Take a second and think of your favorite road trip. Ask yourself, why was it so darn awesome? Maybe it was the good group of people, an awesome travel playlist, or the feeling of cruising down the open road in your car being self-sufficient. If you could describe the awesomeness of a road trip in one word, journey has to be the magic one.
In this first installment, we’ve bundled up some of America’s most scenic roads to show you how overland travel, aka road trips, is possibly the truest, most rewarding, and, not to mention, the most scenic form of travel:
U.S. Route 1, Florida Keys
Also known as the highway that goes to sea, this over 100 mile-long island chain has to be the prettiest seaside road trip America has to offer. The drive across the Overseas Highway from Key Largo to Key West takes about 2 hours to complete, but we suggest taking it with ease. You’ll cross one of the longest bridges in the world, the 7 Mile Bridge, which offers the most breathtaking sea views while the rest of the highway is dotted with lighthouses, coral reefs, and plenty of quirky beach themed shops.
Scenic Byway 12, Utah
The Scenic Byway 12 is about terrain and time as you navigate through two national parks, three state parks, a national recreation area, a national monument, and a national forest.
This 124 mile route running through Garfield and Wayne counties in Utah paint the scenery beautiful shades of red, brown, orange, beige, and green. Think red rocks, sandstone cliffs, fossil-rich flatlands, dense forests, and the large variety of wildlife you may get lucky enough to see all in one road trip.
Bluebonnet Trail, Texas
“The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.” – Jack Maguire
From March to May, an incredibly special moment in nature happens in the Lone Star State; the blossoming of the wild bluebonnets. Fortunately for us overland travelers, there is a scenic trail where we can revel in their glory. As you travel between Austin and Houston in awe of delicate flowers that pave the way, you’ll also get to pass a chain of 7 interconnected lakes on the Colorado River. Spring fever anyone?
Olympic Peninsula Loop, Washington
A different kind of road trip awaits as you embark on the Olympic Peninsula Loop. Within a few hours you can explore such diverse landscapes that are essentially mind bogglingly beautiful. Rainforests, mountains, and waterways are the types of backdrops you can expect to greet you at every curve and swerve on the route. The Hoh River Rainforest is a supernatural highlight of sorts with its sitka spruce and western hemlock dominating the land 300 feet tall. There is so much to do and see here, it’s best to spend at least 3 days wandering the route to fully appreciate the region.
All of these scenic roadways have their own unique personality that hold promise of adventure, enlightenment, and a sense of accomplishment. Wait with baited breath for part 2 of this blog series where we’ll be sharing more of America’s most scenic roads.
Have you taken any of these drives?