Share on Facebook

A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

The 17 Best Snapshots from Road Trips Across America

For our annual photo contest, we asked readers to share their best snapshots from roadside America. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

1 / 17
The 17 Best Snapshots from Road Trips Across America Tampa Bay, FloridaCourtesy Lou Ann Marks

Tampa Bay, Florida

“We had just left Clearwater Beach, and I was sad we couldn’t stay to watch the sunset—until I realized I could capture it in the mirror!” —Lou Ann Marks,  Alexandria, Minnesota. 

2 / 17
The 17 Best Snapshots from Road Trips Across America, Sequim, WashingtonCourtesy Miriam Grebe

Sequim, Washington

“My cousin and I drove through a wildlife exhibit where you can feed the animals from your car. This yak must have been really hungry, because he stuck his whole head through the window!” —Miriam Grebe, Salinas, California. 

3 / 17
The 17 Best Snapshots from Road Trips Across America, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OhioCourtesy Richard Fox

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

“I took this as the historic Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive no. 765 passed through Ohio last year. It was incredibly loud and covered bystanders with cinders, but seeing it takes you back to a simpler time.” —Richard Fox, Bellbrook, Ohio. Make sure to visit these hidden gems in every state on your road trip.

4 / 17
The 17 Best Snapshots from Road Trips Across America, Oro Grande, CaliforniaCourtesy Lee D'Anna

Oro Grande, California

“They call the metal pipes decorated with colorful bottles at this Route 66 roadside attraction “trees.” Elmer, the master­mind who created them, lives on this “tree farm,” but we couldn’t find him when we stopped by.” —Lee D’Anna, West Des Moines, Iowa

5 / 17
The 17 Best Snapshots from Road Trips Across America, Capitol Reef National Park, UtahCourtesy Chelsea Operchal

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

“While my husband was deployed in Iraq, I took a road trip with my cat and dog to see my family in Colorado. This photo reminds me of how beautiful and special that experience was.” —Chelsea Operchal, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. These are the most scenic drives in America.

6 / 17
The 17 Best Snapshots from Road Trips Across America, Cape Cod, MassachusettsCourtesy Jessica Muniz

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

“This was our family’s first time visiting the East Coast. I love sunsets, especially on the water, so I had to snap this photo of my husband and two daughters searching for crabs.” —Jessica Muniz, Alliance, Ohio

7 / 17
The 17 Best Snapshots from Road Trips Across America, Monument Valley, UtahCourtesy Bruce Bergstrom

Monument Valley, Utah

“When our tour guide learned my wife loves horses, he introduced us to his friend, a Navajo cowboy who owned a once-wild mustang. For a small donation, she was able to pose on the horse.” —Bruce Bergstrom, Lebo, Kansas. If you travel down Route 66, these are the must-see attractions.

8 / 17
The 17 Best Snapshots from Road Trips Across America, Duluth Harbor, MinnesotaCourtesy David Harmadi

Duluth Harbor, Minnesota

“My wife and I used to live in Duluth, so we returned for a vacation last winter. We stood in –10°F weather to watch the last ships sail into this harbor before it closed for the winter.” —David Harmadi, Coaldale, Pennsylvania

9 / 17
The 17 Best Snapshots from Road Trips Across America, Sausalito, CaliforniaCourtesy Dottie Borba

Sausalito, California

“On our way to Bodega Bay, my husband and I stopped at a lookout by the Golden Gate Bridge to take pictures of the San Francisco skyline. These binoculars were facing different directions, so I turned them all the same way. As we left, I looked back and saw them smiling at me.” —Dottie Borba, Pacifica, California. We want to copy this picture for our Instagram just as much as we want to replicate this photographer’s themed travel photos.

10 / 17
Death Valley National Park, CaliforniaCourtesy Amanda Petterson

Death Valley National Park, California

“My boyfriend looked so small standing on Zabriskie Point with these massive mountains in the background.” —Amanda Petterson, Madison, Wisconsin

11 / 17
Yellowstone National Park, WyomingCourtesy Lola William

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

“This lovely bison strutted right down the middle of the road while five of its pals followed leisurely behind. Meanwhile, a mile-long line of cars waited behind them. Glad we were going the opposite direction!” —Lola William, Minneapolis, Minnesota. These are the best RV parks in every state.

12 / 17
Jal, New MexicoCourtesy Gerald Garrett

Jal, New Mexico

“This cowboy round up scene, called “The Trail,” is composed of 17 pieces built from sheet metal. The cowboy is 20 feet tall and 21 feet wide and the smallest image is a 7-foot-tall calf. It was built by Brian Norwood, and the community of Jal helped with the cost, labor and equipment to built it.” —Gerald Garrett, Capitan, New Mexico

13 / 17
Sparta, WisconsinCourtesy Tim Moffett

Sparta, Wisconsin

Travelers can find this 30-foot, fiberglass eyeball on the side of Wisconsin State Highway 21, just like reader Tim Moffett did. This picture is quite a bit less commonplace than these 18 cliché travel photos every tourist secretly wants to take.

14 / 17
Shenandoah National Park, VirginiaCourtesy Warren White

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

“As I was heading down Skyline Drive, fog enshrouded the ridge as the clouds descended on the mountains. The result was a striking and surreal contrast between the grayness of the fog and the vivid reds, yellows and oranges of this tree.” —Warren White, Lancaster, Ohio

15 / 17
Goblin Valley State Park, UtahCourtesy Emma Walz

Goblin Valley State Park, Utah

“Everyone always says to travel as much as you can before having kids. So my husband and I, on the brink of starting a family, decided to take a road trip through the southwest and try to visit as many national and state parks as possible in our short 2017 holiday break. We hit six in southern Utah alone. My favorite was Goblin Valley State Park. It’s such a unique and breathtaking place. We brought laser guns, and as far as we could see, we were the only ones there. We stayed past sunset. And I totally beat him in laser tag.” —Emma Walz, Saratoga Springs, Utah. Check out the most spectacular sunset from every state.

16 / 17
Juno Beach, FloridaCourtesy Michael Platt

Juno Beach, Florida

Reader Michael Platt travels all over the country with Nala, his 11-year-old German Shepherd. Together, they’ve visited all of the lower 48 states. With all of the traveling they do, it’s no wonder Nala needs to get some rest in this comfy hammock!

17 / 17
Itasca State Park, MinnesotaCourtesy Jenna Martin

Itasca State Park, Minnesota

“Camping is one of our favorite things to do in the summer, and our camping trips wouldn’t be complete without our toddler running as fast as can down the trails. Thankfully, he falls down a lot less nowadays.” —Jenna Martin, Ramsey, Minnesota. Inspired to take your own shots? Be sure to utilize these easy tricks to never take a bad vacation photo again.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest