My brother Jim used to live in Denver and Ruth’s Aunt Nadine resided in Boulder, so we drove across Kansas from St. Louis regularly. One time we decided to make it less of a 425 mile challenge and more fun, so we vowed to stop in every town and find an attraction to visit. This really helped! We found something in every town and have now visited car mogul Walter P. Chrysler’s boyhood home and museum in Ellis, the Fick Fossil and History Museum in Oakley, the Cathedral of the Plains in Victoria twice, and a lot more. A perceived dull stretch of I-70 became far more bearable for years.
We found I-295 and I-95 between Portland and Bangor, ME to be a very scenic experience many years ago. This drive lets travelers see some fine off-road attractions like Maine’s desert and the Maine State Museum in Augusta, its capital, that reopened today after 3 months of closure. If, like us, you know little about The Pine Tree State, this and/or the State Capitol are eye-opening experiences. Bangor is home to novelist Stephen King.
I-68 from Hagerstown, MD to this state’s border with West Virginia is a notable travel treat, but I may be prejudiced in its favor because this area is my family’s ancestral home in the United States. For its entire length in this part of the Old Line State, I-68 follows old Federal Highway 40, which is marked or dotted on maps as very scenic. It is.
I-75 north from Grayling to Sault Ste. Marie on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is delightful partially because of where you are. You pass some accessible state parks and lakes before arriving at the exciting Straits of Mackinac Bridge. While in Sault Ste. Marie, visit the Soo Locks and see some of its other attractions. As long as you’ve come this far north, you might as well go west on the Upper Peninsula to its main city, Marquette. Many of the local highways to it are marked as scenic, and on some of them you get dramatic views of Lake Superior.
If you are enjoying this series, check out my 8/25/17 essay called “Scenic Interstates?” There are no repeats, and it focuses on a really beautiful stretch of I-70 in southern Utah with a thrilling off Interstate view of the San Rafael Reef.
PS The top photo was taken in the Kansas cathedral mentioned. The middle photo is of Mount Shasta taken from I-5, and the one below is of the Columbia Gorge above I-84 near Portland, OR.