The summer of 2010 I took off and hit the open roads. Armed with a flip cam, camcorder, Sony CyberShot camera, and music I drove from Massachusetts to Seattle and then down the west coast into California. I took 11 days to drive east and kept my favorite CDs in constant rotation. A month later I decided it was time to return home and took off east, driving from Sacramento and straight through the middle of the country until I reached my final destination in New York. This roadtrip was the best thing I could have done and I am glad that I braved the roads alone rather than waiting and hoping a friend could get time off to join me. The best piece of advice I can give anyone is that it is better to just go out and do it, than to miss an opportunity. That includes a cross-country road trip on your own.
I never originally anticipated checking out many of the national/state parks as I'm not much of a hiker or anything like that. HOWEVER... I found that the Black Hills area (Mt Rushmore, Badlands, Custer State Park) to be one of the most exceptional sights. Custer State Park is a beautiful drive and you are almost guarenteed to see Buffalo. This is by far my favorite part of the country and the experience I had was one that I will never forget.
This national park has amazing rock formations that will make you feel like you are on another planet. If you look close enough you will even recognize a few from some famous... or rather humorous... sci-fi films.
If you love beaches you will want to drive along the coast on 101. Although it can be a narrow drive from time to time, the beaches are beautiful and because there are so many they are not crowded. Just keep in mind that the water in Oregon is COLD!
Having grown up with the movie, this museum has the largest collection of OZ related items. From pictures, original costumes, parts of the script, videos, Barbi dolls, and even the original Rubby Slippers. Although not a planned stop on my trip it was well worth the detour. It's one place that you can spend an entire day looking at everything they have in their collection.
I felt that I-90 drove through some of the most interesting stages in the northern part of the US. I felt that this highway gave some of the most beautiful landscapes while driving through South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington.
Taking a slight detour off the main roads and onto Rt-20 in Iowa has several surprising sights. INCLUDING the Field of Dreams House. This corn covered state is a beautiful drive so long as you can handle a slightly pungent smell of manure. Definitely something to see if in that part of the country.