Untraditional Road Trips

Here’s some alternative “road trips” that you might not have thought about taking...

Train Ride
With rising airfares and increased annoyances at the airports, along with record-high gas prices, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at a form of travel that’s completely off the radar for most Americans. We’re talking train travel! Travel by train consumes 18 percent less energy per passenger mile than flying and 17 percent less than driving.

Amtrak has tons of deals online every week…

You can ride from New York City up to Montreal, from Chicago to California, or even from Seattle to Los Angeles, where amenities include local wine tasting and a movie theater car!

Kayaking
Instead of driving, why not take to the seas? There are several companies on the web that do this sort of thing, all over the states:

Marathon Kayak in the Florida Keys- they have all sorts of tours and equipment available to its customers. You can do a few hours, or a few days with your friends – it’s a great way to see that part of the country.

Add up 32,000 miles of lakes and streams, 5,500 miles of coastline, and hundreds of lakes and ponds, and you begin to see why so many canoes, kayaks, and rafts are strapped to the roofs of Maine cars. A sea kayak is the perfect way to explore Casco Bay and the islands off the coast of Portland; take a guided tour with Maine Island Kayak Company.

Bicycling
The Motorcycle Diaries is a book that traces the early travels of Marxist revolutionary hero 'Che' Guevara on his journey of 8,000 miles across South America on an old motorcycle. One of our editors traced much of Che’s tour on a mountain bike a few years ago- we realize that’s quite ambitious for a lot of people, so here are some places closer to home:

Nantucket: Low-lying and just 14 miles long and 3.5 miles wide, Nantucket is easily toured by bicycle. Of the island's seven clearly marked trails, the best is the 5.5-mile Madaket Bike Path, which heads west from the Nantucket Town rotary toward Madaket Beach, a prime place to watch the sunset. Eight-mile Polpis Bike Path heads east from the rotary toward the bluffs of Siasconset and Sankaty Head Light. Bicycle rentals are readily available in town and at the airport. Young's Bicycle Shop near the Steamship Authority ferry terminal has great free maps of the island's tangled streets and extensive bike routes.

LA/Santa Monica: Mountain-biking trails run through the Santa Monica Mountains from Griffith Park to the Pacific. On any given day, you'll see purple-faced actors with washboard abs pumping furiously up canyons as if starring roles were being handed out on the peaks.

Bicycling.com has a great website with featured rides that are updated frequently, but you can also type in any area into their “Find a Ride” section and it pulls up a list of trails in that area with photos, degree of difficulty, length etc…it’s a great site.

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