Erin Gifford

I am a Washington, DC-based travel & outdoor writer. My writing has appeared in USA Today's GoEscape, Chicago Tribune,,, The Washington Post,, Parents, Family Circle,,, AAA Traveler Worldwise, Northern Virginia Magazine, and AAA World. I also write about hiking in Virginia at and have written three hiking guidebooks for Falcon Guides. When not seeking out new adventures, I'm crossing off the next state in my quest to run a half-marathon in all 50 states (so far, I've run in 31 states).

On the Gulf of Mexico, Look to Gulf Shores, Ala., Over Destin, Fla.

Destin lures in sports fishermen, too. This seaside city has been dubbed the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” thanks in part to its variety of fish species, such as snapper, grouper and mahi-mahi. In peak season, public access beaches are packed with families eager for a swim or a snorkel in crystal-clear waters. Many book a week at one of the myriad high-rise condos, and family vacation rentals get snapped up quickly, too. Okaloosa County, which is home to Destin and Fort Walton Beach, rep

10 Stops in Wacky and Wonderful Wytheville, Virginia

Wytheville offers small-town charm in the southwestern slice of Virginia, with West Virginia to the north and North Carolina to the south. This town of just 8,000 people, named for George Wythe, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and mentor to Thomas Jefferson, is rich in American history. Located at the intersection of two major highways—I-77 and I-81—Wytheville also has plenty of interesting roadside attractions, including a 100-foot-tall lookout tower, a tiny church, and a “world fam

A Road Trip on the Wilderness Road in Southwest Virginia

The pages of your history books will absolutely explode to life when you set your GPS for the Wilderness Road in Southwest Virginia. Also known as U.S. Route 58, this famed 100-mile stretch of highway follows the path once traveled by westward-bound settlers in the 1700’s. Back then, frontiersman Daniel Boone led the way, bravely blazing the path into Kentucky by way of the Cumberland Gap. This rugged path would later be named the Wilderness Road and would come to be traveled by more than 200,0

A restless Virginia resident finds sights that evoke the West within driving distance

Like many travel lovers, I’ve had no desire to go anywhere by plane — mask on, eyes darting anxiously from one passenger to the next, ears open for coughs and sneezes. Over the summer, I hiked, biked, kayaked and camped within an hour or two of my home in Virginia’s Loudoun County, an area of rolling hills and green countryside outside D.C. But by September, I ached to untether from my safe space in the suburbs. I fiercely desired a bona fide change of scenery.

Fall for Virginia's Skyline Drive

Revel in the foliage-filled scenic route but unclick your seatbelt to explore the historic attractions and natural wonders across Shenandoah National Park. A carefree drive along the gently curving 105-mile Skyline Drive in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park is for many a bucket list-worthy experience. This is especially true in fall as the dramatic foliage display gets underway with vibrant bursts of gold and fiery orange leaves. Motoring along at 35 mph, it can take as little as three hours
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