Big Rig Resorts

10 best attractions in Florida: Readers' Choice winners

After four weeks of voting in's Readers' Choice contest, your votes helped identify the "Best Florida Attraction." The winners are:  [Go there...]

Breckenridge's big expansion: The sky's the limit for skiers

BRECKENRIDGE, COLO. -- Skiers and snowboarders just got a big Christmas present, courtesy of Breckenridge ski resort. On Wednesday, the new lifts opened for the first time on Peak 6 in one of the most popular ski areas in the world. This is by far the largest ski resort terrain expansion in the country this season, and one of the highest-profile ones in many years.
While in Breckenridge consider staying at "TIGER RUN RV RESORT"  [Go there...]

Southwest Montana And The Rivers That Run Through It

Are you planning a trip through Montana this Spring or Summer?  If so this article has a few suggestions for you.
Traveling with Airstream in tow along the rivers that run through Montana, I couldn't help but reflect back on the film, "A River Runs Through It", and the life lessons learned through the storytelling of American author Norman Maclean. A well known author for his many works such as "The Theory of Lyric Poetry from the Renaissance to Coleridge", it was his book "A River Runs Through It and Other Stories" that captured the attention of director Robert Redford making its way to the big screen.  [Go there]

10 U.S. Destinations You Should Visit In 2014

Planning a vacation in the US next year but aren't sure where to go? After all, it's a big place! For the fourth year running, our travel experts have scoured the States to make the decision a bit easier for you.
While Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2014 covers global must-sees, including Chicago and Texas, here we delve a bit deeper and showcase the top 10 places in the US that should be on travelers' radars in the coming year. There's something for all - beachcombers, nature lovers, beer aficionados, history buffs, road trippers, dice rollers - from every corner of the land. Whether quietly emerging destinations or perennial favorites...  [Go there...]

Florida's best beaches: East coast-Gulf coast smackdown

It's the time of the year when visions of sugar soft sands top travelers' wish lists. Florida, with its 825 miles of beaches, lures sunbathers, surfers, action lovers and solitude seekers to its shores.
To find the best Florida strands, USA TODAY hosted an east coast-west coast smackdown. "Dr. Beach," aka Stephen Leatherman, professor and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University in Miami, helped select the destinations for each of five categories. Each week, readers voted for one pair of contenders. Here are the champs they chose:  [Go there...]

10 great theme parks for the holidays

Theme parks, long reserved for roller coasters and kiddie rides, now get decked out with Christmas trees and holiday shows. The trend has accelerated in the last decade as parks discover the holidays can bring out crowds eager for elaborate decorations, special foods and holiday shows, saysRobert Niles, editor of "They do Christmas on a scale you won't find anywhere else." He shares some top park holiday displays with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.  [Go there...]

5 Awesome & Affordable American Drives

Every corner of the U.S.—including yours!—offers a bold, beautiful road trip that rolls out an unforgettable vacation at a reasonable price. Here, five that we bet you haven’t taken yet.
We sometimes make the mistake of thinking that a vacation has to involve flying, or covering great distances via some other elaborate, pricey conveyance, such as a cruise ship.  [Go there...]


10 great places for Santa sightings

In the century since Santa made his first department store appearance in Brockton, Mass., he has been showing up in some unexpected places. But Jack Sanderson, a professional Santa and director/star of the documentary Becoming Santa (available on iTunes and Netflix), says that wherever he appears, the spirit of Santa remains unchanged. He shares favorite Santa sightings with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.  [Go there...]

12 U.S. Cities That Could Use Some Love

There are towns in America that we love to hate: the weather's too cold, the politics are too strong, the football fans are too crazy, unruly and obnoxious.
But cast all those catty complaints to the side, and you might see an awesome city that's just dying for a bit of your forgiveness and affection. Here are 12 cities we think deserve a second look.    [Go there...]

25 Reasons You Must Visit Charleston, South Carolina Immediately

There’s a reason Charleston has been voted America’s Best City three times over: the grits are spicy, the weather is warm, and the people are oh-so charming. This ain’t a resort town either, ya’ll-- the city’s got a history as rich as a biscuit covered in gravy.
After the summer crowds ebb, late fall is Charleston’s prime time. Craving some southern comfort before winter sets in? Here are 25 things worth the rush down to “Chucktown.”  [Go there...]

20 Awesome U.S. Cities You Need To Visit In Your 20s

When you think of American tourism, certain locations come to mind: the bright lights of New York City, the palm trees of Southern California, the nostalgia of Disney World.
But for the cash-strapped, adventure-seeking, microbrewed-beer loving, locavoremillennial, the old favorites of U.S. tourism don't hold much appeal.
Instead, these twenty cities make perfect locations for an urban vacation or worthy spots along a road trip.  [Go there...]

What's Florida's best hidden-gem beach?

Florida's beaches are famous. They lure the cold weather weary and put the sparkle in the Sunshine State. But the sands that edge the Atlantic from Amelia Island in the northeast south to Miami and beyond differ from those that stretch along the Gulf Coast from Fort Walton Beach in the northwest's panhandle to Marco Island on the southwest.  [Go there...]

Good Times Happen in Kentucky

Thousands of snowbirds pass through Kentucky every year and miss out on some of the most incredible natural wonders and cultural treasures anywhere. From horse racing and Bourbon Country, to the culture of Appalachia, Civil War significance, and Abraham Lincoln, Kentucky is a state enriched with deep traditions, important history, and authentic heritage. [Go there...]

10 Must-See Northern California Views

There's a reason people who visit the San Francisco Bay Area want to move, and people who live in the Bay Area never want to leave (real estate prices be damned) -- and it's not just the weather (as any San Franciscan will tell on on a chilly July day). San Francisco's skyline sparkles on a clear day, and it's just as magical encircled in tendrils of fog...[Go there...]

18 Road Trip Hacks That Will Actually Make Your Trip Awesomer

The Great American Road Trip can become even greater when you tweak a few simple things about your approach.
Heed our advice, grab a couple close friends, and get out there in your Big Rig for one the best trip of your life.
Not all suggestions are for RV'ers but you can make the adjustments to suite your needs and expectations.  [Go there...]

Tour Tennessee distilleries for moonshine and whiskey

Tennessee moonshiners once scurried the hills, the thickets and streams to hide copper pot stills and moonshine jugs from the Revenue agents and sheriffs. Skirmishes between the law and illegal Tennessee whiskey makers regularly occurred after the Civil War, when the government increased tax collection efforts, but became an everyday event during Prohibition.  [Go there...]

16 Reasons Why Door County, Wisconsin Is Better Than Wherever You Are Right Now

Four hours' drive north of Chicago, Door County, Wisconsin has been a Midwest weekend getaway staple for generations. During the fall season, when the colors really start to pop, this idyllic bit of countryside becomes one of the best places to experience a truly classic American autumn. Here are some very good reasons why you should go (and what you should do when you get there), whether it's now, next year or both.
 [Go there...]

Experts predict great fall foliage in the Carolinas

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Fall foliage experts in North and South Carolina say the weather during the past several months has paved the way for great leaf viewing in the coming days.
While colors in the northern, higher elevations of South Carolina are still emerging, trees are exploding with color at the upper elevations in western North Carolina.  [Go there...]

Best Beaches Coast to Coast

With 12,383 miles of coastline in the United States, finding the best beach escape is no small task. Andrew Skwarek picks eight great sandy spots from coast to coast  [Go there...]

Wounded Warrior Project


Big Rig owner and publisher, Bob Macdonald is proud to announce his support of the “Wounded Warrior Project”.  Bob quotes, “As a veteran of the Service, I have a lot of compassion for these Warriors.  I was never injured while in the service but I do know the frightening experience of returning to civilian life.  I can’t imagine returning to civilian life and returning to all of the life-altering events awaiting me as a “Wounded Warrior”. 

Fortunately many of our injured warriors, their families, and their caregivers do not have to face this journey alone. They have you and Wounded Warrior Project.  Bob says however, “They still need our help and will continue to count on us as they recover and readjust to civilian life”.  That is why this is an all-important mission.

On this Veterans Day (or any day) and on behalf of those who have made such great sacrifices for our freedom, Bob and Big Rig wish you would consider a donation or a continuing monthly donation to our Wounded Warriors.  In order to make your donation as easy as possible, Bob has posted a click thru on his web site.  Just click on the “Wounded Warriors Project” logo on the left hand side of the Big Rig Home Page.  You will then be well on your way to your own “Life Altering Event”.  Go there…

Thanking you for your support in advance:

Bob Macdonald

Park, pump and pig out at gourmet gas stations

Many things about the Valero gas station in the trendy U Street area of Washington, D.C., are typical. Like the blue dumpster that sits in the corner of the small parking lot, the chewing gum stuck to the asphalt and the orange construction cone that props open the door.
So as you enter the Fast Gourmet convenience store and waltz past the 99-cent Cheez Doodles, the row of Kit Kats and bottles of antifreeze,  [Go there...]

in the Paso Robles Wine Country

It's the most colorful time of the year! Here in the northeast, we're surrounded by beautiful shades of orange, red, and yellow as leaf-peeping season kicks into full swing -- but you don't have to be in just one region to appreciate all the fall foliage. We've got some great seasonal spots around the country -- and one in Canada -- where you can see the leaves in all their colorful splendor, whether by car, train, boat, or by going for a nice, long walk in the crisp fall air. If all else fails, you can always choose to live vicariously through Budget Travel's Fall Into Foliage board on Pinterest.  [Read More]

Best places to watch a sunset

After four weeks of voting in's Readers' Choice contest, your votes helped identify North America's "Best Places to Watch a Sunset." The winners are:  [Read More]

3 Ways To Completely Ruin A Cast-Iron Skillet

Of all the prized possessions in my kitchen, one of my favorites was also probably the cheapest. I am talking, of course, about my trusted cast iron skillet and the layer of seasoning upon it. In this case, "seasoning" doesn't mean adding salt and pepper to taste, seasoning cast iron refers to the process of cooking oil into the surface of pan, giving it natural non-stick properties.  [Read More]

Five Florida Beaches to Truly Treasure

Listening to the soothing melody of the surf, watching the sunset paint the waves pink and orange, or reconnecting with loved ones: these are all treasures a beach trip can provide.
But some Florida getaways offer bounty in other forms, too. Check out what you can hunt for on these gems-of-beaches.  [Read More]

An Abandoned America Road Trip Is Most Impressive At Night (What a Thought)

Want to see America at its most fascinating? Would you mind if it were slightly eery at the same time? You’ve probably never thought about a road trip like this before. Diners? Check. Motels? Check. Toll booths and gas stations? Double check. But oh, there's so much more (or is it less?) to this automobile adventure.  [Read & See More]

Add the nation’s Scenic Byways to your bucket list

The National Scenic Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, in collaboration with other public and private agencies. Since 1992 the National Scenic Byways Program has funded more than three thousand projects for state and nationally designated byway routes in all 50 states.  [Read More]

10 great places to see waterfalls

Not only are waterfalls gorgeous, but visiting one could be good for you, says Bryan Swan, co-founder of "Research suggests that the flowing water stimulates brain activity," he says. Plus, they provide a great destination for a hike or outing: "You get a sense of awe and the primal power of nature when you visit." He shares some favorite North American cascades (some of which maybe in areas temporarily closed because of the government shutdown) with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.  [Read More]

Top 10 National Wildlife Refuges Scenic Drives

To really explore a national wildlife refuge, of course, you’ll want to get out of your vehicle. But when time is limited or you want to get the lay of the land before you set out on a trail, a scenic drive should be considered. For all us ‘let’s-check-it-out-first’ types, here’s a sampling of some super national wildlife refuge drives to whet your appetite for further exploration. [Read More]

College Towns You Need To Visit This Fall

College towns are at their finest in the fall. Students are fresh-faced, leaves are changing, there's football and beer, nostalgia and charm.
A quick trip to a college town is the perfect weekend getaway. From striking campus architecture to all-American tailgates to leaf-peeping ventures, there's a great college town for everyone to visit.                                     Check out our favorite college towns to visit in the fall [Read More]

10 quintessential fall weekend trips

Shortening days, comfy sweaters, steaming mugs of warm apple cider: Some things are so quintessentially fall that, despite the promise of snowy days to come, we just can't wait to partake. Autumn is the ideal time for weekend trips both urban and rustic. Check out our 10 favorite fall destinations and then plan your own cozy escape.  [Read More]

Great stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Ready for a road trip? The Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, through North Carolina, to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, makes for a beautiful drive no matter the season. From scenic overlooks to historic mansions, here are 10 great spots, from north to south, along the Parkway that are worth the drive. [Read More]

10 great places for fall festivals

Autumn's cooler weather and harvest traditions offer an excuse to celebrate. "It's a very special time of year. The fragrance of burning leaves, the crystalline blue skies (encourage you) to go out and explore," says Peter Guttman, an award-winning photographer and author of the travel app Beautiful Planet HD. He shares some favorite events with Larry Bleiberg for USA Today. [Read More]

5 Midwestern Small Towns to Visit Now

Native Midwesterners often joke about "the six weeks of summer," but the season of warmth actually stretches much longer than this, and one thing is for certain: towns in the Heartland celebrate summer very well. There's no better place to relax in the sun than these charming, quaint towns that exude Americana. Upon arrival, expect to be lured in by adorable antique shops, cute cafes, beautiful bakeries, and amazing art galleries. Here are five of the best.--Kristine Hansen [Read More]

10 great hidden state parks USATODAY

National parks may get all the attention, but state parks pack in visitors, especially during fall, when cooler weather invites exploration, says Richard Dubi, CEO of ParksByNature Network. The company publishes the free Pocket Ranger guides, the official app offered by several dozen state recreation and wildlife departments. "People are passionate about their state parks. There are a lot of hidden gems there." He shares some favorite parks for fall fun with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY. [Read More]

Incredible fall foliage hike

Autumn is the time of year when our favorite hikes become even more breathtaking -- alight with the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows of fall.
In other seasons, leaves appear green, due to chlorophyll (the pigment that allows them to capture sunlight and produce nutrients), however the arrival of cooler temperatures and shorter days signals the tree to stop producing it. This is when -- to our delight -- the other colors in the leaves begin to show.  [Read More]

Romantic Beach Getaways

Sure, strolling hand-in-hand along the beach is cliché. But there's an undeniable romance to being by the ocean.
It's in the salty air, the relaxed pace, small-town charms, and sunsets -- preferably enjoyed while on a boat ride. Beach getaways continue to woo couples, and you don't have to fly halfway across the world to find that perfect stretch of sand.  [Read More]

Sleepy beach towns perfect for the Fall

A glorious hush falls over the country's favorite beach towns in autumn. Crowds disappear and locals exhale. While the water's still warm and the weather's still mild, scoop up a cheap oceanfront cottage rental and enjoy the golden moments of the season. Here are 10 iconic U.S. beach towns where you can pedal along quiet boardwalks, kayak among fall colors, and score excellent post-Labor Day deals.  [Read More]

10 great places to ride a carousel

Going around in circles isn't always a bad thing. Travelers of all ages love carousels, says Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International, which operates the B&B Carousell (the historic spelling) at Luna Park in Coney Island, N.Y. "The entire family can enjoy it together. Not too many rides allow that," he says. And many carousels are pieces of art, with hand-carved animals. He shares some favorite merry-go-rounds with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY. [Read More]

America's Most Awesome Boardwalks

Navy Pier in Chicago
Who says a boardwalk has to be by the ocean? Along Lake Michigan in the Windy City, the Navy Pier has got a 150-foot-high Ferris wheel that lets you take in the skyline and the lake, a carousel, wave swinger, mini-golf, and remote-control boats in season. And don't forget to grab an America's Dog Chicago hot dog with mustard, relish, onion, sport peppers, tomato, pickle, and celery salt. [Read More]

Top 15 craft beer breweries in the USA

There's that moment when you try a better beer, a beer that's not your average Coors/Bud/Pabst/Enter One-Syllable Beer Name Here, and you're hooked. Not everyone may remember exactly where, or when. You may not even remember what beer it was. But much like a 1-year old who tries his first bite of birthday cake and has his first real taste of sugar, you know you're never going back to that other beer again.  [Read More]

Cape Coral Emerges as a Destination

Surrounded by glowing destination neighbors such as Sanibel Island and Fort Myers, Cape Coral sometimes gets overlooked.
But that’s about to change in a major way, in part because of the recent christening of Southwest Florida’s first Westin property, with all the luxe and attention to detail that connotes.
Cape Coral, you ask?  [Read More]


NO, we haven’t taken a vacation from our vacation in the Canadian Maritimes.  We’ve just been so involved with our trip that I: 1) haven’t had much time to write, and 2) we’ve seen so much worth writing about I’m developing writer’s block about where to start.  [Read More]

Top sports museums in North America

Looking for your next special Road Trip?  How about something different...Sports museums are scoring major points by featuring interactive and high-tech exhibits in addition to standard memorabilia, so visitors don’t have to be super fans to have a ball. Here are some of the best sports Halls of Fame.  [Read More]

10 great places to visit Civil War sites

While the world focuses on Gettysburg, Pa., marking the 150th anniversary of the battle, it's worth noting that Civil War sites can be found across a huge swath of the country, says Jeff Shaara, author of the guidebook Jeff Shaara's Civil War Battlefields: Discovering America's Hallowed Ground (Ballantine, $20). "You don't have to be a fanatic history buff to go to these places. You can get something out of it just by taking the time to visit." He shares some noteworthy sites with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.  [Read More]

America's best national park campgrounds

There’s no magic formula to finding the perfect national park campground. But with 59 parks to choose from spread across wildly different terrains, there’s certainly one to suit every taste.

 [Read More]

10 great places for family vacations in national parks

National parks not only preserve nature, they also nurture families, says Jonathan Dorn, editorial director of Backpacker magazine and, a planning site. "These are places where families can unplug from their normal chaos and reconnect. They can have meaningful experiences in natural surroundings that are among the most beautiful in the world." He shares some favorite places for family camping with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY. [Read More]

Motor coach tours seek out Maine's hidden gems

Earlier this month, 13 tour operators stepped off a bus at the Bates Mill in Lewiston and wandered into the historical textile mill that, until the 1960s, was the state's largest employer.
Touring the mill's Museum L-A, the group wound through two floors of cavernous industrial spaces, their well-worn floors stained with years of fragrant oil and grease.  [Read More]

It's Festival Season! 12 Over-the-Top, Can't-Be-Missed Festivals

To Bean or Not to Bean, Is That Even a Question?  


As the leaves begin to turn red and gold deep in the Ozarks, excitement starts to build. Competitors check and double check recipes. Others put the final tweaks on their racing machines. Before long, the aroma of beans and outhouses fill the mountain air -- it's time for the Annual Arkansas Bean Fest and Great Championship Outhouse Races. This fest had GypsyNester written all over it. How could we possibly resist? [Read More]

'Hidden' attractions in Washington, D.C.

At certain times of the year, exploring our nation's capital can become an exploration of one's patience. When weekends and holidays allow many to flock to D.C.'s famed attractions, long lines and big crowds are inevitable. Beyond the monuments and the Mall, however, there's much more to see and do than you might imagine. You just need to find some of the hidden gems in and around the capital.  [Read More]

For your next road trip: Top family-friendly restaurants

There's more than pizza and chicken fingers on the menu at America's top-rated family-friendly restaurants, announced today by Urbanspoon.
Making the grade are a vegan place in Orlando, an Asian fusion restaurant on Maui, Hawaii, and Southern comfort fare in Asheville, N.C.  [Read More]