By Monte Williams
When it comes to scenic drives in the US, there is no doubt that the US boasts some of the best scenic roads in the world!
The choice for scenic routes is immense with hundreds of byways and many national parks such as Yosemite and Yellowstone being some of the best places to enjoy an All-American scenic drive.
If you’re planning a scenic drive trip with friends and family and are wondering about the best routes and roads, I’ve listed below some of the most scenic drives in the US:
The West Coast of USA boasts some of the most scenic drives in the US hands down!
The two main highways running along the coast are Highway 1 (between Dana Point California and Leggett California) and US Route 101 (between Leggett and Olympia Washington State).
Pacific Coast Highway
Both of these routes offer many opportunities for scenic drives. However, the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) stretch in the states has to be one of the most scenic drives in the US in my opinion.
Most of Highway 1 rungs along the California Coast where you’ll find two of the most scenic drives in California, which include:
- Monterey to Morro Bay (California State Route 1): This scenic drive takes you along the California coast through the famous Big Sur mile stretch, which boasts spectacular views of the Santa Lucia Mountain range.
- Santa Rosa to Cloverdale (along US Route 101): This scenic drive takes you through California’s famed wine country where you can enjoy a myriad of wine tasting opportunities!
US Highway 101
US Highway 101 route is also an amazing route, which boasts stunning cliff scenery and some of the best views ever of the Pacific Ocean.
|Popular National Parks in California|
- Gold Beach to Brookings (US Route 101): This is one of my favorite stretches along the Oregon Coast because of the many look-out points and lovely sandy beaches. You’ll also find many campsites along the way close the beach suitable for both RV and tent users.
- Portland to The Dalles (Columbia River Highway): This scenic drive takes you winding along the historic Columbia River through lush green scenery and beautiful cascading waterfalls such as Multnomah Falls.
Hana Highway (Hana Road) in the island of Maui in Hawaii is another great place to find some of the most scenic drives in the US.
Hana Highway spans just over 60 miles, between the town of Kahului and the town of Hana (west coast of Maui).
This Hana-Kahului scenic drive takes around 3 hours to complete, but it takes you along some of the most beautiful Hawaiian scenery and points of interest such as the majestic Wailua Falls (pictured) in the Haleakala National Park.
Interstate 70: Denver/ Glenwood Springs
The Interstate 70 stretch in Colorado between Denver and Glenwood Springs is another of the most famous scenic drives in the US.
The Denver/ Glenwood Springs scenic route runs through the heart of the White River National Forest, Breckenridge and Vail, which are two of the top 10 places to ski in the US.
Driving along this scenic route takes you through some of the most stunning mountain scenery and stunning natural attractions such as Hanging Lake and Glenwood Canyon, which is the highlight of this scenic drive.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway scenic drive is one of the most popular and favorite scenic drives in the US no doubt!
Blue Ridge Parkway scenic drive starts roughly from Asheville in North Carolina to Charlottesville in Virginia.
Anytime of the year is great to enjoy a drive along this magnificent stretch of road, though during the fall season Blue Ridge Parkway becomes one of the best places to see the fall foliage in the Great Smoky Mountains national park in North Carolina.
As you drive in your car along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the views of the leaves color change are truly spectacular!
Going-To-The-Sun Road is located in Montana and it’s one of the most spectacular scenic routes in the US. This scenic stretch of road is truly a road-construction genius of the 20th century as it's constructed around the mountainsides allowing you for truly memorable vistas.
Going-To-The-Sun Road scenic drive is the only road that runs right through the heart of Glacier National Park, which means viewing opportunities to spot wildlife such as grizzly bears and goats.
If you’re a wildlife lover and love taking pictures, Going-To-The-Sun Road scenic drive is truly one of the most scenic drives in the US for great picture-taking opportunities!
Sandhills: Grand Island/ Alliance
The Sandhills scenic drive stretches from the city of Grand Island to the city of Alliance (which is home to the famed Carhenge attraction).
The Sandhills scenic drive runs along Nebraska Highway 2, and takes your through rural Nebraska along lovely rolling sand dunes and beautiful prairie grass stretches.
This scenic drive isn't particularly long (around 45 miles long) but you'll need to allow at least 60 minutes to complete it. You’ll find along the way many charming towns where you can stop over if you wish.
If you love driving through peaceful scenery, Sandhills is one of the most pleasant scenic routes in the US by far!
Author Bio: Monte Williams is a writer, part time traveler who is in the process of planning a 90 day trip across Asia, South America and Europe. Aside from writing, Monte enjoys watching NASCAR and rally racing.
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