Road Trips | Moon Travel Guides https://moon.com Trip Ideas, Itineraries, Maps & Area Experts Sat, 21 Oct 2017 00:30:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 https://deathstar-650a.kxcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/cropped-moon_logo_M-32x32.jpg Road Trips | Moon Travel Guides https://moon.com 32 32 125073523 Traveling the Atlantic Road in Norway https://moon.com/2017/10/traveling-the-atlantic-road-in-norway/ https://moon.com/2017/10/traveling-the-atlantic-road-in-norway/#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 23:50:47 +0000 https://moon.com/?p=59792 Famous the world over thanks to multiple car television ads, the Atlantic Road (also called the Atlantic Ocean Road) is one of Norway’s most popular attractions. Linking the western coast of Averøy island with the mainland, the 8.3-kilometer (5.1-mile) stretch of Route 64 dances across skerries and islets interspersed with lookouts, fishing spots, and even the odd hotel.

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Famous the world over thanks to multiple car television ads, the Atlantic Road (also called the Atlantic Ocean Road) is one of Norway’s most popular attractions. Linking the western coast of Averøy island with the mainland, the 8.3-kilometer (5.1-mile) stretch of Route 64 dances across skerries and islets interspersed with lookouts, fishing spots, and even the odd hotel. The most famous of the eight bridges is the sweeping Storseisundet, which seems to defy engineering logic from certain angles. In fact, the road was voted as Norway’s greatest engineering feat in 2005. If you never believed a road could look beautiful, think again.

aerial shot of the Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway

The Atlantic Road is one of Norway’s most popular attractions. Photo © CookeIma/iStock.

As it is exposed to open ocean, the road can be struck by sudden changes in weather conditions. In fact, 12 European windstorms interrupted construction from 1983 to 1989. Be wary of driving during storms, as high waves can result in water sweeping across the bridges. On calm days, take advantage of the many parking areas to follow the trails around the islets and take in the road and its natural surroundings from all angles.

The road is a popular location for anglers and bird-watchers given its exposure to the ocean, the latter hoping to glimpse the mighty sea eagle. One of the bridges, Myrbærholmbrua, has been specially designed with a pedestrian walkway to better facilitate fishing. A great catch of cod is all but guaranteed even for just hobby fishers, so Myrbærholmbrua is usually bustling with anglers of all nationalities and experience levels.

It’s not just anglers who are attracted by the area’s unique characteristics. Divers too flock to the Atlantic Road to explore the region’s shipwrecks and remarkable life on the ocean floor. Certified divers can join a guided trip run by the experienced Strømsholmen Sjøsportsenter (Strømsholmen, tel. 71 29 81 74, daily). Prices vary from 250kr to explore the local reef up to 680kr for a long boat trip to canyons and a seal colony. The same company also offers kiting, kayaking, fishing, and biking experiences. A three-hour fishing trip (noon daily, but call in advance to check) costs 750kr plus equipment rental, but you are guaranteed to come back with a catch.

Food and Accommodations

There are few more atmospheric places to stay anywhere in Norway than the original fishing and trading islet now occupied by Håholmen Havstuer (tel. 71 51 72 50, mid-June to mid-Aug., 1,090kr s, 1,690kr d). Transfer from Håholmen Marina (Håholmen Gjestehavn), halfway along the Atlantic Road, is by boat with departures on the hour 11am-9pm. The 49 spacious double rooms are spread across 25 buildings that also include a pub, restaurant, and museum. Rooms can lack natural light, but the views out of the small windows and from the island itself are unbeatable.

Located on Averøy island, the wooden cabins of Atlanterhavsveien Sjøstuer (tel. 71 51 23 91) overlook the Atlantic Road and the open ocean. Two small cabins sleep two (990kr), while six cabins have enough room for up to six guests (1,400kr). A one-off cleaning charge of 500kr applies to both options. Three of the larger cabins come complete with a sauna. Despite their traditional appearance, the cabins are relatively new and are equipped with Wi-Fi, TV, stovetop, fridge, microwave, and dishwasher.

Food options in the area are largely restricted to expensive hotel restaurants with sporadic opening hours. Your best bet is to do some shopping in Kristiansund and bring a packed lunch or snacks to last the day. One recent addition to the Atlantic Road itself is Eldhuset (Lyngholmen, tel. 970 69 071), a simple café serving sandwiches, waffles, and coffee; it also doubles as a tourist information center. The modern structure is smartly built into a natural cliff so as not to disturb the aesthetics of the area, with a walkway circling Lyngholmen island. Opening times vary, but the typical schedule is daily June-August, weekends only during spring and fall.

a road winds along the marina in Kristiansund, Norway

Visit the town of Kristiansund for lunch and a bit of shopping. Photo © mikolajn/iStock.

Information and Services

Along with a café, the Eldhuset center contains public restrooms and maps that show the area’s hiking trails and best spots for fishing. Although the staff are connected with the café only, they are a mine of information and will happily help you out with advice if the café isn’t too busy. For more detailed travel planning help, contact the office of Destinasjon Kristiansund & Nordmøre (Kongens Plass 1, tel. 71 58 54 54, 9am-6pm Mon.-Sat., 9am-3pm Sun. mid-June to mid-Aug., 9am-3pm Mon.-Fri. rest of year) in Kristiansund.

Getting There

Car

From Kristiansund, drive on westbound Route 64 through the Atlantic Ocean Tunnel (98kr car plus driver, plus 40kr for each additional passenger) to Averøy island. Spend time on the scenic island, which has some worthy distractions, or head straight through on Route 64 to the Atlantic Road. The 31-kilometer (19.3-mile) drive from Kristiansund to the Atlantic Road takes 35 minutes.

After the Atlantic Road, Route 64 continues south for 50 kilometers to the town of Molde, from where you can continue a further 58 kilometers (36 miles) along Route 64 to Åndalsnes, or 80 kilometers (50 miles) along the E39 to Ålesund. Both routes include a short trip on a car ferry from Fjord1 (tel. 57 75 70 00). From the Atlantic Road, allow around 2-2.5 hours to reach Åndalsnes and about 3 hours to reach Ålesund.

Public Transit

Options to reach the Atlantic Road without your own transport are limited, but Fram (tel. 71 28 01 00) runs several daily services from Kristiansund to Molde via the Atlantic Road. The buses are regular scheduled services and not sightseeing tours, so you will need to plan in advance how much time you want to spend at the road and plan your return accordingly. Alternatively, you can stay on the bus through to Molde to continue your journey south, although this will seriously limit the experience and likely leave you frustrated. The journey from Kristiansund takes around 50 minutes to arrive at the Atlantic Road and costs 150kr. The service does run on weekends but the frequency is much more limited.

Travel map of Kristiansund and the Atlantic Road

Kristiansund and the Atlantic Road


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Norway.

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Road Trip Morocco’s Mediterranean Coast https://moon.com/2017/09/road-trip-morocco-mediterranean-coast/ https://moon.com/2017/09/road-trip-morocco-mediterranean-coast/#respond Wed, 13 Sep 2017 12:08:11 +0000 https://moon.com/?p=60041 If you love a good road trip, consider a drive along the newly paved National Road 16 (N16), which runs along the north Mediterranean Coast, and take the six-hour drive from Tetouan to the Spanish city of Melilla. This drive features majestic cliffs plunging into the blue-green sea below, long stretches of seldom-visited beaches, the occasional national park, and a few protected lagoons that dot the way.

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If you love a good road trip, consider a drive along the newly paved National Road 16 (N16), which runs along the north Mediterranean Coast, and take the six-hour drive (350km/218mi) from Tetouan to the Spanish city of Melilla. This drive features majestic cliffs plunging into the blue-green sea below, long stretches of seldom-visited beaches, the occasional national park, and a few protected lagoons that dot the way. Every 20 or 30 kilometers there is a small village, though unfortunately most of these are being developed with the square brick and cement structures common in the villes nouvelles in all Moroccan cities. This strip is popular with Moroccan tourists in the summer, and the more popular beaches are often strewn with trash, though if you keep an eye out, you might run across one of the more secluded beaches between Martil and Al-Hoceima.

From Tetouan, you can follow the N16 directly from town, following signs to Oued Laou (48km/30mi, 1hr). From Chefchaouen, you can either backtrack to Tetouan or take the newly repaved P4105, which twists through the Rif, past the dam at Barrage Oued Laou and a couple of picturesque Moroccan villages, before joining up with the N16 in Oued Laou (56km/35mi, 1.5hr). Here are a few of the highlights east from Oued Laou.

road curving along the coast of the Mediterranean in Morocco

The drive along the Mediterranean Coast is breathtaking. Photo © Lucas Peters.

Oued Laou

As in most of this region, the high tourist season runs July-August, when Moroccans from around the country flock to the north to enjoy the beaches, but outside of the peak season, Oued Laou is a laid-back fishing town. Along the coastline, a few restaurants serve grilled sardines, tajines, and anchovies cured with lemon juice and a mix of parsley, thyme, and garlic. Starting in mid-September, the beaches just outside of the main town are relaxed, with kids occasionally playing soccer on the beach and few sunbathers.

Leaving Oued Laou, the road immediately begins to climb the steep cliffs of the northern point of the Rif Mountains, where they plunge into the sea below. Amazingly, these are part of the same mountain system that gave rise to the Sierra Nevada of Spain just across the strait. The road climbs back and forth through green pine-studded hills and red cliffs.

Targha

From Oued Laou, Targha (17km/11mi, 20min) is the first of many small towns you will reach. Note the small fort atop a huge rock along the coastline. Built during the Spanish protectorate, this crumbling fort was once a base for Spanish dominance in the region. Because of its strategic location, this rock also has a long history of pirates using it as a hidden outpost. Today it is rarely visited, except by shepherds with their goat flocks, which graze along the steep rock.

Stehat

Farther along, after another climb up the Rif, is another, more ruined fort in the valley at Stehat (12km/7mi, 20min from Targha). This is a good place to stop if you need a break after the winding mountain road or want to relax for a few days. The Nazl Stehat (Rue Principale, tel. 0539/884 061, 200Dh) has simple, clean rooms, Wi-Fi, and a restaurant. The rooms are a bit spartan, though they will do in a pinch. The hotel can arrange cycling, fishing, and personal watercraft rentals.

East from Stehat, the drive is less green, though not less interesting. The rock formations of this part of the Rif are picturesque and provide a stunning contrast to the Mediterranean. From here, the transformation from the mountainous region to a more arid, high-desert Mediterranean region is apparent. Rocky mountains give way to oasis-like valleys.

Jebha

Jebha (55km/35mi, 1hr from Stehat) is a small village with an exceptional stretch of beach over a small mountain to the east of town, though it is accessible only by foot, which makes it a real joy to get to. The town offers a few hotels and beachfront grills. Sardines, bissara, and fish tajines are the order of the day. Tuesday is the weekly souk in Jebha, one of the biggest and liveliest around.

highway snaking along the Mediterranean coast

N16 winds its way along the Mediterranean Coast to Al-Hoceima. Photo © dschreiber29/iStock.

Al-Hoceima National Park

Just before the city of Al-Hoceima is Al-Hoceima National Park (Parc National d’Al-Hoceima). This is likely the least-visited national park in all of Morocco and, because of that, a bit of an undiscovered gem that stretches for 485 square kilometers (187 square miles). You won’t find the hordes of backpackers along well-trod paths that you’ll find during the high travel season in other parks. Instead, the many dirt paths that crisscross through the park, from the coastline into the mountains, serve as main thoroughfares for the people of the local Rifi tribes who still live in small villages scattered throughout the park. This is an idyllic spot for hikers and mountain bikers. The park serves as a refuge for many species of flora and fauna, including the endangered thuya wood.

Be on the lookout for signs to Plage de Torres, a beautiful beach a few kilometers off the N16. Campers might consider moving on to Cala Iris, farther down the beach, where there is Camping Amis de Cala Iris (80Dh), which has hot showers for 10Dh and beautiful views over the rest of the national park. From Cala Iris, you can take the 1.5-hour coastal hike to Peñón de Velez de la Gomera, one of the small territories still controlled by Spain in this region.

Plage Sfiha

Immediately after Al-Hoceima, make way for Plage Sfiha. This is one of the more interesting beaches along the strip, though a bit popular. Many tourists and people from Al-Hoceima make their way to picnic on this beach, and they often overwhelm it with the trash they leave behind. From the beach, you can look on at Peñón de Alhucemas, just off the Moroccan coast about 300 meters or so away depending on the tides. This Spanish military base serves as one of the many outlying plazas de sobaranía, or sovereign strongholds, that Spain keeps along this coastline.

After Al-Hoceima, the drive becomes more arid. The landscape features rust-colored cliffs that seemingly drop into the turquoise abyss below. There are several viewpoints along this part of the drive, as well as snack restaurants on the side of the road every few miles, though restrooms can be hard to find. For several stretches the road follows alongside the Mediterranean, in particular at Plage Sidi Driss, where a straightaway across a shallow plain offers a few turnoffs for relaxing.

Cap des Trois Fourches

Along this stretch, one of the more interesting diversions is the Cape of Three Forks (Cap des Trois Fourches). To get there, take the Bni Chiker/Iazzanen exit about 100 kilometers east of Al-Hoceima, on the left. From here, the road is a bit more rocky, though you won’t need a four-wheel drive. The road winds through a few villages. There are two turnoffs, but signs for Cap des Trois Fourches point the way (always, it seems, to the left). The last part of the drive continues up, over a mountainous road that drops straight down into the water, before ending at the Cap des Trois Fourches lighthouse. This is the easternmost tine of the three-pronged fork. The middle prong is the stunning Wali Sidi Amar, a mausoleum for the local saint, and the westernmost prong is an uninhabited crop of rocks. This is a wonderful area to hike to seldom-visited beaches, though the winds are often strong.

Nador

On the doorstep to Melilla lies Nador (126km/78mi, 2.5hr after Al-Hoceima), a grungy border town with little of interest for most travelers. Birders and nature lovers could make an afternoon on the salt lagoon that borders the northeastern part of the city from the Mediterranean, a haven for migratory species such as the greater pink flamingo and kingfisher. Like most other cities in this region, the city swells in the peak summer travel months with tourists from around Morocco flocking to the northern shores of Morocco. The main boulevard along the waterfront offers a chance at numerous cafés for a quick bite to eat and perhaps a seaside stroll before attempting the hectic crossing into Melilla.

If you love a good road trip, consider a drive along the newly paved National Road 16 (N16), which runs along the north Mediterranean Coast, and take the six-hour drive from Tetouan to the Spanish city of Melilla. This drive features majestic cliffs plunging into the blue-green sea below, long stretches of seldom-visited beaches, the occasional national park, and a few protected lagoons that dot the way.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Morocco.

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Exploring Norway Fjords by Car https://moon.com/2017/09/exploring-norway-fjords-by-car/ https://moon.com/2017/09/exploring-norway-fjords-by-car/#respond Tue, 12 Sep 2017 13:33:08 +0000 https://moon.com/?p=59783 Renting a car opens up a wealth of options to customize a Norway fjords itinerary. Even in high season there will be times when you are all alone on the roads. Turn off the main routes and perhaps you’ll end up in a dense forest, or on top of a hill with an unspoiled view of a fjord all to yourself.

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Renting a car opens up a wealth of options to customize a Norway fjords itinerary. Even in high season there will be times when you are all alone on the roads. Turn off the main routes and perhaps you’ll end up in a dense forest, or on top of a hill with an unspoiled view of a fjord all to yourself.

Outline a rough itinerary to be sure of good accommodation and restaurant options. Alternatively, tent up and take advantage of Norway’s excellent campsites and the freedom to roam laws that permit wild camping.

With two weeks and a rental car, I recommend taking in three of Norway’s most dynamic cities and several of the best known Norway fjords, while leaving plenty of time for your own exploration. It’s important to note this itinerary includes a couple of roads that are only accessible May-October, depending on the weather. A winter road trip requires much more advance planning and should only be considered by experienced winter drivers.

switchback road through the Rauma Valley

On Day 2, carve your way through the heart of Norway and along the winding roads of the Rauma valley towards Åndalsnes. Photo © destillat/iStock.

Day 1: Oslo Airport to Lillehammer

150 KM (93 MI); 2 Hours

Maximize your time on the road by renting a car from Oslo Airport Gardermoen and avoiding the high cost of driving in Norwegian cities by heading north, away from Oslo. A stop at Eidsvoll, site of the signing of Norway’s constitution, is a must for history buffs. Spend the afternoon in Lillehammer, where the Olympic Museum and open-air museum at Maihaugen offer a terrific introduction to Norwegian society and culture. Spend the night in one of the hotels overlooking the vast Lake Mjøsa.

Day 2: Drive to Åndalsnes

259 KM (161 MI); 4 Hours

Carve your way through the heart of Norway and along the winding roads of the Rauma valley towards Åndalsnes. The visitor center at the Troll’s Wall (Trollveggen), Europe’s tallest vertical rock face, is worthy of a stop. The town itself is unremarkable, so stay in a comfortable cabin at one of the several campsites in the immediate area, and enjoy a relaxing evening walk along the Rauma river in the shadow of the jagged mountains.

Day 3: Geiranger via Trollstigen

95 KM (59 MI); 3 Hours

Get to the Trollstigen mountain pass (May-Oct.) before 10am and you’ll beat the tour buses. Driving up the 11 hairpin bends is a memorable experience, as is the incredible view from the balconies that dangle over the mountain ridge. Continue on the National Tourist Route to Geiranger, allowing plenty of time for photo stops. The viewpoint at the 1,500-meter (5,000-foot) summit of Dalsnibba mountain (May-Oct., toll road) offers an outstanding bird’s-eye view of Geiranger.

Cruise ship sails through the deep blue-green waters of Geirangerfjord

This one-hour cruise past the famous waterfalls and clifftop farms of the Geirangerfjord will leave a lasting impression. Photo © sisco11/iStock.

Day 4: Geirangerfjord

21 KM (13 MI); 1.5 Hours

After a quick visit to the modern Norwegian Fjord Center, pick up a packet of chocolate from Geiranger Sjokolade as a gift or to enjoy on the car ferry to Hellesylt. This one-hour cruise past the famous waterfalls and clifftop farms of the Geirangerfjord will leave a lasting impression. Dine and stay overnight in the peaceful village of Hellesylt, or a night at the spooky Hotel Union Øye is recommended for couples.

Day 5: Royal Fjord Route to Ålesund

120 KM (75 MI); 3.5 Hours

Cross the underrated Hjørundfjord on a car ferry and follow in the footsteps of European royalty, who have traveled through this valley since the 19th century. Take a lunch in one of the many small villages along the route. Ørsta offers the most facilities and the option of an enjoyable waterside walk. Before arriving in Ålesund, take a detour through its suburbs up to the summit of Mount Aksla for one of Norway’s most spectacular urban viewpoints. An evening meal in the restaurant here is worth the cash.

Day 6: Art Nouveau Ålesund

Minimal driving in and around Ålesund

A great choice to break up a Fjord Norway road trip is to spend the day exploring the rich art nouveau architecture of Ålesund. Whether you guide yourself or take a walking tour, the charm of the city is intoxicating. During the afternoon, explore the hiking trails and nature reserves of the neighboring Giske islands or meet the penguins at the saltwater Atlantic Sea Park. The city’s restaurants offer lunch and dinner options to suit all tastes and budgets.

Day 7: Balestrand

313 KM (195 MI); 6.5 Hours

Make up a packed lunch from your hotel buffet or pick up some snacks from a supermarket for the lengthy drive south. Start your tour of the mighty Sognefjord in the peaceful village of Balestrand, perfect for exploring on foot. Treat yourself to dinner and a night in one of the historical rooms of the Kviknes Hotel and relax in one of the Sognefjord’s most picturesque locations.

melting glacier in Norway

Hike to Nigardsbreen glacier for an unforgettable experience. Photo © Alexander Nikiforov/iStock.

Day 8: Blue Ice Hike on a Glacier

173 KM (107 MI); 3.5 Hours

Drive to Gjerde for a close-up view of the Nigardsbreen glacier. Hike in the immediate area, or pre-book a guided blue ice hike for an unforgettable experience. Stay overnight at a nearby campsite, or head to Sogndal for more accommodation and dinner choices.

Day 9: Sogndal to Flåm

105 KM (65 MI); 3 Hours

Visit the magnificently preserved Borgund Stave Church and drive to Flåm via your choice of two of Norway’s most intriguing driving experiences. Negotiate the winding Snow Road (May-Sept.) over the Aurlandsfjellet mountains, or experience the unique lighting within the world’s longest road tunnel, the 24.5-kilometer (15.2-mile) Lærdal Tunnel. Stay overnight in Flåm and enjoy the range of local food and drink served at the village brewpub.

a ship sails through Naeroyfjord in Norway

Take a cruise through the narrow Nærøyfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Photo © tupungato/iStock.

Day 10: A Day in Flåm

Minimal (if any) driving

This remote community may be tiny but it offers plenty of options to keep visitors occupied for a day. Choose between a kayak trip along the Aurlandsfjord, a cruise to the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord, or a return trip on the world-famous Flåm Railway. Alternatively, take it easy and stroll along the valley to the 17th-century church in the old village. Spend a second night relaxing in this peaceful location before hitting the roads again.

Day 11: Flåm to Bergen

167 KM (104 MI); 3 Hours

Drive directly to Bergen and immerse yourself in the Hanseatic history of Norway’s second city. The Bryggen wharf and associated museum are a must-see. In the evening, familiarize yourself with the modern side of Bergen. Treat yourself to a feast of New Nordic cooking at one of the city’s outstanding restaurants, or take in a concert at one of the many gig venues.

Day 12: A Day in Bergen

Minimal (if any) driving

The outstanding Bergen Art Museum deserves at least a couple hours but could easily occupy the day if you have more than a passing interest in art history. The museum’s restaurants are great choices for a light lunch or indulgent dinner. If you didn’t catch a stave church on your travels, be sure to head out to a leafy suburb on the Bergen Light Rail to see the reconstructed Fantoft Stave Church.

To shorten this trip, leave your rental car at Bergen Airport (with prior agreement, for an additional fee) and return to Oslo by plane or the scenic Bergen Line railway.

waterfall pouring into Eidfjord in Norway

Take in the spectacular Vøringsfossen waterfall as part of a night in Eidfjord. Photo © Bigandt_Photography/iStock.

Days 13-14: Oslo via Hardanger

463 KM (288 MI); 8 Hours

Driving back to Oslo in a day is possible, but you’ll miss out on even more outstanding natural beauty. It’s best to allow two days for the return trip to take in the Hardangerfjord. Cross the fjord on the Hardanger Bridge, one of the world’s longest suspension bridges, and drive all the way down the sunny eastern edge of the narrow Sørfjord for an overnight stay in Odda. Alternatively, take in the spectacular Vøringsfossen waterfall as part of a night in Eidfjord.

Skirt the edge of the vast Hardangervidda National Park on Route 7 to return to Oslo. At Hønefoss, continue on the E16 southbound toward the city or eastbound toward the airport.

Explore the stunning Norway fjords by car, including Geirangerfjord and Sognefjord, with this customizable 2-week travel itinerary that begins in Oslo and ends in Bergen.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Norway.

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The Best of Michigan Road Trip https://moon.com/2017/09/best-of-michigan-road-trip/ https://moon.com/2017/09/best-of-michigan-road-trip/#respond Sun, 10 Sep 2017 07:55:34 +0000 http://moon.type5.co/?p=719 Whether you’re a long-time resident or a first-time visitor to the Great Lakes State, you should set aside some time to experience Michigan’s most beloved sights and activities. Consider taking this exciting tour of the state’s top cultural and natural attractions.

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Whether you’re a longtime resident or a first-time visitor to the Great Lakes State, Michigan’s top cultural and natural attractions make the trip well worthwhile. These short itineraries each highlight a section of the state. Explore a section at a time, or link them all together for a road trip throughout the entire state.

Detroit to Kalamazoo

If you’ve started your adventure in the Motor City, head about eight miles southwest of downtown to Dearborn, where you’ll find The Henry Ford, a fascinating complex of historical attractions that includes the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour.

From Dearborn, head west along I-94, through Ann Arbor and Battle Creek. Two notable sights are the W. K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary near Augusta and the Air Zoo, an enormous complex devoted to the history of aviation in Kalamazoo.

dusk on the beach at Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Photo © dpenn/iStock.

Saugatuck to Traverse City

From Kalamazoo, head north on U.S. 131 for about 18 miles and continue on Highway 89 for roughly 33 miles, toward the Art Coast, a cluster of art galleries in and around the towns of Saugatuck and Douglas.

After spending some time amid the area’s shops, restaurants, and inns, drive north on U.S. 31 to the incredible Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a marvelous 35-mile stretch of beaches, dunes, and lakes that lies alongside Lake Michigan and about 174 miles north of Saugatuck.

From the lakeshore headquarters in Empire, head east on Highway 72 for 24 miles to Traverse City, an ideal base from which to explore gorgeous Grand Traverse Bay, popular with boaters and surrounded by several scenic resort towns, golf resorts, and an abundance of wineries that rival California’s Napa Valley.

Tahquamenon Falls in autumn

Hike rustic trails to Tahquamenon Falls for beautiful displays of fall color. Photo © Doug Lemke/iStock.

Mackinac Bridge to Munising

Expect a 100-mile drive on U.S. 31 from Traverse City, through the towns of Charlevoix and Petoskey, to the amazing five-mile-long Mackinac Bridge, one of the world’s longest suspension bridges. After crossing the bridge and passing through St. Ignace, head north for about 50 miles on I-75 to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan’s oldest city. Here, you’ll glimpse another engineering marvel, the Soo Locks, through which massive freighters pass between Lakes Huron and Superior. For an up-close view, take a Soo Locks Boat Tour.

Head west along Highway 28 for about 38 miles through the Hiawatha National Forest, then turn north on Highway 123 for another 26 miles until you arrive at Tahquamenon Falls, one of the largest waterfall systems east of the Mississippi. Afterward, continue north on Highway 123 for 25 miles to Whitefish Point, where you’ll find the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, the only museum dedicated to the perils of maritime transportation on the Great Lakes.

Roughly 115 miles farther west lies Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, a fabulous stretch of sand dunes, desolate beaches, sandstone cliffs, and shady forests beside Lake Superior. To get there, take Highway 123 southwest to Highway 28 for 23 miles until you come to Highway 77. From there, head north along Highway 77 for 25 miles until you arrive at Grand Marais, which is the eastern terminus of Pictured Rocks. The national park spans more than 40 miles along the lake, from Grand Marais to Munising.

The Keweenaw Peninsula

If you want to venture farther into the wilds of the UP, head west from Munising on Highway 28/U.S. 41 for about 145 miles to the heart of the Keweenaw Peninsula. History buffs will enjoy the Keweenaw National Historical Park. From nearby Houghton, adventurous hikers, backpackers, kayakers, and wildlife enthusiasts can take a ferry ride to Isle Royale National Park, a wild, isolated archipelago in the northern reaches of Lake Superior.

the sun sets over the lake surrounding Mackinac Island

Take a ferry to Mackinac Island. Photo © jmbatt/iStock.

Straits of Mackinac to the Thumb

Once you’re done exploring the Upper Peninsula, head south to Mackinaw City, which lies about 266 miles from Houghton. To get there, take U.S. 41 south through L’Anse, Ishpeming, and finally to Marquette—a distance of 128 miles. A college town with a sophisticated yet “up north” feel, Marquette is a worthy destination in its own right.

From Marquette, take Highway 28 through Munising, Shingleton, and Seney until you come to I-75. Take I-75 south, cross the Mackinac Bridge and you’ll find yourself in Mackinaw City. Board a ferry for Mackinac Island, a charming vacation spot that has long banned automobiles in favor of bikes and horse-drawn carriages. Rife with Victorian mansions, this nostalgic island offers a true step back in time, anchored by the magnificent Grand Hotel, which prides itself as America’s Summer Place.

Back on the mainland, drive south on I-75 for about 58 miles through a cluster of excellent golf courses in the greater Gaylord area, and continue south for roughly 27 miles to Hartwick Pines State Park, home to the largest stand of virgin white pines in the Lower Peninsula.

End your tour of Michigan on a festive note by heading south on I-75 for about 125 miles, toward the Bavarian style town of Frankenmuth, site of German shops and festivals, all-you-can-eat chicken dinners, and a year-round Christmas store.

Travel map of the state of Michigan.

Michigan


Plan a weekend getaway or take an epic road trip through Michigan with these suggestions for the top sights in the Great Lakes State, indulging in nature at the Upper Peninsula's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and walking through historic downtown Dearborn along the way.


Excerpted from the Sixth Edition of Moon Michigan.

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One Week New England Fall Foliage Road Trip https://moon.com/2017/08/one-week-new-england-fall-foliage-road-trip/ https://moon.com/2017/08/one-week-new-england-fall-foliage-road-trip/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:05:03 +0000 https://moon.com/?p=57913 Enjoy the brightest season on a one week road trip touring through New England’s fall foliage displays.

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Enjoy the brightest season on a one week road trip touring through New England’s fall foliage displays.

bridge over green water surrounded by trees in the fall

Bow Bridge in Central Park. Photo © John Anderson Photo/iStock.

Day 1: New York City

Hit the Big Apple and enjoy classic NYC: Hop a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, get panoramic views of from the One World Observatory, then pick up bagels and lox for a picnic in Central Park, which is stunning under a canopy of colorful leaves.

rusty bridge reflected in water backed by fall color

Lenox Bridge in the Berkshires. Photo © Ogden Gigli, courtesy of MOTT.

Days 2-3: The Berkshires

(140 miles, 2.75 hours)

Follow the Hudson River Valley toward Great Barrington, Massachusetts, then leave the highway behind for the winding roads through the Berkshires. Stretch your legs on a hike up Monument Mountain, where you’ll see bright leaves rolling through a series of quiet valleys. Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum for a glimpse of autumns past—many of his canvases feature bright New England falls. Settle into Stockbridge for a cozy evening of live music by the fire in The Red Lion Inn’s pub.

Keep pointing north on back roads—or trade your car for a bike on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail—leaving plenty of time to stop at farm stands along the way. Route 8 is particularly scenic from Pittsfield to North Adams, winding past the Cheshire Reservoir and slopes of Mount Greylock. In fine weather, drive all the way to the summit of Mount Greylock, which looks out over a landscape of brooding evergreens and colorful deciduous trees, but if you find yourself a cold, rainy afternoon, warm up in MASS MoCA, the sprawling modern art museum in the heart of workaday North Adams.

barn in Woodstock, Vermont

Fall in Woodstock, Vermont. Photo © Albert Pego/iStock.

Days 4-5: Southern Vermont

(120 miles, 2.25 hours)

Visit the site of Vermont’s most famous Revolutionary-era battle in little Bennington, then follow Route 9—whose changing elevation offers a varied palette of colors—to Brattleboro, the hippie heart of southern Vermont’s creative culture. Try to catch a circus show or gallery walk while you’re there, join a tasting of unusual sour beers at Hermit Thrush Brewery, or spend the afternoon picking heirloom apples at Scott Farm Orchard, which offers a magnificent combination of fall fruit and foliage.

Take a roundabout way toward the town of Woodstock, tracing a route that includes tasting aged cheddar in Grafton’s time-warp village center. Skip across to scenic Route 100, which ducks through deep valleys and over rushing mountain streams on its way to the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site. The historic site is tucked into a quiet hollow that’s stunning in autumn and a good place to hear Yankee lore about Vermont’s only presidential candidate. Then visit Long Trail Brewing Company, which often features special autumn brews like the Harvest Barn Ale.

brightly colored trees surround a winding highway in fall

The Kancamagus Highway is among the most iconic drives in New England. Photo © Jen Rose Smith.

Day 6: White Mountains

(120 miles, 2.75 hours)

Take on the twists and turns of the Kancamagus Highway, where each roller-coaster dip brings fresh views of the rugged, high mountain landscape. There are plenty of trails and riverside picnic spots to relax at along the way, but save some daylight for an afternoon adventure: Peak baggers can zip to the top of Mount Washington, which feels like a slice of early winter with views of fall foliage in the surrounding valley floors. For a lower-elevation view of the trees, head to Flume Gorge, where a covered bridge glows bright red against a backdrop of vivid yellow and orange leaves.

a walkway through orange and green trees in boston public garden

Take a walk in Boston Public Garden in fall. Photo © Cole Ong/iStock.

Day 7: Boston

(145 miles, 3 hours)

Get an early morning start, and plan to drop your car off before exploring Boston on foot. With an afternoon in the city, plan to walk the Freedom Trail, winding from the bright trees of Boston Common through Revolutionary sites to the historic North End and concluding at the Bunker Hill Monument.


Excerpted From the First Edition of Moon New England Road Trip.

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Alaska Road Trip: Hatcher Pass https://moon.com/2017/08/alaska-road-trip-hatcher-pass/ https://moon.com/2017/08/alaska-road-trip-hatcher-pass/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:49:46 +0000 https://moon.com/?p=58259 The unpaved road up to Hatcher Pass usually doesn’t open until July, but it’s well worth the wait. It's one of very few places in Alaska where you can get sweeping views over tundra-clad peaks—seemingly into infinity—while standing right beside your car.

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The unpaved road up to Hatcher Pass usually doesn’t open until July, but it’s well worth the wait. Hatcher Pass is not a community, but rather exactly what the name suggests: a pass or low point that allows easy passage between two mountain peaks, and one of very few places in Alaska where you can get sweeping views over tundra-clad peaks—seemingly into infinity—while standing right beside your car. For the most part there are no services, and part of the road to the pass is unpaved, with switchbacks, occasional potholes, and no guardrail. However, passenger cars can make the drive with no problem, and you just can’t beat Hatcher Pass when it comes to a scenic Alaska road trip.

two mining buildings at an old mining camp

Sink into history at Independence Mine State Historic Park. Photo © Eqroy8/iStock.

Along the way to the pass you’ll drive past Independence Mine State Historical Park (907/745-2827 for the seasonal visitor center, mid-June to Labor Day as weather allows, $5 day use parking fee), where you can wander a winding footpath among the historical mining camp, where the buildings are all decked out with interpretive signs to help you understand what you’re looking at. If you’re at all a fan of mining history, this is well worth a stop. A small visitor center and museum just before you start down the trail between buildings has displays on mining in this area (which began more than a decade before the Klondike Gold Rush). This mine produced almost $6 million worth of gold (in early 1900s dollars; it would be more than quadruple that in today’s dollars) before gold mining was halted by World War II.

Also obvious from the road will be the A-frame cabins of Hatcher Pass Lodge (907/745-1200, from $135 for a private cabin; you’ll have to go to the main lodge to use the bathroom). The cabins are very quaint but adequate; it’s the location that’s the real draw, both for summer sightseeing and winter skiing. In fact the entire region is very popular for sledding, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing, although parts of Hatcher Pass are subject to avalanche hazard, and this is a completely unmaintained area, so you shouldn’t recreate here unless you know how to evaluate conditions for avalanche safety.

a bright blue lake sits nestled between mountains in Alaska along Hatcher Pass

Hatcher Pass has pristine blue-green lakes set against glacier-sculpted granite peaks. Photo © africanmoose/iStock.

While driving to the pass you’ll also go by the trailheads for several excellent hikes, including the charming and family-friendly two-mile round-trip trek to Gold Cord Lake, where you might see marmots, grounds squirrels, and of course other wildlife including bears, and the turnoff to Reed Lakes, an 11-mile round-trip hike that rewards those willing to hop car-sized boulders with pristine blue-green lakes set against glacier-sculpted granite peaks.

To get to Hatcher Pass, take Fishhook Road out of either Palmer or Wasilla (the pass lies between them), or take Trunk Road north from the Parks Highway (before you reach Wasilla) and then follow signs onto Fishhook Road from there. There’s limited but adequate parking at the summit, with sweeping views out over Palmer behind you.

A moderately challenging 2.5-mile round-trip hiking trail called April Bowl starts just across the road, taking you up a series of switchbacks to a short ridgewalk to the top of Hatch Peak, which only magnifies the lovely views. This hike gives one of the biggest returns on effort in terms of views, but there’s an easier outing at the next parking lot, just down the road, where you can take an easy, mostly level stroll around a small lake.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Alaska.

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Scenic Rocky Mountain Drive: Trail Ridge Road https://moon.com/2017/08/scenic-rocky-mountain-drive-trail-ridge-road/ https://moon.com/2017/08/scenic-rocky-mountain-drive-trail-ridge-road/#respond Mon, 07 Aug 2017 17:43:10 +0000 https://moon.com/?p=58223 Trail Ridge Road, the 48-mile paved road between Estes Park and Grand Lake, is the only road that crosses Rocky Mountain National Park. Driving it is an awe-inspiring adventure with stunning views that Horace Albright, a former director of the National Park Service, described as “the whole sweep of the Rockies before you in all directions.”

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Trail Ridge Road (U.S. 34, May-mid-Oct.), the 48-mile paved road between Estes Park and Grand Lake, is the only road that crosses Rocky Mountain National Park. The country’s highest continuous paved road, Trail Ridge tops out at an impressive 12,183 feet. Although there are great views all along this scenic Rocky Mountain drive, the best are from the 11-mile section above tree line, where you are surrounded by windswept tundra stretching in every direction towards snow-capped peaks, dramatic steep-walled cirques, and deep valleys. This so-called Trail to the Sky offers some of the continent’s easiest access to the fragile tundra, where the growing season can last for as few as 40 days per year.

Trail Ridge Road winding through pine trees and mountains

Take a scenic drive through Rocky Mountain National Park on the “highway to the sky.” Photo © Ronda Kimbrow/iStock.

Trail Ridge Road was built between 1926 and 1932 to replace Old Fall River Road, which was too steep and narrow for drivers to easily navigate and too shady to provide early summer access. Thanks to its ridge-top location, Trail Ridge has less snow accumulation and more sunshine, attributes that allow the park service to open it much earlier—usually by Memorial Day weekend—and to keep it open until mid-October. Each year in mid-May, two veteran road crews, one on each side of the park, begin the painstaking and dangerous job of removing the 30 feet of snow that typically cover the road and whose layers often linger along the side until late June. Even after the crews meet, the park service sometimes needs to temporarily close the road, especially to avoid dangerous black ice.

Once Trail Ridge is open, driving it is an awe-inspiring adventure with stunning views that Horace Albright, a former director of the National Park Service, described as “the whole sweep of the Rockies before you in all directions.” From the lush, montane forests and fertile lowlands at either end, the road quickly climbs up to the tundra, a harsh environment where fierce winds, strong ultraviolet light, and intense cold greatly limit the plants and animals found here. Yet for a few precious weeks each summer, the tundra is home to carpets of dozens of different types of tiny wildflowers, glistening alpine lakes, and migratory and resident wildlife, which you can often spot from your car.

Fortunately for drivers, there are many pullouts along the way, which are safe places to stop and snap photos and enjoy the forever views. From east to west, great viewpoints include Hidden Valley, where you can often spot chipmunks, Many Parks Curve, the highest point to which the eastern side of Trail Ridge is plowed in winter, and Rainbow Curve, where you can see the flat Great Plains stretching far to the east. Farther west along the road, you can learn more about the tundra at the Tundra World Nature Trail, an easy half-hour walk from the Rock Cut. Two miles west of the road’s highest point, which is unmarked, the Alpine Visitor Center awaits.

Continuing west on Trail Ridge Road, you cross the Continental Divide at 10,758-foot Milner Pass and have stunning views into the upper Colorado River Valley from the aptly named Farview Curve, a short distance above the gate that closes the road in winter.

Alpine Visitor Center sign next to a winding road

The Alpine Visitor Center feels like it’s perched on top of the world. Photo © Ronda Kimbrow/iStock.

Alpine Visitor Center

Located at 11,796 feet in elevation, the Alpine Visitor Center (Trail Ridge Rd., 970/586-1222, 10:30am-4:30pm daily late May-mid-Oct.) feels like it’s perched on top of the world. Originally built in 1935, the center has been renovated several times, most recently in 2001. The building has a low profile and distinctive roof reinforced with large beams to withstand the fierce winds and crushing weight of dozens of feet of snow that can cover the structure in the winter. The center’s back windows and deck have one of the best views in Colorado, a panorama looking down Fall River Canyon toward Longs Peak and Estes Park far below.

The center has a few informative exhibits about the tundra, staff that can answer questions and help in case of an emergency, and restrooms (although it does not always have running water). Next door is the park’s only café, where you can also buy souvenirs.


Excerpted from the Ninth Edition of Moon Colorado.

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Road Trip Wisconsin’s Rustic Roads in Fall https://moon.com/2017/08/road-trip-wisconsin-rustic-roads-in-fall/ https://moon.com/2017/08/road-trip-wisconsin-rustic-roads-in-fall/#respond Fri, 04 Aug 2017 16:33:32 +0000 http://moon.type5.co/?p=732 A road trip on one of Wisconsin's many gorgeous roads is a phenomenal way to view the countryside and the culture. Every single Rustic Road of the state is guaranteed to offer an amazing palette of colors mid-September through late October. Check out some of the most notable routes.

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Travel media writers have consistently voted Wisconsin one of the United States’ greatest road-touring states, in part because many rural roads, originally farm-to-market routes, seem to have changed little in a century and a half Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation has highlighted more than 100 of the state’s best back-roads trips with its Rustic Roads designation. Road trip Wisconsin’s Rustic Roads mid-September to late October to see an amazing palette of colors.

aerial view of famrland and trees in rural Wisconsin

Wisconsin is flooded with vibrant color in the fall. Photo © Wildnerdpix/iStock.

Notable Rustic Roads by Area

  • Near Milwaukee, Cedarburg is a lovely anachronism. From here, take Highway NN northwest five miles and then north a few more miles on Highway M, where signs to Rustic Road 52 (seven miles) lead you past fieldstone buildings and ancient cabins before skirting a wetlands preserve.
  • Heading for East-Central Waters? From Waupaca, head southwest on Highway 22 to the Yankee village of Rural, possibly the state’s quaintest original. From here, Rustic Roads 23 and 24 (three miles total) form a V shape around Hartman Creek State Park and take you three times over the Crystal River atop stone bridges, then past a spring-fed trout stream.
  • In Northeastern Wisconsin, the Peshtigo River Parkway (Rustic Road 32) cannot be beat for river beauty and waterfalls. To get here, head to little Pembine at the junction of U.S. 141 and U.S. 8. Head west on U.S. 8 approximately nine miles to signs leading you south. This is a big one, 37 miles long, but you’ll have plenty of places to stop and rest at state and county parks.
  • Also in Northeastern Wisconsin, Rustic Road 60 begins at Highway K, two miles south of Boulder Junction along Highway M. Coming from the south, take U.S. 51 from Minocqua and follow signs to Boulder Junction. Driving for 11 miles, you’ll pass the remains of logging camps, drive through tunnels of conifers and hardwoods, and find an extant sawmill at the eastern end.
  • In Southwestern Wisconsin, Rustic Road 31 starts in West Salem northeast of La Crosse at the exit off I-90 at Highway C, running to Highway 16. Head north on Highway 16 to Highway 108 and the Mindoro Cut, 20 miles of some of the loveliest roller-coaster driving imaginable. A massive project when undertaken around the turn of the 20th century, the road was cut into a ridge between the La Crosse and Black River Valleys by hand, one of the most ambitious hand-built roads in the United States when it was finished in 1906.
Map of Wisconsin Driving Distances

Wisconsin Driving Distances


Excerpted from the Seventh Edition of Moon Wisconsin.

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Weekend Road Trip to the Sunshine Coast, BC https://moon.com/2017/08/weekend-road-trip-sunshine-coast-bc/ https://moon.com/2017/08/weekend-road-trip-sunshine-coast-bc/#respond Wed, 02 Aug 2017 23:04:31 +0000 https://moon.com/?p=58469 Named for its surprisingly abundant summer sun, British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast sits on a striking section of coastal rainforest. Start this easy weekend getaway from Vancouver with a 40-minute ferry ride, meandering between offshore islands. Once on shore, you can drive through a string of funky seaside towns to gallery-hop, hike, or savor the solitude of the rocky beaches.

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Named for its surprisingly abundant summer sun, the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia sits on a striking section of coastal rainforest. Start this easy weekend getaway from Vancouver with a 40-minute ferry ride, meandering between offshore islands. Once on shore, you can drive through a string of funky seaside towns to gallery-hop, hike, or savor the solitude of the rocky beaches.

But this region offers unexpected stops, too: you can a tour a one-of-a-kind archeological exhibit in a small First Nations-run gallery, or hike to the Skookumchuck Narrows, where twice-a-day tides churn up unusually large rapids.

Here’s our itinerary for a road trip to the Canadian sun.

dock on Ruby Lake

Seek serenity at Ruby Lake Resort. Photo © Carolyn B. Heller.

Markets, Microbrews, and a Mandala

Reserve a spot for your car on BC Ferries Horseshoe Bay-to-Langdale route, which departs 13 miles northwest of downtown Vancouver. When the ferry docks, follow Marine Drive to Gibsons, a seaside town featured in the long-running Canadian TV series, The Beachcombers, which aired from 1972 to 1990.

At Gibsons Public Market, lunch on salads, burgers, or Buddha bowls at Emelle’s Market Bistro; the Thai curry with fresh seafood from the fish market downstairs is excellent. Opposite the bistro, the Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre, a catch-and-release aquarium housing local marine life, is opening later this summer. Have a post-lunch latte at Bowen Island Roasting Company or a fair-trade organic bonbon at Art Meets Chocolate.

A short stroll from the market, check out Sa Boothroyd’s gallery of humorous artworks on Government Wharf. As her sign helpfully notes, it’s “the last building before you fall into the water.”

Drive up to farm and microbrewery Persephone Brewing to sample a tasting flight on the shady patio where the tables are crafted from tree trunks. Try the multigrain saison or the unusual smoked porter.

Check into Bonniebrook Lodge opposite beautiful Ocean Beach. Choose a room with a view of the water in the main lodge or a modern suite with whirlpool tub near the gurgling creek. For dinner, it’s a short drive north to Roberts Creek and Gumboot Restaurant, where popular dishes include local fish tacos, wild salmon burgers, and oversized salads. After your meal, walk to the pier to watch the sunset and check out the colorful mandala that residents paint every year.

beer tasting flight on a wooden plank

Enjoy a tasting flight on the patio at Persephone Brewing in Gibsons. Photo © Carolyn B. Heller.

Centuries of History

In the morning, continue north on Highway 101 toward the town of Sechelt and Gourmet Girl Café, where you can dig into the hearty breakfast poutine or sip a fresh fruit smoothie.

Operated by the shíshálh First Nation, Sechelt’s tiny Tems Swiya Museum recently opened a groundbreaking exhibit. On shíshálh land, archeologists discovered the body of a man determined to be a chief, buried in a garment made of more than 350,000 minute stone beads. Nearby were several more bodies, including that of a woman also interred with thousands of handmade beads. Using facial reconstruction technology, scientists determined what these people and their relatives, estimated to have lived more than 3,700 years ago, may have looked like; you can examine their “faces” in an eerily like-life video. The unearthed beads, which would have taken years of work to craft, are also on view.

Refresh at newcomer Bricker Cider Company with a taste of their original apple cider or their almost beer-like hopped version. If you’re ready for brunch or a coffee break, the French toast with berry compote or eggs Benedict served on homemade banana pepper scones at Mad Park Bistro are good choices. Then continue toward Garden Bay to settle into a colorful cottage at John Henry’s Resort, Marina, and Café. On the busy marina, the four cute cabins aren’t super private, but all have sitting areas, kitchens, and lovely water-view decks.

After relaxing by the bay, head north for dinner on the terrace at Ruby Lake Resort, where you might spot a beaver swimming in the adjacent lagoon. Chef-owner Aldo Cogrossi, a Milan native, uses regional ingredients in trattoria-style dishes like smoked tuna with caper mayonnaise or savory wild boar with local mushrooms.

digital representation of indigenous people at a museum

Learn about indigenous culture at the Tems Swiya Museum. Photo © Carolyn B. Heller.

Hike to the “Skook”

From Highway 101 north, turn east onto the winding road toward Egmont, where a 2.5-mile hike through the forest leads to a unique tidal phenomenon. As tidewater squeezes through the Skookumchuck Narrows connecting two inlets, large waves form, sometimes exceeding nine feet in height. Bear right at the sign toward Roland Point to get closest to the waves on a “flood tide”; during an “ebb tide,” you’ll see whirlpools by bearing left to North Point. Check the tide tables online, and time your visit for a large or extra-large tide.

Near the start of the trail, stop at Skookumchuck Bakery for a giant cinnamon bun; they’re soft, doughy, and perfectly cinnamon-sweet.

waves backed by green hills

Watch the tides at Skookumchuck Narrows. Photo © Carolyn B. Heller.

Cruise to the Falls

On your Sunshine Coast road trip, you also have to leave the road, so pack a picnic and explore the region’s waters and inlets. Departing from Egmont, Sunshine Coast Tours runs scenic guided boat tours through the fjords toward Princess Louisa Inlet and Chatterbox Falls, which plunge 120 feet into the sea, next to granite cliffs that soar to more than 7,000 feet.

Back on land, reserve a table on the deck at West Coast Wilderness Lodge, where dishes like oysters Rockefeller or grilled halibut come with expansive views across the inlets. Then toast your road trip to the sun on BC’s Sunshine Coast.

waterfall flowing over a hill with forest in the background

Chatterbox Falls plunges 120 feet into the sea. Photo © Carolyn B. Heller.

Take a weekend road trip to the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia for funky seaside towns, indigenous history, and a bit of seaside solitude.


Get ready to hit the road and explore more of Canada with Moon Vancouver & the Canadian Rockies Road Trip.

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2 Days in Southern Vermont https://moon.com/2017/08/2-days-southern-vermont/ https://moon.com/2017/08/2-days-southern-vermont/#respond Wed, 02 Aug 2017 23:02:47 +0000 https://moon.com/?p=57911 With a couple of days to explore Southern Vermont, stick to the eastern side of the Green Mountains and discover art, farms, and historic villages, with plenty of time to take the long way home.

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With a couple of days to explore Southern Vermont, stick to the eastern side of the Green Mountains and discover art, farms, and historic villages, with plenty of time to take the long way home.

barn in Woodstock, Vermont

Woodstock is a rural escape. Photo © Albert Pego/iStock.

Day 1

Enjoy a leisurely, maple syrup-drenched breakfast at one of Woodstock’s gracious B&Bs, then head to Billings Farm & Museum to meet a beauty queen herd of Jersey cows, ride a hay wagon, and learn to churn your own butter. History buffs can continue next door to the well-preserved mansion at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, but if you’re primed for more agricultural excitement, opt for a quick trip to Sugarbush Farm to learn about the sugarmaking process while sampling farm-made cheese and syrup.

Pick up some picnic supplies at the Woodstock Farmers’ Market store as you head back through town to President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, where outdoor tables have an idyllic view of “Silent Cal’s” childhood home. Trace his path from the rural family homestead to the White House, then graze award-winning cheddar at nearby Plymouth Artisan Cheese.

Turn back up Route 100A toward Bridgewater Corners, where you’ll toast Vermont’s thriving beer scene at Long Trail Brewing Company, then spend the rest of the afternoon strolling Woodstock’s art galleries and shops, or cooling off in an Ottauquechee River swimming hole. If you’re feeling romantic, cozy up over regional Italian fare at itsy-bitsy Osteria Pane e Salute; if not, join a friendly crowd of locals for craft beer and burgers at Worthy Kitchen, Woodstock’s unofficial living room.

Day 2

Wake up early for a sunrise hike up Mount Tom, then hit the road to explore some of Vermont’s most scenic byways. If you’ve already visited Plymouth Notch, the best way to Grafton is south on Route 106 to Route 10 and Route 35 South. Stroll through the perfectly preserved village center, and eat enough of the excellent aged cheddar at Grafton Village Cheese Company to keep you going to Brattleboro, where Superfresh! Organic Café is the perfect place to meet the locals over vegan grain bowls, “mylk,” and hearty salads.

Use the café Wi-Fi to download a map of Brattleboro’s latest art gallery exhibits, then visit the remarkable collections of fine arts, crafts, and photography in the walkable downtown. If it’s apple picking season (mid-August through October), trace the Connecticut River Valley north to Dummerston, where Scott Farm Orchard is a sublime place to fill your suitcase with a funky variety of apples, quince, and medlar.

Take I-91 all the way to Route 4 west so you can visit the tiny town of Quechee. Hike into Vermont’s deepest gorge at Quechee State Park, then head to Simon Pearce to watch a team of expert glassblowers shape the elegant wineglasses for sale upstairs in the gallery showroom. Stay in Quechee for dinner—Simon Pearce has a beautiful on-site restaurant—or head back to Woodstock for a meal at Richardson’s Tavern, an informal pub inside the elegant Woodstock Inn.

fall color in Quechee Gorge

Vermont’s deepest gorge in Quechee State Park. Photo © kmyroberts/iStock.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon New England Road Trip.

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