Travel

The Ultimate Guide to a Cannabis-Friendly Road Trip

Tips, tools, and thrifts for the most awe-inspiring road trip route ever.

Photo by Beck Stavely
Photo by Beck Stavely
Photo by Beck Stavely

Both road trips and cannabis have a way of breaking us out of our day to day-interrupting our usual routines and opening our minds with fresh views and perceptions. And just like campfires and s’mores, road trips and cannabis complement each other well, opening up more doors to spontaneity and discovery along the way.

This guide is for explorers fueled by curiosity and cannabis, for those who seek wonder when they pull out of their driveway, and for those as excited about crafting rewarding itineraries as they are about unexpected stops. It’s also for cannabis-enthusiasts, so we covered all your bases-where to go, how to find cannabis-friendly lodging, packing essentials-so you can kick back and focus on identifying copilots and interesting destinations along your route.

Photo by Beck Stavely
Photo by Beck Stavely
Photo by Beck Stavely

Where to go

First things first, design your itinerary. Best advice: get stoned and look at a map, easy peasy. If you need help deciding where to go, explore the best U.S. cities for next-level cannabis experiences.

Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock
Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock
Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

How to travel

It’s time to pick your vehicle of choice. If vanlife has intrigued you but you aren’t ready to leave your home full-time, try testing it out with a van rental or an RV. These provide the luxury of having a flexible basecamp for adventures, while giving you easy access to open air for your cannabis activities. Another option is to elevate your road trip game with car camping.

RandomHartz/Shutterstock
RandomHartz/Shutterstock
RandomHartz/Shutterstock

Where to stay

If you aren’t sleeping in your vehicle, you’ll need another place to lay your head. When seeking lodging for a cannabis-friendly road trip, it can feel elusive to find a place that’s just private enough and just laid back enough to allow you to do your thing. But not to fear, there are databases of cannabis-friendly lodging, including Inndica, Greentripz, and Bud and Breakfast.

You can also find some through Airbnb. Unfortunately, it is not easy to search for cannabis-friendly spots, but you can check the “Smoking Allowed” filter under “Amenities” and then “Features.” You can also try searching “420 friendly” + your location in your favourite search engine to find the Airbnbs that include that verbiage in their title or description. It can take a little extra effort to find the right spot, but it’s worth knowing you are at a location that is cool with how you roll.

Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images
Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images
Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images

What to pack

Cannabis: Obviously this is a critical piece of the adventure. The most discreet options can provide more aromatic flexibility, like edibles or vape pens. If you are packing flower, be sure to get yourself a smell proof stash pouch or bag.

Sploof: The device can help you to hide the smoke smell when exhaling, while you can make your own, this makes it even easier to be incognito.

Odor Eliminator: To help remedy the remaining lingering smell, get yourself a nice spray or candle to distract others’ nostrils. You can also water two plants with one hose by loading up on bug spray. Bonus: you’ll be ready to enjoy all that nature offers without the bug bites.

Munchies: A road trip without snacks would be disappointing. A cannabis-inspired road trip without snacks would be a seriously sad state of affairs. Reminder: Don’t. Forget. The. Snacks.

Journal: Cannabis and travel have a way of bringing new ideas to the mind, helping one to appreciate the moment, or working through something you were stuck on before. Be sure to bring a way to write down these thoughts to revisit in the future.

Film Camera: If you want to go off the grid, but still crave a visual way to document your trip, lock your phone up in your glove compartment and break out a film camera.

Blanket: Sometimes you’ll want to get out of your car, but not walk around. Easy solution: Bring a picnic blanket and go have a lay in a field.

Photo by Beck Stavely
Photo by Beck Stavely
Photo by Beck Stavely

What to see

When it comes to cannabis-inspired road trips, it’s important to seek out three stops: smoke-friendly viewpoints, immersive experiences, and all the strange things.

Smoke-friendly viewpoints are the best thing to do when you want to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. Remember it is an at-your-own-risk activity, but often worth it. You can utilize the AllTrails app to filter for “Views” and “Light traffic”, helping to maximize the vista and minimize the interaction with other humans

As for immersive experiences, we’re talking exploring a hemp maze, a puff pass and paint class, or a three-course cannabis pairing dinner. Make it a road trip that you’ll try your best to not forget.

And nothing goes hand in hand with cannabis than weird stuff. We’re talking a Time Travel Mart or a museum dedicated to everyday life. You can find a weird roadside attraction in any state.

Manuel De Los Reyes Rubio/EyeEm/Getty Images
Manuel De Los Reyes Rubio/EyeEm/Getty Images
Manuel De Los Reyes Rubio/EyeEm/Getty Images

What to remember

Nothing ruins a high like someone getting hurt or having a run in with the authorities. While it may go without saying, we want to say it: Do not drive while under the influence. Be the first one to call shotgun and you’ll be golden.

And while laws across the country are becoming less strict, there are still many areas you risk penalties. Be sure to research the laws in each state you are visiting to assess your risk. While looking up the laws, you can look up the accessibility to see if it’s recreational, or even medical.

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Editor’s Note: Any cannabis products referenced above are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The writer is not a medical doctor, and their experience is based on personal use, the results of which may not be typical or intended. The legality of cannabis products varies by state, and readers are encouraged to check their local laws before purchasing and using cannabis products. Possessing, using, distributing, and/or selling marijuana or marijuana-based products is illegal under federal law as of the writing of this article, regardless of any conflicting state laws. Compliance with the laws of a particular state in no way ensures compliance with federal law, and there is a risk that conflicting federal and/or other state laws may be enforced in the future. Nothing in this article should be construed as advice regarding the legal status of cannabis products.

Beck Stavely is the founder of Our Endless Adventure, where she combines her marketing expertise with a coaching approach to assist freelance creatives and entrepreneurs. Follow her for more adventures on Instagram.

Travel

Hollywood's Favorite Mountain Town Isn't Where You'd Think It Is

It's all hot springs and Hemmingway lore here.

Michael Godek/Moment/Getty Images
Michael Godek/Moment/Getty Images
Michael Godek/Moment/Getty Images

“Idaho is like the new Colorado, and Sun Valley is like the new Aspen,” a woman leaned over and said as we began our descent into Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, Idaho. “Everyone’s coming here now.”

Similar to Aspen-which has seen an unprecedented influx of transplants from around the country since the pandemic began-Sun Valley has served as Idaho’s venerable ski town ever since it was established as the country’s first designated ski resort in 1936. But those same snow-covered mountains people swish down all winter look awfully pretty come summertime, surrounded by the nearby Sawtooth Mountain range and set within the sweeping Wood River Valley.

Peter Jacobson/500Px Plus/Getty Images
Peter Jacobson/500Px Plus/Getty Images
Peter Jacobson/500Px Plus/Getty Images

Celebrities, artists, and fiercely passionate locals have long been a part of the fabric of this town ever since Ernest Hemingway was invited to live and write in the Sun Valley Lodge in 1939.

“Many celebrities were invited to come for free.” actress and Sun Valley resident Ali Larter told me at The Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF) in April. “Hemingway was one of the first famous people to come and help build up what this mountain town was, and it’s become a part of what makes this valley the creative hub that it continues to be even today.”

Sun Valley’s cach√© remains alive and well, with its contingent of laid-back locals, cool bars, restaurants, and always-sunny Sun Valley vibes. While the secret about this idyllic mountain town may be out, Aspen, I can assure you, it is not. From spending some time soaking in the local hot springs to visiting a few of Hemingway’s favourite haunts, here are all the ways to enjoy Hollywood’s favourite mountain town, no matter the season.

Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images
Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images
Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images

Walk in Hemingway’s footprints or drink amid the flowers

With 50 peaks, 300 lakes and rivers, and 250-miles of trails, wherever you are in Sun Valley, adventure isn’t far behind.

A good place to get your bearings is the White Cloud Trail. One of the most popular hiking loops at a leisurely 2.5 miles, it’s a short walk or bike ride from the Sun Valley resort area. As you make your way along the trail, plan to stop by the Hemingway Memorial, which is a fantastic place to soak in some views.

About four miles down the Wood River Trail is the Sawtooth Botanical Garden, which makes for a lovely bike-ride destination. The garden is a beautiful place to spend a few hours, especially in the summer when numerous events take place, like tours, wine tastings, and cocktail evenings.

Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images
Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images
Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images

Spend the morning soaking in local hot springs or angling for rainbows

Just 10 miles west of downtown Ketchum on Warm Springs Road, Frenchman’s Bend is the best place to soak in local hot springs. This shallow spring has long been a local Sun Valley hot spot, though it’s very much not clothing optional, so skinny dippers beware.

But getting hot and pruny isn’t the only way to enjoy the water here. Stretching 137-miles long and running directly through Sun Valley, Big Wood River is a great spot to go white water rafting in nearby Stanley or try your hand at fly fishing.

If you’re angling to get out and catch those elusive rainbows, try a guided fishing trip or even a women’s intro to fly fishing clinic with Sun Valley Outfitters. Big Wood is known for wild trout, though Silver Creek Preserve is another excellent spot (and a Hemingway favourite).

Warfield Distillery & Brewery
Warfield Distillery & Brewery
Warfield Distillery & Brewery

Eat homey dishes in cozy settings

Sun Valley’s food scene rivals that of any big city, starting with coffee and a ham and cheese croissant at Konditorei. Otherwise head straight for The Kneadery for a country frittata and ultimate Belgian waffles topped with whipped cream in downtown Ketchum.

Walk it all off before heading to Warfield Distillery & Brewery, which serves up some of the best elevated pub food. The beautiful rooftop is perfect for drinking in the views over downtown Ketchum and Baldy mountain. Don’t miss the signature Warfield Burger and Bacon Blue Ridge Salad and save some room for the carrot cake if you can.

Set on a side street in downtown Ketchum, The Covey‘s hearth style, seasonally inspired menu more than delivers when it comes to homemade pastas and some of the best locally caught trout you’ve ever had. It’s also got a killer wine list and a gorgeous new outdoor garden to enjoy it all in. If push comes to shove, don’t be afraid to post up at the bar, where you can chat with some of Sun Valley’s coolest team of locals and longtime friends who own and operate this awesome spot.

Rickshaw
Rickshaw
Rickshaw

Rickshaw is the cozy [read: tiny] neighbourhood joint to satisfy all your Asian- fusion cravings. The Korean Fried Chicken (KFC), Chiang Mai Curry Noodles, and Green Papaya Salad are cooked to chef-kiss perfection. Just note that this place packs up quick and reservations can be tough to come by, so if you can’t get a spot, grab your food to go and post up for a picnic in any of the nearby parks.

One absolute can’t miss when you’re in Ketchum is the chance to guzzle down schooners at Grumpy’s, a true Sun Valley legend. You can sit out front and enjoy the chilli fries and beers, but you’ll be missing out on the indoor ambience of this time-capsule-of-a-ski-town dive.

Come nighttime, head to Pioneer Saloon for margaritas, pints at The Cellar Pub, a tipple and some of Tom’s Mom’s Meatloaf at the Sawtooth Club, before an obligatory lap at Casino.

The Gold Mine Thrift Store
The Gold Mine Thrift Store
The Gold Mine Thrift Store

Strike gold at the local thrift

There’s no shortage of high-end boutiques in and around the Sun Valley Resort and downtown Ketchum, but for a real taste of local goodness, Gold Mine Thrift Store is considered the ultimate choice for all your thrifting needs. There’re always gems to be found here and it’s an added bonus that all of the proceeds go towards The Community Library next door.

For all your gear and outdoor needs, head to the Elephant’s Perch; or for some great local reads, look no further than Chapter One Bookstore on a side street off the Main drag. Finally, The Farmer’s Daughter is the perfect place to pick up some cool, local home d√©cor and Idaho knick knacks.

Sun Valley Resort
Sun Valley Resort
Sun Valley Resort

Sleep like a star at Sun Valley’s best hotels

The Sun Valley Lodge is the go-to spot for a five-star stay in Sun Valley. Dating back to 1936, it’s also the former residence of Ernest Hemingway, whose room here is said to still house his typewriter.

The hotel’s pool area and bowling alley are always buzzing with activity, but if you’re in the mood for some bonafide “me time,” head straight to The Spa at Sun Valley, where a spin inside one of their “Experience Showers” in the locker room is enough to make you a believer in the power of one really good shower.

Right across the courtyard from The Lodge, the Sun Valley Inn is a bit more rustic than its glamorous counterpart-but recently remodelled and offering access to all of the same amenities as the Lodge at a fraction of the cost, the Inn is a more economical way to stay in the resort area.

Just off Main Street in Ketchum, Limelight Hotel is the perfect, pet-friendly place to stay if you want to be in the heart of the action. Word to the wise, snag a room with balcony views over Baldy, and don’t miss a chance to wind down with a dip in the pool and hot tubs.

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Michelle Gross is a travel, food and lifestyle writer who loves a small-town vibe. An alum of the University of Colorado Boulder, she spends a lot of time enjoying the great outdoors. This summer you’ll most likely find her on a paddleboard or on her porch in Beaufort, South Carolina.

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