Travel Stories from America's Leading Road Trip Family

Links & Lists

A list of reasons to ring in 2010

Posted on January 1, 2010 at 9:15 PM

We celebrated New Year's Eve at our Vermont cabin, Hazenwood.  It was a quiet but fun way to ring in the new year.  During our 4 hour ride home today, Christie entertained us by reading from the year-end edition of "People" magazine.  It was chock full of lists.  Top 10 Googled people in 2009, the top 10 movies, Top 10 songs, etc.

As I was listening to her, I started thinking of the many emails I receive from Ultimate Family Road Trip readers, asking for my "top picks".  By far, the most common request I receive is for my list of top road trips itieneraries.  But on occasion, I will receive an email asking me for some of my more interesting lists. I've received requests for my list of the top "man made U.S. wonders", the top "off the beaten path oddities", my top "places to avoid" and my top "one-of-a-kind roadfood joints".

So, in the spirit of the season, which seems to be a pile of lists for every category imaginable, here are two of my lists based on some of your requests.

First, my Top  "Off The Beaten Path" Roadtrip Attractions - Each of the sites below, are places that I have personally visited, and they are unique, fun, and out-of-the-way. I guarantee that your children (and you) will remember visiting these attractions for many more years than you will remember most museums, parks, or beaches you will ever visit.

Unforgettable Attractions

1) The House on the Rock, Spring Green, WI

2) Wall Drug, Wall, SD

3) The SPAM Museum, Austin, MN

4) Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, TX

5) South of the Border, Dillon, SC

6) Four Corners, AZ/UT/NM/CO

7) Jolly Green Giant Statue, Blue Earth, MN

8) Crazy Horse memorial, Crazy Horse, SD

Where to Eat?

I am oftenb asked about my most favorite unique places to eat - one-of-a-kind "Roadfood joints".  These are local places, not chains.  What qualifies any of these restaurants for my "best of" list is that a) They are unique to a specific part of the country, b) they are typically known for a particular menu unique menu item, and c) They have the "total package" - a unique building, good food, friendly people, and great value.  These days, between the Travel Channel and the Food Network, many of these well kept secrets have become toursit attractions in thier own right.  But way before any of these television networks began making these places famous, my family and I were including them in our Road Trip itineraries.  Now, it is virtually impossible for me to put these in any sort of rank order - so here is my list, in totally random order - Brace yourself, there's a lot of them, and these are only the top ones that come to mind - there's many more where these came from!


Wright's Farm Restaurant, Harrisville, RI 

Louis Lunch, New Haven, CT

Katz's Deli, New York City

Harrow's Chicken Pie, Reading, MA

Woodman's, Essex, MA

Eagle's Deli, Brookline, MA

Frank Pepe Pizzaria, New Haven, CT

Geno's, Philadelphia, PA

Rutt's Hut, Clifton, NJ

Nick Tahou Hots, Rochester, NY

Primanti Bros, Pittsburgh, PA

Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia, PA

Loveless Cafe, Nashville, TN

Doe's Eat Place, Little Rock, AR

Georgia Pig, off Rt 95, GA

Varisty, Atlanta, GA

Ted Drewe's, St. Louis, MO

Kopps Frozen Custard, Glendale, WI

Skyline Chili, Cincinnati, OH

Nu Way Cafe, Wichita, KS

Superdawg, Chicago, IL

Big Texan Steakhouse, Amarillo, TX

Roscoe's Chicken & Waffle, Los Angeles, CA

Randy's Donuts, Inglewood, CA

VooDoo Dounuts, Portland, OR

Pea Soup Andersons, Buelton, CA

Buckhorn Exchange, Denver, CO

Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans, LA

ACME Oyster House, New Orleans, LA

Phillipe the Original, Los Angeles, CA

The Stinking Rose, Beverly Hills & S.F., CA

Polly's Pancake Parlor, Sugar Hill, NH



That's all for now - safe travels in 2010...


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