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September 2011

September 30, 2011

Where to Find the Best Fall Foliage

Exploring the Shades of Fall

by Suzanne Carmel

When the summer travel season ends and throngs of tourists head back home to work and school, the fall season brings cool, crisp weather, vibrant colors and an easy pace in which to explore the landscape. As autumn leaves change color, hikers, bikers and road trippers come outdoors to welcome the new season.

There are many wonderful places across the United States where September and October usher in shades of red, yellow and orange; magically transforming vistas already breathtakingly beautiful. During fall, every twist on a path or road brings a new surprise, as the possibilities in these five states illustrate.

Photo ©Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

Massachusetts

The best time to experience fall in this East Coast state is from the middle of September to the end of October. State foresters issue fall foliage reports in the morning three times a week so you're sure to have the inside scoop on where to see the best hues. The state tourist office offers tips such as visiting mid week or exploring back roads to enjoy the season leisurely. Locals and visitors alike enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing — even tramping through a pumpkin patch to find the perfect one.

Consider driving down roads in Cape Cod, the Berkshires, and on the Mohawk Trail — one of the most traveled fall foliage routes. Historic small villages, bucolic farms, seaside towns and rolling countryside are all awaiting your visit.

Full story

September 29, 2011

Where to Find the Best Fall Foliage

Exploring the Shades of Fall

by Suzanne Carmel

When the summer travel season ends and throngs of tourists head back home to work and school, the fall season brings cool, crisp weather, vibrant colors and an easy pace in which to explore the landscape. As autumn leaves change color, hikers, bikers and road trippers come outdoors to welcome the new season.

There are many wonderful places across the United States where September and October usher in shades of red, yellow and orange; magically transforming vistas already breathtakingly beautiful. During fall, every twist on a path or road brings a new surprise, as the possibilities in these five states illustrate.

Photo ©Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

Massachusetts

The best time to experience fall in this East Coast state is from the middle of September to the end of October. State foresters issue fall foliage reports in the morning three times a week so you're sure to have the inside scoop on where to see the best hues. The state tourist office offers tips such as visiting mid week or exploring back roads to enjoy the season leisurely. Locals and visitors alike enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing — even tramping through a pumpkin patch to find the perfect one.

Consider driving down roads in Cape Cod, the Berkshires, and on the Mohawk Trail — one of the most traveled fall foliage routes. Historic small villages, bucolic farms, seaside towns and rolling countryside are all awaiting your visit.

Full story

September 28, 2011

2012 Honda Civic Sedan Road Test Review

2012 Honda Civic Sedan Road Test Review by Bob Plunkett

By Bob Plunkett

On a trek around Virginia's Piedmont Plateau, we play a numbers game with freeways running out from Richmond -- south on the I-95, northwest on the 288 loop, west on I-64 -- all the while checking other numbers which register as driver impressions while steering a new rendition of Honda's small car stable: the 2012 Civic.

A four-door notchback sedan is one of three variations for the new treatment of Civic, which amounts to the ninth generation of designs for this best-selling series.

In the course of a full day, we check out four trim variations of this latest Civic sedan on freeways and back roads expanding out from metro Richmond and discover in the process that this champ of the small cars exhibits nimble road manners, comfortable accommodations and downright thrifty fuel economy scores. Full review

September 27, 2011

Best Family Cars for 2011

U.S. News Names Best Family Cars for 2011

Best Family Cars for 2011 Awards

The awards identify cars that keep families safe, comfortable, on budget and happy. This year, the average American will spend almost two weeks in their car. In the right car, those two weeks can be time well-spent. In the wrong car, they can be downright miserable, especially for families. 

“Given all the time today’s families spend on the road, the family car is the new family room,” says Jamie Page Deaton, managing editor for U.S. News Best Cars. “Finding a car that’s safe, affordable and capable of keeping the whole family happy is a tall order. The Best Cars for Families Awards make it easy for families to find the right car for them, no matter their lifestyle.”

Buying a family car is a huge decision for your readers and the U.S. News Best Cars for Families Awards make choosing the right car easier. The full list of winners is below. Full List of Winners

September 26, 2011

Take Time for Yourself with a Dude - At a Dude Ranch

Best Guest Ranch Vacations for Women

A Directory to the Finest Dude Ranches for Women by Patti Schmidt

The Homestead Ranch
Matfield Green, Kansas
Prairie Women Adventures and Retreat
[read our story about The Homestead Ranch]

The Homestead Ranch is a 4,000-acre working cattle ranch in the Kansas Flint Hills. Wildlife is abundant and Native American arrowheads and tools still crop up in pastures and creekbeds after spring rains. Owner Jane Koger, a fourth-generation rancher, and her mostly women ranch crews have been handling things for 20 years. William Least Heat Moon wrote about Jane and the others in Chase County in his book PrairyErth, the American Library Association's Best Work of Nonfiction for 1991. The county is the geographical center of the U.S.

Programs: Prairie Women Adventures and Retreat offers several programs: two three-day Prairie Ecology programs, which focus on the ecology and use of native prairie plants and four horseback riding programs, for those who want "just a little more time with the horses"; one branding vacation, where guests will help inoculate, brand, and band (turn bull calves into steers) them; and one pasture-burning program each spring. Program manager Ginifer Maceau stressed that this ranch does things "the preferred Humane Society way; for example, we freeze brand rather than hot-iron brand." She believes women are a lot more comfortable with that.

Amenities: Guests reside in a modern bunkhouse: up to two in the one private bedroom; the other 10 guests sleep dormitory style in the bunkhouse, which is heated, air-conditioned, and includes a hot tub on the deck. All meals are provided; the afternoon I spoke with Maceau, they were having teriyaki beef kabobs, rice pilaf, salad, fresh bread and lemonade pie with strawberries.

For more information: contact Prairie Women Adventures and Retreat / The Homestead Ranch Guest Programs at (620) 753-3416.
Website: http://www.guestranches.com/homestead
Email: ginifer@wheatstate.com

Wilderness Trails Dude Ranch
Durango, Colo.
Women's Week

The San Juan Mountains and the Los Pinos Valley lend this 160-acre ranch beauty; it also shares a fence line with the Piedra Wilderness Study Area. The Roberts family-Gene, Jan, Randy, Lance, and Erika, who have owned it since 1970- are responsible for its designation in Gene Kilgore 's Ranch Vacations as "one of the finest ranch vacation experiences in the country." At times of the year other than Women's Week, especially in summer, families provide this ranch about 95 percent of its often repeat customers.

FULL ARTICLE

September 23, 2011

Top 10 World Road Trip Destinations

Top 10 Road Trip Destinations Around the World

There’s something about hitting the road that makes travel come alive, especially when the drive is through some of the world’s most scenic roadways and locales. Here are our choices of the best destinations for exploring by car. Our Top 10 Road Trips Worldwide highlights the best of the best for ambling by car - whether it’s stopping to taste wine at vineyards in New Zealand or to pitch a tent in Alberta’s Banff National Park.

Road tripping empowers you as a traveler with the flexibility to route – and re-route – your itinerary at any time. Whether traveling with the family, with a group of friends or with your partner, there’s no better way to discover new cultures, see great sites or navigate an unknown terrain than by car.

  • Pacific Coast Highway, California, U.S. - There’s no better vantage point for spectacular views of the Pacific than from California’s Pacific Coast Highway. Start your drive in sunny Los Angeles and, after dipping your toes in the waves at Malibu’s highfalutin beaches, point your car due north – well, nearly – to San Francisco. Stop in coastal towns like Santa Barbara and Monterey, or wherever you feel like pulling off. The absolute must-see is Big Sur. Situated roughly 150 miles south of San Francisco, the cluster of seaside national parks offers wonderful options – camping, hiking and surfing – for even the hardest-to-please adventure travelers.
  • Provence, France - Wine lovers, art lovers, food lovers – heck, even lavender lovers – love Provence. From Paris, take a train to Avignon – there, visit the Papal Palace and grab a chèvre chaud salad al fresco – before renting a car and touring the back roads of a region that astonishingly resembles works by Monet. Drive between Montpellier, Salon-de-Provence and Arles, and stop for exquisite wines (the region produces the best rosé in the world) and light fare. Stock up on satchels full of lavender – wonderful souvenirs for friends back home – and shop for antiques among endless fields of sunflowers, lavender and grapes. Full story

September 22, 2011

2012 Ford Focus Road Test Review

2012 All-New Ford Focus

By Bob Plunkett

Driving through the nightlife district of Austin -- a collection of roadhouse rib joints, melodic Blues bars and raucous Texas honkytonks -- we're only inching along Sixth Street due to too much vehicular traffic and too many jaywalking pedestrians.

The snail's pace might frustrate us if time was the motivation for this twirl around the Texas capital, but we're content to focus instead on the ride quality, cabin comforts and high-tech gizmos heaped aboard Ford's pint-size Focus, which scores a total remake for 2012 models fashioned in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback formats.

That nameplate traces back the fall of 1998 when the flashy new design at the Paris International Auto Show was an eensy-weensy economy car which carried the blue oval badge of Ford.

Focus became a production reality for European markets in 1999 conformed as a three-door hatchback coupe, four-door sedan and five-door wagon, and the three variations reached North America in the summer of 1999 as model-year 2000 cars. Full review

September 16, 2011

5 Ways to Save on Teen Auto Insurance

5 Ways to Save on Teen Insurance

by Mollie Jones

If you have a teen driver in the family, you know teen insurance rates may be higher than for experienced drivers. However, there are ways to control teen auto insurance costs. Consider these five tips to start saving today.

1. Make sure your teen is driving the right car
The type of vehicle your teen drives can affect teen auto insurance premiums. For example, a brand new car may be more expensive to insure than a used one; its replacement cost is higher than most older vehicles and may be more prone to theft. However, older cars may be lacking several important safety features, such as side airbags, to keep your teen safe on the road – and earn them a safety discount on their policy.

2. Practice smart driving habits
An accident-free driving record can help keep your teen’s insurance rates reasonable. Help your child drive smarter by creating a teen driving contract. In the contract, outline specific driving responsibilities, privileges and consequences, like curfews, number of passengers, and when they are responsible for filling up the car with gas.

3. Raise deductibles
You may want to consider higher deductibles in exchange for lower teen auto insurance rates. Keep in mind that while your teen may pay a lower premium, they will have to pay more out-of-pocket if they’re in an accident. READ ALL

September 15, 2011

Road & Travel Magazine - 2011 Back Issues

2 0 1 1
S E P T E M B E R
Road & Travel Magazine - September 1, 2011 Back Issue
September 1, 2011 - [Cover]
2012 Ford Focus Review; 2012 Honda Civic Sedan Review; 5 ways to save on auto insurance for teens; Is your car college ready; Top 10 getaways for parents; Top 10 road trips worldwide; Best family cars for 2011; Pocket Ranger App to guide hikers in woods; Pet travel in cars; Dude Ranch vacations for women, Best 2011 family cars.
A U G U S T
August 15, 2011 - [Cover]
2012 Acura TL Review; 2012 Volkswagen Eos Convertible Review; 3 things to look for when buying a new car; Tips for preparing and enjoying great outdoors; Airline passenger rights take effect; Tips for test driving new cars and questions to ask for teens first car; Street smarts for women traveling alone; student travel.
15th Annual Sexy Car Buyer's Guide for 2011
August 1, 2011 - [Cover]
Road & Travel Magazine's 15th Annual Sexy Car Buyer's Guide; 2011 MB SLK Roadster; 2011 Dodge Challenger; 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata; 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder; 2011 Audi TT; 2011 Infiniti G37 Convertible; 2011 BMW Z4; 2011 Chevy Camaro SS; 2011 Lexus IS C350 Coupe; 2011 Ford Mustang Drop top.
J U L Y
2011 Chrysler 200 Road Test - RTM July 15, 2011 Back Issue
July 15, 2011 - [Cover]
2011 Chrysler 200 test drive; The history of America's Route 66; Sharing the road with authorized vehicles; How to escape a sinking car; 12 steps for buying a used car; Defensive driving tips; Adventure tours for women; Deep vein thrombosis and travel; How to keep a travel journal; Most scenic train tours in the world.
The Real Cost of Texting While Driving - RTM July 1, 2011 Back Issue
July 1, 2011 - [Cover]
The real cost of texting while driving; 2012 Audi A6 test drive; Car shoppers seek better MPG; Women adopt eco-friendly cars; 5 tips to keep cool on the road; Sun Safety at Beach; 10 tips to keep kids safe when traveling; Summer road trip on a budget; Don't leave kids in hot car; Best Cruise Lines for 10 types of cruisers.
J U N E
Road & Travel Magazine - June 15, 2011 Back Issue
June 15, 2011 - [Cover]
Top 10 American Beach Destinations; 2011 Infiniti G37 convertible and Lincoln MKX test drives; Affordable summer gas; 7 common travel mistakes; How to extend car's life span; San Clemente, Ca review; How to buy a used hybrid vehicle; Lightweight luggage tips; Cleaning Car Interior.
Road & Travel Magazine - June 1, 2011 Back Issue
June 1, 2011 - [Cover]
Road Test Reviews on Lexus CT 200h, Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey Minivans; Making a car road trip worthy; Teen driving safety tips; Best summer gas mileage tips; Charging electric cars at campgrounds; Reducing vehicle carbon; Asia's Top 10 Sacred Sites; Summer travel tips.
M A Y
Road  & Travel Magazine - May 2011 Back Issue
May 2011 - [Cover]
10 Tips for Planning an Action Adventure Vacation; Most Essential Travel Insurance; Gift Ideas for Loved Ones; Five Frugal Tips for Living Green; Top 10 Spas in US and Canada; Rain Forest Adventures; Cooper Tires - Made for SUVs; 2011 Lexus ES 350 Road Test; Oil Changes.
A P R I L
2011 International Car of the Year Awards
April 15, 2011 - [Cover]
International Car of the Year Awards jury names 2011 Jaguar XJ as Luxury Car of the Year; 2011 Volvo S60 as International Sedan of the Year; and 2011 Ford Explorer as International SUV of the Year. Bridgestone Tires sponsors 2011 ICOTY presentations in NYC.
Road & Travel Magazine - April 1, 2011 Back Issue
April 1, 2011 - [Cover]
What Not to Wear to a Dude Ranch; 2011 Dodge Nitro Road Test; Acura ZRX Coupe Test Drive; 10 Best Quickie Spring Getaways; Motion Skills for Teens; Used Cars Finally Get MPG Stickers; Find a Certified Mechanic; and 7 Tips to Ensure Safe Vacation in Mexico.
M A R C H
Road & Travel Magazine - March 15, 2011 Back Issue
March 15, 2011 - [Cover]
10 Unique Summer Camps for Kids; 2011 Nissan Rogue Road Test; Dodge Journey Test Drive; 10 Best Family Vehicles for 2011; Emergency Car Kit; Educating Teens on Dangers of Texting; Spring Car Care Tips.
Road & Travel Magazine - March 1, 2011 Back Issue
March 1, 2011 - [Cover]
2011 Toyota Yaris Test Drive; Traveling with Kids; Road Trips Tips for Families; 15 Car Cleaning Tips; Get the Most Bang for Your Buck with Gas; How to Jump a Car Battery; 2011 Hyundai Veracruz Review.
F E B R U A R Y
Road & Travel Magazine - February 15, 2011 Back Issue
February 15, 2011 - [Cover]
2011 Corvette ZR1 and Jaguar XK Coupe Road Tests; What your car says about your personality; Stars & their cars; 12 Steps to buying a used car; Paris-City of Love; How to plan a destination wedding; Damn women drivers.
Road & Travel Magazine - February 1, 2011 - Volumne 23.Issue2.1
February 1, 2011 - [Cover]
Driving in Wicked Winter Weather; 2011 Honda CR-C CUV Road Test; Hotel Room Workout; 10 Tips to Take the Edge Off Airport Security; Tires for Treacherous Terrain; World's Best Spas Guide.
J A N U A R Y
January 15, 2011 RTM Back Issue
January 15, 2011 - [Cover]
2011 International Car of the Year Awards names Hyundai Sonata Car of the Year; Kia Sportage wins Truck of the Year; Bridgestone Tire Sponsors 2011 Awards; Get Thru Airport Security Fast; Emergency Car Kit.
January 1, 2011 RTM Back Issue
January 1, 2011 - [Cover]
Happy New Year: Traveling by Train; 2011 Ford Fiesta Review; Do it Yourself Tire Check; 8 Tips to Get More From a Tank of Gas; 10 Tips for Driving Slippery Roads; and Hotel Safety for Safer Travels.

Free Pocket Ranger App Powered by ParksByNature Network

Pocket Ranger App Powered by ParksbyNature Network


Have you thought about visiting a State Park? These parks are often within 50 miles from home, making it easy for visitors to come and go as they please.

ParksByNature Network is working with the Government to Save the Parks by marrying today’s technology that is often used to navigate through our days by bringing The Sanctioned and Approved Mobile Tour Guide to enhance your visit.

Pocket Ranger™ apps are offered in a “FREE” and “purchasable” Pro-Enhanced version formatted for Apple and Android devices.

These tour guides also translate into a universal mobile website for each participating state park system, making Pocket Ranger extremely accessible for everyone to use. With its innovative features, Pocket Ranger™ enhances a visitor’s experience before, during, and after an outing to a state park.  These guides deliver to users hundreds of maps, real-time location-based weather conditions, park overview, park history, calendar of events, reservations, photo sharing and social networking capability through today’s popular sites.

Did you ever lose child in a park? Well, the Friend/Family Finder feature can help reduce this problem. Users can sync their devices to locate and keep track of one another. Full story