Driving from Alabama to Seattle.
August 12, 2006 7:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm driving cross-country and I'm looking for an online guide as to what I need to see along the way.

I'll be driving from Jasper, Alabama to Seattle, Washington within the next 2 weeks.

I'm looking for particular websites/sources that will show me what will be in my area as I drive 2,600 miles across America.

posted by bamassippi to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
Heck, yer coming right through my town (Billings, MT). I'll see what I can dig up based on the rest of your route, and upcoming events.
posted by The Deej at 7:30 PM on August 12, 2006

http://www.pennycollector.com has pretty complete lists of the penny squishing machines in the country and those tend to be at interesting places....and if you snag a few extra squishies I'd be happy to take em offa yur hands :)

posted by legotech at 8:20 PM on August 12, 2006

OK, right away I see you are going right through Rapid City, SD. Don't miss Mount Rushmore. If you are there at night, they have a very moving "lighting ceremony" which is worth seeing. Rapid City also has many touristy things like the Reptile Gardens, which is actually pretty cool!

As you cross over into Wyoming, you will be near Devil's Tower. It might add a little time to your travel as you will detour off of 90 somewhat, but again, it is not to be missed. You can re-enact the climax to Close Encounters of the Third Kind in your head if you want. You can walk around the entire base on a paved path, and there's places where you can climb up some of the base without any special equipment. (Not too far of course, but interesting to do.) Take some binoculars and you can see the REAL climbers going up the side of that thing (1200 feet or so), and even see them standing on the edge of the top. It's quite a site.

I don't know if you are driving back or just staying there, but if you go south before you get to Billings, you will be in Cody, home of the Buffalo Bill Museum, again a great attraction. Go west out of Cody and you will drive right through Yellowstone National Park. Of course you could spend as long as you want there and never see everything, but a day trip will let you see Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and some spectacular waterfalls. Plus, just the scenery as you drive into the park and through it is unlike anything else you are likely to see.

You can exit through the northwest exit at Mammoth and see the Mammoth Hot Springs.

If you go out the northeast entrance instead, you can drive over the Beartooth Pass, which takes you over 10,000 feet in elevation. There is a viewing area at the peak which is a spectacular site. Photos don't do justice to much of this scenery. But, it's slow going, mostly 35 mph. You will come out in Red Lodge, MT a great little town with some good places to eat and a candy store with every kind of candy you remember from your childhood. About 45 mintes past Red Lodge you can get back on I-90.

Billings, if you do come through this way, is about 100,000 people so it has typical small city stuff. Nothing as spectacular as Yellowstone or the Beartooth highway, but a 500 foot sandstone cliff borders the north side of the city. You can drive up there and do some non-equipment hiking, or some equipment-related climbing if you are into that. I hike there all the time with nothing special. Just stay away from the edge it's a 500 foot drop in places. :)

If you end up spending the night in Billings, we have one of the few drive in theaters in the country, which can be a lot of fun.

Anyway, I'm happy to provide more info if you want to email me. You don't say if you are on a schedule, and that makes a big difference of course. And if you do end up in Billings, I can try to show you around if the schedule works out.

Have fun!
posted by The Deej at 8:27 PM on August 12, 2006

I don’t mind driving long distances at all and Ive done Chattanooga to Colorado and back many times (1600 miles) and enjoyed each drive.... but last year I did Seattle to Chattanooga (2600 miles) on your same route and it absolutely sucked compared for some reason.. I was driving thru SD and actually timed 20 minutes without seeing another car on the interstate! And, if you are driving after dark thru SD/WY/MT don't get below 1/2 tank! So, my advice is to be prepared for a whole bunch of nothingness!
posted by freeflytim at 8:57 PM on August 12, 2006

Although it's been mentioned here many times, if you haven't yet seen it, be sure to check out Roadside America. I plan all my vacations around this site, and it's the only reason that I'm a week away from seeing The World's Tallest File Cabinet.
posted by brad! at 3:19 AM on August 13, 2006

Best answer: National Geographic Road Atlas contains tons of little red squares marking interesting sites. I used it on my cross country road trip and found lots of neat places. If nothing else it is the best road atlas available.

NatGeo Road Atlas
NatGeo Road Atlas: Adventure Edition
NatGeo Road Atlas: RV & Camping Edition
posted by stbalbach at 7:22 AM on August 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

For mostly superb, usually cheap, and entirely non-chain places to eat, Roadfood is a fantastic resource.
posted by dersins at 2:31 PM on August 13, 2006

I had Roadfood notes with me on my trip last year! Awesome someone else thought of that idea!

But, the only one I hit was in KC... I love Roadfood but there were not many choices in the nothingness of SD/WT/MT that were less than 15 miles off the interstate. Good idea tho! Just stinks not many choices.
posted by freeflytim at 6:53 PM on August 15, 2006

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