Erin Gifford

I am a Washington, DC-based lifestyle & travel 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 am also a family travel expert and founder of, an award-winning travel resource. 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 29 states).

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.
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