sWho hasn’t dreamed of traveling cross country, seeing hidden gems of the U.S. up close and personal? While we know the Great American 5000 is virtual, we want to recreate that same feeling of seeing things that feel once in a lifetime, and of experiencing unique slices of Americana that you didn’t know existed. Weird roadside attractions, beautiful state parks, stretches of nothing, booming cities, small mom and pop staples—we want to feature it all. The miles might bring us together, but there’s also a feeling of national pride. These towns, cities, and counties hold so much history and have so many stories —and we want to bring those stories to life. If you have any information that you think we should feature about somewhere along the route please email us at [email protected].
Here are just some of the highlights you’ll encounter along the course!
Golden Gate Bridge
Iconic two-mile bridge that connects San Francisco to Marin County
Sea Lion Sculpture
Sculpted by local artist Al Sybrian in 1957
Waldo Point Harbor
A view from a lookout point here is where Otis Redding conceived the song “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.”
Bothin Marsh Preserve
This 106-acre wetland is home to diverse waterfowl and some endangered species.
Connects San Rafael to Richmond
Point Pinole Regional Shoreline
Multi use trail network known for its eucalyptus woods and bluff overlooks
Jelly Belly Factory Tour
A self-guided walk along the elevated, ¼ mile long tour lane gives you a bird’s-eye view of the entire operation.
This city within a city is the perfect place to relax in retirement.
Old Sacramento Waterfront
National historic landmark founded in 1849
Three river forks merge at the Folsom Reservoir which then flows through Sacramento
Wild Chickens Roam the Streets
A wild flock of chickens — mostly roosters — strut anywhere they please around town.
Eldorado National Forest
Its elevation ranges from 1,000 feet to more than 10,000 feet above sea level along the Sierra crest.
Freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
Welcome to The Silver State
Nevada State Railroad Museum
Dedicated to the preservation of Nevada’s railroad history
The Washoe Club & Haunted Museum
A historic saloon with a seriously haunted past… and present
Republic of Molossia
A sovereign, independent nation, located in and completely surrounded by territory of the United States
Fort Churchill State Historic Park
Army post built in 1861 to provide protection for early western settlers
Pony Express Route
Mail service route in the 1860s between Missouri and California
Pony Express Station
Built in 1897 by mine developer and railroad magnate, Anson Stokes
Known as “The Friendliest Town on the Loneliest Road”
Welcome to the Beehive State
Lincoln Highway Bridge
A reminder of the 20th century Good Road Movement and development of the National Highway Program.
Aunt Libby’s Dog Cemetery
Owners Horace and Libby Rockwell operated Point Lookout, a Pony Express Station, in the 1860s.
Home to the Sundance Film Festival
Deer Creek State Park
State Park filled with activities along the Provo River and Deer Creek Reservoir
Chicken Creek East Strawberry Reservoir
Local area known for its ice fishing
Northern Ute Veterans Monument
Memorial plaza honoring Ute tribal member military veterans
Dinosaur National Monument
The park borders Utah and Colorado, but dinosaur fossils are only visible on the Utah side.
Welcome to The Centennial State
Town of Dinosaur
Town located just south of the Dinosaur National Monument
The city’s geothermal hot springs are said to have therapeutic properties and, oh yeah, they’ve got world class skiing, too
Hot Sulphur Spring
Pioneer Village Museum
Features a skiing exhibit which depicts how the now booming industry began
Winter Park Resort
This destination resort receives over 326 inches of snow annually and offers 166 different runs for skiers of all levels.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park
35 miles of trails and several campsite areas – you can even stay in a yurt!
American Mountaineering Center
Home to The American Alpine Club, Colorado Mountain Club and the American Mountaineering Museum.
Open since 1873, this is the largest single-site brewery in the world!
Kayak down the South Platte River before heading into the city.
Historic area known as Denver’s First Block
Colorado State Capital
The Colorado State Capital features Corinthian architecture, constructed with Colorado white granite, and a gold dome, which was added in 1908 to commemorate the Colorado Gold Rush.
As a long-time participant in the Sister City International program, Denver has been linked to Brest, France since 1948.
High Plains Raceway
Amateur road racing facility that is owned and operated by local racing clubs.
This now ghost town used to be a last stop when leaving Denver.
Welcome to The Sunflower State
Most populous area in Cheyenne County
South Fork Republican River
Follow along the river as you traverse Kansas
Welcome to The Cornhusker State
Swanson Lake and Swanson Reservoir State Recreation Area
One of the largest recreation areas in southwest Nebraska
This tiny town is home to only 256 households.
Nebraska Prairie Museum
The museum celebrates Nebraskan history and is home to the annual Nebraska State Hand Cornhusking competition.
Old western town which prides itself on its extensive ‘Americana’ collection.
Serves as the social hub for Saline County
This 195-acre lake is the perfect destination for a day on the water.
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Trails and Visitors Center
Focuses on the flora and scientific discoveries recorded by the Lewis and Clark Expedition
The longest river in North America.
Welcome to The Hawkeye State
The small town in mentioned in the Johnny Cash song “I’ve Been Everywhere”
William Penn University
The school was founded by Quakers
Guinness World Record holder for longest continually running cinema theater
Site of the annual jazz festival and of the Bix 7 road race, both commemorating musician Bix Beiderbecke
Welcome to The Prairie State
This great waterway flows through 10k states – Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
Great River Trail
Paved trail that stretches 60 miles along the Mississippi River
Hennepin Canal Locks
This canal was built to link the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. The majority of the locks and aqueducts are still in place.
Pecumsaugan Creek-Blackball Mines Nature Preserve
Known for its abandoned limestone mine and bat colonies.
This 273-mile river flows west to join the Mississippi River near Grafton.
Illinois and Michigan Canal
Follow this 96-mile trail which weaves through numerous state parks and historical sites.
HellsGate Haunted House
A must see adventure in October!
Willow Springs Woods
Ping Tom Memorial Park
Named after civic leader, Ping Tom, who formed the Chinese American Development Corporation.
Modern sculpture comprised of 106 headless 9-feet cast iron figures.
Public park near the business district which is home to the city’s three most notable museums: Adler Planetarium, Field Museum of Natural History, and Shedd Aquarium.
Welcome to The Hoosier State
Valparaiso Popcorn Festival
Celebrating our favorite snack and former resident, Orville Redenbacher
Mid-America Windmill Museum
Over 50 historic windmills. A real eye-catcher on a breezy day.
Welcome to The Buckeye State
Dum-Dums Lollipop Factory Tour
Spangler candy company offers a trolley tour of the factory(!)
The 4000k mark on the course
National Tractor Pulling Championships
Cleveland Script Sign
The West Woods
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
His is the first presidential library, built in 1916
Welcome to The Keystone State
Black Moshannon State Park
The highest point along the course east of the Mississippi River (2,400 ft.)
Since 1874, where people pitch tents and sleep on site at the fair
Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park
“America’s only all-water cavern & farm-nature-wildlife park”
Knoebels Amusement Resort
America’s largest free admission amusement park
You’ll pass by a giant rooster statue outside a laundromat on your right between Mercer and Broad Streets.
Welcome to The Garden State
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
The former home and laboratory of the state’s most famous. See where such breakthrough technologies as movie cameras, sound recordings, and batteries first saw the light of day.
George Washington Bridge
Crossing the Hudson River into NY
This double decker span is the busiest motor vehicle bridge in the world. Just don’t get stuck in one of Chris Christie’s traffic jams.
Welcome to The Empire State
Little Red Lighthouse
The Jeffrey’s Hook lighthouse sits beneath the George Washington Bridge
Once the site of the Polo Grounds, home of the New York Giants baseball team. You’ll also see Yankee Stadium off to your left across the Harlem River.
Borough of Manhattan
Internationally known as the Black Mecca celebrating African American culture
The busiest urban park in the U.S. and the backdrop to countless iconic movies
Balto the Dog Statue
Heroic sled dog that helped relay medicine over 700 miles through blinding snow and subzero temperatures to save children during a diphtheria outbreak in Nome, Alaska in 1925
One of the most expensive and elegant streets in the world. Do you keep running or stop and take time to window shop?
The Museum of Modern Art
Holds one of the largest collections of modern art in the world.
Empire State Building
Visitors can see 80 miles into N.Y., N.J., Conn., Pennsylvania and Mass. on a clear day
Uniquely shaped triangular building designed by Daniel Burnham in 1902
Union Square Greenmarket
Outdoor food and flower market open four days a week
Manhattan into Brooklyn
Carrying rail, trolley and roadways for carriages and pedestrians, it was one of the last major bridges designed for the horse and carriage
You made it!