America’s 24 Most Beautiful Scenic Byways for Traveling Adventures  

Whether you’re planning a two-day road trip or a cross-country getaway, there are plenty of opportunities for sightseers and nature lovers alike. From the Pacific Northwest and the California Coast to the Blue Ridge Parkway, these are 24 of the most scenic byways in the United States.  

1. Virginia’s Skyline Drive

Road through Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park Viriginia with fall trees with green yellow and orange leaves
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This scenic route through Virginia will have you driving alongside the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you pass through the Shenandoah Valley National Park. There are many incredible spots to picnic, hike, and even stay along the way.  

2. Colorado’s Independence Pass

View from Independence Pass on the Continental Divide in Colorado, USA
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Spanning 32 miles, the Independence Pass goes through the strange city of Leadville, a small U.S. town with quite a history. This drive will take you to one of the highest mountain passes in the area as you travel through aspen forests and spectacular valleys.  

3. Maui’s Hana Highway

Wet road to Hana in Maui at Kaumahina State Wayside Park Hawaii
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The 52 miles that span between Kahului and Hana are no joke — the locals even sell T-shirts sporting: “I survived the road to Hana.” Depending on your speed, it can take 2.5+ hours to travel the distance. Fortunately, the trip along the way is a beautiful one, with a view of blossoming vistas and seaside cliffs. Don’t forget to stop at a roadside stall!  

4. New Hampshire’s Kancamagus Scenic Highway

One of the most scenic autumn drives in United States, Kancamagus highway in White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire,
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If you’re looking for a short, half-mile hike (that you can easily reach from the road) to a stunning, tiered waterfall, this is the drive for you. Whether you’re there to see the yellow violets in the spring or the stunning array of leaf colors in the fall, this drive won’t disappoint.  

5. Oregon’s Highway 101 (Pacific Coast Byway)

Panorama of the road and the sea
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Did you know that the Pacific shoreline in Oregon is one of the most popular locations for travelers and road-trippers looking for coastline views? There are just under 400 miles of state-owned beaches available to the public that are waiting to be explored! On your drive, you’ll also find both a beautiful array of sea cliffs and some dinosaur replicas in a “rainforest” type display.  

6. Montana’s Going to the Sun Road

Beautiful view of Glacier Naitoanl Park belong Going to the sun road
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If you’re ready to drive the long, winding road that travels up to the peaks of Glacier National Park, you should prepare to get up early. Hikers and travelers have reported that you may be pressed to find a place to park, so don’t waste any time getting on the road and enjoying the overlooks and views along the way.  

7. Florida Keys US Route 1

Key West, Florida
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Is island hopping more your jam? Experience the delight of driving over bridge upon bridge — and if you’re not afraid to look down, you can enjoy views of clear, beautiful water. It might be nerve-wracking for some, but the views are worth it.  

8. Texas’ Bluebonnet Trail

the Famous Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) Wildflowers. An Amazing Display at Muleshoe Bend in Texas.
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Want to send your family back a photo with a backdrop of beautiful bluebonnets? Take a drive along the Bluebonnet trail during March, April, or May. This section of the trail, spanning about 6 miles, is popular for runners, bikers, and even birders. You can admire the flowers along the road. However, if you would like to appreciate them at their peak, find them in the more tourist-laden town of Brenham.  

9. California’s Big Sur

A beautiful view of California's coastline along Highway 1, Big Sur, CA, USA
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Ready to soak in one of the most beautiful stretches of the coast in California? You can find this drive between San Simeon and Carmel along the PCH. Stretching approximately 90 miles, this drive offers views of McWay Falls, the Bixby Bridge, the Santa Lucia Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean.  

10. Florida’s Scenic Highway 301

Blue Heron Bird near sand dune at Johnson beach florida
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Not tired of Florida drives yet? Check out the 24 miles of beautiful coastline found in Northwest Florida. Tourists come from all over to sink their feet in the white sand beaches, explore the state parks, and enjoy the dune lakes.  

11. Utah’s State Route 12

Desert and slot canyon views along Utah's famous scenic State Route 12.
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You don’t want to miss Scenic Highway 12, which brings many visitors through Utah. Whether you’re here to explore widely or are enjoying a day trip, this 124-mile-long journey through beautifully rugged red landscapes full of red rocks and purple flowers won’t disappoint.  

12. Washington’s North Cascades Scenic Highway

North Cascades National Park
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This 140-mile drive passes through Diablo Lake Overlook and Washington Pass Overlook, perfect places to stop and picnic or take a family photo. You’ll also pass through National Cascades National Park. We’re unsure why this is one of the national parks with the least visitors because it’s stunning.  

13. Washington’s International Selkirk Loop

A view of the Snake River at the stateline of Idaho and Oregon in Hells Canyon.`
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With a starting point at the Idaho-Washington state line, you will follow a beautiful, scenic road that turns your trip into an international one when you arrive in Canada! Views alongside this 280-mile loop will include many beautiful towns and stunning water, eventually returning on State Highway 1 in Idaho 

14. South Dakota’s Highway 240

A sunny day on highway 240 in South Dakota near the Badlands National Park.
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Highway 240 (also known as the Badlands Loop Road) is the perfect drive to find beautiful rock formations and grassland. If you look carefully, you might spot some of the resident prairie dogs or bison.   

15. Wyoming’s Snowy Range Scenic Byway

Snowy Range, Wyoming, USA - August 11, 2021. Hiker next to clear water and large grey rocks around Lookout Lake in the Medicine Bow wilderness. Hiker by stream fed lakes with grey mountains
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If you’re the outdoorsy type, this drive might be perfect for you. With activities like fishing, hunting, hiking, and exploring, the historic town of Laramie is just waiting for you along this highway in Wyoming.  

16. New Mexico’s The High Road to Taos

Las Trampas High Road to Taos village with historic vintage retro buildings houses on street in mountains
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You will be amazed by the ancient beauty between Taos and Santa Fe. Take your time on this drive to appreciate the colors, both in the flower meadows and the art displayed all around you throughout these small adobe towns.  

17. Michigan’s Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive-Sleeping Bear Dunes
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This sought-after loop is just under 8 miles and travels through the beautiful dunes and Beech-Maple Forest. This drive is an essential part of any visit to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and has incredible overlooks and hiking spots.  

18. Minnesota’s North Shore Drive

Minnesota North Shore Drive in Autumn overlooking Lake Superior.
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If you’ve never visited North Shore Drive, you’re missing out on the superior shoreline (pun intended)! This byway offers incredible scenery, including unique art galleries, shops, restaurants, and several state parks. There’s even a historical lighthouse!   

19. Tennessee’s Cherohala Skyway

Cherohala Skyway in the Fall
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As far as scenic parkway drives go, this one is an excellent choice for picnicking, long-distance mountain hikes. This drive takes you just above sea level as you travel through the Great Smoky Mountains and not one but two national forests! Be sure to learn about the history of this highway and the nearby parks at the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center.  

20. Rhode Island’s Ocean Drive

Aerial view of Mansions at Ocean Drive Historic District near Goose Neck in city of Newport, Rhode Island RI, USA.
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Found in Newport, Rhode Island, the 10 miles you can take down the coastline offer jaw-dropping views. Although pictures can illustrate a small fraction of the beauty, you will have to see it for yourself. In addition to the relaxing sound of the waves and the beautiful ocean views, you can also find multiple state parks nearby.  

21. Montana’s Lemhi Pass

MAY 24 2019, LEMHI PASS, MONTANA, USA - Retracing the Lewis and Clark Expedition - May 14, 1804 - crossing Lemhi Pass
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Along the border of Montana and Idaho lies this historic pass, where you will find yourself surrounded by majestic mountains. This unpaved pass is known for being used by Lewis and Clark in 1805, so prepare for bumpy roads ahead!  

22. Colorado’s Trail Ridge Road

Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
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Whether you’re a visitor or resident, this road within the Rocky Mountain National Park is highly revered. One of the highest paved through-roads in the U.S., you can take in the summer wildflowers, mountain peaks, and even some wildlife—such as bighorn sheep and elk.  

23. Alaska’s Glenn & Richardson Highways

Winter drive on the scenic Richardson highway, Interior Alaska.
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The drive from Anchorage to Valdez has been rated by many as a 5-star experience due to the view of the mountains and the spectacular glaciers. Visitors have reported that the trip can get bumpy, so be careful and watch for signs in between taking in the view.  

24. California’s Silverado Trail

Typical landscape with rows of grapes in the wine growing region of Napa Valley
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For the wine lovers out there, this drive will impress you both with beautiful trees and plenty of stops for world-class wines. Don’t forget to book a hotel or resort to allow yourself time to explore and enjoy the many wineries responsibly.  

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girl with happy hat at sunset on the beach with her convertible car from victoria to tofino
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Diverse young couple having romantic date. Cheerful guy and his girlfriend watching a movie, sitting together in car trunk in front of screen in open air cinema.
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