Today is America’s birthday &, to me, there’s nothing more American than jumping in the car with some snacks & tunes & heading out on a road trip. While I may be spending the holiday in Iceland on a different sort of road trip, I thought I’d share some of my favorite all-American road trips, perfect for a little Independence Day jaunt. I’d like to think that this list may stretch your mind a bit on ideal road trips – think beyond Highway 101 in California or Route 66. Each road trip below is accompanied by a map which details all my favorite things to do & places to eat along each route.
1. Rocky Coast of Maine Road Trip: Portland to Bar Harbor
Our 10-day mid-coast Maine road trip in 2011 is still one of my all-time favorite vacations. This beautiful part of the country is full of tranquil scenery, ice cream shops galore & all the lobster rolls you can eat. We stayed two nights each in Portland & Camden & a few extra nights in Bar Harbor, flying round trip out of Portland’s airport (although it probably would have made more sense to fly home from Bangor).
2. Midwest Road Trip: Cleveland to Minneapolis
A little random, right? But this is the road trip of my childhood, an annual jaunt to my grandparents house in Minnesota for the first dozen or so years of my life. I like this road trip because it includes some of the Midwest’s greatest cities: Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee & Minneapolis.
3. Tour of America’s Capitals: New York to Williamsburg
What’s more American than a tour of America’s capital cities? This New York (the 1st capital) – Philadelphia (the 2nd capital) – DC (the current capital) – Richmond (the capital of the Confederacy) – Williamsburg (capital of the British colonies) road trip might sound like a nightmare on I-95, but once you get off the highway, there’s a reason this iconic route is 100% Americana. Good news: if you hate to drive, you can also do most of this road trip via Amtrak.
4. Pacific Northwest Loveliness: Portland to Vancouver
Okay, I’m cheating a little bit here. Vancouver is not in the U.S. But it’s such a lovely city, it simply must be included in a Pacific Northwest road trip! Just remember to pack your passport. Don’t want to cross the border? Spend a little more time in the San Juan Islands, just off the coast of Seattle.
5. America’s Pastime Road Trip: Cooperstown to Chicago
Is there anything more American than an afternoon at the baseball field on a beautiful summer afternoon? Some of America’s most iconic ballparks are located within an easy road trip around the east coast. Start your trip learning baseball history at the birth place of baseball in Cooperstown, NY before hitting the road to Boston, the Bronx, Camden Yards & Wrigley Field. And stop in Cleveland to see my Indians play, because it’s a beautiful park & the Tribe haven’t won a World Series in a really, really long time.