The click of the seat belt, the hum of the motor and maybe some classic road trip songs playing in the background.
Yep, it’s road trip time and there’s nothing better than jumping in the RV and heading out for what is sure to be an epic adventure. But where to go? And what to do?
Experience a piece of road trip history and consider one of these great stretches of highway for your next road trip. From sea to shining sea, there is something for everyone on this list.
Here’s where to go the next time you feel like taking the truly scenic route in your RV across America.
If there’s one road that tells the story of America its Historic Route 66. Since 1926 people have traveled down this iconic stretch of highway that runs from Illinois to California. Sometimes called the Main Street of America, there are 2,451 miles to enjoy as you pass through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
Route 66 served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The road supported many economies of the communities it passed through and while many have fought to keep the historic route alive, it was officially removed from the U.S. Highway System in 1985 after being replaced by segments of the Interstate Highway System. Portions of the road have been designated “Historic Route 66” and it’s still a must-drive road trip for the enthusiast.
Located in southwestern Utah, Scenic Byway 12 is nestled between two national parks—Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon.
A 121-mile-long All American Road, Scenic Byway 12 winds and climbs and twists and turns and descends as it snakes its way through memorable landscapes, ranging from the remains of ancient sea beds to one of the world’s highest alpine forests, and from astonishing pink and russet stone turrets to open sagebrush flats.
The Creole Nature Trail is filled with prairie grasslands and miles of freshwater, brackish, and saltwater wetlands rich in marsh grasses, crustaceans, and small fish, making it a key stopover for birds passing through the Central and Mississippi flyways. In fact, this area boasts more than 5 million migratory waterfowl and 400 species of birds, making it one of the top birding spots in the country.
While visitors will see birds and the occasional alligator along the road, the best way to explore the Creole Nature Trail is to hike refuge trails and walkways.
Not for the faint of heart, I-90 spans from sea to shining sea. From Boston to Seattle, this 3,024-mile highway travels through 13 states and features niche attractions like the Jell-O Gallery Museum in Le Roy, New York, the birthplace of Superman in Cleveland, and the RV/MH Museum and Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana. Some larger attractions not far from I-90 include Mount Rushmore, Niagara Falls, and national parks including Yellowstone and the Badlands.
The Colonial Parkway not only illustrates the English colonial experience in America, but is also an outstanding example of American parkway design. Retaining its original scenic and historic integrity to a remarkable degree, the 23-mile route connects the historic sites of Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown.
Attempt this 482-mile drive (366 miles in Utah; 116 miles in Colorado) in a single day or two and you’ll miss the point. This landscape took thousands of years to create; you’ll never appreciate it at 65 miles per hour. Instead, take a week or more, stopping to walk through the numerous parks, preserves, monuments, and unnamed places whose beauty defies categorization
Take your time and savor the sights—and along much of the route…the silence.
Throughout its length, the California Gold Rush Trail winds through many of the towns that sprung up during the Gold Rush as it twists and climbs past panoramic vistas. Rocky meadows, oaks, and white pines accent the hills while tall firs, ponderosa pine, and redwoods stud higher slopes. Dozens of lakes, rivers, and streams compliment the stunning background of rolling hills.
Many old mining towns along the Trail retain their early architecture and charm—living reminders of the rich history of the Mother Lode. Placerville, Amador City, Sutter Creek, Jackson, Mokelumne Hill (Moke Hill), San Andreas, Angels Camp, and Murphys all retain their 1850’s flavor.
The attraction of recreational vehicle travel is to see the country, visit new places, meet interesting people, and experience the freedom of the open road.