How to find places to go see along my route!

Hi everyone,

My name is Andy and I’m interested in Van Life but am not sure if its for me.

I want to test Van Life over the summer and am planning a road trip from Maryland to Seattle for three months.

I was wondering if people could share how they decide on where to go/ how they find interesting things along their way. I have a couple stops already planned but how can I find cool things along the way or know if my route is the most exciting for me? Is this something other people think about?

Do people generally use apps? (if so which apps) Is it word of mouth? Do people use websites (like AAA?) Do most people just use google? Or do people just kinda drive west and see where the road takes them? Sorry, I feel like I’m rambling, anyway I’ll stop now. But, thanks in advance!


Greetings & Welcome!

There’s 2 major routes between Maryland & Seattle. Perhaps you could take one going and the other one returning. There’s only about an hours difference in total driving time between the two.

I generally do it 2 different ways. I google "attractions within xxx miles of xxx (I-90 for example, or a town). I also watch signs along the way. xxx falls, xxx hot springs, xxx lake, xxx good food, or whatever your interests are.

I try to make schedule flexible enough, that I see something interesting I can take as much time as I want to explore it within reason. For this reason, I don’t like set in stone reservations. Maybe I want to stay an extra day, or even a week if I fall into something neat that I wasn’t expecting.

Coming though Quartzsite AZ one year, they had the biggest flea market I’ve ever seen. I stayed a week, and still don’t think I saw it all, but I sure did have a blast. Another time there was houseboat rentals on huge lake, that I decided I wanted to try. You just never know what might be around that next curve. Not everything is predictable, so I like my schedule to allow me the time to smell the roses along the way.


"Tis the season... To make bank selling Christmas Trees!" ~Van_Dweller

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We have been using the outbound app a lot. It is realy great for finding hiking and other outside things to do in other areas you might find yourself in.

We generally try to stay off any road that is prefixed with an ‘I’ as much as possible. Have you though about traveling through Canada to get there. That is our plan this summer via Banff. Just make sure you stay off I-80. It’s the most uninteresting drive ever I-70 however looks interesting if you’re going in the summer.

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Park4night might have something, it is not nearly as popular in US as elsewhere but if you find a good spot worth sharing, make a note :slight_smile:

We’ve been on the road since September and this is something we struggle with as well. Alot of times we’ll ask locals. Most locals are proud of where they live and will want you to see the cool stuff. One thing we have to work on is slowing down. It’s easy to burn down miles trying to get to a destination but there’s so much to see in the in between. We’ve got to seek out more in the middle. I’m gonna look these Apps up…these are new ones to me. Congrats on hitting the road though!


I totally agree that locals are great source of information, just not always so good at directions…


"Tis the season... To make bank selling Christmas Trees!" ~Van_Dweller