We love to board a plane and take off through the clouds to some foreign or unfamiliar land. But, we especially love to load up the car with our personal belongings, turn on the radio, roll down the windows and hit the open highway! In the future we would love to do this even more!
It allows us to freely pack and accumulate as much stuff as we want, see hidden wonders that we wouldn't necessarily get the opportunity to if we were dependent upon public transportation and travel at our own pace, making last minute decisions, stopping for that sudden picture op and stopping to check out something local if we wish.
If you're like us and enjoy a good road trip check out just a few of our recommendations that you may not have considered before or some that may just bring back a few memories.
Feel free to comment and share your road trip recommendations as well! We would love some feedback.
Texas Hill Country
If you're looking for a dose of iconic Texas scenery look no further than this scenic route from San Antonio to Austin, Texas. Highway 16 will take you past a little bit of everything. Rocks, dessert, twists & turns, mountainous terrain, lush greenery, etc. Not to mention you will pass by many beloved, well known Texan towns such as Luckenbach, made famous from it's well known musical hostings, and Bandera, the famous "Cowboy Capital" of the world!
Route: Highway 16 to Fredericksburg via Bandera and Medina then Highway 290 to Austin via Luckenbach
Highlights: Luckenbach General Store, Bandera, San Antonio
Blue Ridge Mountains
This one holds a special place in our hearts! We just love the mountains of North Carolina and with family up there we visit often. While we don't get to the Virginia section of the parkway as much as we would like we have driven it enough to appreciate it just the same. This is probably one of the most consistently scenic drives you will take with luscious mountains ranging on both sides of the road and quaint, mountain towns lingering throughout the journey. You really can't beat the experience!
Route: Any stretch of the 469 miles of parkway will suffice but many of our favorite/frequent sites lie between the North Carolina towns of Asheville and Boone.
Highlights: Biltmore, Mt. Mitchell, Craggy Gardens, Crabtree Falls, Linville Caverns, and Linville Falls, The Orchard at Altapass, Little Switzerland, Blowing Rock, Grandfather Mountain, multiple overpass views
Coastal Carolina & Virginia
This Eastern coast highway offers everything from beautiful coastal sites to small town fixes. Branching from the southern most tip of Virginia all the way through North Carolina down into South Carolina, this route could easily consume a day to even a week of adventuring. It is much slower pace than the interstate, with speed limits constantly changing, so beware of speed traps. This route is another personal favorite, mainly because of all the quaint coastal towns that you would otherwise miss stopping through.
Route: Highway 17 from Hampton Roads, VA to Charleston, SC.
Highlights: The Great Dismal Swamp, New Bern, Little Washington, Wilmington, Edenton, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, SC
Carolina & Virginia Foothills
This road was one that surprised us. On our first trip to Charlottesville this year we took Highway 15 which runs from Creedmoor, NC to Charlottesville, VA. Wow! Taking this road was such a treat. It's of course off the beaten track of any major highway but you venture through sceneries ranging from flat farmland to rolling hills. It's absolutely stunning. I would encourage anyone heading to or from this area to fit this into your itinerary.
Route: Highway 15 from Creedmoor, NC to Dillwyn, VA then Highway 20 to Charlottesville, VA.
Highlights: Clarksville VA, downtown, Scottsville VA, Monticello, University of Virginia, Falls Lake, NC
We drove this road on our journey from Nashville to Memphis. It's a great switch up from the Urban setting of Nashville complete with country-side scenery and smaller towns. The highlight for us was camping along the way. It's a comfortable, slower paced drive.
Route: Highway 70 from Nashville, TN to Memphis, TN.
Highlights: Sun Recording Studios, Natchez Trace State Park, Beale Street, Music Row, Montgomery Bell State Park, Dickson,
Outer Banks Scenic Byway
This road is a MUST if you are a coastal lover like we are! The Outer Banks is magical for it's own purposes but when you add a good road thats lined with attractions, good scenery, yummy food and exciting things to stop in to see it's a double win!
Route: Highway 12 from Corolla, NC to Buxton, NC.
Highlights: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Wild Horses of Corolla, Pea Island Wildlife Refuge, Avon Fishing Pier, Rodanthe, Camping, Oregon Inlet, Jennettes Pier, The Cotton Gin, Jockeys Ridge State Park, Jolly Rogers Breakfast, Awful Arthurs Oysters, Arts Burgers, Avalon Fishing Pier, Putt-Putt, Johns Drive In, Duck Donuts, The Whalehead Club, Currituck Lighthouse, Wright Brothers Memorial, Stop N Shop
We recently drove this highway as a sporadic detour while on a business trip of Jo's and we were certainly not disappointed with everything this area of the US has to offer. The drive is a fairly short drive to take but is packed with simplistic, beautiful vistas of the Virginia countryside dotted with many colonial era homes and preserved southern plantations. Our route began in Yorktown, VA and continued to historic Williamsburg, Jamestown, and ended in Richmond.
Route: Colonial Parkway from Yorktown, VA to Jamestown then highway 5 from to Richmond, VA.
Highlights: Restored buildings of Colonial Yorktown, Shirley Plantation, Williamsburg, VA, Busch Gardens, Water Country, Colonial Parkway, William & Mary University, Trails/Parks/Biking Paths, Edgewood Plantation,
Natchez Trace Parkway
Journey this 440 mile scenic road from Tennessee to Mississippi, through Alabama. It's the same road that Indians, Settlers, and present day wanderers have traveled for many years.
Route: Natche Trace Parkway from Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez Mississippi
Highlights: Mississippi River, Natche Mississippi, Tennessee River Crossing
Million Dollar Highway
Known as the Million Dollar Highway this journey through the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Colorado bids right up to its name. Not only is the route packed with stunning mountain views but it also offers educational value with the historic mining towns of Silverton and Durango. If you are a fan of being completely disconnected you will also want to check out the expansive offroad trail system within the San Juan National Forrest.
Route: Highway 550 from Montrose to Durango Colorado.
Highlights: Silverton, Ouray, Red Mountain Overlook, Telluride (slight detour involved)
Four Corners Region
You will probably recognize scenes from this well known highway that has been featured in numerous photographs and movies. Running right through Monument Valley, this 64 mile highway will surely take your breath away. But, don't worry, just stop and take a break. The surrounding scenery surely won't disappoint.
Route: Highway 160 from Cortez Colorado to the Grand Canyon
Highlights: Monument Valley, Mexican Hat Rock, Grand Canyon
This route has a little bit of everything from dramatic canyons along the Arkansas River, to one of a kind views across the Blue Mesa Reservoir, to the lengthy climb over Monarch Pass. Try coupling this with a drive on the Million Dollar Highway from Montrose for a complete Colorado experience.
Route: Highway 50 from Canon City to Montrose Colorado.
Highlights: Arkansas River Overlooks, Royal Gorge, Monarch Pass, Blue Mesa Reservoir
Enjoy the Journey!
We are the Best's! Jo and Mo. We have been immensely blessed with many opportunities to see various parts of the world. We live an average, working life in Raleigh, NC but through our many opportunities have developed a passion to see the world. Our goal is to share with other desiring travelers different tips and experiences from around the world as we begin to check them off our bucket list. If anything, we hope to provide a little sense of motivation and adventure to those wishing to embark on their own journey!
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