10 SCENIC AMERICAN ROAD TRIPS TO BE TAKEN IN THE SPRING
When the springtime arrives, it is quite hard to resist the temptation to jump in your car and soaking up the captivating landscapes of the country. This season is an ideal time to hit the breathtaking and awe-inspiring trails, admire the postcard-worthy floral displays, checking out the roadside attractions and the best part of the road trip is that you can visit the charming small towns along the iconic routes.
For the explorers on a fixed budget, America provides loads of options with a scenic view, low-cost accommodation, and fuel options.
If you are planning to get behind the wheel and crank up the volume when your favorite track plays, then road trips are the best way of escaping from the monotonous and unexciting life.
If you are looking to take the road less traveled, or simply meander past the storybook-like settings, keep reading our list of 10 scenic road trips that we have compiled to have a memorable spring drive:
The Florida Keys, Florida
Starting from the tip of mainland Florida near Miami, when you cross 113 miles over 40 trans-ocean bridges while going to Key West, you will see the most beautiful spot at the southernmost point. When you plan your drive to the overseas highway, you will see all these locations.
In every direction, the view is stunning with the best view: stretch Seven Mile Bridge, the longest bridge in the Keys, which passes over seven miles through the dazzling blue-green waters. You can take multiple stops here to take advantage of the diver’s and snorkeler’s paradise.
In Key Largo, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a must-visit, with its sea turtles, shipwrecks, coral reefs, and tropical fish.
Grand Canyon-Arches, Arizona and Utah
If you are planning a longer adventure, then you must take the road trip through the Southwest that covers 860 miles and you can see six national parks. Start your drive at the Grand Canyon, skip the crowd by heading to North Rim, a quieter place to hike. Here you will not find the tourist crowds.
In Utah, discover Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks. You can put up a tent to enjoy the moonlit views once it’s dark.
Explore rugged canyons, arches, and domes at the Capitol Reef National Park. You can conclude your drive at the Arches National Park where you can get to see the red rock formations and it also offers one of the best mountain biking trails in the country, Moab being the perfect base.
Columbia River Scenic Highway, Oregon
Built purely for the scenery, this road trip will transform you into another world. This can be easily reached from Portland, start at Troutdale, follow the Columbia River Gorge for about 75 miles to The Dalles. It is popular for many waterfalls, especially the famous Multnomah.
You can enjoy the ever-changing perspectives of the gorge, including the panoramic vistas from 900 feet above the river. If you can, do some hiking as there are lots of trails just off the byway, leading to hidden falls.
Texas Hill Country
What does a road trip need? Well, this road trip gives you lots of reasons to take this route: quaint towns and colorful nature trails. But the greatest enticement is the bewitching Wildflower Loop. You can start at Austin and embark on a 90-mile journey, heading west on U.S. Route 290 to U.S. Route 281, north to Burnet, Texas, where you can marvel at the colorful and charming landscape filled with dazzling bluebonnets.
Before meandering back to Austin, tour the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to visit attractions like Sixth Street and Zilker Park.
If you have some more time, like a day to spend, then visit the nearby Fredericksburg, the famous wine destination, along the U.S. Route 290 to enjoy wine or have a picnic.
The Pacific Coast Highway, California
If you want to undertake a quintessential road trip of America, drive along Highway 1 in California, the classic coastal stretch between Los Angeles and San Francisco. You can either drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco in approx. 6 hours or take a two or three nights trip to soak in a wealth of sights, charming towns, and food joints.
You can book your tickets in advance for visiting Heart Castle in San Simeon and the Santa Barbara Zoo. There are multiple natural attractions along the route like parks, beaches, and promenades that are free to explore.
The Oregon Coast
Some of the most spellbinding and mesmerizing views of the US can be found on this road trip. Starting at Astoria, the historic town located near the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean and the Victorian homes spill down the steep hills. Get a panoramic view from above the Astoria Column on Coxcomb Hill.
Head south on U.S. 101, stop at the seaside, where you will also find an aquarium. Feed the seals. Do go hiking along the trail of coastal cliffs in Ecola State Park and do not miss Cannon Beach.
Continue to Bandon near the California border and explore the 10-square block historical business district located on the river Coquille waterfront. For foodies, try the fish n chips here, known to be one of the best places on the southern coast for fish n chips.
Skagit Valley Tulip Fields, Washington
Every spring, you get an opportunity to have the magnificent view of the tulips blanketing the landscape at The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, making it the ideal springtime road trip.
The fields are centrally located in between La Conner and Mount Vernon with events happening all around the valley. La Conner makes a great base as a historic and picturesque waterfront town.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina
Running for almost 500 miles between Virginia and North Carolina, this picturesque route is lined by the green valleys that descend from the Blue Ridge Mountains. It connects the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks at either end. Heavy mist wreaths the landscape at both dawn and dusk, so you should drive very carefully. This region is now a craft distilling hub. You can taste the moonshine-inspired whiskey from Blue Ridge Distilling.
The top of the parkway, around 5,000 feet, makes it ideal for photo ops and hikes along the scenic trail.
You can also visit Linville Falls to get a view of the dramatic waterfalls and Little Switzerland, which looks like the Swiss Alps.
Spend some time in Asheville and visit the famous Biltmore Estate, one of the country’s few castles before you continue to Skyline Drive in Virginia, another big highlight.
Hana Highway, Hawaii
This 64-mile stretch is known as the Hana Highway or Road to Hana and is one of the most thrilling road trips. It runs along the northeastern coast of Maui and along the route, you will find 600 curvy bends and 50+ wait your turn bridges.
You will surely have an amazing time when you will cross plunging waterfalls, coastal cliffs, dense jungles, and the panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.
Waikamoi Nature Trail is worth a pitstop with its bamboo canopy. If you want to go hiking, then it is less than a mile. Two things that you absolutely cannot miss are the mystical Waikani Falls and volcanic black sand beaches at the Wai’ainapanapa State Park.
Grand Teton National Park to Yellowstone National Park, Montana
Both national parks are less than 100 miles apart and both are known to be the country’s most spectacular national parks. You need few days to explore both the parks. You can consider staying in the town of Jackson near Mountain Teton.
Spring brings along with it the annual wildlife migration of deer, bison, moose who head for their summer homes. Post this, you can travel to the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway towards Yellowstone to see the wildlife, mud pots, hot springs, and much more. If you can spare some time, drive north to Montana’s Glacier National Park.
These scenic road trips will surely give you that adventure you were looking for. America has more road trips that you can consider: Joshua Tree National Park-California, Seattle to Newport-Oregon, New York to Cape May-New Jersey, New Orleans to Baton Rouge- Louisiana, San Antonio to Austin-Texas, Phoenix to Flagstaff-Arizona, Monterey to San Luis Obispo-California, Park Loop Road-Acadia National Park, Route 66-Illinois to California, Portsmouth to Camden-Maine, Great River Road-Memphis to New Orleans, Scenic Route 100 from Wilmington to Stowe-Vermont, Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway- South Carolina, and Columbia River Highway-Oregon.
Use this ultimate road trip planner and discover what America has to offer from the freedom of the open road.
Let’s hit the road as roads were made for journeys and not destinations!