If summer can be thought of as the peak season for vacations, fall can be deemed the season of nature-centered trips. With the foliage on full display and tranquil weather nationwide, fall has a great deal to offer for the seeker of natural wonders!
Even something as casual as a road trip can become a surreal journey through nature in the proper setting. Here are some of the most scenic places to drive in the United States:
-Skyline Drive, Virginia. This 105-mile road winds along Shenandoah National Park, and is the only publicly accessible road that runs through it. This exquisite park, located along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, welcomes all forms of motor vehicles. It takes three hours to drive through all of Skyline Drive without stopping—but with all of the scenery to gaze at, good luck with that. Campsites abound along the sides of the drive.
-San Juan Skyway, Colorado. This drive through the San Juan forest, measuring over 200 miles total, takes about five hours. However, it makes for a great one- or two-day trip, so take your time. Along the way, you’ll have a gorgeous view of the San Juan Mountains, assorted Pueblo Native American ruins, small mountain villages, and more. Cliffs, forests, campsites, and biking and hiking trails are everywhere along the San Juan Skyway. It is an excellent place to visit any time of the year, so why not now?
-The Hawaii Belt, Hawaii. This circle around Hawaii’s big island’s perimeter contains entire lava deserts, jungles, farmlands, beaches, and valleys. It’s a world unto itself. Split the trek across a few days to enjoy all of the attractions. Some suggest the trip is best if started in the lava-rock town Kailua-Kona, home of the famous Kona coffee. As you wind your way across the island, you’ll be met with dozens of towns, parks, villages, and sights to see. Don’t miss it!
-Patchwork Parkway, Utah. This stretch of Utah’s Route 143 spans pioneer communities of old, peaks, canyons, plateaus, and lava fields. Giant valleys of bright red rocks, silt cliffs, and forest-covered plateaus of pine line the sides of the drive. Convenient pullover sites can be found everywhere along the way, so you won’t lack for vantage points. The route climbs as high as 10,567 feet above sea level as it stops by Cedar Breaks National Monument.
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