Shermanstravel Blog

Road Trip

Vancouver skyline aerial

Tourism Vancouver

We love the cosmopolitan excursions in Vancouver as much as the next traveler, but we’re also huge fans of the fact that it’s a great gateway to surrounding outdoorsy adventures. After all, the city is flanked by mountains, forests, and the Pacific coast. Best of all, plenty of these escapes are accessible as day trips.

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Wisconsin1CynthiaL Drake

Cynthia L. Drake

Traveling along the Wisconsin portion of the Great River Road, a 250-mile stretch that runs along the western border of state, is chock-full of rolling hills and rushing rivers. This quintessential Midwest Americana experience, that for the unhurried traveler, can include leisurely stops at pizza farms, wineries, and even the former stomping grounds of author Laura Ingalls Wilder.

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Ford in Oregon

Darren Murph

We all love a good road trip. But the problem is that sometimes we only want to drive one way — and in almost every instance, U.S. rental car agencies tack on anywhere between $100 and $1,000 to drop a vehicle at a location other than the one you pick it up from. (I was once quoted a $1,000 fee to pick up a car in Manhattan and drop it in Albany, just a few hours north.)

Imoova, which recently launched in the U.S. and Canada, is attempting to disrupt the dreaded one-way drop fee by way of its relocation service — which allows travelers to essentially rent a car for as low as $1 per night.

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The Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut

Harf Zimmermann/The Glass House

For many road trippers, Connecticut is viewed as a big stretch of land on their way to other destinations in New England like Providence, Cape Cod, or Boston. Sure, there are cultural wonders to explore at Yale University, a couple of casinos to try your luck at, and vast areas of greenery — but is that all that the Constitution State has to offer?

During a weekend visit courtesy of the Connecticut Office of Tourism, we found far more to Connecticut than an Ivy League campus and slot machines. From wineries and kayaking to architectural feats and historic restaurants, the western part of the state makes an ideal road trip destination.

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US_Highway_50_westbound,_West_of_Eureka,_NV

Ron Reiring/US Highway 50

After a relationship has tanked to the point of no return, there’s nothing quite like getting in the car — either by yourself or with a bestie or two — and taking your mind off everything on the open road. So queue up Tom Petty’s “Free Falling” and set the GPS for one of these epic post-breakup road trips.

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The Appalachian Trail is an epic roughly 2,180-mile stretch between Springer Mountain in Georgia all the way up to Katahdin in Maine. For some, hiking through the trail’s 14 states is a months-long adventure filled as much with nature as new friends. “I love walking and thinking,” says Corky, 52, who’s been hiking the trail since April 5 and is expecting to finish sometime in August. “It’s stunningly beautiful here. It’s also about the people — you meet people you never would have otherwise.”

But for the rest of us — for whom tasting a smaller slice of the Appalachian is more realistic — Virginia’s Daleville, where we met Corky on a supply run, is a fantastic place to start. It’s just one of the many places were the trail crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway, a National Park that stretches 469 miles through North Carolina and Virginia. These parts have trails for all skill levels, not to mention a host of other outdoor activities when you want to take a break from hiking. Here, just four of the great paths you can take:

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TimeCapsule

Emily Price

Eighty miles east of Raleigh, North Carolina, lies Kinston. Once a huge tobacco town, the city has started to undergo a bit of a renaissance in recent years. The area is now home to a large art collection, a craft brewery, outstanding restaurants, and a lot of history. Whether you’re on your way to North Carolina’s coast, or just looking for an affordable afternoon trip, there’s a little something in Kinston for everyone. Here’s how to spend an afternoon (or weekend) in this thriving North Carolina town.

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Cloud Rest

Matthew Minucci

The Big Island could easily have been named the “The Endless Island,” with its eight climate zones and 4,000-plus square miles of mostly raw landscapes to explore. You’ll land in a terrain that looks flat and moon-like — only to step on the gas and, to the east, find yourself in a mountain rainforest zone of lush emerald-colored canopy and moss-draped trees. And while Hawaii is known to be spendy, penny savers can still rejoice: This does not have to be a terribly expensive island…if you know where to look (and once you plunk down the fare to get there, of course). Here are some ideas to get you into that aloha spirit.

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Bottomless Lakes, Roswell, New Mexico

New Mexico Tourism

Perhaps you’re just passing through en route from Albuquerque to one of southern New Mexico’s must-hit natural wonders (like the superlative Carlsbad Caverns). Or maybe you’re caught up in the company of one of the many UFO hunters who descend upon this legendary little city in droves. But if little green men aren’t tops on your own personal agenda for visiting Roswell, New Mexico, there’s happily more to this city than just alien kitsch (though, thanks to the purported 1947 UFO crash here, there’s plenty of that, too). Art and nature lovers will find diversions worthy enough to deem Roswell a destination in its own right, while some memorable local dining and night spots will get you up-close-and-personal with some down-home New Mexican hospitality and chile-infused cooking. Here’s the scoop on what to see and do — and where best to eat, drink, and sleep — in Roswell.

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3 Fun Roadside Stops in the Everglades

Caroline Eubanks

Florida has always been a great place for offbeat road trip stops — and the area outside of the Everglades National Park is no exception. Continue south past Miami and onward to the last few strips of land before you get to the Florida Keys for three of our favorite attractions.  Read more

Beyond Belfast: Northern Ireland on a Budget

Steve Larese

Northern Ireland teems with castles, ancient sites, and natural beauty. After you’ve explored Belfast, set off to see the stunning landscape and history of the rest of this beautiful land. Here are just a few Northern Ireland attractions that are as inexpensive as they are impressive.

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Field Museum

Flickr / Jessica

Can’t wait for the Jurassic Park sequel, “Jurassic World,” to hit theaters in June? Have your own prehistoric adventure at one of these fun-packed dinosaur destinations.

The Field Museum, Chicago
Home to “Sue,” the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurs rex ever found, The Field Museum is a must see for budding paleontologists and adventurers. After you’ve gawked at Sue’s 42-foot long frame and 58 dagger-like teeth, explore the museum’s dinosaur collection, part of the Evolving Planet exhibit. $31 adult, $25 students, $21 children 3-11.

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Florida Keys Scenic Highway, a great cheap road trip

Federal Highway Administration

With gas prices dropping to a national average of $2.20 a gallon — and many stations across the nation advertising gas under $2 — now is the perfect time to plan a road trip. Here are five of our favorite drives.

The Florida Keys Scenic Highway
Also known as the Overseas Highway — and the Highway that Goes to Sea — the Florida Keys Scenic Highway runs more than 100 miles from Miami to the southernmost point of Key West. Along the way, it crosses a whopping 42 bridges, including the infamous Seven Mile Bridge. While the typical drive takes four hours, you could spend days taking in scenic ocean views, exploring island culture, visiting local attractions like the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, and more.

Connect: Extend your road trip by picking up the A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway in Miami and heading north.

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CopperRunDistillery

White lighting, city gin, corn liquor, or hillbilly pop. Call it what you’d like, but moonshine has deep roots when it comes to swilling booze. Moonshiners were outlaws who distilled the high-proof alcohol deep in the woods, always looking over their shoulders to avoid arrest. Today, laws have been put into place that have allowed distilleries to create products that are actually worth drinking. Here, four of our favorite moonshine distilleries across the United States — most of which are free to tour and taste.

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Shenandoah National Park Road Trip

Flickr/David Fulmer

The Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs between Virginia and North Carolina, is one of the country’s most scenic drives. The 105-mile road was built by the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps under President Franklin D. Roosevelt — taking more than 52 years to complete and encompassing over 11,000 square miles of land. We suggest spending at least a few days driving the parkway, stopping in the small towns along the way to soak up the Appalachian Mountains’ art, culture, and music. Here are nine highlights to consider for your itinerary.

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