If you really want to see some amazing scenery in the U.S., you need to travel the nation’s highways and byways. However, you also need to know which roads to travel to make the most of your time. The following listing will give you more insight as to where to direct your sights.
1. U.S. Highway Route 1 – Traveling to Big Sur and Along the Pacific Coast
Spanning just over 655 miles, U.S. Highway Route 1 in California is a great way to see the Golden State. You cannot be squeamish about taking the highway, as it does feature its fair share of treacherous turns and spellbinding drops. However, you will be rewarded with some world-class natural scenery.
This long road trip must be planned carefully, as you can go for long stretches with nary a store or fuel stop in sight. One of the great sites to see is the Bixby CreekBridge at Big Sur. The bridge, which is Big Sur’s version of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, sits 260 feet above a steep canyon and cliffs. It is one of the most photographed bridges in the world.
2. The Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina
If you want to take a leisurely drive and set your pace at about 45 miles per hour, you won’t want to miss the chance to see the Blue Ridge Parkway. The park winds its way through North Carolina and Virginia in the Appalachian Mountain range.
The route, which is just shy of 470 miles, links the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the Shenandoah National Park. Because of the many trees along the roadway, the best times to take this road trip is during the summer, when you can observe the lush green foliage, or in the fall. During the autumn, the leaves explode in vibrant hues of crimson and gold.
If you like gaming, you will want to visit Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, which sits at the entrance of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The gaming action includes an 82,000 square foot casino holding 3,500 slots. You can also enjoy gaming online at your accommodation at Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel. If you want to try your luck online, go here and enjoy U.S. Bingo anytime. Many of the sites offer no deposit bonus on signup.
3. Iconic Route 66
This road trip list would not be complete without including iconic Route 66. Also known as the “Mother Road,” this stretch of the U.S. Highway system begins in Chicago, ends in Santa Monica, California, and covers 2,500 miles over eight states.
If you want to see some great examples of classic Americana, this is the road to take. Don’t forget to stop at Missouri’s Meramec Caverns, the famous hideout for infamous outlaw, Jesse James. The Jesse James Wax Museum, which is close by, is also worth a stop-and-see.
4. Traveling from Anchorage to Valdez, Alaska
Travel outside the contiguous U.S. and see some glaciers, taking the road betweenAnchorage and Valdez. This road trip links the Glenn and Richardson highways. The wintry and scenic 300-mile trip can be taken in about 17 hours, and includes the Matanuska Glacier Scenic Turnout. This turnout is just 103 miles north of Anchorage. The glacier stop, which only holds six vehicles, sits on a bluff overlooking the Matanuska Glacier. If you don’t own a camera with a zoom lens, this is a great spot to view a major ice mass up-close. If you are more adventuresome, you might also consider ice climbing up the glacier.
5. The Peninsula Loop in Washington’s Olympic National Park
Another road trip that takes you along the U.S. West Coast is the Olympic Peninsula Loop, which is found in Olympic National Park in Washington State. This day adventure covers 330 miles and takes you past a diverse range of terrain. You can see the Pacific coast, rainforests, lush and green, and the Cascade Mountains in just one day. If you like scenic variety, you will want to plan this road trip escape. Enjoy the fresh clams and oysters along the way, which are both local and regional specialties.
As you can see, you can get your fill of some pretty amazing sites when you travel the roads in the U.S. Taking a road trip is a great way to familiarize yourself with U.S. states and national parks, and appreciate the country’s one-of-a-kind sights and attractions up-close.