Take a regional road trip
Sometimes the best adventures are off the beaten path. Certainly you can look in any travel guide for the top sightseeing spots, but we have dug a little deeper to find the hidden gems that maybe aren't so obvious. Check out our handful of Regional Road trips throughout the different parts of the US. Maybe you'll discover something new right in your own back yard!
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Tap into your Pioneer Spirit as your explore the back roads and mountain sides of America’s Southwest Region.
Next time someone tells you to take the high road, do it…especially if you are in New Mexico. The High Road, a scenic, 70-mile back road from Santa Fe to Taos passes through old Spanish villages, Indian pueblos, Carson National Forest, and the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The High Road is an easy, full day outing.
Don’t miss Bandelier National Monument on I-25. The park was established to preserve the remains of several thousand Ancestral Pueblo dwellings.
With so many sights to see, it’s no wonder New Mexico is called The Land of Enchantment.
• Carlsbad Caverns: www.nps.gov/archive/cave
• Billy the Kid Museum, Fort Sumner: www.billythekidmuseumfortsumner.com
• New Mexico Tourism: www.newmexico.org
Texas! Just the sound of it conjures up images of cowboys, rodeos, and the American Wild, Wild West. Plan a road trip through pastoral countryside and historic sites important to the founding of the Republic of Texas. Follow route FM 390, called La Bahia Road, a scenic route designated by the Texas Department of Transportation.
Keep an eye out for FM 390’s brown and white markers. These indicate the route’s scenic status and attractions, such as Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historical Park and Old Baylor Park.
Head to Independence and see the Sam Houston homestead and stop and smell the flowers at the Antique Rose Emporium.
Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain...
Okay, so Oklahoma is smack-dab in tornado alley, but don’t let that stop you from touring this Native American heritage-rich state. Explore the 19th century culture of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations; spend the day at the outstanding National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
Feeling particularly brave? Have an appreciation for severe weather? Hankering to witness spectacular, explosive, supercell thunderstorms? How about participating in a storm chasing tour in tornado alley!
There’s the Grand Canyon; there’s Mingus Mountain Scenic Road; and, let’s not forget, there’s Sedona. So what’s a traveler to choose? Try someplace different. Explore Lake Havasu! There’s the Colorado River, the Mohave Desert, the Sonoran Desert, the London Bridge, and great weather to boot!
About that bridge: During the early 1960s, the famed London Bridge was gradually sinking into the River Thames. Rather than razing the bridge, the historical landmark was put on the auction block. American industrialist Robert P. McCulloch saw an opportunity.
Having the winning bid, the bridge was dismantled and shipped 10,000 miles to Long Beach, California. From there it was trucked to Lake Havasu—the city that McCulloch built—and the bridge was rebuilt brick-by-brick.
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