Some argue that “Song of the Open Road” by Walt Whitman gave birth to the Great American Road Trip. The experience of traveling the country by car or in a luxury motor home is one shared by many, and well documented in everything from literature to film. If you’re tempted to road trip this summer, we have some recommendations for your dream escape.
Columbia River Scenic Highway, Oregon
Unlike most highways, this nearly century-old route’s purpose was purely for scenery, and it truly delivers big time. The landscape is breathtaking! Travelers will enjoy waterfalls and mountain views during this 75-mile winding ride. The route runs from The Dalles to just east of Portland, while taking in the sights of the Columbia Gorge. To learn more visit traveloregon.com .
Route 66, Illinois to California
Easily the best known route in the United States, American culture has memorialized Route 66 in everything from music to literature to film. From the Grapes of Wrath to pop music to the early days of television, the Mother Road and the American psyche are linked. While interstates have swallowed up much of the Midwest-to-Pacific route, many places still preserve the original two-lane highway. Visit historic66.com to plan your trip.
Great River Road, Minnesota to Louisiana
Mark Twain fan? There’s no better way to appreciate the power of the mighty Mississippi River than driving its length from north to south. To learn how to break up your trip and to plan your road trip, check out experiencemississippiriver.com.
Overseas Highway, Miami to Key West, Florida
“Driving this 120-mile route connecting the Florida Keys with bridges and causeways is like piloting a hovercraft across the ocean“, says Jamie Jensen, author of Road Trip USA. Originally developed for the Florida East Coast Railway, a hurricane wiped out the route in 1935 and converted to a highway. “It’s you and the water half the time. You feel like you’re floating. It’s a wonderful sensory experience.” Although you can drive the highway in just a few hours, take your time to stop at seafood dives and tourist traps along the way. Learn more about this unique route at fla-keys.com.
Texas Hill Country
Texas is a massive state with lots of varied terrain. The Hill Country region, in the central part of the Lone Star State, provides the Texas the world knows from the movies, with deep canyons and swift rivers as well as undulating sagebrush plains. Visit Traveltex.com to decide which quaint towns you’d like to stop in during your dream escape road trip.