At times you just need a beautiful drive in the countryside to release all that stress you have vented down. Lucky for people of the United States as there are a countless number of routes to choose from.
Whether you’re into the nation’s long, bloodied-yet-progressive history, oceanside scenery, or long drives through forest walls, there is a route in America for every walk-of-life. For every road you travel on, there are things to do and places to explore that will leave you feeling like an explorer equal to Columbus. The best part about it is that one road always leads to another, so the adventures never have to end.
If you’ve been needing a vacation or just something to get you out of your slump, reawaken your love of the land by taking a jaunt through some of our nation’s most captivating places. Truly, there are thousands so, we’ve narrowed it down for you. Here are the 60 most scenic drives in America.
1. The Coastal Connection In Alabama
This stretch of unbeatable highway snakes along the Alabama side of the Gulf of Mexico. Starting out in Alabama’s most southerly coastal tip in Grand Bay, the route slithers 130 miles through many must-see destinations, including wildlife refuges, historical military forts like Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines, and numerous southern beaches. If you love birdwatching, stop off in the Dauphin’s Island Audobon Bird Sanctuary for some amazing migration photos.
2. Richardson Highway In Alaska
If you’ve got a few days to spend road tripping, then you’ll definitely want to hit up Richardson Highway in Alaska. The 360-mile trip twists from Fairbanks into Valdez, passing through notable Glaciers such as Gulkanaand Worthing, Keystone Canyon, and Wrangell-Elias National Park, to name just a few. Make your kid’s dreams come true by stopping off in Alaska’s North Pole to explore the Antler Academy and the “Santa Clause House”.
3. Alaska’s Seward Highway
Take in the best natural sights in Alaska with a trip on the Seward Highway. Running 127 miles from Anchorage to Seward while following the Turnagain Arm, you won’t want to miss one vista or wildlife sightings in the Alaska and Aleutian Ranges, which are on full spectacular display between May and September. You can also experience the awe of watching Beluga whales in their natural habitat as they ride into Beluga Point on the ocean surf.
4. Highway 89A Through Arizona
Highway 89A, locally referred to as Oak Creek Scenic Route, travels from Flagstaff to Sedona. The trip may only be 30 miles, but it’s jam-packed with views the state’s famous red rocks, pine forests, and smooth cut canyons, so you won’t miss a thing. When you’ve had all the heat you can handle, slip into the cool waters atSlide Rock State Park as you race down the streams natural rock slide!
5. Pig Trail Scenic Byway In Arkansas
Getting its name from its striking resemblance to a pig’s tail, this route twists through the Boston Mountainstretch of the Arkansas Ozark Mountains. This is one drive that shows off its wild colors almost all year round, with brilliant leaves and flowers changing the color scheme of the land from Spring through Fall. If you’ve got time to hang, camp out at White Rock Mountain Recreation Area to hike its over 2,000 ft peak for the best views of the land.
6. California’s Pacific Coast Highway
While there is a TON to see and do in California, the good news is that a quick jaunt down the Pacific Coast Highway will let you soak in a good portion of the sunny state’s natural beauty. The route hugs the cliff lines it winds around as travels nearly 140 miles from Monterey all the way to Morro Bay. You can also hit up some awesome tourist destinations along the route, including Hearst Castle, Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, and the enchanting Carmel-By-The-Sea.
7. Route 395 Through California
Take a mesmerizing drive on Route 395. Beginning in beautiful Lake Tahoe, soak up some of the best sights this area has to offer as the road takes you back in time around mile 375. Here, you’ll pass through major attractions like Mono Lake, Death Valley National Park, and Yosemite National Park, before stopping off in the Inyo National Forest to take a selfie with the U.S. mainland’s tallest mountain, Mt. Whitney, as a backdrop.
8. San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway In Colorado
Allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the beauty of the vast mosaic of canyons cutting through valleys against a mountainous backdrop. This route, well over a century old, will take you through amazing hot springs, forests, and even abandoned mining towns from the long-forgotten past. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a trip down the “Million Dollar Highway” from Silverton to Ouray that was constructed in the late 1800s for a winding, slithering drive.
9. Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills Loop
Travel along the Litchfield Hills Loop for a 100-mile tour jam-packed with stunning displays of color in the fall. Along the drive, you can stop off in Falls Village where you’ll be thrown back all the way into the 1800s. Here you can spend a whole day soaking in the quaint scenery of old railroad stations, long-forgotten streets lined with historic homes, and stunning, ornate churches.
10. The Delaware Bayshore Byway
Suck up the often overlooked and awe-inspiring beauty to be found in the majestic marshes of Delaware Bay. The drive is only about 50 miles, but the views of the historic marshes are many and unforgettable, and if you’re there in fall you will see thousands of birds migrating South in huge flocks for the winter along the Atlantic Flyway. You can also visit the Historic Homes of Odessa along this route, which will take you on an architectural tour into the 17 and 1800’s.
11. The A1A Florida State Road
Although the Florida State Road cover an area well over 300 miles, the best sights can be seen in the 67-mile leg of the jaunt from Jacksonville to Miami. This part of the route will take you through some of Florida’s most famous and sought-after beach destinations, like Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach, and West Palm Beach. While you won’t be hurting for things to see and do, a particularly enriching destination along the way is the Timucuan Historic Preserve where you can visit the Kingsley Plantation, the oldest plantation still standing.
12. Florida’s Overseas Highway
Take a drive over the undulating surface of the Atlantic ocean as you travel from the bustling beach-side city of Miami to gorgeous Key West. This 113-mile ocean stretch of highway is a must-have on the bucket list, to be sure. Make the trip truly noteworthy by staying at one of the world’s only underwater hotels, the Jule’s Undersea Lodge!
13. Georgia’s Woodpecker Trail-Highway 121
This nearly century-old Trail is famous for its bird-watching opportunities. The most common among the avian species here are the Woodpeckers, who thrive on the healthy pine forests that fill the area. The 204-mile stretch will wind you through charming towns built long ago, including Folkston, Augusta, and Waynesboro. To really get a look at the many different endangered birds that nest here, take some binoculars with you to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge where you can also spot various Owls, Robins, and Cranes
14. Hana Highway In Hawaii
Take in the beautiful sweeping views around Maui on this 52 mile trip from Kahului through to Hana (hence the highway name). Though the drive is only a quick 2 ½-hour tour, you won’t miss a thing the island has to offer in terms of coastal views and tropic exploration! Make sure to take a rest at Wailua Falls, one of many waterfalls showcased along the drive.
15. Hawaii’s Hamakua Coastal Drive
Take a journey on Hawaii’s Big Island to soak up some of the best scenery the city in the sea has to offer! From rich, abundant valleys that give way to steep, towering cliffs, to the lush, tropical forests that are rooted above them, a drive along the Hamakua Coastal route will leave you breathless. Get acquainted with some of the 2,000+ plant species the island boasts at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.
16. Idaho’s Northwest Passage Scenic Byway
Travel through the ancestral lands of the Nez Perce, as you follow along U.S. Highway 12. Starting in Lewiston, it straddles the Montana-Idaho border before Grangeville, where from thereon you will be guided down the same path as the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery. Make a side stop in Spalding at the Nez Perce National Historic Park for landmarks from the Corps’ journey.
17. Illinois’ Route 66
One of the few highways in the world to have a hit song written about it, there’s a reason they say you can “get your kicks on Route 66”! As you cruise from the bustling city of downtown Chicago, you’ll soon be driving through quiet farming towns full of old history on the 301-mile roll through Illinois, finally ending in St. Louise for some of the world’s best BBQ. Add a pic to your oddball wall by stopping off in Collinsville to see the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle.
18. Parke County Indiana
More a destination filled with adventure on every road than it is a “route” Park County Indiana will transport you into a different era. Harboring a concentration of covered bridges numbering more than anywhere else in the world, this town is the epitome of quaint. For a really fun night in the town, you can jail yourself for the evening in the Old Jail Inn Park County in Rockville.
19. Great River Road In Iowa
The Great River Road is really more a collection of streets and highways in multiple towns, cities, and states that follow along with the meandering path of the Mississippi River. This 300-mile stretch of the journey will move you through the best scenery on the eastern border of Iowa. Passing through 10 counties, you will see beautiful riverside villages and numerous national wildlife refuges. For 360° views of the massive Mississippi, make a stop at Mount Hosmer.
20. Flint Hills National Scenic Byway In Kansas
Experience the natural world at its finest on this highway through the heart of America. The Flint Hills Scenic Byway is beautiful any time of year, but she’s on full display in the Springtime. During the warmer weather, this nearly 50-mile stretch will treat your eyes to vistas of hills that roll into prairie lands filled with wildflowers. Take a trip up to Schrumpf Hill Scenic Overlook just before the sun dips down to experience one of the world-famous Flint Hills sunsets.
21. Lincoln Heritage National Scenic Highway In Kentucky
If you are taking a history buff on your road trip, then make sure to plan a drive on the Lincoln Heritage National Scenic Highway for a sure-to-please experience. The 71-mile drive takes you through the many main streets of Kentucky’s small towns known for their window shops. The drive then takes you by the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic site, where you can see the boyhood home that his family once settled.
22. Louisiana’s Bayou Teche Byway
If you’re looking to take a road trip that involves checking out the local bed and breakfast joints, consider beginning your journey in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Here you can kick off the 183-mile journey through the Bayou Teche Byway. Stop off at Cajun Jack’s Swamp to check out local wildlife like American Alligators and countless migratory birds before grubbing down on some authentic Cajun food at one of the many stops along the way.
23. Acadia All-American Road Through Maine
If you’ve got a few hours to kill in Maine, take a trip over to the Hulls Cove Visitor Center in Trenton where you’ll begin on the Acadia National Park’s loop. Get lost in the views of sleepy harbors and sandy beaches peppered throughout with charming lighthouses. Just leave yourself time on the 3-hour tour to climb the highest peak on the East Coast on Cadillac Mountain to catch a glimpse of its amazing views.
24. Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway In Maine
If you want to spend a fair amount of time exploring, but not driving, then Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway is the drive for you! Rolling through Maine’s western mountains, this nature-filled road trip is only slightly more than 35 miles long. The whole trip takes roughly 2 ½ hours, which leaves plenty of time to explore segments of the Appalachian Trail and to take a few photo’s beneath Angel Falls as it makes its 90 ft drop.
25. Maryland’s Historic National Road
The first federally funded interstate highway, the Historic National Road was constructed in the 1800’s, stretching over 600 miles to open up America’s west to pioneers. Passing through multiple states, there is nothing this drive leaves to be desired in terms of dramatic, changing landscapes. If you want to soak up every bit of the view, take a trip along the route by train on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.
26. The Old King’s Highway In Massachusetts
For a calmer and quieter trip through Cape Cod, ride along The Old King Highway. Stretching east to west across Cape Cod’s northern bayside, Route 6A offers much less crowded views of New England’s finest attractions. Suck in the visual history of some of the U.S.’s oldest little towns before making a pit stop at the Barnstable Harbor for some refreshing seafood as you gaze on the bay.
27. Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway In Minnesota
For a lakeside drive, take a trip on the Pual Bunyan Scenic Byway as it runs through central Minnesota. Here, you’ll have access to all the region’s beautiful lakes, like Pelican Lake, Crosslake, Gull Lake, and the long admired chain of Whitefish Lakes, where you can fish or boat to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to bring your mountain bike, as this route passes through the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, home to some of the world’s best mountain biking trails for all experience levels.
28. Mississippi’s Great River Road
For a real Southern adventure, hop onto the last stretch of the Great River Road in Mississippi, as it winds down through Louisiana before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. The route follows the path of the Mississippi River as it creeps through historic riverside towns full of quaint bed and breakfasts, churches, and the Old South Winery in Natchez. You won’t be disappointed with this 300-mile stretch of the journey!
29. Missouri Ozarks Getaway
Take in the breadth and scope of the great Ozarks, beginning your journey on the Getaway in Strafford, Missouri. From here you will meander over and through up to 8 different routes, absorbing all the state has to offer in terms of scenery along the way, intertwining through the Mark Twain National Forest. The route ends in Missouri’s 3rd biggest city, Springfield.
30. Nebraska’s Highway 71
Take Highway 71 through Nebraska from Denver through Rapid City, South Dakota to see and an ecological roller coaster of a drive. The 164-mile trek takes you from the spellbinding lull of rolling hillsides in the South into the flat, open, and sprawling plains of found in the North. For an unforgettable hike filled with wildlife and naturescapes, take a stroll through the Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area and Nature Center.
31. Highway 50 Through Nevada
Take a throwback journey into the Wild, Wild West beginning in the historical cowboy town of Carson City. From here, you’ll drive through remnants of the old world as you travel through ghost-towns peppered with abandoned mines, opera houses, saloons, and the remains of old Pony Express stations. Get a close-up of wildlife like deer, elk, antelope, and even wild horses!
32. New Hampshire’s Kancamagus Scenic Byway
Putting on an Autumn show of leaves and flowers grandiose enough to rival any part of the nation, this sleepy New England drive will make your senses come alive, especially in the fall. Also known as the “Kanc”,this majestic byway begins in Lincoln and winds upward just shy of 3,000 feet in elevation before dropping into the small town of Conway. Be sure to have your camera ready as the road twists you through the White Mountain National Forest with its mesmerizing vistas.
33. New Jersey’s Palisades Scenic Byway
Take this enchanting byway through a patch of the landmark Palisades Interstate Park. One of New Jersey’s national landmarks, these deeply forested palisades rise a whopping 500 feet into the air and put on an unbeatable fall display of colorful foliage. While driving you can snatch quick peeks at the New York City skyline across the Hudson River it travels along.
34. Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway In New Mexico
See the wild desert mountain beauty in Taos, New Mexico on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway. From Taos, the byway wraps around New Mexico’s most beloved mountains, such as the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as well as Wheeler Peak. Take memorable adventures in Angel Fire while traveling the byway, like skiing, snowmobiling, or going on hot air balloon rides!
35. Route 77 In Rhode Island
If you find yourself in Rhode Island, experience what lies at the heart of the quaint state by taking a trip on Route 77. The scenic drive is only slightly less than 15 miles, but in the short distance you can spend the day exploring some of the many wineries that pepper the route, and experience the riverfront countryside of the tiny state. Pack a picnic and a bottle of wine to enjoy an afternoon at Nanaquaket Pond for the ultimate Rhodie experience.
36. Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Byway In South Carolina
Fuel up for a drive along Highway 11 in South Carolina to take in the striking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The byway spans 100 miles across the Cherokee Foothills, offering up a serene drive full of captivating scenery. Don’t forget to check out Table Rock State Park while you’re there to experience all the region has to offer for recreation.