Saturday, April 1, 2023

A Holiday Review of Read a Road Map Day

Take a step back in time and use a paper road map to plan a trip. Read a Road Map Day is celebrated on April 5 each year.

Image of a road map

Almost everyone has a GPS these days, even on our cell phones, which gets us to our destinations quickly, in the shortest manner. This works great for finding locations when needed.  But is your trip about a destination, or would you like to go on a journey?

Road maps are more than just directions to a destination.  They help us plot a fun journey and allows us to have a pleasant experience.  By getting off today's superhighways, we can identify and discover small and interesting towns or historic sites. 

How to Celebrate Read a Road Map Day

On April 5th, the designated day for 'Read a Road Map Day', get out your Rand McNally Road Atlas, your state map or a map of your city and take a Day Trip or a weekend trip to someplace you haven't been. 

car on a road map image
Or just use a spinner and let it find you a direction to take, get in your car and begin driving. Your map will show you what is ahead in the direction you are going. Stop in one of the next small towns you go through and see what you can find. Perhaps a local diner that has been there forever will be the perfect place to stop for lunch. Maybe a statue in the town square will give you a bit of history of the place. 

There are many interesting sites (and sights to see) that can be found on road maps. City maps often show the location of art museums, historic sites, and parks & lakes in your own town. Go visit one or more on a weekend. Take the family and expand your children's horizons. Depending on the size of your town, I'll bet there are many places you have never visited. And a state map has a wealth of information for going on a sightseeing road trip. What does your state have to offer? Have you ever visited your State Capital, for instance?


image of a magnifying glass and car keys on a road map

So use April 5 – the date of the holiday Read a Road Map Day – and go get a city, state or national map to decide on an interesting way to have an adventure or simply a fun Daycation.  

Related Link:

+All Images courtesy of 

*Read a Road Map Day review written by Wednesday Elf


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. With GPS technology embedded in our phones and even our cars, reading road maps is becoming a lost art. Yet, as you rightly point out, GPS has its limits and can’t help you find hidden treasures if you are looking to explore a place without knowing the area. Exploring a new place at one’s leisure can be more fun than taking the most efficient (but perhaps less interesting or scenic) route to your destination.

    1. I agree, Margaret. I've taken many 'scenic' trips from 'here to there' and delighted in my 'finds'. From hidden away restaurants in small towns to historic sites, these journeys were really interesting. My brother & SIL had a hobby of taking Sunday drives without any maps - getting lost and finding their way home, all the while discovering places and things of interest they would have otherwise missed.

  2. Lol, that's interesting - there's a "read a road map day" - back in our day, those were everyday for traveling - It is fun to use a road map (doing it old school) - and those little hidden gems you find that way - side tours. When I backpacked through Europe in 1978 it was all done with maps - was fun.

    1. I bet your maps for your European backpacking trip was essential, Barbara. What fun that must have been.

  3. The GPS will never be able to replace a map! We prefer a map when traveling for exactly the reason you mentioned; to look for something wonderful nearby that we wouldn't want to miss. We stop at the welcome centers as we enter a new state so we can get the current map for the state.

    1. I ALWAYS stop at Welcome Centers, Mouse. Such a wealth of information they have for travelers. My favorite one was the Florida one, as they give you a free glass of orange juice! :)

  4. I like the idea of using a map for long road trips, you just never know what you will come across when planning the old fashioned way. Plus you can't get lost with a real map, google maps has sent me to many crazy places that I would rather not go to!

    1. I agree, Olivia. One trip I ran into a snowstorm and my GPS stopped working. If I had not had my trusty Road Atlas, I would have been in trouble! :)

  5. Our car is never without a road map. When ever we are taking a trip Fran insists on having a road map handy of the area we are traveling.

    1. Road maps are completely necessary on trips, Sam. Because weather and other problems can cause a GPS to stop working. I've actually had that happen in a snowstorm once.

  6. I love a Road Map! Before GPS days that is all I used on road trips and holidays, then I switched to the tech option - until one day it really let me down. Since then I always carry a map in the car. When we are planning holidays we usually scan the map for a more interesting way to get there and explore the area we are visiting. I often like to plan my own route rather than one chosen for me !

    1. I agree completely, Raintree Annie. I love to 'follow along' with a map the route we are driving to see what there might be there to see 'off' the regular route. And to plan my own route.


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