Discover the best road trip destinations across the US, from Portland’s dog parks to Amish Country’s farms. Plan your next adventure with this list.
The following is a guest post from my bloggy friend Megan Isola. Interested in having a guest post on my website? Click here for my guest post submission form.
Best Road Trip Destinations in the United States
An adventurous road trip allows you to discover hidden gems around the country. Whether you have an end destination in mind or haven’t yet planned your route, you can find new and exciting things to do in every city. Whether you’re traveling with friends or family, you might wonder how to map your route by finding the best cities and destinations around the country. That’s where we come in. Here’s our list of the top road trip destinations to help you have a relaxing yet fun-filled adventure.
Oregon has eclectic neighborhoods, delicious food, and large parks for hiking. Portland has an emerging brewery scene that makes it one of the best budget-friendly options for a bachelor party. It’s also one of the best road trip destinations if you’re traveling with your dog because there are plenty of off-leash areas to take them around the state. Of course, if you plan to take a road trip with your dog, you should make preparations since they’ll need frequent potty breaks. You should also invest in a dog seat belt for their safety and yours to prevent them from climbing on your lap while trying to drive.
Still, if you want to take your dog on an adventure, Portland is the place to go. Portland has many pet-friendly hotels, and many restaurants allow pets on the patios as long as they’re on leashes. In addition, you can find fenced off-leash dog parks around the city of Portland, including the dog park at Fields Park.
Virginia to North Carolina
Blue Ridge Parkway is another road trip destination to remember. It connects the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, allowing you to drive south the entire time for a beautiful, scenic adventure you won’t soon forget. The span of the parkway covers everything from fog to waterfalls and wild animals like turkeys. Traveling during the fall, you’ll see beautiful reds and yellows as the leaves change.
Minnesota is a beautiful place year-round, but one city that stands out is Faribault, a historic city that existed long before statehood. It has the second-largest historic district in the state and is home to unique businesses that are hundreds of years old. For example, when visiting Faribault, you can see the Faribault Woolen Mill, founded in the 1800s, is known for providing woolen blankets to comfort soldiers in both world wars.
In addition, the iconic ride, the Tilt-a-Whirl, was created in this city. It was invented and manufactured in this quaint town decades ago. In addition to the history of the city, you can see a beautiful downtown packed with unique shops where you can buy one-of-a-kind souvenirs for your loved ones.
The Quad Cities is a metropolitan area between Minneapolis and St. Louis comprised of several riverfront cities, including Rock Island in Illinois and Davenport in Iowa. One of the best reasons to visit the Quad Cities is to see the Great River Road Scenic byway, which travels east and west of the Mississippi River. This area is also home to museums and tourist attractions along Highways 61 and 67, giving you tons of activities to do on your travels.
Oak Park, Illinois
When most people think of Illinois, they think of the bustling city of Chicago. However, you don’t want to be stuck in traffic for hours when you’re going on a road trip. Instead, consider driving through Oak Park, located a few miles outside the city. Oak Park is home to quaint hotels and eclectic dining with a historical vibe. This city is also home to the largest collection of architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright and Earnest Hemingway’s birthplace. If you’re a fan of literature, you can check out his residence, which has been preserved over the years. Here you’ll find antique furniture and exotic flowers.
In addition to visiting historical places, you can stop at the shops to find handmade gifts made by artisans worldwide. These shops offer home decor, handmade jewelry, books, and more.
Ohio is another surprising place where you can find exciting things to do while road-tripping across the US. Here, you’ll find beautiful autumn leaves and lush forests. In addition, Logan, Ohio, is home to off-road Segway tours. However, if you prefer to look at the stars, you can also visit the John Glenn Astronomy Park to see stars and planets visible here since Logan has minimal light pollution.
If you’re interested in how other people live, consider driving through Bird-in-Hand, PA, a few hours away from Baltimore. Bird-in-Hand is like stepping into an alternate universe for many of us because it’s located in the middle of Amish Country. Here, you’ll find shopping opportunities where you can buy products made by the Amish and take a balloon ride over beautiful farms.
Bird-in-Hand also has tons of great food to offer with a Pennsylvania Dutch food buffet at the local restaurant so you can try Amish-style food from real farmers. In addition, you can visit these farms and enjoy hay rides.
Bristol, Rhode Island
Bristol is a small town located a few dozen miles from Providence and an hour from Boston. It’s a historic New England town that’s been well-preserved over the years and contains several shops, buildings, and mansions that tell the history of the town since it was founded in the 1600s. Bristol is a waterfront vacation town with classic foliage where visitors can enjoy parks, boating, picnics, and historical sites.
Map Your Route
While you may want to be spontaneous on your next road trip, you should always research the cities and towns where you want to stop. Of course, while you may want to see major cities across the country, several quaint towns offer one-of-a-kind souvenirs and experiences. So, when mapping your route, look beyond major cities and find towns that allow you to enjoy your road trip instead of sitting in traffic.
About the Author Megan Isola
Megan Isola holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and a minor in Business Marketing from Cal State University Chico. She enjoys going to concerts, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with friends.