When I first started working for Backroads, I remember flipping through catalogs, stunned by the photographs of the places we visit. And I remember my eyes lingering a little longer on the page for the Santa Fe & Taos Biking Tour, drawn in by the warm colors of the adobe. So when a friend encouraged me to visit her in New Mexico, I jumped at the chance to explore the Southwest.
Backroads Family Adventures are fun, stimulating trips designed to captivate the whole gang. Whether you're biking to castles or spotting wildlife from a kayak, you'll connect with your kids and do things they enjoy in an environment that positively transforms family interaction. Each itinerary balances quality time together and apart, with opportunities for everyone to take a break and recharge--something that's virtually impossible to achieve when you vacation on your own.
After more than 30 years of running trips in Hawaii, backed by a team of highly experienced Trip Leaders and an amazing network of local experts, we're just going to say it: you won't find a more thoroughly researched, carefully designed and seamlessly executed trip on the Big Island - or any of the islands.
My love affair with the national parks began when I was 9 years old. I learned at that young age that the best family memories are the ones where we shared an adventure, where we set off and explored something new and exciting together. Those are the memories of my childhood and of my parents that I still carry with me today.
At Backroads we're lucky to admire the world from a wide range of elevations. I've surveyed the Backroads Trip Leader community and reflected on my own hiking memories to pick seven of the most breathtaking hikes in the United States. Each of these trails offers that "pinch me" scenery and an unforgettable challenge. Plan one a year or one a month! But don't go without seeing these iconic vistas.
Bend lies in the shadow of the Cascade Mountain Range and sits on the edge of the Deschutes River. She's quaint. She has a huge food scene, roasts amazing coffee, brews delicious beer, hosts live music on the river every week, and offers incredible hiking, biking and fly fishing within inches of her city center.
It is easy to express the beauty of Alaska in words but seemingly difficult to articulate the impression this place leaves on the soul. Some say, once you visit Alaska you will never be the same. Not always such a dramatic life change but often times a subtle shift. It is the encounter with the wild that often times brings you closer to your true self.
After spending four years living abroad, I came home wanting to rediscover the American West with a new fervor and appreciation. Somewhere along the way, I heard you could take a train from the San Francisco Bay Area to Seattle: an overnight, day-long, 22-hour journey past mountains, woodlands, lakes, rivers, cities and small towns.
The National Park Service was established to preserve these incredible scenes—and many others—in nature and history that otherwise would likely have had a finite existence in America. There are currently only 58 national parks but a total of 409 protected areas that cover more than 84 million acres in the United States and its territories. One of the most important things we can do to help protect these areas is to visit them and to share our experiences with others. We’re happy to celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service and hope to honor many more in the future.
The perfect cycling combination awaits in the rolling desert hills near St. George, Utah: a butt-kicking workout on the way up followed by an adrenaline-pumping downhill race. When I first rode up Snow Canyon last summer, it was a real "sufferfest." Finally I crested that last sweaty hill, pushing my poor legs harder than they had any right to be pushed, filling my lungs with hot desert air... then I looked around. Miles of pristine Navajo sandstone stretched out before me, carved into towering walls of red and white striations. I felt like I was on Mars, and I was hooked.