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What's The Best Road Trip Stop?

Whether you park for ten minutes or ten days, what destinations do you pull off the highway for?

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Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

At some point, everyone starts to think about their dream road trip. For some, it’s a jaunt to the Grand Canyon in a decked-out RV. For others, it’s taking a performance car diagonally across North America. No matter the destination, though, everyone needs to make stops on the way. What are some of your favorites?

For our purposes, a stop is anything from a national park to a gas station. Anything that gets you to pull off the highway, turn off your car, and stretch your legs a bit — whether it’s to hike a mountain or buy some road trip snacks is up to you.

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Photo: Steve DaSilva

My vote for the perfect road trip stop is actually one I visited on a return road trip: Joshua Tree National Park. I’m an East Coast boy, born and raised, and New England doesn’t have an acre of land that looks anything like Joshua Tree. The expanse, the tan rocks jutting towards the sky, even the vegetation is such a departure from environments I grew up with. If you’ve never been, it’s worth hopping off the highway to see.


To a West Coaster, however, Joshua Tree may not be quite as special. For that half of the country, then, my recommendation would be to visit a dense Vermont forest in winter. The cold, crisp air, the thick trees, the deep snow. The best road trip stops are the ones that show you things you can’t find around the corner from your house.

At least, that’s my opinion. Road trips are as unique as the people taking them — everyone has their own goals when they hop in the family truckster. So what’s your perfect road trip stop? A national park, a scenic vista, or a particularly interesting Sheetz? We’ll collect the best answers this afternoon, so spare no detail.