When you think about your own backyard you don’t really think about adventure. It is your home, it is comfort, it is a little slice of you. Your country can also feel this way; travel outside the country is sometimes considered the “only” travel. But this is not the case. Domestic travel, within your own country, can be a valuable and rewarding experience. Pack up the car, take a train, or get yourself a van rental, all are great options when traversing the USA.
A road trip is the perfect way to get to know your country while hitting all the historical hotspots you’ve heard about. Take some time for yourself and get in tune with the land around you. You may be surprised at what you learn about yourself and the country at large. The following are some great locations to hit on your next adventure.
What used to be a small sleepy fishing village tucked away in Maine, is now a destination for artists and art lovers alike. Bed and breakfast inns line the charming and easily walkable streets; you’ll always find a cute place to rest your weary head at the end of a long day. Enjoy the fabulous views of the Atlantic Ocean while riding a trolley through town. At Ogunquit, you’ll find pristine beaches as well as a plethora of galleries and art museums. Begin your northeastern adventure in beautiful Ogunquit, then hit the road down the coast.
Located only an hour north of New York City, Beacon is another mecca for art and artists. Known for it’s quiet charm and not-so-quiet contemporary art, Beacon is a secret little treasure nestled in southern NY. Dia:Beacon is one of the largest contemporary art galleries in the country with art that ranges in variety from passionate paintings to monumental installations. Once you’ve been inspired head over to Hudson Beach Glass studio for a glass blowing demonstration. As a staple of the Beacon community, Hudson Beach Glass has been crafting their incredible sculptures for over 30 years.
However, if scenic historical sites are more your vibe, then visit the ruins of Bannerman Castle. Take a kayak or canoe over to this tiny island for an adventurous self-guided tour. Take a moment, take a breath, and take a trip to Beacon. It is a great place to beat the hustle and bustle of the city, and a great next stop on your cross country trip.
As you move down the east coast you may have the urge to hit Delaware and drive right through. While not necessarily known as a vacation hot spot, Delaware has a great coastal inlet and a lot to offer. Rehoboth Beach is known for its incredible beach fronted boardwalk. This boardwalk is lined with a variety of eateries, stores, hotels, and even amusement rides. There is something for everyone at this sunny getaway.
If you are interested in getting to know the town a little better than be sure to visit the Rehoboth Beach Museum. You’ll take a trip through the past with authentic journal entries and classic postcards. Cape Henlopen State Park is only a short ways north of the beach and contains some of the more beautiful dunes in all of Delware.It was constructed in 1941 back when the park was a military base. Be sure to stop by the observation tower to peer out into the Atlantic one more time before continuing your journey.
The End of the World
While everyone knows about Mardis Gras and the French Quarter, there are a few more unconventional ways to appreciate New Orleans. Located only at the end of Bywater and next to the world famous Bacchanal, lies an old Naval base. The now abandoned F. Edward Herbert Defense Complex, dubbed by residents “The End of the World”, is a hot spot for tourists and lovers of the odd alike. These enormous structures engulf you and create a modern metal valley that leads out to the water. The vast modern structure is covered in tiny flourishes of nature fighting to grow back. It is odd, imposing, possibly haunted, and definitely worth a visit on your next big trip.
After you have gone through the end of the world and back again, it is almost time to complete your journey. You have made it from the northeast all the way diagonally across the country. Now you are in SoCal and you are looking for something to do. While the glitz and glamor of Los Angeles streets may be tempting, the real stars reside above. The Griffith Observatory has been providing free exhibits and activities since it was built in 1935. Anyone fledgling astronomer would be happy to peer through one of their excellent telescopes. It is also a perfect time to get out of the van and stretch those legs. Hike around the Hollywood sign and then continue on for a scenic route to the observatory.
Embrace the wind and the open road as you ride freely throughout the USA. There is adventure waiting for you in your own backyard. Whether you start from the northeast in scenic Maine, or all the way in southern California, a cross-country trip is a surefire way to inspire passion for the land around you.
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