Mother Nature is giving us her annual technicolor show. Since some of the most beautiful roads in the USA – in national parks such as Yosemite and Yellowstone – are closed because of the US government shutdown, here are six alternative great drives in the USA to enjoy, whether you are a driving enthusiast, fall foilage fan, or both –
Mt. Washington Auto Road, New Hampshire – It’s called “The Road to the Sky”, because it takes you to the top of the tallest mountain in the East, a 7.6 mile climb along Rt. 16 from Pinkham Notch to the summit, with spectacular views at nearly every turn. Be prepared for extreme weather changes – the last time I drove this, there was a 3o or 40 degree difference between the base and the summit. Route map with driving and viewing suggestions.
San Juan Skyway, Colorado – This scenic 236 mile stretch provides some of the most breathtaking mountain passes in North America, and past historic towns including Durango, Silverton, Telluride and Ouray. Beware – the road includes a bunch of spine-tingling hairpin turns and no guardrails. Skyway website
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia – Sweeping vistas that pass mostly farmland, between Tennessee and Virginia. Click here for an interactive route map with suggestions of where to stop and what to see along the way.
Tail of the Dragon, Tennessee – This stretch of Rt. 129 connects Tennessee with North Carolina, and is famous for 318 turns in just 11 miles.
Chuckanut Drive, Washington – This 22 mile stretch of State Route 11 south of Bellingham is narrow, twisty and scenic, with some of the best views in the Pacific Northwest
Hana Highway, Maui – Hana Highway is a winding path with the azure ocean to one side and verdant jungles to the other that leads to one of Maui’s best kept secrets of quintessential Hawaiian tradition and charm, the town of Hana.
Wherever you drive, and whenever you drive, drive safely, and pull over and stop to enjoy the scenery.