ALL POSTS IN [Road Trips]

Ready for a road trip, but don’t know where to go? Buckle up with our picks for road trips that include ocean views, seasonal dishes, wine tasting, heart-pounding adventures and more.

1.    Food-Themed Road Trips

Have far will you travel for food? Summer is the perfect time to head to the mid-Atlantic for Old Bay-seasoned blue crabs. Plan a food-themed road trip to other delicious destinations in the US that are well worth the drive.

 2.    Pacific Coast Highway

Dreaming of ocean views? Take a road trip along California’s Pacific Coast Highway for spectacular sea panoramas. For those afraid of dizzying heights, stick to flatter roads driving through America’s Heartland.

3.    RV Stylin’

Is a vintage “Silver Bullet” Airstream more your style than a high-tech trailer? See how styles and comforts evolved over time with our look back at RVs through the years.

4.    Road Trip Gear Guide

Cook dinner, charge your phone and feel good about your carbon footprint on the road! It’s possible with this eco-friendly BioLite Campstove. See what else to pack for a stress-free road trip.

5.    Napa Valley Road Trip

The best way to take in California’s wine country is to sample the goods along the way. Drive through the scenic countryside in Napa Valley and Sonoma, and stop to enjoy a glass of cabernet or take a winery tour while you stretch your legs.

6.    Grand Canyon Adventure

For the ultimate US road trip, explore Grand Canyon National Park. Experience the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon with heart-pounding adventures like hiking, white-water-rafting  … or trying to catch your breath on the Skywalk’s 800-foot vertical-drop overlook.

Don’t forget music! Set the mood with our road trippin’ playlist.

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A Hug For the World: British runner Kate Treleaven, co-founder of the One Run For Boston cross-country charity relay, stretches out in St. Louis.

The “Stink Mobile” never stops. Barring any unexpected detours, it will have trekked 3,300 miles when it welcomes hundreds of runners Sunday night finishing One Run For Boston — a cross-country relay to raise money for Boston Marathon bombing victims. Event co-founders Kate Treleaven and Danny Bent, friends from England, are taking turns sleeping in their donated 2013 grey Ford Escape, a logistical support vehicle that doubles as a motel.

One Run began in Los Angeles on June 7 and will end on June 30 at Boston Common, a few steps from the Boston Marathon Finish Line. Taking a scenic backroads tour of America, the route meanders through 14 states and is being tracked with a GPS baton along with a 24/7 Live Photo Gallery.

The purpose is to raise money for The One Fund Boston but also to showcase acts of human kindness and generosity in the wake of the April 15 terrorism attacks. Runners also passed through tornado-ravaged parts of Oklahoma and are earmarking that state’s donations to help families who lost their homes.

“This is a much deeper experience than a road trip,” says Bent, a triathlete and author who previously bicycled from England to India to raise money for child poverty. “We’re experiencing America from the inside out. People are inviting us into their homes. Every one hour and forty minutes, we meet a new person. It’s a like a spike of adrenaline.”

Runners from around the country are flying into Boston to join the ceremonial last 8 mile leg of the journey. Strangers have been donating frequent flier miles to each other after meeting on the One Run Facebook page.  Bent and Treleaven, who sometimes run alongside supporters, recently logged a 16-mile stretch to replace a Pennsylvania runner whose father had just died. Their tribute memorial run was coincidentally on the same day as the funeral.

Along with the inevitable tear-jerking moments, the One Run founders are also sharing plenty of lighthearted memories as they stumble across silly roadside attractions and truck stop oddities.

On June 16, the runners passed through Amarillo, Texas, home of Cadillac Ranch, a public sculpture garden where graffiti-covered junk cars are planted nose down into the earth. Bent and Treleaven painted “One Run For Boston” on one of the steel (yes, cars were not always made of plastic) canvases.

Road trippers Danny Bent (left) and Kate Treleaven pretend to spray paint each other at Cadillac Ranch on Route 66 in Texas.

“Every British person dreams about driving across America and seeing all the different landscapes. You can drive across Britain in just a few hours,” says Treleaven. “But we’re not going to the usual tourist places. We actually drove straight past the Grand Canyon!”

“This trip is about meeting people we would otherwise never have a chance to meet,” she adds. “We’re getting under the skin of America and loving every moment of it.”

**

(For more information on donating to One Run For Boston or joining the runners in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts anytime from June 28-30, click here).

– written by Darren Garnick

 

 

Enter Travel Channel’s Epic RV Giveaway for a chance to win a custom RV “rocked-out” by Bret Michaels.

Looking for a rock star to throw you the ultimate party? How about a rock star that’ll give you the ultimate party … on wheels?

Bret and his uber-talented band of designers and builders plan to do just that for the Mendonsa family. The Mendonsas have been looking for a way to create a tribute to their late son, Zack, and they’ve asked Bret for his help. Bret and his team come up with a plan to turn their RV, the “Scum Wagon,” into the ultimate family-entertainment vehicle, complete with a rooftop lounge, an exterior projection TV and much more.

Will Bret and his team be able to transform the Mendonsas beat up, 20-year-old RV into a rolling tribute to their son and the ultimate party bus? Find out on an all-new episode, tonight at 9|8c.

Until then, download the SNAPS! App to “pose” in a picture with your favorite rock star, Bret Michaels! Hang out with him at a ball game, by the pool, on the beach – you name it. Just take a photo and insert one of many Rock My RV-themed graphics and you’ll have all your friends fooled!

Here are a few quick steps to help you along the way:

1.      Download the SNAPS! App in the app store.

2.      Sign in through your Facebook account and select “Discover.”

3.      Go to the Rock My RV Snaps and upload or take a photo “with Bret.”

Everyone wants a free RV … but can you tell us why you think you deserve one?

The Epic Contest Giveaway is finally here — and so is your chance to win the ultimate RV. Rock My RV host and legendary rocker Bret Michaels and his handpicked, insanely talented design/build team, consisting of Bodie Stroud and Jake Scott, have been working tirelessly, rocking out 1 very special RV just for you.

Submit a short video, between Monday, June 3, and Monday, July 15, telling Bret why you deserve to win this luxury RV. The winner will be revealed during a 1-hour special on Sunday, Sept. 1.

Here are a few tips to help you “rock” your video submission:

* Don’t be shy! Let us see your personality.

* Music is always a great addition — just make sure it’s an original song.

* Get the whole family involved, even the dog. The more the merrier!

* Go all out! Don’t be afraid to use props and costumes.

Plus, come back each week to see an exclusive video of Jake and Bodie adding more and more spectacular amenities to your RV.

RV for the contest provided by Camping World. Visit Camping World for all of your RV and outdoor needs!

“The Best Reality Makeover Show Yet. Really.” – Slate.com

Bret and his team are back with another edition of Rock My RV, and this week they’re taking Bob Harris and his son Johnny’s dilapidated 1980s ambulance and turning it into the ultimate Big Foot Hunter, complete with fabricated bumpers, digital camouflage and a state-of-the-art thermal imaging system.

Luckily for Johnny, Bob asked just the right person to equip this off-roader with the means to track and find humanity’s camera-shy distant relative in the woods.

“Having spent much of his adult life riding around in RVs and doing all sorts of rock ‘n’ roll things inside them, Bret Michaels was a natural to host the Travel Channel series, Rock My RV.” -The New York Times Sunday Magazine

Will Bret be able to deliver on his promise and give this father/son duo everything they could ever need to track down the elusive Big Foot? Find out on an all-new episode, tonight at 9|8c.

Plus, check out these exclusive, before-and-after photos from Big Foot Hunter.

Grand Canyon Sweepstakes

Today is your last chance to enter our Ultimate Grand Canyon RV Adventure Sweepstakes! While you’re waiting to see if you’re the lucky winner, get inspired by some of our favorite RV bloggers. From wineries to manatees, check out why they chose to ditch their neighborhoods and hit the road.

Planning to taste a few new wines?  Don’t have your trip end at the Napa Valley. These two Geeky Explorers explored not only the sights but also the wineries of Walla Walla.

Get a little taste of the Grand Canyon from Fab Grandma. See firsthand adventures of driving to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, hiking the Cape Final Trail, and seeing a herd of bull bison.

Want to take a trip up North? You won’t be disappointed with the picturesque views that Canada has to offer. But first learn a thing or two about our northern neighbor from Travels With Miranda.

The excursions don’t stop at RVs — Roads Less Traveled gives you the inside scoop on resorts and tips for RV and sailboat vacations.

If you’ve ever dreamed of snorkeling with seals, swimming with manatees, or encountering crocodiles, NeverEndingRvTrip has a few things to add to your bucket list.

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Discover more about the Grand Canyon adventure.

Awe-inspiring photos of the Grand Canyon.

The best ways to experience Grand Canyon National Park.

Bret Michaels fans unite! Rock My RV With Bret Michaels is finally here and what better way to kick off summer than with the legendary frontman as he embarks on a new adventure in the TV world — this time, revealing just how deep his RV passions run.

Michaels, a hands-on RV enthusiast, leads a team of skilled custom RV designers and fabricators, consisting of Bodie Stroud and Jake Scott, who set out to transform travelers’ ordinary RVs into the most outrageous, hooked-up mobile mansions on the road.

In Luxury on Wheels, the first of 2 brand-new episodes, Bret and the team chop up a family’s well-worn, shabby RV, and set out to transform it into a spacious 5-star hotel on wheels. The Littmans are true RV fanatics, who spend years at a time living in their RV, but their kids are getting bigger, meaning space in the RV is becoming scarce. Bret and his team have a plan in mind (think slide-outs), and with Michaels’ help, the Littmans are hoping to become the coolest family in the RV park.

In the second of 2 premieres, Rolling VIP Lounge, Dan “Punkass” Caldwell and Timothy “SkySkrape” Katz, co-founders of the MMA apparel company TapouT, feel their tired, 32-foot RV is in serious need of an upgrade … and boy, are they right. The TapouT guys are always on the road promoting their brand and need more space to relax in their downtime. Can Michaels’ team help?

Tune in tonight at 9|8c and again at 9:30|8:30c, to see if Bret and his team are able to transform 2 old, worn-out RVs in desperate need of a makeover into badass, one-of-a-kind RVs that could  rival those of any celebrity … maybe even Bret Michaels.

Plus, check out these exclusive, before-and-after photos from both premieres:

Rolling VIP Lounge

Luxury on Wheels

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, Bret and his team are designing the epic RV of your dreams! Complete with multiple flat screen TVs, gaming stations and top-of-the-line finishes, this mega-transformed RV will blow all other vehicles off the road – and it could be yours!

The contest will run from June 3 – July 15, at which time viewers can submit a short video to Travel Channel’s Rock My RV show page, explaining to Bret Michaels why they deserve this rocked-out RV! The winner will be revealed during the one-hour season finale on September 1st.

From the crazy concept design meetings to the demolition to the big reveal, you’ll be glued to your seat wondering what out-of-this-world, retrofitted dream transformation Bret and the team have come up with now. But until then, enter your videos explaining why you deserve this dream RV!

And tune in to the premiere of Rock My RV on Sunday, May 26 at 9|8c to see what Bret and his team are capable of when it comes to building amazing, custom RVs.

Everglades

Photo By Valerie Conners

While the hordes of Spring Breakers flock — understandably — to South Florida’s golden shores, consider a trip down the not-so-beaten path, to Everglades National Park, the heart of which lies just an hour’s drive west of Miami, along the Tamiami Trail. A drive into the heart of the Everglades grants visitors glimpses of the diverse wildlife roaming the region, including loads of alligator sightings (stand back, and keep you hands to yourself!), great blue herons, colorful roseate spoonbills and ever-present white herons and ibises. If you weren’t a bird watcher, much less bird lover, before entering the Everglades, you will be when you depart.

“Everglades” literally translates to “river of grass,” and that’s exactly what you’ll find here: a subtropical wetland that begins in Central Florida at Lake Okeechobee as water leaves the lake and flows south, forming a slow moving river. The so-called river of grass is an astonishing 50 miles wide and 100 miles long, running all the way to the tip of South Florida and into the sea. Of that vast expanse, 1.5 million acres have been designated a National Park, protecting 20 percent of the Everglades and the extraordinary wildlife contained within.

Everglades National Park is split into 2 main entrances, Shark Valley in the north central section of the park and the Gulf Coast Visitor Center in the West. Start your foray into the Everglades in Shark Valley. This entrance has the most amenities for visitors, including a museum, bike rentals and tram tours, as well as an observation tower in the thick of the glades that affords striking views of the grassland. A 15-mile loop road winds through Shark Valley, and is popular for bikers and a few apparently cold-blooded walkers undaunted by the region’s high temperatures. If you’re not prone to exert yourself for the duration of a 15-mile bike ride, hop aboard a tram tour, where knowledgeable guides point out and explain in detail the Everglades’ flora and fauna — with frequent stops for photos.

From Shark Valley, make your way toward the Gulf Coast Visitor Center. This entrance lies tucked into the far western reaches of the park, where you’ll see a much different topography, chiefly mangrove islands and winding waterways. As you make drive west, you’ll have the choice to continue along the well-trodden Tamiami Trail, or pop off onto a Scenic Loop Road, and as I highly recommend, and great poets will agree, always — always — take the road less traveled.

The loop road is partially unpaved, though easily driveable, and winds through what may well be the region’s most spectacular and wildest scenery: a cypress forest, part of the Big Cypress National Preserve. These monstrous trees drip with Spanish Moss, and you’ll pass by alligators lounging at their bases, as well as countless birds — herons, ibises, purple gallinules and pelicans galore. The best part? In what turned into an hour and a half foray along the road (I stopped for lots of pictures), I passed a mere 4 other cars. This is as remote a space as you’ll find anywhere in Florida.

Everglades

Photo By Valerie Conners

You’ll leave the Preserve and arrive in Everglades City late-afternoon or early evening. To get the most out of an Everglades National Park road trip from South Florida’s east coast, spend an overnight in Everglades City, just south of Naples, on the western edge of the park. The town is incredibly small, just a few hundred residents, and lies amidst winding waterways. Book a room at the Everglades City Motel, where the old-fashioned exterior belies the beautifully remodeled rooms inside. Grab a sunset cocktail and a platter of smoked fish dip at the iconic Rod and Gun Club, which sits along a scenic curve of the river. For dinner, meander a mile or so down the road to Camellia Street Grill, a true local’s hangout along the river. You’ll find kitschy decor, a welcoming outdoor deck, twinkling lights strung from trees, and if you’re lucky — live music and dancing.

The following day, head into the park’s western entrance, and book yourself on a boat tour of either the mangrove isles or Ten Thousand Islands. You can choose from a larger boat that winds through the islands or a smaller, 6-person tour that heads into the depths of the mangroves. After your boat tour, pay a visit to Chokoloskee Island, just a few minutes down the road. Here you’ll find the Smallwood Store and Ole Indian Trading Post, a former general store established in 1906 that’s now on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been turned into a museum featuring artifacts from the era, including newspaper clippings, medicine bottles, and furnishings.

Before you head back toward the 2-hour drive to Miami, refuel with lunch at the Havana Cafe, a Chokoloskee restaurant dishing up tasty Cuban food. Try the pork plate, traditional-style Cuban pork shoulder, serve with black beans, rice and a small salad. Ask to try the homemade hot sauce — you’ll thank me later.

- Valerie Conners

Valerie Conners is a New York-based freelance writer who has worked in various roles at the Travel Channel for more than 10 years. She has written for digital and print publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Globe, Frommer’s Travel Guides and Discovery.com. She’s happiest when eating spicy Thai food, snorkeling with sea turtles in Indonesia and bargaining for bangles in Indian markets.

Photography by Reuters

Looking for a flashy way to get around town or a not-so-practical option for your next road trip? Take a ride in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. On Sunday, the new hot rod was revealed during the press preview at the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Unfortunately, if you want to see it in person, you’ll have to wait until the Detroit Auto Show opens up to the public on Saturday, Jan. 19 or until the car hits showroom floors this fall.

It’s been 9 years since the Corvette has been revamped.  The biggest difference this time around is that the sleek car has a V8 engine, and – guess what! — it’s no longer a gas-guzzler. Strict government rules and fines from regulators forced engineers to rethink how to design the car for better gas mileage.

In addition to the Corvette, other automakers are showing off their new vehicles, too. According to the Washington Post, auto aficionados will be able to check out other experimental concept vehicles, including the Bentley GT Speed convertible, BMW 4-Series (Z4), Honda Urban SUV, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Mini John Cooper Works Paceman.

The Auto Show will have more than 500 vehicles on display, representing the most innovative designs in the world. It is North America’s largest and most prestigious automotive showcase. And parents don’t have to leave their kids behind.  Family Day kicks off on Friday, Jan. 25, with magicians, acrobats and caricature artists to keep the kids entertained. If you can’t make it for Family Day, we recommend seeing the parade of cars on the main show floor at 3:30 and again at 7 pm on Jan. 19 – 27.

Yes, we’re aware that some of you may not live in Detroit to catch this big auto show, but there may be an auto show coming to a city near you next month. The Washington Auto Show kicks into high gear on Friday, Feb. 1 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 10. The Chicago Auto Show runs from Wednesday, Feb. 9 to Monday, Feb. 18.

We’d be remised if we didn’t remember the auto lover who appreciates a good, ole classic car. So, we thought we’d add the picture below of the Corvette Stingray, taken in 1955 without the flashy bells and whistles.  Back in the day, it still looked like a fun way to travel. What do you think?

If you’re interested in more recent cars, take a look at our auto show slideshows from 2012 and 2011.

Photography by Getty

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