Posts Tagged 'Hawaii'

Best Scenic Drives in the U.S. & Canada

Driving can be both the most stressful and the most relaxing of activities. While there are few things more frustrating than sitting in traffic on your daily commute, a relaxing scenic drive down winding coastal roads can be truly therapeutic. offers a list of the most relaxing coastal drives around the country and Canada with breathtaking views and an experience you will never forget.

17-Mile Drive, California: Winding along the coast of Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea, the historic 17-mile drive is a perfect way to explore the beautiful Northern California coast. Be sure to stop at beaches for wildlife sightings, enjoy lunch or shopping at the Lodge at Pebble Beach, and snap a few photos of the famous “Lone Cypress.”

Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia: he Cabot Trail, a loop road through the Cape Breton Highlands. Stop for hikes around St. Ann’s bay, enjoy a whale-watching outing and take a break for shopping and dining at some of the small towns of Cape Breton Island.

Hana Highway, Hawaii: While you’re vacationing in Maui, rent a car for a day to explore the coastal Hana Highway, one of National Geographic’s “Drives of a Lifetime.” The Hana Coast offers 52 miles of tropical forests and waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and breathtaking vistas on Maui’s Eastern shore.

Acadia National Park Loop Road, Maine: Located on Mount Desert Island, the drive navigates through mountains, forests, lakes and rocky coastline. Stop off at the many observation points for photo opps, take a break at Sand Beach, and try some fresh seafood in the town of Bar Harbor when you’ve finished the loop.

Cape Cod Scenic Drive, Massachusetts: This 63-mile scenic drive along the southern coast of Cape Cod Bay — which follows Massachusetts Highway 6A to U.S. Highway 6 at Orleans – stops off at such destinations as Cape Cod National Seashore, Provincetown, and the Three Sisters Lighthouse.

Cape Cod Scenic Drive, Massachusetts

Cape Cod Scenic Drive, Massachusetts

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Best Winter Vacations

U.S. News Travel gives readers some great suggestions with their list of 12 places recommended for the Best Winter Vacations. Let’s face it, unless you like freezing, snowy weather and/or skiing, winter in the Northeast is kind of gloomy. It’s dark and cold by the time you get home from work, making it hard to want to do anything in your spare time aside from watching TV in your sweats, which is exactly why you need a winter vacation. Give yourself something to look forward to and a reason to keep trudging to the gym on those frigid nights, as you will need your bathing suit for most of these vacations. However if you enjoy vacationing to wintery destinations, there are some options for you too, (see #’s 9-11 on the list.) As lovers of all places warm and sunny, our pick for your perfect winter vacation is #1, Kauai, Hawaii. If you have yet to visit Hawaii, stop what you are doing immediately and start planning a trip. While we haven’t traveled everywhere just yet, Hawaii is the #1 vacation destination and most beautiful place we’ve been to date. Kauai, known as the Garden Isle, is oldest and most lush of the Hawaiian Islands. With its gorgeous beaches, friendly locals, delicious cuisine, unique wildlife, and laid back Aloha lifestyle, you can’t go wrong.  Be sure to check out all the vacation hot spots on this list and start planning your winter get-away today!

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Nā Pali Coast State Park - Photo courtest of:

Nā Pali Coast State Park, Kauai, Hawaii – Photo courtest of:

Well-Being Index has published the rankings of the Top 10 U.S. metro areas with the highest Well-Being Index score. Boulder, Colo., had the highest Well-Being Index score in the U.S. across the 188 metropolitan areas that Gallup and Healthways surveyed in 2010. Lincoln, Neb.; Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.; Provo-Orem, Utah; and Honolulu round out the top five metro areas with the highest well being.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score is an average of six sub-indexes, which individually examine life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities. The overall score and each of the six sub-index scores are calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where a score of 100 represents the ideal. Gallup and Healthways have been tracking these measures daily since January 2008.

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The Steepest Streets in America has an infographic on the 10 steepest streets in the United States. Waipio Road in Honokaa, Hawaii tops the list with a 45% road gradient. The road gains 800 vertical feet in 0.6 miles at a 25% average grade, with steeper grades in sections. This is a paved public road but it is open only to 4 wheel drive vehicles. Canton Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Elfred Street in Los Angeles, California round out the top 3.

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