Road Trips and Getaways: Most Popular Articles of 2022

A look back at the most popular travel articles of 2022, featuring road trips and getaways.

I suppose it’s fitting that 2022’s most popular articles on The Local Tourist are primarily about road trips. I put some serious mileage in last year, driving from Chicago to Denver and back, driving up the Pacific Coast, driving to Washington (the state) and back, and lots of smaller trips, too.

It was a very good year. A very busy year.

It was a busy year for The Local Tourist, too, as we rebounded from the dropped traffic of the previous two. That was a relief; let me tell you!

I spent so much time traveling to wonderful places that I didn’t write as much as I wanted to. Still, I published at least two posts a month (averaged out), and also published three books.

Like I said, it was a good year.

So, without further ado, here are the 10 most popular articles of 2022.

10. Fresh Air and Fine Feasting at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa

View from the pontoon boat in Lake Galena at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa

I’ve loved Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa since my first visit many years ago. I’ve got even more of a soft spot for it now, since it was my last getaway before receiving my breast cancer diagnosis in 2020.

Mr. TLT and I had a socially distanced visit the last weekend in July. Eighteen days after we returned, my world changed forever.

While the article details the precautions taken by the resort during that fraught period, it’s more about the wonderful food, comfortable accommodations, and fantastic outdoor activities Eagle Ridge offers.

If you’re looking for a getaway, you can’t go wrong with Eagle Ridge.

Read all about why I love Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa.

9. Route 66 in Illinois: an Amazing Road Trip Adventure

Illinois Route 66 sign with the L tracks in the background

I love Route 66, and apparently, so do you, because this excerpt from Midwest Road Trip Adventures is the 9th most popular article of 2022.

If you’re thinking of driving this stretch of the Mother Road, you’ll want to check out this turn-by-turn itinerary.

It starts in Chicago and ends at the Mississippi River, with oodles of roadside attractions and cool stops along the way.

Plan your Route 66 in Illinois adventure.

8. How to Save Money on a Road Trip

Entrance to Gold Camp Road in Colorado Springs, Colorado

It’s not surprising in the slightest that an article dedicated to saving money hit the top 10 for last year.

This favorite, featuring tips I’ve included in my Planning Your Perfect Road Trip, provides 38 ways you can save money on a road trip.

Tips cover driving, eating, sleeping, and having fun–pretty much everything you’ll need.

7. How to be a Local Tourist

Just a couple of local tourists hanging out with a gnome named Tim in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Appearing in the same spot as it did last year is this perennial favorite. How to be a Local Tourist goes into what being a “Local Tourist” means and why you’d want to in the first place.

In February, I’m celebrating 21 years as The Local Tourist, and I still believe as passionately as I did in the very beginning in its simple concept: you can experience the fascination of a tourist where you live, and experience the comfort of the local no matter where you are.

I hope to continue inspiring you to find that joy in exploration, both at home and elsewhere, for many more years to come.

6. Road Trip Food: What to Eat, What to Pack, and How to Save Money

Mickey-Lus Bar-b-q in Marinette Wisconsin is a local favorite. White building with red awnings and a giant sign that says EAT.

I think one of the best things about road trips is the food, and it’s nice to see you agree with me!

Our 6th most popular article is all about road trip food: what to pack, what to eat, and how to save money. I’ve got ideas for snacks and meals, too.

5. How to Use GasBuddy App to Find the Best Gas Prices

Map of gas prices in Chicago on GasBuddy, one of your absolute road trip essentials

Are you seeing a theme here?

With the way gas prices have been the last few years, it’s no wonder this guide to my favorite fuel app is in the top ten.

I’ve been using GasBuddy for quite some time, and it’s still one of favorite road trip apps. I tell you, it saved my bacon when I drove up the coast of California last May. Talk about sticker shock!

Using the GasBuddy app to find the cheapest prices saved me a ton during that 8 day Pacific coast road trip.

4. Driving Through Badlands National Park: a Surreal Road Trip

Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Green in foreground with striated rocks in the background and a deep blue sky

I first drove through Badlands National Park in 2018 researching my second book, Two Lane Gems, Vol. 2. I drove through it again last summer on my way (eventually) to eastern Washington.

It’s worth a return visit.

This treasure in South Dakota is stark, yet filled with life. Although the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway is short, you’ll want to allow plenty of time for overlooks, hiking, bison traffic jams and frolicking prairie dogs.

Bison in Badlands National Park

3. Chicago in Winter will Warm Your Heart

Chicago River in winter

And now for something that’s not a road trip…

Chicago in winter!

Chicago’s pretty incredible during the summer, but after more than two decades, I can tell you it’s fantastic year round.

Apparently, I’m not the only one to think so, because this article extolling the virtues of the Windy City when it hurts to breathe is the third most visited piece in 2022.

What makes it so magical? Well, the incredible museums, of course, including the Museum of Science and Industry and the wonderful Art Institute of Chicago. There are also tons of outdoor activities.

(Wear layers; you’ll be fine.)

2. Driving the Depression-Era Daring of Beartooth Highway

View from Rock Creek Vista Point, Beartooth Highway

For the second year in a row, the second most popular article on The Local Tourist was this piece about driving Beartooth Highway.

This scenic drive is a bucket list experience if there ever was one. It’s short, but worth it. If you’re looking for an incredible road trip, start in Billings, then pick up Beartooth Highway in Red Lodge, and keep going until you hit Yellowstone National Park.


Beartooth Highway

I think one of the reasons this post is so popular is because I’ve got a video of nearly the entire drive. It’s sped up, so you might want to take some Dramamine before watching it.

1. 28 Delightful Road Trips from Chicago

Sunrise over Lake Michigan with Adirondack chairs on the sand

And the number one most popular article of 2022 was…

Road trips from Chicago!

I’ve lived in the Midwest nearly all my life, yet I’m still discovering new places to visit. In this post, I highlight several of my favorite places to drive from Chicago, from short day trips to longer extended weekends.

Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve, one of many unique things to do on Kelleys Island Ohio
Glacial Grooves on Kelleys Island

Some of these getaways include the surprising Sheboygan, Wisconsin; nearby Elgin, Illinois; relaxing Kelleys Island, Ohio; and historic Fort Wayne, Indiana.

When I tell people I specialize in road trips, I’m not kidding! I hope you enjoy revisiting these most popular articles from 2022. Or, if you’ve missed them, reading them for the first time.

After my extensive travels last year, and with no plans to stop exploring new places, I’m excited to see what you’ll find intriguing in 2023. I’ve got a lot of stories to tell, and I can’t wait to invite you in for more adventures and inspiration.

Happy New Year!

TLG in front of a sign that says Outrageously Happy
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