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American Summer Road Trip

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • July 16, 2023

Are you a roadtripper? Do you love hitting the open road and exploring the vastness that is America? From national parks to small-town curiosities to roadside diners, you'll never run out of new things to see and do here in this grand and glorious country of ours. Here are some U.S. travel guides, American road trip memoirs, and more to get you inspired and help you plan an epic adventure this summer.

Guides and more

Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America's Two-Lane Highways
Road warrior Jamie Jensen sped along nearly 400,000 miles of highway in search of the perfect stretches of pavement. The result? Over 125 streamlined maps with expert advice and mile-by-mile highlights celebrating the best of Americana, including roadside curiosities, parks, diners, and local history.

Moon Southwest Road Trip
Wind-carved red rocks, brightly-painted adobe houses, and miles of open desert road. Drive from Las Vegas to Santa Fe, visiting eight national parks along the way. Arizona local Tim Hull shares his love of the Southwest with this collection of flexible itineraries from a two-week loop to shorter, more targeted trips.

RV Vacations: Explore National Parks, Iconic Attractions, and 40 Memorable Destinations
A growing number of people are choosing to travel the countryside in RVs. RVing leaves a smaller carbon footprint than traditional fly/hotel/drive vacations; plus, it's a lot more comfortable and convenient. RV travel enthusiasts Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi share their top tips and favorite trips.

Where Should We Camp Next?: National Parks
Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi take you beyond Yellowstone and Yosemite to the hidden gems of the National Park Service to help you plan a truly unique vacation. This guide features 300+ of the best camping and glamping spots in and around national parks, seashores, monuments, and more! 

The Open Road: 50 Best Road Trips in the USA
Whether a weekend getaway, a coastal drive, or a cross-country journey, this guide by Jessica Dunham provides comprehensive resources to plan your trip. From enjoying wildflowers on Arizona's Apache Trail to touring Vermont Farms to falling asleep to the crashing waves of Big Sur, find your perfect road trip.  

The Ballpark Bucket List: The Ultimate Scorecard for Visiting All 30 Major Parks
Take this out to the ballgame! Author James Buckley Jr. designed this handsomely styled journal for baseball's ultimate fans to keep track of game stats, winning plays, final scores, snacks, mascots, and other highlights as you go. The guide provides in-depth info about each of the 30 Major League stadiums included.

The National Parks Scavenger Hunt: A Family-Friendly Way to Explore All 63 Parks
This fun-filled guide by Stacy Tornio shares an exciting scavenger hunt for every American National Park—featuring natural history factoids and creative and educational ways to engage with nature. Turn every trip into an outdoor adventure for the whole family!

National Parks Trivia: A Card Game
Get to know America's 63 national parks with 390 wide-ranging trivia questions that cover their iconic geography, ecology, geology, history, wildlife, and botany. From the authors of Scenic Science of the National Parks, this game will expand your understanding and appreciation of these magical places.

The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book
The road trip you've been dreaming of starts here! From a scavenger hunt to play throughout the entirety of the trip to content creation challenges to get you though the last hour on your way to the campsite or hotel, this all-in-one book will be your guide and inspiration to your time on the road.

Inspiring firsthand accounts

Blue Highways: A Journey into America
William Least Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about the road less traveled. His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation of the true American experience.

The New American Road Trip Mixtape
When your life plan explodes, you ask yourself the big questions: What do I really need? Should I buy a house? Have kids? Following in Kerouac and Steinbeck's tire tracks, a 32-year-old, post-breakup Brendan Leonard hits the road in search of healing and a new, post-economic-downturn American Dream.

America the Beautiful?: One Woman in a Borrowed Prius on the Road Most Traveled
For writer and comedian Blythe Roberson, there are only so many Mary Oliver poems you can read about being free, and only so many times you can listen to Joni Mitchell's Hejira, before you too, are itching to take off. This hilarious and illuminating memoir documents her version of the Great American Road Trip.

The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America
Following an urge to rediscover his youth, Bill Bryson left his native Des Moines, Iowa, in a journey that would take him across 38 states. Lucky for us, he brought a notebook. With a razor wit and a kind heart, Bryson serves up a colorful tale of boredom, kitsch, and beauty when you least expect it.

Hopefully there's something here that inspires you to hit the road this summer and find yourself a new American adventure.

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