Top 5 Best US Road Trips

Blue Ridge Parkway, The Carolinas and Virginia

The nearly 500 miles of blacktop twisting through the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah national parks was built for travelers seeking Appalachian overlooks,”  writes Travel and Leisure. “ It’s a panoramic drive for all seasons, with undulating slopes of color in autumn, a bounty of forest canopy in summer, and ski resorts in winter. The parkway has become a paradise for birders: with over 50 resident species, it boasts more diversity than the entire continent of Europe.

Stop: In the mines of the mineral-rich Appalachian Mountains, visitors can pan for emeralds, amethyst, rubies, topaz, and even gold.

Source: Travel and Leisure

Anchorage to Valdez, Alaska

Travel and Leisure shares that “the trip from Anchorage to Valdez, which connects Glenn and Richardson highways, runs past prehistoric glaciers and into mountain ranges with so many 14,000-foot peaks a lot of them haven’t even been named. Along the 300-mile route, the trans-Alaska pipeline pops in and out of view. The final approach to Valdez includes a 25-mile drop from Thompson Pass (2,771 elevation) to sea level through the waterfalls of Keystone Canyon, opening into Prince William Sound.

Stop: Gaze at domesticated musk oxen, the Ice Age wonders of the Alaskan landscape prized for their wool, in Palmer.

Source: Travel and Leisure

U.S. 1, Florida Keys

Leaving the mainland for the 120-mile-long island chain of Florida’s Keys, travelers enter a paradise of beach bars, water sports, and Parrotheads (Jimmy Buffett fans),” writes Travel and Leisure. “From Key Largo to Key West, the overseas highway strings the islands together like beads, running past lighthouses, underwater coral reef parks, and across 7 Mile Bridge — one of the longest bridges in the world.

Stop: On the docks at Islamorada, travelers can hand-feed bait fish to tarpon more than six feet long.

Source: Travel and Leisure

Route 66 | CA to IL

The most famous roadway in the US comes in #2 on our list. According to Timeout, “It would be blasphemous not to include Route 66 at the top of any road-trip roundup. The iconic ‘Mother Road’ is one of the US Highway System’s original routes, starting in downtown Chicago and winding its way across the country to the Santa Monica pier. Covering eight states and approximately 2,500 miles, the historic highway is punctuated with pops of kitsch and classic Americana from a bygone era. 

Can’t-miss pit stop: Join a guided tour of the 400-million-year-old Meramec Caverns in Missouri. Jesse James famously used it as a hideout, and the Jesse James Wax Museum is just minutes away.”

Source: TimeOut

Highway 1 to Big Sur | CA

The #1 choice on the ThinkFives as most scenic drive in the US is the drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco on Highway 1. According to Timeout, “This show-stealing drive may have recently shot to fame after its cameo in the Big Little Lies opening credits montage, but it’s been a beloved route for in-the-know motorists for years. This California coastal classic is chock-full of stomach drops and treacherous turns, but it’s all worth it for the world-class panoramas along the way. Be prepared: Some stretches can last 40 miles without a single bathroom break or gas station.

Can’t-miss pit stop: Sure, you’ve seen it in a million car commercials, but did you even drive along Highway 1 if you don’t have a picture of Bixby Bridge to prove it? Big Sur’s answer to the Golden Gate in San Francisco, this impressive open-spandrel arch bridge soars 260ft above cliffs and a steep canyon.”

Source: TimeOut

Honorable Mentions

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