Since covid-19 shows no signs of stopping, a lot of us are looking into small road trips as a means to safely get away for a bit. I’m all for safe vacations and happen to love small town road trips, so I’m here to help! Here are my picks for the 6 best road trip towns!
The 6 Best U.S. Towns for Road Trips
Whitefish is a mere 30 minutes away from Glacier National Park. Most people skip over it in favor of viewing the glaciers (I don’t blame them, it’s a real neat national park), but if you have the time, explore downtown Whitefish. It’s lovely. Local cafes serve huckleberry anything when it’s in season. Pies, sodas, ice cream, the works. There’s a huge art community with shops left and right. And situated up against the mountains, it’s quite picturesque.
How to get there: From Kalispell International, take U.S. 93 for 16 miles. From Whitefish, it’s about a 30 minute drive to West Glacier.
Pella is one of the sweetest towns I’ve ever visited. It’s about an hour from Des Moines and such a delight. It was founded by Dutch immigrants, and the effort to preserve the historic charm is astounding. Even local businesses built after the era get into the spirit.
You can tour a working grain windmill, and visit the historical village showcasing 19th century life. The village houses over 20 historic buildings including the childhood home of Wyatt Earp. If I ever visit again, I’d like to go during Tulip Time. I hear it’s magical.
How to get there: From Des Moines, follow IA-163 E to IA-163. Take exit 40 from IA-163 E
The greatest space museum on earth is located in the small town of Hutchinson, Kansas. People are always surprised to find that the Cosmosphere, which houses such incredible artifacts as actual moon rocks and the Apollo 13 command module, lives in Hutchinson. It’s a four-hour drive from Kansas City and well worth it. The amount of history in this museum is unbelievable.
Not for nothing, there’s much more to do in Hutchinson than the Cosmosphere, if that’s not for you. You can tour an underground salt mine, visit an arboretum, or drive 40 minutes north to Lindsborg, aka Little Sweden, for some international additions to your trip.
How to get there: From Kansas City, follow I-35S to exit 58, then follow KS-61 S to E 7th Ave.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
For those of you who have had to cancel weddings and honeymoons, I suggest Eureka Springs for a small town road trip to tide you over. It’s a place that seems made for lovers. Hiking trails, nearby caves, and great food round out to one excellent little trip.
How to get there: From Kansas City, follow I-49 to MO-59 S for 149 miles. Take State Highway 86 E to AR-23 S.
Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
You didn’t really think I was going to leave my beloved Ste. Genevieve out of this, were you? My childhood vacation spot is still as charming as ever. The oldest settlement west of the Mississippi has been beautifully preserved and walking through downtown is like stepping back in time. Be sure to check out the church at sunset. It’s stunning.
How to get there: From Kansas City, take I-70, then take I-55 S to State highway O.
Weston is a tiny historic gem, famous for its wineries, dairy farms and eclectic local shopping. I had a long weekend trip recently and thoroughly enjoyed it.
How to get there: From Kansas City, follow I-29 N to Main St in Platte City. Take exit 19.
Did these small towns inspire your next road trip? Leave a comment and let me know!
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