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13 Reasons to Road Trip in 2013

In 2012 we shared 12 of our favorite travel bloggers, five of whom had hit the open road in our first annual Best of the Road Rally and rediscovered small town America. In the last two years our team’s have uncovered the people, towns, roadside attractions, eateries, and natural surroundings that make the great American road trip a timeless adventure, and 2013 is your year to get behind the wheel. We have an all-American itinerary lined up with what to see and do every month, and a few reasons to ready your engine now.

  1. New Year’s resolutions: How long has the Grand Canyon been on your bucket list? Use your New Years momentum to finally see a new coast, a natural wonder, an historic landmark, or a new state.
  2. Airline avoidance: Flying’s no longer for the faint of heart; it’s as over priced as it is overrated. Avoid rising ticket costs, extra fees, and delays while seeing the country on the way, making your own schedule, and eating more than a bag of peanuts. Plus, you’ll have a vehicle when you arrive.
  3. Small towns: The 2012 Best Small Towns are our five favorite reasons to take a trip and we’ve celebrated 60 total in the last two years. If you haven’t experienced the mountains in Sandpoint, the shores of Delray Beach, the bourbon in Bardstown, or the cuisine in Lafayette, you don’t know what you’re missing.
  4. Family time: There’s nothing like packing the whole family in the car (or RV) and discovering new places together, until the kids start asking if we’re there yet. Here are some craft ideas and tips when the road gets long.
  5. Roadside stops: Find 15,000 stops rated and reviews by Best of the Road users on bestoftheroad.com including our teams’ favorites from Puckett’s Grocery in Tennessee to Frank Buck Zoo in Texas.
  6. A new RVND: Rand McNally’s newest RV GPS was just released, now with Wi-Fi and dynamic weather in addition to even more RV-specific content. This is the ideal utility for any driver’s journey with stops listed by exit number and points of interest along the way.
  7. Festivals: Celebrations all over the country make perfect excuses for weekend getaways any time of year. See if any of January’s inspire your first trip.
  8. New people: Our teams can’t stop returning to the families and communities they’ve met across the country, and we’ve been overwhelmed with the hospitality ourselves. You never know who you’ll meet on the road, and our travel family just keeps growing.
  9. New things: A new year offers new chances to conquer your fears! Ride an ATV, take a hot air balloon ride, sign up for a cooking class, or even snowboard for the first time. Watch our Rally videos for inspiration or visit our places to learn something new on the road.
  10. The outdoors: Between campgrounds, state and national parks, RV sites, beaches, and skiing destinations, we’ve rediscovered the beauty of nature in the last couple years. See what we mean in photos and reviews.
  11. Small businesses: How many ma and pa stores are left near you? We love the local boutiques, family businesses, and small town watering holes we’ve run into lately. Stop by to support these communities and meet natives in new towns.
  12. Patriotism: Exploring your own country will undoubtedly well up some pride and respect for the U.S. and its history. Our Most Patriotic Small Towns have opened our eyes to living history, military families and service, and the spirit of our nation. Just ask Captain and Clark and Midlife Road Trip about their visits.
  13. The 2013 Rally: That’s right, it’s already time to start planning! Whether you want to enter a town or submit a team, we want your photos and reviews anytime. Be documenting your travels to share with our community and keep in touch on facebook and twitter!

Kick off the year of the road trip with a festival this month to celebrate the adventure ahead. We’ve rounded up the best from Vermont to Utah and have road trip tips, itinerary ideas, and points of interest along the way to help. Let us know what you find with Best of the Road reviews.

What road trip’s are on your New Year’s resolution list?

Comments
  1. Susan Russell

    My husband and I have never visited our Capitol. Recently a friend moved there so we have arranged to fly in, see all the DC and surrounding area sites for a week. Then We have arranged to rent a car and take a three week road trip of the original 13 Colonies excluding Delaware (as we should have covered that) and finish with drive down to OH and return car then fly home. This is planned for the Cherry Blossom Festival time of year, 4/07 thru 5/5! What itinerary would you recommend?

    • Laura Kidder

      Hey, Susan.

      Requests like yours have inspired us at Rand McNally to develop an online trip-planning tool and mobile app that will let you select from our collection of Best of the Road trips or customize your own, pulling in the attractions that interest you most. Unfortunately, the tool and app won’t be available until summer 2014, so you’ll have to keep them in mind for your next big road adventure.

      In the meantime, please check out BestoftheRoad.com, which has several road trips through New England states that might inspire segments of a greater, region-wide itinerary. These include: Connecticut River and Coast Tour, Massachusetts Maritime Tour, Seaside to Summit (in NH), Vermont’s Green Mountains, and Rocky Maine Coast.

      You should also check out the website of America’s Byways, a U.S. Department of Transportation program that includes National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads—routes that are known for their scenic beauty and/or historical and cultural significance. Many of them also travel through multiple states. You might also find the Discover New England tourism website helpful in your itinerary planning.

      We wish you a happy and safe journey!

  2. Paula

    May I add another reason to travel? To see art.

    It can be gilded frames in museums; the world’s largest Pistachio or any number of other large things; folks who have backyard assemblages of junk that are beautiful; modern art that isn’t your taste but makes you think. It can be learning about famous artists like Andy Warhol (he went to church every week) and Georgia O’Keefe (she hated that her work was thought of as sexual).

    Art abounds, and it gives.