By Pegah Memarpour, freelance columnist for Pardon Applications of Canada
As the summer season hits, many Canadian travellers are looking for different and exciting ways to spend their holidays.
Although exploring our neighbours to the south is a common travel venture for many Canadians, the number of travellers heading across the border by vehicle has dropped over the last year. In January, Canada Border Services found a 12.5 percent drop in Canadians crossing over to the U.S. via the busiest land crossing – The Douglas Peace Arch Border from B.C. through to Washington – since last year.
While travel to the United States overall is on the rise, many Canadians have opted for air travel. However, here are some road trips to inspire Canadians to drive across the U.S. this summer.
Border to Border
Starting out in British Columbia at the Rossville/Grasmere border and taking route 93 all the way down to Arizona. The scenic route starts in the heart of the Rockies and passes through Montana, Idaho, and Nevada, finally ending at the Arizona/Mexican Border in between the Sonoran Desert. The two distinctive halves of this trip is filled with a range of breathtaking mountain tops, icy valleys, majestic rivers, and beautiful deserts all along the same highway.
North to South
The approximately 2000 km trek, or day worth of driving, from the Greater Toronto Area, down south to Florida is a trip many Canadians choose to make during the holidays. The scenic route that cuts across 4 interstate highways, as well as Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia is filled with mountains, beautiful country-sides, and many places to eat and rest. Although many opt to stay at hotels and inns along the way, making it a two or three day travel venture, some choose to do the trip in a day. Since Americans now have Tim Hortons, the drive down the Disney World in a day doesn’t seem so hard.
The Florida Keys
Once you have ventured into Florida the stunning two lane overseas highway is a must sea road trip for all. Connecting Miami to the Key West, this 113 mile US-1 highway goes right over the ocean with 42 overseas bridges connected to the islands. With the Atlantic on one side, and the Florida Bay on the other, the sight simply gets more beautiful as you drive down to the tropical islands. As you drive this historical trail, which was built in 1912 for the Florida East Coast Railroad, the water gets bluer, the sand whiter, and the islands smaller and more exotic. With nightly celebrations, snorkeling, fishing and Ernest Hemmingway’s home and Museum, this road trip would have something for every member of the family.
Virginia Skyline Drive
The ride along the ridgeline of a mountain range is awe inspiring, and the Virginia Skyline Drive is the only one of its kind in North America. This historical and national scenic byway, built in the 1930s as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s Depression-era New Deal, has 169 kilometers of breathtaking twists and turns. With a beautiful view of a mountain top skyline atop the Blue Ridge Mountains – a part of Shenandoah Valley – and exposed summit rocks that are a billion years old, this historical site is any road-trippers dream.
West to East
Beginning in the heart of Washington and riding along the US-2 all the way down to Maine, is the longest and a genuinely stunning coast-to-coast road trip. Starting from the west in Seattle, and taking the US-2, which runs across the beautiful volcanic Cascade Range Mountains, to finally reaching the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of Maine. Passing through approximately 9 states, it would be the equivalent of driving from BC all the way over to New Brunswick.
Although the U.S. has an extraordinary amount of scenic routes and historical landmarks, these 5 road trip adventures is a must see for any Canadian looking to travel over and visit our southern neighbours.
Pegah Memarpour is a freelance columnist for Pardon Applications of Canada, the nationwide processing firm for Canadian Pardon (Record Suspension) & U.S. Entry Waiver applications. The opinions expressed are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Pardon Applications of Canada. For a list of statistical references used in this article, or more information on Pardon Applications of Canada, call 866-383-9744 or email: [email protected]