Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

The Most Scenic Road Trips in the USA

From small towns to big cities, the United States really has some epic scenic road trips to take. There is no shortage of scenic highways and byways to explore.

We’ve lived and traveled full time in our RV now for over 4 years. You could even say, we’ve been on the most epic road trip of all! We’ve made 3 full circles around the United States so far, and we aren’t stopping yet.

From the oceans to the mountains and everything in between, here are our favorite road trips!

Mirror Lake Scenic Byway – Utah

This is a 42-mile drive. But it took us about 4 days to do the whole thing because there are so many overlooks and other stops to make. Heading east from Kamas through the national forest, Mirror Lake Highway is one of the most popular mountain routes in the state. The road winds through farm and ranch lands and rises to heavily forested, mountain terrain, accented by meadows and rugged peaks. We happen to catch this in the fall, and it was the most explosive color we’ve ever seen! Don’t forget to stop at Provo Falls. Not a hard hike at all. It’s literally right off the parking area.

You can check out some of our video information here!

Independence Pass – Colorado

Another one of our very favorite road trips was Independence Pass in Colorado. It’s a spectacular drive as well as an adventure with hairpin turns, sheer drops, and narrow roads. Climbing up to 12,000 feet in elevation and enjoying the stop at the top of the Continental Divide. The scenery at the pass and all along the 44-mile route is some of the most dramatic in all Colorado. Driving this scenic road in August was perfect timing. We experienced almost a spring-like bloom of flowers everywhere. Don’t forget to stop at Independence Ghost Town and also The Devil’s Punchbowl. Those were two of our favorite stops. Check out more on our video below.

PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) – California

Yes, this is on everyone’s list, but I was born and raised in central California, so I have driven this road more times than I can count, so it’s worth mentioning. It is, perhaps, the most iconic highway (so I’ve read) but there are some amazing stops to make along this 655 miles of highway.

Don’t miss anything on this highway. Everything is worth exploring. From North to South, there are so many scenic stops, places to explore, and beautiful landscapes to take in.

Route 66

We haven’t been on every stretch of Route 66, but have really enjoyed the sections we have explored. The history and fun restorations of original restaurants and gas stations are really fun to explore. It takes you back to simpler times. Our favorite part, was Shamrock, Texas. What’s your favorite part of Route 66?

Blue Ridge Parkway

Another favorite of ours! We have a few funny stories about the Blue Ridge Parkway road trip. It was late in the season when we went to explore it. However, we ended up stuck in the middle of two sections in North Carolina that were closed off. So we actually got to see some beautiful parts of the scenic parkway that others didn’t. The Parkway runs from Virginia all the way to Cherokee, North Carolina. We hope to do this entire parkway drive soon. The tunnels that cut through rocks were our favorite! Incredible scenic stops are everywhere on the Parkway.

US 1 – Overseas Highway – Florida

Leaving the mainland for the 120-mile-long island chain of Florida’s Keys, travelers enter a paradise of beach bars, water sports, and incredible sections of the bluest water you’ve ever seen. From Key Largo to Key West, the highway strings the islands together. Crossing turquoise waters on 7-mile Bridge, journeying above coral reefs, and cutting through stunning tropical islands, the Overseas Highway offers one of the most scenic driving experiences on the planet. How long does it take to drive? Allowing for traffic, it takes roughly four hours to drive the Overseas Highway one-way. However, it’s worth giving yourself more time than this to explore the many gems along the way. With a couple of fun stops and a break for a leisurely local lunch, we would recommend eight to ten hours to drive the Overseas Highway.

North Shore Scenic Drive – Minnesota

If you drive this entire scenic drive, you’ll drive 148 miles. Well worth the time! There are so many incredible stops along the North Shore Drive, I highly recommend taking your time. There is something for everyone on this drive. From golf courses to lighthouses. Small shoreline towns offer restaurants serving local fish and produce as well as unique shops and art galleries. Our favorite stops include the Split Rock Lighthouse and Gooseberry Falls State Park. But there is so much more to see!

Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway – Wyoming

Amazing! And yes, you can drive your RV through those tunnels. We did it! The Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway begins in the town of Shoshoni at milepost 100. Following U.S. 20 north through Wind River Canyon and the Wind River Indian Reservation, the route ends just north of the city of Thermopolis (The world’s biggest hot spring) at milepost 134. Without stopping, the total drive time is about 40 minutes. But please stop!

Kancamagus Highway — New Hampshire

This one is probably one you might not have heard of before. But well worth checking out! Especially in the fall. The locals call it “The Kanc”. 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.

Going To The Sun Road – Montana

Definitely not a road trip to do while pulling an RV. But if you’re up in Montana in your RV, just leave it at the campground. This is a must-do road! This road is one of the last roads to open for the season and the first to close. So your window of time is small.

Though Going-to-the-Sun Road isn’t that long in terms of mileage, don’t be fooled into thinking you can drive the whole thing in an hour. There are lots of scenic overlooks and points of interest along the way, so don’t rush through it. To truly experience Going-to-the-Sun Road, you should set aside one full day. That way, you’ll have time to stop at every remarkable spot. If you’re short on time, give yourself a minimum of three hours.

There are so many amazing road trips to take in the U.S. What are your favorites? We’d love to hear!

Here are a few blogs we think you’ll love!

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