Note: This is an expanded and updated repeat of a blog previously published.
Where would we be without the internet? It has changed the world at large, and on a smaller scale, the world of RVers forever. We can shop online and have our merchandise delivered right to our RV site at our favorite campground, do our banking, pay our bills, and manage our investments, all from the comfort of our homes on wheels. And we can do all that whether we are boondocking in the desert in Arizona, relaxing in a luxury RV resort in the Florida Keys, tucked away in a mom and pop RV park in a small town, or blacktop boondocking in a WalMart parking lot.
The internet can also be a great tool for travel planning. Anytime we are visiting a new area I spend some time online doing a bit of research, and it’s amazing how many interesting places we find within an easy ride of our campground. Here are some of my favorite travel resources:
Trip Advisor – This is the granddaddy of all travel websites. Type in any town or city in America and you’ll find links to restaurants, lodging, attractions, and more. http://www.tripadvisor.com
Roadside America – From the World’s Largest Ball of Twine to America’s Most Artistic Giant Toilet to hundreds of other oddball attractions, if it’s anywhere in this country you can find it Roadside America http://www.roadsideamerica.com/
Historical Marker Data Base – I have never owned a vehicle capable of passing one of those historical markers that can be found on highways and back roads from coast to coast. I just have to stop and read them! But sometimes it’s impossible to stop, as much as I want to. No Problem, all I have to do is log onto Historical Marker Data Base on my computer or Droid smart phone and every historical marker in my area is listed, with photos and complete inscriptions. www.HMdb.org
Bridge Hunter – Bridge Hunter is a database of historic or notable bridges in the United States, both past and present. I may not like driving over high bridges, but I can spend hours browsing here. www.Bridgehunter.com
Haunted Places In America – Do you believe in ghost and things that go bump in the night? If you don’t, you may after spending some time reading this website about some of the most haunted places in the country. http://www.hauntedplacesinamerica.com/
Explore Southern History – From antebellum mansions in Georgia to waterfalls in Alabama to Native American Mounds, this is an excellent guide to all things Southern http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/index.html
The Milepost – Anybody who has ever driven an RV to Alaska knows that this trip planner and travel guide is an invaluable resource for information on roads, attractions, and services along the Alaska Highway. The website that supports the book is also packed with information to help make your grand adventure a success. http://milepost.com
History Here – This app for both Droids and Apple smartphones is an interactive travel guide to thousands of historic locations across the United States, with photos, video and maps that bring history to life anywhere in the country. http://www.history.com/interactives/history-here
Yelp – You just hit town and you’re hungry for pizza or barbeque, or you need to find a good veterinarian or a reliable mechanic. See reviews from real customers on Yelp to help you decide. https://www.yelp.com
U.S. 101 Mile by Mile – I don’t think there is a more beautiful trip anywhere in America than U.S. Highway 101 along the Oregon Coast, and this website is a fantastic guide to every scenic mile. Think Milepost for the Oregon coast. http://www.oregoncoasttravel.net
Legends of America – From Route 66 to ghost towns, legends, myths, historic forts, and more, if it’s out there, you can probably find it on Legends of America. http://legendsofamerica.com
USA.gov – A fantastic website with links to official travel and tourism websites for every state. http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Travel-Tourism/State-Tourism.shtml
Landmark Hunter – Landmark Hunter is a database of historic or notable landmarks in the United States, past and present. http://landmarkhunter.com
North Carolina History & Historic Sites – From gold rushes, first flights, disappearing colonies, pirate graves and pivotal battlefields, if it happened in North Carolina, this website will tell you about it! https://www.visitnc.com/history-heritage
Only In Your State – From charming small towns to eerie graveyards, fantastic restaurants known only to the locals to funky attractions never mentioned in the guidebooks, this website has it all for every state. http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/
Discover Historic Travel – You can easily spend an entire day with this portal to a wide selection of travel websites. http://discoverhistorictravel.com/destinations/historic-sites/
Florida Backroads Travel – If you spend any time in Florida, get to know this interesting website that will help you discover hundreds of interesting places to visit on the less traveled back roads. http://www.florida-backroads-travel.com
Civil War Battlefields – The Civil War Trust has a fine website about the War Between the States, including a guide to Civil War Battlefields large and small. http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/
Visit The USA – Another excellent website with travel links for every state that includes where the locals go to hang out, must-see museums, classic road trips, history, and more. https://www.visittheusa.com/
Know Your States – This isn’t a travel guide, but it’s a fun little test of how well you know our country. How fast can you fill in the map? http://jimspages.com/States.htm
Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of my friend Suzie O’Connell’s Starlight Magic, from her popular Northstar romance series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – Bragging may not bring happiness, but no man having caught a large fish goes home through an alley.