That same small town in each of us….a line from the Don Henley song The End of the Innocence, harkens back to simpler times, before many of us had moved from our small town roots to seek out our fortunes in larger urban environs.
With Memorial Day weekend approaching (and infecting millions of Americans with the yearning to hit the road) I thought it might be nice to focus a blog post around journeys that take us back in time by featuring 20 road trips through small towns and rural settings that remind us of our past.
These road trip itineraries are part of a vast collection of trips featured by the National Scenic Byways Program, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. The program is a grass-roots collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States. You can read more about the NSBP and view many more road trip itineraries at www.byways.org.
I’ve tried to represent all regions of the US with the 20 trips featured below, and the lengths vary from 2-hour trips to 5-day itineraries to accommodate different levels of interest and leisure time. They’ve all been plotted out in Google Maps to make them interactive and easy to view and print. You can also save the trips using the MyMaps feature of Google Maps and take them with you on the road to view via an iPhone or Android smartphone. The itineraries look especially captivating in an iPad, a topic on which I’ve covered in a previous post.
Amongst these small town sojourns are many adventurous trips that include white-knuckle drives along mountain ridges and breathtaking vistas along ocean and lake shore drives. If you’d like to sample more road trip itineraries check out National Geographic Travelers Drives of a Lifetime which I’ve featured in an earlier post.
We hope everyone enjoys a safe and glorious holiday weekend. Perhaps we can find some of that lost innocence while driving along these small-town byways.
UPDATE: If you’d like to add suggestions of places to visit or things to do for any of these itineraries you can add them into the ‘Comments’ section of each map.
- Oregon’s Pacific Coast Highway ‘Must See’ Tour 2-Day Trip
- Ebbetts Pass Wonderland (Northern California) 2-Day Trip
- Culture and Nature along Glenn Highway (Alaska) 1-Day Trip
- International Selkirk Loop (US/Canada) 3-Day Trip
- Beartooth Highway; “Exploring America’s Most Beautiful Highway” (Montana) 1-Day
- Lake Tahoe – Eastshore Drive (Nevada) 2-Day Trip
- Trail of the Ancients, An Archeological Adventure (Colorado) 5-Day Trip
- Billy The Kid Trail (New Mexico) 2-Hour Trip
- The Natural Wonders of the Wichita Mountains (Oklahoma) 1-Day Trip
Great Plans Region
- Native American Byway Tour (The Dakotas) 2-Day Trip
- Indian River Lagoon Scenic Tour (Florida) 2-Day Trip
- Touring the Savannah River Scenic Byway (S. Carolina) 1-Day Trip
- Following in George Washington’s Footsteps, George Washington Memorial Parkway (Virginia) 1-Day Trip
- The Midland Trail Historical Tour (West Virginia) 1-Day Trip
- History, Water and Wildlife along Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway (Maryland) 1-Day Trip
- Lighthouses of the Seaway Trail (New York) 3-Day Trip
New England Region
- Connecticut River Byway Heritage Tour (Vermont, New Hampshire) 2-Day Trip
- White Mountains Trail Tour (New Hampshire) 4-Day Trip