Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Awesome American Road Trips

When you think of great American Road Trips, some iconic drives come to mind: the Pacific Coast Highway, Blue Ridge Parkway and Route 66.   But America is filled with awesome American Road Trips you may not even know about.  Here are a few ideas:

Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway (Virginia/Pennsylvania)
·      Designated by Congress as the 99th national scenic byway, this 180-mile swath of land is Where America Happened. From Gettysburg, PA to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville, VA, this corridor contains more American History than any other region.
·      The byway serves as the artery to lots of destinations, including:

o   For History Buffs, Nine Presidential Sites and More Civil War Battlefields than any other part of the country (in addition to the African American, Native American, Colonial, and other historic sites located along the road)

o   For Outdoor Enthusiasts, 13 National Parks are located here that allow for hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing and much more (including the Appalachian Trail)

o   For Culinary Afficianados, over 100 wineries, craft breweries, and distilleries blanket the bucolic countryside. Not to mention the unique and wonderful downtowns that host award-winning restaurants (including James Beard finalists and a current Top Chef Masters contender)
o   November marks the 150th anniversary of one of the most famous American speeches, President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the National Anthem (written by Francis Scott Key, who is from and buried within our National Heritage Area).

Alaska’s Seward Highway
·      127-mile highway connects Anchorage and Seward, Alaska, and is designated a
Forest Scenic Byway, All-American Road and Alaska Scenic Byway.
·      Provides access to world-class skiing in winter and downhill mountain
biking in summer at Alyeska Ski Resort, the town of Girdwood, 2.5 mile Anton 
Anderson Memorial Tunnel to Whittier, Kenai Fjords National park and some of
the best fishing an angler will ever experience.
·      General sites along the Seward Highway include kitesurfers, beluga whales, dall sheep & moose daily.
·      Access by side road to the 2.5 mile Anton Anderson tunnel to Whittier, which is shared with the railroad. Vehicle wheels actually straddle the train tracks.
·      Access to amazing halibut fishing in the world as well as sightseeing (glaciers, whales, sea lions etc) boat tours complete with fresh seafood smorgasbords out of Seward.
·      World class skiing at Alyeska and/or downhill mountain biking.

Civil Rights Road Trip (Alabama)
·      Includes Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama with side trips to Selma and Tuskegee.

 This trip is mainly on Interstate 65 and uses Montgomery, AL as the overnight hub from which Birmingham, Selma and Tuskegee can all be reached within about an hour or less. 
Travelers on the Civil Rights Road Trip will see/experience:
a.     The home where Martin Luther King, Jr. lived from 1954 – 1960, during which he led the Montgomery Bus Boycotts
b.     Where Rosa Parks boarded the bus then tour the Rosa Parks Museum which is located in the place where she was arrested. In the museum the story of the boycott is further explored and archives of this important early protest are kept.
c.     Walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in the footsteps of the brave civil rights foot soldiers of Bloody Sunday
d.     Visit the airfield where the Tuskegee Airmen were trained to fly
e.     Go inside the 16th Street Baptist church, the site of horrific bombing that killed four girls.
f.     Enjoy fresh, regional cuisine & vibrant nightlife in Montgomery’s walkable entertainment District.

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