Affordable Travel Guide to Highways & Byways

Like Life Itself, Half the Fun is Getting There

Highways & Byways

Did you get your kicks on Route 66? That’s the point. It’s a route, not a destination. A part of travel that embraces the journey, not the “are we there yet?” endless drone. It’s about the process, not the destination, and for this most part, that means car travel. Highways and byways are traveled without much forethought as means to get to point B from point A, but there’s much more to it for many of us. A road trip sends up a grand “yay!” from everyone who loves the journey as much as the destination. A metaphor for life, perhaps…a wonderful vacation

At Affordable Travel, we are lucky to have some pretty amazing highways and byways in our neck of the woods. In fact, the entire province of Nova Scotia, Canada, where we live and work, is divided into a system of secondary highways, known as “trails”. Our office is just a few yards off the Evangeline Trail, and we’ve written about it on this website. There’s also the Glooscap Trail, where you can visit Burntcoat Head, the exact point of the highest and lowest tides on earth. And the Cabot Trail, arguably one of the best-known driving tours in the world, in Cape Breton. You can read about the terrific Top Ten Driving Trails in Nova Scotia right here!

Anyone who has ever visited northern California knows about Highway One. It skirts the coastline, high above the Pacific Ocean in most stretches, and provides and endless supply of gasps; the beauty it passes through is simply outstanding. It starts in the north around inland Leggett, where it angles out to the coast, and follows southward through Fort Bragg, Mendocino, Anchor Bay, Bodego Bay and then on into San Francisco. Picking up just outside San Francisco, it winds around Monterey (home of the incomparable Monterey Plaza Hotel), and down to Big Sur, one of the most dramatic ocean-side sights on the planet, and continues southbound until it peters out just north of Santa Barbara. It’s a stunning ride.

And if you take that spectacular route, why not switch over to the Santa Barbara Loop. It’s a continuation and yet a different world, a perfect adjunct if you have the time and you still have any breath left!

While driving is almost a leisure pastime in North America, Europeans tend to take their trains more seriously. Still, there are hundreds of amazing road trips to be had through parts of the European Union. A drive through the French wine regions of Bordeaux and Champagne will take you back in time and inspire you to take up a brush and paints! Ditto the gorgeous Amalfi Coast of Italy; prepare to fall in “amore”! There are driving routes throughout the United Kingdom that take you by rolling countryside, fierce old mountains, Celtic ruins, castles and places where there just must be resident fairies, judging by the tiny houses.

There are equally fascinating routes through parts of the Caribbean and through Mexico. So hop in, buckle up and let’s explore the highways and byways — a mobile kind of vacation — of the world.

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