Road trips shouldn’t be just about the final destination, but also the beautiful scenery, nature spots, and landmarks along the way. These byways offer the best of what the United States has to offer—mountains, rivers, parks, coastlines, and more.
Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway. Photo courtesy of Travel South Dakota
BADLANDS LOOP STATE SCENIC BYWAY, SOUTH DAKOTA
The Mount Rushmore State’s Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway is a 39-mile loop of South Dakota Highway 240 through the Badlands National Park. It offers 16 designated scenic outlooks where you might spot wildlife.
Skyline Drive. Photo courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corporation
SKYLINE DRIVE, VIRGINIA
The only public road along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park, this 105-mile scenic drive can take about three hours to complete on a clear day. There are four entrance stations and a variety of scenic outlooks.
ACADIA ALL-AMERICAN ROAD, MAINE
This 40-mile scenic road follows along Maine’s Route 3, leading to Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island and then into Acadia National Park’s loop road.
A1A SCENIC & HISTORIC COASTAL BYWAY, FLORIDA
This Floridian byway runs 72 miles and links to both historic and nature spots, including St. Augustine, the Spanish forts of Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas, and Ponte Vedra Beach, known for golf and white, sandy beaches.
Cherohala Skyway Byway. Photo by Tennessee Tourism
CHEROHALA SKYWAY BYWAY, TENNESSEE AND NORTH CAROLINA
The Cherohala Skyway Byway has a crisscrossing route connecting Tellico Plains, Tennessee, and Robbinsville, North Carolina. This two-lane road stretches through the Cherokee National Forest and features 15 scenic outlooks.
Great River Road National Scenic Byway. Photo courtesy of Riley Peterson/Visit Duluth
GREAT RIVER ROAD NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY, IOWA
This byway follows the path of the Mississippi River between Iowa’s northern and southern borders. The 328-mile route passes through a variety of river towns and offers different perspectives for seeing the mighty Mississippi.
Kaibab Plateau-North Rim National Scenic Byway. Photo courtesy of Arizona Office of Tourism
KAIBAB PLATEAU-NORTH RIM NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY, ARIZONA
This drive along Arizona State Highway 67 is the gateway to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It's linked to the Kaibab Plateau and passes through the Kaibab National Forest, alive with conifer trees, subalpine meadows, and limestone outcrops.
SCENIC BYWAY 12, UTAH
Utah’s All-American Road begins in Panguitch, ends in Torrey, and incorporates some of Utah’s best state and national parks. Stops include Bryce Canyon, Goblin Valley, Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Albany Covered Bridge. Photo by Kancamagus Highway-All Seasons
KANCAMAGUS HIGHWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Within New Hampshire’s White Mountains, this 34.5-mile road is fabulous for viewing fall foliage. This portion of Route 112 goes through the White Mountain National Forest and leads to its highest point at Kancamagus Pass, on the flank of Mt. Kancamagus, near Lincoln.
Buffalo Skyline, Erie County, Greater Niagara Region. Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Seaway Trail
GREAT LAKES SEAWAY TRAIL, NEW YORK AND PENNSYLVANIA
This shoreline route begins at the Ohio state line in Pennsylvania’s Erie County, includes Pennsylvania Route 5, and ends at New York’s Seaway International Bridge. It encompasses Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River, along with the New York cities of Erie, Buffalo, Rochester, and Oswego.
Fresno Dome Sierra Vista Scenic Byway. Photo courtesy of Sierra Vista Scenic Byway
SIERRA VISTA SCENIC BYWAY, CALIFORNIA
Going through the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this 100-mile byway provides panoramic vistas of the region's magnificent granite peaks, lush meadows, a large array of plant and animal life, historic attractions, and unique rock formations.
NORTH SHORE ALL-AMERICAN SCENIC DRIVE, MINNESOTA
This 154-mile byway in northeast Minnesota skirts along Lake Superior and goes from Duluth to Two Harbors and on to Grand Portage. Along the way, the route features waterfalls, state parks, shoreline towns, and attractions, including the Split Rock Lighthouse.
Sheep overlooking Turnagain Arm and Seward Highway. Photo by Donna Dewhurst and Visit Anchorage Alaska
SEWARD HIGHWAY, ALASKA
It’s definitely a scenic highway, but it's also an All-American Road and a USDA Forest Service Scenic Byway! Starting from Anchorage along the Turnagain Arm waterway, the route includes mountain towns and stops, such as at Potter Marsh, which is a coastal refuge, and Beluga Point, known as a wildlife spot.