Flickr/Alaskan Dude
Flickr/Alaskan Dude
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Short Weekend Road Trips

Southwest

San Antonio to Austin to Fredericksburg, TX
Savor the Best of Texas Hill Country

The Route (158 miles)
From San Antonio, take I-35 North to Austin (about 80 miles); then take US-290 West, all country roads and (hopefully) blue sky, to Fredericksburg. The return drive to San Antonio from Fredericksburg (70 miles) travels amid the grassy, rolling hills of I-87 South and I-10 East. Get the Map

Roadside Attractions
On your way to the heart of Texas Hill Country, stop in Austin for live music, art, food, and wine. In the summertime, take a dip in Barton Springs, a 1,000-foot-long natural, spring-fed pool. Fredericksburg, in the center of the region, is a quiet escape from the rowdy energy of Austin: Stop by any of the numerous vineyards, grab a hearty barbeque dinner, or hike through the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, home to pink granite boulders estimated to be over 1 billion years old. Hill Country is also home to many of the more than 5,000 wildflower varieties that bloom in the spring and summer throughout Texas. Families can participate in a Seed Stomp in September, where they'll scatter wildflower seeds into the fields of LBJ State Park and learn about former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson's love of the outdoors. Or, visit Wildseed Farms, the largest wildflower farm in the United States, to take some seeds back to your own hometown. During the summer, pick your own peaches at one of the many area orchards.

Stay the Night
Rose Hill Manor
, about 25 minutes from downtown Fredericksburg, is a luxurious B&B with sweeping views of Texas Hill Country. Rates from $199 include a full 3-course breakfast each morning ($50 value), refreshments at check-in ($8 value), and a complimentary wine tasting at the adjacent winery ($12 value).

Grace Beehler

Phoenix to Williams, AZ
Rev Up Amid Red Rocks to Route 66 and the Grand Canyon’s Rim

The Route (180 miles)
Start out on I-17 out of Phoenix. A short detour on State Highway 179 through Sedona returns you to I-17 for a short jaunt to I-40 and then the historic Route 66 into Williams. Once there, you'll leave your car behind as you board the Grand Canyon Railway to the United States’ biggest natural wonder. Get the Map

Roadside Attractions
The town of Arcosanti is just 66 miles from Phoenix, but it looks like another world. An experimental community that began in the 1970s, Arcosanti was created to explore how living conditions could evolve without negatively impacting the environment. Depart that city of the future and go back in time at Montezuma Castle National Monument. Here you'll find cliff dwellings that date back to 1125 AD and were once home to the Sinagua people (not Montezuma’s Aztecs, as the name incorrectly suggests). Continue on to Sedona, where you can leave the highways behind and take an off-road Pink Jeep Tour through the desert. Hit the road again to drive the final 90 miles to Williams. Hop on the Grand Canyon Railway and you’ll find yourself at the national park in just over two hours.

Stay the Night
The Red Garter in Williams is a B&B in a restored bordello. The red lights might have been replaced, but you’ll still enjoy a taste of the Old West. You'll save $20 if you book within 72 hours of your stay. Rates from $135/night

Mike Barish

St. George, UT to Zion National Park
Step Back in Time to the Old West Before Sidewinding Through Zion

The Route (67 miles)
The visually stunning road trip through "Utah’s Dixie" takes you from St. George through Zion National Park and then turns you back to Springdale, Utah. Take I-15 to UT-9. Don't worry about getting lost, as you won't hit too many intersections along the way. Get the Map

Roadside Attractions
St. George's municipal airport offers direct service from Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, making southern Utah more accessible than ever before. Virgin, Utah is just 27 miles from St. George and is home to a replica Old West town. Pick up some jerky for your trip, enjoy a few scoops of ice cream, and feed llamas in the petting zoo. You'll quickly find yourself in Springdale, Utah and Zion National Park, so keep your eyes peeled for the ostrich farm along the way. Zion features some of the world's most gorgeous terrain for hiking, mountain biking, and 4x4 tours, which you can arrange at Zion Adventure Company. Drive through the park so that you can enjoy the views from the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. Built in the late 1920s, the tunnel features cut-outs that allow you to see vistas of red canyon walls. From there, double back to Springdale for barbecue at Wildcat Willies.

Stay the Night
Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens
offers a wide array of rooms, exquisite gardens, and a heated pool with views of the cliffs. Stock your room with snacks at nearby Sol Foods or enjoy any of the restaurants within walking distance of the Cliffrose. Rates from $159/night.

Mike Barish

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