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    19 Scenic Roads In The US Everyone Should Drive Down At Least Once

    ~Life is a highway~

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    1. Pacific Coast Highway — California

    Bixby Creek Bridge at sunset with rocky cliffs and a view out across the ocean
    Zorazhuang / Getty Images

    When you think of California, you may think of beaches lined with palm trees, but the drive along Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) from San Diego up the northern coast of the state to San Francisco is far from that. You'll come across towering redwood trees, rocky coastlines, historic bridges, and a whole lot of morning fog. Whatever you do, don't miss the iconic 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach.

    Route: San Diego to San Francisco

    2. The Overseas Highway — Florida

    aerial view of Seven Mile Bridge over the ocean on a clear, sunny day
    Filippobacci / Getty Images

    If you're seeking some true ~views~ the Overseas Highway has you covered. As you might have guessed, it runs for 106 miles right over the ocean and through the Florida Keys. Be on the look out for the Old Seven Mile Bridge (connecting Knights Key to Little Duck Key) which was a big time architectural triumph when it was constructed back in 1912.

    Route: Key Largo to Key West

    3. US Route 163 — Arizona and Utah

    car driving down a long stretch of road towards Monument Valley
    Elsvandergun / Getty Images

    If you've seen Forrest Gump, you've seen US Route 163. It's pictured in the scene where Forrest gets "pretty tired" and decides to go home. But luckily for you, it's not normally a road for runners — in fact, we highly recommend taking your car (though a convertible wouldn't be a bad idea either). The view of Monument Valley is pretty much the entire reason you'll want to take this drive, and boy is it worth it.

    Route: Kayenta, Arizona, to Bluff, Utah

    4. The Hana Highway — Hawaii

    the road winds around the tree-covered sea cliffs, as the powerful ocean waves create a misty spray.
    Ironrodart / Getty Images

    More widely known as the "Road to Hana," the Hana Highway is a Maui must. There are so many spots to visit along the way — even though the drive only takes a few hours, you may want to stay the night in Hana just to make sure you have enough time to fully enjoy all the scenery. If you're up for it, pop off the road at some point to buy some banana bread or a shaved ice along the way.

    Route: Kahului to Hana

    5. Beartooth Highway — Montana and Wyoming

    The Beartooth highway winding around a bend with snow capped mountains in the distance
    John Morrison / Getty Images

    This windy All American Road takes you through 68 miles of rugged Montana and Wyoming countryside and into Yellowstone National Park. Expect to see lots of wildlife, tons of mountainous terrain, and of course, some serious birds-eye views of the area from up to 10,947 feet high.

    Route: South of Red Lodge to the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone

    6. Cascade Loop — Washington

    7. Kancamagus Highway — New Hampshire

    brightly colored fall foliage surrounds the highway
    Denistangneyjr / Getty Images

    Feel free to call it "The Kanc" like the locals do. While the Kancamagus Highway is scenic year-round, it's best driven in the fall when the trees' colors are on fire. The leaves usually start changing in mid-to-late September and peak in mid-October, just FYI. For a touch of history, stop off at the 120-foot Albany Covered Bridge, which dates back to 1858.

    Route: Lincoln to Conway

    8. Parke County Drive — Indiana

    The Narrows Covered Bridge crosses Sugar Creek on the eastern edge of Parke County
    Kenneth_keifer / Getty Images

    Ok so this one isn't a specific road, but who doesn't love a good bridge drive? Also known as the "Covered Bridge Capital of the World," it'll come as no surprise that Indiana's Parke County is chock full of historic bridges. You're bound to have tons of photo ops, whether it's outside a covered bridge or over whatever body of water the bridge takes you, so leave plenty of time to make stops.

    Route: The bridges are scattered throughout Parke County, so pick your route

    9. Trail Ridge Road — Colorado

    mountains poke above the clouds along Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park during the fall
    Dawn Brandt / Getty Images

    If you're not one to hit the black diamond slopes out in Colorado, Trail Ridge Road is your best way to see the Rocky Mountains. The road covers 48 miles of Rocky Mountain National Park, getting as high as 12,183 feet (hello altitude training). About 30 miles into the drive, you'll hit Rainbow Curve — peer out the window for a spectacular view of Beaver Ponds and the pine-covered valley below.

    Route: Grand Park to Estes Lake

    10. Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway — Maine

    11. Highway 101 — Oregon

     aerial view of road traveling along rocky coast with waves crashing on the shore
    Matthieu Louis / Getty Images

    Toward the northern region of California, Pacific Coast Highway joins Highway 101, and the 101 then serves as Oregon's version of PCH. You can expect ocean views and lots of big mounds (shout out to the famous Haystack Rock) poking out of the waters along the shore.

    Route: California State Line to Washington State Line

    12. Coastal Connection Scenic Byway — Alabama

    13. M-22 — Michigan

    long stretch of road surrounded by grass and trees with a sign reading "north M22"
    Peter Armstrong / Getty Images

    Following along the shores of Lake Michigan on the Leelanau Peninsula, this 116-mile drive takes you through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore — one of Michigan's most beautiful beaches — and drops you off in Traverse City. (Psst! Traverse City is known for its vineyards, just sayin'.)

    Route: Manistee to Traverse City

    14. Route 66 — Missouri

    The Chain of Rocks Bridge on old Route 66 in Illinois/ Missouri
    Ej_rodriquez / Getty Images

    Take a journey through the Ozarks on part of America's historic Route 66. People have been getting their kicks on Route 66 for years thanks to Nat King Cole, and the fact the route holds the title of the nation's very first all-whether highway. Much of the route has been replaced by I-44 in Missouri, but old signage and stops along the way prove the history beneath the pavement.

    Route: St. Louis to Joplin

    15. Richardson Highway — Alaska

    windy Richardson Highway in Alaska. In the background is Worthington Glacier.
    Ovidiuhrubaru / Getty Images

    This stunning drive was actually Alaska's first highway. With views of the snowcapped Chugach Mountains towering above, you'll never struggle to catch a good view as you make this northern drive.

    Route: Valdez to Fairbanks

    16. Whiteface Veterans' Memorial Highway — New York

    aerial view of road winding through Whiteface mountain, surrounded by greenery in Adirondack, NY, USA
    Aoldman / Getty Images

    Taking the title of New York's fifth-highest mountain, the view at the top of Whiteface Mountain is so good, there's a dedicated highway that takes you straight to the summit. With that said, the scenery on the way up is not to be missed either — the surrounding tree-covered Adirondack Park is equally breathtaking.

    Route: Wilmington to Whiteface Mountain peak

    17. Route 6 — Massachusetts and Rhode Island

    Sign for the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, noting that the end of the highway located in Provincetown Massachusetts is over 3000 miles away from Bishop California
    Melissa Kopka / Getty Images

    Though Route 6 runs all the way out to California, the 118 miles through Massachusetts and Rhode Island out to Cape Cod make for a dreamy New England road trip. You'll catch a glimpse of the mansions in Rhode Island, the coastal views out on the cape, and all the ~wicked~ territory in between. And since you can't make a trip to New England without visiting a lighthouse, you'd better add a drive by Ned's Point Lighthouse in Mattapoisett to your itinerary.

    Route: East Providence, Rhode Island, to Provincetown, Massachusetts

    18. Blue Ridge Parkway — Virginia and North Carolina

    morning light spills out on the Lynn Cove viaduct along the Blue Ridge Parkway
    Aheflin / Getty Images

    What's a drive through North Carolina without taking some time to explore the Great Smoky Mountains? Blue Ridge Parkway takes you through both Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park for 469 miles. While you're there, visit the famed Natural Bridge in Rockbridge County, Virginia, which used to be worshiped by the Monacan Indians.

    Route: Rockfish Gap, Virginia, to Swain County, North Carolina

    19. Great River Road — Multiple States

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    illustrated city skyline
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