Though he writes the Frugal Traveler feature for The New York Times, self-described city slicker Seth Kugel admits that before this summer he knew little about American life outside the big city, So, he decided to spend five weeks this summer traveling from Baton Rouge, La., to Fargo, N.D., visiting 10 states to see what the heart if rural America is all about. What he found is that the South and the Midwest heartland have plenty of exciting and interesting wonders to offer any traveler.
Kugel, who went to Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota, visited county fairs, museums, national landmarks, the Ozarks, farmers' markets, mom-and-pop stores and restaurants, and off-the-beaten path local establishments. He met Native Americans, farmers, immigrants, and many locals who offered interesting conversation and opinions about everything from politics to immigration. He learned that even though New York is culturally diverse, so is the rest of the country, if yoy just scratch the surface. Mostly he learned that "America far from New York City is a strange and exotic place indeed." (Read more)
introduction, and stories about Louisiana, Memphis, the Ozarks, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota. (Kugel photo: A tractor motors through downtown Pella, Iowa, population 10,000)