A very special thank you to all of the agencies, hotels, restaurants, and activity venues that have made our four (soon to be five) cross country adventures better than we could have imagined.  Thoughtful planning from convention and visitor bureaus, coupled with hotel and activity discounts and sponsorship have made this “happy accident” of ours turn into the trips of a lifetime.  We would also like to thank Amtrak for making our trips memorable and answering endless questions about planning a train trip!  Whether it was a national park, greeting “Walkers”, zip-lining over alligators, historical venues, boat rides, horseback riding, sky -high ledges, or local night life we have had some incredible adventures. We are looking forward to the final destinations and publication of the second edition. We recommend without reservation the following activities, accommodations, food and resources. 


Happy Planning! 

~ The Bates Family


Regency Suites, Atlanta, Georgia

Glacier Highland Resort, Belton-West Glacier, Montana

Hampton Inn & Suites Charlottesville, Virginia

The Four Seasons, Chicago

JW Marriott, Chicago, Illinois

Hilton Chicago, South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois

Kings Daughter’s Inn, Durham, North Carolina

Motel Dubeau & Grand Canyon Hostel, Flagstaff, Arizona

Hyatt Place Fort Worth Historic Stockyards, Fort Worth, Texas

Brewster House B&B, Freeport, ME

Best Western Antlers, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Cork Factory Hotel, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Metro Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles, California

Magnolia Hotel, Omaha, Nebraska

Drury Inn & Suites, Orlando, Florida

Drury Inn & Suites, Pittsburgh, PA

Courtyard by Marriott, Provo, Utah

The Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, Virginia

Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, Roanoke, Virginia

Best Western Sutter House, Sacramento, California

Drury Inn & Suites, San Antonio Riverwalk

Menger Hotel, San Antonio, Texas

Emeryville: Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge, California

Colonial Williamsburg Resorts


Taco Mac Sports Bar, Atlanta, GA

Four Seasons Boston, Bristol Lounge, Boston, MA

Tap Tastings Brew Tours, Cape Cod

Donut Connection, Charlottesville, VA 

Chicago Food Planet, West Loop Tour

Blue Door, Chicago, IL

Giordano’s Restaurant, Chicago, IL

Garrett’s Popcorn, Chicago, IL

Latinicity, Chicago, IL

NOSH, Durham, NC

Billy Bob’s Texas Honky Tonk, Fort Worth, TX

Brewster House B&B, Freeport, ME

Portersfield Cider, Freeport, ME

The Lobster Cooker and Pub

Tuscan Brick Oven Bistro, Freeport, ME

The Pullman, Glenwood Springs, CO

Annie Baileys Irish Pub, Lancaster, PA

Miller’s Smorgasbord, Lancaster, PA

Old Mystic Village Shops, Mystic, CT

Steak Loft, Mystic, CT

Upstream Brewery, Old Market, Omaha, NE

Alta Colina Vineyard, Paso Robles, CA

Black Sheep Cafe, Provo, UT

The Pit Authentic BBQ, Raleigh, NC

Donnie D’s Bagels, Roanoke, VA

The Pilot House at the Delta King, Sacramento, CA

Cafe Coyote, San Diego, CA

Glacier Highland Restaurant, West Glacier, MT

Chownings Tavern, Williamsburg, VA


Atlanta Movie Tours, Atlanta, GA

CNN Tour, Atlanta, GA

Martin Luther King National Historic Site, Atlanta

World of Coca-Cola Tour, Atlanta, GA

Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD

Cape Flyer, Boston, MA

Monticello Tour, Charlottesville, VA

DIVVY Bikes, Chicago, IL

Chicago’s First Lady Boat Tour, Chicago, IL

The Ledge, Sky Deck, Chicago, IL

Spa In Your Space , Chicago, IL

TILT, Chicago, IL

Central Coast Trail Rides, Creston, CA

Duke Lemur Center, Durham, NC

Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ

Billy Bob’s Honky Tonk, Fort Worth, TX

Seacoast Tours of Freeport, ME

Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Tour, Freeport, ME

Wolfe’s Neck Center, Freeport, ME

Cattle Drive, Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth, TX

Stockyards Gunfighter, Fort Worth, TX

Glenwood Springs Resort, Glenwood Springs, CO

Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Glenwood Springs, CO

Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves, Glenwood Springs, CO

Aaron & Jessica’s Buggy Rides, Lancaster, PA

Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, CA

Warner Bros. Studios, Los Angeles, CA

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT

Mystic Aquarium, Mystic, CT

Hop on Hop Off Bus Tours, New Orleans, LA

National WWII Museum, New Orleans, LA

Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, Omaha, NE

Gatorland, Orlando, FL

Kennedy Space Center, Orlando, FL

SeaWorld, Orlando, FL

Alta Colina Vineyards, Paso Robles, CA

Paso Bike Tours, Paso Robles, CA

Duquesne Incline, Pittsburgh, PA

Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Garden, Pittsburgh,

National Aviary, Pittsburgh, PA

Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

Art’s Dune Tours, Provincetown, MA

Thanksgiving Point, Provo, UT

National Bowling Stadium, Reno, NV

Pedego Bike Rentals, Richmond, VA

Roanoke Pinball Museum, Roanoke, VA

California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento, CA

San Antonio Bike Tours, San Antonio, TX

Go RIO River Cruise, San Antonio, TX

The Alamo, San Antonio, TX

Pedego Electric Bikes, San Diego, CA

La Jolla Kayak Tours, San Diego, CA

Surf Lessons San Diego, CA

Escape the NAT, San Diego, CA

Horn Blower Boat Tours, San Diego, CA

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA

Experience Music Project Museum, Seattle, WA

D.C. by Foot, Washington, D.C.

Wilcox Park, Westerly, RI


Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau

Choose Chicago

Visit Colonial Williamsburg

Discover Durham, NC

Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce

Flagstaff Convention & Visitors Bureau

Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau

Discover Lancaster, PA

Montana Convention & Visitors Bureau

NOLA Convention & Visitors Bureau

Visit Omaha, Omaha, NE

Visit Raleigh, NC

Visit Richmond, VA

Visit Roanoke, VA

Visit Sacramento, Sacramento, CA

Budget Car Rental, Los Angeles, CA

Enterprise Car Rentals, Fort Worth, TX

Hertz Car Rental, Orlando, FL

Resort Trends, Inc., Glenwood Springs, CO

Sandwich Community Television, Sandwich, MA

Disclosure:  We have received free or reduced rates for many of the hotels, restaurants and activities you see listed.

Thank you to Gatorland for this VIP Tour. I am out on the island with the staff, never in a million years did I think I would be this close to live alligators!  (Later they had me zip-lining over the gators – a little too much screaming from me on that video!)