Sure, “destination dining” has emerged as a major factor in making travel plans these days: But focus on just the endgame, and you’re missing out on the journey. In Eater’s On the Road essay package, which launched earlier this morning, several writers revealed how they tapped into the soul of America, for better or worse, in fleeting fish-out-of-water experiences — moments they experienced only after getting behind the wheel and tackling the open road ahead.
Inspired by those five stirring stories — and fueled by the cheapest gas prices American drivers have seen in more than 10 years — Eater’s first-ever Road Trip Week officially starts now. Over the next week, the collective traveling power of Eater’s 23 city sites will provide guides, maps, and other service-oriented pieces designed to make your next road trip that much more delicious. (Ever wonder where to eat along the route from New York City to Boston, or San Francisco to Los Angeles? Between the major cities in the great state of Texas, or simply the 122-mile stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike? We have you covered.)
Elsewhere, learn why the rest areas along most U.S. highways have looked the same for generations; how Buc-ee’s, a Texas staple, emerged as the best rest stop in the country; and how those iconic roadside restaurant statues (Bob’s Big Boy and their ilk) got their start. So soak in the energy of the two patron saints of Road Trip Life — that’d be Jack and Willie, of course — and start your engines: This will be fun.