Highway 1, California: Morro Bay to Carmel
This twisting, dipping and curving highway is one of the most famous and scenic roads in the world, a mecca for car and motorcycle enthusiasts alike. With the surf of the Paciﬁc Ocean always crashing a melodic background, Highway 1’s popularity is also its greatest curse: Trafﬁc during weekends and summer can strangle any free-ﬂowing pace you may have enjoyed otherwise. But the further away from major centres you are, the better. Case in point: The stretch from Morro Bay to Carmel that’s north of Los Angeles but well south of San Francisco, through the Big Sur area, is one of those drives that every couple has to take.
The Canadian Rockies: Banff-Lake Louise-Jasper, Alberta
The mountain air is almost as welcoming as the spectacular alpine scenery in western Alberta, with Banff a worthy two-hour drive west of Calgary. Once you arrive, the town is alive with tourist-friendly shops, restaurants and attractions that pay homage to nature and the Old West. Then it’s an hour or so drive northwest to Lake Louise, with the majestic Canadian Rockies as your backdrop, snow and ice lining its upper reaches even in the middle of summer. Keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep on the mountain ledges, and caribou by or on the road, especially between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Lake Louise has the largest ski area in the country, with 4,200 skiable acres on four mountains, and year-round hot springs for non-skiers. Be sure to share a drink in the understated Lakeview Lounge of the famed Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The really adventurous will continue on the Iceﬁelds Parkway four hours north to Jasper and eye the blue ice glaciers that remain from the last ice age, which helped shape this rugged alpine landscape.
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