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Northern Minnesota scenic area

Sample of customized road trip

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.

Fort Myers to Minnesota
Road trip from Fort Myers FL to Minnesota

Starting in Fort Myers and through Florida

  • Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota Florida. It’s the spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles. I’ve only include a couple of spring training locations. Yes, 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. This one provides another baseball venue.
  • On to Gainesville for the home of the Florida Gators
  • (By the way, this section contains: Patreon Premium subscriber benefits)

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 providing that information 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 about 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.

Entering Iowa

  • 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 of the river 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!

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“I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash

I’ve been everywhere, man.
I’ve been everywhere, man.
Crossed the desert’s bare, man.
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel, I’ve had my share, man.
I’ve been everywhere.

Written by: Geoff Mack