Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Kings of the road to four major Summer Road Trips

One of America's most storied highways, US 1 largely follows the route of the old Boston Post Road, which connects the 13 colonies. Perhaps his greatest stretch is sawtooth to the coast of Maine, where it passes through time wonderfully warped old towns and offers spectacular views of the Atlantic. A necessary step on the road is Mount Desert Island, home of Acadia National Park, which offers hiking and beautiful oceanside some of America's best bird-watching. Another is the Big Chicken Barn in Ellsworth (207-667-7308), Maine's largest antiquarian bookstore, with more than 100000 books and magazines 10000. And what would a road trip without Maine lobster? There are dozens of shacks fine seafood along US 1, including in the Sea Basket Wiscasset (207-882-6581), the Lobster Pound in Ogunquit Ogunquit (207-646-2516) and the classic in the Maine Diner Wells (207-646 - 4441), where the specialty is lobster pie - as a sort of pot of chicken pie, only with lobster.

MINNESOTA 61 Duluth to Grand Portage (150 miles)

People may snicker when you say that you go to Duluth (it seems to work as the punch line to almost any joke), but you have the last laugh because the city is the point of launch of a trip through Minnesota's North Shore, a 150-mile trip with magnificent views of Lake Superior that make America the most beautiful Great Lakes drive. Several dirt roads branch off from the main road and lead in the adjacent Superior National Forest, where the dazzling fir, birch and spruce will help you feel very far from civilization. Back on the main road, stop for a hike and a spectacular view of the cascades at Gooseberry Falls State Park (218-834-3855) and treat yourself to the locally famous Betty's Pies (218-834-3367). Head toward the Canadian border, and you come to Grand Portage National Monument in Grand Marais (218-387-2788), where you will see the restored stockade of the North West Fur Company, a key position in the late 1700's .

ROUTE 66 Arizona and New Mexico (600 miles)

Although most of it was short-circuited by expressways, Route 66 remains the quintessential American road trip, and many of its best sections remaining in the Southwest. Now as a living museum as a work Highway 66, is an unrivalled source of history and Americana, thanks to the pluckiness of different neon-signed mom-and-pop businesses that have managed to hold on despite the decline in use of the road and also thanks to the nostalgia-and history-based preservation movement Route 66 (for an overview, visit There are literally dozens of great stops on the way, including the eccentric burger and milkshake joint Delgadillo's Snow Cap Drive-In Seligman, Arizona (520-422-3291), the Blue Hole, which is an artesian well Santa Rosa, NM filled with the crystal clear waters of scuba diving that the practice exists, and the beautiful Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, NM (505-461-9849), once described by Smithsonian Magazine as "the last, best and most sympathetic of the old-time motels. "If possible, time your trip to Albuquerque July 20-22 for the festival of the Route Remember, 66 in honor of his 75th birthday.

Down US 101 Oregon's coast (365 miles)

Running 365 miles from Astoria, Oregon at the border California, USA 101 of the road from the coast of Oregon is among the most beautiful of America drives. Practically every twist and turn in the road brings a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean, and more than three dozen state parks - the highest concentration per thousand in the country - will provide ample opportunities for stretching legs and to tackle the beach. Other useful stops along the way include the small village of Gearhart, the birthplace of retirement and summer of the late James Beard chef, whose culinary heritage is celebrated at the local restaurants as Pacific Way Bakery & Cafe (503-738-0245); the Tillamook Air Museum (503-842-1130), which tells the story of America's coastline of the Second World War-surveillance blimps and is housed in a huge hangar airship, which ranks among the world's largest wooden structures, and the irresistible Sea Lion Caves in Florence (541 -547-3111), a natural sea cave where you can watch sea lions frolicking.

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