Road Trip Travel Tip:
Scenic Byways, Not Interstates
I’ll start by saying this: If you are trying to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible, then Interstates are your best friend. If you are on a road trip however, Interstates are the worst choice for having a memorable road trip experience.
Think about America’s most famous highway: Route 66. Back in it’s heyday (before the Interstate system closed it down for good) the road was full of motorists out to enjoy the ride and the prestige of the open road. When you stopped for food, gas or to stay somewhere for the night, you found yourself in the company of locals who were happy to tell you about their town and give you the best experience you could possibly have. Unfortunately, the way most Americans travel today is on the Interstates where there is isn’t as much character or hospitality. Chain fast food joints, gas stations and hotels don’t have much history to them and the people working in them aren’t as prideful as the ones you’ll find on the roads less traveled.
When you take scenic byways or non-interstate highways, you are destined to have a better road trip travel experience overall. The problem with Interstates is that you can only really get off at rest stops or exits. When you travel a state highway or scenic byway you usually have the opportunity to pull over almost anywhere for whatever you discover along the way. This allows you to take your time with your trip and not go as fast as you can to your destination. You will get a chance to meet more people, see more things and walk away with more photos and stories to tell then if you traveled only by Interstate.
If that explanation wasn’t enough to sway you, consider this: Stopping at a state line to take photos is usually a lot safer and easier on a state highway than the interstate! Plus you might find a really cool historic marker like I did between Colorado and Utah: