To assist travelers in the USA in planning memorable, affordable vacations that fit their budget and interests, the American Automobile Association (AAA) has featured eight of its more than 100 member-exclusive AAA Drive Trips on its free-to-all travel blog AAATravelViews.com. AAA TravelViews features travel stories and photos, tips and information, industry news and insights from AAA insiders.
The AAA Drive Trips include photos, an overview map, driving itinerary, mileage and estimated driving time for every leg, sightseeing information and links to detailed information on cities, attractions and events. Where overnight stops are suggested, users can link directly to the TourBook lodging listings for that region for information and bookings. Trips are geographically diverse and a variety of lengths, with suggested durations ranging from two to seven days. The trips are:
1. Cape Cod: This trip explores Martha’s Vineyard, Provincetown and small villages nestled along Cape Cod Bay. Two legs, 174 miles.
2. Hershey/Pennsylvania Dutch County: This trip explores the Pennsylvania Dutch Country (particularly known for being the home of the Amish) as well as the battlefields of Gettysburg. It also stops in York, which once served as the capital of the United States, and the century-old town known for chocolate, Hershey, Pa. Three legs, 174 miles. (Editor’s note: I have personally explored this area on a long-weekend driving trip. It is well worth seeing, and it is worth making a stop in the old town of Lititz, which lays claim to having the USA’s oldest July 4 fireworks celebration.)
3. The Turquoise Trail and Beyond: This spectacular excursion from Albuquerque to Taos travels on the Turquoise Trail and visits an old mining town and a range of other attractions from ancient Pueblo Indian dwellings to modern art galleries. Three legs, 275 miles.
4. Historic Virginia: This trip explores intriguing eras in U.S. history, visiting George Washington’s boyhood home, civil war sites and more. Four legs, 397 miles.
5. Central and Northern Arizona: This area has rich natural beauty, history and culture. From Phoenix to Flagstaff, this trip also explores Prescott, designated the state’s first capital by President Abraham Lincoln. Three legs, 327 miles.
6. Rocky Mountains: City meets snow country in this drive tour, as Denver’s steel-and-glass skyscrapers give way to the towering Rocky Mountains. This trip includes opportunities to visit big-city museums, hike through wildflower-filled meadows, soak in rushing rapids, view vistas of snowy peaks and enjoy the Cadet Chapel’s modern architecture. Four legs, 435 miles.
7. Washington Cascade Loop: Dubbed the Grand Tour by early roadway adventurers, this dramatic route travels from the mossy rain forests of the Pacific Coast to the dry and sunny fields of eastern Washington, looping across “America’s Alps,” the Cascade Mountains. Four legs, 483 miles.
8. Vancouver-Cascade Mountains: This excursion explores British Columbia’s natural beauty and culture, visiting Vancouver and the Cascades’ lush valley and the area’s system of rivers, lakes and protected ocean waterways. Four legs, 743 miles.
Available free to all travelers, links to printable itineraries are available on AAATravelViews.