#NEVERIDLE JOURNAL   //   Staff Picks

50 Scenic Drives In Each State To See This Memorial Day Weekend


You don’t have to go far to take a road trip. In anticipation of Memorial Day weekend (May 23 – 25), we have a Memorial Day drive planned just for you.

Pack your cooler and grab your camera, because no matter where you live in the U.S., you’re not far away from one of these world-class scenic road trips. Need a world-class rig to get you there? We’ve got you covered

1. Alabama’s Coastal Connection National Scenic Byway

This 130-mile drive offers beaches, wildlife, history, and all the seafood you can eat. Starting in Grand Bay, you’ll drive around Alabama’s Gulf Coast, ending in Starke’s Landing.

Alaska’s Seward Highway

2. Alaska’s Seward Highway from Anchorage to Seward

See the best of Alaska in 127 miles. This scenic route hugs dramatic shorelines, passes through gorgeous mountains and encompasses much of the Kenai Peninsula.

3. Arizona’s Grand Canyon Loop

Beginning in Flagstaff, this 201-mile loop is a natural history wonderland. Ancient volcanoes, the Kaibab National Forest, and a mile-deep canyon are some of the sights along this 2-billion-year-old landscape.

4. Arkansas’s Ozark Highlands

This 100-mile scenic route follows Highway 21 from Clarksville, north through the Indian Creek Recreation Area and the Ozark National Forest, ending in scenic Eureka Springs.

Big Sur, California

5. California’s Big Sur

Big Sur follows 90 miles of Highway 1 between Monterey and San Luis Obispo, past spectacular shorelines on narrow, winding roads. You’ll see beaches, waterfalls, and even an elephant seal rookery.

6. Colorado’s Cache la Poudre – North Park

Starting in Fort Collins, this 101-mile route goes through Cameron Pass, the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, and Walden Reservoir. Keep a lookout along the way for bighorn sheep and moose.

7. Connecticut Coast Scenic Drive

From Stonington to Greenwich, this 108-mile drive follows Connecticut’s picturesque coastline through a variety of quaint villages and ecosystems, including salt marshes, woodlands, and beach.

8. Delaware’s Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway

This 95-mile drive is steeped in U.S. history as you pass multiple historic sites, including the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, Brodess Farm, and the Tuckahoe Neck Meeting House.

9. Florida’s Indian River Lagoon

Beginning in Titusville, this 185-mile route is a wildlife lover’s paradise. The Merritt Island and Archie Carr Wildlife Refuges and Ulumay and Turtle Creek Sanctuaries are just a sampling of the stops along the way.

10. Georgia’s Woodpecker Trail

This picturesque drive follows Georgia State Route 121 for 204 miles. It travels by the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, the Altamaha River, and Guido Gardens.

Hawaii’s Mauna Lao Volcano

11. Hawaii’s Big Island Saddle Road

On this 54-mile stretch of Hawaii Route 200 between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, you’ll drive through rainforest, lava fields and otherworldly landscapes on this remote and bizarre adventure. (Note that road conditions leave something to be desired, but the views are worth it.)

12. Idaho’s Sawtooth Drive

From Boise to Shoshone, this 117-mile road trip takes you through mountains and desert. You’ll pass Kirkham Hot Springs, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and two lava tube caves.

13. Illinois’ Historic National Road Scenic Byway

This 164-mile journey through the Land of Lincoln goes from Marshall to East St. Louis. You’ll pass the Jackson Truss, the DeMoulin Museum of Fraternal Initiation Devices and the Brooks Catsup Bottle Water Tower.

14. Indiana’s Section of the Ohio River Scenic Byway

From Mount Vernon to Lawrenceburg, this robust 269-mile drive passes Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home. You can also see the Evansville African-American Museum, multiple historic sites, and numerous tour-worthy caverns.

John Wayne Birthplace

15. Iowa’s Covered Bridges Scenic Byway

These 82 miles of American heartland focus on the bridges of Madison County and the birthplace of John Wayne. The route includes the towns of Winterset, St. Charles, and Bevington.

16. Kansas’ Frontier Military Historic Byway

Military buffs will enjoy this 168-mile journey from Leavenworth to Oklahoma. Attractions include Mine Creek Battlefield State Historic Site, the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum, and the Buffalo Soldier monument.

17. Kentucky’s Duncan Hines Scenic Byway

This 99-mile loop begins and ends in Bowling Green. It boasts attractions like the National Corvette Museum, the Historic RailPark and Train Museum, and Mammoth Cave National Park.

18. Louisiana’s Creole Nature Trail

Known as Louisiana’s Outback, these 180 miles of natural beauty meander along coastline, swampland, and unique wilderness terrain. Choose one of many starting points to explore this region’s magical allure.

19. Maine’s Pequawket Trail

These 60 miles of near-wilderness offer historical landmarks, mountain views and tons of wildlife. Between Gilead and Hollis, it passes through White Mountain National Forest and parallels the Saco River.

20. Maryland’s Mason and Dixon Scenic Byway

Get away from it all on 143 miles of country roads in northern Maryland. Between Westminster and Appleton, you’ll see Union Mills Homestead, the Carroll County Farm Museum, and Prettyboy Reservoir.

21. Massachusetts’ Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway

Among the first touring roads in the country, this 69-mile dichotomy from Greenfield to Williamstown takes you through dense forests and historic downtowns, scenic vistas and world-class art venues.

22. Michigan’s Lake Michigan Tour

This 456-mile drive along Lake Michigan’s shoreline runs from New Buffalo to Mackinaw City. Sand dunes, lighthouses, wineries and quaint coastal towns are among the things you’ll see along this tour.

Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park

23. Minnesota’s Waters of the Dancing Sky Scenic Byway

Parallel to the Canadian border, this 191-mile route connects International Falls to Baudette. Voyageurs National Park and Lake of the Woods are notable sites; you might even see the Northern Lights.

24. Mississippi’s Natchez Trace Parkway

From Natchez, Mississippi to the Alabama state line, this parkway is 309 miles of Southern history and natural beauty. Confederate grave sites, Indian mounds, and Native American historical sites abound.

25. Missouri’s Historic Route 66 Byway

This iconic byway boasts 300 miles in Missouri, from St. Louis to Joplin. Along the drive, you’ll delight in antique stores, old-school diners, Cuba’s Totem Pole Trading Post, and the Elbow Inn in Devil’s Elbow.

26. Montana’s Bears Paw Mountains Backcountry Drive

This 76-mile adventure between Havre and Chinook includes 30 miles of unpaved roadway. Of notable interest are the Bears Paw Mountains and the Beaver Creek, Bearpaw Lake, and Faber Reservoirs.

27. Nebraska’s Outlaw Trail

From South Sioux City to Valentine, experience 231 miles of Old West history. Watch buffalo roam in Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge and see Nebraska’s highest waterfall in Smith Falls State Park.

Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway

28. Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway

Skeptics beware! This 98-mile stretch along Nevada’s State Route 375 runs adjacent to Nellis Air Force Range’s top-secret Area 51. Aliens and UFOs are still common sightings along this infamous route.

29. New Hampshire’s Great North Woods Drive

This 112-mile drive between Gorham and Berlin is thrilling as you anticipate moose and black bear. Add a historic mill and covered bridge and you’ve got the perfect getaway.

30. New Jersey’s Land of Make Believe

Discover the New Jersey of yesteryear on this 89-mile drive from Colesville to Rosemont. Small town antique shops and Space Farms in Beemerville provide nice stops along your route.

31. New Mexico’s Jemez Mountain Trail Scenic Byway

This impressive 132-mile loop begins in Los Alamos via State Road 501. Valles Caldera and Jemez Falls, along with hot springs and wildlife, are among this drive’s many treasures.

32. New York Route 30 through the Catskills

This stunning route through 106 miles of natural history begins in Hancock and ends in Esperance. It provides gorgeous views of Schoharie Valley, the Catskill Mountains and Schoharie Creek.

North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Parkway

33. North Carolina’s Section of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Beginning in Oconaluftee and continuing for 252 miles to the Virginia border, you’ll encounter beautiful mountain vistas, incredible wildlife, and 25 tunnels blasted through solid rock.

34. North Dakota’s Old Red/Old Ten Scenic Byway

From Mandan to Dickinson, this 108-mile drive includes 12 miles of gravel roads. Along the route you’ll pass the Schnell Recreation Area, the Dakota Dinosaur Museum, and Salem Sue.

35. Ohio’s Amish Country Byway

With entry points in Loudonville, Gann, and Wilmot, this drive winds through rural areas where you’ll witness the simple and sustainable farm lives of the Amish.

36. Oklahoma’s Osage Nation Heritage Trail Byway

Learn the history of the Osage Indians on this 70-mile journey from Bartlesville to Ponca City. Visit the Osage County Historical Museum and the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve along the way.

Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge

37. Oregon’s Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway

Witness the geological wonders of the Columbia River Gorge on this 70-mile drive through American history. Recount the lives of Lewis and Clark as they explored luscious waterfalls and breathtaking vistas.

38. Pennsylvania’s Bucktail Trail

Watch for majestic elk herds along this 100-mile drive that will take you through small towns and two state forests. Worthy stops include the Straub Brewery and Historic Williamsport.

39. Rhode Island’s Point Judith and Narragansett Bay

Begin this short, yet beautiful 22-mile drive on Route 108 at Point Judith, then take 1A North to Newport. You’ll pass Narragansett Pier and then cross the Jamestown and Newport Bridges.

40. South Carolina’s Savannah River Scenic Byway

Follow the Savannah River through 100 miles of luscious farmland, woods and lakes. From Oakway to Clarks Hills, you’ll travel past several small towns and numerous historical sites.

South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore

41. South Dakota’s Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway

This 70-mile figure-eight drive begins in Keystone, near Mount Rushmore. Watch for mountain goats, pass Sylvan Lake, and marvel at granite pinnacles all along your route.

42. Tennessee’s Jack Trail

Beginning in Nashville, this 87-mile route takes you through Smyrna, where you can visit the historic home of Sam Davis. You’ll end in Lynchburg, headquarters to the Jack Daniels Distillery.

43. Texas’ South Gulf Coast Drive

This 270-mile survey of south Texas stretches from Victoria to South Padre Island. In Corpus you’ll cross the Harbor Bridge and enjoy a photo opportunity at Mirador de la Flor.

44. Utah’s Monument Valley Scenic Drive

Beginning at the Arizona border on Highway 163, you’ll travel 45 miles through America’s gorgeous Southwest. Cross a historic suspension bridge and end at the Mexican Hat rock formation.

45. Vermont’s Molly Stark Scenic Byway

From Brattleboro to Bennington, this scenic 48-mile drive takes you through Green Mountain National Forest. You’ll travel by historic districts, lakes and state parks.

Virginia’s Skyline Drive

46. Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive

This drive is 105 miles of pure Blue Ridge Mountain pleasure. Spanning from Waynesboro to Front Royal, you’ll see gorgeous vistas and incredible wildlife with unlimited world-class photo opportunities.

47. Washington’s Coulee Corridor National Scenic Byway

This 150-mile route from Omak to Othello also includes several additional spurs and loops. Be sure to check out the laser light show on the face of the Grand Coulee Dam.

48. West Virginia’s Coal Heritage Trail

From Bluefield to Ansted, this 98-mile route is a history lesson in America’s coal mining industry. You’ll see reclaimed mining land and coal company towns along your drive.

49. Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive

From Elkhart Lake to Whitewater Lake, this route takes you through 115 miles of natural wonder. Spanning six counties you’ll have ample opportunities to picnic and hike along the way.

50. Wyoming’s Black Hills National Forest

This 150-mile drive provides non-stop sight-seeing all the way from Cook to Custer. Devils Tower National Monument and the Crazy Horse Memorial are examples of sites you’ll see along the way.

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