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100 Reasons to Hit the Road

Blueprint, July/August 2007

To Eat
1. Frost Diner
Warrenton, Virginia
Rumored to be America's oldest continuously running diner.

2. Big Texan Steak Ranch
Amarillo, Texas
If you can finish off a 72-ounce steak, it's free.

3. In 'N' Out Burger
California, Arizona, and Nevada
Order from the not-so-secret menu.

4. Dutch Haven
Ronks, Pennsylvania
Sample shoofly pie at the windmill-topped kitchen that made it famous.

5.  Kopp's Frozen Custard
Call this Dairy State landmark's hotline (414-961-2006) for the homemade flavor of the day.

6. The Mission San Xavier Del Bac
Near Tucson
Enjoy Indian fry bread and chili in front of this 1797 "white dove of the desert" for just a few bucks.

7. Tortuga's Lie
On North Carolina's Outer Banks
One staffer calls it "hands down, the best local surf grill ever."

8. The Anchor Grill
Covington, Kentucky
This 24-hour greasy spoon features a mini jukebox (with dancing Barbies) at every table.

9. Dante & Luigi's
Mangia Old World specialties in the heart of South Philly's Italian Market.

10. Rods Grill
Warren, Rhode Island
Fill up on award-winning $1.45 New York System wieners, topped with meat sauce, chopped raw onions, and celery salt.

11. The Salt Lick
Driftwood, Texas
Pig out on heaping helpings of open-pit barbecue.

12. And for more, read "American Pie: Slices of Life (And Pie) From America's Back Roads" by Pascale Le Draoulec (Harper Paperbacks, $13) or go to for links to historic diners around the country.

To Take a Hike
13. Shenendoah National Park
Includes 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail.

14. Grand Canyon National Park
Try the South Kaibab trail for fewer crowds.

15. Harriman State Park
New York
Hoof it to 31 lakes and reservoirs, three beaches, and two public camping areas.

16. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The most visited national park in the United States, with more than 800 miles of trail.

17. Acadia National Park
Tide pools, granite peaks, and lighthouses.

18. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
A wonderland for mountaineers and backcountry campers.

19. Grand Teton National Park
For spectacular lakes and moose, elk, and bison sightings, try Paintbrush Canyon.

20. Yosemite National Park
To chase waterfalls.

21. Glacier National Park
See it before the glaciers melt!

22. Mount Saint Helens
For those who really are okay with climbing an active volcano.

23. Temescal Canyon
Breathtaking views within spitting distance of Los Angeles.

24. Bryce Canyon National Park
Unrivaled rock formations and stargazers' campgrounds at 8,200 feet.

25. Ketchum, Idaho
Wildflower meadows and fly-fishing streams.

26. Or visit for the official directory of National Parks.

To Hear a Good Story
27. For driving across the U.S., pop in an audiobook of "My Antonia" by
Willa Cather (Tantor Media, $20)

28. For cruising along I-95: "A Walk In the Woods" by Bill Bryson (Corgi Audio, $31)

29. For late-night drives: "The Ultimate David Sedaris" (Hachette Audio, $100)

30. For long afternoon drives, "Prairie Home Companion 25th Anniversary Collection" by Garrison Keillor (Highbridge Audio, $40)

31. For roadside diner junkies: "Nickled and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich (Recorded Books, $30)

32. For road-tripping in general: "Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip" by Dayton Duncan (Random House Audio, $25)

To Sleep In Style
33. Thunderbird Hotel
Marfa, Texas
A trendy redesign of a classic motor lodge in the arty Texas town.

34. Wigwam Village Motel No. 2
Cave City, Kentucky
Snooze in a concrete tepee from a 1950s-era chain.

35. Shack Up Inn
Clarksdale, Mississippi
Sidle into a renovated sharecropper's shack on a former cotton plantation.

36. The Hostel X
Teton Village, Wyoming
Rustic, cozy, and cheap rooms with private baths and amazing views of the Teton Mountains.

37. The Horizon Hotel
Palm Springs, California
Renovated 1950s-style bungalows with top-notch amenities.

38. Shady Dell
Bisbee, Arizona
Park yourself for the night in a vintage Airstream trailer (with period details).

39. Hotel San Jose
Austin, Texas
The stylish, cozy Hotel San Jose was the most-nominated destination on this list by Blueprint editors.

40. KOA Campgrounds
Around the country, these campgrounds feature gambrel-roofed log "kabins" with porch swings, hibachis, and gingham curtains.

41. Or peruse "Motel America: A State-By-State Tour Guide To Nostalgic Stopovers" by Andrew Wood and Jenny Wood (Collectors Press, $15).

To Learn a New Language
42. "To Budge"
To cut in line (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa)

43. "Toad Choker"
A very heavy rain (Texas)

44. "Packy"
A liquor store (New England)

45. "Outfit"
An automobile (Wyoming)

46. "Rack"
One pound of barbecue (the South)

47. "Jimmies"
Candy sprinkles (the Northeast)

48. "Bang"
To make a left turn (Boston)

49. "Langiappe"
Something extra (Louisiana)

To See Natural Wonders (That You May Have Overlooked)
50. Slide Rock State Park
Sedona, Arizona
Ride the natural water chute at this state park.

51. Congress Avenue Bats
Austin, Texas
Watch up to 1.5 million bats take flight at sunset every day.
512-416-5700, ext. 3636

52. Crystal Cave
South Bass Island, Ohio
Crawl inside one of the world's largest geodes.

53. Barringer Meteor Crater
Near Winslow, Arizona
Nearly a mile wide and 50,000 years old.

54. Kelso Dunes
Kelso, California
600-foot-tall sand dunes that make booming sounds as they shift.

55. Everglades National Park
Homestead, Florida
Marshes, mangroves, and gators make up a subtropical wilderness.

56. And check out "1,001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You Die" by Michael Bright (Barron's Educational Series, $35).

To See Unnatural Wonders

57. Prada Marfa
Near Valentine, Texas
Germany-based artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingmar Dragset's life-size sculpture of a Prada store, on I-90.

58. Crazy Horse Memorial
Crazy Horse, South Dakota
One man's own personal Rushmore, 60 years in the carving.

59. Beer-Can House
Houston, Texas
Talk about aluminum siding!

60. The World's Largest Ball of Twine
Cawker, Kansas
More than 1,400 miles of twine, weighing almost 9 tons.

61. Hollywood, California
Plastic surgery capital of the United States.

62. The Corn Palace
Mitchell, South Dakota
It gets a new mural-facade (made of corn, naturally) every year.

63. The World's Largest Termite
Providence, Rhode Island
At 58 feet long, it perches atop New England Pest Control in Providence.

64. Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant
Sister Bay, Wisconsin
During the summer, goats graze the grass roof of the restaurant.

65. For more roadside adventures, check out

For Scenic Routes
66. Route 1/Pacific Coast Highway
Beaches, sunsets, and rocky coastline.

67. U.S. Route 50
The "Loneliest Highway in America."

68. Route 6A
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Sand dunes, quaint cottages, and seagulls.

69. Route 100
Verdant green in the summer, snow white in the winter, and a cornucopia of colors in the fall.

70. Hana Highway
Maui, Hawaii
A twisty trail of waterfalls, beaches, and ocean vistas.

71. Red Rocks Scenic Byway, Route 179
Sedona, Arizona
When the sun hits the sandstone just right, there's nothing like it.

72. Seward Highway
Gorgeous glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife.

73. Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway
A 105-mile stretch overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains.

74. Carova Beach
North Carolina's Outer Banks
Take a four-wheel drive right onto the beach.

75. Consult or "Road Trip USA" by Jamie Jensen ($30, Avalon TravelPublishing) to plan itineraries with detailed maps, background information, and attractions.

To Find a Bargain
76. Brimfield Antiques Show
Brimfield, Massachusetts
The largest outdoor antiques show in New England, July 10 to 15, 2007.

77. All Night Flea Market
Wheaton, Illinois
5 p.m. to 4 a.m., August 25.

78. Deco to Pop at Sommerivlle Center Antiques
Somerville, New Jersey
Shop for vintage modern finds.

79. Rose Bowl Flea Market
Pasadena, California
Shop with designers and movie stars the second Sunday of every month.

80. The Northern California Swap Meet
Alameda, California
A less-crowded, quality alternative to the Rose Bowl, also on Sundays.

81. Deseret Industries
A fruitful chain of thrift shops in seven Western states. (Locals call it simply "DI.")

82. Or search for thrift shops on your route.

To Drink Like a Local
83. Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop
New Orleans
An ancient, cavernous dive where Tennessee Williams used to tipple.

84. Double Down Saloon
Las Vegas
The friendly, off-Strip biker hangout known as the "anti-Vegas" is open 24/7.

85. Inwood Lounge
Retro cocktails and indie films in an Art Deco movie house.

86. Tootsies Orchid Lounge
Live country music in a bar with tons of history and character.

87. Billy Goat Tavern Original
The bar that inspired John Belushi's "Cheezborger, Cheezborger, Cheezborger" skit on "Saturday Night Live."

88. The Rhinebeck Cantina and Grille
Rhinebeck, New York
Great music and a down-to-earth, arty crowd in a 19th-century library.

89. 500 Club on Guerrero
San Francisco
Dirt-cheap beer + a great jukebox = the ultimate dive.

90. Fox's Sherron Inn
Virtually unchanged since 1946, with dim lighting, red vinyl booths, and Sinatra on the jukebox.

91. provides reliable reviews of bars (and more) in cities and towns all over the country.

To Crank Up the Stereo and Sing Along
92. Rolling Stones, "Sticky Fingers"
93. Beach Boys, "Endless Summer"
94. Bruce Springsteen, "Born to Run"
95. Ray Charles, "Anthology"
96. Madonna, "The Immaculate Collection"
97. Johnny Cash, "The Essential Johnny Cash"
98. Stevie Wonder, "The Definitive Collection"
99. Patsy Cline, "Gold"
100. Download our exclusive road-trip playlist.

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