One of life’s greatest pleasures is a drive through one of America’s most scenic areas. There is true beauty in our country and it doesn’t take a lot of money to experience it. You just need an automobile and enough time to enjoy the trip. We spoke with Mr. Ed, an automotive financing firm in Phoenix, Az, and they suggested 8 wonderful drives that are open for all to enjoy.
1) Pacific Coast Highway
Any discussion of great roads has to include the Pacific Coast Highway. In particular, the stretch of Highway 1 between Los Angeles and San Francisco is perhaps the most iconic stretch of highway in the country. There’s a reason that it’s featured in so many Hollywood movies, as the views it offers are simply stellar.
2) George Parks Highway
The George Parks highway, which parallels the Alaska Railroad, is one of the most scenic roads in Alaska. It is the main route between Alaska’s two largest metropolitan areas: Anchorage and Fairbanks. Along the route you will have access to Denali National Park and Preserve and the beautiful Matanuska-Susitna valley. The George Parks highway is 323 miles of scenic Alaskan wilderness beauty.
3) Overseas Highway
The Overseas Highway is a 113-mile highway carrying US Route 1 through the Florida Keys. Sometimes called “the Highway that Goes to Sea,” the Overseas Highway follows a trail originally blazed in 1912 when Henry Flagler extended his Florida East Coast Railroad from Miami to Key West. The bridges along the route are achievements in engineering and offer incredible sunrises and sunsets depending on when you’re driving. The highway offers travelers an exotic roadway through a tropical savanna environment and passes over the largest area of coral reefs on the US mainland. Many of the islands along the route are home to exotic animals such as the American Crocodile and Key Deer.
4) Silverado Trail
The Silverado Trail begins near the top of San Francisco Bay and ambles northward through the most famous winegrowing region in America. It is the first permanent road linking the town of Napa to Calistoga, roughly 30 miles south. Not only is the scenery breathtaking, you can stop along the way and enjoy wine tours and tastings at any number of the dozens of wineries.
5) Deals Gap
Also known locally as the Tail of the Dragon, Deals Gap is one of the curviest stretches of road in the entire United States. Located in North Carolina, its only 11 miles long yet has 318 curves along its length. Officially designated US 129, Deals Gap is bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest. There is no development along this stretch of road, ensuring that there is no intersecting traffic to contend with as you navigate turns with names like Copperhead Corner, Gravity Cavity, and Break or Bust Bend.
6) Utah’s Scenic Byway 12
Utah’s Route 12 is a trip through some of the most incredible geological formations on the planet. For over 120 miles, you are treated to the awe-inspiring sights of Bryce Canyon, Dixie National Forest and Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. Along Route 12, multi-hued limestone cliffs and red rock formations tower above the road and provide visitors with fabulous vistas. Seeing the sunset from just about anywhere on Route 12 is an experience you will never forget.
7. Acadia’s Park Loop
Acadia National Park in Maine is simply a bucket list destination. The Park Loop swirls around Mt Desert Island and offers breathtaking ocean views, rocky coastlines, crystal clear lakes and mountains that explode with color in the fall. Take trip up Cadillac Mountain in the early morning and you will see the first rays of sun that hit the United States.
8. Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina and Virginia are arguably the most scenic in all of Appalachia. The Blue Ridge Parkway that was built through them connects Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains national park. Its home to some of the best camping and fishing areas in the country.