Although you cringe when the first question from the backseat comes as you turn out of the driveway: “are we there yet?,” road trips are a great experience. As summer approaches, it is time to start planning:
For a leisurely read about places Off the Beaten Track read the book with that title presented by Readers Digest. This is a wonderful resource arranged state-by-state with maps, listings of seasonal events and brief descriptions of “undervisited” sites. If you want a local jaunt or a more extensive trip, this is a great place to start.
Road Trip USA by Jaimie Jensen, subtitled “cross-country adventures on America’s two-lane highways” offers color-coded and cross-indexed maps and itineraries. Illustrated with vintage postcards and filled with useful information resource for anyone serious about exploring off-the-interstate America.
Interested in road trips with wonderful scenery? American Back Roads and Byways by Ron Fisher spotlights six areas of the U.S. with spectacular views. The book is filled with tempting National Geographic pictures depicting the areas around Grand Staircase-Escalante (pictured), Cajun country, the Snowbelt, Heart of the Cumberland, Sand Hills and Prairies, and the Olympic Peninsula.
Eating at local restaurants beats out fast food and chains any day. Use Guy Fieri as your guide with his More Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. This updates his earlier book, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Both list interesting local eateries and include signature recipes.
If the price of gas deters you from an actual trip, or if you want to have a visual tease for what you might see, try the video series, America’s Most Scenic Drives.
Okay. So this is number six. But I can never miss an opportunity to plug a history book, especially one that is readable. Before the interstate highway system and even before there were decent back roads, a caravan of military motor vehicles traveled across the US —300 men traveled in 81 vehicles journeying over road, mud and rock for more than 3200 miles. This was known as the First Transcontinental Motor Train; it was sponsored by the government to call attention to the need for good roads. Peter Davies tells this adventure story in American Road. This group of travelers did not have access to the now maligned service areas on the interstates and there were no souvenir stands!
AND if you have the urge to pick up some souvenirs, check out Roadside Attractions: Cool Cafes, Souvenir Stands, Route 66 Relics, and Other Roadside Fun by Brian and Sarah Butko.
Have fun and please drive safely!!
- posted by Brenda, Reference Services