Photo KnowInsiders
Photo KnowInsiders

America is full of natural beauty, and road trips are one of the best ways to experience it. Any of these scenic drives will take you past stunning landscapes and breathtaking views. So, grab these road trip essentials, fill up with gas, and get going! But make sure to take a break from your road trip games every once in a while to take it all in.

Don’t forget to check top 15 most beautiful roads in America.

1. Pacific Coast Highway — California

2. The Overseas Highway — Florida

3. US Route 163 — Arizona and Utah

4. The Hana Highway — Hawaii

5. Beartooth Highway — Montana and Wyoming

6. Cascade Loop — Washington

7. Kancamagus Highway — New Hampshire

8. Parke County Drive — Indiana

9. Trail Ridge Road — Colorado

10. Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway — Maine

11. Highway 101 — Oregon

12. Coastal Connection Scenic Byway — Alabama

13. M-22 — Michigan

14. Route 66 — Missouri

15. Richardson Highway — Alaska

1. Pacific Coast Highway — California

Photo Smart Meeting
Photo Smart Meeting

California’s fabled Highway 1 is a scenic drive that runs along the length of most of the Pacific Coast and features some truly incredible scenery throughout the length of the highway.

When you think of California, you may think of beaches lined with palm trees, but the drive along Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) from San Diego up the northern coast of the state to San Francisco is far from that. You'll come across towering redwood trees, rocky coastlines, historic bridges, and a whole lot of morning fog. Whatever you do, don't miss the iconic 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach.

The route includes the famous Big Sur section, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and mile after mile of incredible coast.

Detour: Follow the route north-bound it will lead you up to Highway 101 and the Redwoods of California, certainly one of the most scenic drives in California.

Route: San Diego to San Francisco

2. The Overseas Highway — Florida

Photo Detour
Photo Detour

The Overseas Highway, Route 1, leads you from Miami south through the Florida Keys. The route is 113-miles long and takes you from beautiful savanna lands to the tropical islands with the largest area of coral reefs in the United States.

Since the road is connecting a chain of islands, you will pass over countless bridges that have you floating above the water, and you’ll feel like a boat coasting through, including one bridge that is nearly seven miles long.

If you're seeking some true ~views~ the Overseas Highway has you covered. As you might have guessed, it runs for 106 miles right over the ocean and through the Florida Keys. Be on the look out for the Old Seven Mile Bridge (connecting Knights Key to Little Duck Key) which was a big time architectural triumph when it was constructed back in 1912.

Route: Key Largo to Key West

3. US Route 163 — Arizona and Utah

If you've seen Forrest Gump, you've seen US Route 163. It's pictured in the scene where Forrest gets "pretty tired" and decides to go home. But luckily for you, it's not normally a road for runners — in fact, we highly recommend taking your car (though a convertible wouldn't be a bad idea either). The view of Monument Valley is pretty much the entire reason you'll want to take this drive, and boy is it worth it.

Route: Kayenta, Arizona, to Bluff, Utah

4. The Hana Highway — Hawaii

More widely known as the "Road to Hana," the Hana Highway is a Maui must. There are so many spots to visit along the way — even though the drive only takes a few hours, you may want to stay the night in Hana just to make sure you have enough time to fully enjoy all the scenery. If you're up for it, pop off the road at some point to buy some banana bread or a shaved ice along the way.

Route: Kahului to Hana

5. Beartooth Highway — Montana and Wyoming

Photo Northwest Travel Magazine
Photo Northwest Travel Magazine

This famous road, also one of America’s scenic byways, runs up to high altitudes near the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park and has been called the most beautiful highway in America. I was there recently, planning to do the trip after Yellowstone, and they closed it the morning we were going to do the drive with the first snowfall!

This windy All American Road takes you through 68 miles of rugged Montana and Wyoming countryside and into Yellowstone National Park. Expect to see lots of wildlife, tons of mountainous terrain, and of course, some serious birds-eye views of the area from up to 10,947 feet high.

Route: South of Red Lodge to the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone

6. Cascade Loop — Washington

The Cascade Loop takes you in a big, 440-mile circle through some of Washington's most scenic areas. You'll pass by Puget Sound, see a whole bunch of mountains and farmland, and loop all the way back to where you started. All you need to decide is if you'd rather drive the loop clockwise or counterclockwise (but you can't go wrong either way.)

Route: Everett, all the way back to Everett

7. Kancamagus Highway — New Hampshire

Feel free to call it "The Kanc" like the locals do. While the Kancamagus Highway is scenic year-round, it's best driven in the fall when the trees' colors are on fire. The leaves usually start changing in mid-to-late September and peak in mid-October, just FYI. For a touch of history, stop off at the 120-foot Albany Covered Bridge, which dates back to 1858.

Route: Lincoln to Conway

8. Parke County Drive — Indiana

Ok so this one isn't a specific road, but who doesn't love a good bridge drive? Also known as the "Covered Bridge Capital of the World," it'll come as no surprise that Indiana's Parke County is chock full of historic bridges. You're bound to have tons of photo ops, whether it's outside a covered bridge or over whatever body of water the bridge takes you, so leave plenty of time to make stops.

Route: The bridges are scattered throughout Parke County, so pick your route

9. Trail Ridge Road — Colorado

Photo A Travel for Taste
Photo A Travel for Taste

If you're not one to hit the black diamond slopes out in Colorado, Trail Ridge Road is your best way to see the Rocky Mountains. The road covers 48 miles of Rocky Mountain National Park, getting as high as 12,183 feet (hello altitude training). About 30 miles into the drive, you'll hit Rainbow Curve — peer out the window for a spectacular view of Beaver Ponds and the pine-covered valley below.

Route: Grand Park to Estes Lake

10. Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway — Maine

This drive through the western mountains of Maine gives you a little taste of it all — forests, farms, lakes, rivers, valleys, and all sorts of wildlife. The journey is only 35.6 miles long but can take around two and a half hours if you're making stops (as you should) along the way. Hot tip: Take a detour to Smalls Falls (on Route 4) for a lunchtime picnic, and enjoy the cascading waterfalls as you munch.

11. Highway 101 — Oregon

Photo roaamerica
Photo roamerica

Toward the northern region of California, Pacific Coast Highway joins Highway 101, and the 101 then serves as Oregon's version of PCH. You can expect ocean views and lots of big mounds (shout out to the famous Haystack Rock) poking out of the waters along the shore.

Route: California State Line to Washington State Line

12. Coastal Connection Scenic Byway — Alabama

The Gulf Coast isn't just a college spring break destination — it's also home to the Coastal Connection Scenic Byway, which runs around Mobile Bay, offering 130 miles of laid-back southern beach vibes along the way.

Route: I-10 north of Grand Bay to I-10 north of Daphne

13. M-22 — Michigan

Following along the shores of Lake Michigan on the Leelanau Peninsula, this 116-mile drive takes you through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore — one of Michigan's most beautiful beaches — and drops you off in Traverse City. (Psst! Traverse City is known for its vineyards, just sayin'.)

Route: Manistee to Traverse City

14. Route 66 — Missouri

Take a journey through the Ozarks on part of America's historic Route 66. People have been getting their kicks on Route 66 for years thanks to Nat King Cole, and the fact the route holds the title of the nation's very first all-whether highway. Much of the route has been replaced by I-44 in Missouri, but old signage and stops along the way prove the history beneath the pavement.

Route: St. Louis to Joplin

15. Richardson Highway — Alaska

This stunning drive was actually Alaska's first highway. With views of the snowcapped Chugach Mountains towering above, you'll never struggle to catch a good view as you make this northern drive.

Route: Valdez to Fairbanks

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