It doesn’t take Joe Average long to do his road trip planning. He looks at a map and chooses the interstates that promise to get him there the fastest. He arrives on time having experienced nothing except miles of pavement, toll booths, and the odd truck stop. Punctuality score: 10. Enjoyment: 0.
You aren’t like Joe. You know the best parts of a journey are:
a) the planning,
b) the scenery, and
c) the experiences and discoveries along the way.
In other words, the best part of a road trip IS the road trip. So how do you find these secret scenic drives that the maps don’t show you? Well, you could just take a chance. Take the road less traveled, the secondary highway instead of the busier, more direct route. You may luck out and find one of the best road trips ever. Or you may end up in first gear inching along through a construction zone, something else the map didn’t show you. There’s a better way.
Tips from a Road Trip-Aholic
I’ve been a scenic drive junkie since the day I got my license. I’ve rubber-necked my way across some of the most startlingly beautiful and little-known road trips in the US – national treasures that people in a rush never get to see.
I go about planning my road trips in a way that leaves lots of room for happenstance: those nice little surprises and spectacular vistas that sneak up on you and leave you pleasantly awestruck. Whether you’re craving beauty, excitement or activities for you and the kids, planning it all out is an exciting part of the journey.
Finding Scenic Drives
If you love to get behind the wheel because it gets you closer to nature, you’re living in the right country. The US has some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, much of it located in our national and state parks which are all accessible by road.
If you prefer the road less traveled (and the one with shorter lines), choose an alternate park entrance from the main one or take a scenic drive within the park. Camper Hire UK The park offices have maps that can guide you to remote lakes, mountains, trails and viewpoints. And, don’t overlook the fact that the people who know the most about a park’s hidden treasures are the friendly park rangers who know every nook and cranny of the park… better than any map, guide book, or occasional visitor could. With a little “insider information” you could lead your family to a little known picture perfect waterfall picnic area or to a pasture loaded with wild peacocks! If you time it right, you could find yourself pulling up next to a herd of wild mustangs or buffalo; or if you time it wrong, a swamp full of crocodiles.
Planning for Thrills
The best road trips for adrenalin junkies usually have some combination of curves, hills, valleys, rivers, lakes or waterfalls, and precarious coastal roadways. To make your travel plans, you could spend many happy hours pouring over maps. Google Maps show the topography of about any area in the US and can point you to mountains and valleys as well as satellite views that indicate features like lakes, rivers, and forests. Or you could just visit a website that have already mapped out and tested roads by other enthusiasts.
Find Popular Attractions
Sure, you’re taking a road trip for the serenity of a scenic drive not for the cheesy roadside attractions and amusement parks, right? But wouldn’t it be handy to know where the best BBQ can be found? Or a great antique store? Or the location of that outdoor bluegrass festival?
One of the best sources for that kind of information is your local classic car club. When they aren’t tinkering under the hood, they’re riding the open road, and meeting up with other drivers who know the best roads and routes… and you can bet they don’t take the freeway! Or you could ask anyone who drives a big cruising motorcycle where they’ve been lately. You’ll likely get a year’s worth of great travel plans for the best road trips anywhere in America.
Bill Belei is a seasoned road trip enthusiast and the founder of BestRoadTripPlanner.com, an information sharing site where members report on their favorite road trip adventures. You’ll find honest, unbiased travel plans, maps and photos of scenic drives, attractions, urban highlights, points of interest, and even warnings on where not to go. Use BestRoadTripPlanner.com as your next road trip planner [http://www.bestroadtripplanner.com] or to share your latest adventure. You can earn points for your best trips and may win a prize!