Top 10 Sights to See While Driving
If you love driving and want to be part of the most beautiful and iconic strips of highway in the nation, this one is for you!

By Dan Taylor | Jul 28, 2017

If you love driving and want to be part of the most beautiful and iconic strips of highway in the nation, this one is for you!

10. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia to North Carolina

Almost 500 miles of scenic forests and meadows atop the Appalachian Mountains from the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains. The parkway is a leisurely cruise rather than a roller coaster, except for the Linn Cove Viaduct, which skims the treetops winding its way around the road's highest peak.

9. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

A breathtaking 50-mile trip intended to draw us to the beauty of our national parks, this drive will take you to the Glacier National Park that lies between two alpine lakes of dark blue color. It closes in winter due to the snowy weather that can reach 80 feet deep. Be sure to stop at Logan Pass, a 6,646-high wild mountain goat herd home in wildflower meadows.

8. Hill Country Highways, Texas

Nearly in the center of the Lone Star state, Hill Country offers deep canyons and fast flowing rivers. In Utopia, a tranquil hamlet, you will find a chain of winding roads that give you the full flavor of the countryside. Highways 335, 336 and 337 are a roller coaster ride by rocky jutted walls. Heads up adrenaline junkies! Be sure to stop at the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum just outside of Vanderpool and dine at the famous Ace Caf.

7. Columbia River Scenic Highway, Oregon

This road is concrete proof that we can improve on Mother Nature, sometimes. Designed and constructed in the early days of the automobile, the route winds past a chain of beautiful waterfalls while taking in the best sights of the Columbia Gorge, just east of Portland. 700 feet over the Columbia River, be sure to visit Vista House, a rest stop and tribute to the Oregon Trail pioneers.

6. Kancamagus National Scenic Byway, New Hampshire

New England offers several great driving trips, but you can't miss "The Kanc." It runs on Route 112 for about 25 miles between Lincoln and Conway and is the best autumn color drive in the United States. Pass under covered bridges, remote farmhouses, and miles of hardwood and evergreen forest. And it's totally commerce free. For a short 15-minute sachet, plan a picnic by the cascades just south of the highway.

5. Bayou Cruise, Louisiana

The flat lands of the lower Mississippi River just west of New Orleans are known for quiet country lanes winding past lazy bayous filled with dangling Spanish moss. Majestic oaks and cypress trees, gators and herons hanging out in the swampy lagoons, may catch your eye. Take Highway 31 to enjoy the Breaux Bridge and get your Cajun on at the crawfish capital of the world. If you pass through on Saturday morning, the Caf des Amis offers music.

4. Route 66, Illinois to California

Yes, it's the ever-famous Route 66, but this 2,000-mile cruise has justifiably become woven into the American fabric. For pure driving pleasure, the best stretch must be the mountains that run west from the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River, climbing their way from a desert flatland and twister moves through the old Black Mountain gold mines. When you hit Kingman, Arizona, check out the small museum, Cool Spring Station, a restored rest stop.

3. Great River Road, Minnesota to Louisiana

Small-town charm along "Ole Man," Mississippi River is what you will find here, but you will also find the rocky "Driftless Region" on the road's northern stretches. It's an area that wasn't flattened by the Ice Age glaciers so that you can zip along steep canyons in Iowa, roller coaster hills in Dubuque all the way to the Prehistoric Effigy Mounds. The best small town along the way is Galena, Illinois, stop by for a visit, please!

2. Highway 12, Utah

Nestled between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Park, Highway 12 was a four-wheel drive challenge until 1985, when pavement finally found its way to Boulder Mountain. Harsh iron-tinged rust of sedimentary sandstone cliffs is softened by a forest of dark green junipers. Hell's Backbone Grill has its own organic farm so don't miss that tasty stop.

1. Tioga Pass Scenic Byway, California

Crazy vertical drops, the high country at Yosemite National Park and tufa sculptures on the shores of Mono Lake will be waiting for you as you head east on Highway 120. At the bottom of the pass, a little ole gas station, Whoa Nellie Deli, is nationally known for its fish tacos, yummy steaks, pizzas and Angus beef burgers. Don't blink; you might fly right by this treasure.

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