This Cross-Country Road Trip Called Road To Nowhere Couldn't Have A More Misleading Name

Is Canada nowhere? How about Mexico? If you answered "no," then the so-called Road to Nowhere doesn't go "nowhere" at all. The Road to Nowhere, US-83, runs from the Canadian border to the Mexican border, so its start and end points certainly don't merit the "nowhere" moniker. Instead, it's the route the road takes that gives it its nickname. Starting in North Dakota near Westhope, US-83 runs south along the 100th meridian, the boundary between the wetter eastern and the arid western United States.

Passing through the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, US-83 spends 1,885 miles studiously avoiding the country's main tourist draws. This road trip is for people who love small towns. It's for those who enjoy vast views of rolling prairies and grasslands. And it's for people who have done the Loneliest Highway through Middle America and found it too touristy. But don't be fooled into thinking there's nothing to see along the way. From Native American and Wild West history to small-town festivals, there's a lot to take in on the Road to Nowhere.

Sights along the way

Let's dive into some highlights along the Road to Nowhere. In North Dakota, stop at the Fort Clark State Historic Site to see the remains of a village built by the Mandan and Arikara tribes and learn about their history. Moving on to South Dakota, join over 20,000 visitors per day in the summer who stop at Wall Drug, originally famous for its free ice water and now as a one-stop-shop for all things road trip.

Down in Nebraska, visit the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park in North Platte to see a Wild West-era ranch and learn about the history of Buffalo Bill Cody. As you travel through the next state of Kansas, stop in thriving Oberlin and pop into the Decatur County Last Indian Raid Museum. Here, you can get an insight into the many Native American clashes with U.S. forces. One reviewer on Facebook says this is one of the best museums on US-83.

The Road to Nowhere whips across Oklahoma's Dust Bowl country, so spend some time reading up on the history as you plow on into Texas. Road trip buffs should stop at the iconic Tower Conoco Station & U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, where US-83 intersects with Route 66. Enjoy Hill Country in Central Texas before dropping into the Lower Rio Grande Valley and heading east on the Road to Nowhere to end your trip in Brownsville.

Tips for driving the Road to Nowhere

You can drive the Road to Nowhere in any season, though we would avoid winter (too cold in the north) and summer (too hot in the south). We recommended doing the trip around October. At this time, the weather should be pleasant, and you might be able to catch OzFest in Liberal, Kansas, celebrating all things "The Wizard of Oz," or Norsk Høstfest, a huge Scandinavian heritage festival held annually in Minot, North Dakota.

You can also get an insight into the local culture by trying some of the changing food as you pass from north to south. You'll find German-inspired cuisine in North Dakota, Czech-style fast food at the Runza Huts chain in Nebraska, and incredible barbecue in Texas.

Finally, US-83 is mainly a two-lane highway, but sometimes it merges with larger, roaring interstates. If your goal is to avoid those kinds of roads, has many tips to help you stick to smaller, more pleasant roads. After all, you're not driving the Road to Nowhere to go anywhere fast.