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Posted 01/15/2024 in Motor Sports

The Best Scenic Drives for Road Trip Enthusiasts in the USA

The Best Scenic Drives for Road Trip Enthusiasts in the USA

Embarking on a road trip is one of the quintessential American experiences, offering a unique way to explore the vast and varied landscapes of the United States. From coastal highways to mountain passes, the country is crisscrossed with scenic routes that offer breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences. For road trip enthusiasts looking for their next adventure, here are some of the best scenic drives in the USA. For more tailored road trip ideas and outdoor adventure insights, connect with the Outdoor Adventure Connection at www.outdooradventures.pro.

1. Pacific Coast Highway, California

The Pacific Coast Highway, officially known as California State Route 1, is perhaps the most iconic scenic drive in the United States. Stretching over 650 miles along California’s stunning coastline, this route offers dramatic ocean views, rugged cliffs, and access to some of the state’s most picturesque beaches and towns. Key highlights include the Big Sur coastline, Santa Monica, Monterey, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

2. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

Located in Glacier National Park, the Going-to-the-Sun Road is a 50-mile journey that offers some of the most spectacular wilderness scenery in the country. The drive takes you through the heart of the park, with views of glacier-carved valleys, pristine alpine meadows, and rugged mountain peaks. The road is typically open from late June to mid-October, weather permitting.

3. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

Often referred to as “America’s Favorite Drive,” the Blue Ridge Parkway stretches for 469 miles along the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This scenic route connects the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, offering stunning vistas, abundant wildlife, and access to a range of outdoor activities including hiking, cycling, and camping.

4. Route 66

Route 66, also known as the Mother Road, is the most famous road in America. Though it no longer exists as an official highway, much of its 2,448-mile path from Chicago to Santa Monica can still be driven. The route passes through eight states and offers a nostalgic journey through small towns, vintage gas stations, classic diners, and quirky roadside attractions.

5. Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

The Overseas Highway, part of U.S. Route 1, stretches 113 miles from Miami to Key West through the stunning Florida Keys. The drive includes 42 bridges, most notably the Seven Mile Bridge, offering panoramic ocean views and access to crystal-clear waters, coral reefs, and an array of water sports.

6. Great River Road, Minnesota to Louisiana

Following the course of the Mississippi River for over 2,000 miles, the Great River Road runs through 10 states from Minnesota to Louisiana. This diverse route offers a mix of cultural experiences and scenic beauty, from the northern forests and lakes to the Southern plantations and wetlands.

7. Utah’s Scenic Byway 12

Spanning 124 miles in Southern Utah, Scenic Byway 12 is a journey through some of the most rugged and beautiful landscapes in the American Southwest. The route passes through two national parks – Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef – and offers views of red rock cliffs, canyons, and high desert plateaus.

8. Olympic Peninsula Loop, Washington

The Olympic Peninsula Loop in Washington State offers a 330-mile drive around the Olympic National Park. This route encompasses diverse ecosystems from rainforests to rugged coastline and offers chances for whale watching, exploring tide pools, and hiking in old-growth forests.

9. Highway 101, Oregon Coast

Highway 101 along the Oregon Coast is a scenic drive that spans nearly the entire coastline of Oregon, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, rugged cliffs, and lush forests. This route provides access to charming coastal towns, historic lighthouses, and picturesque state parks. Highlights include Cannon Beach, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, and the dramatic viewpoints at Cape Perpetua.

10. The Million Dollar Highway, Colorado

Part of the San Juan Skyway, this route runs between Silverton and Ouray in Colorado and is known as the Million Dollar Highway. It winds through the heart of the San Juan Mountains, offering jaw-dropping views of the Rockies, especially during the fall when the aspen trees turn golden. This drive is both thrilling and challenging, with sharp turns and steep drop-offs, but the scenery is truly unforgettable.

11. Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi to Tennessee

This historic corridor runs 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. The Natchez Trace Parkway meanders through stunning landscapes, prehistoric sites, and Civil War landmarks. It's a journey through history and natural beauty, with opportunities for hiking, biking, and horseback riding along the way.

12. Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is home to the Historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon. This scenic drive offers views of waterfalls, including the famous Multnomah Falls, the Columbia River, and the surrounding canyon. The drive's numerous vista points and short trails make it a perfect road trip for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

13. Skyline Drive, Virginia

Skyline Drive runs 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. It's known for its stunning vistas, abundant wildlife, and colorful fall foliage. The drive has numerous overlooks and trailheads, making it ideal for those who want to combine driving with outdoor activities like hiking and bird watching.

14. Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming

The Beartooth Highway is a high-altitude, scenic byway that runs from Red Lodge, Montana to the Northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. This drive is renowned for its breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, alpine lakes, and vast wilderness areas. Due to heavy snow, the highway is usually open from late May to mid-October.

15. Alaska Highway, Alaska

Stretching from Dawson Creek in British Columbia, Canada, to Delta Junction in Alaska, the Alaska Highway offers an epic road trip through remote wilderness. The journey offers chances to see diverse wildlife, including bears and moose, and traverses through scenic landscapes of mountains, forests, and tundra.

Planning Your Scenic Drive

When planning your scenic drive, consider the time of year, as some routes may be closed or hazardous during winter months. Ensure your vehicle is in good condition, and always have a backup plan for accommodations and fuel stops, especially in remote areas.

Connect with Outdoor Adventure Experts

For more information on planning the perfect scenic drive or for additional road trip tips, reach out to the Outdoor Adventure Connection at www.outdooradventures.pro. Our platform is dedicated to helping you discover and enjoy the best outdoor adventures across the USA and beyond.

Embark on these scenic drives and experience the diverse beauty of the United States - one road at a time.

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