Shermans Travel » Blog » Road Trip
A visit to major national parks like Death Valley and the Grand Canyon is guaranteed to be memorable no matter what time of year you go – but rest assured, your experience will vary. Blistering heat, overcrowding, and rim fires are just a few ways summer visits can be compromised. Instead, consider a visit to the U.S.’s most stunning natural wonders during the colder months. Just remember to pack extra layers! Read more
Lots of budget travelers like to avoid renting a car in favor of taking public transportation, but in the case of Hawaii, that’s not necessarily the case. By securing a rental, you’ll be able to access points of interest on your own that can be costly to experience on a guided tour. Here are five “tours” that require nothing more than a set of wheels and a good map: Read more
Who needs five star resorts, marble bathtubs, and caviar dinners? Sure, those perks are nice, but for travelers seeking a quick, easy getaway that won’t leave them in the financial lurch, there are better ways to go about it. Rather than overindulge, focus instead on fun, practical activities that are unique to the destination, whether that means hiking in a state park or snagging $9 seats to a symphony orchestra. To get you started, here are ten US cities perfect for budget travelers, plus tips on what to do when you get there: Read more
Following some recent legislation, it’ll be at least seven years before developers are allowed to build a casino in New York City (though we’d happily wait another 50). Until then, New Yorkers craving the sounds of ringing slot machines and clacking poker chips will continue trekking to the same ocean-sprayed resort town they’ve been visiting since the early 1900s: Atlantic City.
And why shouldn’t they? Situated just 130 miles south of Manhattan, Atlantic City is an easy day trip that’s both cheap and entertaining. Don’t believe us? Allow the facts to speak for themselves: Read more
It’s not hard to understand why someone, on their first visit to New York, would be reluctant to venture outside of New York City. It’s where the action is. It offers an incredibly rich culture. It’s iconic. But just north of the city lies a whole state, waiting to be explored: Hudson Valley, Saratoga, Finger Lakes, Catskills, to name a few. And those are the parts that Governor Cuomo is hoping to draw attention to in a new online tourism guide.
The “Sustainable Tourism” guide will be web-only, and will promote eco-friendly activities in all regions of New York, like exploring Buffalo’s sustainably-built Burchfield Penney Arts Center, or hiking Mount Marcy, near Lake Placid. Whatever your interest, the comprehensive guide aims to (re-)acquaint even the most fresh-air-averse traveler with New York’s stunning mountains, lakes, and villages. Below, a few of the choicest places to visit:
What could be more fun than a daytrip through Area 51? Or a road trip through Dracula’s hometown? On the eve of the season’s spookiest holiday, we’re looking back on our recent travel stories that made us go “Aah!” (or, at the very least, contained awesome photos of electric guitar-playing skeletons and UFOs). Now, grab your passport – and a flashlight – and read on! Read more
One and a half hours by car (or bus) from Boston, the city of Newport, RI is a laid-back, quintessential New England coastal town that’s a good alternative to more toursity destinations like Cape Cod and Nantucket. Its cultural associations call to mind images of wealthy heiresses swinging polo clubs in private country clubs, and in many ways, that’s half right. The Vanderbilts, the Astors, the Tennis Hall of Fame, the Newport Jazz Festival, the famous mansions along Belleveue Avenue: all of these point to Newport’s rich heritage of outdoor sports, architecture, and the high life. But for first-timers to the Northeast, a visit to Newport’s historic downtown is a must. Read more
There’s no denying that Santa Barbara, one of the most beautiful towns on California’s central coast (and perhaps the entire United States), comes at a cost. But while you might not be able to stay in Montecito, or dine at San Ysidro Ranch, it’s still possible to experience the charm of this Pacific Ocean coastal town without depleting your travel budget in a single day. Of course, beaches are always a good option to while away an afternoon, but here are five other cheap activities to help you stay in motion: Read more
Upon first setting out for a 5-day road trip through southern Transylvania, your first thoughts will probably be focused on the country’s best-known cultural export, Dracula-ah, ah, ah. And, well, who can blame you? After countless movies, TV shows, and even a Marvel comic book series, the word “Transylvania” has been iron-branded onto our collective consciousness as the grim, blustery, far-far-away native land of the original Vampire.
But that is precisely why a 5-day road trip through central Romania is so necessary: it helps show that the mythical, Hollywood-ized land is a real, live place, with people (not vampires) and cars (not horse-drawn carriages, though you’ll see a few of those, too) and bustling city centers (as opposed to whatever Bram Stoker would have us believe). Which isn’t to say we base our opinion of a place by how many bright-lit shops and cafes line its streets; in the case of Transylvania, however, those modern establishments throw the country’s exceptional history, not to mention its stunning, centuries-old architecture, into sharp relief.
Below, an itinerary for your 5-day trek through Transylvania, including where to sleep, eat, church-hop, and plenty of off-road sightseeing stops along the way! Read more
The summer of 1947, a ranch foreman in New Mexico discovered some peculiar wreckage in a field. The Airforce initially reported the existence of a “flying disk”. Extraterrestrial “experts” claim that aliens and UFOs from this crash and others have been housed in Area 51, a military base in Nevada. The military quickly changed its story and said the wreckage was a weather balloon. It also denied the existence of Area 51, but just this year the CIA admitted that Area 51 really exists. If you’re not a believer, all the more reason to visit the many extraterrestrial sites in the regions to see if you can be convinced – or, at least, take some campy pictures with aliens to show your friends. Read on for some great (and cheap) roadside attractions for your next long drive through the desert.
There are cheaper ways to get around a city than renting a car. Sometimes we’d rather cut costs by using public transportation (a more direct way of experiencing the city anyway), or hitching a ride with friends (cheaper, and more fun!). However, if we had to name one place that requires a little extra deliberation when it comes to getting around, it’s car-obsessed Los Angeles.
Not surprising, then, that LAX airport was announced as the sixth and latest outpost of Silvercar, an upstart car rental company whose distinguishing feature is to simplify the booking process as much as possible with a user-friendly, tap-and-go app.
Oh, and every car in the Silvercar fleet is a silver Audi A4. Read more
When you think of Texas, funky beach towns probably aren’t the first things that come to mind; it’s more likely that you’ll think of cowboys and barbecue. But with 300 miles of coastline, “Texas” and “beach” are a great match (and Texas has a quite a few beach surprises up its sleeve). Galveston, which is actually an island, has an offbeat, oceanside vibe, making it the perfect place to change the way you think about southern beach towns. And when it comes to exploring the island, you can see the best of it without spending a fortune.
From a pier with a Ferris wheel, to incredible gumbo, an awesome Mardi Gras scene, and a beachfront strip with enough unusual bars and restaurants to quench anyone’s thirst, the town has a lot to offer. It’s also full of gorgeous Victorian architecture that was meticulously preserved after the devastating Great Storm of 1900, and there are enough museums and history tours to keep any culture buff busy for weeks. Plus, with summer humidity on its way out, it’s easier than ever to save money and enjoy all the eccentricity that makes Galveston feel worlds away from the nearest mainland super-city, Houston. Here are my top choices for getting to know the culture of Galveston, for less. Read more
UPDATE: Five national parks in Utah have re-opened, though the government shutdown remains in effect. CNN reports that since October is one of the busiest months for visitors exploring Utah’s stunning canyons, deserts, and million-year-old rock formations, the state has decided to fund the re-opening of five national parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion), plus three other sites (Natural Bridges, Cedar Breaks national monuments, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area) with its own money. The sites are scheduled to re-open fully on Saturday October 12 for at least the next 10 days, with plans to continue funding the parks if the shutdown drags on further.
Of the many facets of day-to-day life that will be directly affected by a government shutdown (healthcare, IRS, the military) that begins today, travel and tourism concerns are relatively low on the list. However, for travelers who booked their trip months ago – not to mention tourism offices who rely on those visitors actually showing up – the closures can seriously upset your plans. Though flight and hotel bookings (and, thankfully, public transportation) remain unaffected, some itineraries (especially to destinations in the Western U.S.) will have to be re-arranged entirely.
Of the thousands of worthy sightseeing spots in the U.S., 401 of them are national parks. These include everything from preserves like Florida’s Big Cypress Swamp to monuments like the Statue of Liberty to the massive, hugely popular Yellowstone National Park, which receives over 3.5 million visitors per year. A full database of sites can be found here. Below, we’ve compiled five of the most-visited national park sites, coupled with alternative sites you can visit instead. Read more
At the extreme northern edge of Minnesota, there are a series of bays – Buffalo Bay, Muskeg Bay, and Fourmile Bay – which together constitute over 65,000 miles of shoreline, and provide one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations. On a map, everything north of these bodies of water would appear to be Canadian territory, but look more closely and you’ll see there is actually a small piece of Minnesota awkwardly wedged between Manitoba and Ontario. The Northwest Angle, as it’s known, is the northernmost point in the contiguous 48 states – not to mention one of the coldest places to visit in America during the winter.
Finding time to take a longer vacation during the fall is tough. There are few national holidays that warrant time off and chances are you already took a few days during the summer for some R&R. But just because fall is setting in and there’s little time to relax, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have time to get away for a weekend. These five quick two-day escapes are all within driving-distance from major cities across the U.S. Plus, we’ve priced them out for you so all you have to think about is Which weekend am I getting out of Dodge?
From San Francisco…
To Half Moon Bay: Round-trip gas will put you out only about $8, so this trip is definitely economical – plus unlike many parts of California, the 29-mile-long one-way trip will just take you 50 minutes in traffic. When you’re in Half Moon Bay, get out and enjoy the breathtaking scenery and the cute little town. Hotels such as the three-star Half Moon Bay Lodge won’t break the bank and offer easy access to nearby coastal walks, kayaking, and surfing at the legendary Maverick’s (October weekend rates start at $207). Two miles up the coast, the Mill Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast ($230) is set within lush gardens and holds a four AAA Diamond rating.
The total: Two nights at the Half Moon Bay Lodge plus round-trip gas = $421
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