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Unveiling the Hidden Gems of America: Road Trips that Ignite Wanderlust

Jese Leos
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Published in RD Great American Road Trips Hidden Gems
4 min read
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Embarking on a road trip across the vast expanse of America is an invigorating experience. From coast to coast, this land of diversity offers stunning landscapes, quaint towns, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. While popular routes like Route 66 and Pacific Coast Highway often steal the limelight, there are numerous lesser-known roads that can lead you to some unforgettable sights and experiences. In this article, we will take you on a journey, revealing hidden gems along great American road trips that are sure to captivate your imagination and ignite your wanderlust.

1. The Loneliest Road in America - Nevada State Route 50

Starting our adventure in the heartland, let's venture onto the Loneliest Road in America. Nevada State Route 50 stretches across the vast desert, offering a sense of isolation and solitude like no other. Along the way, you will encounter hidden hot springs, historic mining towns frozen in time, and breathtaking vistas that will leave you in awe. Don't forget to stop by the small town of Austin, where you can experience genuine western hospitality and dig into sumptuous homemade pies.

2. The Great River Road - A Journey through the Mississippi River Valley

Flowing through the heart of America, the mighty Mississippi River holds stories and secrets of the land. Following the Great River Road, you will witness the charm of small river towns, behold amazing bird migrations, and dive into the rich history of the region. As you drive from Minnesota to Louisiana, keep an eye out for the hidden gems such as the picturesque river bluffs in the Driftless Area, the enchanting Creole culture of Natchez, and the irresistible Cajun cuisine of Louisiana.

RD Great American Road Trips Hidden Gems
by Reader's Digest (Kindle Edition)

4 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 150873 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Word Wise : Enabled
Print length : 191 pages

3. Route 395 - Exploring the Eastern Sierra in California

Escape the bustling cities of California and embark on a journey along Route 395, uncovering the hidden wonders of the Eastern Sierra. This scenic route takes you through stunning mountain vistas, ancient bristlecone pine forests, and charming small towns with a rich cowboy heritage. Don't miss the chance to soak in the rejuvenating hot springs of Mammoth Lakes, capture the mesmerizing beauty of Mono Lake's tufa towers, and witness the awe-inspiring scale and grandeur of Yosemite National Park.

4. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail - A Road Trip Filled with Natural Beauty

Discover the wonders of the Great Lakes region by embarking on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. This picturesque route spans over 500 miles, hugging the shoreline of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Witness numerous hidden gems, including enchanting lighthouses, tranquil beaches, and charming waterfront villages. Don't forget to explore the stunning Thousand Islands region, where you can take a boat tour to see picturesque castles and enjoy world-class fishing opportunities.

5. The Pacific Northwest - Cascades Loop

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Pacific Northwest by taking the Cascades Loop road trip. Starting from Seattle, this route takes you on a meandering journey through winding mountain roads, lush forests, and picturesque coastal towns. Along the way, you will encounter hidden gems such as the charming Bavarian-style village of Leavenworth, the exhilarating Hurricane Ridge with its panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains, and the scenic coastal drive along Highway 101.

Each of these road trips unveils a treasure trove of hidden gems, allowing you to immerse yourself in the true essence of America. So, grab your keys, fuel up your car, and hit the road to uncover these captivating destinations that will make your American road trip an unforgettable adventure.

RD Great American Road Trips Hidden Gems
by Reader's Digest (Kindle Edition)

4 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 150873 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Word Wise : Enabled
Print length : 191 pages

First-person accounts and gorgeous landscape photos paired with practical information and tips to help travelers make the most of their journeys through 39 special hidden gems found across the country.

Discover the most beautiful places in America that you might never have heard of before.聽Hidden Gems聽features:

  • engaging first-hand travel accounts;
  • helpful advice about must-see spots, rest stops, and other ways to get the most out of your trip; and
  • stunning images taken by many of America鈥檚 best scenic photographers.

Some spots offer activities for the more adventurous, such as rafting or mountain biking; others include suggestions for the more leisurely traveler who wants to stop and take in the views by the roadside. The small towns and people you encounter along the way will certainly be memorable. This book will help you set the agenda for your next getaway.

So, get ready to jump in the car or RV and share these experiences with the ones you love! From the Organ Pipe Cactus in Arizona and Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan to Gullah Geechee in South Carolina and Litchfield Hills in Connecticut, these lesser-known scenic spots are definitely worth exploring!

List of locations:


-Chugach National Forest, Alaska

-Channel Islands National Park, California

-Devils Postpile National Monument, California

-Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California

-Camas Prairie Centennial Marsh, Idaho

-Lost River Range and Lemhi Mountain Range, Idaho

-Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho

-Valley of the Fire State Park, Nevada

-Wallowa Lake State Park, Oregon

-Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

-Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

-Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming


-Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona

-Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona

-Verde Valley, Arizona

-Northern Rio Grande, New Mexico

-Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas


-Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area, Iowa

-Flint Hills (Flint Hills Scenic Byway), Kansas

-Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

-Arrowhead Region, Minnesota

-Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota

-Door County, Wisconsin

-Iron and Ashland Counties, Wisconsin聽


-Alabama's Coastal Connection Scenic Byway, Alabama

-Newton County, Arkansas

-Wakulla Springs, Florida

-Red River Gorge Geological Area, Kentucky

-Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana

-Cataloochee Valley, North Carolina

-Linville Gorge Wilderness, North Carolina

-Gullah Geechee, South Carolina

-Burke's Garden, Virginia

-Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area, West Virginia and Maryland


-Litchfield Hills, Connecticut

-Birch Hill State Wildlife Area, Massachusetts

-Tully Lake Recreation Area, Massachusetts

-The Great Swamp, New York

-Pine Creek Gorge, Pennsylvania

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