If you are lucky enough to be heading out on the road with your family this year, I would like to highly recommend one of my new favorite iPhone apps: Roadside America. Once again, no one asked me to review this product or paid me to tell you to buy it. I just found it and I like it. (But if you want to pay me or give me free stuff to review, I'll gladly do it honestly and with full disclosure. Let's talk... but I digress...)
This app identifies your location through your phone and then gives you a listing of the interesting roadside stops nearby, your distance to them, directions to get there, all the info you need regarding hours, cost, etc. as well as reviews and tips from other users. It costs $2.99 for access to your home region. If you are traveling around the country, you may find it worthwhile to upgrade to the full version for $5.99/year. It is not the cheapest app around, but it has loads of great content and has drawn us to some fun, kid friendly spots making our trips feel like real adventures.
Some of the sites are big and spectacular and some are simple but interesting such as this statue of a young Abrahm Lincoln reading a book while riding a horse. We found it in a little beach town on the coast of Oregon and emailed the picture to our daughter who is a history fan. We've also experienced that even if we don't have time to stop somewhere near our route, it is fine road trip entertainment just to read aloud about the quirky attractions that are out there - you wouldn't believe what we are missing as we zoom along the interstates! Next time we visit this tiny Oregon town, we'll definitely be hitting the burger shop with the pet monkey named Fred.