Travelers who brake for breathtaking scenery should put these most scenic routes on their wish lists. These journeys will take you through some of America’s most beautiful stretches of highway, from the shimmering waters of the Gulf to rugged cliffs overlooking the northern Atlantic. Take your time as you cross these gorgeous roadways, and take advantage of turnoffs, points of interest and quirky spots along the way. You’ll see so much beauty along the way that you’ll be tempted to delay your trip as you soak in the sights.
Arizona State Route 89A from Prescott and Flagstaff
Grand Canyon National Park gets all the attention in northern Arizona, but this 91-mile route between Prescott and Flagstaff will make you forget the iconic gorge. Start your trip by touring Prescott’s historic Whiskey Row, then take 89A north through the rugged, mountainous country of the Prescott National Forest.
Make a stop at Jerome — a picturesque former mining town built on the slope of a mountain — before reaching Sedona, renowned for its red rock mesas and spires that dominate the horizon. Spend some time hiking and biking the spectacular trails here before hitting the road again for Flagstaff, a scenic community located just 80 miles south of the Grand Canyon.
Good Sam Park along the way: Distant Drums RV Resort, Camp Verde.
Colorado’s San Juan Skyway, a loop starting and ending in Durango
This 236-mile loop through the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado takes travelers through some of the most scenic countrysides in North America. Starting in Durango, this route consists of jaw-dropping views of the surrounding mountains as well as the small towns strung out along the way.
Check out Telluride, known for its artifact-filled Historical Museum and Silverton’s Old Hundred Gold Mine. Travelers who are afraid of heights should beware of the stretch of U.S. 550 from Ouray to Silverton known as the “Million Dollar Highway.” Boasting sharp drop-offs with few guardrails, the highway is recommended for experienced drivers only.
Good Sam Park along the way: Alpen Rose RV Park in Durango
Florida’s Overseas Highway from Miami to Key West
This 164-mile route from Miami to Key West connects motorists with the Florida Keys, a chain of islands that stretch into the Gulf of Mexico. Much of the highway consists of bridges linking the islands, treating motorists to sweeping views of the ocean on all sides.
The main attractions along this route, of course, abide on the Keys, where Florida’s vibrant ecosystems entice snorkelers, paddleboarders, scuba divers and boaters to explore the area’s clear waters. Go diving in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park off Key Largo; help rescue injured sea turtles with the staff of Turtle Hospital on Marathon Key; or hoist an icy margarita at Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, a favorite hangout of writer Ernest Hemingway.
Good Sam Park along the way: Riptide RV Resort & Marina, Key Largo
Maine’s Highway 1 from Kennebunkport to Ellsworth
Come for Maine’s postcard-worthy views, stay for the succulent lobster. This 175-mile stretch of U.S. Route 1 on the Atlantic Coast guides travelers to some of the Pine Tree State’s top attractions. Kennebunkport may be known as the summer home of President George H.W. Bush, but it’s also home to fantastic restaurants and boutiques in Dock Square.
Drive further north to shop at L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport; taste great beer at the Maine Brewers’ Guild in Portland; or attend a good old-fashioned lobster bake in Camden. Stop at Ellsworth, home to the Chowderfest every September. The town is a gateway to Acadia National Park, located on Mt. Desert Island on the Atlantic to the east. Hear the fury of nature at the roaring Thunder Hole.
Good Sam Park along the way: Old Orchard Beach Campground in Old Orchard Beach
Michigan’s Route 22 Between Manistee and Traverse City
Take this 123-mile trip on the coast of northwest Michigan for non-stop views of Lake Michigan along with beautiful inlets and bays along the way. Spend time exploring the farms and orchards of rustic Manistee before heading north to the Acadia Dunes, with a trail network leading hikers to scenic overlooks of the lake below.
Discover more charming coastal towns along the way to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, whose 450-tall bluffs gives visitors stunning vantage points of sprawling Lake Michigan. Follow the highway around the Leelanau Peninsula to Traverse City, home to thousands of cherry trees that go into full bloom during spring. The region’s 180 miles of sandy beaches and 149 lakes make it a delightful place to stay.
Good Sam Park along the way: Little River Casino Resort RV Park in Manistee
Utah 279 from Moab to Intrepid Potash
This 17-mile trip covers surreal rock formations, beautiful views of the Colorado River and Native American petroglyphs; it doesn’t get any more Wild West than that. Start in Moab, a town that’s ground zero for some of the best mountain biking in the world. Head north along U.S. 191 and skirt the southern boundary of Arches National Park, worthy of a side trip to explore its namesake rock formations and towering stone fins.
Then turn south on Utah 279, which follows the Colorado River through a deep gorge; at the 4-mile point, motorists can stop to do some rock climbing along so-called “Wall Street.” Further down, several pull-offs allow drivers to stop and look at the petroglyphs left by indigenous peoples on the rock walls. Along the highway, you’ll reach Corona Arch, a rock arch with an opening of 140 by 150 feet.
Good Sam Park along the way: Canyonlands Campground in Moab
Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia’s famous Cabot trail follows the sloping shores of Cape Breton Island, giving motorists sweeping views of the Atlantic ocean from the island’s eastern side and Gulf of St. Lawrence from the west. Although some tourists tackle the ambitious 185-mile route in one day, you might want to add a day or two if you want to truly experience the route. Stop to hike some of the trailheads that branch out from the route, and spend some time in the charming towns along the way. A handful of RV parks lie along the trail, but be mindful of the route’s popularity, and make reservations in advance.
Good Sam Park along the way: Bras d’Or Lakes Campground On The Cabot Trail in Baddeck