Virginia and North Carolina
Winding through the Appalachian mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the best scenic drives in the U.S. It's legendary for its numerous pull-offs with stunning views. You'll travel through rolling mountains, smoky clouds, and lush greenery.
Check online before your trip to make sure the section you intend to drive is open. The parkway is 469 miles long and sections often close temporarily due to weather and road hazards.
Perhaps the most tropical of America's scenic drives is the Overseas Highway in Florida. This southernmost leg of Route 1 connects the Florida mainland all the way to Key West. Many miles extend over the ocean, making for a scenic drive over and along aquamarine waters. Don't forget to stop at the various Florida Keys along the trip!
Hugging the California coastline, the Pacific Coast Highway, or Highway 1, might be the most iconic stretch in America. It's a beautiful trek from the surfing towns of SoCal to the redwoods near San Francisco. While any stretch is stunning, the area around Big Sur, northwest of Paso Robles, is the most famous.
Tennessee and North Carolina
While the Blue Ridge Parkway will give you a taste, Newfound Gap Road will take you into the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This scenic drive between Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Cherokee, North Carolina is unparalleled in its beauty. And since it's part of the national park, you'll find many places to pull off for a hike or picnic. Just keep an eye out for black bears and elk crossing the street!
Nestled near four of our resorts in Moab, the scenic drive in Arches National Park is a red rock wonder. While the road dead ends in the park, it's well worth driving. It's also flexible based on how much time you have. If you're light on time, you can choose to see The Windows or Delicate Arch. If you have lots of time, visit both.
Known as the "highway to the sky," Trail Ridge Road is the highest paved road in Colorado. It runs from Grand Lake to Fall River, winding through Rocky Mountain National Park. With road grades seldom falling below five percent, Trail Ridge Road is a thrilling, challenging drive. The views are worth it, but have a mechanic check your car before traveling this mountain traverse.
Route 101, better known as the Oregon Coast Highway, will take you through Pacific Northwest glory. The route encompasses tall cliffs, towering pines, and moody fog rolling in from the ocean.
The Oregon Coast Highway is actually the northern section of California's Pacific Coast Highway. The route runs north from the California border, through Coos Bay and Newport, before entering Washington in Astoria. You only need to traverse a few miles for a taste, but the whole drive is stunning.
Ascending the most prominent mountain in the east, the Mount Washington Auto Road is a glorious trip. As you drive, you'll climb all the way to the 6,288-foot summit. At the top, views for miles are all yours. Additionally, you might experience some of the extreme weather that Mount Washington is known for!
Perhaps the best fall color route in the Midwest is Michigan's Tunnel of Trees, a beautiful section of M-119. You'll travel from Harbor Springs to Cross Village on this scenic drive through old forests along Lake Michigan. Every autumn, the forest lights up red, gold, and yellow in a dazzling display.
Cape Cod is already one of the most scenic places in New England. But the beautiful Old King's Highway makes the experience even better. If you follow Route 6A for the full length, you can travel from Sandwich to Orleans. In between, you'll pass through historic villages, ancient graveyards, and more charms of New England.
Will you travel the California coastline? Or will you wind your way up the steep inclines of Mount Washington? From coast to coast, these scenic drives will satisfy your wanderlust. Share this post with your travel buddy, book a stay, and take a road trip through America's most beautiful destinations!