The United States is not the largest country in the world in terms of neither population nor land mass, but with over 300 million people and more than 3.7 million square miles, it’s pretty high up on both lists (Russia is first in size, while China has the most people). A passport is a nice thing to have, but it’s also a bit expensive, and you can get out of town and go places you had no idea existed without ever needing to cross an international border. This works best with either a big, comfy car or an RV, since you’ll be able to see and experience more of America than you could flying from airport to airport.
Start on the East Coast, either in New England or farther south. North and South Carolina have a ton of sights to see, including in places you might not be expecting. Hit up the major cities like Charlotte and check out the sands of Myrtle Beach, but don’t miss the more under-the-radar gems either. Never heard of Mooresville, NC? Now’s a great time change that. It’s known as “Race City USA,” and when you check out a list of things to do in Mooresville, NC, you’ll realize exactly what it has that name. It hosts numerous race team shops and auto racing manufacturers, and big names like the now-retired Dale Earnhardt, Jr. live in or around Mooresville.
Mooresville is about 30 miles from Charlotte, which gives it access to the big-city amenities without all the traffic and headaches that can come from living in the middle of a major metro area. There’s a ton of great food as well, whether you’re looking for coffee and donuts or some legendary Southern barbecue. Have fun, but remember to obey the posted speed limits; leave the race car driving to the professionals.
If you’re looking for one interstate highway to get you from the east coast to the west coast, you’re in luck: Interstate 40 begins in North Carolina and terminates in California, covering more than 2,500 miles in the process. That makes it the third-longest interstate in the country. The only longer ones are Interstate 80, which has its eastern terminus in New Jersey and its western terminus in San Francisco, and Interstate 90, which covers a whopping 3,100 miles from Boston to Seattle. However you get there, make sure to soak in the relaxed vibe of the West Coast once you arrive. People there work hard, to be sure, but they’re not quite as agitated and in a hurry as some people on the East Coast. That might have something to do with the much lower population density out West. Sure, there are large populated areas in places like Southern California and Denver, but the map just doesn’t look as crowded, and most visitors can feel that. Drive up or down the Pacific Coast and take time to experience the feel of the ocean breeze on your face. Feeling lucky? Stop by the The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park in North Bend, OR. Stay in a room overlooking the breathtaking Coos Bay and take your chances with the slot machines. After that, hop on Interstate 5 and head north to Portland, where attractions like Powell’s City of Books await. It’s important to feed your body when traveling, but you also need to feed your brain.