Theoretically, you can take your motorhome or camping trailer anywhere there’s pavement, but not all roads are created equal when it comes to RV travel. Narrow mountain passes full of switchbacks and steep grades are white-knuckle experiences waiting to happen. On the flipside, some wide-open stretches of asphalt seem tailor-made for RVers, offering up stunning scenery and interesting diversions along with a leisurely drive.
Here are three such roads calling you to explore.
Pacific Highway 101 along the Southern Oregon Coast
OREGON’S PACIFIC COAST SCENIC BYWAY
There are more than 95,000 miles of coastline in this country, but none more dramatic than the 363 miles that make up Oregon’s Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. Running from the California redwoods to the Washington border at the mouth of the historic Columbia River, this trip-worthy road is full of memorable distractions.
Excuses to pull off and dawdle include ogling sea stacks, exploring tidal pools and riding ATVs on windswept dunes as tall as a 50-story building. Travelers can also watch kiteboarders perform aerial feats of daring at Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint just north of Brookings, take an exhilarating jet boat trip on the Lower Rogue River, a National Wild and Scenic River, or get up close with the gray whales lolling just offshore of the city of Depoe Bay each summer.
Great River Road in Louisiana
GREAT RIVER ROAD IN LOUISIANA
Rolling along Louisiana’s section of the Great River Road combines glimpses of America’s past with the best of the present day. Although this All-American Roadway stretches for 3,000 miles through 10 states, much of the really good stuff comes in the 773-mile section that follows the Mississippi River from Arkansas’ southern border through Louisiana to the Gulf of Mexico.
Oregon’s Pacific Coast Scenic Byway Photo by mdurson/stock.adobe.com
NORTH CAROLINA’S OUTER BANKS SCENIC BYWAY
Crude 18th-century maps marked this section of the North Carolina coast with the terse warning “Here There Be Pyrates.” Today, swashbucklers have been replaced by travelers seeking to enjoy the two national seashores, two national wildlife refuges and 21 villages along the Outer Banks Scenic Byway’s 138 driving miles and some 25 ferry-riding miles. (Yes, the ferries can accommodate RVs.)
Begin your adventure a short distance from the byway’s northern terminus with a hang-gliding lesson at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head, famed for its massive sand dunes. Stop along the byway to enjoy the pristine beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore and see one or more of four lighthouses.
Take the ferry to Ocracoke Island to see the now-tranquil spot where the infamous pirate Blackbeard fought his final battle. The byway ends in the fishing village of Harkers Island. There, you can watch the sunset from picnic tables at Cape Lookout National Seashore while chowing down on the local specialty: shrimp burgers.