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10 Scenic Highways Across the US

Par: Cityseeker
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From turquoise waves lapping at sandy shores and rocky red promontories looming over grainy paths to striking mountains crowning picturesque backdrops and historic sites punctuating sprawling fields, numerous highways spanning the expanse of the United States offer dazzling glimpses of the astounding beauty this nation is endowed with, the full extent of which you can enjoy through exploratory drives down scenic thoroughfares.

Kancamagus Highway

Kancamagus Highway is the scenic eastern strip of the New Hampshire Route 112 and is popular for long drives. This road strip stretches through the White Mountain National Forest for 32 miles (51 kilometers), along the banks of the river Swift. The path is flanked by tall coniferous trees with the river flowing softly on one side and bluish mountains yonder. In spring, the trees wear a fresh look, but during autumn the landscape breaks into myriad shades of yellow, orange, red and brown, bathing the entire region in breathtaking natural beauty. The river bed contains plenty of rocks and pure white sand and one can see numerous waterfalls and bridges while driving through this path. September to November is the best time to hike, cycle or bike through the road.

Kancamagus Highway, Conway, NH, États-Unis, 03818
Overseas Highway

Spanning a distance of 113 miles (182 kilometers), the Overseas Highway is exactly what the name suggests. Offering a route between Key West and Key Largo with several intersections at different islands, the highway offers a route unlike any other. Initially an overseas railway, the route was made suitable for road traffic by constructing new roads at a different alignment from the railways. However, today, the route comprises several bridges that allow people to traverse one of the world’s most scenic highways. As you drive over the bridges, over the crystal clear blue waters of the ocean from island to island, the stunning views are sure to take your breath away.

Overseas Highway, Key West, FL, États-Unis, 33040
Pacific Coast Highway

While on the road, a scenic drive always refreshes your senses in a wonderful way. Pacific Coast Highway, a designated portion of State Route 1, is among the most scenic highways in the nation. This coastal interstate is endowed with breathtaking beauty and picturesque vistas which astound with their sheer splendor. From the majestic bluffs of Big Sur to the stunning visage of Hearst Castle, the scenery is comprised of some spectacular attractions which will invite you to embark on exciting explorations. Watch as the waves crash against ragged cliffs which hug the hairpin curves of this highway or marvel at the beaches straddling the coast, sandy strips speckled with sunny hues. With a vibrant landscape stippled with wonderful natural landmarks, there is much to discover along this route.

Pacific Coast Highway, Carmel, CA, États-Unis, 95012
Pikes Peak Highway

Apart from the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, another way to reach the 14,115-feet high Pikes Peak is by the Pikes Peak Highway. The journey to the top along this scenic 19-mile highway takes you through the pristine and scenic locales of the alpine landscape. Built in 1915, the highway is maintained by the council of Colorado Springs and is used for an annual event known as the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. Outdoor enthusiasts will relish opportunities to embark on adventurous excursions as they traverse this route which snakes through picturesque sloping inclines.

4770 Pikes Peak Highway, Cascade, CO, États-Unis, 80809
Hāna Highway

Tightly bound to the lissome eastern coastline of Maui, the iconic Road to Hana navigates through a motley of mesmerizing scenery, all packed into a 64.4 mile (103.6 kilometer) long drive that extends from Kahului to Hana. Around every corner, there is a slice of deep azure waters to encounter, a variegated expanse of close-knit jungles that hold mysterious worlds, and an enchanting mix of waterfalls, beaches and jade groves that are a mere hairpin-curve away. As one drives along the merrily winding coastline, frothy waves kick and crash against the side of the steep cliff, and nature's sounds lead the way. As many as 600 curves are wrapped into the serpentine embrace of this scenic road, and nearly 59 one-lane bridges mark the roadway. While this uninterrupted highway to Hawaii heaven and its deep cliffside curves may have one's stomach in knots, the visual reward that remains a constant throughout the journey caps off this remarkable drive.

Hana Highway, Hana, HI, États-Unis, 96708
San Juan Scenic Byway

Winding through an array of scenic sights, each more mesmerizing than the last, the San Juan Scenic Byway is an expansive route stippled with natural wonders and historic settlements. The landscape encompassing this picturesque highway unfurls like a dream, dazzling you with majestic peaks which loom over undulating fields, often punctuated by time-honored towns which paint an evocative picture of their history if you look deeper. This route is considered to be one of the most prominent in the country, a drive along its length promising breathtaking vistas, and is traversed by droves of tourists and locals alike who are drawn to its inimitable charm. Be it sprawling national forests or stunning valleys which beckon with their splendor, exploring this marvelous byway makes for an exhilarating expedition.

US-160, Durango, CO, États-Unis, 81303
Seward Highway

Alaska has long since been touted as one of the most striking states in the United States, renowned for its diverse landscapes and spectacular beauty. Seward Highway offers a glimpse of exactly that: miles and miles of glacial formations reflected in the surface of pristine lakes, majestic mountains draped in greenery, lush foliage cloaking the land as far as the eye can see, gradually emerging into sprawling fields interrupted by historic towns. Trundle along the scenic highway which is flanked by stunning vistas or make pit stops at the vantage points scattered across its expanse to marvel at the vibrant tapestry woven by nature. Numerous attractions stipple the length of Seward, so you have plenty of options to explore while traversing its length.

Seward Highway, Seward, AK, États-Unis, 99664
Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most traveled routes in the US National Park system. The scenic thoroughfare is 470 miles (756 kilometers) long and passes through the mountains of Shenandoah to the Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. Some of the more popular stops in the area are Linville Gorge, Craggy Gardens and Graveyard Fields. Pass by undulating meadows and gaze in awe at the majesty of the surrounding mountains, or explore the many attractions dotting the stunning landscape of this region as you glide along the roadway's scenic expanse.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah National Forest, Asheville, NC, États-Unis, 28803
Red Rock Scenic Byway

Red Rock Scenic Byway is also called State Route 179 and is named for the red sandstone and rock compositions along its 7.5-mile (12.07 kilometers) stretch. It is a designated All-American Road and the state's first one. Along its path lie many interesting sites, scenic stops, trails and much more. You won't merely drive through but will want to explore its marvelous sights and scenery. Flanked by stunning bluffs, canyons, lush foliage and featuring meandering twists and turns, this highway is indeed worth traversing. It starts in the Village of Oak Creek or Big Park and then heads to Sedona. You will find the Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock along this route.

State Route 179, Village Of Oak Creek, AZ, États-Unis, 86351
U.S. Route 66

Route 66 was commissioned in 1926 and was finished just before World War II. Although no longer a designated highway, parts of the original route still exist, with many efforts to restore and maintain sections of this historic road carried out to preserve its heritage. A number of attractions and sites along this byway are testaments to the culture and traditions which dominate America's landscape, painting an evocative picture of its history. Explore the remnants of a number of time-honored establishments and sites spanning several states, regaling visitors with their old-world charm and historic nuances.

US Route 66, Albuquerque, NM, États-Unis, 87121
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