Fun and Fascinating Road Trip Pit Stops
From educational and historic to wacky and weird, there's plenty to see on your road trip through the U.S.A. We've listed seven here, but if you want to know what will be along the route of your specific road trip, visit a road trip planner site like roadtrippers.com or download a road trip planning app like TripIt. You can also visit Shelter's Road Trippin' Pinterest Board here.
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum – Oklahoma City, OK
April 19, 1995, was a tragic day for Oklahoma City and our country as a whole when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was the target of a domestic terrorist attack. 168 people lost their lives that day, and now there's an Outdoor Symbolic Memorial and a 30,000 square foot interactive Memorial Museum where the building once stood.
World's Largest Ball of Twine – Cawker City, KS
The town of Cawker City, Kansas, didn't set out to create the World's Largest Ball of Twine as a tourist attraction—it was donated in 1961 by a resident, Frank Stroeber, who started making the ball in 1953. Four years later, it was 5,000 pounds and eight feet high. Tourists who stop to see the ball can visit the Almost Done Inn and ask for some twine to add to the ball. They'll give you about 20 yards and add it to the ball's total length. Each year in August, the town holds a "Twine-a-Thon" that includes lots of fun games, food and other events—including adding twine to the ball. As of 2013, the ball weighed 19,873 pounds. How big is it now? Stop and see for yourself!
Smith Falls – Valentine, NE
When you think of waterfalls, you might think of Hawaii, Washington, Colorado or New York, but Nebraska? Believe it or not, there's a beautiful waterfall in Valentine, Nebraska at Smith Falls State Park. The 70-foot waterfall is on the south side of the Niobrara River, and campsites are available.
Carhenge – Alliance, NE
Nebraska's answer to Stonehenge is Carhenge. In 1987, farmer and engineer Jim Reinders thought it would be a good memorial to his father. The family spray painted all the cars grey so it resembled Stonehenge. At first, the Nebraska Department of Highways wanted to label it a junkyard, but now there's a visitor's center on site. Visit www.carhenge.com for directions and more information.
The National Mustard Museum – Middleton, WI
Mustard lovers rejoice! Now there's a place you can stop that pays homage to your favorite condiment. The National Mustard Museum, often referred to as the "Condimental Divide," offers tastings, shopping and historical mustard items such as mustard pots, tins, ads and more. It's even listed on the National Registry of Hysterical Places. If you're planning a trip in August, try to plan it around National Mustard Day on August 5.
Meramec Caverns - Stanton, MO
Meramec Caverns is a 5-mile, 400 million year old cave system near the Meramec River, just an hour west of the St. Louis Arch. After you tour the 7-story caverns and learn about their beautiful mineral formations, you might want to stay awhile. Camping is available, as well as zip lining, canoe floats and riverboat rides.
Gateway Arch – St. Louis, MO
St. Louis is home to a great many attractions, including professional baseball, football and hockey teams, as well as the St. Louis Zoo and the St. Louis Science Center.If you're just passing through and only have time to see one thing, you probably want to stop at the Gateway Arch, also known as the St. Louis Arch, and the surrounding Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. The Arch is situated near the banks of the Mississippi River and is the tallest man-made national monument in the Unites States. Take the enclosed tram to you to the top—630 feet high—and you can see 30 miles in each direction.
These are just a few examples of great things to see on your road trip through the U.S. Of course, before you go anywhere, make sure you have your car checked out. The last thing you need is to be in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire or caught in a rainstorm with bad wiper blades. Of course, if anything like that happens and you're a Shelter customer, you can call our roadside assistance service. It's included with your auto policy! Also check your insurance coverage before you go and take a printed version of your insurance card with you, even though most states will now accept a digital version on your smartphone. You can access your ID card once you set up a My Shelter account and download the Shelter Insurance® mobile app.
Have fun, and safe travels!