Scenic Byways of America
Scenic Byways of America
Usually, when people think about driving while on vacation, they picture a dull open road, a cramped car, and a sinking feeling of claustrophobia; however, not all highways were created equal. There are actually several places in America where people enjoy driving as much as they would dining in a fancy restaurant. Because of their unique scenery or location, these driving destination have become symbols of the beauty and majesty of the American Road. So put the top down, get your sunglasses on, and crank up the tunes as we explore a few of the top driving destinations in the U.S.
The kids might even stop fighting in the back seat for a minute or two.
The first stop on our tour takes us to the lovely city of San Francisco. Aside from having the most photographed bridge in the world, The Golden Gate, San Francisco also boasts ownership of the “crookedest street” on Earth, Lombard street. As you climb the rear face of Russian Hill you get a sensation not unlike the slow climb of a roller-coaster when you know a big drop is just ahead. Reaching the apex of the hill and seeing the eight hairpin turns winding below you along this unbelievably steep, surprisingly short road is exhilarating in every sense of the word.
Seven mile bridge in the Florida Keys
Few places on earth make it seem as if your car has spontaneously grown fins quite like the Seven mile bridge in the Florida Keys. Seeing the expansive blue sky meeting the seemingly endless waters gives you a sense of unparalleled serenity setting the perfect tone for the laid back island living the keys have become famous for. If you’re lucky, you may even glimpse a pod of dolphins, which frequent the warm Atlantic waters here.
No one can fully agree where exactly the Pacific Coast Highway begins and ends, but all are unanimous on the beautiful views you are guaranteed to see while driving it. Car enthusiasts and sight seers alike feel their pulse accelerate at every turn as a new breath taking scene comes into view. The cliff faces and rocky island groups dotting the Pacific Waters throughout are awe inspiring to say the least. Keep your eyes on the road, though: the curves can get a little bit hairy if you’re not paying attention. It’s best to save the true sight seeing for one of the many lookout points you will find along the way.
Do you ever wonder what your street looked like four hundred years ago? You would not need to wonder if you lived along the Acadia Byway on the central Maine coast, as not much has changed since Acadia park was discovered in 1604. The undisturbed natural aesthetic of Acadia National Park is regarded as one of the most pristine in the nation and the splendid panoramic views of the Maine rocky coast have a way of transporting the beholder back to a simpler time.
For more information about the Scenic Byway Program, visit the Federal Highway Administration website at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/HEP/byways/index.htm