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Vagabond Journey

4 Top Road Trips to Add to Your Bucketlist

The best way to travel the USA.

What’s more American than putting the kids in the family car and taking a road trip? Road trips and families have been a thing since cars were first invented. So has “Are we there yet?” but that’s another story.

Of course, before you run out the door and hop in the car, automotive blogger Alex Perdikis recommends having a mechanic give the car the once over to make sure it’s up to the challenge.

While you’re waiting for the mechanic’s go-ahead, take a look at some of the finest road trips America has to offer.

Columbia River Scenic Highway

If it’s scenery you’re looking for, Oregon’s Columbia River Scenic Highway is the place. The highway was built nearly a century ago, not for getting somewhere fast, but for taking in breathtaking scenery.

The highway runs 75 miles from The Dalles to Troutdale east of Portland. Passengers and driver, thanks to multiple pull-off points, are treated to sights along the Columbia Gorge that include mountain views and spectacular waterfalls.

The Mount Hood Scenic Loop branches off the main route and offers additional scenic points as well as the Timberline Lodge, a ski resort built in the 1930s, which served as a location for the iconic film, “The Shining.”

The Great River Road

For a longer road trip, drive the length of the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana on the Great River Road. There’s so much to see along the 3,000 mile 10-state trip where the scenery changes from rich, tree-lined hill country in the upper Midwest to sultry Delta.
Numerous interpretive centers, historical sites, scenic overlooks and accommodations line the route to provide enchantment as well as comfort. There’s really too much to see in one road-trip so choosing choice destinations and planning ahead is recommended.

Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway

A short two hours west of Washington D.C., the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway of Virginia and North Carolina begins. The scenic drive begins in Shenandoah National Park. Visitors are treated to spectacular views of the Appalachians.

The route connects to the parkway for another 469 miles toward Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Along with nature’s magnificence, visitors marvel at the Linn Cove Viaduct that takes them through the highest section of the road next to the treetops.

Route 66, the Mother of All Road Trips

No road trip list would be complete without the iconic Route 66. Once THE road to take from Chicago to the Pacific Ocean, much of the original two-lane highway is now interstate. But you can still catch the essence of this historic route.

Although the route’s Southwest section gets much of the attention, each state from Illinois to California pays homage to its historic past. For example, Pontiac, Illinois, has two of the best stops along the way, the Pontiac Oakland Auto Museum and the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum.

As you drive Route 66, you’ll see many buildings and attractions preserved and in operation from the glory days. Route 66 is a fun way to enjoy the simplicity of a different time and experience a bit of American history.

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