Planning An Unforgettable American Road Trip? How To Take The Roads Less Traveled

Approximately 40 percent of US adults feel comfortable to go on a road trip in the next three months, according to the findings of American Express. The road trip still reigns supreme as the definitive vacation activity for Americans. This is supported even further as the desire to travel internationally has fallen to a mere 12%, according to the same AmEx study. Based on these factors, it would seem that the “Great American Road Trip” is entering a new golden age. 

With that amount of traffic expected, you’d probably want to go off the beaten path for your next trip. Aside from being less chaotic and crowded, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to see the sights that most have missed. So if you’re ready to plan an unforgettable trip across the country, here’s how to take the roads less traveled. 

On an American road trip to Deadwood, South Dakota to experience the wild west
Deadwood, South Dakota
Population: 1380

Take A Trip Back To The Old West In South Dakota

Have you always been enchanted by life in the Old West? Then Deadwood, South Dakota is the place to be for you. This location is focused on giving tourists a taste of Old West life. Close to this quaint little settlement are famed tourist attractions such as Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore. Surrounding it is lush nature typical of what one would expect to find in an Old Western setting.

On our American road trip we visited the Devils Tower in Wyoming, the first ever US national monument.
Devils Tower was the first US national monument, established on September 24, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt. It measures 867 feet (265 m) from summit to base.

From Deadwood, you can also head to lesser-visited areas such as the Devils Tower just across the state line in Wyoming. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can journey through the Badlands and the Black Hills. This is one of the few remaining representatives of what life on the frontier felt like, back when civilization was a stone’s throw from the unknown wilds and every day was a struggle.

More Wyoming Adventures Off The Beaten Path in Jackson Hole
Franconia Notch State Park, White Mountains, New Hampshire
Franconia Notch State Park, White Mountains, New Hampshire

Discover The Northeastern US Wilderness In New Hampshire

If you’re looking for a deep dive into the North American wilderness, the White Mountains of New Hampshire would be the way to go. This vast swathe of wilderness covers nearly a quarter of the state and is home to some of the tallest peaks and most scenic vistas in the country. Among these is Mount Washington, towering above the Northeast USA at an elevation of 6,288 feet. It’s also got all the fun and adventurous features of a mountain getaway, such as hiking routes, waterfalls, swimming spots, and other attractions.

Epic American road trip to the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire
White Mountain National Forest gets crazy colorful in the autumn

What’s great about the White Mountains is that nearly all of it is accessible by vehicle. You can even reach Mount Washington’s summit in the comfort of your car. Driving through the White Mountain National Forest is as immersive as trekking through it on foot. You’ll want to pick a vehicle that can handle slightly tougher road conditions, so consult a reliable car review site if you don’t own one already.

Take an American road trip down to Florida
St Augustine Pier

Visit The First American City Ever Built In Florida

Florida is best known for being a piece of the Caribbean on the US mainland. What people tend to forget is that it’s also brimming with its rich history. A two-hour ride from Disneyland Orlando stands the first city ever built in America, St. Augustine. From a time before Florida was even a part of the United States, it’s packed full of historical sights typical of a fortified Spanish settlement.

The iconic Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine, Florida
The Castillo de San Marcos (Spanish for “St. Mark’s Castle”) is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. The first stones were laid in 1672 and construction was completed in 1695.

From Castillo de San Marcos to the St. Augustine Lighthouse, there’s no shortage of places to visit that provide a window to the city’s storied past. If you’re feeling like going even more in-depth, you can enter the Lightner Museum and have a look at relics dating back to the city’s history. 

The Lightner Museum in St Augustine, Florida, was originally the Alcazar Hotel
The Lightner Museum — originally the Alcazar Hotel — is a Spanish Renaissance Revival style building built in 1887 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

They say the journey is more important than the destination. That concept is what the American road trip is built on. The only thing that can make it better is the company you bring along. 😉

2020 Is The Year Of The American Road Trip.

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

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