Over 50s – would you take a girls only road trip?

‘You be Thelma and I’ll be Louise’!, well perhaps not that extreme, however more and more of us over 50s girls are politely muscling in on what was traditionally the domain of the hubbies-the road trip. Why not I hear you say, with women arguably being the better drivers (I know, we can debate that one forever!) many of us would be totally confident to set off in that ’66 Thunderbird thundering (within the legal limits of course) down Route 66. If you did plan such a trip who would you choose as your co pilot, where would you set off to, what car would you choose and what tunes would you play?

Here are a few suggestions from The-Boomers team and then why not take the Poll at the foot of the page;

1. San Francisco – Monterey and Carmel and then Yosemite National Park.
Fly into San Francisco marvel at The Golden Gate Bridge, imbibe down at Fishermans Wharf, and soak in the sites, sounds and aromas of China Town before picking up your car and setting off on your adventure. Approximately a 3 hour leisurely drive from San Francisco takes you to your next destination, Monterey. Monterey for those of us who enjoyed the television series “Big Little Lies” is the gorgeous beachfront town, Its Cannery Row, one-time centre of the sardine-packing industry, was immortalised by novelist John Steinbeck, nowadays the old sardine factories are converted into wonderful restaurants, bars , cafes and shops. Time your visit to coincide with the annual Monterey Jazz Festival from September 15th to 17th before the short hop, and we mean short (10 mins) around the bay to Carmel.

Carmel; (London once had the affable Boris Johnson as its Mayor Carmel once boasted Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood as theirs!) where you’ll want to embark on another drive, the famed ‘17-Mile Drive’ this trip is essentially a fun way of enjoying the scenery, stunning homes and country clubs of one of California’s most desirable enclaves. Stop off to enjoy Carmels stunning beaches and their 250-year-old Monterey Cypress PS you’ll have to pay a toll!

Back in Carmel itself there’s no shortage of a fabulous places to eat and drink, if you enjoy the best classic American cooking why not book a table at the Mission Ranch restaurant? With the Santa Lucia Mountains in the background and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean in front this is one of the finest establishments in town.

For those of us keen to do some world class shopping make sure to visit The Barnyard in Carmel. With its gorgeous mosaic paths and cosy little shops this upmarket shopping village houses everything from fashion to food.

Set off early, the earlier the better it’s a proper road trip from here over to the famed Yosemite National Park (229 miles approximately 5 hours) Real ‘bucket list’ stuff here, marvel at America’s natural wonder at a staggering 1,200 square miles we won’t be expecting you to explore it all! First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is famed for its waterfalls, giant sequoias, and breathtaking valleys.

Car. A Classic would be well at home in Carmel, but perhaps a modern reliable SUV with the trip to Yosemite in mind?
Playlist. Hotel California (The Eagles) ,Tusk (Fleetwod Mac)
Please see foot of article for hotels,

2. The route Napoléon, France.

We can thank none other than Napoléon Bonaparte for our next suggestion the route Napoléon. Take this historical route from north to south for the perfect road trip, the route covers the march made by Napoléon in 1815 from Elba to Grenoble, well the French part and in our case in reverse!

The route commences in Grenoble and finishes just west of Antibes in Golfe-Juan, where Napoleon disembarked in March 1815, beginning the Hundred Days that ended at Waterloo. Now with the history part over, expect stunning scenery, winding roads on a journey through both The Alps and The Alps Maritimes. Look forward to some challenging roads which demand concentration and as we’d expect from France, plenty of places for a well earned pit stop considering the entire route is 368kms taking in enroute:

Grenoble, (tour the Bastille, take an exhilarating cable car trip to the summit and marvel at the scenery), Laffrey, La Mure, Corps, Col Bayard (1,246 m), Gap, Sisteron, Digne, Castellane,
Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey, Grasse and Golfe-Juan.

Over the years a worthy detour (approximately 40kms) has been added to many trips on the Route Napoleon ;
Les Gorges du Verdon a river canyon that is often considered to be one of Europe’s most beautiful. At approximately 25 kilometres long and up to 700 metres deep. It was formed by the Verdon River, which is named for its startling turquoise-green colour, one of the location’s distinguishing characteristics. The most impressive part lies between the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, where the river has cut a ravine to a depth of 700 metres through the limestone mass. Wikipedia

Fly to Grenoble (takes you to the Skyscanner site)

Car.Rent a sporty Fiat 500 at the airport?
Playlist. Paris — Palais des Congrès: The 1995 live album featuring Charles Aznavour and Liza Minnelli, recorded at the Palais des congrès de Paris

3. A trip across Spain.

Fans of the midlife crisis, culinary road trip comedy genre (with a few Mick Jagger impersonations to boot) have not been disappointed with the brilliant, sometimes cringingly funny third installment of the ‘ The Trip to ..’ series. Starring, the now over 50s team of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, the artists are reunited on ‘The Trip to Spain’ (Sky Atlantic) After their previous outings, visiting the Lake District and Italy (shown on the BBC) this series has them visiting some of the most stunning areas in Spain.

The series, directed by Michael Winterbottom is interspersed with dramatic scenery and the hilarious Coogan versus Brydon impersonation battles (look out for the Sir Roger Moore duel) the duo commences their journey in the port city of Santander on the Bay of Biscay and travel in Coogan’s Range Rover down to Málaga on the Mediterranean coast.

Here is a taste of some of our favourite locations, and award winning restaurants from the series, we hope you agree, perfect for an Autumn road trip:

In Episode 1 the duo visit the picturesque port village of Getaria and dine in El Txoko Berria

Situated on the coast of Guipuzcoa about 30kms west of San Sebastian you’ll find the fishing village of Getaria. Boasting medieval, homes an attractive, working harbour and their own lighthouse. Home to the 15-century Gothic Church of San Salvador, it is also a place of cultural interest. It is of great historic importance, as it was the site of the General Council of 1397, which declared Guipuzcoa a province.Known as ‘The Getaria mouse’ the peninsula which finishes at the mount of San Anton takes its name from its mouse like shape.

Getaria is located in the heart of one of Spain’s wine region, Txacoli-so be sure to enjoy a glass or two over lunch (if you’re not driving!)

In Episode 2 The comedy comes as they drive to historic Sos del Rey Catolico, Rob sees how long Steve can go without mentioning his Oscar-nominated film Philomena. The restauarant choice, Asador Etxebarri in Atxondo, Basque Country voted 6th best in the world in Restaurant Top 50 Awards 2015. Here Head Chef Victor Arguinzoniz, cooks everything over a grill, the results look delicious!

Please click here for the full article

Car. Any convertible will do, maybe an old, reliable Mercedes SL?
Playlist. Enriques father for us; Julio Iglesias Momentos

We’d love to hear your suggestions to contact@the-boomers.com

Apologies to Thelma (and Louise) for the cartoon! (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and other respective production studios)

Map Image credit by Lafrance
Verdon Gorge Miss EJB image credit from Pixabay
The-Boomers are affiliate partners with those lovely people at Skyscanner & Booking.com





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