The United States is filled with beautiful landscapes and scenic routes that are perfect for a road trip. From the rugged coastlines of California to the rolling hills of Vermont, there’s no shortage of picturesque drives to explore. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next adventure, here are 10 scenic drives to add to your bucket list.

1. Introduction

The United States is home to some of the most breathtaking scenic drives in the world. From the rugged coastlines of California to the rolling hills of Vermont, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a seasoned road warrior or a first-time road tripper, these 10 scenic drives are sure to leave you in awe of the beauty of the United States.

1.1. What are scenic drives?

Scenic drives are routes or highways that offer breathtaking views of natural landscapes, historical landmarks, and cultural attractions. These drives often feature winding roads, panoramic vistas, and opportunities to stop and explore the surrounding areas. They are a popular way for travelers to experience the beauty and diversity of the United States, from the rugged coastlines of the Pacific Northwest to the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Whether you are a nature lover, history buff, or simply seeking adventure, there is a scenic drive in the US that will capture your imagination and leave you with unforgettable memories.

1.3. Benefits of taking a scenic drive

Taking a scenic drive can be a rejuvenating experience for both the mind and the soul. It allows you to leave behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. A scenic drive not only offers stunning views of landscapes and wildlife, but also provides a chance to explore the local culture and history. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or an adventurous journey, a scenic drive is the perfect way to unwind and discover the hidden gems of the United States.

1.4. Factors to consider when planning a scenic drive

When planning a scenic drive, there are several factors to consider. First, determine the purpose of the drive. Is it to enjoy nature, see historical landmarks, or simply to relax and take in the scenery? Next, consider the time of year and weather conditions. Some drives may be more enjoyable during certain seasons or in certain weather conditions. It is also important to research the route and any potential road closures or detours. Finally, make sure to pack appropriately for the drive, including snacks, water, and any necessary gear for outdoor activities.

1.5. Safety tips for scenic drives

When it comes to exploring the United States, scenic drives are a must-do activity. The country is full of beautiful landscapes and breathtaking views that are only accessible by car. However, driving through these scenic routes can also pose some risks. To ensure your safety and make the most out of your experience, it’s important to follow some safety tips. In this section, we will provide you with some essential safety tips for scenic drives that will help you have a memorable and safe journey.

2. Top Scenic Drives in the United States

The United States is home to some of the most breathtaking scenic drives in the world. From coastal highways to mountain passes, there are endless opportunities to explore the beauty of the country by car. Here are 10 of the top scenic drives to add to your bucket list:

2.1. Pacific Coast Highway, California

The Pacific Coast Highway in California is one of the top scenic drives in the United States. This winding road stretches over 600 miles along the state’s picturesque coastline, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged California landscape. The route takes drivers through charming coastal towns, past towering redwood forests, and along dramatic cliffs that drop off into the ocean below. Highlights of the drive include the famous Bixby Bridge, the historic Hearst Castle, and the beautiful Big Sur coastline. Whether you’re a seasoned road tripper or just looking for a memorable day trip, the Pacific Coast Highway is a must-see destination for anyone visiting California.

2.2. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most scenic drives in the United States, spanning 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina. The parkway offers breathtaking views of the Appalachian Mountains, with numerous overlooks and hiking trails for visitors to enjoy. Along the way, travelers can stop at historic sites, charming mountain towns, and cultural attractions. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely drive or an outdoor adventure, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a must-see destination for any road trip enthusiast.

2.3. Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana is considered one of the most scenic drives in the United States. This 50-mile stretch of road takes you through the heart of Glacier National Park and offers breathtaking views of the mountains, valleys, and wildlife. The road is only open from late May to early October due to heavy snowfall in the winter, so plan your trip accordingly. Along the way, be sure to stop at Logan Pass to take a hike or snap some photos of the stunning scenery. This drive is one you won’t want to miss.

2.4. Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming

Beartooth Highway, stretching through Montana and Wyoming, is a breathtaking scenic drive that offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. The highway winds through the Beartooth Mountains and passes by alpine lakes, glaciers, and forests. The drive is especially popular during the summer months when the road is fully open and visitors can enjoy the wildflowers and wildlife that call this area home. With its steep switchbacks and hairpin turns, Beartooth Highway is not for the faint of heart, but for those who dare to brave it, the reward is worth the effort.

2.5. Route 66, Illinois to California

Route 66, also known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, is a historic highway that spans from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. This iconic route passes through eight states and covers a distance of over 2,400 miles. Along the way, travelers can experience the diverse landscapes, cultures, and traditions that make up the United States.

Starting in Chicago, the route takes you through the heartland of America, passing through small towns and agricultural landscapes. As you travel west, you’ll encounter the stunning natural beauty of the Southwest, including the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest National Parks. The route also passes through the vibrant cities of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Santa Fe, where you can experience the unique blend of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican cultures.

In California, Route 66 takes you through the Mojave Desert and the San Bernardino Mountains before finally ending in Santa Monica, where you can dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for a unique adventure, a road trip along Route 66 is an unforgettable experience.

3. International Scenic Drives

If you’re looking for some of the most beautiful scenic drives in the world, look no further than the United States. With its diverse landscapes and stunning natural beauty, the US offers a wealth of options for those looking to hit the open road and take in some breathtaking scenery. Here are 10 of the best scenic drives to explore in the United States:

3.1. Ring Road, Iceland

Ring Road, Iceland is a breathtakingly beautiful drive that takes you around the entire perimeter of the island. The 828-mile road offers stunning views of glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, and fjords. You’ll also pass through charming villages and have the opportunity to see the famous Icelandic horses. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore and take in all the natural wonders along the way.

3.2. Great Ocean Road, Australia

The Great Ocean Road in Australia is a stunning coastal drive that stretches for 151 miles. The road takes you past breathtaking views of the Southern Ocean, stunning cliffs, and beautiful beaches. Along the way, you’ll pass through charming seaside towns and see iconic landmarks like the Twelve Apostles rock formation. This drive is perfect for those who love nature and want to experience the beauty of Australia’s coastline.

3.3. Amalfi Coast Road, Italy

The Amalfi Coast Road in Italy is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a scenic drive. This road stretches along the coastline of southern Italy, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding mountains. The road is full of twists and turns, making it a thrilling drive for those who enjoy a bit of adventure. Along the way, there are several charming towns to explore, each with its own unique character and charm. Some notable stops include the town of Positano, with its pastel-colored houses and stunning beaches, as well as the town of Amalfi, which is home to a beautiful cathedral and a picturesque harbor. Overall, the Amalfi Coast Road is a must-see destination for anyone traveling to Italy.

3.4. Trollstigen, Norway

Trollstigen, Norway is a breathtakingly beautiful scenic drive that offers stunning views of the Norwegian mountains and fjords. The drive features 11 hairpin turns and steep inclines, making it both thrilling and exhilarating. Along the way, visitors can stop at the Trollstigen Visitor Centre to learn about the history and geology of the area, as well as enjoy panoramic views from the observation deck. This drive is not for the faint of heart, but for those who dare to take on the challenge, the rewards are truly unforgettable.

3.5. Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria is a breathtaking scenic drive that winds through the Austrian Alps. With stunning views of snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and alpine meadows, this road is a must-see for anyone visiting Austria. The road is also home to the Kaiser Franz Josef Höhe Visitors’ Centre, where visitors can learn more about the area’s history and geology, as well as take in even more stunning views. Whether you’re a seasoned driver or just looking for a unique way to explore Austria, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road is not to be missed.


Exploring the scenic drives in the United States is an experience that should not be missed. With picturesque views, interesting landmarks, and hidden gems along the way, these drives offer a unique way to see the beauty of America. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and discover the wonders of the United States on one of these 10 scenic drives.