O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain
–Katharine Lee Bates
During our twenty-day road trip from Chicago to Monterey, California, down to Santa Monica and back across Route 66, my favorite patriotic song, America the Beautiful, came to mind. The topography constantly changed. From mountains, some still with snow, to lush valleys, to the hot, dry desert and ocean views, the landscape painted a beautiful backdrop for our trip. We’re sharing some of the scenic areas that we drove through in this video.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option.Read more
After you’ve toured the California coast along Monterey Bay, visited the world-class Monterey Bay Aquarium, shopped along Cannery Row and dined on Fisherman’s Wharf, take a drive inland a few miles to the Salinas Valley. Salinas Valley stretches a hundred miles north to south, sandwiched between the Santa Lucia and Gabilan mountain ranges. Fields of lettuce lay before you—neat rows of romaine, red leaf, green leaf and iceberg. Bright red, luscious strawberries dot other fields, or you may see celery, spinach or asparagus. You’re also bound to come across farm workers hand picking the produce and packing it right in the field. You’ve entered America’s “salad bowl,” where farmers grow over 40 vegetables and fruits, including over 80 percent of America’s lettuce. The best way to see the valley and to learn about how America’s produce is grown is on an agricultural tour with Ag Venture Tours.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option.