From Wine to Wildlife, 10 Cheap Themed Road Trips
Related: 11 Tips for Taking a Road Trip on the Cheap
Chocolate lovers in the Midwest can head for the Blackhawk Chocolate Trail in northwest Illinois. A self-guided tour takes chocoholics through stops at cafes, candy stores, bakeries, and more. There are itineraries of different lengths, some requiring stopovers at local hotels. While it's free to stop into any location on the trail and browse, offerings of free samples vary, so expect to pay for a few treats along the way.
Related: 10 Chocolate Meccas Across America
Cheeseheads know Wisconsin is the place for all the best cheesy concoctions. The state is home to at least 60 artisan cheesemakers, who create everything from organic to one-of-a-kind handmade batches of cheese. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has put together cheese tour itineraries to give hungry travelers a chance to see the process and enjoy samples, both of which are usually free. The routes wind through the state and hit a number of cheesemakers, restaurants, and wineries that feature local cheese samples.
There are few places better to visit than Texas for authentic barbecue. For meat lovers, a road trip to some of Texas' best barbecue is a tasty way to see some of the state. The Texas BBQ Trail runs near the city of Austin and includes five stops at family-owned barbecue joints. Keep the trip cheap by sharing meals at each stop -- after all, Texas is known for large portions.
Nature lovers who prefer to see wildlife from the safety of a car can take a road trip on U.S. 191 linking Jackson, Wyoming, with Yellowstone National Park. Once inside the park ($30 a vehicle for a seven-day pass), everything from moose to bears to wolves may make an appearance, but animals are also abundant on the way there and free to see if you catch them. Jackson Lake and Grand Teton also offer the potential for amazing animal viewing.