I’m trying something different tonight, partially as a way to get some dialogue going with those of you who read this and also as a way to get me thinking for a new section that I’ll be working on as I expand what was my MA thesis.

When you go on road trips, no matter how long they are, what is on your sightseeing list? Do you hit up the big names like the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone?  Do you seek out the quirky but fun like Carhenge or the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle?  Are you a museum goer, whether it be a pilgrimage to a Hall of Fame or a stop to a local house museum wherever you end up?  Do you go on factory tours like to Ben and Jerry’s?  Do you go somewhere unusual, and if so, what is unusual to you?  Are you into trips for the food, is the best food around your destination?*  Am I missing something that I should suggest?

Over the next while, I hope to learn from what your responses are to gain more insight into sightseeing, and you’ll hear more about the places, be they landmarks or relative unknown locations, that the three visited.

I look forward to hearing from you all.


*Thanks Mike for reminding me about how important food is to travel, can’t believe I left it out at first!

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11 Responses to Sightseeing

  1. Mike says:

    We actually enjoying finding local breweries or wineries every when we travel. Local “must try” restaurants off the beaten path….not the super touristy stuff.

  2. Claire says:

    I tend to hit the big stuff – Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, etc. – and historic sites, plus the quirky stuff if it’s in the area. The best stops always wind up being the unplanned, spur-of-the-moment ones, though!

  3. I remember waving to the caboose men more than anything…I first went from NY to Ca with my parents, I in the backseat of a 1939
    Hudson, in 1950 when I was 6 years old. Did cross-country by car in 1954 and 1957 with my dad, and still you could wave to the guys in the caboose. By the time my husband and I drove from NY to CO, and then to Vancouver and back to NY the caboose were long gone. The parks were wonderful when I was a kid….in 2007 we went to Yellowstone and it was so crowded it was like “night of the walking dead” going towards Old Faithful. Go in the winter now if you can!

  4. Dru Ferrence says:

    Pie. When you see a neon sign in the window that announces PIE, stop. Eat pie. A life of road trips involving pie is a life well enjoyed.

  5. James Cowlin says:

    As a photographer, I’m always looking for landscapes to shoot. Sometimes that is an iconic national park but it can also be a beautiful scene along a back road. My wife is an artist so we stop at museums, art galleries and studio tours whenever we can. Finally, there is nothing so satisfying as discovering a small town cafe that serves wonderful food in a friendly atmosphere.

  6. Carol McMahon says:

    I always see the big attractions and am also a fan of museums but some part of the trip must be spent “communing with nature”. I like to sample the local flavor and events in the small town experience. And I totally agree with Mike….local breweries are a must-do!

  7. Jim says:

    For me, the journey is the destination. I like to stop and look at all the old alignments of the roads I follow, and walk through the downtowns and gawk at the old buildings. And of course I stop for local cuisine whenever it’s available!

  8. Ellen says:

    When we were in Casper WY, visiting the Fort there, we met a woman who was following the trip diary of her grandmother (great grand mother?) who had traveled across the country in a covered wagon. I’m sure that there are others who have traveled across the country following their grandparents journals.

  9. Linda says:

    I live in an RV, and plan travels around historical markers. I run a historical marker website, and indulge thoroughly in my pastime. I also geocache, but tend to let the chips fall where they will with that. In other words, if I stop in a place, I’ll see if anything’s around, whereas I will often plan a quite bizarre route around historical markers. 😉

  10. DennyG says:

    All the above or, more accurately, any of the above. Big name main stream stuff to little know quirky stuff and most stuff in between might get put on my agenda depending on time and mood. And that agenda can change at the sight of a museum or largest ball of string sign. Small town museums are always interesting and often fun but usually have limited hours. Same with factory and other tours. If schedules mesh, small museums and tours can provide some real insight and entertainment. Restaurants aren’t often destinations for me but they can be if they have a “road food” reputation. For example, there is no 5 star restaurant in Chicago that I’m interested in but I’d have breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s any day.

  11. John Ridge says:

    We like the “authentic” sights and experiences along the route rather than the things created to attract tourists. We like to learn about the geology, agriculture, businesses, people, and whatever is there. Primarily, we enjoy attempting to recreate the historic road trip. This keeps us traveling the Yellowstone Trail as we attempt to find the original pavement and alignment.

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