The Two Lanes are calling!
There are 4,092,730 miles of public road in America. We’re gonna show you how to make the most of all of them without the hassle of competing with the crowds at Niagara Falls or draining your bank account to see the Northern Lights. Here are five unique adventures that belong on your backroad bucket list. Each as Instagram-worthy as the next!
(Be sure to tag #ontwolanes so we can follow your journey!)
Rent a ’55 Airstream at The Shady Dell
You’re gonna think the desert air is playing tricks on your eyes when you first pull off Highway 80 and turn into a vintage trailer court of Airfloats, (the same trailer models that James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor used as their luxury dressing rooms back in the day). But splash some water on your face because this place is no mirage! Since 1927, The Shady Dell has welcomed travelers looking to hang their hats and relax under the nostalgic high polished sunburst ceilings of the ‘40s and ‘50s trailers fitted with retro amenities. You remember how to use a percolator, right? Drop into The Shady Dell office, where you can borrow records and old movies to take back to your home away from home. Disable notifications, disconnect wifi, and reconnect to the glory days.
Eat at McGillin’s, one of the oldest taverns in America
Irish immigrants Catherine and William McGillin opened their ale house in 1860, the same year Lincoln was elected and just a few years after the Liberty Bell cracked. The couple and their 13 children lived in the apartment upstairs until the business became so popular that they sacrificed their home and made it part of the restaurant. When that still wasn’t enough room to accommodate customers, McGillin’sexpanded into the back alley and the oyster house next door. Located just a few blocks from City Hall, this pub is still just as popular today with locals and visitors as it was back then. Order a little bit of everything then walk it off in the city where the Declaration of Independence was created.
Take a ride on the trail that created the American cowboy
San Antonio, Texas/Abilene, Kansas
Between 1867 and 1871, Texas cowboys drove longhorn cattle from ranches in San Antonio along the Chisholm Trail to Abilene, Kansas, where the longhorns were put on trains and sent to growing cities in the north. It was one of the greatest migrations of livestock in world history! You can still travel the legendary cattle trail today, crossing the rivers and red dirt roads that carve through prairies and small towns along the way. One of the best is Waco, which straddles the Brazos River and boasts a bridge designed by the same company that designed the Brooklyn Bridge. The trip along the Chisholm Trail offers great vistas of the western plains before it ends in Abilene, just named one of top 10 true western towns of 2018.
Drive across the longest bridge in the world
If you have a fear of open water, this may not be your cup of tea, but if you’re up for the 24-mile ride across what the Guinness Book of World Records says is the world’s longest continuous bridge passing over water, then we dare you to drive the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. This bridge was built in 1955 and stretches across a lake where the bayous meet the Gulf of Mexico, and where alligators, the freshwater apex predators, meet the bull sharks, their saltwater counterparts. For eight of the Causeway’s 24 miles, you can’t see land in any direction … just a little something to think about as you’re white-knuckling it across the longest bridge in the world!.
Kayak through 12,000-year-old caves and cliffs around the Apostle Islands
Located at the northernmost tip of Wisconsin, Bayfield is home to fewer than 500 people as well as The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Drop your kayak into Lake Superior and float in and around the towering caves and cliffs along the chain of 22 islands. If you’d like to get below the water, go explore the Lucerne shipwreck on Long Island. When you come back to shore, explore the marinas, miles of beaches, and trails to take you above it all. If you’d still like to get a little higher, make your way to Sand Island and Raspberry Island to get a birds-eye-view from a 19th-century lighthouse!
Like to see more? Follow our On Two Lanes Blog for more adventures in America’s small towns and the roads that wind between them!