Posts Tagged ‘Great River Road’
With the kids back in school, it might not be the most practical time to go on a road trip, but if you can get away, the U.S. offers some amazingly scenic road trips. Classically American, these roads trip cut through forests, glide along coastlines and wind through mountain passes, offering some of the most breathtaking sites in the country.
Consider the following list of great road trips, put together by Travel and Leisure, as you make your fall plans:
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia to North Carolina — Atop the Appalachian Mountains, you’ll find this amazing drive between Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains. Be sure to check out Grandfather Mountain high above Linn Cove to catch a view of the famous “Mile High Swinging Bridge”.
Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana – This is a breathtaking 50-mile drive across Montana’s Glacier National Park. Be sure to check out Logan Pass, the high point where you can see feral mountain goats and wild-flower meadows.
Hill Country Highways in Texas — A series of winding roads — Highways 335, 336 and 337 — provides amazing views of canyons and angular rock walls. Don’t miss the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum outside Vanerpool.
Columbia River Scenic Highway in Oregon — This beautiful drive winds past a series of magestic waterfalls and other natural wonders of the Columbia Gorge east of Portland. Be sure to stop at Vista House which stands on a stony cliff 700 feet above the Columbia River for an amazing view and a memorial to Oregon trail blazers.
Kencamagus National Scenic Byway in New Hampshire — Otherwise known as ‘The Kanc”, this 26.5 mile drive along Route 112 is often rated as having the best Fall colors in the U.S. Don’t miss Sabbaday Falls where splashing cascades have been the backdrop for this popular picnic spot since frontier times.
Bayou Cruise, Lousiana — In the low-lying lands of the lower Mississippi, west of New Orleans, this beautiful drive winds past lazy bayous where garlands of Spanish moss drip from beautiful oak and cypress trees. Be sure to stop at Breaux Bridge where you can get your Cajun fix at what’s known as the crawfish capital of the world.
Route 66 – Illinois to California — This famed 2,000 mile cruise is part of the American fabric. Probably the most breathtaking stretch of Route 66 is the mountainous run west of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River, twisting past the gold mines of the Black Mountains. Don’t miss Cool Springs Stations in Kingman, Arizona for a trip back through the years on this historic route.
Great River Road – Minnesota to Louisiana — Enjoy roller-coaster hills and steep canyons from Dubuque to the prehistoric Effigy Mounds on this charming drive along the Mississippi River. Be sure to stop in Galena, named one of the top ten “Charming Small Towns” by TripAdvisor in 2011.
Highway 12 in Utah — Between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Park, Highway 12 provides some of the most rustic scenery in the U.S. Standing out against iron-tinged rust of sedimentary sandstone cliffs you’ll see a forest of deep green juniper trees. Don’t miss Hell’s Backbone Grill where you can dine on Boulder-raised grass fed local lamb and beef as well as foods from the restaurant’s own organic farm and on-site gardens.
Tioga Pass Scenic Byway in California – This byway offers a spectacular drive over the Sierra Nevada with an elevation change of over one mile. Feast your eyes on glacier-carved granite peaks, pristine lakes, wildflower-covered meadows, and lush evergreen forests with Giant Sequoia. Be sure to stop at the Whoa Nellie Deli, at the foot of the pass overlooking Mono Lake, were you can dine on Angus beef burgers, fish tacos, pizza and great steaks.
So pack the car, hit the road and discover the beauty our country has to offer.