What better way to open up new horizons in your life and in your thinking than to visit new, exciting, and decidedly “different” places. You’d be surprised how enchantingly different some road trip destinations right here in the US can be – some of them seem like something literally straight out of a fairytale.
You can get additional ideas and tips for planning your “Great American Roadtrip” at the other end of this link: The Ultimate Driving Guide, but below, we’ll look at 5 US travel stops that are truly magical places.
5 Amazing Road Trips in the US Straight Out of a Fairytale
1. Washington State’s Hoh Rainforest
Protected by the bounds of Olympic National Park, the Hoh Rainforest is the last best example of a temperate-zone rainforest in the US. With 150 or more inches of precipitation per year, it’s understandable how incredibly green and lush this forest is, but see it firsthand, and you may have trouble believing your own eyes. You can walk the mile-plus Spruce Nature Trail to admire the Sitka spruce and big-leaf maple population, or the mile-long Hall of Mosses to spy the draping, bright green mosses that carpet the forest floor and climb up onto the trees and rocks. If you are looking for amazing road trips, this one is sure to take your breath away!
2. Carmel By The Sea
For a Californian, seaside town that looks and feels more like a European-style village from somewhere long, long ago in a land far, far away, take a road trip out to Carmel by the Sea. The architecture of this town is made to mimic the cottages of olden days, and there are over 40 courtyards and a collection of secret passages to add a dose of mystery to the European charm. You’ll also find Tor House, the home, and brainchild of the celebrated poet Robinson Jeffers, who famously painted the scenic California coast. And the white sand beach nearby will give you a chance to get out and experience that coast firsthand as well! When it comes to amazing road trips, Carmel by the Sea is a popular destination.
3. The Midway Ice Castles
Utah’s little town of Midway, located “midway” between Salt Lake City and Provo in the gorgeous Heber Valley, is home to the Midway Ice Castles during the winter months. Put on your boots, bring your camera, and bring a sled for young kids (not a stroller) before venturing into the immense twenty thousand pound ice castles. Frosty magic will fill the air, and you’ll never forget what you see – fire demonstrations, of all things, are on the repertoire. But the castles aren’t all there is to see. They are located on the grounds of Homestead Resort, where you can enjoy comfortable quarters, delicious cuisine, and evening sleigh rides.
4. Colorado Lantern Fests
In Colorado Springs, each year, there are two luminous events you won’t want to miss: Lantern Fest and Water Lantern Fest. The latter involves the release of floating, lit lanterns on Prospect Lake at Memorial Park. The former lets you take part in filling the sky with glowing paper lanterns at nightfall. Bring a chair, some warm clothes, and a few snacks, while you sit and wait for the magic moment when participants simultaneously release their purchased paper lanterns.
5. Castello di Amorosa
You don’t have to go to Europe to find fairytale-like castles. Some of them are located right here in the US. Arguably chief among them is California’s Castello de Amorosa. Built amid the vineyards of the Napa Valley, Castello di Amorosa was finished in 2007 but was constructed in the style of a Medieval Tuscan castle. The drawbridge, well frescoed “great hall,” and below ground “torture chamber” make the picture complete.
The US has many more “enchanted” destinations than people realize. These amazing road trips could bring you in contact with places you thought existed only on the pages of fairytale books without ever having to step foot on the European continent.
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