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Taking a Rest from Driving in USA

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 31 Jul 2013 | comments*Discuss
Taking A Rest From Driving In Usa

If you’re planning a road trip through the USA, one of the most difficult parts can be deciding where to stop and when. Many people underestimate the sheer expanse of the country until they start driving it, meaning that there’s a lot of tired drivers on the road with no real knowledge on where the next stop might be.

It’s worthwhile planning your rest stops on a USA road trip, especially when so many of them can add to the actual enjoyment of your trip anyway. There are some unusual places to stop along the road in the USA and knowing where they are and building your trip around them is fun and helps you stay safe and alert on the road.

General Necessities for a Good Rest Stop

There are many noticeable differences between rest stops through the different states of the US. Due to the number of truckers and cross country drivers, there are even websites dedicated to informing you about the best and worst stops throughout the country. Generally a good rest stop should have the following:
  • Well lit
  • Fuel
  • Clean public bathrooms
  • Shops to buy food and drinks
  • Easily accessible

Rest stops are important not only to help fill up your car and your stomach, but also because it's mandatory to take regular breaks when driving long distances. If you are concerned about your health and your safety then always plan to stop for breaks when driving around the USA.

State Differences Between Rest Stops in the USA

What you may find in the US however is that the variances between states is quite immense and some states seem to provide better resting areas for weary drivers than others. Here are some of the most common states and their positives and negatives.
  • Washington State – Public highway rest stops are often clean and give away free coffee
  • Texas – Often have mosaic tiles on the walls telling stories from Texan history
  • Pennsylvania – There are often free maps, clean services and great amenities
  • California – Can be difficult to find and have the least frequent rest stops generally
  • New York – Has excellent rest stops that are frequent, clean and mainly open 24 hours a day
  • Maryland – Beautiful shopping malls accompany some of the rest stops making for a fun experience for passengers
  • Nevada – Few and far between, but there’s nothing much around anyway should you need to make a pit stop in private

These are just some of the differences that you’ll find when travelling through the US. Generally rest areas, service stations, truck stops and more are well signed and you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding them. As always, stick to the well-lit, CCTV areas and always keep your valuables safe.

Interesting Places to Stop in the USA

Whether you want to spend the night in a wigwam, a caveman themed room, or simply look at some oddities, you can do it all along the road in the USA. There are a number of interesting rest stops to be found there and integrating them into your trip can make the lengthy dull journeys seem more exciting. Some of the best places to look out for are:
  • WigWam Village - Your chance to have a rest stop overnight in a huge concrete wigwam in Kentucky
  • Madonna Inn - A themed Inn where you can stay in anyone of 109 unique rooms, located in California
  • Oregon Vortex - A house of mystery in Oregon that’s worth stopping at for a rest and some fun
  • UCM Museum - This museum claims to house a Fiji Mermaid, a Swamp Monster and the Bassigator

No matter where you look in the US there are plenty of cool and interesting places to make your rest stops. Incorporating them can be fun and can mean you get to see places you normally wouldn’t stop at. Adding in memorable little rest areas means you’ll feel like you’re making more of your trip and will be generally more relaxed when driving around. America is one of the best countries in the world for long road trips and with it’s collection of oddities, interesting rest stops and shop filled truck stops, it’s easy to see why.

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