everything else the city has to offer, including great shopping, museums, restaurants and golf courses. Or, for a more reasonably priced park experience, dive in to a water park such as kid-friendly Wet ’n Wild. 960 1280
From Miami: Everglades National Park, Florida

From Miami: Everglades National Park, Florida

Traveling the 25-mile route from downtown Miami to the Everglades along US Route 41 is like taking a step back in time, with kitschy billboards and signs along the way. Once you arrive, don't miss the opportunity to hop in an airboat and explore the middle of the swamp. There are plenty of operators that offer tours of varying lengths and costs. 960 1280
From New York: Montauk, Long Island

From New York: Montauk, Long Island

It's tough to come by deals in the Hamptons, but if you've stashed some cash and are looking for a luxe weekend away, Montauk is close by and the way to go. After hitting the waves, stay at the renovated Surf Lodge, a 32-room boutique hotel located on the shore of Fort Pond, just half a mile from the beach. 960 1280
From New York: Long Island Wine Country/North Fork Region

From New York: Long Island Wine Country/North Fork Region

The complete antithesis of the uber-trendy Hamptons, the North Fork region has retained its rural appeal despite increased interest in its winemaking efforts. Think New England charm, breathtaking water views of both the Long Island Sound and the Peconic Bay, with a healthy dose of relaxed wine-country living. 960 1280

Elizabeth Fraser  

From Philadelphia: Atlantic City, New Jersey

From Philadelphia: Atlantic City, New Jersey

This Jersey Shore town may seem as though it’s past its prime, but it still offers two things that never get old: beaches and casinos. Whether it’s a family trip, a romantic escape or a friends’ getaway, Atlantic City is always a safe bet. If you crap out at the tables, check out the live music venues and exciting nightlife options. 960 1280
From Philadelphia: Bucks County, Pennsylvania

From Philadelphia: Bucks County, Pennsylvania

City dwellers flee the demands of urban living for the leisurely idyll of Bucks County, home to the arts-filled town of New Hope. Wander among the tree-lined roads, or try nearby activities such as tubing on the Delaware River, seeing a show at the Bucks County Playhouse and taking an art class at the Mercer Museum. 960 1280
From San Francisco: Half Moon Bay, California

From San Francisco: Half Moon Bay, California

Tucked between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Half Moon Bay is one of those relatively untouched stretches of California coast that is frequently overlooked. Investigate the tide pools at Fitzgerald Reserve at Moss Beach or go bird-watching at the Pescadero Marsh and Pillar Point Marsh preserves. 960 1280
From San Francisco: Sonoma County, California

From San Francisco: Sonoma County, California

Just one hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge, budget-minded travelers can find lots to do in Sonoma County. Enjoy vineyards, orchards and redwood-covered mountains, not to mention big events such as Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, which takes place over Labor Day weekend. 960 1280
From Seattle: Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

From Seattle: Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Only about 85 miles from the hustle and bustle of Emerald City rises majestic Mount Rainier. Around it are endless sights and activities for outdoor enthusiasts — miles of hiking trails, camping, lakes, streams, wildflowers and incomparable views. If you’re not brave enough to try to reach the peak, take a walk through the meadows of Paradise or Sunrise. 960 1280

Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.  

From Seattle: Westport/Olympic Peninsula, Washington

From Seattle: Westport/Olympic Peninsula, Washington

North of the Long Beach Peninsula, on the outer edge of Grays Harbor, is Westport. Learn about the history of this small fishing community at the Westport Maritime Museum and the century-old Grays Harbor Lighthouse. The town also sits along miles of beaches that offer some of Washington's best surfing. 960 1280
From Washington, D.C.: Baltimore

From Washington, D.C.: Baltimore

Baltimore’s usual tourist destinations — the Inner Harbor, the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, Fort McHenry and Fells Point — are popular for good reason and are definitely worth a visit. If you’ve seen all of those, branch out to some of the lesser-known (and lower-cost!) spots, such as the Baltimore Museum of Industry, a favorite for kids. 960 1280
From Washington, D.C.: Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

From Washington, D.C.: Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

With its art galleries, boutique shopping, historic sites and restaurants, as well as access to miles of scenic trails and bike paths just six miles from D.C., Old Town Alexandria was made for impromptu weekend getaways. After exploring King Street, walk down to the riverfront to catch a sightseeing tour or dinner cruise on the Potomac. 960 1280

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Best Drives Across the Country

Black Hills of South Dakota

Black Hills of South Dakota

For history, scenery and a distinctly American taste of culture, begin your road trip on I-90 and take exit 131 for the Badlands Scenic Byway. As you travel through the Black Hills, make sure to stop at Wall Drug, Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore. And keep your eyes peeled for bison – they’re notoriously bad at following traffic rules, as seen here on the road to Wind Cave National Park. 960 1280

  

Downeast Maine

Downeast Maine

You won’t be traveling north – at least not according to Mainers – if you head out on Coastal Route 1, also known as the Lobster Trail. Starting in Kittery –where you might drop by Bob’s Clam Hut for a bit of sustenance -- the road hugs the rocky coastline “down east” through quaint New England fishing villages like Belfast and Rockland. 960 1280

John Greim  

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

The 469-mile drive that connects two national parks – Shenandoah in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina – is the most visited road controlled by the U.S. National Parks System. Starting at Front Royal in Virginia, travel along Skyline Drive to Luray Caverns and on south to the Natural Bridge and into North Carolina, where you can stop in Asheville before seeing the attractions of the Great Smoky Mountains. 960 1280

Chicago Tribune  

Pacific Coast Highway

Pacific Coast Highway

You can opt to drive California’s longest highway north to south or south to north along the often -dramatic Pacific coastline. Either way, it’s 653 miles from Dana Point in Orange County to Leggett in Mendocino County. Key attractions as you wind your way along the coast include Malibu, San Simeon, San Luis Obisbo, Big Sur, Monterey, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Mendocino Headlands. Hardcore road trippers will extend the coastal drive beyond the PCH from San Diego all the way to the Redwood Forest on Route 101 past Mendocino. 960 1280

Ron_Thomas  

Jackson, Wyoming to Glacier, Montana

Jackson, Wyoming to Glacier, Montana

You could make the drive from Jackson, Wyoming to Glacier National Park inMontana in a single day, but why would you? Take a week and make as many stops as possible in Big Sky Country where you’ll enjoy some of the most stunning and diverse landscape features anywhere in America – from the steep cliffs and racing rivers of the Grand Tetons to the geysers and wildlife of Yellowstone and the dramatic falls and glacial formations of Glacier. 960 1280

Wolfgang Kaehler  

Outer Banks

Outer Banks

Take this drive while you still can. North Carolina’s Route 12, also known as the Outer Banks Scenic Highway, has suffered a beating during the past decade of extreme weather, with hurricanes washing away swaths of roadway. The route starts at Bodie Lighthouse in the north and passes the narrow spits of land that make up the barrier islands protecting North Carolina’s mainland from the Atlantic Ocean. Sights along the way include the Oregon Inlet, Pea Island Wildlife Refuge and the historic Hatteras Lighthouse, where the highway continues as a boat -the Hatteras Ferry is part of Route 12 and crosses Pamlico Sound to join up with the road again on Ocracoke Island. 960 1280

NICHOLAS KAMM  

Hana Coastline

Hana Coastline

The 59-mile highway around the eastern side of Maui between Kahului crosses black sand beaches, waterfalls and 59 bridges. Some stops you may want to make include 'Ohe'o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools), the Pipiwai Trail, and Waimoku Falls at Haleakala National Park, Hana Lava Tube, and the Ho'okipa lookout where you can view Maui’s famed surfers taking the waves. 960 1280

Paul Mounce  

Olympic Peninsula

Olympic Peninsula

Set out from Seattle for a 300-plus-mile road trip west across the Olympic Peninsula. You’ll enjoy gorgeous scenery and many stopping points for hikes. Within the Olympic National Park itself, you can drive through the lush Hoh Rainforest, one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S. 960 1280

Douglas Peebles  

Route 66

Route 66

At over 2,500 miles, Route 66 is the quintessential cross-country road trip. Though travel on the Mother Road peaked in the 1940s and 1950s before the Interstate Highway system was established, you can still follow the tire treads of so many who came before. While there are countless sights as you journey between Chicago and Los Angeles, ending on the Santa Monica Pier, Route 66 may be most famous for its quirky roadside attractions like the Cadillac Ranch in Texas, the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle in Oklahoma, and this giant sculpture of Abe Lincoln on a wagon in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois. 960 1280

Marcia Straub#106784  

Overseas Highway

Overseas Highway

This 150-mile drive from Miami through the Florida Keys on an the iconic Route 1 is famous from countless car commercials and movie chases. The Overseas Highway, as it’s often called, crosses 42 bridges, including the Seven-Mile bridge over Pigeon Key, shown here. Though you could complete the entire ride in under four hours, the fun of this trip is taking in the life of the Keys themselves – from the Pennekamp Coral Reef Park to Key Largo’s Dolphin Research Center to the many delicious foods the area has made famous, like fried conch and Key lime pie. 960 1280

KAREN BLEIER  

Sedona's Towering Red Rocks
Sedona's Towering Red Rocks

Sedona's Towering Red Rocks

Set off on a road trip to Sedona, and travel past a dazzling display of nature and history framed by towering red rocks. 960 1280

Steven P. Love, Getty Images  

Limestone Cliff Homes

Limestone Cliff Homes

Over 1,000 years ago, Native Americans built their homes in the limestone cliffs outside of Sedona. 960 1280

DOUGBERRY, Getty Images  

Red Rock Meditation

Red Rock Meditation

People come to meditate and reflect at the Red Rocks vortex sites, or energy centers. 960 1280

ParkerDeen, Getty Images  

Cactus Blooms

Cactus Blooms

Flowering cacti bloom in the hot Arizona sun in Sedona. 960 1280

David M. Schrader, Getty Images  

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon

Hikers, swimmers and sunbathers enjoy the banks of Oak Creek Canyon, where the colorful red rocks meet the clear running water. 960 1280

Brent Winebrenner, Getty Images  

Red-Rock Waterfalls

Red-Rock Waterfalls

Bring along your camera to take pictures of the remarkable geology, including red-rock waterfalls. 960 1280

Sue Cosens, equigini, Getty Images  

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon

As seen in Antelope Canyon, Sedona's stunning red rocks are a masterpiece a million years in the making with bright hues created by nature. 960 1280

Daniel Viñé Garcia, Getty Images  

Slide Rock State Park

Slide Rock State Park

Water chutes have been carved into the rocks over time making for a rocky slip and slide at Slide Rock State Park. 960 1280

Peter Essick, Getty Images  

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Chapel of the Holy Cross

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a Catholic chapel nestled between 2 towering red-rock formations. 960 1280

studiodr, Getty Images  

Schnebly Hill Trail

Schnebly Hill Trail

Take a hike along the Schnebly Hill Trail in Coconino National Forest for expansive red-rock views. 960 1280

Images of the American West, Getty Images  

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Drivers have little choice but to take their time enjoying the serpentine Blue Ridge Parkway connecting Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. 960 1280

Moment / Getty Images  

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

The route's speed limit is a strictly enforced 45 mph, which at some points is lowered to a mere 25 mph. Traffic builds up on this popular byway during October when leaf-peepers glimpse nature’s colorful display outside their car windows. 960 1280

Jimmy_Joe Flickr Creative Commons 2.0  

Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive takes you on an amazing ride, slithering through Shenandoah National Park along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The drive offers perfect views of Piedmont Valley to the east and the Shenandoah River Valley to the west. 960 1280

By Philip N. Wheeler [CC BY-SA 3.0]  

Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive

Virginia's Skyline Drive is beautiful year round, but if you're looking to enjoy it in all its splendor, there's no better time to drive down the 105-mile scenic byway than in the fall. Its route along the Blue Ridge Mountains through Shenandoah National Park is not only perfect for leaf-peeping, but also offers close to 70 scenic overlooks. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Kancamagus Scenic Byway

Kancamagus Scenic Byway

New Hampshire's Kancamagus Scenic Byway, a 34.5-mile section of Route 112 running through the White Mountain National Forest, is renowned for its autumn leaves, making it one of the top road trips during the fall leaf-viewing season. 960 1280
Kancamagus Scenic Byway

Kancamagus Scenic Byway

As a National Scenic Byway, the "Kanc," as the locals call it, remains unspoiled by homes or service stations, allowing visitors to watch the maple, beech and birch trees burst into color without distraction. 960 1280

Photodisc / Getty Images  

Historic National Road

Historic National Road

Maryland's stretch of the 170-mile Historic National Road -- originally built to foster settlement into the West by aiding the movement of people and goods -- takes road-trippers on a journey through 300 years of history. 960 1280

Dwight Nadig / iStock / Getty Images Plus  

Historic National Road

Historic National Road

The lush region and towns surrounding the highway have become a mid-Atlantic hot spot for fall foliage viewing and offer plenty of historic interest to travelers. 960 1280

Panoramic Images / Getty Images  

US 1

US 1

US 1 runs between the beach and Interstate 95 along Florida's east coast, allowing easy access to A1A (the road closest to the coast) while letting you hightail it past cities that don't pique your interest. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

US 1

US 1

The 2,376-mile stretch of highway between Fort Kent, Maine, and Key West, Florida, passes through every state on the eastern seaboard.
960 1280

By Wsvan [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons  

Acadia National Byway

Acadia National Byway

Designated an All-American Highway by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Acadia Byway winds along Maine’s coastline for 40 miles past granite peaks, craggy outcroppings, coastal fishing villages and lush old-growth forests. 960 1280

Universal Images Group / Getty Images  

Acadia National Byway

Acadia National Byway

Fresh lobster feasts and the chance to be among the first people in America to see the sunrise are just a few of the reasons to put the Acadia Byway in Maine on your road-trip radar. 960 1280
Gulf Coast Road Trip

Gulf Coast Road Trip

From Florida to Mississippi, the Gulf Coast is not only a beautiful spot for a beach vacation, but an important ecosystem that’s home to thousands of sea turtles, seabirds and other wild creatures. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Gulf Coast Road Trip

Gulf Coast Road Trip

Set off on a road trip along Route 98 through the region’s best state and national parks, and appreciate the wonders of the Gulf Coast and its unique ecosystems. 960 1280

By Ebyabe (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons  

The Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway

The Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway

The Glenn Highway (AK-1) travels north from Anchorage and past Chugach State Park to Glennallen 179 miles away, where it meets the Richardson Highway (AK-4). 960 1280

Z-lex  

Stretch Your Legs along the Glenn Highway

Stretch Your Legs along the Glenn Highway

The Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway (AK-1) follows the Matanuska River and passes the Matanuska Glacier, the largest glacier accessible by car in the United States. The Glacier is located at Mile 101, and is 27-miles long and four-miles wide. Matanuska Glacier Adventures offers guided glacier treks. 960 1280

Noppawat Tom Charoensinphon  

Whittier: Gateway to Prince William Sound

Whittier: Gateway to Prince William Sound

Whittier is a small community on Prince William Sound of about 200 people, most of whom live in a single 14-story, apartment-style building connected to the rest of the town via tunnels to avoid harsh winter weather. It connects to the Seward Highway (AK-1) via the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel that goes through Maynard Mountain and is the second-longest highway tunnel in North America at 13,300 feet long. Stan Stephens Glacier and Wildlife Cruises offers tours between Whittier and Valdez, where wildlife such as sea otters, seals and humpback whales are commonly seen in Prince William Sound. 960 1280

Daryl Pederson / Design Pics  

Prince William Sound

Prince William Sound

Named in 1778 to honor the son of Great Britian’s George III, Prince William Sound is rich in marine life and is the terminus of five glaciers. It is a popular sight-seeing destination from Whittier and Valdez, and is known for its sea otter and whale sightings. It was the site of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, and has since recovered. Kayak among sapphire iceburgs in Prince William Sound with Pangaea Adventures in Valdez. 960 1280

Kevin Miller  

Alaska's Little Switzerland: Valdez

Alaska's Little Switzerland: Valdez

Valdez is a commercial and sport-fishing port as well as the terminus of the Alaska Pipeline. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Valdez is called Alaska's "Little Switzerland." 960 1280

Steve Larese  

The Richardson Highway

The Richardson Highway

The Richardson Highway (AK-4) is a 368-mile-long stretch that connects Valdez to Fairbanks. The Richardson Highway passes many scenic stops such as the waterfalls of Keystone Canyon. This route makes a classic Alaska road trip, or leave the driving to John Hall's Alaska tours. 960 1280

Gary R. Johnson  

The Alaska Pipeline

The Alaska Pipeline

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, commonly called the The Alaska Pipeline, was completed in 1977 and stretches 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. It can be seen along Richardson Highway from Fairbanks as it travels to the Valdez Marine Terminal. Information kiosks along the route give details about this massive engineering feat, such as how heat exchangers are used to keep the permafrost from melting underneath the pipeline. 960 1280

STEVELARESE  

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is America's largest national park and is filled with nine of the 16 highest peaks in North America, glaciers and miles of hiking trails through boreal forests. Its main visitor center is located off of the Richardson Highway (AK-4) between Copper Center and Glennallen. 960 1280

Steve Larese  

End of the Road: The Alaska Highway

End of the Road: The Alaska Highway

Completed in 1942 to aid the war effort during World War II, the Alaska Highway (also called the Alcan Highway) travels 1,387 miles from Dawson Creek in British Columbia, Canada, to Delta Junction, Alaska, where a monument marks its end point. Today it is a popular route for road trippers who pride themselves on completing the entire route through two nations. Alaska's segment of the Alaska Highay is also called the Richardson Highway (AK-4). 960 1280

Steve Larese  

Fairbanks: Gateway to the Arctic

Fairbanks: Gateway to the Arctic

Fairbanks is the northern extent of many Alaska road trips and is home to the Golden Heart Review at Pioneer Park, which explains Fairbanks' storied history through song and comedy. The Fountainhead Antique Cars Museum has an impressive collection of rare autos. The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center explores Alaska's many indigenous cultures, as do the Chena Indian Village and the Alaska Native Heritage Center. 960 1280

Steve Larese  

It's a Dog's Life

It's a Dog's Life

Visitors are welcome at Trail Breaker Kennel along the Chena River in Fairbanks. Established in 1980 by David Monson and four-time Iditarod champion Susan Butcher, Trail Breaker Kennel breeds sled dogs and educates the public about the dogs and sport. Dog sledding is a popular and often necessary sport in Alaska, and the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race takes place annually in March. 960 1280

STEVELARESE  

The George Parks Highway

The George Parks Highway

The George Parks Highway (AK-3) travels 361 miles from Anchorage to Fairbanks, and is the gateway to Denali National Park and Preserve. The Alaska Railroad parallels much of the highway. 960 1280

mcveras  

Denali National Park and Preserve

Denali National Park and Preserve

Grizzly and black bears, moose, wolves, caribou, Dall sheep and many other animals are seen within Denali National Park and Preserve’s six million acres. The 92-mile park road connects the park entrance to Kantishna, where remote lodges are located. Buses are the only public transportation permitted into Denali’s backcountry other than planes. Road trippers can park at the park’s main entrance and take a bus into the park. 960 1280

David Rasmus/Getty Images/iStockphoto  

Land of Lake–and Volcanoes

Land of Lake–and Volcanoes

Wonder Lake within Denali National Park is one of Alaska's 3 million lakes larger than twenty acres. At 586,400 square miles, Alaska is the largest state in the U.S. Alaska also has more than 12,000 rivers and 40 active volcanoes. 960 1280

STEVELARESE  

Denali: The High One

Denali: The High One

Denali, meaning "The High One" in the Koyukon Athabascan language, is the highest peak in North America at 20,310 feet. It can be seen from vantage points along AK-3 near Denali National Park. 960 1280

STEVELARESE  

Denali Backcountry Lodge, Kantishna

Denali Backcountry Lodge, Kantishna

Situated along Moose Creek within Denali National Park and Preserve, Denali Backcountry Lodge is 92 miles from the park's main entrance and reached only via a bus that takes guests through the park. Road trippers may park at Denali's main visitor center to catch a shuttle to the lodge. 960 1280

Steve Larese  

Alaska's Friendly Skies

Alaska's Friendly Skies

Alaska’s preferred method of transportation is airplanes, with many residents living in areas where there is no direct road access, if there’s any at all. The venerable Piper Cub is a popular plane, and is owned by many Alaskans in the same way as others would own a passenger car. Planes are often seen taking off and landing on waterways throughout Alaska, which uses its many rivers as roadways. 960 1280

STEVELARESE  

Flight Seeing in Talkeetna

Flight Seeing in Talkeetna

Road trippers can trade their car for an airplane in Talkeetna for a flightseeing tour of Denali National Park to the north. K2 Aviation takes passengers on scenic flights into the park, and can even land on glaciers for hiking. 960 1280

Steve Larese  

Roadside Beauty

Roadside Beauty

Throughout the summer wildflowers such as fireweed add color along Alaska's highways. 960 1280

Steve Larese  

Back to the Beginning: Anchorage

Back to the Beginning: Anchorage

Often the starting and ending point for Alaska road trips, Anchorage offers much to see and do itself. The Anchorage Museum details the history, cultures and art of Alaska. Local shops and restaurants such as 49th State Brewing Company make exploring Anchorage's charming downtown worthwhile. 960 1280

Steve Larese  

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

UT 12 winds through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which protects 1.88-million acres of landscape containing unique Native American and geological sites, including petroglyphs, fossils and natural arches. With its quiet backroads, spectacular national parks and monuments, the large area called the Grand Circle that encompasses southern Utah and northern Arizona makes for one of the most memorable road trips in the United States. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

The Wave, Utah/Arizona border

The Wave, Utah/Arizona border

The Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness on the Utah/Arizona border near Kanab, Utah, requires a permit from the Bureau of Land Management and a difficult hike to reach. The payoff is remote, otherworldly scenery and the surreal swoop of sandstone called The Wave, formed by wind erosion. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah's first national park, was created in 1909 and is renowned for its red cliffs, hidden gardens, waterfalls and emerald pools. It is a favorite destination for hikers worldwide. 960 1280

AndrewSoundarajan  

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park was established in 1928 and protects a colorful landscape of sandstone spires called hoodoos that were formed through eons of freeze-thaw erosion. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park protects 378-square-miles of colorful landscape and historic human inhabitation, including ruins left by ancient Native Americans and Mormon settlers in the 1880s. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

Fremont Petroglyphs, Utah

Fremont Petroglyphs, Utah

Located in Captial Reef National Park, these petroglyphs were left by the Fremont Culture some 2,000 years ago. Utah's striking landscapes and public lands contribute to Utah's $7.4 billion tourism industry. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, protects more than 2,000 natural stone arches, including Double Arch, pictured here. 960 1280

  

Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah

Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah

Natural Bridges National Monument protects natural arches (including the pictured Sipapu Bridge), Native American ruins and a lush riparian watershed. President Theodore Roosevelt declared the site a national monument in 1908. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

Gooseneck State Park

Gooseneck State Park

Gooseneck State Park near Mexican Hat, Utah, is a popular photo and camping stop with eight first-come-first-serve sites. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

One of Utah's "Might 5" national parks, Canyonlands National Park is a playground for outdoor adventurers. Mountain bikers, four-wheelers, hikers and backpackers explore these 337,598 acres of unique geology and Native American ruins. 960 1280

Jeremy Pawlowski  

Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, established by President Obama in 2016, protects hundreds of Native American archaeological sites. The area is still an important source of traditional resources and spiritual significance to several Native American tribes, including the Navajo Nation. Bears Ears National Monument encompasses Valley of the Gods. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

Bluff, Utah

Bluff, Utah

Bluff, Utah, is a gateway to many of Utah's popular destinations including Bears Ears National Monument, and is home to the Twin Rocks Cafe, name for the towering rock formation behind it. Many areas in Utah are revered for their dark night skies, which are among darkest in North America. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

Cow Canyon Trading Post, Bluff, Utah

Cow Canyon Trading Post, Bluff, Utah

This weathered 1949 Buick Super parked in front of Cow Canyon Trading Post in Bluff has become a must-stop photo attraction for road trippers. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

US 163 on the Utah/Arizona border

US 163 on the Utah/Arizona border

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park as seen driving south on US 163 from Utah into Arizona. The entrance to the park is on the Utah and Arizona border. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Utah/Arizona

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Utah/Arizona

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is called Tse'Bii'Ndzisgaii in the Diné language and means "Valley of the Rocks." This iconic 91,696-acre park has been featured in many movies and has come to symbolize the American West. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon east of Page, Arizona, is a surreal labyrinth of slot canyons on Navajo tribal land. A Navajo guide is required to visit the site, and several tour operators are located in Page. It got its English name from the herd of pronghorn antelope that used to live in the area. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

The Colorado River flows through Horseshoe Bend four miles south of Page, Arizona, accessed via a 3/4-mile-long trail on the west side of US 89. It is 1,000 feet from the canyon rim to the water. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

Hopi Pueblo, Arizona

Hopi Pueblo, Arizona

Hopi dancer Kyle Chase of the Pollen Trail Dancers displays his talent throughout the Southwest, including at Grand Canyon National Park. Hopi Pueblo consists of three ancient villages east of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The Hopi Cultural Center off of AZ 264 in Second Mesa details the history and culture of the tribe, and the tribally owned Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites near Tuba City makes a good road trip rest stop. 960 1280

  

Cameron Trading Post, Arizona

Cameron Trading Post, Arizona

A Navajo master weaver demonstrate her skill in the Cameron Trading Post weaving room. Cameron Trading Post, located 30 minutes from the Grand Canyon's East Entrance on AZ 64, is a trading post, restaurant and hotel that was built in 1916. 960 1280

STEVE LARESE  

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park is 277 miles long and 18 miles across at its widest point between the north and south rims, and one mile at its deepest. It was established in 1919 by President Theodore Roosevelt, who said of it: "The Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison–beyond description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world...Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children's children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see." 960 1280

Steve Larese   

Touring California's Wine Country
Highway 29

Highway 29

Take California State Route 29 to see some of the region’s best vineyards and wineries. Through Napa Valley, Highway 29 passes through Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Yountville and Napa. 960 1280
Silverado Trail

Silverado Trail

Hit the road early to capture the serene vineyards along the Silverado Trail, a scenic route along the eastern edge of Napa Valley. Most locals suggest taking this route to avoid traffic on California State Route 29, which runs parallel to the Trail. 960 1280

seligmanwaite, Flickr  

Wine Country

Wine Country

Northern California's wine country beckons visitors with hundreds of wineries spread across 3 counties. 960 1280

By John Morgan [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa Winery is located near Calistoga, CA. The 121,000-square-foot medieval replica castle includes 107 rooms and 8 levels above and below ground. Among its many features, it has a moat, drawbridge, defensive towers, interior courtyard, chapel, torture chamber and a great hall. Visitors to the vineyard can sample the wines sold at the castle. 960 1280

Jim G., Flickr  

Cabernet

Cabernet

Northern California's climate is ideal for growing grapes like these ripe ones used to make a fine cabernet. 960 1280

By Jakob federer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Beringer Rhine House

Beringer Rhine House

Make a stop at the Beringer Rhine House -- Napa Valley’s oldest continuously operating winery. Enjoy the award-winning wines, rich history and beautifully landscaped grounds. 960 1280

Chuck O'Rear  

California Wine

California Wine

The best way to appreciate Northern California's wine country is to sample the goods along the way. 960 1280

By Brian Solis [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Old Faithful Geyser of California

Old Faithful Geyser of California

While you’re on your road trip, we suggestion stopping by the Old Faithful Geyser of California, located in Calistoga, CA. It’s just one of many roadside attractions you’ll see along the way. 960 1280

Kunal Mukherjee, flickr  

Picturesque Vineyards

Picturesque Vineyards

Bring along a camera for photo opportunities in the acres of rolling vineyards in Napa and Sonoma. 960 1280

By Rennett Stowe from USA (Napa Valley Vineyard) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Staglin Family Vineyard

Staglin Family Vineyard

The Staglin Family Vineyard, a family-owned Napa Valley winery in Rutherford, CA, produces a variety of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sangiovese and a Bordeaux-style blend. Take a guided tour of the winery, and then at the end of the tour, experience an intimate tasting of Cabernet Sauvignons produced on the estate. 960 1280

Kopol Bonick Studio  

Wine Production

Wine Production

These terraced vineyards in Sonoma rely on biodynamic agricultural techniques to produce local wine. 960 1280
Oxbow Public Market

Oxbow Public Market

Go local! Visit the Oxbow Public Market in Napa Valley to sample the local community’s best, including fresh food, wine and cheese. Take Highway 29 to the city of Napa; take the 1st Street Exit (bear right to head east); and look for signs marked ‘Oxbow Public Market’. 960 1280

Oxbow Public Market  

Merlot

Merlot

Pre-veraison, these grapes will be used to make Merlot once they ripen. 960 1280

By David Huang (Flickr: Merlot) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Sterling Vineyard

Sterling Vineyard

Several vineyards, including the Sterling Vineyard (pictured) in Calistoga, CA, are fun getaways for tourists.  See picturesque views from their aerial tram. Guests can also travel the grounds by foot. And with a glass of wine in hand, stroll through art galleries and elevated walkways that allow visitors to see the winemaking process from grape to glass. 960 1280

Jim G., Flickr  

Years of Preparation

Years of Preparation

These vines in Sonoma have been used for growing grapes for nearly 90 years. 960 1280

By dynamosquito (Flickr: Ceps) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Di Rosa Preserve

Di Rosa Preserve

While you’re on the road, we suggest you visit the Di Rosa Preserve, a 35-acre lake and wildlife. The area is not only rich in an array of flora, fauna and wildlife, but it’s also the canvas to display a broad range of art created by Bay Area artists. Art aficionados can walk the grounds to see art work in the Main Gallery, Gatehouse Gallery, Historic Residence, Courtyard, North Lawn and Sculpture Meadow.  It’s an art lover’s paradise. 960 1280

collectmoments, Flickr  

The Grapes

The Grapes

These grapes may become a bottle of your favorite California wine, but you'll have to wait a few years to try it. 960 1280

By Tomás Castelazo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons  

Downtown Napa

Downtown Napa

If wine tasting and tours isn’t you’re thing, then make a pit stop in Downtown Napa. The area has dozens of shops, dessert cafes, bars, restaurants and spas. Hotels and B&Bs are available in the area. It’s a perfect home-base location for visitors to explore nearby vineyards and mix with the locals. 960 1280

Napa Downtown Association  

Mud Bath

Mud Bath

Unwind and relax with a mud bath at one of several spas located in Napa Valley, including Meadowood, Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs, Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa, Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, Indian Springs Resort and Roman Spa Motel. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Coast Highway

Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway winds along the dramatic Northern California coastline. 960 1280

LAWRENCE K. HO, Getty Images  

Big Sur Cliffs

Big Sur Cliffs

The craggy cliffs of Big Sur provide breathtaking photo opportunities. 960 1280

Ron Thomas and Patty Thomas, Getty Images  

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach

Plan a rest stop in the laid-back town of Pismo Beach. 960 1280

Mimi Ditchie, Getty Images  

San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo

It's hard not to succumb to a fairytale fantasy driving through this misty valley near San Luis Obispo. 960 1280

expictura, Getty Images  

Santa Barbara Mission

Santa Barbara Mission

The Santa Barbara Mission is a must-see for road-trippers driving the PCH. 960 1280

Chris Yasko, Getty Images  

Solvang

Solvang

Pay a visit to the town of Solvang, a perfect representation of a Danish village. 960 1280

Hanan Isachar / LPI, Getty Images  

Breathtaking Views

Breathtaking Views

You'll find breathtaking views along the Pacific Coast Highway, such as Pigeon Point Lighthouse at dusk, with Pacific ocean waves crashing the rocky shore. 960 1280

Lingxiao Xie, Getty Images  

Bixby Bridge

Bixby Bridge

Bixby Bridge on the Big Sur coast of California has become one of the most photographed bridges in California. 960 1280

PETER UNGER, Getty Images  

Rocky Shorelines

Rocky Shorelines

Waves crash around the rocky shoreline all along the Pacific Coast Highway. 960 1280

KOALA2 by iterranux.com, Getty Images  

Carmel by the Sea

Carmel by the Sea

Spend time wandering the scenic beachfront in Carmel by the Sea. 960 1280

Paul Giamou, Getty Images  

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle

Once the home of William Randolph Hearst, the Hearst Castle is one of the largest historic house museums in the US. It offers several tours which cover the estate's grand rooms, upstairs suites, cottages and kitchens. 960 1280

Visions of America, Getty Images  

Oregon Dunes Recreation Area

Oregon Dunes Recreation Area

Stretching south from Florence, OR, to Coos Bay, 40 miles of Oregon's coast is home to the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area. Sand dunes, hundreds of feet high, provide a habitat for wildlife. Visitors can hike, take pictures and drive off-road vehicles. 960 1280

bywriter, Getty Images  

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Cape Blanco Lighthouse was built on 47.7 acres of land in 1870. It holds four unique records: It's the oldest continuously operating light, it's the most westerly, it has the highest focal plane above the sea (256 feet) and it had Oregon's first woman keeper, Mabel E. Bretherton. Today the lighthouse is all automated with a motor to rotate it, plus a special light that flashes every 18.2 seconds. 960 1280

Russell Burden, Getty Images  

Stearns Wharf

Stearns Wharf

Stearns Wharf was built in 1872 to serve ships. It eventually became a naval installation. Today the wharf is one of the largest attractions in Santa Barbara, with shops and restaurants that bring more than 5 million annual visitors. 960 1280

Peter Bischoff, Getty Images  

Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay is a bay of the Pacific Ocean, on the coast of California. The area is home to many marine animals, including sea otters, harbor seals and bottlenose dolphins. It is also the breeding site for elephant seals. 960 1280

Sloot/Roel lootweg, Getty Images  

Morro Bay State Park

Morro Bay State Park

Morro Bay State Park features a lagoon and natural bay habitat. It includes a museum, marina and golf course. The park has opportunities for sailing, fishing, hiking and bird watching, especially in the marsh area. 960 1280

Missing35mm, Getty Images  

Cape Perpetua

Cape Perpetua

Cape Perpetua is located in Oregon on US Route 101. At its highest point, the bluff rises more than 800 feet above sea level. Camping, picnicking, hiking and whale watching are all big activities within the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. 960 1280

DanitaDelimont.com, FotoWare FotoStation; Getty Images  

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park has more than a million acres to explore, and includes three different ecosystems. You'll find Pacific Ocean beaches, rainforest valleys and glacier-capped peaks. The park is home to a variety of plants and animals. 960 1280

Frank Pali, Getty Images  

Margo Dodd Park

Margo Dodd Park

This ocean-bluff park includes a gazebo, a grassy recreation area and a large tide pool where you can snorkel. The park overlooks the ocean, and you can see lots of birds and marine life. 960 1280

aspenrock, Getty Images  

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park is home to the world's tallest trees, as well as wildlife such as bears and eagles. The park also includes 40 miles of wild coastline where animals such as sea lions, osprey and pelicans live. 960 1280

Lisa Blue, Getty Images  

Road Trip Bingo

Print Our Free Cards

Entertain road warriors (young and old) with this family favorite.

Pitstop Like a Pro

Road Trip Meal

Road Trip Meal

You know the situation…you’re on a road trip, hunger strikes and the only place to stop for food is a gas station. There’s no need to fret! Registered dietitians have been there too and share their top choices for healthier grab-and-go snack food combinations to create nutritious, balanced meals. “The line of divide between meals and snacks has certainly blurred in the United States. Convenience stores and gas stations are increasingly offering healthier grab-and-go-snack foods that when combined can become a nutritious meal,” says Karen Buch, RDN. 960 1280

  

How to Choose the Best Food

How to Choose the Best Food

Use this quick equation to determine which nutrients you need to keep you feeling full and satisfied: Protein + Fiber + Healthy fat = average of 350 calories, 12-20 grams of protein and 5-10 grams of fiber per meal. Start by anchoring your selection on a protein choice like hard-boiled eggs, milk, yogurt, beef jerky, nuts or peanut butter. Add fiber-rich foods like fresh fruits (usually by the register) and vegetables (usually pre-sliced in the refrigerated section), popcorn, whole grain crackers, oat- or nut-based bars or nuts. Add a healthy fat source like guacamole (yes, many gas stations sell individual packs) or a nut-based food. Wash it all down with a naturally calorie-free drinks like water, coffee or hot tea. 960 1280

Deanne Revel  

Deconstructed Yogurt Parfait

Deconstructed Yogurt Parfait

“Start with a container of regular or Greek yogurt (read the labels to find a low sugar option) and break pieces of a fruit-and-nut based bar into the yogurt,” suggests Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD. Using a bar or a serving of dried fruit and nut trail mix limits the number of ingredients you need to purchase. Registered Dietitian, Elizabeth Shaw says, “My favorite meal is to grab a plain yogurt from the cooler, a single serving bag of unsalted peanuts and a banana. Coming in at around 400 calories, not only do you get a great source of protein, but also fiber, potassium and satisfying healthy fats.” 960 1280

Holley Grainger  

Peanut Butter and Apple Bruschetta

Peanut Butter and Apple Bruschetta

Registered dietitian, Chelsea LeBlanc believes in having some fun with easy-to-find ingredients. “Purchase a small jar or packet of peanut butter (found on the dry food aisle) and pair with apple slices and a whole grain food source. Whole apples are usually located near the register and larger gas stations often have individual servings of sliced apples in the refrigerated section. Get fancy by smearing the peanut butter on a whole grain breakfast biscuit or cracker and top with the apple slices. Pair with a bottle of water to wash it down. This meal offers protein, whole grains, fiber, healthy fat and will help to ward off your sweet tooth.” 960 1280

Holley Grainger  

Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad

Kristen Smith, MS, RD suggests making tuna salad by combining a can of tuna and condiments from the hot dog station like a packet of mayonnaise and relish. Spoon tuna salad on top of whole wheat crackers. Pick up a piece of fresh fruit or canned fruit with no added sugar for a balanced meal. 960 1280

Holley Grainger  

Protein-Packed Beef Jerky

Protein-Packed Beef Jerky

Of all the processed foods you will find at the gas station, beef jerky may be one of the best choices believes Registered Dietitian, Jessica Spiro. Jerky can be high in sodium so look for a low sodium option if available. Pair with plain or flavored almonds, mandarin oranges and a cup of hot tea. Jessica Lee Levings, MS, RDN also suggests that a cheese stick with a piece of fruit, a serving of beef jerky, and five whole grain crackers can create a balanced dinner. 960 1280

Holley Grainger  

Pumped Up Oatmeal

Pumped Up Oatmeal

“Most gas stations have hot water that can be used for instant soup or oatmeal,” says Amy Bruursema Getman, RD. “Add a piece of fruit and peanut butter or trail mix and it’s a meal.” If a microwave is available, make the oatmeal with milk for a boost of protein, calcium, and vitamin D. Choose walnuts as a delicious option loaded with healthy fat and fiber. 960 1280

Holley Grainger  

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Sandwich

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Sandwich

“Even a convenience store with minimal offerings will likely have a jar of peanut butter, a loaf of bread (ideally whole wheat), and little cartons of milk,” says Katie Morford, MS, RD. “Nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned peanut butter sandwich downed with a side of milk, which delivers protein, healthy fats, calcium, and whole grains. Swap jelly for fresh fruit like sliced bananas, apples, or strawberries.” 960 1280

Holley Grainger  

Ready-to-Eat Salad with Grilled Chicken

Ready-to-Eat Salad with Grilled Chicken

“Larger gas stations like Speedway, Quick Time, and 7-Eleven have many nutritious options such as salads with hard-boiled eggs or chopped turkey,” offers Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN. Plus, many fast rood restaurants are connected to larger gas stations and offer fresh salads and sandwiches. When choosing a salad, make sure to read the label to find one that offers vegetables, lean protein, and even nuts or dried fruit. Use a low-fat dressing or a small portion of regular dressing to keep calories in check. 960 1280

Holley Grainger  

Prepackaged Snack Meal

Prepackaged Snack Meal

Who says that prepackaged foods can’t be healthy? Look for options that contain carrots, snap peas, celery, fruit, cheese, and/or nuts. Hummus (made from chickpeas) and guacamole are often sold in single serving packages so use these as a dip for your veggies or for low-fat pretzels. Pair with a hard-boiled egg or two (sprinkled with salt and pepper) for an easy and well-rounded meal. 960 1280

Holley Grainger  

Cottage Cheese and Fruit

Cottage Cheese and Fruit

“Use single-serving cottage cheese containers and pair with fruit and nuts,” says Lauren-Harris Pincus, MS, RDN. Look for a low-sugar bar (such as one sweetened with dates) for a sweet side to add additional fiber and nutrients. Enjoy as is or crumble the bar onto the cottage cheese. Wash down with water for extra hydration. 960 1280

Holley Grainger  

Cheese and Crackers

Cheese and Crackers

From large convenience stores to small, rural gas stations, cheese and crackers with a piece of fruit and a protein bar combine all of the elements needed to keep you full and satisfied and are easy to find. Many protein bars have a savory profile so consider these as opposed to sweet ones when browsing the protein bar aisle. 960 1280

Holley Grainger  

Pops, Arcadia, Oklahoma

Pops, Arcadia, Oklahoma

You can’t miss the 4-ton, 66-foot-tall illuminated soda bottle in front of Pop’s on Route 66. Whether you need to fill your tank or quench your thirst, Pop’s has what you need. The restaurant features over 700 types of sodas, seltzers and other soft drinks. 960 1280

Buyenlarge  

Alzu Petroport, Near Middelburg, South Africa

Alzu Petroport, Near Middelburg, South Africa

Baby rhinos. Need we say more? South Africa’s Alzu Petroport, situated on the N4 between Belfast and Middelburg, boasts the usual truck stop amenities - clean restrooms, dining and shopping. But the big draw here is the adjacent wildlife preserve, where rhinos, ostriches and buffalo roam. 960 1280

Sune Rowe Photography  

Trail’s Travel Center, Albert Lea, Minnesota

Trail’s Travel Center, Albert Lea, Minnesota

From the outside you wouldn’t know that Trail’s, located off I-35 in Minnesota, features every service imaginable for the weary motorist - from showers and laundry to a movie theater and church services. Trail’s also carries one of the largest selections of whiskey in Minnesota. 960 1280

Daniel Moen  

Gazoline Petrol, Cuneo, Italy

Gazoline Petrol, Cuneo, Italy

Applying modern Italian design to the lowly rest area, Cuneo, Italy’s Gazoline Petrol enhances the roadside landscape with its ribbon - like architectural form, which is meant to symbolize the road and invite drivers in for a break. The project was designed by Damilanostudio Architects.

 

960 1280

Andrea Martiradonna  

Beckley Travel Plaza, Beckley, West Virginia

Beckley Travel Plaza, Beckley, West Virginia

A comfortable stopping point for travelers on West Virginia’s I-77, Beckley Travel Plaza may be the only truck stop in the world that’s also a destination craft hunters. Beckley’s offers a wide array of West Virginia made handicrafts including quilts, glassware and local foods. 960 1280

Danita Delimont  

Helios House, Los Angeles, California

Helios House, Los Angeles, California

Welcome to the future! The first gas station in the U.S. to be submitted for LEED status, the Helios Gas Station on Los Angeles’s Olympic Boulevard is made entirely of recycled steel and features 90 solar panels. It is drought resistant and energy efficient 960 1280

Barry Winiker  

Skovshoved Petrol Station, Copenhagen, Denmark

Skovshoved Petrol Station, Copenhagen, Denmark

Designed by Arne Jacobson and opened in 1936, this historic gas station on the outskirts of Copenhagen is a signature example of functionalist architecture. Its mushroom canopy protects motorists from rain and sun. Lit from below the canopy also serves as a sign at night. 960 1280

BirgerNiss  

Ashigara Rest Area, Shizouka Prefecture, Japan

Ashigara Rest Area, Shizouka Prefecture, Japan

Not far from Mount Fuji, Japan’s sprawling Ashigara Rest area, which re-opened after renovations now features more than 20 restaurants and food stalls, pony rides for children and an outdoor hot springs. 960 1280

SHOSEI/Aflo  

Willkomm’s Petro Truck Stop, Racine, Wisconsin

Willkomm’s Petro Truck Stop, Racine, Wisconsin

At Willkomm’s Petro, off I-94 in Racine, Wisconsin, travelers can treat themselves to one of O&H Bakery’s world-famous “Kringles” (a doughnut-like confection), get a haircut and even see a doctor. 960 1280

Willcomm Companies  

Orival Gas Station, Orival, Belgium

Orival Gas Station, Orival, Belgium

Considered one of the world’s most beautiful filling stations, Belgium’s Orival Gas Station, which spans both sides of the highway running between Brussels and Nivelles, was designed by Philippe Samyn and Partners to have the least impact on the environment. It features an art gallery and landscaped parks, as well as the usual service area amenities like covered fuel pumps, restaurants and picnic areas. 960 1280

Geertrui DERYCKE  

Iowa 80 Truck Stop, Walcott, Iowa

Iowa 80 Truck Stop, Walcott, Iowa

This 100,000 square foot truck stop along I-80 in Iowa is billed as the biggest in the world. Inside you’ll find a Laundromat, library, chiropractor, dentist, barber shop and workout room. Plus, as the home of the Trucker’s Museum, I-80 celebrates each summer with an annual Truckers Jamboree, which includes a Trucker’s Olympics and a Super Truck Beauty Contest. 960 1280

Iowa 80 Group  

Driving Abroad

Iceland: Behind the waterfall
Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss

When you travel by campervan you get to wake up to incredible views each morning. This was shot in the early morning, watching the sun rise from behind the waterfall. 960 1280

  

Seljandsfoss Waterfall

Seljandsfoss Waterfall

This is one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland because you can walk behind the falls for an incredible photo opt.  960 1280

  

Glacier Lagoon

Glacier Lagoon

Glacier Lagoon is mesmerizing. I loved drinking my morning coffee and watching the ice float by. 960 1280

  

Black Sand Beach

Black Sand Beach

Check out the beach near the town of Vik to see these massive rock formations. 960 1280

  

Mini Lighthouses

Mini Lighthouses

Some of my favorite buildings were all of the orange lighthouses scattered about the country.  960 1280

  

East Fjords

East Fjords

I hiked through the marshy fields to get close to this lighthouse. 960 1280

  

Iceland: Swimming in Blue Lagoon

Iceland: Swimming in Blue Lagoon

A trip to Iceland isn't complete without a soak in the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. 960 1280

  

Early Bird Gets the Lagoon

Early Bird Gets the Lagoon

The natural spa is extremely popular with tourists. Be sure to visit when it first opens to get a moment to yourself.  960 1280

Alison Turner  

Skogafoss Waterfall

Skogafoss Waterfall

Of all the waterfalls in Iceland, this one is my favorite. It's also a favorite among tourists because of its massive size. At 200 feet tall, people standing next to it look tiny. 960 1280

  

Námafjall Sulfur Fields

Námafjall Sulfur Fields

One of the most amazing experiences on this trip was walking through the Námafjall geothermal field, located in Northeast Iceland, on the east side of Lake Myvatn. 960 1280

  

Walking Through Clouds

Walking Through Clouds

The area is rather smelly, but Námafjall produces clouds that stay low to the ground and you can walk through them. 960 1280

  

Goofoss Waterfall

Goofoss Waterfall

You can access this waterfall on the nothern part of the island, off of Highway 1. 960 1280

  

Icelandic Horses

Icelandic Horses

The horses on the island can tolerate extreme weather conditions. You will see them throughout the countryside. 960 1280

  

Making New Friends

Making New Friends

The horses are also are extremely tame. This guy came up and said hello to me. 960 1280

  

Northeast Iceland

Northeast Iceland

On the east side of The Ring Road, you’ll find a lot of open space, flat land and snow. 960 1280

  

Snowy and Surreal

Snowy and Surreal

I stopped on the side of the road just to run around a bit in the snow. What’s so dreamy and unusual about this area is that there aren’t any trees. 960 1280

  

Rustic Churches

Rustic Churches

You will see a church in every town in Iceland. I thought they were all so charming. I framed this one from the entry gate. 960 1280

  

Snaefellsness Peninsula

Snaefellsness Peninsula

One of the most amazing views from the road was on the Snaefellsness Peninsula.  It’s as if I stepped into a painting. 960 1280

  

Foggy Mountains

Foggy Mountains

The Snaefellsness Peninsula is a must-drive. The snow-capped mountains are breathtaking. 960 1280

  

Whiteout

Whiteout

Driving Highway 1 is one of the best ways to see Iceland but always be prepared for a sudden change in the weather. Moments before this photograph, it was sunny and clear. 960 1280

  

The Tsunami Honganji Vihara, a massive Buddha and gift from Japan, stands in the southeastern town of Peraliya as a memorial to the 1,500 victims of the 2004 tsunami here, one of the deadliest natural disasters that the island has ever faced. All told, some 30,000 people perished in Sri Lanka as a result of the tsunami. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Elephants are abundant in Sri Lanka, and you can ride one bareback or in a seat around Sigiriya and Habarana. In Habarana, elephants walk around a man-made lake as mahouts, or elephant trainers, call out simple instructions and reward their charges with coconut leaves. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Sigiriya rock is a must-see for any visitor to Sri Lanka. Declared a World Heritage site, the 656-foot volcanic formation features the remnants of an ancient royal city, complete with palace, pools and gardens, at its apex. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

A silk loom in a Kandy silk shop showcases Sri Lankan silk work. Kandy considers itself the seat of Sri Lankan culture and is home to a number of artisans and craftspeople, making it a great place to purchase silk, woodcarving, batiks and jewelry. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

The Royal Rock Temple in Dambulla is a visual feast for the eyes with its 150 elaborately painted stone Buddha statues, including a reclining Buddha 47 feet long. The series of 5 caves, declared a World Heritage site, date back to the first century B.C. and were the creation of an ancient king. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Galle Fort in southern Sri Lanka is a reminder of the country's occupation by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, who all had a hand in expanding this entryway to Sri Lankan commercial trade. The fort remains a small city unto itself with churches, mosques, temples, homes and shops. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Kandy was the capital of the last Sinhalese kingdom before British occupation, and maintains many of Sri Lanka's old traditions. A stop at Arthur's Seat, a hill alongside Kandy Lake, offers the best views of the city, below. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Yala National Park, once a reserve for British hunters, is now one of the best places to go on a safari in Sri Lanka. The park is home to herds of water buffalo, as well as 35 leopards (the largest number in the world), 300 elephants and 150 species of birds. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Lush green hills of tea plants are the calling card of Nuwara Eliya, the capital of Sri Lanka's tea production. Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon under British rule, which explains why the country's biggest export is still Ceylon tea. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

The Tissamaharama Dagoba, a temple in southern Sri Lanka, was built by an ancient king, and may have held the canine tooth and forehead bone of Lord Buddha. Today, worshippers walk a complete circle around the dagoba offering blessings. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

School girls in white uniforms and colored neckties are a common sight on the streets of Sri Lanka around 1:30 p.m. when school's out. These girls are in Kurunegala, a city surrounded by coconut and rubber tree plantations. It's also the site of a giant Buddha statue sitting atop Elephant Rock. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Much of the southern coast between Bentota and Kosgoda is protected for sea turtles, threatened by a culture that once ate its eggs and sold its shells. The Turtle Research Project in Bentota serves as a hatchery and educational eco-tourist stop. 960 1280

Robin Bennefield  

Must-Stops

Cadillac Ranch (Interstate 40 - Amarillo, TX)

Cadillac Ranch (Interstate 40 - Amarillo, TX)

Created in 1974 by a group of artists called the Ant Farm, this graffiti-splattered homage to Cadillacs represents the car's evolution from 1949 to 1963. Travelers along Interstate 40, near Amarillo, TX, can see Cadillac Ranch from the road. 960 1280

waxhawian, flickr  

Cabazon Dinosaurs (Interstate 10 - Cabazon, CA)

Cabazon Dinosaurs (Interstate 10 - Cabazon, CA)

Don't be surprised to see a life-size Tyrannosaurus rex perched alongside the road while driving on Interstate 10 in Cabazon, CA. Visitors can climb to the top of the dinosaur for a close-up view of its teeth. Make a pit stop to pick up souvenirs at the museum shop, located inside Ms. Dinny, a 150-ton Apatosaurus, considered the largest concrete dino in the world. 960 1280

Dan Eckert, flickr  

General Sherman Tree (Generals Highway - Sequoia National Park, CA)

General Sherman Tree (Generals Highway - Sequoia National Park, CA)

James Wolverton, a naturalist who served among General William Tecumseh Sherman's troops, named this sequoia tree after the Civil War general in 1879. According to the US Department of the Interior, it is the largest tree by volume, standing 275 feet and 52,000 cubic feet. Nature lovers can appreciate the beauty of this tree by taking Generals Highway, located off US Highways 180 and 198 in southeastern California. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Randy's Donuts (805 W Manchester Blvd. - Inglewood, CA)

Randy's Donuts (805 W Manchester Blvd. - Inglewood, CA)

Visitors should add this roadside attraction to their travel plans. In Inglewood, CA, near the Los Angeles International Airport, stands the famous Randy's Donuts. The donut-shaped façade of this landmark building is just as popular as the tasty pastries made inside this 24-hour bakery. Located on the corner of West Manchester Boulevard and La Cienega Boulevard near Interstate 405, the giant donut -- built in 1953 -- has been featured in videos and movies like 2012, Iron Man 2 and Get Shorty. 960 1280

Extra Medium, flickr  

The Catsup Bottle (800 South Morrison Ave - Collinsville, IL)

The Catsup Bottle (800 South Morrison Ave - Collinsville, IL)

The world's largest bottle of ketchup remains in Collinsville, IL, even after the bottlers of Brooks Rich & Tangy Ketchup left town in the 1970s. This 170-foot-tall water tower was built in 1949 for the G.S. Suppiger ketchup-bottling plant, the bottlers of Brooks. The bottle reads "catsup" after the original Brooks bottle. Plan your road trip in July and attend the annual Catsup Bottle Festival, featuring a hot-dog-eating contest, ketchup tasting and crowning of Little Princess Tomato and Sir Catsup. 960 1280

Mark Williamson, Getty Images  

Lenny, The Chocolate Moose (419 US Highway 1 - Scarborough, ME)

Lenny, The Chocolate Moose (419 US Highway 1 - Scarborough, ME)

Meet Lenny, the world's only life-size moose made of 1,700 pounds of creamy milk chocolate. Located in Scarborough, ME, Lenny draws tourists to Len Libby Candies, a store that sells handcrafted chocolate and ice cream just south of Portland. 960 1280

Patti Gravel, flickr  

Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox (300 Bemidji Ave - Bemidji, MN)

Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox (300 Bemidji Ave - Bemidji, MN)

Eastman Kodak recognized lumberjack Paul Bunyan, along with his trusty sidekick Babe the Blue Ox, as the 2nd most photographed icons in the nation. These oversized, mythical characters stand high above the shore of Lake Bemidji, near the Tourist Information Center in Bemidji, MN. Road trippers can also see other versions of the colossal statues in Bangor, ME; Portland, OR, and Klamath, CA. 960 1280

two stout monks, flickr  

Jolly Green Giant (Interstate 90 - Blue Earth, MN)

Jolly Green Giant (Interstate 90 - Blue Earth, MN)

This 55-foot-tall Jolly Green Giant is a must-see if you're planning a road trip from Minneapolis to Iowa. Visit the town of Blue Earth, MN, to see this roadside attraction, built in 1978 to commemorate the completion of nearby Interstate 90. The vegetable company gave the town permission to use its symbol as long as the townspeople provided 100% of the funds to build it. 960 1280

William Koplitz, Getty Images  

Carhenge (Highway 87 - Alliance, NE)

Carhenge (Highway 87 - Alliance, NE)

Just north of Alliance, NE, on Highway 87, road trippers should keep an eye out for Carhenge. In 1987, artist Jim Reinders created this replica of the UK's Stonehenge using 38 automobiles placed in a circle measuring approximately 96 feet in diameter. Additional, smaller sculptures have been created at the site, known as the Car Art Reserve. 960 1280

Kevin Staff, flickr  

World's Largest Ball of Stamps (Flanagan Boulevard - Boys Town, NE)

World's Largest Ball of Stamps (Flanagan Boulevard - Boys Town, NE)

See the world's largest ball of stamps on Flanagan Boulevard in Boys Town, NE. The Boys Town Stamp Collecting Club started collecting stamps in 1953 to create this oversized sphere that today measures 32 inches in diameter, weighs 600 pounds and contains almost 5 million canceled stamps. The Ball reached its current size in 1955, and was featured in the syndicated newspaper column, "Ripley's Believe It Or Not." 960 1280

Laurence Pearlman © 2013  

Lucy the Elephant (9200 Atlantic Ave - Margate, NJ)

Lucy the Elephant (9200 Atlantic Ave - Margate, NJ)

In Margate, NJ, locals and visitors can climb a spiral staircase into the howdah, or bed, atop Lucy the Elephant. From this perch, it's possible to see views of Margate, NJ, the Atlantic City skyline and Atlantic Ocean. This 130-year-old, 65-foot pachyderm -- located along the beach in Josephine Herron Park -- has on-site, outdoor picnic tables, so pack a lunch. 960 1280

Aneese, Getty Images  

World's Largest Pistachio Nut (7320 US Hwy 54-70 - Alamogordo, NM)

World's Largest Pistachio Nut (7320 US Hwy 54-70 - Alamogordo, NM)

One of the more recently built roadside attractions is the World's Largest Pistachio Nut in Alamogordo, NM. Built in 2009, this 30-foot-tall nut was dedicated to the owner of McGinn's Pistachio Tree Farm (aka PistachioLand), who, according to locals, was a big fan of roadside attractions. It's worth a detour. 960 1280

The Flippers, flickr  

The Shoe Tree (US 50 - Middlegate, NV)

The Shoe Tree (US 50 - Middlegate, NV)

Take a break from driving to see this cottonwood tree just off US 50 -- also known as the "loneliest road in America" -- in Middlegate, NV. Tourists and locals drape footwear on the branches of the Shoe Tree. 960 1280

LeeAnne Adams, flickr  

Enchanted Highway (Regent, ND, to Gladstone, ND)

Enchanted Highway (Regent, ND, to Gladstone, ND)

See local artist Gary Greff's collection of the world's largest scrap metal sculptures along the Enchanted Highway, a 32-mile stretch of road between Regent and Gladstone, ND. Some of the sculptures have picnic shelters where travelers can stop for lunch, or weary drivers can check in at Gary's motel in Regent, The Enchanted Castle. 960 1280

J24L, flickr  

Golden Driller (East 21 St. - Tulsa, OK)

Golden Driller (East 21 St. - Tulsa, OK)

Planning a road trip near or through Tulsa, OK? Check out the Golden Driller, a 76-foot-tall, 22-ton concrete and iron rendering of a man. The statue was erected in 1953 to celebrate Tulsa's good fortune as entrepreneurs rushed to capitalize on the growing number of oil fields in the area. Built to withstand a 200-mph tornado, this roadside attraction was declared Oklahoma's official state monument in 1979. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Dinosaur Park (940 Skyline Drive - Rapid City, SD)

Dinosaur Park (940 Skyline Drive - Rapid City, SD)

This isn't your regular Jurassic Park! Head to Dinosaur Park if you're traveling near Rapid City, SD. This 75-year-old outdoor park is full of dino statues that project a decidedly 1930s'-era understanding of these creatures. Dinosaur Park is located on Skyline Drive and is almost as popular an attraction as nearby Mount Rushmore. 960 1280

Paul Weimer, flickr  

The Beer Can House (222 Malone St. - Houston, TX)

The Beer Can House (222 Malone St. - Houston, TX)

In 1968, John Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer for the Southern Pacific Railroad covered his house with aluminum siding made entirely of 50,000 flattened beer cans, bottles and other beer paraphernalia. Locals and visitors can visit this artsy house located on 222 Malone Street in Houston, TX. 960 1280

  

Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park (Wisconsin 13 - Phillips, WI)

Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park (Wisconsin 13 - Phillips, WI)

In Phillips, WI, artist Fred Smith created more than 200 concrete sculptures, scattered across 3.5 acres of this 16-acre small-town park. After Fred's death in 1976, the Kohler Foundation spearheaded the park's restoration and turned over control of the park to Price County, to be used as a public art park. 960 1280

Steve Mays, flickr  

Foamhenge (South Lee Highway - Natural Bridge, Virginia)

Foamhenge (South Lee Highway - Natural Bridge, Virginia)

Travelers visiting the Natural Bridge in Virginia should also pay a visit to its neighbor, a full-size, Styrofoam replica of the UK's Stonehenge. In 2004, American artist and entertainer Mark Cline built Foamhenge on a hillside in the Shenandoah Valley. 960 1280

Alun Salt, flickr  

27 Photos
Twin Arrows Trading Post

Twin Arrows Trading Post

Bold twin arrows mark the exit for the Twin Arrows Trading Post gas station on Route 66. The 25-foot-tall arrows were restored in 2009 by a combined group of Hopi Indians and Route 66 enthusiasts. 960 1280

The Washington Post, Getty Images  

Gemini Giant

Gemini Giant

Gemini Giant stands at the Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington, IL. The Giant is one of the "Muffler Men" made by International Fiberglass. 960 1280

Johnny Haglund, Getty Images  

Polk-a-Dot Drive-In

Polk-a-Dot Drive-In

Just down the road in Braidwood, IL, is the Polk-a-Dot Drive-In, where you'll find statues of famous figures such as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Betty Boop. 960 1280

Mark Williamson, Getty Images  

Shea's Gas Station Museum

Shea's Gas Station Museum

Shea's Gas Station Museum in Springfield, IL has become a museum of gas station and automobile memorabilia. The owner, Bill Shea, spent his career in the gasoline business. He is now retired and runs the museum. 960 1280

Alan Copson, Getty Images  

Wagon Wheel Motel

Wagon Wheel Motel

The Wagon Wheel Motel, in Cuba, MO, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1935, the cafe and cabins have a long history. Now owned by Connie Echols, the motel was recently renovated being careful to preserve its unique features. 960 1280

Steve Lagreca, Shutterstock.com  

66 Drive-In Theater

66 Drive-In Theater

In Carthage, MO, you'll find the 66 Drive-In Theater. You get 2 movies for the price of 1. There is a concession stand, and consumers are encouraged to sit outside their cars (not on top!) to enjoy the film. 960 1280

Carol Highsmith, Buyenlarge, Getty Images  

Rainbow Curve Bridge

Rainbow Curve Bridge

The arched Rainbow Curve Bridge extends across Brush Creek on Route 66 outside Baxter Springs, KS. 960 1280

ROADSIDESTILLS By Cheryl, Getty Images  

Blue Whale in Catoosa

Blue Whale in Catoosa

The Blue Whale in Catoosa, OK, has an interesting history. Built by Hugh Davis as part of the waterpark on his property, he gave it to his wife Zelta on their anniversary. Their kids kept asking for something to jump off and this waterfront structure provided just the means. The whale and grounds were restored in 2002 and have become a major attraction on Route 66. 960 1280

Tim Bewer, Getty Images  

Giant Soda Bottle

Giant Soda Bottle

This large soda bottle stands 66 feet tall and weighs more than 4 tons. It towers over a futuristic building in Arcadia, OK, which is home to POPS restaurant, soda ranch and shake shop. 960 1280

Antoine Rouleau, Getty Images  

Braum's Milk Bottle

Braum's Milk Bottle

The Braum's Milk Bottle, in Oklahoma City, is taller than the building (a bakery) on which it stands. The bottle originally advertised for Townley Dairy. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. 960 1280

Bill Bachmann, Getty Images  

Myrtle, the Giant Kachina Doll

Myrtle, the Giant Kachina Doll

Meet Myrtle, a Kachina doll that stands outside the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma. 960 1280

Mark Williamson, Getty Images  

Tower Station and U-Drop Inn

Tower Station and U-Drop Inn

The recently restored Tower Station and U-Drop Inn were once a gas station and restaurant that served travelers in Shamrock, TX, on Route 66. Today it acts as the Chamber of Commerce and tourism office. This Art Deco masterpiece was built in 1936. 960 1280

Mike Copeland, Getty Images  

Leaning Water Tower of Britten

Leaning Water Tower of Britten

When driving in Groom, TX, you'll find the "Leaning Water Tower of Britten." It appears in the animations seen between visits on the PBS show Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations. 960 1280

Car Culture, Getty Images  

Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch

In 1974, Stanley Marsh 3 and San Francisco artists, who called themselves Ant Farm, created this Cadillac graveyard to baffle the locals in Amarillo, TX. The 10 cars are supposedly buried at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza. Over the years visitors have added their special touch to the cars. 960 1280

Education Images, Getty Images  

Tee Pee Curios

Tee Pee Curios

In Tucumcari, NM, is the Tee Pee Curios store. The concrete wigwam is fused onto a building where they sell souvenirs along Route 66. 960 1280

The Washington Post, Getty Images  

Blue Swallow Motel

Blue Swallow Motel

Across the street from Tee Pee Curios is the Blue Swallow Motel. It was bought by its current owners in early 2011 and is being renovated with the goal of keeping the historic aspects, such as the garages for cars. 960 1280

Brian Scantlebury, Getty Images  

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Few scenes match the splendor of Utah's Monument Valley. 960 1280

Ignacio Palacios  

Sitgreaves Pass

Sitgreaves Pass

Near Sitgreaves Pass, Route 66 cuts a winding path through Arizona. 960 1280

Alan Copson, Getty Images  

Wigwam Village Motel

Wigwam Village Motel

In the late 1930s, Chester E. Lewis had several motels on Route 66 and decided he wanted to add a wigwam village. An architect, Frank Redford, who patented the wigwam villages design, struck a deal that allowed Lewis to build one of his own in Holbrook, AZ. Today the Wigwam Village Motel #6 is one of the few such motels left. 960 1280

nik wheeler, Getty Images  

Jack Rabbit Trading Post

Jack Rabbit Trading Post

The Jack Rabbit Trading Post in Joseph City, AZ, cannot be missed with its famous "Here It Is" sign. The trading post sells Route 66 souvenirs along with Indian arts and crafts. There is also a wide selection of Jack Rabbit goodies. 960 1280

The Washington Post, Getty Images  

Museum Club

Museum Club

The Museum Club in Flagstaff, AZ is a bar with karaoke nights and live music. This large log cabin didn't start out as a bar. Built by taxidermist Dean Eldredge in 1931, "the Zoo" was a museum for him to show off his stuffed friends, Winchester rifles, Indian artifacts and more than 30,000 other items. 960 1280

Richard Cummins, Getty Images  

Dinosaurs at Rainbow Rock Shop

Dinosaurs at Rainbow Rock Shop

There are several large dinosaurs to greet you at the Rainbow Rock Shop in Holbrook, Arizona. The theme relates to the fact than many dinosaur bone finds have occurred in the area. 960 1280

The Washington Post, Getty Images  

El Rancho Motor Hotel

El Rancho Motor Hotel

The historic El Rancho Motor Hotel in Barstow, California, Barstow is a major attraction for Route 66 tourists in California 960 1280

Mark Williamson, Getty Images  

Giant Rocking Chair

Giant Rocking Chair

This 46-foot-tall wood and steel rocking chair stands outside of the Fanning US 66 Outpost & General Store in Cuba, MO. It was the creation of the store's owner Dan Sanazaro as a way to attract more business. 960 1280

Gim42, Getty Images  

Flat Stretch

Flat Stretch

This flat, sweeping stretch of old Route 66 is near Amboy, CA. 960 1280

DAVID H. CARRIERE, Getty Images  

Abandoned Motel

Abandoned Motel

An abandoned motel sign along Route 66 in California gives a haunted air to this stretch of Mojave Desert highway. 960 1280

Westend61, Getty Images  

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

Near the western end of Route 66 is the neon sign marking the Santa Monica Pier in California. 960 1280

Car Culture, Inc.; Getty Images  

9 Photos
Carhenge

Carhenge

Carhenge, a replica of England's Stonehenge, features 39 vintage American cars planted in the ground or stacked upon each other and positioned in a circle. It's located near the city of Alliance, Nebraska. 960 1280

Pawel Toczynski, Getty Images  

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch

More than 50,000 visitors head to the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch in Arizona each year to see over 1,600 ostriches. 960 1280

Ken Ross, Getty Images  

Ostrich Ranch Petting Zoo

Ostrich Ranch Petting Zoo

Inside the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch is an exotic petting zoo. 960 1280

StompingGirl, Shutterstock.com  

Mitchell Corn Palace

Mitchell Corn Palace

Mitchell Corn Palace, the world's only palace built out of corn, has stood in South Dakota since 1921. 960 1280

Roger Holden, Getty Images  

World's Largest Catsup Bottle

World's Largest Catsup Bottle

The World's Largest "Catsup Bottle," can be found in Collinsville, Illinois. This towering 170-foot water tower, shaped as a bottle of catsup, has been in Illinois since 1949. 960 1280

Denise Panyik-Dale, Getty Images  

Jolly Green Giant

Jolly Green Giant

Minnesota boasts a 55-foot fiberglass mega-statue of the Jolly Green Giant himself. 960 1280

William Koplitz, Getty Images  

World's Biggest Ball of Twine

World's Biggest Ball of Twine

Two places are famous for giant balls of twine. Cawker City, Kansas, boasts the largest overall, while Darwin, Minnesota has the largest ball of twine rolled by one man. 960 1280

KAdams66, Getty Images  

WonderWorks

WonderWorks

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, has an abundance of roadside attractions such as the Titanic museum, the Dixie Stampede dinner theater, and the upside-down WonderWorks interactive adventure center. 960 1280

George Rose, Getty Images  

Mermaid Cabaret

Mermaid Cabaret

Weeki Wachee, Florida, is home to the world's only underwater mermaid cabaret. Since 1947, young women have performed in this underwater theater built into the springs. 960 1280

Olivier Martel, Getty Images  

Video: Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a must-see during a cross-country road trip.

Know-How, Tips and Tricks

Morning in Valley of Fire in Nevada
Camping With Dogs

Camping With Dogs

Not all state and National Parks campgrounds allow dogs but many do. It's not covered in standard park admission, but, for an additional fee, you can pitch a tent and cuddle up with your best furry friend. 960 1280

  

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

This is one of the few National Monuments that allow dogs to backcountry camp with you. For just $3, Max and I snuggled in our tent and watched the sunset. 960 1280

Alison Turner  

Tahoe National Forest, California

Tahoe National Forest, California

The William Kent Campground ($28 per night) in Tahoe National Forest is a great camping spot for dogs. After a long day of traveling, Max and I took a hammock break to swing between the trees. 960 1280

Alison Turner  

Death Valley National Park, California

Death Valley National Park, California

Death Valley is a magical place. It's even more magical since camping with your dog is free at the Wildrose Campground. 960 1280

  

California Coast

California Coast

Kirk Creek campsite in Big Sur is situated over a bluff. Camping along the California coast is pricey (around $35) but the views are worth it. Max checked out the view here from the pop top. 960 1280

  

Hot Springs in California

Hot Springs in California

Along Highway 395 in Northern California, you can find many hot springs that are free and open to the public. The hunt to find them is worth the reward of lounging in the natural hot tub. 960 1280

  

The Wave, Arizona

The Wave, Arizona

Some parks and attractions are so popular they offer camping permits through a lottery system. Max and I went to the ranger station early one morning at The Wave and were lucky enough to win one of 10 permits given out that day. Dogs are welcome at The Wave with an additional fee. The three-mile hike each way was completely worth taking the chance on the lottery. 960 1280

  

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

For a $10 entrance fee and $20 camping fee, we got to wake up with this sunrise at the Valley of Fire. Max prefered watching comfortably inside of the pop top while I got a better view outside perched up on a red rock. 960 1280

Alison Turner  

Alvord Dessert, Oregon

Alvord Dessert, Oregon

Max loves wide open spaces with sand. When we're traveling, I will seek out these types of places so he can run around and I don’t have to worry about coyotes or cars. This was the case here at the Alvord Desert in Southeast Oregon. Even better: It's free to camp with a dog. 960 1280

  

Jasper National Park, Canada

Jasper National Park, Canada

I have a life jacket in the van at all times for Max in case we are able to rent a boat or go swimming. At Honeymoon Lake, you can rent canoes and your dog can ride with you. For $15.70 plus entrance fee, it's worth it. Life jackets for humans are provided for free. Jackets for dogs are not mandatory but it's always a good idea for your pup, espesially if they're not a good swimmer. 960 1280

  

GripTight GorillaPod
AAA Emergency Kit

AAA Emergency Kit

First-aid kit? Check. LED flashlight? Check. Booster cables? Check. Emergency poncho? Check. No matter what comes your way on your next road trips, you can rest assured you’ll be prepared with this AAA Emergency Roadside Safety Kit. 960 1280

The Home Depot  

Byer Traveller Light Hammock

Byer Traveller Light Hammock

After hours of driving, take a break in this lightweight travel hammock. It’s quick to hang after a long day on the road and packs down into a small pouch for easy storage. The only problem will be regulating the hammock hog on your trip. 960 1280

Byer of Maine  

Tablet Headrest Mount

Tablet Headrest Mount

There won’t be a peep from the backseat with this tablet headrest mount. It adjusts to fit any size tablet and is compatible with nearly all headrests. The kids (or adults) in the back won’t be asking “are we there yet?” because they’ll be too absorbed in their movie or game. 960 1280

Arkon Resources, Inc.  

RV GPS

RV GPS

While we’re fans of taking a detour, especially a scenic one, this RV GPS makes it impossible to get lost … unless you want to. Specially designed for the RV lifestyle, features include lifetime updates to maps, along with traffic and customized scenic routes. It also includes an America’s RV Parks and Services directory so it’s easy to find campgrounds that are have on-site laundry, allow pets and more. 960 1280

Garmin International  

Bobble Water Bottles

Bobble Water Bottles

Stay hydrated on the road with BPA-free Bobble Bottles that filter out impurities on the go, so you can fill up at the campground or rest stop water fountain worry-free. And with so many color options, no one will get their bottle mixed up in the car. 960 1280

Move Collective LLC  

GripTight GorillaPod

GripTight GorillaPod

Roadside photo-ops will be a breeze with this handy GripTight GorillaPod . This flexible tripod grips to any surface -- from a tree to a fence -- and has a reliable rubber grip that secures a smartphone. Perfect for road trips, it can double as a GPS stand -- gripping around your rearview mirror for hands-free driving. 960 1280

JOBY  

BioLite Campstove and Charger

BioLite Campstove and Charger

This eco-friendly BioLite Campstove is pure genius. It doesn’t need fuel, and the heat created from burning just a handful of kindling converts into usable electricity that can be used to recharge your gadgets. Cook dinner, charge your phone and feel good about your carbon footprint -- what more could you ask for? 960 1280

BioLite  

The Beats Pill Speaker

The Beats Pill Speaker

No matter where the road takes you this summer, you’ll want to bring your tunes. The Beats Pill is a lightweight, portable speaker that’s wireless and Bluetooth enabled. Its compact size means you can bring the party with you, no matter how little space you have in the car. 960 1280

Beats by Dr. Dre  

Fire Starter

Fire Starter

Building a fire just got a lot easier with this handy fire starter that produces sparks in any weather or altitude. It has an ergonomic thumb guard for comfort and an attached emergency whistle, in case you need to call for help. 960 1280

REI  

Video: Road Tripping with Your Pet

Make road tripping with pets simple and enjoyable with these tips.

Not the Family Car

Enjoying the Sunset at Factory Buttes of Utah
Take Advantage of Public Lands

Take Advantage of Public Lands

My dog Max and I stumbled across a huge amount of public lands in Utah near Coral Reef National Park. Here we are enjoying the sunset on top of Campy, our camper van, in the Factory Buttes. 960 1280

Alison Turner  

Take Time to Unwind

Take Time to Unwind

Besides coffee in the morning, one of my favorite moments on the road is at the end of each day when I stop driving and Max and I unwind at camp. Sometimes I just recline on the hood and watch the sunset. Max prefers the comfort of the pop top. 960 1280

  

Use the Van for Photos

Use the Van for Photos

I like to use the van as a tripod or frame for photos. I always try to find a unique angle. Here’s the famous highway heading into Monument Valley with Campy’s passenger window framing the landscape. 960 1280

  

Get Away From Light Pollution

Get Away From Light Pollution

For $10 a night, you can camp on the edge in Gooseneck State Park in Utah. The skies are so clear at night and not a city light in sight. Max and I had the park all to ourselves this visit. 960 1280

  

It's Not a Pretty Instagram All the Time

It's Not a Pretty Instagram All the Time

Traveling by van isn’t always glamourous. There are times where you get messy, dirty and completely exhausted. I try to save money where I can and the parking lot at Walmart is one of those places. Here’s Max and I relaxing in Campy in a Walmart parking lot overnight for free. It’s a good way to regroup for the next leg of the adventure. 960 1280

Alison Turner  

Be Spontaneous

Be Spontaneous

Often times, I don’t plan on where I will end up for the night...sometimes for good reason. I took a chance here off the road at Dirty Devil Camp near Lake Powell. It was dark when I settled in for the night and what a view it was to wake up to! 960 1280

Alison Turner  

But Keep Some Structure

But Keep Some Structure

Max and I have a daily routine on the road. We get up and take care of business, then it’s coffee and writing time before breakfast. Then more walking afterward. After our walk, we decide on the direction the day will take us. Here we are in the coffee stage of the morning. 960 1280

Alison Turner  

Relax in Hot Springs

Relax in Hot Springs

Hot springs are great way to relax after driving for hours. There are many in Northern California and some National Parks have hot springs open to the public. Or if you drive about thirty minutes on an unpaved road near the Alvord Desert in Oregon, you’ll come across this secret hot springs. Max and I had it to ourselves for the time we were there. 960 1280

  

Pull Off From Time to Time

Pull Off From Time to Time

It’s always a good idea to slow down and notice the little things. There is so much beauty around if you stop and look. Here, Max and I are soaking up the sunny California coast.  960 1280

Alison Turner  

Plan Routes With Free Camping

Plan Routes With Free Camping

If you're traveling to National Parks, research free camp areas nearby. You may not find anything inside the park but usually there's something close by. Here we are taking a moment to soak in the silence and watch the sun at Joshua Tree Lake RV and Campground near Joshua Tree National Park. The campground offers free camping all along the dry bed lake. 960 1280

Alison Turner  

Road to Hana, Hawaii

Road to Hana, Hawaii

Hailed as one of the last unspoiled frontiers of Hawaii, Maui’s Road to Hana is a 52-mile highway filled with 620 curves, 59 bridges and too many stunning ocean views to count. The drive takes about three hours; you’ll want to leave more time to stop along the way to taste the local seafood. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Outer Banks Highway, North Carolina

Outer Banks Highway, North Carolina

A drive on Outer Banks National Scenic Byway is the perfect way to see the natural beauty of North Carolina’s coastline. Water is everywhere, with the Atlantic on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other. You’ll feel the invigorating ocean breeze as you take in the beautiful dunes, beaches, lighthouses and wildlife, making this the perfect spring or summer drive. 960 1280

Aaron Tuell photo | courtesy Outer Banks Visitors Bureau   

Sonoma Valley, California

Sonoma Valley, California

While we aren’t condoning the shenanigans that happened in the iconic male bonding/wine tasting (more like guzzling) road-trip movie "Sideways," we did like their choice of car for the drive through California's Wine Country -- a Mustang convertible! With hundreds of wineries spread across three counties, there’s no shortage of places to stop and sample the goods along the way; we suggest keeping safety in mind and staying the night after a day of wine tasting. 960 1280

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