An Interactive Guide to Literary Road Trips Across America

Screenshot: Google Maps
Screenshot: Google Maps / Screenshot: Google Maps

The road trip as a parallel for a concurrent narrative journey has long been a classic staple of American literature. Now, fans of the open road and evocative passages can chart their own course across the country inspired by some of the best road-trip writing.

Atlas Obscura has mapped the route followed in 12 nonfiction (or, in the case of On the Road, at least first-person and largely autobiographical) books. Follow Scott and Zelda from Connecticut to her hometown of Montgomery, Alabama in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Cruise of the Rolling Junk. Virtually or actually keep up with Cheryl Strayed's hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in Wild. Pretend you're traveling not just with a French poodle but with John Steinbeck, too, in Travels with Charley.

Along with the carefully calculated routes, there are clickable bullet points for all the different stops name-checked in each book. So you can not only see that On the Road, Rolling Nowhere, and Roughing It all involve stops in St. Louis, you can also read what Jack Kerouac, Ted Conover, and Mark Twain all had to say about the city.

Check it out here and start planning your next road trip!