The cost of gas deters us from thinking about driving to our vacation destination, but there’s no denying our love of the classic American road trip. Most road warriors like a fall drive because of the stunning scenery. Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it makes it possible to drive from coast to coast, enjoying the scenery and stopping by anything interesting that might cross your path. Great eateries, museums, fairs and festivals, history, adventure, nature and so much more- there’s a whole new world waiting for discovery.
Before heading out on the highway, let’s discuss a few of America’s best road trips. Route 1 along California’s central coast is an all-time favorite for many driving enthusiasts. But the trail from Monterey to Morro Bay, winding through 125 miles of breathtaking scenery, reins supreme, especially at Big Sur, where Santa Lucia’s ranges glides down into the Pacific.
If you want to go for a shorter distance, there are other alternatives. There’s nothing that could rival the 49-mile San Francisco Scenic Drive. When the traffic gets horrible, you can always stop by a caf and grab a bite. As ever, the big seagull on the sign boards- an outstanding symbol of the great American Road Drive- will always guide you.
Another fabulous route is the Seaway Trail? There are a slew of roadside delights to enjoy as you hit the road between Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence. Fall is one of the best times to drive through this area. On your journey through New York’s Seaway Trail you will be able to visit Niagara Falls, Boldt’s Castle in the 1000 Islands, lighthouses, Fort Ontario and the charming harbors are the highlights of this trail.
For big, Texas-size fun, the 230 mile road from El Paso to Marathon along Interstate 10, turning southwards onto US Route 90 at Van Horn will delight everyone from truckers to families. You’ll take pleasure in the Chinati Foundation’s discreet art collection in the dusty town of Marfa and relish the desert landscape of the Big Bend National Park, just another hour’s drive from Marathon.
History buffs will agree that Montana’s Great Falls to Missoula drive is etched on their minds. You can plan your trip either around Civil War sites or sites of African-American history. If you still think that your route needs fine-tuning, catch up with the guys at the Great Falls interpretive center.
Get your camera ready when you’re on Skyline Drive in Virginia. This is the main route for travelers to the Shenandoah National Park, set on the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are miles of hiking trials along the way as well as an opportunity to stop at the Rapidan Camp. When the trip is over, your camera will be loaded with picture perfect memories.
Drive along the Geronimo Trail and learn about Apache history. Take a break from the road and stop by the hot mineral springs once used by Geronimo and his fighters. Check out the old mining towns that prospered and decayed with their fortunes of gold and silver.
The strip from Key Largo to Key West an incredible route to take as well. Where else will you find a 105 mile chain of islands linked to a highway? Throughout the trail, there is either a bridge or a ramp, surrounded by sparkling waters. Be sure to watch the spectacular sunset at Key West’s Mallory Square Dock.
Remember to plan your route well in advance and don’t forget to keep your map handy. Also, follow traffic rules and take a break when necessary. The road trip is one of the easiest escapes from the daily grind. Have a great trip and remember to drive safely!