The Most Scenic Routes for a Spring Break Road Trip

Mother And Children Relaxing In Car During Road Trip. (Photo via monkeybusinessimages / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Patrick Clarke
by Patrick Clarke
Last updated: 6:15 PM ET, Tue March 16, 2021

Scenic Routes

Road trips continue to be one of the most popular forms of travel one year into the COVID-19 pandemic and Americans are fortunate to have lots of scenery to choose from right in their own backyard. Here are some of the most scenic routes to consider for your spring break road trip in 2021.

Skyline Drive, Virginia

Scenic Skyline Drive will take road trippers on an eye-popping journey of more than 100 miles through Virginia's Shenandoah National Park. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views from dozens of scenic overlooks and extend their trip by continuing southwest to explore more of the Blue Ridge Mountains and eventually reach the country's most visited national park in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Pacific Coast Highway, California

Travelers eyeing a West Coast road trip this spring can't go wrong on California's Pacific Coast Highway. This legendary route includes beautiful views of the largest and deepest ocean on the planet, of course, but also exciting destinations that travelers will want to check out such as Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, Solvang, San Luis Obispo and Monterey, among others.

Phoenix to Flagstaff, Arizona

Spring travelers heading to the Grand Canyon will want to make the 2.5-hour road trip from Phoenix to Flagstaff, Arizona. This underrated desert journey offers plenty of opportunities for detours, including the Red Rock Scenic Byway to Sedona and Montezuma Castle National Monument preserving cliffside ruins of the Sinagua people dating all the way back to the 12th century.

Texas Hill Country

Texas Hill Country is not to be missed during the spring season. Accessible from major cities like Austin and San Antonio, this unique region provides tons of gorgeous scenery as well as no shortage of charming towns and cities, including San Marcos and Fredericksburg. The latter is renowned for its German heritage and exceptional wineries.

The Florida Keys

Sure, you can fly directly to Key West but the scenic drive from South Florida-consider flying into Miami or Fort Lauderdale and renting a car (preferably a convertible) if you aren't a local-is full of worthwhile sights and stops. The road trip through Key Largo, Islamorada and Marathon will produce plenty of awesome views but also loads of surprises in the form of unique roadside attractions and mouthwatering waterfront bars and restaurants.

Scenic Byway 12, Utah

A designated All-American Road thanks to its one-of-a-kind features, the nearly 123-mile-long Highway 12 in Utah is also known as "A Journey Through Time Scenic Byway." You can complete this epic road trip in as little as three hours if you're strapped for time but you'll certainly want to make the journey from Panguitch to Torrey last longer, making sure to stop at the scenic overlook near the road's summit at close to 9,000 feet.

Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon

Oregon's Historic Columbia River Highway is no doubt deserving of the title "King of Roads." A must-visit for road trippers in the Pacific Northwest, the first scenic highway in the U.S. to be designated a National Historic Landmark takes travelers more than 70 miles through the spectacular Columbia River Gorge as they pass by a wide range of scenery, including dramatic waterfalls and blooming flowers.

Hana Highway, Hawaii

A scenic drive in the Aloha State doesn't get any better than Maui's Hana Highway. The nearly 65-mile-long route hugs the island's coast, connecting Kahului to Hana. Despite its relatively short length, this trip will take you quite a bit of time-the speed limit is 25 mph and there are more than 600 hairpin turns and nearly 60 one-lane bridges-but you won't regret it as your eyeballs will be rewarded with lush landscapes, epic waterfalls and exhilarating cliffside views.

Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway, South Carolina

There's a vast array of nature and history to explore along South Carolina's Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway. The 130-mile route is a tempting alternative to the nearby interstate and especially alluring when the leaves change colors in the autumn months. Nonetheless, springtime visitors will still have access to several state parks, including the can't-miss Table Rock State Park.

Going-To-The-Sun Road, Montana

Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana's Glacier National Park offers road trippers the rare opportunity to experience not only glaciers and mesmerizing landscapes but mountain goats and bighorn sheep. The scenic 50-mile drive will take you about two hours to complete but slightly longer with stops. Logan Pass is the highest point on the road at 6,646 feet and one of the many highlights, but visitors will also find several picnic areas and campgrounds along the route. Keep in mind that the route will be limited during the spring months due to weather conditions but should be fully open by the summer.

Enjoy the journey as well as the destination on these pretty rides.

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Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

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Agent Specialization: Group Travel

Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me