Given the nature of the transport industry, many of our drivers find themselves crossing state lines and provincial borders for extended periods of time. While every province, state, city and town has something beautiful to offer, it’s hard to find those hidden gems when the majority of your day is spent inside your rig.
So if you’re looking for a break from the same asphalt and love a good road trip when you’re off the clock, these 5 stops are calling your name.
5. The Iowa 80 Truckstop
Whether you’re in your rig or being a tourist, this is a stop you’ll want to check out. If you end up driving through Iowa, hopefully you’ll be driving through Walcott. We covered this a few weeks back after their annual Trucker Jamboree, but thought it was too good to leave out off this list. This truckstop has been billed the World’s Largest, and it’s no wonder as it’s almost like a town itself. Complete with a barber shop, chiropractor, dental office, a pet wash for your dog, movie theatre, and a SuperTruck showroom, you’ll find everything here.
4. Boothill Museum
As an old frontier town of the Wild West, the Boot Hill museum of Dodge City, Kansas pays homage to its past by maintaining a partial reconstruction of downtown Dodge City, as it existed back in 1876. Complete with gunfights that start in a saloon or bank, and spill out onto the street, Dodge City really makes you feel as though you’re back in the Wild West. After all, this was once the home of Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday!
3. Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum
Not many stretches of highway have garnered so much fame internationally like Route 66 did. Located in Pontiac, Illinois, this museum is a fantastic place for a road warrior to spend a couple hours. With old gas pumps, neon signs of advertising past, and walls full of photos documenting the history of the highway, you’ll find this iconic stretch of road heritage pleasantly preserved. While Route 66 was removed from the US highway system in 1985, due to the establishment of the Interstate Highway System, it’s incredible to see how influential this romanticized “Mother Road” became.
2. Cold War Missile Site
During the Cold War, the US military established an intercontinental ballistics network where missile silos were placed deep within the midwest to act as a deterrent from Soviet attack. Located in Cooperstown, North Dakota, this decommissioned site is now a protected state historic site with tours of the facilities offered to the public. This is a great experience for any truckers who grew up during the Cold War, or have an interest in military history.
1. Ghost Towns of Alberta
In the early days of the 20th century, before Alberta discovered its oil rich earth, it relied heavily on coal. Mines were built all across the provinces with people flocking from all over, to build their little villages with the promise of work. Unfortunately, as the coal industry began to hollow out, due to oil, so too did many of these towns. As economic depression hit their villages, a majority of the population uprooted themselves and moved elsewhere, leaving behind empty boarded-up buildings as a haunting reminder of how modern industries can change so drastically.