Whether you’re looking to take a leisurely drive down the coast or embark on an epic cross-country journey, there are plenty of scenic routes to choose from in the United States. To help you plan your next road trip, we’ve rounded up ten of the most picturesque drives in the country.
Pacific Coast Highway, California
Stretching for over 650 miles along the Californian coast, the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most famous roadways in the world. The route takes you past some of the state’s most iconic landmarks, including Big Sur, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Malibu. The drive can be done in its entirety or broken up into smaller sections, depending on your time and budget.
Route 66, Illinois to California
This legendary highway needs no introduction. Once the main route for westward migration in the US, Route 66 is now a popular road trip destination for travelers from all over the world. The 2,400-mile journey takes you through eight states, offering up plenty of opportunities to stop and explore along the way. Highlights include the Cadillac Ranch in Texas and the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.
Overseas Highway, Florida
For a taste of old-school Miami Vice glamor, hop on the Overseas Highway and take a drive down to Key West. The 113-mile route runs along Florida’s southern tip, offering up panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Be sure to stop at one of the many roadside stands for a refreshing key lime pie or freshly caught fish.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina
This 469-mile scenic byway is the perfect place to enjoy some of the best fall foliage in the country. The route runs along the Appalachian Mountains, offering up plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, and picnicking. In addition to its natural beauty, the parkway also takes you past historic sites like Mount Mitchell State Park.
Hana Highway, Maui, Hawaii
If you’re looking for a tropical road trip, look no further than the Hana Highway on the Hawaiian island of Maui. This 64-mile route takes you through lush rainforests, past waterfalls, and along a winding coastline. Be sure to allow plenty of time to make stops along the way – there’s plenty to see and do, from swimming in freshwater pools to taking in views of the Haleakala crater.
Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana
This 52-mile stretch of highway takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in Glacier National Park. The route crosses the Continental Divide and offers up panoramic views of alpine meadows, glacial valleys, and towering mountains. Due to its high elevation, the road is typically only open from late June to early October – plan your trip accordingly!
Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming
This 67-mile stretch of highway takes you to the top of the Beartooth Plateau, offering up incredible views of Yellowstone National Park. The route is open from late May to late September, weather permitting. Due to its high elevation, the road can be susceptible to snow and ice – come prepared with proper tires and plenty of warm clothing.
Copper Country Scenic Byway, Michigan
This 47-mile route takes you along Lake Superior’s northern shore, offering up some of the best views in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The drive takes you past waterfalls, forests, and rocky coastline, with plenty of opportunities to stop and explore along the way. Be sure to bring your camera – the fall colors are simply stunning!
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Hawaii
This scenic drive will take you past some of Hawaii’s most iconic landmarks, including Diamond Head State Monument. The route offers up stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, as well as the opportunity to stop and enjoy some of the island’s best beaches. Be sure to allow plenty of time for stops – there’s plenty to see and do on this beautiful island!
Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire
This 34.5-mile route takes you through the White Mountain National Forest, offering up some of the best fall foliage in New England. The drive is particularly stunning in October when the leaves are at their peak. Be sure to stop at one of the many scenic overlooks – the views are simply breathtaking!
So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable road trip experience, be sure to check out at least one of these ten scenic routes. And don’t forget to share your photos and stories with us once you get back! Do you have any tips or tricks for making the most of a scenic drive? Let us know in the comments below.