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For Rock Star & Platinum Roadtrippers
Premium Roadtrippers access customized trips completed for members in the past. Please use them if they apply. Your Rock Star and Platinum Premium subscription include receiving customized road trips as well. Just ask me. Provide me with the start and endpoint and a general idea of the types of attractions and activities you want to see. Again, this page includes customized trips I’ve developed in the past.
Fort Myers FL to Twin Cities
Road trip arranger extraordinaire! The beginning of a new career! A friend asked me for help on deciding what to see when driving back from Fort Myers FL to Minnesota. He said just give us some sports venues and a few other interesting attractions to see along the way. So, being The Driveby Tourist, that’s right in my sweet spot. Have a look at the map and a brief outline of the proposed trip. Actually, he didn’t end up taking the trip but enjoyed reading about it.
Starting in Fort Myers and through Florida
- Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota Florida, spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles. I’ve only include a couple of spring training locations as I know you are a baseball lover!
- Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Home of the 2021 Super Bowl winners Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- The New York Yankees spring training facility, also in Tampa, provides another baseball venue.
- On to Gainesville for the home of the Florida Gators
Continuing into Georgia
- Ashburn GA hosts the annual Fire Ant Festival. Likely not a stop anyone would make if they are driving through, but the welcome sign for the town telling us that might be worth the quick stop!
- Macon GA hosts the Minor League Macon Bacon baseball team. Interestingly, Macon’s team at one time named themselves the “Macon Whoopees!”
- The Georgia Guidestones, erected in 1980 by an anonymous group contains unusual and sometimes controversial statements on the monuments. The mysterious founder’s specifications indicated the guidestones function as a compass, a calendar, and a clock. The guidestones have been vandalized several times over the years, likely for their controversial statements.
- Ty Cobb museum in Royston GA. Cobb still holds the highest lifetime batting average at .366. Cobb remains a controversial figure due to his ultra-competitiveness and surly personality. Although many opposing players and managers disliked him, most still agreed his greatness as a player. (Baseball fans know much more about his exploits.)
- Stone Mountain GA. The mountain’s unique appearance and prominence in the geography remain a popular visiting place. The north face contains a controversial carving depicting three confederate leaders.
- Jimmy Carter Presidential museum and library in Atlanta needs no introduction.
- The home of the Atlanta Falcons, Mercedes Benz stadium, remains a visited site, even to just view the stadium.
- Georgia Tech University, often competitive in football at the national level lives in Atlanta as well.
- Of course, he wants to see Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves!
- Rock City, Lookout Mountain, GA remains a popular visiting place to see the rocky cliffs and beautiful scenery.
..and let’s head into Tennessee
- Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, even if you aren’t a country music fan, stands as a great place to see.
- Nashville also hosts the Nashville Sounds minor league baseball stadium. Good stop for baseball fans.
- The Parthenon, also in Nashville, built as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897, remains a popular visitor location. Originally, built as a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens Greece, it’s still a tourist attraction.
- Clarksville, TN, only included for it’s Rock and Roll reference. “Last Train to Clarksville” by The Monkees!
So, let’s go to Kentucky from here
- National Corvette Museum, Bowling Green, KY. A must see if you like cars, recent American history, pop culture, etc. “Little Red Corvette” by Minnesota native, Prince!
- Dinosaur World, Cave City, KY. This one’s not for everyone but might be attractive to see hundreds of life-sized dinosaur replicas in a natural setting.
- Kentucky’s Stonehenge, Munfordville, KY. Munfordville native relocated nearly every large rock he could find nearby to create the display resembling the world famous original.
- Kentucky Derby site, Louisville, KY. I know, you likely won’t be there during the Kentucky Derby, but you can always say, “I was there”.
- Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Louisville, KY. The factory manufactures the official bat of Major League Baseball and is still the #1 choice for MLB players.
Let’s visit Indiana and Illinois
- Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, IN. Host to the most famous auto race in America. The speedway and an accompanying museum are a must for many people visiting the area.
- Casey, IL. Casey resident Jim Bolin started the project to create eight objects certified by the Guinness World Records as the largest in the world. The items include wind chimes, rocking chair, wooden shoes, crochet hook, knitting needles, pitchfork, golf tee, and a mailbox. Currently, the town seeks recognition for the largest gavel. They also created other large objects that aren’t certified as the largest in the world.
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, IL. Needs no introduction.
- Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk, of Star Trek fame, Riverside IA.
- Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum, West Branch IA.
- Galena, IL. I know, a trip across the river back into Illinois to a picturesque and historical small town on the Mississippi River.
- National Mississippi River Museum, Dubuque IA. Well worth the visit for the historical and cultural significance in American history.
- Field of Dreams Movie Site, Dyersville, IA. Actual site of the 1989 movie. A must for baseball fans! (I’ve been there.)
- Vesterheim Norwegian-American museum, Decorah IA. Why not, it’s on the way!
Back into Minnesota
- SPAM Museum, Austin MN. I’ll bet you didn’t think this was a real thing! Hawaii has the highest consumption of SPAM per capita among US states. If Guam was a country, it would have the highest consumption rate in the world. It’s also very popular in Japan, Korea and the Philippines.
- If you are interested, you can swing through Rochester MN to view the Mayo Clinic, one of the most famous medical centers in the world.
- …..and home!
Las Vegas to Lake Havasu City
A trip request to go from Las Vegas to Lake Havasu City AZ and return resulted in this trip plan. The quickest way is to use Google Maps to get you from Las Vegas to Lake Havasu City. That is ~153 miles one-way and 2.5 hours. I’m assuming you want to see sights and attractions along the way. I’ve only recently begun offering this service. I’ve found the best way is to ask minimal questions upfront and make the trip as I would for myself, taking into account any thoughts of yours. Then, you can look at it and suggest changes. I’ll edit the trip with any proposed changes or questions you have.
Overview of the trip
The trip I’m presenting is nearly 650 miles of driving. But if you decide to skip both Primm, NV, and the Nelson ghost town, you will cut off about 100 miles. There isn’t much to see in Searchlight NV, but the trip on Christmas Tree Pass may make that route worth taking. The most likely place to skip is Roy’s Motel, Café & Gas. It’s a staple on Route 66. I’ve seen it and wouldn’t go out of my way to see it. Skipping it will bring down total mileage to about 490 miles. And skipping Primm will bring it down to a respectable 415 miles.
Kingman and Oatman Arizona
This version of the trip routes you through Kingman, AZ. There are attractions there, and you will have the opportunity to drive old Route 66 to Oatman, AZ. Oatman is a “living” ghost town. The old village provides both history and touristy places. Wild burros wander at will throughout the area.
Travel industry ratings give Oatman a high grade! The Oatman Hotel is a highlight as a combination restaurant, museum, and historic site. Here is a link to my blog post about Kingman to Oatman.
From Oatman, you can continue on Route 66 to Needles, CA, or go south to Lake Havasu. The decision depends on how much Route 66 you want to see. Below are a few notes.
Robert P. McCulloch, a Lake Havasu billionaire, purchased the old London Bridge, shipped it over, and reassembled it stone by stone. It’s worth the visit while in Havasu. It crosses from the mainland to an unnamed island in the Colorado River. There are shopping and eating places on the island.
You can look at the list below to see what you might want to see and do. For example:
- Mohave Museum of History and Art
- Metcalf Park (railroad)
- Kingman Railroad Museum
- Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner
- Mike’s Route 66 Outpost & Saloon
- Link to Things to do in Kingman
- Wild Burros
- Oatman Hotel
- Link to things to do in Oatman
Lake Havasu City
Lake Havasu City AZ
English Village (Link), unfortunately, is mostly gone. It was never designed to be permanent.
Return through Arizona, California, and Nevada
- Roy’s Café in Amboy is west of Needles but is a staple on Route 66. It’s about 100 miles west, and I just threw it in if you wanted to see more of Route 66.
- Needles Regional Museum
- Mojave National Preserve is just west of Needles
- There isn’t much to see in Needles. I’m pulling up site after site, and all the attractions are outside of Needles. At least it’s a place to stop if you ever want to tell someone you were in Needles, CA! Anybody who knows the area may say, “Why?”!
- Here is a link.
- Riverwalk provides excellent views of the Colorado River and the town of Laughlin
- Colorado River Taxi crosses the river between Laughlin and Bullhead City. The water taxi provides excellent views of sights along the river.
- Ticket and information center at Golden Nugget Casino
- Crosses between Bullhead City and Laughlin
- See the sights on the river
- Reported to be worth the price due to the views
- Link to things to do in Laughlin NV
Bullhead City AZ
- Davis Dam and camp
- Arizona Veterans Memorial Park
- Link to things to do in Bullhead City AZ
- Christmas Tree Pass is a 16-mile gravel road with great views of the Colorado River and surrounding areas.
- Here is a link that seems to summarize most of the information I found in other places
Ghost town and quick stops
- A ghost town on the Nevada side
- The views around the area are an attraction
- The most significant attraction is a tour of the old mine that operated from 1858 until 1945
- Nelson’s Beach
- Plane “wreckage” near Nelson. (It’s a movie prop built for the 2001 film “3000 Miles to Graceland”.)
- Link to things to do in Nelson AZ
- Searchlight noted for end of Christmas Tree Pass. I can’t find much else to do, but here’s a link to Wikipedia about it.
- Bonnie and Clyde death car
- Pistol Pete’s Casino and Hotel
- Other than the Bonnie and Clyde car, there isn’t much else to see besides casinos.
- Here is a link to Primm.
Have a great trip! Let me know how it went for you.
Sacramento to Twin Cities
A subscriber requested a trip from Sacramento California to the Twin Cities in Minnesota. They were making the trip in four days so requested a small number of attractions. I’m sure they won’t stop at all of them. Here is the detail I provided.
California and through Nevada
- I included Lake Tahoe and then took it off the route, and it’s a bit out of the way. It’s an incredible drive around the lake, however. (My software lets me mark it off route so It shows as a different icon.) For others reading this, try to make Tahoe a priority when in the area. Here’s a link for ideas on things to do. The area has year around attractions with ski areas nearby in the winter.
- The Western Folklife Center in Elko NV celebrates the early American west. The focus is on the “Wild West” days of our history. I’m mentioning it because the stop is along your route and might be worth a quick look. I remember you are on a tight schedule, especially on the first day.
- The Bonneville Salt Flats highlight the first part of your trip. I hope you get a while to stop and enjoy.
- I’m not sure if you’ll have time for much but just seeing the Great Salt Lake is a must. The map shows Great Salt Lake State Park.
- You mentioned your stop in Salt Lake City. While there, it would be good to make time to at least drive by Temple Square.
- Park City is a touristy area but maybe a place to stop for a meal if that fits your schedule.
- Fort Bridger State Historic Site in Bridger, WY, would be a good stop, but I believe it will be late in the day for you. Something to remember if you are through there again.
- Independence Rock State Historic Site near Alcova, WY, derived its name from a noted landmark for wagon trains going through the area. The name came from a group that spent Independence Day in the area. Since you are on a tight time frame, you might want to save for another time.
- The Frontier Auto Museum in Gillette, WY, has excellent reviews. I stop for car museums nearly everywhere I go!
- You mentioned Devil’s Tower, and I’m glad you will have some time there. It’s incredible! I camped at the foot of it and then did the tour the next day back in 1999. It’s historic as it’s a sacred site for many Native American tribes. Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed it as the first National Monument. And, of course, it appeared in the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” That’s a great movie, by the way!
- I believe you didn’t think you’d make it to Crazy Horse, but I added it just for info. The Black Hills aren’t that far from the Twin Cities. There are lots of attractions in the Black Hills for a visit another time.
- You already said Mt. Rushmore was on your list. Everyone should see that!
- The Needles Highway and Custer State Park are perfect places to visit. If you have a bit of time, the drive through the Needles Highway runs through Custer State Park. I believe I’ve mentioned it someplace in my blog, and it’s on my list for a newsletter “someday.”
- I had to throw in Wall Drug but can’t recommend it. It’s a tourist trap!
- The Wounded Knee Museum in Wall is worth a stop, however.
- Badlands National Park is a great place (but nearly all national parks are), so I don’t need to say more about it!
- I added the South Dakota Hall of Fame only because it’s along the Missouri River in Chamberlain, SD. Incredible views of the river alone make it worth the stop.
- The Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD, is only included to note its location. The outside is unique, but inside it’s just an auditorium and somewhat of a museum. Same for the 1880s Cowboy Town. I bypassed it on several trips on I-90.
Back into Minnesota!
- The Pipestone National Monument is a place I want to see, but I haven’t yet made it a priority. Well worth the visit from the readings I’ve done.
- The World’s Largest Ball of Twine?!?!?! Maybe if you need a chuckle, but by then, I’m sure you just want to get home!
And that’s a wrap for Sacramento to Twin Cities!