Sri Lanka Road Trip

Take a road trip to explore the wonders of Sri Lanka, including Tsunami Honganji Vihara, sea turtles, Yala National Park, elephants and Royal Rock Temple.

Photos

The Pacific Coast Highway winds along the dramatic Northern California coastline. 960 1280

  

The craggy cliffs of Big Sur provide breathtaking photo opportunities. 960 1280

  

Plan a rest stop in the laid-back town of Pismo Beach. 960 1280

  

It's hard not to succumb to a fairytale fantasy driving through this misty valley near San Luis Obispo. 960 1280

  

The Santa Barbara Mission is a must-see for road-trippers driving the PCH. 960 1280

  

Pay a visit to the town of Solvang, a perfect representation of a Danish village. 960 1280

  

Gasp-worthy vistas lurk around every bend in the Pacific Coast Highway. 960 1280

  

Leave all fear of heights at home as you cross Bixby Bridge. 960 1280

  

Waves crash around the rocky shoreline along the highway. 960 1280

  

Spend time wandering the scenic beachfront in Carmel by the Sea. 960 1280

  

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle

Once the home of William Randolph Hearst, the Hearst Castle is one of the largest historic house museums in the US. It offers several tours which cover the estate's grand rooms, upstairs suites, cottages and kitchens. 960 1280

Jim G, flickr  

Oregon Dunes

Oregon Dunes

Stretching south from Florence, OR, to Coos Bay, 40 miles of Oregon's coast is home to the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area. Sand dunes, hundreds of feet high, provide a habitat for wildlife. Visitors can hike, take pictures and drive off-road vehicles. 960 1280

John Fowler via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0  

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Cape Blanco Lighthouse was built on 47.7 acres of land in 1870. It holds 4 unique records: It's the oldest continuously operating light, it's the most westerly, it has the highest focal plane above the sea (256 feet) and it had Oregon's first woman keeper, Mabel E. Bretherton. Today the lighthouse is all automated with a motor to rotate it, plus a special light that flashes every 18.2 seconds. 960 1280

Clinton Steeds via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0  

Stearns Warf

Stearns Warf

Stearns Wharf was built in 1872 to serve ships. It eventually became a naval installation. Today the wharf is one of the largest attractions in Santa Barbara with shops and restaurants that bring more than 5 million annual visitors. 960 1280

Lars Aronsson, Wikimedia commons  

Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay is a bay of the Pacific Ocean, on the coast of California. The area is home to many marine animals, including sea otters, harbor seals and bottlenose dolphins. It is also the breeding site for elephant seals. 960 1280

Adam Baker, flickr  

Morro Bay State Park

Morro Bay State Park

Morro Bay State Park features a lagoon and natural bay habitat. It includes a museum, marina and golf course. The park has opportunities for sailing, fishing, hiking and bird watching, especially in the marsh area. 960 1280

Mike Baird, flickr  

Cape Perpetua

Cape Perpetua

Cape Perpetua is located in Oregon on US Route 101. At its highest point, the bluff rises more than 800 feet above sea level. Camping, picnicking, hiking and whale watching are all big activities within the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. 960 1280

Amy Selleck, flickr  

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park has more than a million acres to explore, and includes 3 different ecosystems. You'll find Pacific Ocean beaches, rainforest valleys and glacier-capped peaks. The park is home to a variety of plants and animals. 960 1280

Frank Kovalchek via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0  

Margo Dodd Park

Margo Dodd Park

This ocean-bluff park includes a gazebo, a grassy recreation area and a large tide pool where you can snorkel. The park overlooks the ocean, and you can see lots of birds and marine life. 960 1280

Teri Vogel, flickr  

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park is home to the world's tallest trees, as well as wildlife such as bears and eagles. The park also includes 40 miles of wild coastline where animals such as sea lions, osprey and pelicans live. 960 1280

ilya_ktsn via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0  

Highway 29

Highway 29

Take California State Route 29 to see some of the region’s best vineyards and wineries. Through Napa Valley, Highway 29 passes through Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Yountville and Napa. 960 1280
Silverado Trail

Silverado Trail

Hit the road early to capture the serene vineyards along the Silverado Trail, a scenic route along the eastern edge of Napa Valley. Most locals suggest taking this route to avoid traffic on California State Route 29, which runs parallel to the Trail. 960 1280

seligmanwaite, Flickr  

Wine Country

Wine Country

Northern California's wine country beckons visitors with hundreds of wineries spread across 3 counties. 960 1280

By John Morgan [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa Winery is located near Calistoga, CA. The 121,000-square-foot medieval replica castle includes 107 rooms and 8 levels above and below ground. Among its many features, it has a moat, drawbridge, defensive towers, interior courtyard, chapel, torture chamber and a great hall. Visitors to the vineyard can sample the wines sold at the castle. 960 1280

Jim G., Flickr  

Cabernet

Cabernet

Northern California's climate is ideal for growing grapes like these ripe ones used to make a fine cabernet. 960 1280

By Jakob federer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Beringer Rhine House

Beringer Rhine House

Make a stop at the Beringer Rhine House -- Napa Valley’s oldest continuously operating winery. Enjoy the award-winning wines, rich history and beautifully landscaped grounds. 960 1280

Chuck O'Rear  

California Wine

California Wine

The best way to appreciate Northern California's wine country is to sample the goods along the way. 960 1280

By Brian Solis [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Old Faithful Geyser of California

Old Faithful Geyser of California

While you’re on your road trip, we suggestion stopping by the Old Faithful Geyser of California, located in Calistoga, CA. It’s just one of many roadside attractions you’ll see along the way. 960 1280

Kunal Mukherjee, flickr  

Picturesque Vineyards

Picturesque Vineyards

Bring along a camera for photo opportunities in the acres of rolling vineyards in Napa and Sonoma. 960 1280

By Rennett Stowe from USA (Napa Valley Vineyard) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Staglin Family Vineyard

Staglin Family Vineyard

The Staglin Family Vineyard, a family-owned Napa Valley winery in Rutherford, CA, produces a variety of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sangiovese and a Bordeaux-style blend. Take a guided tour of the winery, and then at the end of the tour, experience an intimate tasting of Cabernet Sauvignons produced on the estate. 960 1280

Kopol Bonick Studio  

Wine Production

Wine Production

These terraced vineyards in Sonoma rely on biodynamic agricultural techniques to produce local wine. 960 1280
Oxbow Public Market

Oxbow Public Market

Go local! Visit the Oxbow Public Market in Napa Valley to sample the local community’s best, including fresh food, wine and cheese. Take Highway 29 to the city of Napa; take the 1st Street Exit (bear right to head east); and look for signs marked ‘Oxbow Public Market’. 960 1280

Oxbow Public Market  

Merlot

Merlot

Pre-veraison, these grapes will be used to make Merlot once they ripen. 960 1280

By David Huang (Flickr: Merlot) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Sterling Vineyard

Sterling Vineyard

Several vineyards, including the Sterling Vineyard (pictured) in Calistoga, CA, are fun getaways for tourists.  See picturesque views from their aerial tram. Guests can also travel the grounds by foot. And with a glass of wine in hand, stroll through art galleries and elevated walkways that allow visitors to see the winemaking process from grape to glass. 960 1280

Jim G., Flickr  

Years of Preparation

Years of Preparation

These vines in Sonoma have been used for growing grapes for nearly 90 years. 960 1280

By dynamosquito (Flickr: Ceps) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Di Rosa Preserve

Di Rosa Preserve

While you’re on the road, we suggest you visit the Di Rosa Preserve, a 35-acre lake and wildlife. The area is not only rich in an array of flora, fauna and wildlife, but it’s also the canvas to display a broad range of art created by Bay Area artists. Art aficionados can walk the grounds to see art work in the Main Gallery, Gatehouse Gallery, Historic Residence, Courtyard, North Lawn and Sculpture Meadow.  It’s an art lover’s paradise. 960 1280

collectmoments, Flickr  

The Grapes

The Grapes

These grapes may become a bottle of your favorite California wine, but you'll have to wait a few years to try it. 960 1280

By Tomás Castelazo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons  

Downtown Napa

Downtown Napa

If wine tasting and tours isn’t you’re thing, then make a pit stop in Downtown Napa. The area has dozens of shops, dessert cafes, bars, restaurants and spas. Hotels and B&Bs are available in the area. It’s a perfect home-base location for visitors to explore nearby vineyards and mix with the locals. 960 1280

Napa Downtown Association  

Mud Bath

Mud Bath

Unwind and relax with a mud bath at one of several spas located in Napa Valley, including Meadowood, Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs, Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa, Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, Indian Springs Resort and Roman Spa Motel. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Northeast: Vermont

Northeast: Vermont

"When I lived in Vermont, hundreds would come and ride the scenic train every fall." – Michele F. 960 1280

By chensiyuan (chensiyuan) [GFDL  

Northeast: New Hampshire

Northeast: New Hampshire

"White Mountains in New Hampshire – Kencamagus Highway is gorgeous!" – Stephanie C. 960 1280

By Miles Scanlon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Northeast: Maine

Northeast: Maine

"Acadia National Park in Maine, of course!" – Darcy G. 960 1280

Jeff Gunn  

Northeast: New Jersey

Northeast: New Jersey

"Sculpture garden, Hamilton, N.J." – Jay P. 960 1280
Northeast: New York

Northeast: New York

"Thatcher State Park near Albany, N.Y.!" – Kelly B. 960 1280

Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images  

South: Tennessee

South: Tennessee

"Gatlinburg is absolutely beautiful! Can't beat the Smoky Mountains in the fall!!" – Amanda M. 960 1280

Chris Murray/Aurora/Getty Images  

South: Arkansas

South: Arkansas

"The Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. Very beautiful scenic beauty there also." – Matthew G. 960 1280

By Doug Wertman (Flickr: Overlooking The Buffalo River) [CC BY 2.0]  

Midwest: Ohio

Midwest: Ohio

"The covered bridges in Ashtabula County, Ohio." – Marilue B. 960 1280

By IntuneDan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0]  

Midwest: Minnesota

Midwest: Minnesota

"Northern Minnesota: the Iron Range or North Shore of Lake Superior. GORGEOUS!" – Ted G. 960 1280

By kkmarais [CC BY 2.0]  

Midwest: Illinois

Midwest: Illinois

"Galena, Illinois." – Seung K.

Whether you're window shopping on Main Street or watching the fall foliage creep over the countryside, it's small town Americana at its best.

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Bob Hallam/Getty Images  

Midwest: Wisconsin

Midwest: Wisconsin

"Door County in Wisconsin" – Kathy K.

Where brisk weather, vibrant forests and delicious farmers markets and orchards makes sure it feels, looks and tastes like fall.

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By Leif and Evonne [CC BY 2.0]  

Midwest: Michigan

Midwest: Michigan

"The upper peninsula of Pure Michigan! Copper Harbor and Tahquamenon Falls." – Michelle M. 960 1280

Danita Delimont, Getty Images  

Midwest: Indiana

Midwest: Indiana

"Indiana near the beautiful covered bridges". – L. Morrison 960 1280

By Cszmurlo [GFDL or CC BY 3.0]  

Midwest: Colorado

Midwest: Colorado

"I live in Colorado and a lot of local peeps go up on the Grand Mesa around color Sunday. All of the aspens, brush and other trees are very beautiful." – Shelli P. 960 1280
West: Idaho

West: Idaho

"McCall, Idaho!" – Alexis D.

Nowhere are the bursts of red and yellow more bright than beneath the aptly named Rainbow Bridge over the Payette River just two hours north of Boise.

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West: Washington

West: Washington

"Seattle, Washington"  – Sarah K.

You don’t have to go far to see Autumnal hues, picnic and play in fallen leaves at Woodland Park (just south of the zoo) or stroll along nearby Bellevue Botanical Garden’s Lost Meadow loop.

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Mid-Atlantic: North Carolina

Mid-Atlantic: North Carolina

"Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina." – David R. 960 1280
Mid-Atlantic: West Virginia

Mid-Atlantic: West Virginia

"Highland Scenic Highway, Pocahontas County, W.V."– Carol S. 960 1280

By Squashpup [GFDL  

Mid-Atlantic: Virginia

Mid-Atlantic: Virginia

"Charlottesville, Virginia (or better yet, at a nearby vineyard)." – Brian P. 960 1280
Mid-Atlantic: Pennsylvania

Mid-Atlantic: Pennsylvania

"Bucks County, Pennsylvania!" – Jeff H.

Embark on a tour of Bucks County’s charming covered bridges (there are 12 in all) or getting a bird’s-eye view of the countryside with the U.S. Hot Air Balloon team!

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