There’s never been a better time to take a road trip across the United States! Even if you don’t go all the way across the country, why not explore the states near yours?
- The Northeast, which includes New England and the Mid-Atlantic states like New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
- The Midwest, which is subdivided into the states around the great lakes and the more westerly states.
- The South, which includes the southern states along the Atlantic Ocean, the more eastern landlocked states, and states further west like Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
- And the West, split between “Mountain” states like Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada and “Pacific” states like Alaska, Hawaii, and California.
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Exploring even one of those regions or divisions would make a worthwhile trip – and you’d find new surprises all along the way! Part of the reason why Route 66 is so famous is because it crosses 4 of the 9 divisions of the United States. It offers a view of the many different ways of life in this beautiful and diverse country.
Every state has its own unique character. Even states that are right next to each other, like New York and Massachusetts, can be wildly different from one another. Driving along the road, you may be able to spot the differences right from your car window. As you go south from New England, for example, the trees, birds, and plants will begin to change drastically. The palm trees of Florida are quite a sight if you’ve been spending all winter in Maine, where the evergreen trees sleep covered in snow!
As you pass through towns and cities along an American road trip, you may be able to spot differences in architecture too. New England is so named because those states were originally English colonies. New York was once ruled by the Dutch, while Louisiana bears distinct French influences, and Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona still show traces of Spanish and Mexican heritage. The history of each state stretches beyond their origins, of course – immigrants from all across the world have settled in communities across the country to bring their unique food, festivals, cultures, and ways of life to us.
You’re sure to see plenty of road signs on your great American road trip, too! Every state has their own slogan and unique road sign to welcome visitors. They come in different colors, shapes, and sizes but most of them are either blue or green and rectangular. There’s a famous state welcome sign in Alaska, along the Yukon Highway, which is made of beautifully crafted wood. Hawaii’s most famous state welcome sign isn’t on any highway – it’s in Honolulu International Airport, where most new visitors step foot into the state!
In this infographic, we’ve collected some photographs of the many welcome signs at state borders across the United States. We thought they’d make nice postcards to remember a journey by! Perhaps, on your next American road trip, you can take photographs and make your own postcards just like this.