Yahoo! Travel Releases Best American Road Trips
Road-tripping is practically an American rite of passage and with that in mind, Yahoo! Travel released the 10 great all-American road trips. These distinctive routes include both roads less traveled and tried-and-true must-sees throughout the country’s finest landscapes.
Make way from metropolitan Anchorage into the Alaskan wild via the 127-mile, sea-and-mountain-skirting Seward Highway. This easily navigable cross section of America’s largely untamed Last Frontier makes a fantastic jumping-off point for wilderness adventure. Expect a scenically shifting backdrop of foraging wildlife (Dall sheep, moose, eagles), mountain peaks, thick forests, and hanging glaciers, inviting camping, hiking, fishing, and picnicking just off the highway’s edge. Plus, look to the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet in the summer and fall for Beluga whale-watching (in summer and fall).
It doesn’t get more all-American than the Navajo Nation’s ancestral lands: Whiz by sacred mountains, canyons, forests, and desert vistas, and stop off to peruse the wares of talented local artisans or to ogle ancient cliff dwellings and prehistoric drawings.
Tracing nearly the entirety of the state’s fabled coastline from Monterey to Morro Bay the route runs through the artsy enclave of Carmel-by-the-Sea and the breathtaking natural beauty of Big Sur via the meandering, cliff-topping 123-mile portion that twists alongside the crashing waves, towering redwoods, and barking sea lions of the rugged, sea-sculpted central California coast.
Roll through the Rockies via southwest Colorado’s 233-mile San Juan Skyway loop, passing through two alpine national forests; four mountain passes; and a handful of charming Old West mining and railroad towns. The 50-mile Million Dollar Highway section of the route (from Silverton to Ouray), boasts particularly scenic curves through tunnels and atop waterfalls in the Red Mountains and Uncompahgre Gorge.
This 127-mile water-wonderland of a highway spans more than 40 bridges, traversing Florida Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico, as it hops from isle to isle en route to quirky Key West from mainland Florida. Highway highlights include stops at the scenic Seven Mile Bridge; snorkeling, diving, fishing, and wildlife-viewing excursions; and waterfront dining and resorts in the Keys’ charming fishing villages.
Stretching from Duluth to Grand Portage, the 154-mile North Shore Drive paves a scenic path through rugged Minnesotan wilderness, bordering boreal forests, the jagged Sawtooth Mountains, and a sweeping Lake Superior shoreline.
Just four hours northwest of New York City, the bucolic Finger Lakes region comprises the surprise setting for the largest wine-producing region east of California. Hit the 87-mile Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway, which circles the Cayuga lakeshore, and provides haven for some of the region’s finest wineries (try Sheldrake Point Winery) and historical Women’s Rights movement sites (visit the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls).
Connecting two national parks-Shenandoah in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina-the Blue Ridge Parkway traverses 469 miles through blue-misted Appalachian highlands. Take in forest-blanketed mountain vistas, ripe for fauna (look for bear, deer, and beaver) and flora viewing (interesting factoid: the parkway’s namesake "blue" haze is attributed to the hydrocarbon release from the some 130 tree species).
The 105-mile Mt. Hood Scenic Byway follows a half-loop around one of Oregon’s iconic landmarks: the Cascades Range’s glacier-coated, 11,245-foot-high Mount Hood. Cruise past farmlands, vineyards, and orchards; temperate rain forests and alpine timberline; gushing waterfalls and rivers; and parts of the historic Oregon Trail.
The 70-mile Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway winds through South Dakota’s storied Black Hills, weaving together towering granite formations, narrow tunnels, spiral bridges, and hairpin curves, with blockbuster sights like iconic Mount Rushmore and the nearby, yet-to-be-completed Crazy Horse Memorial.
To read more, please visit: http://travel.yahoo.com/ideas/top-10-all-american-road-trips.html