Sometimes even the most treasured holiday traditions need a shakeup. Whether you’ve moved away from family, everyone’s coming to visit you this year, or you’re just looking for something different –and safe –making a road trip is a great way to make new memories with the people you care about. The great thing about a road trip is that you can tailor it to your preferences and needs. Go for an afternoon drive antiquing, spend a day hiking, or get away from it all for a weekend or more in the woods. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Visit Area Wineries
Wineries offer tastings and tours of the vineyards, and many offer special holiday-themed programs, too. Live music, workshops, food and wine festivals, and farmers’ markets make winery visits a delight for all your senses and many have moved these activities outside to allow guests to safely distance from one another. Consider booking an overnight stay at one of the wineries that offer accommodations, too, and build a weekend around your trip. You’ll find that most winery cottages are elegantly appointed and cozy, with magnificent views.
Explore the Great Outdoors
Lace-up your walking shoes and hiking boots and take a road trip to your nearest nature trail. Local trails maintained by villages, towns, cities, and counties are often well-traveled and relatively accessible to most. You can also drive to one of the many national scenic trails across the U.S., where there are multiple access points. The most well-known may be the Appalachian Trail, which is more than 2,000 miles long and spans more than a dozen states. Multi-state trails include the Continental Divide, the Pacific Crest, the Pacific Northwest, and the Potomac Heritage Trails.
Find a Refuge in a Cozy Cabin
When you want to retreat from the world and focus on you and your family, booking several days in a woodsy cabin can be just the thing. Accommodation styles range from fully decorated and highly modern multi-bedroom luxury homes to rustic wooden cabins with a minimalist aesthetic. Depending on where you travel, amenities can include lake or beach access, hot tubs, canoeing or kayaking, hiking, birdwatching, biking, and golf. Locations may be close enough to area attractions like golf courses, breweries and wineries, and charming towns with cafes, art galleries, and wine bars to enjoy.
Try Your Hand at Antiquing
No matter your personal decorating style or areas of interest, you’re likely to find something amazing when you start antiquing. Antique shops across the country hold an array of knick-knacks plus timeless home accessories, tools, artwork, and ephemera. Even if you’re not sure what you’re interested in, just visiting one antique shop and chatting with the owner can open your eyes to the amazing stories everyday objects can tell.
Discover America Off the Beaten Path
Before the interstate highway system was developed, most of America traveled smaller roads that traversed the country, like the famous Route 66. These highways, like US 1, US 20, and the Pacific Coast Highway, offer a string of towns and villages with Main Streets to discover all across the country. The local highways in your area may lead you to general stores, historical Civil War battlefields, specialty museums, and family-owned restaurants.
If you’re seeking a new way to spend the holidays this year, consider including a road trip in your plans. Road trips offer excitement in your own backyard, and they’re flexible enough to accommodate solo travelers, couples, and families of all sizes with a wide range of budget options. From wineries to nature trails, antiquing, or driving America’s by-ways, there’s plenty to see and do in your own backyard and beyond.