For all of you out there who love to drive, grab your sunglasses and load up your favourite playlist because we found the perfect spot for your next scenic drive. Whether you’re looking for a great coastline drive, a windy mountain pass, or a peaceful desert escape, we’re about to share with you five of the most breathtaking landscapes America has to offer. We’re taking the phrase “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey” to heart with these great recommendations. Now buckle up because we're about to hit the road.
1. Pacific Coast Highway, California
Say hello to the “Mother Road” of scenic drives - the Pacific Coast Highway. Running along most of California’s coastline, this 655-mile route is everything you dream of when it comes to living your best sun-drenched Californian adventure.
Start from sunny San Diego and slowly (or quickly!) cruise your way up to charming San Francisco. As you make your way down the highway, you can expect a whole lot of great stops on the way. From beautiful bustling beach towns to sleepy fishing villages to historic landmarks to majestic cliffs, there are so many great places to visit. On top of that, you’ll get beautiful views along the way.
If you want to know which stops are worthy of a visit, stop by Big Sur for a delicious slice of pizza, take an Instagram-worthy shot at the iconic Bixby Bridge, and don’t forget to take a stroll through Hearst Castle for a stunning peek into history. Don’t forget to take some time to enjoy some nature too! Take a walk under the tall trees at Redwood National Park and if you’re lucky, spot some seals basking on the shores at Point Reyes National Seashore. There’s just so much to see and do as you cruise down this beautiful route, making this one of the best scenic drives in America.
2. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana
It’s time to explore a different kind of road - we’re leaving the sandy beaches for the snow-capped mountains. Hidden away in Montana’s Glacier National Park is the beautiful Going-to-the-Sun Road. It’s a true gem. This is a 50 mile journey that will take you so far up, you’ll reach some seriously staggering heights - so much so that you’ll feel like you could “touch the sun”. So for all of you out there that are afraid of heights, this drive is certainly not for the faint of heart.
As you journey your way up higher and higher, you’ll get some absolutely spectacular views. From verdant valleys to glacial peaks, the landscape is so varied that it’ll feel like you’re traversing through a painting that changes with every turn. And if you happen to be a wildlife enthusiast, wait till we tell you about all the animals you might come across. From mountain goats to grizzly bears, keep your eyes out for more surprise guests! Lastly, don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy Logan Pass, the road’s highest point. The views will surely leave you amazed by all that nature has to offer.
3. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina/Virginia
If you’re looking for a scenic route that’s more nature-heavy, drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway for a special treat. This 469 mile wonder connects two national parks, the Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountains. Here, you’ll get some of nature’s best - rolling mountains, vibrant wildflowers, lush forests, and a sea of blue haze that gives the parkway its name.
But that’s not all. Your camera roll will soon fill up with lovely photos of cascading waterfalls, rustic old farmsteads, and panoramic overlooks. For all you autumn lovers, this is your dream drive. If you have the time, you might want to stop and take a couple hikes - it’ll definitely be worth your time. Or check out some rare historic sites where you can explore and learn more about this amazing country. Whatever it is you choose to do, your breath will surely be taken away.
4. Route 66
We couldn’t make a list of the most iconic scenic routes without mentioning the legendary Route 66. You’ve seen it in movies, you’ve heard it in songs, but how much do you really know about it? Spanning from Chicago to Santa Monica, this whopping 2,448 mile highway takes you on a joyride through America’s history. From diners, drive-ins, to rock n’ roll, it’s certainly an ode to the past!
As you travel through the heart of the country, you’ll discover plenty of sights to see. From small-town charms to public art installations, you get the chance to fully immerse yourself in Americana. Don’t forget to stop by the Cadillac Ranch in Texas, the vintage gas stations in Illinois, and the charming Wigwam Motels in Arizona. Route 66 is such a wonderful piece of American history that is covered in nostalgia and beauty. It is truly a testimony to the open road’s timeless allure.
5. Overseas Highway, Florida
Picture this: you’re driving over the sea with the horizon an endless stretch of beautiful blue. Sounds like a dream right? Actually, that’s exactly what the 113-mile Overseas Highway can offer you. Connecting mainland Florida to the laid-back Florida keys, this route has the perfect amount of tropical charm.
As you travel down this route, you’ll get to pass the unique ecosystems of the Everglades and make your way across 42 different bridges including the famous Seven Mile Bridge. When you reach the final stop, Key West, you’ll be shocked by the vibrant atmosphere filled with pastel houses, legendary pie, and the most stunning sunset at Mallory Square. And hey, if you’re feeling adventurous, snorkeling, fishing, and dolphin-spotting are all fun activities available there too! The Overseas Highway is definitely a sunny slice of paradise that will have you slowing down to soak up all the good vibes.
From sunny beaches to peaceful mountains to beautiful oceans, the American road offers a symphony of landscapes, culture, and history. These are just five great recommendations, but there are so many out there for you to discover. So what are you waiting for? Fill up that gas tank, grab a friend, and see where your next adventure on the road will take you!