Let the arrival of spring inspire you to break out of hibernation and satisfy your travel urge with an American road trip. There are few places on earth as varied and diverse as the United States. Each city and town has its own story to tell, it’s own landscape to explore. While you could drive for years and never discover all of its wonders, this list certainly is a great place to start.

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh continues to shine as a must-see place to visit. Everyone’s raving, from Condé Nast Traveler and National Geographic Traveler to the Travel Channel. Why? Because Pittsburgh’s got it all – great food, outdoor adventure, history at every corner, tax-free shopping, a thriving Cultural District – and a familiarity with Lord Stanley and Mr. Lombardi makes it a sports lover’s dream!

High on the list of best cultural destinations, Pittsburgh has built a stellar reputation for the quality of its arts. Set in the heart of an incredible, walkable Downtown, the Pittsburgh Cultural District is a national model for urban redevelopment. Nine theaters within 14 blocks showcase a world-renowned symphony orchestra, opera, dance, comedy and award-winning plays including those by hometown playwright, August Wilson.

Speaking of homegrown talent, Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol has his international collection housed at The Andy Warhol Museum, the most comprehensive single-artist museum in the world. For more thought-provoking contemporary work, the Mattress Factory presents art you can get into with room-sized installations. Carnegie Museum of Art features distinguished masterpieces of French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and 19th-century American art, and the triennial Carnegie International keeps Pittsburgh on the map in the world of contemporary art.

Pittsburgh is at the top of its game when it comes to sports. See why Sporting News awarded Pittsburgh the covered “Best Sports City” title. Home to the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers, Pittsburgh is a city that bleeds black and gold. With six Super Bowl rings, three Stanley Cups and five World Series championships, it’s easy to see why.

Find out why everyone’s talking about Pittsburgh. Book your getaway today at www.visitpittsburgh.com

Nantucket, MA

Celebrate the arrival of spring with a daffo-dalliance on Nantucket!  Our 41st annual Daffodil Festival Weekend — April 24-26 — promises to banish your winter “doldrums” as the island pays homage to a bold and brilliant bloom. View over 100 antique cars — bedecked in their festal finery — on Main Street before they parade out to ‘Sconset for the traditional Tailgate Picnic. Pack a lunch — or grab some takeout — and follow the venerable vehicles out to the charming village. Watch humans and hounds “strut their stuff” for coveted awards at the wacky and whimsical Daffy Hat Pageant and Daffy Dog Parade. Little tykes star in their own procession, decorating bikes and wheeled conveyances Daffy-style.

Gather with locals to “nosh” at the Children’s Beach Family Picnic — a mini-festival in itself — where local bands hold court, a Festival Marketplace features wondrous wares, and kids can indulge in face painting, storytelling, and more.  Satisfy your inner sleuth by taking part in the weekend-long Scavenger Hunt. We invite you to join us in a daffo-delirious weekend of fun…because it IS the brightest bulb in the box!

For more information visit www.nantucketchamber.org

Natchez, MS

Welcome to Natchez, a melting pot of cultures with a distinctive attitude towards music, food, and old-fashioned hospitality. Natchez’s location on the Mississippi River made her a well-traveled town, resulting in a blend of African American, British, French, Native American, and Spanish influences. The oldest continuous settlement on the Mississippi River, Natchez has earned a name as the Bed and Breakfast Capital of the South and Biscuit Capital of the World. Home to literary treasures, delicious cuisine, exciting festivals and much more, you will never run out of things to do and see in Natchez.

For starters, there’s our most famous attractions: postcard-perfect inns, noble churches and stately mansions built before the Civil War. For anyone who didn’t grow up with antebellum architecture, the allure of historic buildings all throughout Natchez is hard to resist. And why would you? With a walkable downtown and so many sites just minutes apart, tours of Natchez are natural to-dos on any visitor’s list.

Natchez is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors. Biking and walking trails crisscross the area, many along the historic Natchez Trace. The Mississippi flyway makes Natchez a hotspot for birding during migrations, and camping, boating, hunting and fishing are a way of life here — you’ll find all the gear you need if you’re traveling light or lose your favourite lure.

For more information visit www.visitnatchez.org

Ithaca, NY

Some say that Ithaca, NY is “10 square miles surrounded by reality.” It’s true. The upstate New York town is more of an oasis than a destination and visitors notice it right away. In Ithaca you can swim under a waterfall, kayak in Cayuga Lake, drink wine with an award-winning local vintner, and fall asleep in a luxury safari tent under the stars — all in one day.Take a stroll through the Ithaca Commons. This open-air, pedestrian mall in Downtown Ithaca is the centre of the community’s dining, shopping and entertainment scene. For foodies, the college-town economics, educated palates, abundant local ingredients and creative chefs combine to make Ithaca a great eating town, with more restaurants per capita than New York City.

Plus, there’s wine. With a total of over 100 wineries near Ithaca, the Finger Lakes Region is receiving accolades as a booming wine producer in the United States, with Riesling being the area’s signature variety. More than 15 of the best wineries are on Cayuga Lake, forming the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail —America’s first and oldest, wine trail, which boasts over 5,500 national and international wine-related medals.

The city boasts the perfect harmony of nature and urban flair. See a waterfall three stories taller than Niagara. Taste a farm-to-table meal prepared from the earth. Listen to local street musicians as you shop downtown. It’s all in those 10 square miles surrounded by reality — the 10 square miles of Ithaca, NY.

For more information visit www.visitithaca.com

Prestonsburg, KY

Known as the “Star City of Eastern Kentucky,” you’ll find Prestonburg nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. In this picturesque corner of America, there’s never a shortage of things to do, see, and hear!

In fact, Prestonsburg has set the stage for non-stop musical entertainment, outdoor adventure, heritage treasures, and over-the-top hospitality.
During the day visitors can spend their time experiencing out-of-this-world activities at the East Kentucky Science Center and Planetarium. Here, outer space comes alive as the GOTO Chronos Star Projector displays the most realistic night sky simulation in the world.

When it comes to outdoor adventure the area is equally blessed. At Stone Crest Sports Complex adventure seekers have 1,500 acres of mountain top to explore. Its’ facilities include a championship 18-hole golf course, spacious club house, grill, and practice range, two horse show rings, stables and more. If you’re still in mood for outdoor excitement, head over to Archer Park for a dip in the Olympic size swimming pool, a couple matches of tennis, and perhaps even a family picnic.

So come on down to Prestonburg, Kentucky for your next family vacation. Our 400 quality lodging rooms and cottages offer great amenities and are the perfect home away from home.

Find out more at www.prestonsburgky.org

Shenandoah County, VA

The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is famous for its awe-inspiring natural beauty and scenic wonder. Located in the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, just an hour from Washington, D.C., Shenandoah County is situated between the majestic Massanutten Mountain to the east and the picturesque Appalachian Mountains to the west. The County features six charming towns and one four-season resort with unique shops, attractions and a variety of festivals year-round. Experience the flavours of the south at our locally owned restaurants serving nationally renowned comfort foods made with fresh, locally grown produce. Explore the award-winning wineries, craft breweries, golf courses, caverns, and endless acres of national forests with hiking and biking trails throughout. Take in the breath-taking views of the seven bends of the Shenandoah River from the Woodstock Tower and enjoy the beauty of the blossoming red buds on a leisurely drive through Meems Bottom Covered Bridge.

Discover historic buildings, museums and battlefields and learn about this area’s extensive role in the Civil War. Shenandoah County offers an array of unique lodging and bed & breakfasts where you’ll experience local hospitality and the best of Main Street America. Come discover why There’s Only One Shenandoah County in the Shenandoah Valley!”

For more information visit www.shenandoahcountyva.us/tourism/

Heritage Corridor, IL

Begin your journey down Route 66 at Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant in Chicago, famous for their donut holes and milk duds for the ladies. Heading southwest on the Mother Road, you will want to stop at the Berwyn Route 66 Museum to discover an ever increasing collection of memorabilia and information about the history of Berwyn’s Route 66.

Route 66 Wayside Exhibits, which can be found in Berwyn, Countryside, Willowbrook, and Romeoville, tell unique and often surprising tales of the road from the local community. Newly added Experience Hubs, located in Romeoville, Joliet and Wilmington each have a story to tell while you listen to Get your Kicks on Route 66.

Travelling down Route 66 (now designated Route 53) stop at White Fence Farm, home to the “World’s Greatest Chicken.”  Next door is Montana Charlie’s Little America Flea Market, an outdoor extravaganza of new and old items, furniture and food: you may even find some Route 66 collectibles.

Before leaving town, treat yourself to lunch at Joliet Route 66 Diner. Afterwards try your luck at Harrah’s Casino, walk along the DesPlaines River in beautiful Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park, or stop in the Rialto Square Theatre, a magnificently restored vaudeville theater circa 1926.

Take your photo with the Gemini Giant, a fiberglass rocket man remnant from the country’s fascination with space travel during the 1960’s. The Polk-a-Dot Drive In serves up great food and Route 66 themed fun. Take your photo with Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, The Blues Brothers, and Betty Boop.

Take your time, hurry up, and explore at your own pace. No matter how you decide to take it all in, this little 75 mile stretch of America’s Main Street in the I&M Canal Heritage Corridor has so much more to see and explore. It’s definitely worth the ride.

For more information visit www.chicagolandslargestplayground.com

Ventura, CA

Discover a place that embodies a casual soul and a vibrancy of life. A place where coastal pleasures are plentiful and something exciting and unexpected is always on the horizon.

When early Spanish settlers arrived in Ventura, California they dubbed it the “Land of Endless Summer” for its year-round balmy temperatures and sunshine. Many years later this moniker is as relevant as ever, not only for the pleasantness of the weather, but also for the laid-back essence woven into Ventura’s very being.

Here, each day encapsulates the stress-free taste of California you’ve always dreamed of. Day or night, the town bursts with indigenous offerings — art, music, rich food trends, ecological wonders, colourful diversity and a captivating past.

Neighbourhoods brim with untold stories and treasures. The South Seaward beckons with its pristine beaches and picturesque coastal homes, the College Area tempts with its vibrant art scene, and the West Side, with its sorted history, entices with endless eclectic curiosities. Downtown you can lose yourself in a busy arts calendar filled with music, theater, dance, art exhibits, festivals, and crafts shows. The culinary arts are also a much-loved part of this charming seaside town. A short wander along the downtown streets and you’ll come across many wine bars, breweries, and down to earth restaurants where you can sample fresh farm-to-table fare.

Ventura County natural setting provides many recreational opportunities the whole family will love. Ventura’s miles of untouched beaches are ideal for leisurely stolls, boogie boarding and lounging, not to mention some of the best surfing in the world. In fact, Ventura is home to the world-famous C-Street surfing contest and the “Father of the Modern Longboard” himself, Steve Walden.

Take a boat ride and catch glimpses of surfing dolphins and spouting whales, hit the greens on some of the best municipal courses in the nation, or journey along Ventura’s County Wine Trail for a true taste of the California’s Central Coast.

Discover a refreshing escape from the everyday. Find out more at ventura-usa.com

Cochise County, AZ

Follow the road less travelled to Cochise County, Arizona, the Land of Legends. This was once the stomping grounds of Lawman Wyatt Earp, Apache leaders Cochise and Geronimo, Sheriff John Slaughter, Conquistador Francisco Vasques de Coronado, Mexican Revolucionario Pancho Villa, and the Buffalo Soldiers. Relive their remarkable legacy as you explore the Land of Legends located in the southeastern corner of Arizona.

Tombstone, “The Town too Tough to Die” — just the name conjures up vivid images of the Old West, but a visit to Tombstone Courthouse State Park will tell you the real story about Tombstone’s colourful past. Originally constructed in 1882 as the newly formed Cochise County’s Courthouse, the building contains fascinating exhibits and artifacts about ranching, mining, gambling and some notable residents.

The new legend in Cochise County is wine! Vineyards and wine-tasting rooms are springing up everywhere. Most of the grapes for Arizona wines are produced right here in the County near the Willcox area. After a day of hiking and exploring, what better way to unwind than with a taste of the County’s local wine?

It is always the right time to visit Cochise County. Higher elevations mean cooler days and evenings during the height of Arizona’s summer heat and winter’s moderate temperatures provide the perfect days for golfing, hiking, and biking.

For more information visit www.explorecochise.com

New Braunfels, TX

Spring has sprung here in the Texas hill country, which means that New Braunfels is ready to welcome a stream of visitors to this mecca of water recreation. The city boasts a host of accommodating adventure outfitters who make it easy to enjoy boating, “toobing”, swimming, fishing, or rafting in the sparkling waters of our two pristine rivers. We are also home to the enticing Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort, which is open on weekends starting April 25th and every single day between May 14th and August 30th.

Our exciting seasonal events kick off on April 25th with a fun annual boat race and river expo called “Thru the Chute”. During the race, competitors launch their motley cardboard vessels through the City Tube Chute on the Comal River in Prince Solms Park. Between heats, guests are treated to educational and imaginative activities hosted by event partners.

The annual Crawfish Festival of New Braunfels is also on April 25th, and includes a 5k run, a gumbo cook-off and live music all day. New this year is the inaugural Wurstfest Craft Beer Festival, which will be held on May 9th at the Wurstfest grounds. The festival will feature a number of craft brews on tap, as well as tastings from local microbreweries. There will also be live music and a home brew competition.

Conveniently located between San Antonio and Austin, New Braunfels is an easy recreation destination that is within an hour’s drive of two major airports. Road trippers have it easy as well, as the city sits astride IH-35, only a few minutes from IH-10.

Fun seekers of all ages are invited to go with the flow… in New Braunfels.

For more information visit www.innewbraunfels.com/visit/