Discover breathtaking views on U.S. Roads.
Planning a road trip across the U.S.? It’s a wonderful way to take in America’s majestic beauty. Make sure you include some of these top scenic drives in your travel itinerary for some breathtaking views. These spectacular roads become a destination rather than simply a way to get somewhere. You’ll experience striking views of the water, mountains, nature, and historical architecture. Here are our top 12 scenic roads.
#1 Hana Highway, Maui Hawaii
The 52 mile road from Kahului to Hana, it is well worth the time and effort to drive. This extremely curvy road snakes you alongside cliffs over the deep blue waters below. Make sure you stop along the way to appreciate the views and to enjoy local roadside refreshment. Hana has a red sand beach where you can sometimes spot endangered monk seals.
#2 Blue Ridge Parkway, Carolinas and Virginia
This is nearly 500 miles through the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah national parks. Surely a beautiful winding drive, the road was built for travelers seeking Appalachian views. Any time of the year, it provides amazing panoramic views. Experience foliage, ski resorts, and bird spotting (over 50 resident species).
#3 Overseas Highway, Route 1, Florida Keys
From Key Largo to Key West, the Overseas Highway connects these Florida islands in the turquoise water of the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll experience a beautiful drive past lighthouses, underwater coral-reef parks, and across the 7 Mile Bridge, one of the longest bridges in the world.
#4 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
The architecture that lines Lake Michigan is worth the trip, beginning at Hollywood and extending to Jackson Park. This 26 mile trip includes the downtown buldings, the Willis Tower—formerly the Sears Tower, the Burnham and Root’s Rookery, and Mies van der Rohe architecture.
#5 Bluebonnet Trail, Texas
Texas’ most amazing views are found between Austin and Houston, especially from March to May when the wild bluebonnet flowers are in bloom. Explore seven interconnected lakes found on the Colorado River. Lake Buchanan is popular for it’s fishing and beautiful vistas.
#6 Route 12, Utah
From Capitol Reef National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, this majestic road extends 124 miles. You’ll notice significant altitudes up to 9,000 feet and get wonderful vistas of beautiful forests, mountains and red rock and sandstone canyons. Make sure to take pit stops and drive careful on this road’s skinny cliff-hanging area called the “Hogback”.
#7 North Shore Drive, Minnesota
This drive in Minnesota includes Lake Superior’s glacial shoreline. As you drive from Duluth toward Two Harbors, you will get beautiful water views of of Gitche Gumee. Beautiful dense birch and maple trees line the ocean. You may also spot ocean tankers anchored in the last inland port of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
#8 Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire
Though the White Mountains in New Hampshire is a 36 mile trip especially beautiful in the fall to view the spectacular foliage. October is a pinacle month to view many trees ( birch, maple, alder and more) change colors in a beautiful spectrum.
#9 Trail Ridge Road, Colorado
This beautiful road, through the Rocky Mountain National Park, is fully paved making it a comfortable drive through winding curves as high as 12,183 feet. Historically, this route over the Continental Divide was originated by the Native Americans. You’ll see wildlife including elk, deer, and bighorn sheep
#10 Olympic Peninsula Loop, Washington
Highway 101 is the only way to travel. It circles around the largest road-free area in the continental U.S. Starting in Seattle, you’ll witness the Hoh River rainforest, filled with ancient Sitka spruce. Once you reach Hurricane Ridge, you’ll get views of the San Juan Islands. Visit the Olympic beaches at low tide to experience sand dollars, starfish, and other sea life.
#11 Anchorage to Valdez, Alaska
The trip from Anchorage to Valdez will afford you majestic views past prehistoric glaciers and into incredibly peaked mountain ranges. This 300-mile journey will allow you to see the trans-Alaska pipeline. Closer to Valdez, you’ll come down in elevation to sea level and witness waterfalls of Keystone Canyon which spills into Prince William Sound.
#12 The High Road, New Mexico
The 56-mile road that goes from Santa Fe to Taos provides amazing views of deserts, forests, wildflower meadows, ancient Indian settlements and 17th-century adobe towns. You’ll journey from Sangre de Cristos to the Rocky Mountains witnessing breathtaking high-elevation canyon views over Truchas Peak.