Jump to content

Knowing About Interesting Places or Events "Before" You Drive By?


Tucsontech

Recommended Posts

How many times have you just driven past somewhere and not be aware of some interesting place or event until much later when it's too late? Especially when it could be some road that you may never be on again. Some great App or Program to help prevent this from happening would be worth it's weight in gold. Maybe we can start a listing here that would be valuable to many people!

Thanks Ahead of Time for Sharing Your Knowledge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We rely heavily on TripAdvisor for finding interesting things to see as we travel. When used from a computer TA can list the most popular things to see/do in a particular state or for cities within a state. When used from a phone it can provide things to do "around me now." TA's listings vary as to quality; they are better for museums and similar attractions than they are for natural sights such as national parks, but they usually include most things of interest; it's up to you to decide which ones interest you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We use Trip Advisor for food and businesses. We have gotten burned with TripAdvisor when there are only a few reviews. Otherwise, they work well. We have found some really great places.

 

Natural places are a bit more difficult for many people. My advice is learn to read and interpret maps.Granted this is much, much easier with a Forestry degree, but anybody by paying attention to a map can spot special areas. In this day with the emphasis on tourism, the best natural areas will be signed and identified by the local agencies.

 

One help is to look up birding trails in the various states. Also scenic byways. Both locate and give brief descriptions of natural areas. Also state wildlife areas. Many times you will see posted sign calling attention to public fishing and hunting areas. There are some real gems in this category.

 

I will pass on state and national parks, as well as Forest Service and BLM areas. However, on Forest Service and BLM maps if you see an area that is named and identified it will generally be worth a visit.

 

Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other issue especially with a big rig would be can you find a place to park your RV and get turned around? We have passed many places on the road because of this unknown such as birthplaces, museums etc. Yes Googling places would be help but many of these places that we're sorry to have passed by are places we have seen signed from the road only. So OP I feel your pain!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Plan to travel slowly as you go, keeping days short and stopping frequently. Ask the folks who live there such as RV park workers, fuel stations help, and most anyone that you are in contact with. We typically travel 200 miles or less in a day and nearly always unhook and drive around the community unless it is one that we have spent significant time in. We also watch the road signs for interesting advertising and informational signs. Don't be afraid to stop when you do see something of interest, even if you have only begun your day's travel. We once saw an information sign pointing to an attraction we hadn't seen just 10 minutes into our days travel and so stopped for another night just 36 miles from where we had begun the day.

I use these websites to find places of interest along the way:

This is also good advice. The internet can be a wonderful tool for RV folks and Google seems to know nearly everything! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trailertraveler: That's a great listing...thanks.

 

We've used the Google way...just plug in the town for attractions. We especially like 'natural' things rather than museums and amusement-type things. The Benchmark atlases which are available for each western state has a lot of public places and attractions marked on the maps. Since we do 4-wheeling the atlases also give good, well-defined back roads to take. Since we've spent a lot of time in those states we've accumulated an atlas map book for each of them and use them all the time while in the state.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is that as you travel your interests change. What you may drive passed now you may regret in years to come. There is no answer. The up side is that as your interested changed you are 'forced' to stay on the road longer to see all the places you haven't yet seen. :unsure:

 

I would suggest a simply spreadsheet. Every time you read or see about a place that may interest you include it in the spreadsheet. Include a few details in various columns. Then at any time you can sort them and see what's near you at the time.

 

regards

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's why we only travel 200 miles or less to our next stopping place and spend a couple of weeks (or more) exploring the area. We don't just jump off the highway to go see things - we're 50+ ft with the toad. If you see an interesting sign, jot if down and once you get settled, look it up on the net and see whether you should go visit.

 

Barb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would suggest a simply spreadsheet. Every time you read or see about a place that may interest you include it in the spreadsheet. Include a few details in various columns. Then at any time you can sort them and see what's near you at the time.

When I started doing this it soon became massive. I wound up with a spread sheet for each state and categorized things by whether they were sites to see, places to eat, or camping. Then I found I had to rank the places to see so we wouldn't miss the best ones if we ran out of time. And I separated the camping ones into government parks vs. commercial parks. Then...

 

But, we never missed a place we really wanted to go to.

 

Linda Sand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

So how about sharing your way of picking where to stop and finding out what there is of interest to you in the area that warrants a two week or more stay?

 

Barbara's approach to finding stopping points is one of several different "strategies" that RVers can use. We work from a different premise. We decide on the our next "4-7 day" destination which may be 300-500 miles (or more) from where we currently are and then we drive the couple of days to it at ~300-400 miles a day. During those driving days we do little, if any, sightseeing, although we may stay an extra night if there is something we want to see along the way.

 

Once we get to our destination, however, we go into "full sightseeing" mode and explore the area thoroughly. As examples, on our trip south from PEI to TX (a distance of ~3,000 miles) we spent a week each in Nashville, Chattanooga and Montgomery as well as a couple of weeks with family in DC/Baltimore and Raleigh.

 

We prefer this approach because we almost always have a long-term destination in mind (this year's summer destination was PEI) and our strategy enables us to get there in a reasonable amount of time without driving more than ~2-3 days in a row without a several day stop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So how about sharing your way of picking where to stop and finding out what there is of interest to you in the area that warrants a two week or more stay?

 

We have a general idea of a heading each year and start going that way with 1-2 week stops for the first month out. When we arrive at a place we often find really neat things by geocaching - people put out geocaches in places in their home towns that they think are interesting. We also ask about where the best breakfast in town is - and once there the locals will tell you not to miss "x, y, or z" while you're in town.

 

Of course, with us, we are always looking for new wineries (often have a geocache located at the winery) so we get info about the area while doing a wine tasting. And when we first retired, our friends gave us a Readers Digest book entitled "1001 Undiscovered Places in the US" which we have used to visit some remarkable places that don't get all of the hype of 'major' attractions. Have really visited some interesting places that way - like Independence Rock in Wyoming.

 

Barb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our problem is ignorance! Yup good ol not knowing what will interest us. See something on tv or in a book that looks interesting only to find that we have already driven by. As I said before your interests will change. New attractions will be opened.

A good example. We have been to Asheville NC a number of times. Driven up and down the parkway many times. Driven through a small town called Maggie Valley a number of times. Even stayed there. One day we stopped early. With a few hours to spare we pondered what to do. The Wheels Through Time museum is in Maggie Valley. Old motor bikes. "Nah not interested in motor bikes". Well long story short we went to Wheels Through Time. All I can say is "WOW" and "WOW" again. We have been back several times and taken friends there as well. The only reason we knew about Wheels Through Time was their tv series. Now WTT has inspired us to find more motoring museums. (Hey even found interesting stuff in our own backyard when we had friends visit us from the USA. :o )

My point being you can't sit on the sofa and figure out 'everything'. Some things just happen to pop up and you need to jot down the details for 'next time'.

 

regards

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is an "Strange and Odd" POI file for the Garmin out. Can't remember the link for it at the moment but it was on one of those POI file sites.

 

Not sure if I saw it mentioned: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/

I have used roadsideamerica when I traveled a lot for work and wanted to see some 'quirky' things in little towns...like the world's largest teapot in Navasota, TX or the world's largest ball of paint in Alexandria, IN or Largest preserved Steer in Kokomo, IN - 2.5 tons. Fun stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Rand McNally RV7730 series of GPS' has features to notify you of nearby points of interest like, State, National parks, important landmarks, rest areas, museums, etc. I once set it to notify me of every POI but the screen was way too cluttered, and it seemed it was contanstly telling me of an upcoming attraction; so I unchecked all but a few, as it's very easy for DW to check our preferences while I'm driving-or vica versa. The distance from the POI is also user settable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...