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10 Road Trips You Have to Take

10. "The Loneliest Road in America"

U.S. Route 50

U.S. Route 50 stretches from Sacramento, California, on the West Coast to Ocean City, Maryland, on the East Coast. We're only focusing on a small section of this 3,000-mile highway, however. Deemed "The Loneliest Road in America," Nevada's portion of Route 50 is notably barren of hardly any human civilization. It may not be the most exciting view, but certainly won't see anything like it anywhere else.

(image via Davemeistermoab, CC)


9. Black River National Forest Scenic Byway

Gogebic County Road 513

Grab a pasty and head on north to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. There you'll find the Black River Scenic Byway, a historical route that began as a wagon trail way back in the 1840s. As the road winds its way along the river, keep you eyes peeled (if you are a passenger, that is) for the five waterfalls located on the northern end of the byway close to Lake Superior.

(image via Sa magnuson33, CC)


8. Blue Ridge Parkway

North Carolina and Virginia

Even though land surrounding the parkway is owned by the National Park Service, the road itself is not a national park. Despite this, it is the most visited portion of the Great Smoky Mountains. While the views are beautiful all year long, the most stunning time to take a leisurely drive through this Appalachian wilderness remains autumn.


7. Million Dollar Highway

U.S. Route 550
New Mexico and Colorado

No one's really sure where the nickname "Million Dollar Highway" originated, but what people are certain of is the immense beauty surrounding the scenic road. With three mountain passes along the way, winter isn't the best time to pass through. Closures for snows and avalanches are common, but sunrise or sunset on Red Mountian just might be worth it.


6. The Overseas Highway

U.S. Route 1

With the success of the Overseas Railroad, a highway was built alongside from the panhandle of Florida all the way to Key West. In fact, after the 1935 hurricane destroyed some of the old bridges, portions of the new highway were retrofitted on top of the old railroad trusses. Today, the Overseas Highway is 128 miles of pure ocean views.


5. Pacific Coast Highway

California State Route 1

Some of the most dramatic views of America's coastline can be seen from the comfort of your car. The Pacific Coast Highway follows the majority of the state's coastline, connecting the sandy shores of Dana Point to the Redwood haven of Leggett. Bixby Creek Bridge, shown above, is one of the drive's most impressive features, and don't forget the Drive-Thru Tree Park once you get to Leggett.

(image via Diliff, CC)


4. Hana Highway

Hawai'i Routes 36 and 360

On the eastern shores of Maui is the tropical paradise of the Hana Highway. Lush tropical rainforests and beautiful waterfalls line the roadway. Even more unique, near mile marker 7 grow a bank of rainbow eucalyptus trees that made it onto our list of 20 Places You Can't Believe Really Exist.


3. Beartooth Highway

U.S. Route 212
Montana and Wyoming

Similar to the Million Dollar Highway, Beartooth typically closes in the winter months due to snow accumulation, but the switchbacks of the z-shaped road make it one of the most beautiful (if not treacherous) drives in the nation. It's worth a side trip from nearby Yellowstone National Park.


2. "The Blues Highway"

U.S. Route 61
Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana

U.S. Route 61 is known as the "Blues Highway" because it travels alongside the Mississippi River through the Delta passing the historical homes of the blues (Memphis, Tennessee), soul (Jackson, Mississippi), and jazz (New Orleans, Louisiana) music genres. A must-see is Po' Monkey's Lounge, on the outskirts of Merigold, Mississippi, just west of Route 61. It's only open on Thursdays, though.

(image via McGhiever, CC)


1. Historic Columbia River Highway

Partially U.S. Route 30

Originally modeled after the scenic roads in Europe, this highway winds its way down the Columbia River Gorge. An engineering marvel when it was constructed during the late 1910s and early 1920s, the Columbia River Highway is no less impressive today with steep winding curves and impressive canyon views.