Best Drives in the U.S.

Travel Tips

August 31, 2020


While some this year’s grandest travel plans may be on pause, not all vacation hope is lost. As countries and states ease restrictions and hotels, national parks, and other attractions cautiously begin to reopen, the allure of the open road is strong.


No matter where you live, there’s likely a scenic drive nearby, be it a forest-lined highway or a sunny, shore-hugging route. Leave the logistics to your Direct Travel Advisor, and your itinerary can include chic (socially distanced) overnights at Virtuoso hotels, foolproof directions, and expert insight on the best roadside seafood shacks, uncrowded parks, and more.


Here are a few ideas that will have you ready to load up the car:


North Carolina and Virginia: Blue Ridge Parkway

Stretching 469 miles between Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway cuts through the Appalachian Highlands, showcasing waterfall-dotted hiking trails, family-run wineries and breweries, and bluegrass jam sessions along the way. 


Montana: Going-to-the-Sun Road 

The 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road bisects Glacier National Park’s glacial lakes, valleys, and cedar forests, while climbing to an altitude of more than 6,400 feet. Many find the two-lane road’s cliff-hugging panoramas exhilarating, but, for some, it’s definitely a white-knuckles-on-the-wheel experience. 


Texas: Hill Country

This bucolic Central Texas region, north of San Antonio and west of Austin, is blanketed in bluebonnets in March and April and beloved by day-trippers looking to cool off in its spring-fed natural swimming holes in the summer. It’s all about slowing down here – in small-town general stores, at hilltop wineries, and with plenty of Lone Star style. 


California: Pacific Coast Highway

The 1,675-mile Pacific Coast Highway stretches all the way from San Diego to Washington State, but the coastal road’s most iconic portion lies between Los Angeles and San Francisco. And while you technically could make that drive in about nine hours, the PCH (aka State Route 1) is meant to be savored. There are too may blufftop viewpoints, laid-back coastal towns, and oceanfront restaurants to rush things.


Florida: Overseas Highway

Built in the late 1930s over much of Florida’s former East Coast Railroad, the 113-mile “Highway that Goes to the Sea” is a series of 42 low-slung bridges that connect Miami and the Florida Keys, culminating at the southernmost point in the U.S. – Key West.


Maine: US Route 1

Between the New Hampshire border and Acadia National Park, Route 1 in Maine covers some of the best of the state’s 5,000-plus miles of coastline, from quintessential lighthouse-dotted fishing villages and oceanfront oyster farms to rocky beaches and yes, so many lobster rolls. 


Hawaii: Hana Highway

Also known as the Road to Hana, the 64-mile Hana Highway connects Paia and Hana on Maui’s lush northeast coast. It’s a leisurely drive, thanks to multiple one-lane portions of the road, hundreds of hairpin turns, and inviting waysides that invite Aloha State travelers to pull over for a picnic, swim, or hike. 


This Article was written by Amy Cassen from


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