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ROAD TRIP

The Most Scenic Highways To Drive In The US

scenic drives near me

IN THIS ARTICLE

As summer ends and the fall foliage begins to flourish, there is no better way to see the beautiful views your region offers than on a scenic road trip close to home. No matter the direction you choose to go, pack your phone charger and take one of these suggested routes to ensure incredible views along the way. These are some of the most beautiful scenic drives in our country and they will quench your desire to escape city life and get into nature.

Best App For Scenic Routes

Don't miss these awesome apps to help you piece together one of the best scenic drives in your area. Enter your starting point and destination to let these apps highlight all of the important stops in between. Whether looking for hikes, wineries, parks, historical sites, gas stations, views, state parks, hotels, restaurants, or other points of interest, these apps will make sure you do not miss a thing!

  • Waze - Waze is an awesome app for real-time directions and road updates. The app uses reports from other drivers to offer you the fastest, most efficient route at the time you are driving. This is especially helpful when driving through busy cities during peak times. Don't spend your road trip in terrible traffic. Let Waze plan your route and distance in real-time!
  • GasBuddy - Although Waze is beginning to track gas pricing, GasBuddy works to find you the cheapest gas along your route. Like Waze, GasBuddy takes reports from other users to keep their information current.
  • Roadtrippers - This app is an awesome planning tool. Enter your starting and ending location into the app and Roadtrippers will fill everything in between. From your driving distance, best route, points of interest, and even hotels and restaurants, Roadtrippers has you covered.

Great Scenic Drives Near DC

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Start here: Rockfish Gap, VA
End here: Asheville, NC
Total miles: 469 miles
How many days: 2-3 days
Get the route here.

For a taste of Appalachia and one of the most popular scenic drives, travel the famed Blueridge Parkway route that stretches from Rockfish Gap, Virginia past the up-and-coming town of Asheville, North Carolina. This route is a must-see in the fall for beautiful views when the seasonal foliage lines the one-lane state route that takes you through this journey. Your scenic drive will take you along the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains and up the crest of Virginia’s highest elevation, Apple Orchard Mountain.

As you enter North Carolina you will travel through the trees of the Pisgah National Forest. Stop for a hike or continue on the scenic byway for more epic views. You will then traverse Grandfather Mountain, which is the highest point of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and adjacent to the not-to-be-missed resort of Blowing Rock. Continue then across the Black Mountains and Great Craggy Mountains for more scenic views.

As you near the French Broad River you will be close to the town of Asheville, North Carolina. This is a seriously up-and-coming part of Appalachia drawing transplants from various parts of the US. Stay here to enjoy fine dining, nightlife, and entertainment close to the end of your journey. If you wish, after Asheville, you can continue on the Parkway where it reaches its highest elevation (over 6,000 feet) just before the Appalachian Mountains and Cherokee Indian Reservation. Appalachia is a real treat and scenic trails like the Blue Ridge Parkway are not to be missed.

Highland County Way Route

Highland County Way Route

Start here: Washington, DC
End here: Highland, VA
Total miles: 202 miles
How many days: 2-3 days
Get the route here.

This scenic byway lets you leave big city life behind you and head down winding countryside to the romantic Highland County in Virginia. This weekend adventure lets you enjoy the spectacular view of the fall foliage of Shenandoah as you head towards the scenic "Switzerland of Virginia" in Highland County.

Starting in Washington D.C, head southwest on this scenic byway towards Charlottesville, VA. Stop by UVA for a delicious farm-to-table lunch at Farm Bell Kitchen. After lunch, continue on into incredible scenery brought to you by Shenandoah National Park and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Stop for some hiking or other outdoor adventures or continue on to enjoy the countryside of grazing cows and sheep as you enter Highland County. Romantic lodging is abundant but a stay at the Laurel Inn Retreat will not disappoint.

DC Monument Tour

DC Monument Tour

Start here: Lincoln Memorial (Washington DC)
End here: US Capitol Building (Washington DC)
Total miles: 2 miles
How many days: 1 evening
Get the route here.

Although this may not be your first thought when you hear "scenic drives near me," this tour of our nation's historic sites and overall history makes this scenic drive one that will fill your cup with inspiration. This route is ideal day or night, but shining lights under the night sky make these views especially memorable.

Start this trip through DC with a visit to the Lincoln Memorial, but consider parking to enjoy views of the Mall from this location. There is a parking lot close by if you want to stretch your legs for a bit. If walking, hike around the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This route covers a short distance, but hop back in your car to continue on this road trip through DC.

After driving past the Lincoln Memorial, pass the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial before coming to the end of the Mall and the US Capitol Building. Loop around the mall to drive past the White House before ending your night with a craft cocktail from the Columbia Room. Although covering a short distance, this historical route is filled with sights to see.