What better way to experience the awe-inspiring landscapes of America than from the open road? For a vacation that’s equal parts family get-together, cinematic adventure, and good old-fashioned fun, a road trip can’t be beat.
At Government Vacation Rewards, we want to help you see the greatest parts of this country, so we’ve picked 8 destinations that we believe make for a truly star-spangled, all-American road trip experience.
1. Mount Rushmore: Keystone, South Dakota
This one’s a classic. You’ve read about it, learned about it, and probably even seen it on the silver screen. But nothing compares to seeing the majestic Mount Rushmore in person. Don’t miss this iconic monument and memorial — it’s carved into the granite of the Black Hills mountain range, and it took over a decade to complete.
2. Grand Teton National Park: Wyoming
There are many scenic National Parks scattered across America, and Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park is one that’s especially worth the visit. The Park encompasses Jackson Hole, the Teton Mountain Range, and the 4,000-meter-tall Grand Teton Peak. For a taste of history, you’ll find old homesteads, cattle ranches, and trails that Native Americans used in the 1800s.
It’s a popular place for hiking, fishing, camping, and more.
3. State Capitol Rotunda: Denver, Colorado
D.C. isn’t the only place where you can find relics of American history. The city of Denver is home to the State Capitol Rotunda, a beautiful building that emulates the design of the US Capitol. Built in the 1890s, it’s adorned with real gold leaf and stained glass, and the hallways are decorated with portraits of every President of the United States.
4. National WWI Museum and Memorial: Kansas City, Missouri
What better way to remember the service of our fallen heroes than to visit the Liberty Memorial and the National WWI Museum? You’ll find both in Kansas City. This site contains one of the largest collections of WWI artifacts in the world, and when you enter the museum, you’ll cross a field of 9,000 red poppies (with each poppy representing 1,000 soldiers who lost their lives in the war).
5. Dodge City, Kansas
Dodge City has a storied history as one of the original frontier towns of the Wild West. It was initially known as the buffalo capital of the West, but cattle soon took over — and with them came cowboys and a healthy dose of lawlessness. Now, it’s a slightly sleepier town, but you can get a taste of its history at the Boot Hill Museum, the Gunfighters Wax Museum, or memorialize your visit at an 1880’s-style photo parlor.
6. Monument Rocks: Gove County, Kansas
While you’re in Kansas, make a stop at the Monument Rocks, also known as the Chalk Pyramids. Formed some 80 million years ago and deemed one of the “8 Wonders of Kansas,” these striking rock formations stretch as high as 70 feet tall. You’ll also have the chance to observe local wildlife, including eagles, falcons, coyotes, and jackrabbits.
7. Gateway Arch: St. Louis, Missouri
Missouri’s most famous monument is the Gateway Arch, a 630-foot arch clad in stainless steel. Constructed in the 1960s to pay tribute to the westward expansion of the United States, the Gateway Arch is both the world’s tallest arch and the tallest man-made monument in the entire Western hemisphere. The Arch was officially dedicated “to the American people” as part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
8. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum: Springfield, Illinois
The last stop on our itinerary is the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Illinois. Dedicated to the life and work of our 16th President, it’s the biggest presidential museum around, spanning an entire city block. In it, you’ll find immersive exhibitions, original artifacts, and more. As an added bonus, members of the military get a discount on admission.