In these current times, many of us are yearning for the day to once again be able to pack up our bags, say goodbye to our homes for a bit, and take off by plane, boat, car, or train to explore the beauty of our homeland.
An easy way to do so is with a good old-fashioned road trip. Whether you’re just looking to get out for a couple hours or wish to turn your route into a week-long getaway, there are many scenic drives out there. But which ones are really worth the drive? Here are some of our favorites!
Arguably the most famous attraction in Maui, this 52-mile haul from Kahului to Hana can take over two and a half hours to venture through. Brace yourself for the trip, as this isn’t your average scenic drive. Sharp twists and turns, steep sea-cliffs, and one-lane bridges await you. But the must-see stops along the way are absolutely worth the possible car sickness.
Discover mesmerizing waterfalls and rainforest flora and fauna, purchase local jewelry, banana bread, fresh pineapple, and other local goods roadside, or stop for some scenic pictures and a swim at one of the many beautiful beaches.
Also known as “The Highway That Goes to the Sea”, this 113-mile stretch offers nothing but breathtaking ocean views. Starting on the Florida mainland in bustling Miami, the highway leads through the chain of Florida Keys to the southernmost point of Key West. Take in everything this beautiful drive has to offer, from the 7 Mile Bridge—one of the largest bridges in the world—to lighthouses, underwater coral-reef parks, and a variety of other iconic landmarks along the way.
You’ll have to carve out a little more time in your schedule if you want to take on the entirety of this 365-mile stretch of California’s stunning Pacific Coast. From San Francisco to Pismo Beach to Malibu to San Diego, you’re sure to hit every favorite California coastal city. Choose your favorites or stop at them all—it’s up to you! No matter where you decide to pull over and stretch your legs, breathtaking coastal views, miles of white sand, seaside villages, mountain views, and more will find you along the route.
This year-round favorite Kancamagus Highway is the iconic New England scenic drive. Stretching from Bath to Conway, enjoy 56 beautiful miles of the White Mountain National Forest. The fall season brings leaf-peepers, you’ll find yellow violets and wood anemone in the springtime, and the summer has travelers pulling over at one of the many scenic spots for a picnic, splash in the river, or admiring the waterfalls.
Winding between Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon national parks, Utah’s stunning red rocks are the headliner of this 124-mile drive. Don’t let the thought of the narrow cliff-hanging ridgeline “The Hogback” make you question your route. This All-American Road is something truly special and worth seeing. Explore countless state parks along the way, filled with caves, trails, and ecological and geological finds along the way.
This jaw-dropping 330-mile loop is a true hiker’s paradise. Starting in Seattle and crossing the Hood Canal Bridge, the route heads northwest into the Hoh River rainforest. From the snow-capped Olympic range to the lush wilderness to the sights of the San Juan Islands from Hurricane Ridge, the Olympic Peninsula Loop is a bucket-list for many—and for good reason!
The parkway connects the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Running alongside the Appalachian Mountains, this 469-mile trip is best in the fall—during peak leaf-peeping season—but of course the scenic vistas are there year-round. Find exquisit, ever-changing landscapes as you make your drive down, from soft hilly meadows to green plateaus and rocky ridges. View the waterfalls, dare to walk the Mile High Swinging Bridge, and snatch-up local goods at one of the many country stores you’ll pass along the way.