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Buckle up and enjoy the ride

There’s something so alluring about jumping in the car and hitting the open road.

Publisher Lori Goodridge-Cribb’s favorite road trip destinations these days are Charlotte and Greenville, where her children and grandchildren live. She goes by “LaLa” in those cities.

What is the most memorable road trip you have taken? For me, it would have to be our summer vacations from Ohio to Hilton Head Island when I was a kid. We would always break up the two-day drive with fun stops along the way, exploring places like Ruby Falls and Rock City, or finding the perfect spot to park our woodie station wagon to take pictures of the mountains. Howard Johnson’s restaurant was always a must-stop for fried clams. 

Like fine wine and good cheese, my memories have only gotten better with age. I’ve blocked out all of the mishaps and inconveniences that came with traveling in the 1960s and ’70s (the wagon overheating, crackling AM radio stations, outdated paper maps, no seat belts, in-car arguments, etc.). Truth be told, our getaways were probably closer to Clark Griswold’s “National Lampoon’s Vacation” than Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” but I wouldn’t change them for anything (though a smartphone would have been nice). 

Now that Covid vaccines are readily available, many like-minded locals can’t wait to get on the road again. We hope this “Road Trips” issue inspires your next great adventure. 

Local rambler Michele Roldán-Shaw is your tour guide for two fantastic heat up/cool down outdoor experiences. Warm up with a pilgrimage to discover the hidden gems of the Sunshine State, or cool down in the hills and hollers of Appalachia. 

If motor home travel is more your speed, RV enthusiast Tim Wood shares 10 must-visit campgrounds across the Southeast. You will also learn more about the amazing RV sites we have here, including the swank new Hilton Head National RV Resort opening this fall. 

For the motorcycle crowd, Sam Lea of Savannah Harley-Davidson shares the most scenic rides you can experience in South Carolina and Georgia. Adventure lovers can kick summer up a notch with Barry Kaufman’s ultimate trips for kayaking, SUPing, surfing, ATVing and climbing. Other highlights include travel suggestions for gardeners, beach lovers and golfers; the hottest road trip gadgets, amazing audio books, road-ready recipes and profiles on locals who live for the feeling of the open road. So pack this issue in your travel bag, get your motor running, and head out on the highway. You are once again free to roam about the country. Safe travels!

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“A bend in the road, is not the end of the road … unless you fail to make the turn.”

– Helen Keller

Old-school road games 

Before tablets or podcasts, car travelers passed the time with a slew of fun games and activities, like sticking an arm out the window to play with the wind. But as your mother probably warned, “it’s all fun and games until a semi takes your arm off at the elbow.” Here are three safer options to help keep you awake and alert after you’ve drained the battery on your device. 

The Alphabet Game: Find all 26 letters of the alphabet on things you pass, in ascending order (from A to Z). Spot letters outside your vehicle (billboards, exit signs, license plates, buildings, etc.). The most difficult letters to find are J, Q, X and Z.

I Spy: Players take turns selecting objects around them, offering clues such as the color of the object or the first letter it starts with. “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with the letter …” Once a guesser has correctly identified the object, they become the Spy for the next round. 

License Plate Game: Guess the state capital for each different license plate you see on the road. Warning: This game can be quite humbling (BTW: Miami, New York City and Philadelphia are not state capitals).