I've driven thousands of miles crisscrossing the United States. While there are a few drives I never want to do again (looking at you West Texas), I am fortunate to have been on some spectacular stretches of road. Here are my favorites:
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Running along the crest of the Blue Ridge, the parkway offers stunning views on both sides of the road of the surrounding Appalachian Mountains and Valleys. The Map below shows the portion I have driven on, although the road extends as far south as Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.
Carson Pass, California
State Route 88 winds through mountains and alpine lakes of the Sierra Nevada from Jackson, California to Minden, Nevada, offering better scenery than the more traversed Interstate 80 and Highway 50. Parts of the road may be closed during the winter due to snow. Check with Caltrans for current conditions.
Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana
Spanning the width of Glacier National Park, the Going-to-the-Sun Road runs along the mountainside up and over Logan Pass. The drive features hairpin turns, steep drop offs, and views of one of America's most beautiful parks. Luckily there are plenty of turnouts to stop and take it all in. The majority of the road is closed from late fall until spring due to snow. Check with the National Park Service for current conditions.
Pacific Coast Highway, California
While the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) runs almost the full length of California, it is the section between Carmel and San Luis Obispo that is the highlight. The narrow road hugs the coastline through forests and rocky cliffs with amazing ocean views.
A section of the highway, destroyed by the Mud Creek landslide, has been closed since May 2017 and will not reopen until Fall 2018. Check with Caltrans for current conditions. I will update with a map once the route is fully open.