Connie K. Ho 2015-09-01 02:29:04
REDISCOVER AMERICA ON THE OPEN ROAD. There’s a sweet nostalgia that comes along with piling into a car with loved ones simply to go for a drive. In a world where planes, trains and automobiles are viewed exclusively as transportation—a means to an end—it’s important to hang onto the leisure that comes with being on the open road. To celebrate the many views that can be seen from the seat of a car, Montage Magazine takes readers on five distinct automotive adventures across the country, from verdant villages on the Hawaiian island of Maui to the antebellum streets of South Carolina. Each destination offers a trove of sights and experiences, reminding travelers that the journey is often just as enjoyable as the destination. COASTAL CRUISE Laguna Beach, Calif., is the perfect starting point for a beachfront excursion. The town is nestled along the southern coast of Orange County, and a drive on state Route 1, known as Pacific Coast Highway, is a must-do for visitors and locals alike. Expect breathtaking views of sparkling emerald waters and charming beach towns on the drive to San Diego. Begin by taking the highway south to Dana Point Harbor. The trip affords glimpses of Dana Point Harbor and the dozens of ships docked at the marina. Nearby San Onofre State Beach is the next stop; travelers should take advantage of the walking trails along the bluffs. Depending on the tide, areas with rocky reefs or tide pools may be visible. Nearby grounds at San Mateo Creek also have a culturally significant history with regional Native Americans as the site of a past Acjachemen village dating back more than 8,000 years. The drive south continues with a visit to the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. Explore a jungle canopy and discover trees and flowers from all over the world. For the more curious visitors, the garden hosts bird-watching as well as diverse classes in nature and the arts—think culinary workshops and outdoor photography. Continue the immersion in nature with stops at the coastal wetlands of San Elijo Lagoon, Torrey Pines State Reserve or La Jolla Cove (where you might spot a seal or two). Walk through history in Old Town San Diego and a visit to the quaint island town of Coronado, where the San Diego-Coronado Bridge lends a bird’s-eye view to sandy beaches as the sun sets over the waters of the Pacific. —C.K.H. MOUNTAINTOP VIEWS Everyone should experience the autumn seas of yellow aspens surrounding Park City, Utah, firsthand. A short drive from Montage Deer Valley delivers the idyllic setting for an afternoon picnic: a pristine alpine lake surrounded by peaceful mountains at Guardsmans Pass Overlook. Whether you are a photographer, enjoy hiking or simply love a beautiful drive, this fall road trip in Park City offers it all, and it begins at your doorstep. Day-trippers should check the weather before they leave and make sure to bring warm clothes. Conditions change quickly in the mountains at these elevations—more than 9,000 feet in some areas. If the idea of a picnic hike is appealing, guests should also arrange their meals in advance. Once preparations are taken care of, start the drive by going south on state Route 224. Just after pulling away from Montage, you’ll climb steeply through the silent lifts of Deer Valley and into the wilderness. Wild turkeys, moose and elk are all possible sightings along the way. Near the crest of the first climb at Empire Pass, a parking lot on the right offers picturesque views of Heber Valley and Mount Timpanogos. It’s a wonderful place to stop and take in the scenery while capturing the moment with some photos. The remaining climb to the overlook is surrounded by breathtaking aspen groves. As the road narrows toward the top, take it slow and be aware of descending drivers. Upon arrival, soak in the views from the pass before starting the 1.2-mile, round-trip trek at the south end of the parking lot. Take the downward trail for a quick hike to Lake Lackawaxen. When you’ve fully immersed yourself, head back to the car to enjoy the sweeping views on the short but breathtaking drive back to the comfort of your room. —C.L. SEASIDE TO HIGHLANDS Most people assume the Aloha State is better suited to long boards and catamarans than automobiles, but Hawaii is actually one of the best states for a road trip. Drivers come across things that can’t be seen anywhere else; distances are all relatively short and the individual islands have some of the most interesting vantage points from their thoroughfares. Nowhere is this more true than Maui. The famous Hana Highway along the island’s North Shore unfolds along 64 miles of hairpin turns and precipitous cliffs—spectacular indeed, but often populated with other drivers enjoying the sights. A much more laidback alternative is a combination of Route 37 and Route 31 through the lush highlands and along the secluded southern shore. From Kapalua, this is an all-day outing that starts with a drive along the bustling coastal road via Lahaina, and across the endless cane fields of central Maui to artistic Makawao. Galleries, boutiques and cafes make the hip, small town a great place to break for snacks or shopping before continuing along Route 37, called Kula Highway. Leaving civilization behind, the road meanders through the farms and gardens of upcountry Maui to the 18,000-acre Ulupalakua Ranch. Founded in the 1840s, this historic sugar plantation and cattle spread is also home to the island’s only winery, including a tasting room where you can sample their pineapple, raspberry and grape wines. Just beyond the winery, the road segues into Route 31, Piilani Highway, as it curves around the lower slopes of Haleakala volcano. After another 20 miles, be sure to stop at the historic Kaupo General Store, which opened in 1925, where you can pick up beverages and ice cream. Dropping down to the coast, the highway heads toward sleepy seaside Kipahulu, where one of the most famous figures of the 20th century is buried: aviator Charles Lindbergh, who owned a vacation home in the town until his death in 1974. His stone-covered grave lies beside Palapala Ho’omau Church within eyesight and earshot of the vast Pacific Ocean. Another mile ahead is Oheo Gulch and the Kipahulu Visitor Center of Haleakala National Park. You can easily spend half a day (or more) stretching your legs on a hike to Waimoku Falls or lounging in the Seven Sacred Pools before continuing to the small, scenic town of Hana. —J.Y. DESERT OASIS Angelenos will be quick to say a trip to Los Angeles isn’t complete without a drive down the coastline, but the desert is the city’s other backyard. Here, road trippers set on an adventurous course through majestic mountains and arid landscape that California is equally famous for, only to end up two hours later in Palm Springs, the state’s most sought-after desert city. From Montage Beverly Hills, take Interstate 110 north for a stop in Pasadena, a beautiful city known for the Tournament of Roses Parade. The iconic Rose Bowl is a historic landmark that’s more than a stomping ground for college football. If timing is right, catch a concert, visit one of several festivals or spend hours at the ever-popular flea market that sells everything from antiques to one-of-kind merchandise. Traverse I-210 to I-10 with the breathtaking backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains, before desert scenery comes alive on the horizon. For an exciting day of shopping, don’t miss Desert Hills Premium Outlets, where you’ll find luxury goods from famous fashion designers like Alexander McQueen, Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg and Helmut Lang. If you’re traveling with children that need a little more excitement, make a visit to the Cabazon Dinosaurs (made famous by “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”) just a mile away. From there, it’s only about 20 minutes to Palm Springs, a midcentury modern city that served as a getaway for old Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra. Stop by Cheeky’s, an institution known for its delicious sandwiches, and continue to Palm Desert for The Living Desert zoo and gardens, home to beautifully landscaped grounds and wildlife from around the world. To round up your road trip, drive right onto state Route 74, known as the Pines to Palms Highway. The road’s nickname is derived from the scenery going west to east, where pine forests transition to the lush oasis of the Coachella Valley Desert. The road zigzags with switchbacks, steep climbs and steady descents through peaks and Palm trees line the route to a desert getaway. Valleys, all offering an adventurous and unforgettable drive with classic, California desert vistas. —J.I. BACK IN TIME For even more Lowcountry splendor during a stay at The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, a Montage Resort, hop in the car, roll the windows down and head to historic Beaufort, S.C. During the easy drive, expect to navigate treelined roads as well as a scenic bridge, which stretches across the wide expanse of the Harbor River. Follow Route 170 east for 22 miles, then take a slight right onto US-21 Business. The road curves right and moves into charming downtown Beaufort. Take a right on Bay Street and a left into the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park to begin exploring the town. Find a seat in a horse-drawn carriage at nearby Southurn Rose Buggy Tours for a scenic ride through the Point, an antebellum neighborhood showcasing elegant mansions tucked between majestic, moss-draped oaks. Expert guides reveal the rich history of Beaufort and the cotton barons who built the city. At midday, stroll over to Plums Restaurant for a bowl of hearty Lowcountry gumbo or a fried catfish po’boy. If the weather is nice, take in dramatic views of the Harbor River from the patio. In a historic town, there’s always an opportunity for treasure hunting, and Beaufort’s retailers are filled with hidden gems. Browse unique art galleries, antique shops, bookstores, boutiques and specialty shops that dot the downtown walking districts. Wander into I. Pinckney Simons Gallery and peruse paintings, sculptures and handcrafted jewelry. Ramble through whimsical gift items and eclectic jewelry in Lulu Burgess. Pore over an array of trending and nostalgic children’s toys, books, games and puzzles at Monkey’s Uncle. Before saying goodbye, find respite on one of the wooden swings that line the river and take in the panorama of marsh islands, waterways and the nearby swing bridge. —A.L.N.
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