I know, the first thing that probably pops into your head when you hear “road trip” is the disastrous trip of the Griswald family in “Vacation”. That was pretty funny, but thank heavens I’ve never had a road trip like that.
The only way to see this beautiful country is by driving through it. This country is magnificent. The dictionary defines magnificent as impressively beautiful, splendid, spectacular, impressive, glorious, inspiring, breathtaking, awesome, majestic…well you get the meaning. The sights I’ve seen can be described by every one of those words, and then some.
First, determine the amount of time you have. With today’s technology, planning a road trip, and mapping out a route is the easiest thing to do. You need to plan how long you are willing to drive in a day, where you want to stop for the night, and what you want to see while you’re there. Then let your computer plan your route. MapQuest is a good tool for planning the trip.
So now the tough decisions are what to see and do. I’ll tell you about some of the places I’ve been. Let’s start with Colorado because that’s where I live. You have the majestic mountains all throughout the state, Rocky Mountain National Park, The Great Sand Dunes National Park, you can drive to the top of Pikes Peak where the views are breathtaking, or you ride the incline if you don’t want to drive, there are hot springs to rest your body and soul, and plenty of National Forest to just camp. Most National Parks offer camping also. If you’ve never driven up the California coastline, you are missing out on the most spectacular views you’ll ever see, and who doesn’t love the ocean? You’ve got to see the Redwood Forest in northern California. The giant trees can be found nowhere else in the U.S. To just say giant trees does not do them justice. To see a picture of them is not enough. You must see them in person. They are awe-inspiring. There are absolutely no words to describe Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. I can only say, GO SEE IT. I’ve climbed up the side of a volcano in Oregon at Volcano National Monument. My absolute favorite, Yellowstone National Park which borders Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. Gives you an idea of just how big it is. There is nowhere on this earth as dramatic as Yellowstone. You take a walk though all the geysers and each one is made up of all different colors. And let’s not forget Old Faithful. It is truly amazing to watch Old Faithful go off at exactly the same time, each time. Nowhere else can you see buffalo and other animals roaming down the streets. It is nature at its most stunning and again, pictures won’t do, you need to see it to experience the majesty. I have climbed a snow-covered glacier in the middle of the summer wearing shorts at Glacier National Park in Montana. I’ve toured the civil war battlefields in the south and the sponge diving in Florida. Not to mention Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studies, etc. Take a ride on a whaling boat in Mystic, Connecticut and take the ferry across to Long Island. (Yes you take your car or RV right on the ferry). Take in the beauty and majesty of Niagara Falls in upper state New York. Washington, DC, our nations capital has so many things to offer, but the most impressive is the Smithsonian Museums, and they are free to get in, as are most of the attractions and monuments in Washington, DC. There are so many other places to see.
So pack your bags, pack a tent, rent an RV, but don’t make plane reservations. You’ll miss too much by flying, and there is so much more in between all the places I mentioned that you don’t get to see when you fly. I hope I’ve inspired you to take a road trip. America truly is beautiful, from sea to shining sea.
I would love to hear from you about places you’ve been because I would still like to see it all. Comment below so I’ll know where to plan my next vacation.
Hope to see you on the road.