Since the days of Jack Kerouac, the allure of a road trip adventure has been tempting, promising unparalleled experiences and endless stories. Over the years the novel On the Road, published in 1957 and hailed as the bible of the beat generation, has inspired wanderlust and the desire to emulate characters Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty. The two set out seeking to find their place in the world, bursting with energy and possibility, as they undertake a journey to discover the country—and themselves.
Their attitude towards adventure resonates nearly 60 years later. A new generation is seeking a different kind of bohemian life, but one that’s every bit as authentic.
Feel like taking to the open road this summer? A few memorable stops that Sal and Dean built into their own journeys that you may want to check out as well:
San Francisco. A college friend had invited Sal to live with him in San Francisco, and he spends time here on and off over the years. Today, San Fran is amazing stop for a road trip. Besides the obvious touristy meccas like the Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Street, check out Sausalito, with its art galleries and killer views, and the incredible Muir Woods with its majestic redwoods.
Denver. Sal hitchhikes to Denver in the book, though we would probably recommend a different mode of travel. It’s here that he hooks up with friends, parties, and discovers the ghost town of Central City, where you can still visit today.
Des Moines, Iowa. A slice of Americana, stop in this easily-walkable capital city and check out the Pappajohn Sculpture Park and Iowa State Fairgrounds.
New Orleans. Sal and Dean stay with Old Bull Lee and his wife in this southern city that has experienced a post-Katrina renaissance. Check out amazing jazz, zydeco or blues in the French Quarter or browse the Mardi Gras museum.
No matter where you go, embrace the amazing experiences the open road has to offer!