The holidays may be a bit stressful, but gift giving doesn't have to be. The experts at Rand McNally are here to make your holidays a little brighter this year. We've compiled a list of gift ideas for each person on your list — including yourself! We'll help simplify the struggle of gift shopping with ideas that are sure to delight.
With its country towns, scenic roads, hiking trails, national forests, and wild rivers, the Great Smoky Mountains offer every reason to head for the hills. Here are some things to check out when you visit the Smoky Mountains:
Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, America is filled with spine-chilling tales of ghostly encounters that have been passed down for generations. Maybe that low whisper you heard was just the wind, but maybe it was something a little more frightening. From coast to coast, the country is littered with homes and buildings where the undead are still said to roam freely. Many of these haunted places are open to visitors so you can experience the eeriness for yourself—if you’re brave enough. Some of these stories and locations are not for the faint of heart, but if you’re looking for a spooky road trip then these places should definitely be at the top of your list.
Toronto, Ontario is the 4th largest city in North America with no shortage of things to do. This diverse and beautiful city brings in more than 14 million tourists every year and is ideal for the urban adventurer. Here are just a few things to check out if you find yourself booking a trip to this awesome city!
With 95,000 miles of coastline, two distinct oceans, and the world's largest gulf, the U.S. offers up an endless platter of seafood options. From tiny coastal seafood shacks to upscale swanky restaurants, there are many ways to enjoy the nation's seafood bounty. But where can you find some of the best in the country? Read on to find out!
Boulder, Colorado is a bustling town nestled where the High Plains and Rockies meet. Its active outdoors and cultural scene has made it a wonderful place to visit. Plus, its perpetual sunny weather means there's something to do year round. Here are some of our favorites!
America is experiencing a great brew awakening, with more cities making their mark on the emerging craft beer scene. As more and more people try their hands at the fine art of brewing IPAs, sours, pilsners, and the like, you may be wondering who does it best? So, we've compiled a list of our favorite cities to visit in search of the best frothy glass of beer.
Some cities are strengthened in beauty and charm by the changing of the seasons. While these destinations are a great place to visit any time of year, their fall seasons boast a getaway unlike any other, offering an impeccable combination of weather, scenery, and activity.
Every day, hardworking professional drivers head out to deliver America’s food, fuel, medicine, and clothing; the highway is their office. Pretty much everything that you use and depend upon in your everyday life is brought by trucks. Pro drivers spend their nights and days on the road, moving America. Even though you might not see them high up in their cabs, they’re working diligently and cautiously just for you.
Sprawling cityscape, southern hospitality, and delicious food are just some of the reasons to visit Dallas, TX. As one of the country's fastest growing cities, there's more to do each day in "The Big D," but here are some of our favorites:
In America, BBQ is King. People here are so passionate about this style of cooking, its history, and its culture that you’d think that BBQ sauce courses through their veins rather than blood. Over the past century, people have curated deep and passionate opinions about what makes the best barbecue style, declaring that theirs is better than the rest. However, they can all agree that BBQ is inherently as American as it gets and is the closest thing we have to a national cuisine.
Mother nature has done some truly awe-inspiring things in her day. You don't need a passport to visit these naturally stunning places in the United States.
The key to a good road trip is preparation. When planning for your upcoming road trip, don't leave home without these packing essentials.
This July, America will be celebrating her 242nd Birthday and millions of Americans will revel in honor of her glory. With the Fourth of July falling on a Wednesday this year, it presents the perfect opportunity to take a long weekend and travel somewhere new. Here's how the folks in cities across the nation will be celebrating:
Although the Midwest is known more for its flat prairies than hilly regions, there's still plenty of good hiking to be found there. What the region lacks in altitude, it makes up for in natural beauty, including sparkling lakes, hidden waterfalls, sandstone canyons, and more. Whether you're looking for a short day hike or a remote backpacking trail, we've put together the best options for strapping on your boots and seeing what the Midwest has to offer.
Let’s face it guys, our daily lives can be stressful. It’s important to take a step back every once in a while and recharge those batteries. Nothing can help eliminate the stress better than rounding up the boys and getting away from it all (ladies, we didn’t forget you – check out our girls getaways here). So, call up the crew and take off to one of these destinations.
With more than a hundred-thousand miles of trails in the United States, the National Parks house some of the best hiking around. Your boots can take you places and help you experience the natural and historical legacy of the land that you can’t experience riding in a car. Try some of our favorite trails from coast to coast that span all levels of expertise.
If you are planning your next vacation and you're looking for glamour, opulence, and extravagence, then look no further than this article. This list of luxury getaways is all about the destination and what makes each of them an indulgent experience.
Whether you're planning a bachelorette party, a birthday weekend, or just a girlfriends' getaway, choosing a destination can be the hardest part of planning. Luckily, Rand McNally has your back. Check out our list of unique getaways, sure to make your next girls' trip one to remember.
Visiting America's National Parks can feel like a post card come to life, from Grand Teton's mesmerizing mountain views to Yosemite's iconic plunging waterfalls. But, what about some of the newer or smaller parks that you might never have heard of? With a whopping 58 national parks across the nation, you can avoid the masses and experience some of the most spectacular and natural places that this country has to offer at these nine incredible parks.
While Madison, Wisconsin wears its college-town moniker proudly, the city's vibrant arts, culture, and foodie scenes prove it has much more to offer. Although we would never suggest skipping the seemingly city-wide football tailgate parties on Saturdays in the fall, there is definitely more to experience. Madison is also home to several James Beard-nominated restaurants, more than 200 miles of bike trails in and around the city, and five Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings.
George Bernard Shaw once said, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” Nashville, Tennessee has always been known for its creative artist and music scene – but in recent years it’s also made a name for itself amongst the foodies of the world. So hit the road and head to where the tea is sweet and the chicken is hot. If you’re in need of some restaurant recommendations, here are some of our favorites.
Few methods of travel have inspired filmmakers as much as the great American road trip. With summer around the corner, you might start feeling the itch for an epic journey. If you hunger for adventure and the open road but aren't sure where to go next, try popping in one of these films for some inspiration!
Add a touch of flair to your luggage with this easy-to-make luggage tag! Nothing screams adventure quite like a map, so we've crafted this luggage tag out of a premium Rand McNally map. Follow these instructions to create the perfect little addition to your next adventure.
Nestled in the bluegrass hills of Kentucky is Louisville—a big city with the heart of a small town that is steeped in tradition. Brimming with history, culture, bourbon, and a penchant for southern hospitality, it’s no wonder this charming metropolis is becoming an increasingly popular destination (Forbes just named it one of 10 Coolest Cities to Visit in 2018). In the past decade, the city has blossomed as a home of cultural expression with a diverse range of things to see and do. If you happen to be passing through—or make it your destination—we recommend checking out some of these awesome places. Oh, and if you really want to fit in, pronounce it “LOU-uh-vull.”
Although St. Patrick's Day honors the patron saint of Ireland, the largest celebrations are in the United States. Originally a sedate, religious holiday, the St. Patrick's Day we know today was reinvented by Irish immigrants as a way to celebrate their heritage. While most cities across the U.S. have some type of celebration, we've rounded up the destinations that really go all out for St. Paddy's Day. Featuring bagpipe players, pub crawls, green rivers and green fountains, you're guaranteed to feel some Celtic pride, even if you're just Irish for the day.
Don't be fooled—spring break doesn't have to break your budget. From the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee to the chic metropolis of Montreal, we've found wallet-friendly destinations perfect for the whole family.
It’s strange to think of our U.S. Presidents residing somewhere other than the White House, but each President had a place to call home before or after their presidency that helped shape them into the historical figures we know today. Whether you’re a fan of American history or not, these estates once owned by former U.S. Presidents should be on your bucket list. Take a look at the top Presidential Estates you must visit.
Planning a trip for two? Feel the love in these romantic getaways. Whether you are looking to relax and gaze into each other’s eyes or engage in daring activities and get your heart racing, our guide will help you find the destination that is perfect for you.
When you think today’s Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) you think of grabbing your friends and family for a night of partying in the streets - but did you know that the origins of the celebration can actually be traced all the way back to medieval Europe? This traditional festival of feasting and merriment before the long abstinence of Lent was made an official holiday on the Gregorian calendar by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. When the French came to protect their claim on Louisiana in the 1700s, they didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to celebrate and brought the party with them – thus laying the framework for one of the biggest celebrations in the nation. Now you can find Mardi Gras festivities at various restaurants and events across the country, but if you want a truly authentic experience then head to these cities!
On the road it is easy to succumb to the ease of hitting up the closest fast food joint when your hunger starts to kick in. But, just because you are traveling doesn’t mean you have to eat unhealthy foods that are high in fat, sodium, and sugar that will leave you feeling tired and bloated. Healthier options will have a positive impact on your body and so you’ll feel more energized and ready to take on the road ahead. Instead of pulling off the highway to grab an artery-clogging burger, try some of our tips for nutritious alternatives.
With the holidays in the rearview mirror and the fresh winter snowfall turning to gray sludge, for many people, this is the time of year when winter has lost its charm. Rather than spending the rest of the season counting down the days until you can open a kitchen window without risking frostbite, take a break from the gloom and head out to one of our country's sunnier destinations. These warm-weather travel spots are the perfect antidote to the winter blues.
Our list of interesting facts about Chicago may surprise you. Take a look!
No matter what you celebrate, holiday markets are a fun place to get all your shopping done and actually enjoy yourself. This centuries-old European tradition is a great way to get into the spirit of the season with the all of lights, decorations, tinkling music, and the bustle of people trying to pick out of the perfect gifts. We’ve rounded up a list of our favorite annual pop-up markets across the nation so you too can experience this beloved annual tradition.
Take a stroll down the cobbled streets of Charleston and you can feel the history and culture thick in the air. As the oldest city in the state of South Carolina, this coastal gem oozes southern charm and draws travelers from all over the world. While the city makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into a different time, among the antebellum architecture, it is a thriving city with much to see and do. Our guide to the charming city of Charleston will have you rushing to visit and experience all that it has to offer.
Take the stress out of holiday shopping and let the experts at Rand McNally take the lead. Featuring our most popular and innovative products, this carefully selected gift guide has something for everyone on your list—kids, tech-lovers, travelers, and those hard-to-shop-for friends and family members we all know and love.
Add a level of adventure to your interior decor with this map-decorated tray! This DIY tray is a low-cost craft that is as simple to make as it is sophisticated. Our tray is decorated with one of our premium maps, but you can use any paper-like item, such as pictures, posters, etc. Follow these steps to create your own decorative tray!
As much as we love road travel, driving can be a slog. Whether it’s sitting in traffic or seeing the same billboards over and over, it’s easy to forget about the joys of the open road. In this season of giving, we wanted to bring back some of the magic of the car trip with our favorite scenic drives. From the granite peaks of New Hampshire to the red rocks of Arizona, these are road travels meant to inspire.
Decorative letters are a great way to enhance the décor of any room or celebration. Plus, they are rather easy to make! While you can decorate letters with any type of paper or poster-like items, covering them with maps is a great way to utilize old maps or atlases, as well as add a sense of adventure to your interior design. Here’s how to craft these adorable map letters!
Driving north and west from Santa Barbara to Monterey, this route follows the El Camino Real Road and CA 1 as it wends its way through the core of coastal California. Following this course, the ocean is always on your left so you can't lose direction. But with the beauty that surrounds you, you may lose your heart south of San Francisco. Sunsets anchored by acres of blooming flowers are rivaled only by those setting over rolling vineyards, or melting into mammoth rock formations along the shore. Romance doesn't linger in the air; it permeates it. Along the way, you'll discover plenty of reasons to pull over into a small village, stroll along a sandy beach, or be mesmerized by the mystique that dusk brings to Monterey's Cannery Row.
The Florida Keys Scenic Highway is the stretch of US 1 that travels through some of the nation’s most spectacular tropical scenery from Mile Marker 110, north of Key Largo, to Mile Marker 0 in Key West, the southernmost point in the continental United States. Check out some of the awesome attractions along the way!
New Orleans locals don’t eat to live, they live to eat, and they want you to know it. The Big Easy’s traditional fare – which is actually a melting pot of cuisines from all over the world – is a huge part of the city’s vibrant culture, and it’s not something to miss when visiting. We’ve compiled a bucket list of some of the most famous and tried-and-true dishes that contribute to New Orleans’ identity – and we recommend trying them all.
The dash cam, or dashboard camera, has gained popularity in the past few years—and it’s no surprise why! These handy recording devices are cost-effective, easy to install, and intuitive to use. Having a camera in your car offers endless benefits, and here are just some of the reasons you should consider installing one in your car.
Beautiful grass with a bluish hue is the inspiration behind Kentucky's nickname: The Bluegrass State. This popular grazing plant grows throughout much of the state, and its name has been associated with the music native to the region.
Galleries, arts and crafts studios, cafés, and fine restaurants—all nestled within the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains, and the recreational opportunities they have to offer—make visitors to Asheville, North Carolina not only enjoy their vacation, but leaves them wanting to come back again and again.
Every day, more than 3.5 million professional truck drivers head out on the roads to safely and efficiently deliver the clothes we wear, the food we eat, and the medicine we rely upon. Almost every item in your home or office was delivered by a truck, so it’s important to take the time to recognize the men and women on whom we depend on for so much. Like the low hum of an air conditioner or the soft purr of a cat, trucks and truck drivers pass in and out of the background of our lives, always working hard to make safe, on-time deliveries.
Although it is the smallest state in the nation, Rhode Island has over 400 miles of convoluted shoreline facing the Atlantic Ocean and Narragansett Bay. The state has more than 100 beaches. Surf conditions range from calm to challenging. Annual tournaments for striper, bluefish, shark, billfish, and tuna testify to the rich fishing opportunities. Seafood is fresh and plentiful, and clambakes--in which clams, lobsters, fish, and vegetables are steamed over heated stones--are a specialty.
A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. – "Walden, Or Life In The Woods" by Henry David Thoreau, 1854.
No matter where you live, there is probably a lake relatively near home – and most offer a vacation for every season – so start taking advantage! Lakes not only offer a myriad of activities, but also can inspire quiet and profound reflection. Whatever you are seeking in a getaway, a lake trip is sure to be able to offer something for everyone. Here’s a list of some of Rand McNally’s favorite lake getaways:
Glamping (or glamorous camping) is a travel trend that is sweeping the globe. Rather than “roughing it” on the ground with a portable tent and no proper restroom facilities, glamping provides a more comfortable, luxurious outdoor experience. And according to this New York Post article, the popularity of glamping has contributed to a significant spike in RV sales over the past five years.
Chicago might claim to be the "Blues Capital of the World," but if you're looking for an atmosphere of gritty, from-the-roots blues, you must head to the juke-jointin', Colt-45 swiggin', dust and dirt-ridden backroads of the Mississippi Delta.
From the coastal plain--where the sun kisses the sparkling sands of Virginia Beach--through the Piedmont plateau and westward to the rolling Blue Ridge and rugged Appalachian mountains, Virginia offers the best of both worlds: seashore and mountains. Visitors can frolic on the beaches and enjoy water sports. The mountains are embroidered with dogwood blossoms in spring and blazing red, orange, and gold in autumn.
If you’re planning to take a trip across the country, beware of the laws that differ from state to state. Some of these laws (somehow) are still in place from hundreds of years ago, while others are slightly modernized—but strange nonetheless. Here are the weirdest laws in each state*:
Stress can have serious mental and physical effects on adults. As people look for creative ways to unwind, it’s no wonder that adult activity books have taken the world by storm. Wouldn’t it be nice to be as carefree as a child again?
Any parent knows that planning a trip with kids can take a lot of planning and patience. A vacation should be fun for the whole family, and include a little something for everyone. We’ve got you covered with some ideas for family-oriented vacation spots to help minimize stress and maximize fun!
Everyone loves a good festival. Music festivals, food festivals, summer festivals, holiday festivals—and the list goes on. The reason for celebrating often varies, and some reasons may be so bizarre that you just wouldn’t understand unless you were a local. We’ve put together a list of the most “unique” festivals around the U.S., throughout the year, bringing you new levels of fun, food, and weirdness you never knew existed.
Packing lightly can really pay off when traveling, but it takes some strategy to be able to do it without sacrificing comfort and style. Experienced travelers will tell you whether you’re packing up a small car or trying to fit everything into a carry-on bag, it’s best to only bring the essentials. But embracing this strategy takes a pinch of skill and a dash of sacrifice. So for those who notoriously over-pack, we have compiled some tips to make your packing experience a little bit easier.
You don’t have to drive to the West Coast to visit an award-winning winery or take a picturesque drive along a winding shore. Michigan’s own Harbor Country has these in spades, putting any notion of a flat and boring Midwest to rest. Here are our top tips for enjoying a trip along Michigan’s beautiful south-western shore.
People flood in from all over to visit our nation's capital. While the White House, the monuments, and the museums are all worth a visit, they can get a bit crowded during the height of tourist season. If you want a more authentic experience in DC, we’ve compiled a list of some off-the-beaten-path spots for you to try. Our guide will help you navigate the streets like a seasoned local and cultivate some great memories along the way.
On Monday, August 21st, 2017, a solar eclipse—a celestial event where the Moon passes through the Sun and the Earth—will take place. According to NASA, a solar eclipse can cast a shadow on Earth’s surface up to 168 miles wide. This shadow is referred to as the path of totality, and locations within this path will experience a total solar eclipse, when the moon’s disc completely covers the sun, causing temperatures to drop and the sky to darken.
Can’t stand those wide sad eyes whenever you have to leave your pet behind? Traveling with a furry friend means never having to say goodbye—but it is also important to plan ahead and make sure that they are comfortable. Here are some helpful tips for bringing your four-legged friend along and keeping their best interests in mind: