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The great American road trip is a rite of passage, and due to the pandemic, it’s perhaps more in vogue than it’s been in decades.
While most people associate road trips with outdated roadside motels, however, it’s easy to transform such an excursion into a luxury adventure. It’s the best of both worlds, with the freedom of the open road combined with elevated style that maximizes the experience.
Book a Pre-Planned Luxury Road Trip
Bespoke travel operator Black Tomato collaborated with Auberge Resorts Collection and Mercedes Benz on a swanky series of road trips, in which travelers drive a new model Mercedes between a series of different hotels. Available vehicles depend upon the itinerary chosen, but even include top tier rides such as the Maybach GLS600. That’s a far cry from tossing the family into a beat-up wood-paneled station wagon.
Dubbed Remarkable Drives of Discovery, five different thematic road trips are available across the country.
“As the past two years for many has felt rushed and manic, these itineraries are an antidote and a call to embrace the luxury of being languid, taking the time to dwell in these mesmerizing landscapes, go off-the-grid and off-itinerary, and embrace the merits of a slower form of travel,” says Tom Marchant, co-founder of Black Tomato.
On the West Coast, for instance, the group’s itinerary links a stay at Ventana Big Sur with one at Solage in Napa Valley with activities such as horseback riding and guided walking tours. In New England, guests stay at Mayflower Inn & Spa, The Vanderbilt, and White Barn Inn, while taking pottery and cooking classes and experiencing an art and antiquing tour. Other options include a mountains and maritime adventure in the mid-Atlantic, a gourmet journey across the American southwest, and an arts and culture tour through the desert.
Porsche enthusiasts, meanwhile, can book an all-inclusive road trip directly through the manufacturer as part of their Porsche Travel Experience program. Instead of a private vacation, the Porsche trips are essentially group rallies where travelers will get a turn behind the wheel of a series of the latest Porsche vehicles, with itineraries built around scenic drives and luxe accommodations.
This year Porsche is offering a Northeast tour between New York and Vermont in the fall designed to maximize foliage viewing, as well as a Route 66 tour through ArizonaHarley Davidson helps its die-hard fans make the most out of their hogs by creating different themed journeys. For instance, this past fall, its recommended scenic rides across The Great River Road, which follows the Mississippi for 3,000 miles through 10 states, as well as the Blue Ridge Parkway and its many peaks.
EagleRider, which rents out hundreds Harleys across the country offered at daily rental rates, also has their own bookable guided motorcycle tours, with several dozen different itineraries including rentals, gear, hotels, and additional activities. Riders can also book self-guided solo ventures, or work with them to create a custom trip.
Secure a Stylish Stay on the Road
There’s no need to stick to someone else’s script though, and for many road trippers, the planning of the journey is half the fun. In this case, it’s a smart move to consider planning stops of a road trip based upon preferred high-end hotel stays, and to map out the miles and scenic stops from there.
California’s Pacific Coast Highway is one of the country’s most iconic roads, and road trips, and there’s no need to be restricted to stays at outdated cabins along the way. There’s an abundance of five stars to be found, and for instance, the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara and the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur are 220 miles apart, linked by five of the most incredible hours on the road drivers are bound to find anywhere the world over. Bookending such a venture with sought after stays at properties such as these will cast an entirely new light on the possibilities of a road trip.
Whether it’s Route 66 or any cross-country trek, starting with the stops may be the best move in such cases. Luxury hotels and resorts may not always be available depending on where you plan on heading, however. The good news is that there are a growing number of alternative options for those who still want to ensure a chic stay.
Stay One Degree, for example, is a luxury home rental service with more than 3,500 properties currently in its portfolio across several hundred destinations. Similarly, Thirdhome is a luxury travel club with over 13,000 members and homes available in 97 countries. For those who want to hit the road in style, and also have their own vacation home to rent out, it’s another way to make the most of an outing while mixing-up the travel routine.