United States Tourist Attractions for Your Next Road Trip
It's not that difficult to find a list of United States tourist
attractions. But which ones make the best road trip destinations?
You have to take a few things into consideration. On the one hand,
you may want a spot you can get to easily - perhaps even one that's on
your way to somewhere else. In that case, you'll give priority to
attractions that are right off an interstate highway.
On the other hand, you may feel that the journey can be as enjoyable
as the destination, and therefore prefer a more scenic spot far from
Hey, we're not going to judge you either way. Our point is, you should put as much thought into the journey as the destination.
OK, enough soapbox. Here are our thoughts on the United States
tourist attractions that make the best road trip destinations, and why:
- St. Louis Gateway Arch:
If you're driving across the Midwest and want to see something special,
check out the St. Louis Arch.
Did you know that the surrounding park is
actually called the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial? Well, now
This is a good stop for families with school-aged kids because
it's educational but not boring. Bribe the kids with a trip up the Arch -
the view from the top is extraordinary.
And the Arch is easy to reach.
Interstates 44, 55, 64, and 70 all run nearby.
- Las Vegas: Not a gambler? Doesn't matter. Everyone should
drive through Vegas at least once. Try to time your trip so you're
driving through Vegas at night.
The lights are spectacular beyond
description. And Vegas is a good place to find cheap motel rooms and cheap eats.
You can get to Las Vegas easily on Interstate 15.
- Kayenta, Arizona:
You've probably never heard of Kayenta. And truth be told, there's not
much to see in this remote town - except, of course, for the Navajo Code
Talkers Exhibit at Burger King.
But depending on how you approach
Kayenta, your drive should provide you with plenty of photo
opportunities in northern Arizona and southern Utah.
Kayenta is also a
good place to crash if you're planning to see the Four Corners National Monument, Monument Valley, and perhaps even the Grand Canyon (though the latter destination is about a three-hour drive).
- Utah State Parks:
Utah's red rock country is gorgeous. Its state parks are worth a stop,
whether you have one day or two weeks to spare.
This is one United
States tourist attraction where you'll want to bring comfortable hiking
shoes and the largest memory card your camera will take.
- California Redwood Country: Everyone talks about San
Francisco and Wine Country. Not many rave about redwood country - but
Here's how to find it: get on Highway 101 north of San
Francisco, and just keep driving towards the Oregon border. Pass Santa
Rosa. When you start hitting towns like Ukiah and Willits, you'll be in
the thick of these glorious trees.
Hiking opportunities abound. The
small towns up this way are cute and charming (they're too far from San
Francisco to ever become bedroom communities).
- Mackinac Island, Michigan: Some years ago, I stood at the
highest point of Mackinac Island and looked down towards the bay. It
was early October, and the world was ablaze with orange. I will never
forget that sight.
As you may have guessed, you can't actually drive to
Mackinac itself - you need to take a ferry on Lake Huron. But the drive
to the area will be spectacular if you go in the fall (and is even quite
pleasant in the summer).
If you're coming from Wisconsin over the Upper
Peninsula, U.S. Route 2 is a delightfully lonely road. If you're coming
through lower Michigan, you'll enjoy Interstate 75 once it hits the
There are, of course, many other United States tourist attractions
that make good road trip destinations. We'll continue to explore them
and keep you posted on what we find!