Road-trip: what can't we miss seeing where you live?

June 29 |
On the Playa
Photo by Serolynne. Used under Creative Commons license.
For YEARS, my friend and I have joked about planning a full-on cross-country road trip. We'd have a hired RV, bobble heads, nodding dogs, and hula girls on the dashboard, and we'd visit loads of tourist sites across America — you know, the worlds largest pencil museum, the biggest ball of twine, pet cemeteries, shoe trees.

We need must-visit places — we hope they give us the fortitude to plan this trip. No more joking! I'd like the Homies to give us touristing recommendations in their area. What should I come see in your city or state? -Mich

My advice is this: If you visit Nebraska, don't allow yourself to drive on I-80. That flat, ugly stretch of Interstate gives NE a bad name.

If you have a smartphone, you might also buy the app Roadside America for $2.99. It alerts you to nearby giant balls of twine and gives you information, links, and directions. It was the first app I bought (aww, I'm experiencing nostalgia!)

What have you got to offer, guys? Or rather, what has your state got to offer?

  1. I only saw one small mention of Baltimore above, so I just had to add something, even though it is long past the original post (seems like people have been reading and adding anyway). The only thing people generally think of for Baltimore is The Wire and most of Baltimore is far from that. I second the previous post regarding the American Visionary Art Museum. I live in the neighborhood, have visited and also went to a wedding there before and it is amazing. If you walk a little bit past the AVAM on you can get to the beginning of the Waterfront Promenade (sort of hidden in the entrance to a marina and some fancy waterfront houses), which goes from near AVAM on the west side of the harbor to the Canton Waterfront Park about 4 miles away. It takes you all along the water with a nice tour of the neighborhoods in those areas, including Fell's Point.

    If you're not up for a long walk like that, you can also head up the hill from AVAM toward Federal Hill, both the park and the neighborhood. The park gives lovely views of the city and the neighborhood is full of two- and three- story brick rowhouses that were built about a hundred years ago for the families of those that worked at the nearby factories and ports. On pretty much every corner is a local restaurant or bar, great places to have great food and drinks and meet locals.

    If you're in the area during baseball season, definitely check out Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It is widely considered to be the prettiest stadium in baseball and you can get cheap seats (still with excellent views) for about $10 or $15. You can even bring in all of your own food and non-alcoholic drinks.

    If you're into beer, Baltimore is a great beer town with many great bars and even a few breweries. For bars, check out: Brewer's Art (Mt. Vernon), Max's (Fell's Point), Pratt Street Alehouse (Downtown near Camden Yards). For breweries, check out: Union Brewing or Heavy Seas (just outside the city in Halethorpe or at their alehouse near the HarborEast neighborhood).

    Sorry for the long post. Baltimore is my favorite place in the whole world.

    On an unrelated note, Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks of NC is probably my second favorite place. You can only get there by ferry (free from Hatteras Island or pay from the mainland). If the weather is good and the road is open, the drive down NC Highway 1 through Hatteras Island is lovely, miles of nothing but dunes and water on both sides interspersed with sandswept towns of little shops and cedar-shingles houses on stilts. After you enjoy the 45 min ferry ride and 13 mile drive into the town of Ocracoke, park your car and get yourself right to the Ocracoke Island Coffee Company for a Grasshopper Latte. Take it outside and sit in a chair under a big shade tree. After looking around the little town, get some dinner of local seafood on the back porch of Back Porch Restaurant.

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  2. Super late to the party but no one's mentioned New Hampshire! Come in the summer to explore the White mountains and swim in pristine mountain water and play in the natural waterslides. Or hit up the sea coast- Hampton Beach(fresh saltwater taffy made before your eyes) to Rye, and stop at Odione point. Go further instate and take in a minor league baseball game at the Fisher Cats Stadium in Manchester. Check out the old mills downtown, and enjoy fab restaurants and bars on Elm street.

    Santa's Village, Storyland. Polar Caves, Clark's Trading post.

    Come in the fall to witness spectacular scenery and awesome fairs. Apple picking, pumpkin patches, and corn mazes!

    Visit in the winter to take advantage of fantastic skiing/boarding.

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  3. Well its not really a road trip for Americans, but I highly recommend you come and see Loch Ness. Its a beautiful part of the world. :-)

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  5. Of you come to Topeka Kansas stop by the Equality House. Then go to Juli's Coffee and Bistro (8th and Kansas "Gizmo" building) for lunch and hang out in the NOTO arts district… especially on First Fridays.

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  6. If you head to Southern California and pass through Joshua Tree, I highly recommend stopping for a "sound bath" at the Integratron. I'll be honest: It's pretty hippie dippie, but we really loved the experience and the close-encounters-of-the-third-kind history of the place.

    Also, if you love animals and are planning on visiting Zion and Bryce Canyon parks, I'd recommend getting a tour of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Seeing the amazing scenery of the place, and how much they truly love and care for animals, was amazing… and turned my family into life long supporters of their cause.

    Have fun!

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