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Top 21 Most Unique and Irregular Cross-Country Road Trip Stops


When we road trip across the country, we plan to stop at the usual spots and take some selfies and move on our merry way.

But, what happens when you’re well-traveled and you want to add more flavor to your road trip sights?

The Adventure Tribune created our own Top 21 List for our most unique road trip stops. Here we go:

1. Crazy Horse Monument (South Dakota)
Near Mount Rushmore, this lesser-known monument features the face of Native American hero, Crazy horse, carved into the side of a mountain. It’s worth the drive to pay homage to this incredible American leader.

2. Estes Park (Colorado)
This beautiful section of the Rocky Mountains features stunning mountain viewpoints, great hiking to stretch your legs, and some pretty cool watering holes. The indoor shots of The Shining were filmed at Estes Park’s Stanley Hotel. Stop in the fall and you may see entire herds of elk.

3. Monument Valley (Arizona/Utah)
Do you remember Looney Tunes’ Road Runner and Coyote episodes? Well, this is where it took place. Drive through miles of unique rock formations (or monuments) as you cross the Arizona-Utah border. Catch it at sunrise for some incredible colors, or at sunset for a great view. It’s on an offshoot highway in Navajo Country, so be sure to plan your route ahead of time.

4. Astoria (Oregon)
Visit the spot where the mighty Columbia River crashes into the Pacific Ocean. Founded by John Jacob Astor as a basecamp for a planned fur=trading empire, the failed colony simmered. Now, it’s a bustling fishing town and home to the scenery from The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop.

5. McSorley's Old Ale House (New York City)
New York’s oldest Irish pub was founded in 1854 by an Irishman who fled the potato famine for the promise of the American Dream. The pub contains historical relics from 150 years of New York history, including a ticket to the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge. Along the bartop stand dusty wishbones that World War One soldiers placed with plans to take them upon their return.

6. Blue Ridge Mountains (West Virginia)
The scenic bypass through West Virginia is aptly named. The tree-lined roads and distant viewpoints give off a blue misty feeling.

7. Coeur d’Alene (Idaho)
Cruising through the panhandle of Idaho, you’ll pass an enchanting lake with luxurious-yet-secluded homes. This oasis will beg you to stay.

8. Pittock Mansion (Oregon)
Henry Pittock made his fortune from The Oregonian during the early 1900s and his mansion stands above the city as a symbol of his influence. The mansion, reminiscent of The Great Gatsby, provides an incredible view of the city’s bridges.

9. City Tavern (Philadelphia)
Built during the American Revolution, City Tavern served as the watering hole for Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and other Founding Fathers as they talked political construction of a new nation at war with the most powerful empire in the world. The interior hasn’t changed and the menu hasn’t either.

10. Hannibal (Missouri)
Mark Twain’s childhood home rests along the shores of the Mississippi River. The town served as the influence for the setting of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

11. Columbia Gorge (Oregon/Washington)
This stretch of highway from mid-Pacific Northwest to Portland provides stunning views as it lines the Columbia River. Stop on any exit and have instant access to hundreds of waterfall hikes.

12. Trinity Church (New York City)
Located near the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway, this colonial church served as the Sunday home to many of our nation’s Founding Fathers, including George Washington. The burial grounds of Alexander Hamilton, killed in a duel with Aaron Burr, lies just outside the church walls.

13. Moab (Utah)
Known as the adventurers destination of the United States, Moab provides opportunities for anyone. From skydiving to bungee jumping, from Arches National Park to Canyonlands National Park, and from ATV tours to brewery tours, Moab has it all.

14. Little Bighorn (Montana)
The massacres that occurred at Little Bighorn are a reminder of the cost that Native Americans had to pay in order for European-American colonization of the Western continent. Visit the site to learn about the other perspectives of so-called “Manifest Destiny”.

15. Mesa Verde (Colorado)
Over 1,000 years ago, Puebloan cultures in southern Colorado built neighborhoods and villages out of stone in the sides of canyon walls and used rock climbing techniques to get from one neighborhood to another. See for yourself, and take a tour of the cliff dwellings while you’re at it.

16. Badlands National Park (South Dakota)
The full-scale anthill-like landscape evokes a sense that you’ve actually driven into Mars. With some of the most unique and desolate land in the country, you’ll see when the seemingly random area is known as “The Badlands”. And watch out for rams!

17. Savannah (Georgia)
This quaint Southern town gives any traveler an instant glance into the history and culture of the Antebellum South. Its immaculate houses, riverwalk, and old cotton markets haven’t changed in decades. The scenery for Forrest Gump lies in the heart of town.

18. Four Corners (New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado)
We all thought that being in four places at once would be so cool. And it is! Drive through Navajo Nation and pull into the small park. Stand in four places at once, and then purchase a trinket or food from the Navajo markets that line the grid.

19. Pat’s King of Steaks (Philadelphia)
Allegedly the creator of the Philly Cheesesteak, this small food stop will change your culinary life. Order a Philly Cheesesteak wit and you’ll never forget it. Eat your cheesesteak in the footprints of Rocky Balboa, who visited this stop in the classic film.

20. Washington Monument (Washington, D.C.)
Easily the coolest panoramic view in the nation’s capital city, the Washington Monument allows visitors to summit the obelisk and gaze across the Mall. Stand in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by walking along the pool to the Lincoln memorial.

21. Daniel Boone National Forest (Kentucky)
This scenic drive encompasses Kentucky’s natural environment. The low-lying trees sprawl for miles in thick vegetated landscape. Stop off for some authentic Kentucky bourbon while you’re there!

The United States has such a vast landscape that it’s difficult to see everything. If we missed something, send your own list to submissions@theadventuretribune.com and see it published.
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