With the end of the semester upon us and summer just around the corner, many of us are packing our suitcases in anticipation of long-awaited adventures. For many, summer means just one thing: road trips. After a grueling semester of papers, projects, and exams there’s nothing quite like rolling the windows down, blasting the Beach Boys (or other appropriately peppy tunes), and fleeing town.
Road trips are an American tradition. The romance of the open road has inspired numerous writers to collect and create stories about its charms. Before you hit the road for yourself, check out these classic road tripping titles, all available through the IU Libraries, exploring the highways of America:
American Nomads by Richard Grant details the travels of the author through the American Southwest and parallels that journey with those of other historical American explorers, including conquistadors, cowboys, and truckers.
Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat-Moon is the account of the author’s travels across the back roads of the United States after losing his job and separating from his wife.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac is a staple of American literature. It is a primarily autobiographical account of Kerouac’s travels across the country with a motley crew of friends and fellow travelers.
Travels with Charley: In Search for America by John Steinbeck is an autobiographical account of the author’s 10,000 mile trip around the United States with his poodle, Charley.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig explores philosophical issues through a two-week father-son road trip from Minnesota to California.
Once you’ve explored the highways of America through literature, you’ll be inspired to load up the trunk and take to the road yourself. But where to go? What to do?
Take a look at the IU Libraries Travel page for helpful hints on accommodations and tourism information.
Don’t forget that you can always find travel books, road maps, and activity guides through IUCAT! Helpful hint: After doing a search, limit your results to the “Recreation, Leisure” category on the right-hand side of the screen.
Safe road tripping!