I-75 is a perfect sample of the U.S. It starts at the Canadian border in Sault Ste. Marie, before winding down to Detroit and into the heart of the Midwest through Michigan and Ohio. From there, it crosses Kentucky and Tennessee, passing cities like Lexington, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. I-75 is a main route to Atlanta. From Atlanta, it continues into Florida.
Whether you're looking for the fastest route from the Midwest to Florida, or you happen to be enjoying the ride between some cool cities, I-75 is loaded with plenty to see and do along the way.
Start off your trip by fueling up at the West Pier Drive-In. This old-school eatery serves up mouthwatering burgers and sides like fries, onion rings, and fried mushrooms. Save room for one of the incredibly rich milkshakes. You can eat a full meal and dessert without breaking the bank.
2811 Mackinac Trl, MI, US
Castle Rock is a scenic viewpoint near St. Ignace that makes a great pitstop. The 195-foot-tall lookout spot has been a tourist destination since 1929. Peer into the binoculars to check out the views of Mackinac Island (which, if you have time, is also worth visiting), Lake Huron, downtown St. Ignace, and I-75 itself. Pose for photos with a statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox while you're here.
3612 State Park Dr., Grayling, MI, US
Hartwick Pines State Park protects mystical stands of old-growth pine forest. It's just off the highway, but it feels like a place from a fairytale. The park's Old Growth Trail features the Hartwick Pines Logging Museum and the Michigan Forest Visitor Center, which give great insight into the White Pine Logging Era in Michigan (1840-1910), the diversity of the habitat today, and the future of these lush forests.
1680 Martin St, Bay City, MI, US
Since you're hugging the banks of the Saginaw River, stop by the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum. The crown jewel of their collection of artifacts is the USS Edson, built in 1958. It's only of only two surviving Forest Sherman-class destroyers. Most of the ship's service occurred during the Vietnam War.
5161 Branch Road, Flint, MI, US
Flint is a town just north of Detroit that boasts a history just as rich as the Motor City's. Stop by Flint's manmade Stepping Stone Falls, a dam on the Flint River that forms Mott Lake. There's a path along the river with several lookout points. Stay until after dark to see the falls lit up with colorful lights.
Comeback City. The Motor City. Motown. Detroit has gone by many names in its long history. A visit to the city must include the Motown Museum—the recording studio earned the nickname "Hitsville U.S.A." for the string of top records produced in the 1960s and beyond. Depending on your interests, consider adding the Belle Isle Aquarium, Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, or Milliken State Park and Harbor to your itinerary. Along the way, check out the architecture, restaurants, nightlife, and more. You can easily spend a day or more in Detroit without running out of things to see and do.
From there, cruise to the town of Toledo. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised by the destination. This city may be small, but it's not lacking in world-class attractions. The zoo and art museum are particularly notable. Special to Toledo are spots like the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library, the National Museum of the Great Lakes, and Fort Meigs, which played an important role in the War of 1812. You can't leave without sampling the Hungarian grub at Tony Packo's Cafe. Try the pierogies, stuffed cabbage, chicken paprikash, or fresh-baked strudels.
13920 County Home Rd, Bowling Green, OH, US
As you forge further south into Ohio, you'll encounter more roadside fun, like Snook's Dream Cars. The showroom is stocked with vintage automobiles and memorabilia set against backdrops like a 1940s Texaco gas station, 1930s general store, and 1960s racetrack. You'll find everything from coupés to roadsters from classic manufacturers, including Packard, Pontiac, Alfa Romeo, and Lotus.
419 W Pike St, Jackson Center, OH, US
Speaking of auto history, you can't drive past the Airstream Factory in Jackson Center without stopping by. Take a tour to get a firsthand look at where these iconic silver bullets get their rivets. You can even snap a photo of a special rarity—the only golden Airstream, made by founder Wally Byam for his wife Stella.
7 W Monroe St, New Bremen, OH, US
If cars and Airstreams don't do it for you, then maybe the Bicycle Museum of America is more your speed. You'll see hundreds of different kinds of bikes, including a handcrafted solid wood bike inspired by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, unbelievable penny-farthing high-wheels, and classic Schwinns straight out of your childhood. The three floors of exhibits will impress.
While we're on the subject of bikes, your next stop is Dayton, Ohio—the hometown of two bike makers-turned-flight pioneers, the Wright brothers. You can visit the Victorian building that once housed their storefront. Or, go further into aviation history at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The Carillon Historical Park and SunWatch Archeological Park are more great places to take in some history.
7379 Squire Ct, West Chester, OH, US
On your way from Dayton to Cincinnati, you'll pass by EnterTRAINment Junction, which has a little something for everyone. Kids will love the play area and hands-on exhibits, and adults will be blown away by their model train displays—renowned as one of the largest in the world. You can spend hours looking at the tiny details along the over two miles of track.
Welcome to Ohio's Queen City. There are countless reasons to stay and explore Cincy. Chief among them, the brewery scene and Over-the-Rhine, one of the country's largest, most intact urban historic districts. Hip bars, restaurants, and shops are filling the historic buildings, making it worth an afternoon of exploration. Beyond that, there are plenty of cool spots like the American Sign Museum and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to check out. Of course, don't miss the Cincinnati chili, a local delicacy often served over noodles or hot dogs.
1 Ark Encounter Dr, Williamstown, KY, US
This Christian religious attraction has garnered quite a buzz since opening in 2016. Learn about the Biblical tale of Noah and how he survived a massive flood on his ark, and why Creationists believe that this—and the rest of the Bible—are fact. Aside from the exhibits inside the massive ark itself, you'll also find a playground, zoo, and zip line
4089 Iron Works Pkwy., Lexington, KY, US
Kentucky is best known for two things: Horse-racing and bourbon. If you don't have the time to fully tour the Bourbon Trail, consider making a stop at one of the distilleries located along I-75. You can also get classic Kentucky vibes at the Kentucky Horse Park. A ticket gets you access to two thorough museums (including the Smithsonian's International Museum of the Horse) and admission to horse shows throughout the day. You can ride a horse, tour the barns, and visit various halls of fame.
2590 Richmond Rd, Mount Vernon, KY, US
Delve into Kentucky's unexpectedly rich musical history at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Find artifacts dating back to the 18th century, interactive displays, informative films, and a gift shop. If you're lucky, you might even catch a live performance.
99 Colonel Sanders St, Corbin, KY, US
Welcome to the coolest KFC in the world. The Harland Sanders Museum and Cafe has a modern-day Kentucky Fried Chicken tucked inside the original 1940s cafe where Colonel Sanders invented his blend of 11 herbs and spices that made his chicken so famous. Enjoy the KFC memorabilia and views of the old-school cafe as you enjoy your biscuits and chicken.
7351 Hwy. 90, Corbin, KY, US
Kentucky is a state of great beauty. Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is the perfect example. The lodge here is one of the loveliest places to spend the night off I-75, with an authentically rustic atmosphere. If you're just stopping by, then head to Cumberland Falls, known as the Niagara of the South. It forms a stunning 125-foot arc and is famous for a rare phenomenon known as a moonbow. If you plan your visit during a full moon and take a nighttime hike, you may spot a moonbow shining on the fall's swirling mist.
Make your first stop in Tennessee the city of Knoxville. Get the lay of the land by heading to the top of the golden, disco-ball-like Sunsphere, a remnant of the 1982 World's Fair. Visit the Farragut Folklife Museum, poke around Market Square, have a blast on Gay Street, and check out the rest of the World's Fair Park during your time here. If you only eat one meal in Knoxville, find it at Tupelo Honey. Pimento cheese nachos, pecan pie pancakes, and potato cracklins are a few of the unique Southern-inspired delicacies.
140 Lost Sea Rd, Sweetwater, TN, US
Did you know that Tennessee is home to the world's second-largest non-subglacial underground lake? Take a boat tour of the Lost Sea to learn more. Craighead Caverns, where the Lost Sea is located, has served as a Civil War saltpeter mine, a mushroom farm, a cockfighting arena, a moonshine distillery, and a nightclub called The Cavern Tavern over the years, but the sea wasn't discovered until 1905. As your boat glides across the 800 square feet of water, ponder the unexplored maze of caverns likely hidden deep below the surface.
I-75 is a major highway, so there's no bad time to drive it. Of course, things can get snowy during the winter, but that's more of a concern in places south of Ohio, where towns have less experience and fewer resources to deal with wintery conditions. Otherwise, enjoy the drive from Miami to Canada, whichever direction you choose.