Within the current climate and continuing restrictions on both international and cross-country travel, you might think that you should just give up on making any summer vacation plans this year. We’re here to cheer you up and give a suggestion that might allow you to spend time in nature and stay relatively safe from the coronavirus – take a road trip! Most likely, there are a number of scenic drives and beautiful day road trips you can take in your area, no matter where you live, but here, we’ve collected 10 iconic drives throughout the United States that you must know about. If anything, add these beautiful mountain roads and seaside drives to your must-see list for next year or let them inspire you to take a short drive into nature in your local area.
1. 17-Mile Drive, California
Although the common name of this only 10-mile long stretch of Highway 1 through the Monterey Peninsula is somewhat hyperbolic, the views you’ll be able to catch while zooming through this scenic road can be described as astonishing without any exaggeration. The road lies almost entirely on the Pacific coastline, featuring rugged cliffs, colonies of harbor seals resting on the beach, and Del Monte Forest of cypress trees, the most notable of which is the Lone Cypress that can be seen in the image above. There are also a number of luxury mansions and private golf courses along the way.
2. Highway 101, Oregon
Highway 101 in Oregon stretches across the entire Pacific coast in the state and offers its visitors both gorgeous seaside vistas and picturesque mountain views. The beaches scattered with dark cliffs along the 300-mile stretch in the area are completely unobstructed by human activity. On your way, you’ll also find several charming small towns and farms set against the background of lush green hills, go through tunnels, and catch a glimpse of the Heceta Head Lighthouse (seen above) if you’ll be driving through the area of Yachats and Cape Perpetua.
3. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolinas and Virginia
This 469-mile long road is a paradise for those of you who are seeking to spend some quiet time in the mountains. This scenic drive is beautiful all year round, and panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Park will be revealed to visitors who undertake the journey through the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of one of the many bird species that live in the forests, such as the wild turkey, the yellow-throated warbler, the blue grosbeak, and many others.
4. Nevada State Route 169, Nevada
To experience a very different kind of mountainous landscape, one that’s full of shallow brick-red peaks and a drier climate, take the Nevada 169 State Road that goes through the Valley of Fire National Park and the historic Lost City Museum, the Anasazi Pueblo Grande de Nevada, a Native American village that dates back to 300-500 BC!