8 of the Most Scenic Roads in the U.S.

San Juan mountains

America the Beautiful is home to dozes of drives that make the journey as much fun as the destination, so if you’ve been itching for a road trip, why not plan your next getaway via one of the most scenic roads in the country?

Million Dollar Highway

This highway is a 236-mile stretch located on Route 550, which runs from New Mexico to Colorado. Also known as the San Juan Skyway, the Million Dollar Highway runs through incredible passes in the San Juan Mountains (above) and boasts thrilling hairpin turns (and no guardrails!).

The Hawai’i Belt

On the big island of Hawai’i, there are three routes that run along the perimeter – Route 11, Route 19, and Route 270. Take a drive on these roads and get a taste of the varying Hawai’ian landscape. You’ll see everything from jungles to beaches to lava formations.

Highway 1

HIghway 1 runs along the coast of California next to the Pacific Ocean and one of the best parts of the road is called the “Big Sur.” It runs from San Simeon to Carmel and is known for its beautiful views, historic bridges, staggering cliffs, and a redwood forest.

Finger Lakes Loop

There are 11 different lakes that make up the Finger Lakes and one of the best drives you can take is a loop that starts and ends in Ithaca, NY. The loop is about 200 miles long and you’ll see beautiful foliage (especially if you go in fall), farmland, gorges, and waterfalls.

Cades Cove Drive

This drive is one of the shorter ones you can take. Located in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this one-lane loop runs 11 miles through beautiful fields where deer and bears roam. Look for find rustic cabins and homey stores along the way.

Denali Highway

Located along Route 8 in Alaska, this highway is mostly gravel and connects Paxson to Cantwell. Denali Highway runs 135 miles in length and was the first road access to Denali National Park. Drive along it and you’ll see beautiful views of the Alaskan landscape.

Acadia National Park Loop

Head up to Maine for a relaxing, tranquil drive through the national park’s beautiful landscape. You’ll see the Thunder Hole inlet and Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard. If you’re there October 7th – March 6th, you’ll be the first point in the entire country to see the sunrise.

Going-to-the-Sun Road

This 50-mile highway is named for the 9,642-foot tall Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, which will dominate your view as you drive. The road stretches the width of Glacier National Park, Montana and features Logan Pass, a pass that crosses the Continental Divide at over 6,000 feet.