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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Live in SW England, Work in Dubai, Travel in USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Destination Suggestions

    So... it's been 2 years since my last big road trip around the US. That means it's time for the next one!

    Flights are booked and I have planned some of the stops along the way, but we're heading to parts of the US that are much more rural than we've been before so insider knowledge may prove invaluable.

    We're touring through the following states, so any thoughts on what to see / offbeat sights or roads recommended would be appreciated.

    Flight lands.... Minneapolis MN
    then visiting these states
    North Dakota
    South Dakota
    Nebraska
    Colorado
    New Mexico
    Texas
    Oklahoma
    Kansas
    Iowa

    The more offbeat the better, I have already read the tour guides and posts on tripadvisor forums etc.

    If there's any interest still I will blog the trip on here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dangermouse View Post
    If there's any interest still I will blog the trip on here?
    Whadda ye meen? Of course there is always interest in reading the experiences of others. Who knows how many members and visitors to RTA, it helps.

    Can't help you with everything, but some of my favourite routes have been through some of those States.

    In Nebraska take route 2 northwest out of Grand Island; 20 and 27 will take you through the Sandhills area. (There has been quite a bit of that mentioned, so maybe a search will find the relevant posts.)

    In South Dakota you have the Black Hills Area, Badlands, Wall Drug and the Corn Palace in Mitchell. One of my favourites was going to the Centre of the Nation, 20 miles north of Belle Fourche on old US-85. (Involves about 6 or 7 miles of gravel road.)

    US-400 through Kansas is quite interesting, going through the agricultural State; especially that section between Pratt and Dodge City. Among other things, it passes through Greensburg, the small town which was destroyed by a tornado some six or seven years ago and has rebuilt as a 'green' town, largely reliant on renewable energy. Worthwhile checking out.

    If you are into motorbikes, there is the Museum of Two Wheels (I think it is called) in Marquette KS.

    In Iowa there is the self drive tour of the old Barns and Covered Bridges - through the land of Silos and Smoke Stacks. You get the guide from the visitor centres. (Maybe you can find it on the internet.) Near Des Moines there are the Covered Bridges of Madison County.

    As for Colorado, well you could spend your whole trip time there and not see it all. Doubt there is a road or route in that State which does not have something to offer.

    New Mexico starts to take you into Red Rock country, especially as you get to the Northwest.

    If you still have a road atlas from previous trips, you will find all these marked in it.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Minneapolis MN
    then visiting these states
    North Dakota
    South Dakota
    We just had these states in our long summer trip. I would recommend:

    MN - Lake Itasca (State Park) and the Headwaters of the Mississippi River.

    ND - North of Bismarck, at Washburn, there is the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and the replica of Lewis and Clark's Fort Mandan. (There is also Fort Abraham Lincoln in Mandan, just west of Bismarck, but we did not get there due to time constraints and a problem with our vehicle. Another place is Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in west ND.

    SD - Lifey mentioned the Black Hills area, above, and I will concur. We went to the Badlands, Wall Drug, Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park (Iron Mountain Drive, Needles "Highway" and Wildlife Loops), and Wind Cave while in the area.


    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default ...and Some Roads to Connect Them

    All certainly good suggestions so far for these often overlooked 'fly-over' states. But in your planning, plan on connecting those sites with some scenic roads. Now, to be honest, it's hard to find a non-scenic road in the wide open Plains and Rocky Mountains, but here are a few that rate special consideration as they are all part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's "America's Byways" program:

    Billy the Kid Trail
    El Camino Real
    Cherokee Hills Byway
    Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway
    Colorado River Headwaters Byway
    Flint Hills Scenic Byway
    Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway
    Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway
    Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway
    Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway
    Jemez Mountain Trail
    Lariat Loop Scenic and Historic Byway
    Loess Hills Scenic Byway
    Native American Scenic Byway
    Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway
    San Juan Skyway
    Santa Fe Trail
    Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway
    Talimena Scenic Drive
    Trail of the Ancients
    Trail of the Mountain Spirits Scenic Byway
    Turquoise Trail
    Wetlands and Wildlife Scenic Byway
    Wichita Mountains Byway

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default A few more ideas.

    Good to see you back here dangermouse and I am already looking forward to yuor next report ! You might find this A-Z guide through the States a handy tool in your research.

    A couple of others you can get info from a search: Colorado > Loveland pass off I70, Stations of the Cross Shrine in St Luis and Cano's castle, Antonito [real whacky] both quite close to Great sand dunes NP.

    New Mexico; Rio Grande Gorge bridge where nearby you will find the 'Earthship community' with their 'eco' houses, basically made from junk. Both are quite near to Taos Pueblo. The 'enchanted Circle' scenic drive from Taos includes the Vietnam veterans memorial, Eagles Nest and Red River, home to Cumbres and Toltec scenic railroad. Just southwest of Taos is the Rio Grande Gorge State park.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default ...Surely, you jest?

    Quote Originally Posted by dangermouse View Post
    If there's any interest still I will blog the trip on here?
    Seriously? Come-on man. You know I look forward to your great photos and funny observations about traveling in the USA!

    Looking forward to your first dispatch with glee!

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Live in SW England, Work in Dubai, Travel in USA
    Posts
    175

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Seriously? Come-on man. You know I look forward to your great photos and funny observations about traveling in the USA!

    Looking forward to your first dispatch with glee!

    Mark
    Well thanks all, I have spent a while browsing through all those suggestions and added quite a number to my ever-expanding list of things I want to see en-route.

    D-Day is September 2nd, so keep an eye out!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    209

    Default More from RTA Maps

    Here’s a map showing all of the RTA Attractions that I could find for New Mexico, plus a few more in neighboring states.




    Edit: Hmm. I guess we'll have zoom in a little bit. Sorry about that.

    (Edit: Not a worry -- at least the map does zoom.... Just be sure to click on the icons)
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-19-2014 at 01:48 PM. Reason: added a comment

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Good suggestions for RTA RAs!

    Howard, I looked at some of the Custom Places you added, Good suggestions for ones we ought to create and promote for RTA RAs. I will see what I can do.

    Mark

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