The desire to set out on the open road–that indelible spirit of wanderlust–has always had its roots in North America – the wide expanse of land practically invites one to explore its winding roads, hills, valleys, and mountains. With international travel briefly on pause, would-be travellers are vying for the opportunity to spread their legs and explore the open roads; road trips not only provide a great way to travel while social distancing, but also allow travellers to connect with their own home and experience some of the most iconic sights that Canada and the US have to offer.
Pacific Rim Highway, British Columbia
This particular stretch of road along Vancouver Island is approximately 127 kilometres long, connecting Port Alberni with Tofino, and is one of Canada’s most stunning highways. The highway is dotted with beaches where travellers can relax on driftwood scattered nearby and look out into the blue water and coniferous mountains looming in the distance. Linked to a variety of towns (from Qualicum Beach to Port Alberni to Sproat Lake), road trippers can roam from town to town, collecting mementos from antique shops in Coombs or exploring tidal sand flats in Parksville, completely immersed in the beauty of British Columbia’s coastline.
Alberta Icefields Parkway, Alberta
The Icefields Parkway connects Lake Louise with Jasper, Alberta and was recently voted one of the top drives in the world by Condé Nast Traveller. This awe-inspiring drive will leave road trippers breathless at the sight of the glaciers and looming mountains of Jasper and Banff National Parks. Beginning at Lake Louise, which is well known for its turquoise waters, the drive is lined with more than a hundred ancient glaciers and waterfalls. Expect some of Alberta’s most scenic hiking trails and other incredible experiences, such as the Glacier Sky Walk, where travellers can walk across a glass-floored observation platform 280 metres (918 feet) over the Sunwapta Valley.
Irish Loop, Newfoundland and Labrador
On the other side of the vast Canadian landscape, the Irish Loop and Cape Shore routes take you from St. John’s to Trepassey, Cape St. Mary’s, and Placentia. This coastline drive affords travellers the opportunity for whale watching, bird watching, and also iceberg viewing; the fresh air and scenic views will have you living in the moment. Passing through some of Newfoundland’s quaintest towns on this coastal trail, feel free to stop by some of the local attractions, such as Ferryland’s famous lighthouse, where travellers can enjoy a delicious picnic and fresh lemonade.
Route 66: St. Louis to Amarillo, Texas
This iconic American 2,200-mile long route runs from Chicago to California, immortalized in songs and poems throughout the decades, and has a particularly gorgeous drive from St. Louise to the winding edges of Texas. This trip is particularly well known for the 4.6-mile long cave system called the Meramec Caverns in Stanton, where travellers can gaze upon its complex mineral formations; keep an eye out for the ever-present stalagmites and stalactites erupting from both up and down in the caves, giving the impression that you’ve become lost in an ethereal world.
Mississippi’s Great River Road
Set out on a journey following America’s longest river through ten states (Minnesota to Louisiana) and explore all of the neighbouring towns and big cities that flank the Great River Road. This trip, ranging anywhere from 4 to 10 days, passes through hundreds of scenic river towns and iconic American experiences; along this road, travellers can find some of the most quintessential American cuisine and music that flourished in these communities built by the river. From a brief stop in Hannibal, Missouri, the hometown of one of the USA’s most beloved authors, Mark Twain, to taking in a jazz show in New Orleans’ French Quarter, this trip will leave your travellers with an unforgettable experience of American culture.
Anchorage to Valdez, Alaska
Though this road trip only clocks in at 300 miles, connecting the Glenn and Richardson highways, it passes by some of Alaska’s most iconic sights and landmarks, including the Matanuska Glacier Scenic Turnout, the Eklutna Village, and the Thunderbird Falls Trail – and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. This drive passes some truly jaw dropping mountain ranges, glaciers, and trails that will leave travellers breathless at the wonders of the Alaskan landscape.
Curious about how Umapped can take your road trip to the next level?
If you haven’t already signed up for our upcoming Beyond the Basics webinar on building road trips in the Trip Publisher, be sure to claim your spot here. Our team will be talking all about adding maps and directions, using the Mobile App, and optimizing transportation segments for your travellers needs. If you’re sending your travellers on a road trip this fall, you won’t want to miss this one!
Want to learn more about how to serve your clients during this period? Schedule a 1-on-1 with a member of our Customer Success team where you can ask questions, voice your feedback, and get some useful tips for the Trip Publisher!