Not Necessarily Off the Beaten Path . . .

I just love being a curator of tourist-ific information to pass along to visitors to our travel blog, Get-packin, so when I happened upon another great travel website I became quite excited , especially when it comes to conjuring up places to visit – you know, those out of the way places found along the nation’s byways . . .

beartooth mountain by B.S. TownsendI hope to whet your appetite for some new travel finds using this great resource! There are recommended byways in 46 states plus a dozen or more multi-state byways reflected, such as Beartooth Highway which meanders across the rugged Beartooth Mountain Range, providing a dramatic view and unparalleled wildlife watching in the states of Montana and Wyoming. There are also more than a dozen local resources through a variety of Chamber of Commerce offices located in both states.

Civil war buffs in particular; or for that matter anyone interested in America’s history, will appreciate this 180 mile Journey Through Hallowed Ground byway, that encompasses the beauty and history of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Here you can take a journey and see nine presidential homes and sites, more than a dozen national and state parks, at least 50 or more historic towns and villages, nearly a dozen historic homes, 100’s of Civil War battlefields and 1,000’s of historical sites. No matter where you start from, the journey from Gettysburg to Monticello will be one you will soon not forget.

Some highlights of this journey might be:
• Leesburg, VA – “a school in Leesburg, VA named for Frederick Douglass was the first built and paid for by African-Americans”
MonticelloPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farm near Gettysburg
• Monticello – home of Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States
• Harpers Ferry National Park

Also a good resource for learning which route to take is to click on the print n go tool. This not only identifies the route you need to take but it includes accessibility information as well as bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and a detailed map.

new river gorge bridge and sandstone fallsIf you’ve ever watched the movie “Coal Miners Daughter” about the life of country music legend, Loretta Lynn, then you might find the Coal Heritage Trail of interest (although Lynn hailed from Kentucky where there were many coal mines as well). Here you can get a first hand look at the history and culture of the coal industry, as well as breathtaking views in rustic West Virginia, especially during early fall when a kaleidoscope of autumn hues covers the landscape with gold, red, orange and brown foliage. A key attraction in this area is also the world’s second largest single arch steel span, the “New River Gorge Bridge” . . .

so creek falls and dilophosaurusFolks who are prehistoric fans and fact finders will find the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway of major interest, as they journey in search of culture and archaeology where dinosaurs once roamed the land of Colorado and Utah. The excitement of a new discovery, along with breathtaking panoramas of these beautiful western states is definitely worth traveling along this byway.

If you’re looking for something a little tamer, then why not drive along A1A Scenic Highway Historic Coastal Byway in Florida with miles and miles of golden sand beaches. Be sure to bring along the sun tan lotion, sun glasses and a blanket to spread out, perfect for watching those beautiful east coast sunrises, or for those of you looking for that perfect sunset on the California coast, your route is the San Luis Obispo North Coastal Byway.

Your ticket for all these wonderful travel experiences and confirmation as to why we call our home “America the Beautiful” is www.byways.org . . . why not take time to explore a byway near you and capture these travel memories to last a lifetime.

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