November/December 2021 Issue
Thanks to an increasing number of municipalities, hotels, and national and state parks offering EV chargers, travelers can plug-in and enjoy a meal, hike, or overnight all in one stop. Here are six exceptional charging stations that won’t leave you itching to get back on the road.
As Highway 1 winds along California’s central coast, it serves up spectacular waterfront vistas that have made the route a road trip icon. See the scenery at a slower pace in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The quaint town is an ideal pitstop with EV charging stations and a walkable, one-square-mile village of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants set in charming, storybook buildings. Plug in to one of Carmel Plaza Garage’s six Tesla chargers or the Sunset Center’s seven J-plugs, and head to Stationæry, an intimate eatery with seasonal dishes such as Dungeness crab cake sandwiches served in a picturesque courtyard. Afterward, stroll down Ocean Avenue to the white-powder sands and turquoise waves of Carmel Beach.
Death Valley National Park, California and Nevada
Straddling the California-Nevada border, this vast national park—the largest in the contiguous United States—encompasses more scenery than its morbid moniker might imply. After marveling at the golden canyons of Zabriskie Point and otherworldly salt rock landscape of Devil’s Golf Course, recharge at the nearby Ranch at Death Valley with free, solar-powered J-plug chargers, numerous eateries, and an 18-hole golf course. On the Nevada side, the former mining town of Beatty features 11 chargers (eight Tesla Superchargers, two J-plugs, and a CCS and CHAdeMO) within walking distance of Happy Burro Chili & Beer, where the Claskey family dishes up Angus beef chili in a historic, memorabilia-filled saloon. On the town’s outskirts, explore Rhyolite, a gold mining ghost town that boasts an eccentric miner’s home built from 50,000 medicine and whiskey bottles. The adjacent Goldwell Open Air Museum features the 12 shrouded figures of artist Albert Szukalski’s “The Last Supper.”
Hendy Woods State Park, California
Situated between Sonoma’s Wine Country and the Mendocino Coast, the Anderson Valley delights with sweeping scenery of vineyards, apple orchards, and coastal redwoods. You’ll find the latter at Hendy Woods State Park where two free J-plug chargers at the visitor center allow EV travelers to recharge amongst the giants. From there, it’s a short walk to the half-mile Discovery Trail, which meanders under the 1,000-year-old skyscraping redwoods of Big Hendy Grove. Venture further via the Hermit Hut Trail, and you’ll spot the downed redwood that once served as a makeshift domicile for a forest-dwelling recluse. Near the park’s entrance, the Philo Apple Farm’s honor system stand brims with seasonal fruit, hand-crafted apple cider, and homemade jams.