End of Summer Road Safety

Next to Thanksgiving and Christmas, Labor Day is one of the busiest driving days of the year. As families pack their cars and head to the beach for some last-minute summer sun, the roads can become quite busy.

Here’s how to make the most of your trip, and get to your destination safely and efficiently!

Prepare for the unexpected. 
It seems no road trip is complete without a few bumps in the road, but whether or not you do encounter any hiccups, you’ll be glad you were prepared with an emergency kit full of essentials, like pliers, a tire pressure gauge, and water.

If conditions aren’t right, postpone. 
There’s nothing worse than trying to force yourself to drive, despite bad weather, lack of sleep, or other dangerous conditions. If you aren’t feeling up to the drive, don’t get behind the wheel, or ask someone else to takeover.

Allot plenty of time. 
There will be traffic—it’s unavoidable in some cases. However, you can plan ahead by checking if any major roadways are under construction and try to find an alternative route. It’s also a good idea to check your GPS an hour or so before you leave for an ETA. Keep in mind, roadways are busiest between 4PM–10PM.

Avoid the busiest travel days. 
Without a doubt, Monday and Friday are the busiest travel days of Labor Day weekend. If you can help it, avoid heading out during the daytime on these days. Instead, head for your destination late on Thursday and pack up late Sunday or Monday.

Make your own adventure. 
Sometimes a trip to the beach or lake isn’t worth the hours spent in bumper to bumper traffic, especially when there’s bound to be an exciting adventure right in your own backyard. A staycation is a great alternative that doesn’t involve the dreaded task of packing.

Traveling this Labor Day? Make sure you’re road trip ready with an arsenal of travel snacksgames, and other tips.

These are the US Gardens Everyone Should See

If you’re a gardener or you just enjoy looking at beautiful flowers, it’s fun to tour gardens for inspiration and entertainment. These gardens across the US are sure to stun even the most seasoned horticulturist.

Atlanta Botcanical Garden, Atlanta, Georgia

Featuring over 30 acres of land, the Atlanta Botanical Garden has a beautiful variety of gardens to explore. Take the family through the award-winning Children’s Garden or go on a stroll through Storza Woods, which features a beautiful canopy walk. You can also admire the Skyline Garden.

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, Nashville, Tennessee

This 55-acre garden and art museum, built on the Cheek Estate, offers stunning art exhibitions, gorgeous gardens, and historical education. The garden hosts festivals to celebrate each of the different seasons and offers classes and family activities.

Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona

Though Desert Botanical Garden sounds like a paradox, it features beautiful trails in keeping with its climate. This garden highlights cacti and other plants that thrive in the desert setting. They also offer special activities, like flashlight tours on summer Saturdays. Visitors can enjoy the night blooming plants and nocturnal animals by flashlight.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida

This education-based garden has field programs in over 20 countries to protect botanic garden development all over the world. The garden itself boasts the Lougheed Spiny Forest of Madagascar for some of the garden’s most unique plants. Simons Rainforest takes visitors on a path complete with streams and waterfalls along with stunning trees and orchids. These are just a few of the paths offered at this large garden.

Ladew Topiary Gardens, Monkton, MD

Harvey S. Ladew began Ladew Topiary Gardens, putting together 15 garden rooms across 22 acres of his property. He also restored the Manor House, which guests still visit today. Now, visitors to Ladew Topiary Gardens have access to these themed gardens, nature walks, and a butterfly house.

Lotusland, Montecito, California

Located on the preserved estate of Madame Ganna Walska, Lotusland focuses on conservation and education. Featuring 22 themed gardens, Lotusland highlights a number of different cultures along with different types of plants and flowers.

Middleton Place, Charleston, South Carolina

Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark and features the oldest landscaped gardens in America. They’re committed to historic preservation and using research to educate. When designing the garden, Henry Middleton followed the classical garden style and focused on rational order, geometry and balance, vistas, focal points, and surprise features.

Portland Japanese Garden

Committed to representing authentic Japanese culture, this Washington Park garden overlooks the city and features 12 acres and 8 different garden styles. The garden also has a Japanese Tea House, streams throughout its land, walking paths, and a view of Mt. Hood.

United States Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.

Take a trip to the United States Botanic Garden, founded by the US Congress in 1820 to demonstrate the importance of plants to the people in the US. Doubling as a museum, the United States Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America and focuses on providing visitors with botanical knowledge, conserving plants, and aiming for sustainability.

The next time you take a vacation or road trip, make sure you visit one of these beloved US gardens to admire the plants and learn more about the horticultural world.