Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Campgrounds & RV Parks, Family Camping, Family Day Trips, Family Weekend Trips, Historic Places & Landmarks, Holidays on the Road, Kid-Friendly Trips, Kid-Friendly Trips, Nature & Wildlife, Other Great RV Routes, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, Roads & Routes, RV Campgrounds, RVing with Grand Kids, Scenic Byways/Historic Routes, State & National Parks, Traveling Tips
It’s the Memorial Day long weekend—the unofficial start of summer—and for many travel-wise Americans that means one thing: Road trip!
The tradition of taking a road trip dates back about 3,000 years.
The first road trip likely occurred in ancient Egypt around 1200 B.C., when Ramses II hit the road in his chariot.
Similar ventures—using the well-loved automobile—began in Germany in the 1880s.
As the car’s popularity grew, so did the practice of taking to roadways for a carefree holiday.
The road trip became an easy, breezy travel idea that’s affordable and accessible—and in America today there is no shortage of highways, byways, and back roads.
Answering the call of the open road is practically an American rite of passage—and today more and more are taking to the open road in a recreational vehicle.
5 Great All-American Road Trips
These 10 distinctive all-American road trips, inclusive of both roads less traveled and tried-and-true, pave the way through the country’s finest landscapes, from the Appalachians to the heart of the American West to Arizona’s Red Rock Country—and beyond.
So put the pedal to the metal, crank up those tunes, and roll down those windows to gaze upon America the beautiful as it rolls by.
Indulge your wanderlust on wheels while exploring the following National Scenic Byways.
Blue Ridge Parkway (Virginia and North Carolina)
The Blue Ridge Parkway provides spectacular mountain and valley vistas, quiet pastoral scenes, sparkling waterfalls, and colorful flower and foliage displays as it extends through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina.
Connecting two national parks—Shenandoah in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina—the Blue Ridge Parkway traverses 469 miles through blue-misted Appalachian highlands. Take in forest-blanketed mountain vistas, ripe for fauna (look for bear, deer, and beaver) and flora viewing (interesting factoid: the parkway’s namesake “blue” haze is attributed to the hydrocarbon release from the some 130 tree species).
Picnic areas, campgrounds, hiking trails, and visitor’s centers, offering programs like ranger-guided walks, abound.
Come in late spring for wildflower blooms (rhododendron, azalea); or, in fall (especially around mid-October) for Technicolor foliage displays.
Cherohala Skyway National Scenic Byway (North Carolina and Tennessee)
The Cherohala Skyway offers the cultural heritage of the Cherokee tribe and early settlers in a grand forest environment in the Appalachian Mountains.
Enjoy mile-high vistas and brilliant fall foliage, as well as great hiking opportunities and picnic spots in magnificent and seldom-seen portions of the southern Appalachian National Forests.
The Cherohala Skyway crosses through the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. The name “Cherohala” comes from the names of the two National Forests: “Chero” from the Cherokee and “hala” from the Nantahala.
The Cherohala Skyway is located in southeast Tennessee and southwest North Carolina. The Skyway connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee, with Robbinsville, North Carolina, and is about 40+ miles long. The Cherohala Skyway is a wide, paved two-laned road maintained by the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
The elevations range from 900 feet above sea level at the Tellico River in Tennessee to over 5,400 feet above sea level at the Tennessee-North Carolina state line at Haw Knob.
Please Note: This is Part 1 of a 2-part series on 5 Great All-American Road Trips
Part 2: All-American Road Trips
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will flow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
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If you enjoy these articles and want to read more on RV travels and lifestyle, visit my website: Vogel Talks RVing.