road trip

Topics: National Park Service, Florida, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Pages: 4 (1117 words) Published: October 15, 2013

A road trip is the ultimate getaway. It’s the journey, not the destination, so don’t hurry. Absorb the scenery, visit unusual attractions, eat in roadside diners, knock back a few cold ones in local taverns, and strike up conversations with strangers. The unexpected is part of any memorable road trip. During 4 1/2 decades, the two of us have driven more than 250,000 miles while touring the USA in a variety of vehicles including four VW campers. We have motored through all 50 states (we flew to Hawaii). All the trips were enjoyable and educational, but five stand out. The first would be on anyone’s list of great road trips, and the second two are likely on most lists. The last two may be surprising, but only for folks who haven’t driven them. We’ll see you on the road.

The Pacific Coast Highway.
The USA’s premiere road trip winds 1,700 miles along the Pacific Coast from southern California to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The scenery is breathtaking with stops that include Hearst Castle, Big Sur, San Francisco, Point Reyes National Seashore, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and Olympic National Park. Open the windows and enjoy the fresh air as you drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and watch giant container ships glide underneath. Stare in wonder at the towering redwoods of northern California. Stop in Tillamook, Ore., and enjoy a tour of the Cheese Factory. Walk the beach in the Kalaloch area of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and renew your spirit with the ocean breeze and pounding surf. It would be easy to spend most of a summer on this spectacular road trip. We know, because we did. Kid stops: San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park; Sea Center at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History; Skunk Train through the Redwoods in Mendocino, Calif.; Lewis & Clark National Historical Park in Astoria, Ore.; Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park, WA. State parks and beaches are accessible along much of the route. San Francisco offers so many sites and activities...
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