With the warmer months of Spring and Summer right around the corner, it is a perfect time to start planning your next adventurous road trip. All across the United States, there are places that make for great stops along a road trip and the journey to get to them is just as exciting as the destination. There are many adventures to be had, whether they be out in the wilderness or inside small towns that make you feel like you are home even when you are so far away from home.
We are going through 15 spots that are a must see on your next road trip and 10 that you should probably skip out on. The 15 that you must see are most likely places you haven't heard of and they are hidden gems inside the vast country of the United States. Meanwhile, the 10 that you should avoid are places that are filled to the brim with tourists and are places you may have likely been to before. While these places aren't necessarily bad, they always come second or in this case 16th to some of the other places you can find in the United States.
25 Worth It: Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia
It is likely you have been to Virginia before to visit some of the name brand tourist attractions like Washington D.C. However, if you venture a bit out of the way you can find wilderness paradise. In this case, the location is in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Blue Ridge Mountains are a vast chain of mountains that are surrounded by the green lush wilderness of Virginia's nature side. Not only do the mountains make for wonderful hiking trails, the area also has a small town where you can find all of your adventurous needs.
24 Worth It: Columbia River Highway, Oregon
If you are a fan of outdoors and beautiful views then you should head for Oregon. Specifically, if you are taking a road trip you should visit the Columbia River Highway which is full of history and breathtaking views. The Columbia River Highway will take you through waterfalls, natural tunnels, and lush forests. The road is around 75 miles and the whole way is worth seeing. There are several spots along the way that make for great areas to take pictures of the surrounding environment or just to soak in the beauty.
23 Worth It: Ithaca, New York
Many people think of New York State as a place full of city life and that is very untrue as most of the state is just as wild as somewhere like Colorado. One of these places is a small town tucked away in the more mountainous regions of New York known as Ithaca. The small town is crowned as one of the most beautiful towns in the country. While it sounds small it has its own college and brewery! If you are a fan of college towns then this is a great place to be! It is also great if you love the outdoors and hiking as the area has a lot of that going on.
22 Worth It: Sedona, Arizona
Arizona has risen in popularity for many travelers and tourists in the past few years. This is mainly due to the great outdoors that lie within Arizona and the fact that Phoenix exists. However, there are much better towns in Arizona to visit like the small town of Sedona! Sedona has everything Phoenix has and more. The skyline of Sedona has the large orange rock formations littering it and with the many hiking opportunities, this is a great spot for anyone trying to conquer the outdoors. You can even go on jeep tours through the orange beyond if you aren't a fan of hiking.
21 Worth It: Mackinac Island, Michigan
Mackinac Island in Michigan is a bit hard to get to from car as there is no way to reach it by car. Instead, you will have to take a boat out to the island. There you won't find a single car as cars were outlawed a few decades ago. The island is small enough that you can see everything by foot. The secluded nature of Mackinac Island will make you feel like you've entered a different world. You can take horse-drawn tours of the island or simply soak up the sun down near the beach. There are a lot of touristy places within the small town of Mackinac Island that are worth a visit.
20 Worth It: Twentynine Palms, California
Twentynine Palms located in California is definitely for the more adventurous people compared to other places on the list. It is located in the middle of a desert of sorts and presents many unique attractions. The area has shops that you can find stuff you've never seen before inside. It also has an amazing observatory in which they feature special events and present things like "Death Valley After Dark". They also have a few museums that are worth visiting. Nearby you can find the Mojave Desert and near Joshua Tree State Park if you are looking for good areas to hike through.
19 Worth It: York, Maine
Maine is known for its delicious seafood and its great port towns. York is a little-known town in Maine that has all of these and more! If you are looking for a great beach/port town then look no further than York. You can find York located south of Portland and it is much less busy than other popular Maine towns like Portland. It may seem unappealing as the chances for snow in areas as far north as Maine seem likely but the area doesn't get much snow compared to other towns in Maine.
18 Worth It: Buena Vista, Colorado
Colorado is a place of immense outdoors and outdoor activities. No matter what time of year you visit you can usually find something great to do that is outdoors. Whether that is winter sports in the colder months or hiking through the luscious green mountains in the summer months. Buena Vista is a great place to visit if you want to take in Colorado's wilderness. Unlike the bigger cities in Colorado like Denver, Buena Vista is more secluded and more outdoor forward. The small town has plenty of opportunities for great food and small shops for souvenirs.
17 Worth It: Augusta, Georgia
The bigger cities in Georgia are worth visiting like Savahnna and Atlanta, but if you are looking for a less crowded place to vacation in Georgia look no further than Augusta Georgia. Downtown Augusta has many places to eat along with great theatres that show exclusive films and plays. The area is also a big historical sight and has many museums that are worth visiting. There are plenty of things to do at night like bar hop or visit several family-owned restaurants. During the day the town features festivals and a famous farmer's market.
16 Worth It: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
If you enjoy the theme and vibe of New Orleans but hate the crowds then perhaps Baton Rouge is more your pace. The town is home of the LSU stadium so it is a great stop for anyone who is a fan of sports. It is also home to some history which can be further discovered through museums. The town is right off of the water and makes for great boat tours along with having great seafood restaurants. Among other things, it has a great arts festival and farmers market all while keeping the same style as New Orleans.
15 Worth It: Duluth, Minnesota
Minnesota may seem like a strange place to stop on a road trip as it snows there a lot during the year but in summer months it can be a nice getaway from hotter places in the United States. One of the smaller towns in Minnesota is known as Duluth and it is located right off of Lake Superior making it a great port town with many maritime attractions. The area has many museums and the famous Skyline Parkway which everyone must travel at least once in their lifetime. There are several events that are held throughout the year sometimes taking place on the lake.
14 Worth It: Livingston, Montana
There may not seem like a lot to do in the state of Montana but for some adventures that is what you want at the end of a long road trip. The best small town to enjoy a break from the road in is known as Livingston. Livingston looks like it came out of the past with old-timey saloons that are still in business. It is a big bar town with several bars and clubs littering its downtown. It has its fair share of museums as well along with several theatres. Combine that with the beautiful backdrop of the Montana mountains you have yourself a very underrated town in the US.
13 Worth It: Sisters, Oregon
As mentioned before, Oregon is a place of pure beauty and a severely underrated state in the United States. Another small town that is worth visiting in Oregon is known as Sisters and offers an escape from the beautiful wilderness of Oregon without escaping it altogether. The town has that small town feel because it is a small town at heart. The town has several log cabin accommodations along with many shops and restaurants. There are also many coffee shops to sit in and watch the sun rise over the wilderness that is Oregon's great outdoors.
12 Worth It: Fayetteville, West Virginia
West Virginia may not seem like the place in which you would want to travel or take a road trip to but the town of Fayetteville is a great exception. It gives you an excuse to drive through the amazing mountains of West Virginia even if there isn't much to see except mountains along the way. The town of Fayetteville is a place where many people come together to enjoy the great eats and entertainment the town has to offer. If you want to explore the wilderness a bit you can take up canopy zip lining, climbing tours, and hiking the popular Blue Ridge Mountains as mentioned before.
11 Worth It: Bar Harbor, Maine
As mentioned before, there are definitely smaller towns in Maine that are worth visiting but we can't discount the town of Bar Harbor. Although the town is a bit bigger and more popular than other towns it still fits in with the other entries on this list. It is a great port city with some of the freshest seafood you will ever eat. Not only that but the town has many different shops in it that all offer unique goods. You can also travel to the nearby Acadia National Park where you can enjoy a different type of outdoors than the town offers.
10 Not Worth It: Miami, Florida
During the summer months, Florida looks more and more like a suitable place to spend your vacation. There are plenty of great places in Florida to spend your summer vacation and many of them are much more underrated than Miami. Miami is a great place to visit if you've never been, but if you are trying to avoid the large summer crowds and enjoy a more secluded beach experience there are definitely better places to visit in Florida. If you aren't into the beach scene then you may even consider visiting The Everglades which aren't too far from Miami.
9 Not Worth It: New York City, New York
New York City is another great place to visit if you haven't ever visited but after one visit you can safely say "seen that, done that". It also isn't a great place to drive to if you aren't used to dense city traffic like that presented in New York daily. If you are planning on doing large tourist things in New York you may want to reconsider and look for many other small places in New York that are much more secluded that try and involve yourself in the stress-filled city that is New York City.
8 Not Worth It: Portland, Oregon
As mentioned before, Oregon has many great small towns to visit and that is why you should probably avoid Portland at all costs. While it isn't a bad port city, it isn't worth it compared to other port towns in Oregon. The town is large and has its fair share of stuff to do like breweries and restaurants. However, if you are looking for a more secluded experience that is similar to Portland then you should look into a place like Bar Harbor or even the Columbia River Highway.
7 Not Worth It: Los Angeles, California
California is a big state with many big cities. But it also has a lot that isn't covered in smog and daily business. California suffers from the same thing that New York suffers from and that is the major cities being too overrated to where the smaller places don't get a chance to be discovered. While Los Angeles isn't a bad place to visit it is a place where people go to try and make something of themselves and is less of a place to take a road trip to. Especially considering the traffic there is unlike anywhere else in the country.
6 Not Worth It: Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is like a more tame version of New York City but has many of the same attractions as New York City. Boston has things like bars and clubs. It also has a lot of history. However, after that, the city just becomes another city. Considering this is the biggest thing to do in Massachusetts it may be worth seeking out another place to plan your vacation. There are several smaller towns in and around Massachusetts that will offer you the same type of activities without all the crowds.
5 Not Worth It: Las Vegas, Nevada
The overall tempting nature of visiting Las Vegas leads many people to want to visit the city in Nevada. Who can turn down endless nightlife and bar hopping in a city brighter than many others in the United States? However, when you consider just how much is waiting out in the rest of the United States the lure of Las Vegas seems to fade. Even visiting the rest of Nevada will warrant more adventure than simply spending all your money in a casino in Las Vegas. If you are looking for a real chance for a real road trip you may want to avoid Las Vegas.
4 Not Worth It: Dallas, Texas
Texas is a huge state and in much of that state, there isn't much to do. That is why many tourists decide to flock to the nearest city and there are several. Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas all seem like worthy contenders when looking for somewhere to stay in Texas. Dallas is a great place for a sports fan but if you aren't a sports fan the only real thing left is the food which you can find much better food in other cities in Texas than in Dallas. It may be best to avoid Texas all together on your road trip unless you are looking for hours and hours of looking outside at nothing.
3 Not Worth It: San Francisco, California
As mentioned before, in the case of Los Angeles California is a large state with a lot to see but these lesser-known spots are overshadowed by the large cities in California including San Francisco. There are a bunch of tourist destinations within the city like the Golden Gate Bridge or the docks to see Alcatraz. However, if you look past this the city doesn't offer much else than that. Considering California is filled to the brim with great beaches and even greater National Parks it may be best to pass up San Francisco on your next Cali road trip.
2 Not Worth It: Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville would have been a great entry for the list in the section of places that are worth road-tripping to, except for the fact that the locals aren't too keen on having outsiders visit their beloved town. Asheville has some of the best sights to see in the south and many festivals that occur inside the town. Not only that but it is located near some great wilderness including mountains. It is a shame the people of Asheville have to ruin it for tourists who want to visit.
1 Not Worth It: Nashville, Tennessee
Not to be confused with the last entry, Nashville Tennessee is a town that is also very popular in the south but for different reasons. Nashville has earned the title of "home of country music" as it has some of the best country artists performing there along with the Grand Ole Opry. However, if you aren't a fan of country music the town doesn't have much more to offer. The overall style of the town is intriguing and it has a lively nightlife but all in all, you are probably visiting there because you enjoy country music.