For me, a cross-country road trip is just about the only good use for a car (that, and perhaps hauling furniture and unwieldy goods). Sure, the prices at the gas pump are soaring, but that doesn’t make the romance of a Kerouac-style journey any easier to dismiss. Think charming roadside diners, on-a-whim detours, ridiculous billboards, delightfully tacky souvenirs…ah, summer bliss.
But wait, you don’t want shot glasses and magnets for every state you traverse? Fret not, at least those of you ladies in the crowd, for Star 50 Handbags has a solution to your souvenir conundrum. Their Star 50 Collection offers special-edition totes and clutches inspired by iconic state attributes, from the Arizona Rattler or Arkansas Diamond Digger to the Connecticut Commuter, Utah Sport Tote, and Washington, D.C., Blossom. Artist and fashionista Amity Cooper dreamed up the line, drawing on her love for travel and ’40s and ’50s nostalgia.
So when you return from your journey, you can pick and choose which state(s) you want to commemorate (though, admittedly, Cooper hasn't quite spanned the country yet, more bags are always in the works). Even better? Star 50 donates a portion of its annual proceeds to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Every Star 50 handbag reflects some of the greatest features of a state, so we’re very interested in preserving the best attributes of the places you live in or visit,” explains Star 50’s website.
Not particularly in the market for a handbag? Star 50’s website is still worth a gander for its trove of state facts, many of which helped inspire the designs of each bag. For instance, I’m well aware of Iowa’s Strawberry Point, home to the world’s largest strawberry (in the form of a big strawberry sculpture perched atop the city hall) and a regular pit stop of childhood treks to my grandparents’ house in northern Iowa, so I would be proud to carry an Iowa Sweetberry clutch. But I had no idea that Iowa’s arch-nemesis (at least in terms of misspoken state names), Idaho, has hosted a tug-of-war contest held over a pit of mashed potatoes since 1927.
Speaking of geo-trivia, don’t forget about Traveler’s highly addictive WorldWise quizzes.
Photo: courtesy Star 50 Handbags