It’s always nice to get out and see the country if you can. Below are a few of the lesser travelled US roads that offer all the beauty you want, minus about fifty million other cars. Of course if you need a new vehicle to make the trek, CarWoo! will always ride shotgun for your auto buying trip.
Hana Highway, Maui, Hawaii
The 38 miles of winding, waterfall laden Hana Highway is one of the best ways to see Maui. You get a chance to go beyond the resorts of the South side of the island and find spectacular ocean views along the way, some with black sand beaches. It’s not the tamest drive due to narrow cliff roads, but well worth it. Just don’t attempt it if you’ve consumed any quantities of pork jerky beforehand. Take a look at some views here.
Highway 101 (Northern California to Washington)
California’s Pacific Coast Highway is beautiful, but head straight up and you’ll connect with the rest of the West Coast by way of 101, which is arguably just as nice. I-5 is pretty much a necessity drive, but taking 101 is all about the trip- getting there, wherever there is for you, is a bonus. There’s much beauty and history on the northern sections of 101, particularly with some of Oregon’s bridges. And when you hit Washington and the Olympic Peninsula, you get to roll through Kurt Cobain’s birthplace of Aberdeen- the welcome sign reads ‘Come as you are.’
Seward Highlway, Alaska
The Seward Highway represents some of our arctic brother’s most spectacular views. The 127 mile journey gives drivers a chance to see whales, waterfalls, and eagles, and of course plenty of mountainous terrain courtesy of the Chugach range. What’s really nice is that you are allowed to really get away from the annoyances of everyday driving- just make sure you have enough gas. Take a closer look here and here.
Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana
A drive through Glacier National Park, the Going to the Sun Road is 50 miles of wild Montana. Along the way you’ll see glacial lakes, cedar forests, and plenty of open, deep breath type views. Plus you get a chance to cross the Continental Divide at an elevation of over 6,600 feet. Find more info, including road closures, here.
Outer Banks Scenic Byway, North Carolina
The Blue Ridge Parkway seems to get a lot of attention, but driving the 138 miles of highway 12 and the Outer Banks Byway gives you lots of natural East Coast island life, including views of lighthouses, marshes, dunes, and two wildlife refuges- Pea Island and Cedar Island- that afford a way to get in touch (without touching) with the wildlife. If you avoid the summer months and don’t mind a couple ferry rides, it’s a good way to see the region. More info here.
Bonus: The Heart of America
If you want a little taste of everything then go the length of the contiguous US with the Oregon Trail route. It’s over 3,300 miles beginning in Provincetown, Massachusetts and ending at the big rock, aka Haystack, in Cannon Beach, Oregon (or vice versa). Not only do you get both coasts but a whole lot of the Midwest, which I’m assuming contains lots of wheat. You’ll come dangerously close to city life by way of Cleveland, Chicago, and….Portland as well. Google maps says you can do it in just over two days, but I think that’s assuming you don’t have to sleep and don’t want to breathe America the entire time- which you do.