There are certain American road trips that eventually make it onto every traveler’s bucket list: cruising down the Pacific Coast on Highway 1, getting a taste of kitschy Americana on Route 66, and taking in the changing colors of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the fall, just to name a few.
These routes are more than just roads to get you where you need to go; they’re destinations in themselves. Pick any of the journeys below and you’ll find yourself immersed in scenic vistas, historic points of interest, national parks, small towns, and so much more.
Nicknamed the “Highway to the Sky,” the 69-mile Beartooth Highway connects Yellowstone National Park and Red Lodge, Montana. The road passes through alpine forest and arctic tundra and delivers constant views of 12,000-foot peaks.
Blue Ridge Parkway
A drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway is equal parts journey and destination. Built on the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the 469-mile-long road carries travelers between two popular national parks, but it’s also an attraction in its own right.
Traversing the White Mountain National Forest between Conway and Lincoln, New Hampshire, the Kancamagus Highway offers nearly endless opportunities to pause and enjoy views of mountains, valleys, and rivers.
Pacific Coast Highway
Highway 1 and U.S. Route 101 combine to provide an epic road trip along nearly the entirety of the West Coast of the U.S. that offers everything from beaches lined with palm trees to misty, rainforest-covered mountains.
Route 66 is the quintessential embodiment of the road and all its greatest promises: freedom and serendipity, kitsch and living history, and a case study of the very particular way Americans have moved and multiplied.
Taking in the scenery of Skyline Drive is a bucket-list item for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The road attracts more than 1.2 million visitors each year, eager to take in vibrant fall foliage or colorful spring wildflowers.
Find itineraries and can’t-miss stops for some of our favorite scenic drives.
Camping and RVing
The best campgrounds along some of the most epic routes in the U.S., from our friends at Campendium.
Can’t get enough of the Mother Road? Neither can we.
Harley Russell, Route 66's most famous hillbilly hoarder, presides over a shop where nothing is for sale
Modernism on the Mother Road: How one nonprofit is preserving Albuquerque’s unexpected architectural history
Where the wild burros roam: Lured by gold and ghosts, visitors just can't quit the tiny mountain town of Oatman, Arizona
Route 66 is for everyone: Immigrant communities and Somalian cowboys are challenging stereotypes along the Mother Road
Even more scenic drives and historic highways to inspire your next road trip.
Free to roam: Following in the footsteps of a legend along Maryland's Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway
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