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Publish Date - February 14, 2022

Author: Staci Bailey

Categories:   Useful Automotive Information   

14 Incredible Scenic Road Trips to Consider for Your Next Vacation

An incredible scenic road trip promises a once in a lifetime experience and that feeling of freedom that the open road inspires. It’s a relatively low budget vacation and an escape full of discovery and excitement.

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The United States has some of the most scenic road trip routes in the world. It’s a huge nation with a varied landscape and an abundance of things to see. Between tall mountains, endless grasslands, desert views, tropical escapes, and more than 95k miles of shoreline, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Looking to hit the road? Look no further. We have compiled a list of fourteen scenic road trips to help make your next vacation a phenomenal adventure.

1. Route 66 - Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California

The iconic Route 66 was one of the original U.S. highways. It was established in 1926 and originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California. Parts of the original highway have been abandoned but sections in Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been recognized as national scenic byways.

2. Trail Ridge Road - Colorado

From Grand Park to Estes Lake the Trail Ridge Road offers 48 miles of mountain views. This stretch of Highway 34 traverses Rocky Mountain National Park and is rich in natural beauty and wildlife including elk, deer, and bighorn sheep. The route gets converted to winter trail status for the cold months beginning at the start of December to the end of March.

3. Parke County - Indiana

This road trip is a little different as it doesn’t involve any one specific road. Parke County in Indiana, known as the covered bridge capital of the world, has ample historic bridges for you to explore. Pick your own route through the region and get ready for plenty of photo ops on this scenic road trip.

4. Pacific Coast Highway - California

The drive along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway spans from San Diego to San Francisco along Highway 1. This breathtaking coastal highway has long stretches of beaches, towering redwoods, sea cliffs, and remarkable bridges. If things seem familiar it’s likely due to the legendary stops along the way where celebrities have come to unwind for decades.

5. Blue Ridge Parkway - Virginia and the Carolinas

Nearly 500 miles snake their way between Rockfish Gap, Virginia and Swain County, North Carolina. This scenic road trip route twists its way through both Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It offers ample views of lush forests and is a favorite drive during fall months when the trees put on a stunning display.

6. Lake Shore Drive - Chicago

A scenic drive doesn’t have to be all about the beauty of nature. Architecture can be just as spectacular and the 15 miles south of Hollywood Avenue are a prime example on this scenic road trip along Lake Michigan. The buildings of downtown Chicago along Lake Shore Drive are showstoppers.

7. Route 12 - Utah

Route 12 is a 122 mile long state highway which winds between Capitol Reef National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Enjoy the majesty of red rock country along with stops at quaint towns along the way. The views of sandstone canyons and purple sage are truly breathtaking on this scenic road trip.

8. The Overseas Highway - Florida Keys

From Key Largo to Key West this scenic highway will take you over the ocean and through the islands. Enjoy ocean views, lighthouses, beach bars, and the Seven Mile Bridge connecting Knights Key and Little Duck Key. The bridge was constructed in 1912 and is one of the longest bridges in the world.

9. Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway - Maine

This route is only 35.6 miles long but you should allow at least 2.5 hours for this scenic road trip as there is a lot to see and enjoy. The Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway winds its way through the western mountains and it’s immersed in nature. This byway runs through forests, over mountain streams, and even over a chain of lakes and ponds.

10. Lake Superior Circle Tour - USA and Canada

If you’re looking for an epic road trip the 1300 mile route of the Lake Superior Circle Trail is unparalleled. Looping around Lake Superior it passes through Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and crosses the Canadian border into Ontario. From the sandy southern shores to the wild north this route is magnificent.

11. Bluebonnet Trail - Texas

For a few weeks in March to April the hills and meadows of central to southeastern Texas are covered by beautiful blue flowers called bluebonnets. The official Bluebonnet Trail is a 40 mile road trip located in Ennis south of Dallas but you can also spot the flowers near Houston and San Antonio. Get your fill of this scenic road trip by driving the all in a 500 mile loop.

12. Silverado Trail - California

The Silverado Trail spans 29 miles along the eastern edge of Napa Valley. This scenic drive offers views of rolling vineyards of over 40 wineries. Complete your trip with a stop for lunch along the way at the famous French Laundry restaurant in Yountville.

13. Route 101 - Oregon

Route 101 runs north-south through the state of Oregon along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. This scenic road trip offers views of the ocean, beaches, and sea cliffs. From California to Washington this route is sure to delight at every one of its 360 miles.

14. The High Road to Taos- New Mexico

This 56 mile drive spans between Santa Fe and Taos. Explore the rich Spanish history of New Mexico along the High Road To Taos. This scenic road trip delivers desserts, forests, meadows, canyon views, mountains, and ancient pueblos complete with adobe houses.

An incredible scenic road trip promises a once in a lifetime experience and that feeling of freedom that the open road inspires. It’s a relatively low budget vacation and an escape full of discovery and excitement. Pack your bags, grab some company, and go where the road takes you.

Planning an epic road trip? Make your trip even more enjoyable from the driver’s seat of a new car. A reliable vehicle with all of the comforts will turn your car into a home away from home while you explore incredible scenic routes on the adventure of a lifetime.