The good old US of A is full of all sorts of people and places; it is a beautiful thing. Cultures are so different in parts of the country that you might think it is a whole ‘nother world…and the best way to explore? Still by car. The all-American road trip is an ideal that has been around since, well, pretty much since people could drive. But where should you go? So many places, it is almost impossible to narrow it down. Here is a list of ten of our favorites to get you started:
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor might be the most adorable city in the US. I said it. Not only that, but there is great shopping and dining—can you say fresh seafood? Work on that New England accent, or drive to nearby Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park to watch the first place the sun rises in the US (October through March, at least. But it is gorgeous year round. Trust me.)
Pacific Coast Highway, California
Try not to run off the road looking at all the beauty on this highway. You get a little bit of everything: vineyards, coastal cliffs, forests…this highway offers some of the best driving scenery you can get, you’ll have to see it to believe it.
You know what they say, get your kicks. How would an All-American Road Trip be legitimate without the quintessential road trip highway? Lined by old mom and pop diners, tacky hotels, run down gas stations, and just about anything else old fashioned and endearing you can think of, Route 66 is definitely the way to go if you are trying to travel somewhere that it can reach.
Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, TN
Country music may not be your favorite genre, but the Hall of Fame is an experience to behold. Full of everything country from the music itself to oral histories, the culture of country music really comes alive.
City Market, Charleston SC
Situated in the center of a very unique city, this authentic market is a great place to pick up hand woven baskets and other unusual items. One unique item of which is called a Palmetto Rose, which is a rose woven from dried palmettos.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Do I really need to explain this? New Orleans is one of those places that you just don’t understand until you’ve gone. The bright culture and wacky happenings are sure to blow your mind. Eat some spicy Cajun food and get into some trouble you won’t remember the next day at a funky jazz club.
Mt. Evans, Colorado
Alright, I’m selling out here a little bit because I would hardly ever suggest driving up a mountain rather than climbing it. But in this exception, Mt. Evans in Colorado is the highest paved road in North America. And boy, is it beautiful. Check out the adorable old mining towns of Georgetown and Idaho Springs nearby while you’re at it.
The Spaceneedle, Seattle WA
There are a lot of structures built for height that tourists spend a lot of money on to view an entire city. The Spaceneedle is just…unique, though. Maybe it’s because it actually looks like a needle? Or maybe because it looks hip and a little strange, just like the rest of Seattle. If you’re feeling really fancy, check out the restaurant at the top.
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is a city you want to walk around in. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous, but also the people there are extremely nice, artsy, and unique. The atmosphere of the town is eclectic and healthy, and you are certain to leave with a big ole smile on your face.
Millennium Park, Chicago, IL
An awesome road trip needs some awesome pictures, right? And where better to get your silly face on than at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, better known as “The Bean”—a mirror sculpture designed by Anish Kapoor constructed between 2004 and 2006.