Blue Ridge Mountains

8 Memorable Driving Experiences

One of life’s greatest pleasures is driving through the scenic areas that abound in the United States. There is true beauty in our country and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to experience it.  Chances are some of these scenic areas aren’t far from where you live and you just need an automobile and enough time to go visit them. We spoke with Holt Fiat of Ft. Worth, a Texas-based Fiat dealer, and they suggested  8 wonderful drives that are open for all of us to enjoy.

1) Alaska’s George Parks Highway

The George Parks highway, which parallels the Alaska Railroad, is one of the most scenic roads in Alaska. It is the main route between Anchorage and Fairbanks. Along the route you will pass Denali National Park and the beautiful Matanuska-Susitna valley region.  The George Parks highway is an amazing 323 miles of scenic Alaskan wilderness.

2) California’s Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway stretches along the California coast. In particular, the stretch between Los Angeles and San Francisco is perhaps the most iconic stretch of highway in the country.  You will recognise much of it because it’s featured in many Hollywood movies.

3) Florida’s Overseas Highway

The Overseas Highway is a 113-mile highway snaking through the Florida Keys.  It follows a trail originally blazed in 1912 when the Florida East Coast Railroad stretched from Miami to Key West. The bridges along the route are major achievements in civil engineering and offer incredible views. This is an exotic roadway through a tropical savanna environment and passes over the large areas of coral reefs. Many of the islands along the route are home to exotic animals such as the tiny Key Deer.

4) Napa’s Silverado Trail

The Silverado Trail begins near the top of San Francisco Bay and travels  northward through the most famous winegrowing region in America: Napa Valley. It is the first permanent road linking the town of Napa to Calistoga.  Not only is the scenery breathtaking but a major draw is that you can stop along the way and enjoy wine tours and tastings at any of the dozens of wineries along the route.

5) North Carolina’s Deals Gap

Also known locally as the Tail of the Dragon, Deals Gap is one of the curviest stretches of road in the entire United States. Located in North Carolina, its only 11 miles long yet has 318 curves along its length. Deals Gap is bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest. There is no development along this stretch of road so you are assured of 11 miles of fun as you navigate turns with names like Copperhead Corner, Gravity Cavity, and Break or Bust Bend.

6)  Maine’s Acadia Park Loop

Acadia National Park in Maine is one of America’s most beautiful places. The Park Loop swirls around Mt Desert Island and offers breathtaking ocean views, rocky coastlines and crystal clear lakes. Take a trip up Cadillac Mountain in the early morning and you will see the first rays of sun that hit American soil.

7) Utah’s Scenic Byway 12

Utah’s Route 12 is a trip through some of the most incredible geological formations you will ever see. For over 120 miles, you are treated to the sights of Bryce Canyon, Dixie National Forest and Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument.  Along Route 12, multi-coloured limestone cliffs and red rock formations tower above the road. Seeing the sunset from just about anywhere on Route 12 is an experience you will never forget.

8) North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains

This is Appalachia and the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina and Virginia are arguably the most scenic parts.  The Blue Ridge Parkway that was built through them connects Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It’s home to some of the best camping and fishing in the country.