American Road Trips: Where to Go & What to See?
The millions of miles of highway that weave throughout the country truly unite the United States. With so much freedom presented to anyone with a driver's license, it begs the question: where to go and what to see? This quartet of routes promises sublime experiences and vivid memories.
Red Rock Scenic Byway – Arizona
Just hours south of the Grand Canyon lays the Red Rock Scenic Byway, a small sliver of Southwestern splendor. Measuring 7.5 miles, this dazzling desert byway begins in Sedona and arcs through red rock mesas and the Pinyon pines of Coconino National Forest. Drivers won't want to miss the awe-inspiring Chapel of the Holy Cross; it's built directly into a mesa's crest and welcomes all faiths. As you travel along “Arizona's First All-American Road,” you'll feel the urge to escape the confines of your car and uncover its every desert secret. The byway is dotted with many trail heads and off-road paths to continue your expedition on foot. Slip on your hiking boots to traverse the prehistoric red rock formations of Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock, two of Greater Sedona's renowned vortexes—spiritual locations where mystical energy is said to saturate the surroundings.
Cheese Trail – Vermont
Kicking off from Calvin Coolidge's birthplace, Plymouth Notch, drivers will embark on the aptly named Cheese Trail across the dairy lands and arboreal hills of the Green Mountain State. After the Coolidge family cheese factory and Route 100A, follow Route 100 north to Three Shepherds of the Mad River Valley in East Warren for their signature creamy feta cheese. Installing Nitto tires such as the Terra Grappler will greatly assist traversing the craggy cordillera and Lincoln Gap's hairpin turns on your way to the cheesy artery of America, Route 7. This route links a series of artisan cheese makers such as Shelburne Farms and trademark cheddars and Green Mountain Blue Cheese in Highgate among many more. From Highgate, shoot down to Barre, famous for the quarries that produce a significant chunk of the nation's granite.
Seward Highway – Alaska
Set in the grandiose frontier of Alaska, the Seward Highway begins in Anchorage and envelops 127 breathtaking miles to the seaside port of Seward on Resurrection Bay. Neighboring the Chugach Mountains, the highway stretches south along Kenai Peninsula. Limit your mph to a slow crawl here—serene waterfalls, grazing sheep and twittering beluga whales can be seen below with a discerning eye. Motorists are encouraged to stop by Kenai Fjords National Park, a cool paradise of ice fields, tidewater glaciers and Alaskan fauna such as orca whales, puffins, porpoises and sea lions. The All-American Seward Highway highlights the best of Alaska from the boreal forests to colossal glaciers and miles of majestic wilderness.
Pacific Coast Highway – California
Beginning in Monterey, motorists will commence upon a 123-mile journey along Pacific Coast Highway, designated an All-American Road. From Monterey, continue down Highway 1 to the seaside town of Carmel and Point Lobos State Reserve, a wonderland of flora and fauna. Adjacent to the Santa Lucia Mountains, miles of redwood groves dot the Big Sur Coast Highway's 90 miles south to San Simeon. Within those 90 miles, you'll travel over the Bixby Bridge and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The terminus of your coastal journey lays in Morro Bay, home to a 23-million-year-old extinct volcano.