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Canadian Maritimes in Autumn

This trip takes you from Portland, Maine into the Canadian Maritime Provinces: New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (I didn’t have time to cross over onto Prince Edward Island).  The drive hits the Fundy Coast, Halifax, scenic Peggy’s Cove and Lunenburg, before heading north to the upper end of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island.  I spent several days up there, hiking in Cape Breton National Park, before returning to the mainland and exploring more of New Brunswick before returning to the USA.  I took this trip in early October, 2016 — perhaps one week too early for the best fall leaves.  However, the foliage was looking pretty great by the final couple of days! 

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Another Alaska Road Trip

It was so good in 2015, I went back in 2016. There was plenty more to see in Alaska, so for the second trip to the land of the midnight sun, I reversed the loop, added a few destinations, and revisited a few of my favorites. The result is a 10 day, 10 night vacation, beginning and ending in Anchorage, with experiences on the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound, Denali National Park, and an amazing drive on 100+ miles of dirt road, straight through the center of the state.

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Death Valley Superbloom

This 9-day trip focuses mostly on Death Valley National Park, during the best time of the year to visit: wildflower season, in late February and early March.  Temperatures are cool and comfortable, and in 2016, the valley experienced a Superbloom of wildflowers, triggered by unusually wet weather.  The trip also includes a visit to Joshua Tree National Park, the newly-formed Mojave Trails National Monument, and a hike up to the Hollywood sign! 

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Crater Lake & Yosemite

This is a 9-day trip that focuses on Crater Lake National Park, and Yosemite National Park, with a couple of great bonuses: Bodie Ghost Town, and the Northern California/Southern Oregon coast.  The trip begins and ends in Portland, Oregon.

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The Best of Alaska

This was my first trip to Alaska, and I was determined to use the opportunity to see as much as I could, and scout-out opportunities for future trips. I spent a couple of days in the Anchorage area, drove down the Kenai Peninsula to Homer, Soldotna, and Seward, visited Denali National Park, and then completed the loop up to Fairbanks, North Pole, Delta Junction, and Glennallen. It’s a good plan for serious road trippers, who don’t mind a lot of mind-blowingly-scenic driving.

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Fallorado

This trip is a ten-night driving tour of Colorado and New Mexico, during the most colorful part of fall. The trip begins and ends in Denver, however Albuquerque could be used as an alternative start and end point.

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Big Sky

The Big Sky trip is a 10-night driving trip to the northwestern United States. The trip begins and ends in Portland, Oregon, but spends much of the time in and around Glacier National Park in Montana.

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Winter Escape

This trip begins and ends in Albuquerque, but it could also easily originate out of Phoenix, Tucson, or even El Paso, if necessary. It’s 10 days, 9 nights, and spends most of the time in Arizona — which means your driving loop could be shorter if you start out there. However, there are some good reasons to include New Mexico in your loop.

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Surf & Volcanic Turf

This is a 10-day trip that focuses mostly on the interior of Oregon, but also includes some time in northern California, and a drive up the Oregon Pacific Coast on Highway US 101. It includes visits to beautiful Bend, Oregon as well as the Oregon Outback — the desert portion of the state in its southeast corner. I also spent a couple of days at Crater Lake National Park, before heading south into northern California for a visit to Lassen National Volcanic Park. The trip ends with two days of driving up the Pacific Coast on US 101.

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One Week In Utah

This trip starts and ends in Salt Lake City. It includes stops in Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, and Kodachrome Basin State Park. The drives down Utah Highway 12 and Hole-in-the-Rock Road are extraordinary.

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Georgia Weekend

This was a road trip, beginning and ending at my home in Florida — but that part is pretty boring, so I won’t include the details of the long drive on Interstate 75. The rest of the trip is centered around Atlanta and the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

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Golden Aspens

This was a three-night getaway from Albuquerque into the San Juan Mountains, just past the peak of fall color. The weekend includes a night in Durango and two nights in Telluride, plus some great hikes.

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Colorado Hiking

This is an 8-day trip that keeps driving to a minimum (it’s less than 1,000 miles) while providing access to some of the great hikes and scenic drives in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The trip begins and ends in Denver, and spends most of its time near the Interstate 70 corridor. Destinations visited include Boulder, Silverthorne, Loveland Pass, Independence Pass, Aspen, the Maroon Bells, and Glenwood Canyon.

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Canadian Rockies in Winter

This is not a trip for the casual traveler. You won’t enjoy warm, sunny days or sparkling water. But, for those willing to brave the cold weather, snow, icy roads, and potentially grey days, this forbidding place can be quite inviting.

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Guide to Mount Rainier

Washington State’s centerpiece, Mount Rainier, deserves to be the sole destination of your northwest vacation.  This guide is the result of a week spent in, and around, Mount Rainier National Park, during the beautiful, but brief, window of summertime weather — and shortly after the window has closed.

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Evergreen

This 9-day trip circles around the Evergreen State, Washington, with visits to some of its most appealing natural areas. It spends two days at Mount Rainier, passes by Mount St. Helens, then dips into Oregon for a visit to the Columbia River Gorge, Portland, and the northwest Oregon Coast. Then, it heads up the Washington coast with visits to Ocean Shores, the Hoh Rain Forest, Ruby Beach, and Forks Vampire Town. The loop completes with a trip to Olympic National Park’s Hurricane Ridge area, Port Townsend, and the North Cascades National Park, and then finally, Seattle.

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Albuquerque

This trip spends a few days in the Duke City, at the very best time of the year to visit: Balloon Fiesta! But hot-air balloons are just the beginning of Albuquerque’s interesting attractions.

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Lake Erie Loop

This trip hits four U. S. states and one Canadian province in just four nights. Explore Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Toronto, and spend some time admiring Niagara Falls and Cuyahoga Valley National Park, plus a remarkable museum in the Motor City.

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100 Hours in London

This short trip spends just four days, visiting some of the most essential sites in, and around, London, England.

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Lone Star

This 9-day trip focuses on two Texas cities — Austin and San Antonio — as well as the scenic Texas Hill Country, and the mountainous and sparsely populated West Texas region. Along the way, it visits both of the National Parks in Texas, a hike to the Lone Star State’s highest point, and a canoe trip along the Rio Grande.

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New England Leaf-Peeping

This 9-day trip took place during the first week of October, 2010 — perhaps the optimal time for viewing fall colors. It begins and ends in Manchester, New Hampshire, though Boston, Albany, or Portland could all be used as good start/end points. The trip makes a clockwise loop through Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, visiting the Green and White Mountains, and Acadia National Park.

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Utah and Colorado

This 10-day trip uses Las Vegas as a starting and ending point, but spends almost all of the time in central Utah and central and northern Colorado.

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Golden State

This trip focuses exclusively on southern and central California, and includes a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, and a couple of snowy days in Yosemite National Park. Then it’s back to southern California for a day in the desert, before visiting San Diego and driving up the coast to LA.

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Canadian Rockies Trip

The Canadian Rockies trip spends 11 days amongst the mountain peaks of Alberta and British Columbia. The trip begins and ends in Calgary, but spends almost all of its time in one of Canada’s incredible National Parks: Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Revelstoke, and Glacier. The centerpiece of the trip is a drive up the Icefields Parkway, one of the most scenic roads in the world.

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Southeast USA Road Trip

The Southeast Trip is an intense driving trip that touched the Gulf coast of Florida, the peanut fields of Georgia, the beaches of Alabama, antebellum Mississippi, the bayous of Louisiana, the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, and the countryside of Tennessee.

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The “Loneliest” Trip

I’m calling this one the “Loneliest” trip, because it sure felt like I spent a lot of time alone. Of course, Route 50 across Nevada is famous for its “Loneliest Road” status, but I found places even more remote, like the Waterpocket Fold and San Rafael Swell in Utah, and the road to the Racetrack in Death Valley. If solitude is what you’re looking for, this trip packs plenty of it into 12 days of driving, hiking, and thoughtful pondering on rocky ledges.

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 Florida Keys Weekend

I was surprised to find out that I had a three-day weekend, so I decided to make the best of it. From my home in Tampa, I headed south, all the way to Key West, and then into the Everglades before returning home. You might want to add another day, and slow the pace a bit.

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Best of Arizona

This is a short trip that hits a few great destinations around the Sedona, Flagstaff, and Grand Canyon areas of Arizona, north of Phoenix.

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The Wyo Lasso

Here’s a 10-day trip that loops like a lasso around the least populous state, Wyoming.  You’ll see the Snowy Range, Devils Tower, and parts of Yellowstone, plus make a significant detour into Nebraska and South Dakota, to see places like Carhenge and Badlands National Park.

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The Allegheny and Blue Ridge Trip

You don’t have to drive far from Washington, D.C. to get away from it all. The mountains of Virginia and West Virginia offer some great byways and parkways, along with countless recreation opportunities. This trip travels south through West Virginia, then returns via the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park. It took me 9 days, but you could easily chop out a section and do the rest in a long weekend.

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The Route and the Trail

On this trip, you can get your kicks on a major portion of old US Route 66 (that’s the “Route” part), and experience the landscape forged by pioneers along the Santa Fe Trail (the “Trail” part). The trip can take 7-10 days, depending on how fast or slow you want to travel. I did it in 8 days.

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The Red Rocks (Sedona) Trip

The Red Rock Country trip begins and ends in Las Vegas, but spends most of its time in Sedona, Arizona. A scenic road trip on Old US Route 66 through Oatman, Essex and Amboy is also included.

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Yellowstone & The Tetons Trip

The Yellowstone & Tetons Trip begins and ends in Las Vegas, but it could also easily begin and end in Salt Lake City, Utah. The trip focuses on Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

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Southwest Utah Trip

The Southwest Utah trip is a 6-day trip that begins and ends in Las Vegas, and allows for plenty of time to explore Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.

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Oregon & Northern California Trip

The Oregon and California Coast road trip begins and ends in Portland. The tour of the coast starts in beautiful Cannon Beach. From there, the incredible ocean scenery lines up in a row, with rocky and sandy beaches, dramatic capes, and picturesque coves. Once in California, there are redwood forests waiting to make you feel insignificant. After the remote Lost Coast and quaint Mendocino, the trip takes you into San Francisco. Once you leave the city, mountain lakes like Tahoe, Shasta, and Crater provide excitement, before the route returns you to the coast for one final day.

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5 Days, 4 Corners Trip

The 4 Corners trip is a short, extended weekend trip visiting the four corners area of the American Southwest. The trip begins and ends in Phoenix, and includes a stop at the Grand Canyon, a drive through the Navajo Nation, a visit to Canyon de Chelly, Mesa Verde National Park, and the mountain towns of Durango and Silverton. A visit to the Bisti Badlands, El Morro National Monument, and the Salt River Canyon are also included.

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The Northern Rockies

The Northern Rockies/Glacier trip is a 9 day road trip through Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, that focuses on the Columbia River Gorge, Glacier National Park, the mountains of Idaho, and Hell’s Canyon, along the Idaho/Oregon Border.

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Appalachian Foothills

The Appalachian Foothills trip is a week-long journey around northern Georgia, eastern Tennessee, and western North Carolina, with a brief encounter with South Carolina.

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Weekend in Chicago

Spend a couple of days exploring the city’s architectural, arts, and cultural riches, eat a deep-dish pizza, go shopping at world-famous stores — all without even renting a car! Here’s your guide to a weekend of fun in one of the country’s greatest cities.

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The Enchanted Land (New Mexico)

This trip explores the Land of Enchantment (and chile peppers).  The trip begins in El Paso but quickly heads into New Mexico for a week of exploring Native American ruins and communities, beautiful cities and towns, scenic drives, and the original “ground zero” – the Trinity nuclear blast site.

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Rocky Roads (Colorado) Trip

This week-long trip makes a loop around Colorado, with a short detour into Utah.  The trip includes visits to Rocky Mountain National Park, Arches National Park, and the beautiful San Juan Mountains.  It even explores some 4-wheel-drive roads that top out above 12,000 feet.

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Ohio’s Bridges and Backroads

This long weekend takes you from Pittsburgh, through the West Virginia panhandle, into Ohio, in search of covered bridges and Amish countryside.

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Desert Trails

This trip makes an enjoyable loop around the desert landscapes of southern California and Arizona. It hits some great highlights, like Death Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Saguaro National Park, and Sedona, and ends with an incredible drive to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

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Olympic Ring

This trip takes you on a loop around Washington’s beautiful Olympic Peninsula, with visits to several attractions in Olympic National Park. It then continues down the Pacific coast into Oregon, briefly, with a visit to Cannon Beach and Mount Hood, before returning to Washington for an up-close look at Mount St. Helens. It ends at the Space Needle in Seattle!

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California Dream

This week-long trip focuses on the California Coast, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, then heads inland for some time in Yosemite and Bodie.  It ends back at LA, with a drive on the old Ridge Route, long since replaced by Interstate 5.

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Arches and Canyons

The original trip, the one that started it all in 2004.  This six-day trip hit many of the highlights of southern Utah and northern Arizona.  Many future trips have retraced and improved upon this route, but for a short visit to a spectacular area of the country, this trip can’t be beat.

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