The 5 Most American Road Trips

The 5 Most American Road Trips

With good company comes great adventure. Explore and capture the beauty America beholds through these five breathtaking trips.
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Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

Length: 469 mi
Founded: June 30, 1936
Constructed: June 30, 1936

This beautiful road is best seen in the fall, where you can't help but get lost in the endless sea of fall colors. Stretching across both North Carolina and Virginia, some of the most breathtaking views can be seen while scaling the Appalachian Mountains.

Route 12, Bryce Canyon, Utah

Length: 122 miles
Founded: 1914

Traveling along this route is a must for anyone who loves the wind in their hair as they speed through winding and turning roads. Route 12 is a fantastic drive that will take you through more red rock tunnels than you can imagine, while showing you the beauty that is Utah.


Pacific Coast Highway, California

Length: 123 miles
Founded: 1934

California is known for many beautiful features and this is certainly one of its best. This highway is a dance among the Pacific Ocean as you navigate along the coast line's sharp turns and detours. With the cool ocean wind blowing in your face no better way to explore California!

Overseas Highway, Florida

Length: 113 miles
Founded: 1938

This is one of the most interesting highways you'll encounter across America. This roadway was built after the 1935 hurricane that destroyed Flagler's East Coast Highway. Take this breathtaking drive over the crystal blue waters of the Florida Keys. Each direction feeling like a tropical wonderland as you attempt to count the coral reefs and limestone inlets.

Loop Road, Acadia National Park, Maine

Length: 27 miles
Founded: 1916

What a better way to explore Acadia National Park than this drive that takes you through the park's mountains, lakes and forests. This road gives way to easy exploration as you can pull over to adventure the many terrains and it's rocky shores. This trip is a two for once special exploring the roadway and national park. Multi-tasking at its finest!

Cover Image Credit: Glass Duffle

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I Visited The "Shameless" Houses And Here's Why You Shouldn't

Glamorizing a less-than-ideal way to live.
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After five hours of driving, hearing the GPS say "Turn right onto South Homan Avenue" was a blessing. My eyes peeled to the side of the road, viciously looking for what I have been driving so long for, when finally, I see it: the house from Shameless.

Shameless is a hit TV show produced by Showtime. It takes place in modern-day Southside, Chicago. The plot, while straying at times, largely revolves around the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. While a majority of the show is filmed offsite in a studio in Los Angeles, many outside scenes are filmed in Southside and the houses of the Gallagher's and side-characters are very much based on real houses.

We walked down the street, stopped in front of the two houses, took pictures and admired seeing the house in real life. It was a surreal experience and I felt out-of-place like I didn't belong there. As we prepared to leave (and see other spots from the show), a man came strolling down on his bicycle and asked how we were doing.

"Great! How are you?"

It fell silent as the man stopped in front of the Gallagher house, opened the gate, parked his bike and entered his home. We left a donation on his front porch, got back to the car and took off.

As we took the drive to downtown Chicago, something didn't sit right with me. While it was exciting to have this experience, I began to feel a sense of guilt or wrongdoing. After discussing it with my friends, I came to a sudden realization: No one should visit the "Gallagher" house.

The plot largely revolves the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. It represents what Southside is like for so many residents. While TV shows always dramatize reality, I realized coming to this house was an exploitation of their conditions. It's entertaining to see Frank's shenanigans on TV, the emotional roller coasters characters endure and the outlandish things they have to do to survive. I didn't come here to help better their conditions, immerse myself in what their reality is or even for the donation I left: I came here for my entertainment.

Southside, Chicago is notoriously dangerous. The thefts, murders and other crimes committed on the show are not a far-fetched fantasy for many of the residents, it's a brutal reality. It's a scary way to live. Besides the Milkovich home, all the houses typically seen by tourists are occupied by homeowners. It's not a corporation or a small museum -- it's their actual property. I don't know how many visitors these homes get per day, week, month or year. Still, these homeowners have to see frequent visitors at any hour of the day, interfering with their lives. In my view, coming to their homes and taking pictures of them is a silent way of glamorizing the cycle of poverty. It's a silent way of saying we find joy in their almost unlivable conditions.

The conceit of the show is not the issue. TV shows have a way of romanticizing very negative things all the time. The issue at hand is that several visitors are privileged enough to live in a higher quality of life.

I myself experienced the desire and excitement to see the houses. I came for the experience but left with a lesson. I understand that tourism will continue to the homes of these individuals and I am aware that my grievances may not be shared with everyone -- however, I think it's important to take a step back and think about if this were your life. Would you want hundreds, potentially thousands, of people coming to your house? Would you want people to find entertainment in your lifestyle, good and bad?

I understand the experience, excitement, and fun the trip can be. While I recommend skipping the houses altogether and just head downtown, it's most important to remember to be respectful to those very individuals whose lives have been affected so deeply by Shameless.

Cover Image Credit: itsfilmedthere.com

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15 Must-Have Road Trip Songs That Will Get You Hyped For The Long Drive Ahead

You can guarantee these songs will be a total hit on the next road trip!

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With any long road trip, it is hard to pick a playlist that has songs everyone will enjoy. These fifteen songs are guaranteed to keep everyone satisfied and hyped up for the drive.

1. "On the Road Again" by Willie Nelson

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Willie Nelson will be happy you're enjoying the song with your friends as he enjoys making music with his friends.

2. "Life is a Highway" by Rascal Flatts

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Although it's a little cliche, this song will surely get your friends singing.

3. "Beast of Burden" by The Rolling Stones

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Jimmy Fallon knows it too, Beast of Burden by The Rolling Stones is a jam.

4. "Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac

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Go your own way on a road trip and sing this song with Stevie.

5. "With A Little Help From My Friends" by The Beatles 

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You and your friends will surely bond over this tune from the Beatles.

6. "L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N" by Noah and the Whale

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Noah and the Whale will brighten up any situation with this song, even if your tire pops or you run out of gas.

7. "Welcome To Your Life" by Grouplove

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This inspirational jam will have everyone in a positive mood for the rest of the trip. Thanks Grouplove!

8. "A Real Hero" by College and Electric Youth

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"From A Place Beyond the Pines" to your car speakers, this song is great for when people start feeling a tad emotional as those long car rides become longer than expected...

9. "Live and Let Die" by Guns N' Roses

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When your friends start getting sleepy, wake them up with a little Guns N' Roses.

10. "Spirit in the Sky" Norman Greenbaum

"Spirit in the Sky" by Norman Greenbaum is a classic that your road trip playlist would be incomplete without.

11. "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie

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It's one of the best collaborations in history, Queen and David Bowie would be disappointed if it wasn't in your playlist.

12. "Sister Golden Hair" by America

Sister Golden Hair by America is a great song to cruise on a long road to. Only looking forward and no looking back.

13. "Walking In Memphis" by Marc Cohn

Marc Cohn couldn't have made a better song to hype up you and your friends for a road trip! This song will get everyone in the car excited to get to your destination.

14. "Drive" by Alan Jackson

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For all country lovers, this song is perfect for a road trip and to get a little sentimental on the drive. Alan Jackson, you really did us a favor!

15. "All Night Long" by Lionel Riche 

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No matter how long the drive will be, Lionel Riche will keep you singing all night long!

I hope you guys have found some songs out of this list that you like!

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