Top Scenic Routes in the United States for Your Next Road Trip

July 1, 2021

What’s more American than a road trip? On many of the long and winding routes that populate our vast nation, travelers find the journey to be more important – and possibly more exciting – than the destination.

This is especially true if you take the scenic route whenever possible. When it’s time to hit the road on your next road trip, make sure you carve a path along some of these gorgeous and fun-filled scenic routes you’ll discover across the United States!

Northern USA

Trail Ridge Road

For those who aren’t afraid of heights, Trail Ridge Road climbs upwards of 12,000 feet through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Drivers will feel like they’re part of history as they follow an ancient route across the Continental Divide that Native Americans traveled for millennia. Drivers should be on the lookout for bighorn sheep, elk, deer, and more elusive wildlife populating awe-inspiring mountain ranges as far as the eye can see.

Vermont Route 100

The cozy New England countryside has few better road trip experiences than what you’ll find on the Route 100 Byway. Passing through south-central Vermont, Route 100 has countless stops for hiking, biking, history, culture, and arts and crafts, as well as delicious dining and luxurious lodging opportunities. Coming in at 146 total miles, intrepid explorers will find plenty of adventure on this route along the eastern edge of the Green Mountains.

Southern USA

State 399 at Gulf Islands

For ocean lovers, a road trip through Florida can’t be beat. Situated in Santa Rosa County, Florida, State Road 399 is made up of the Bob Sikes Bridge and the Navarre Bridge, with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico and Santa Rosa Sound on either side. And if you’re in the mood to spend a day by the water, Opal Beach in the Gulf Islands National Seashore has all the sand and surf you and your family need while working on your summer tans.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

If you’re on a trip through the Bluegrass State, there’s no better way to take in the sights and sounds of Kentucky than a drive on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Spanning from Louisville to Lexington, you’ll find a variety of historical sites, picturesque horse ranches, world-famous distilleries, and more. And once you’re done driving for the day, you might even get the chance to sample a bit of this scenic route’s namesake.

Eastern USA

Mohawk Trail

The Mohawk Trail takes road trippers through the Hudson and Mohawk River Valleys in New York to the Deerfield and Connecticut River Valleys in Massachusetts. Originally used as a fishing trail long before European settlers arrived in the Americas, this route is surrounded by some of the tallest trees in Massachusetts that make up the Mohawk Trail State Forest. We recommend stopping for a while and hiking to visit any of the countless shops, inns, camping sites, and picnic destinations that make up the Mohawk Trail.  

Skyline Drive

The Blue Ridge Mountains envelope this scenic drive that runs 105 miles north and south alongside them in Shenandoah National Park. Coming in at just over 3 hours, this public route has 75 overlooks to appreciate some of the most beautiful forests, sunsets, and wildlife you can find in North America. As one of the most popular camping spots in the country, you might find yourself tempted to stop and enjoy a few cool nights on the Skyline Drive.

Western USA

17-Mile Drive

Stretching between the towns of Pacific Grove and Carmel in California’s Monterey Peninsula, 17-Mile Drive is a privately-owned road full of spectacular views. While it’s called 17-Mile Drive, it’s actually only 10 miles long, so you may be tempted to make the short drive more than once! All you have to do is pay a $10.25 entry fee to use the private road and you can enjoy the scenery of the Del Monte forests along the Pebble Beach golf community.

89-A

This drive is truly perfect for a convertible. If you don’t have one, consider renting one! That way, you can thoroughly enjoy the crisp, refreshing air and incredible mountain views between the cities of Sedona and Flagstaff, Arizona. Called one of the most beautiful drives in North America, Route 89-A will take you around 3 hours to complete, so make sure you have a full tank for uninterrupted enjoyment.

Safe Travels

Ready to get started on your next incredible road trip experience? If so, make sure you’re prepared for every possibility! By always planning ahead, you’ll be guaranteed to make the most out of every mile. This means always equipping your vehicle with a spare tire, a portable jack, jumper cables, flashlights, spare batteries, food, water, and first aid kits.

Also consider having a quality Auto Club Membership with Roadside Assistance. You never know when you’ll get a flat tire, lose your keys or need a tow. 

Alliance Members get even more protection when away from home, with benefits like 24/7 telemedicine access and Global Emergency Services. No matter where you travel, we’ve got you covered.