Fact Checked

How do I Choose the Best Scenic Driving Routes?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

To choose the best scenic driving routes, try entering the name of a route you're considering taking into your favorite search engine. You could also check travel guides and tourist information for the area in which you're planning to drive. Be sure to consider weather conditions and the time of year when doing your highway trip planning as well.

Considering the time of year may be important when planning a scenic route — after all, the spectacular fall foliage on some scenic driving routes isn't going to exist on a summer road trip. If there's a chance of foggy conditions, you won't be able to see much of the scenery either. It's best to read up on weather and road conditions as well as the scenery available in an area at certain times of the year. If you're likely to want to stop off the road for a rest break to get a better look at the scenery, make sure there are places to park along your route.

When taking the best scenic driving routes, enjoy the experience.
When taking the best scenic driving routes, enjoy the experience.

Of course, what some people consider scenic may not be to others, so also think about whether you'd enjoy the drive that you're reading about. Oceanside drives are scenic to many people, but for those who live in this type of environment a chance to drive somewhere different, such as the mountains, may be more interesting. For this reason, asking the locals about where to go for the best scenic driving routes may not prove as helpful as checking with a tourist information center or local travel agency.

If you'd like to stop and see attractions that may be related to a scenic driving route, plan ahead to make sure they will be open. You could also check out other details such as costs and hours of operation so you can be better prepared. When planning the best scenic driving routes, you may also want to estimate about how long each drive will take, but rather than rush yourself, take time to enjoy the experience.

Travel magazines aimed at drivers are often excellent sources for finding scenic driving routes. In many cases, the writer of the article has personal experience driving along the routes and will offer firsthand experience on what to expect. Some of these magazines also may include helpful maps or lists of places to contact for more information about the driving routes as well as accommodation and dining options in these areas. If you have friends or family who have traveled in the areas that you find interesting, you could also ask them for their recommendations based on the most scenic routes.

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Discussion Comments


Right after college I took a road trip across America. I tried to stay off of major highways as much as I could. I'm not sure I was ever on any actual scenic highways but I saw a lot of beautiful sights. This country is huge and strange and different everywhere. I mean that, truly different everywhere.

It is one thing to read about a place or see pictures of it, but you can't really know it at all until you go there. And I did. I have been to Florida and Arkansas and Idaho too. I feel like I really know something about this country because I took the time to go and see it.


When people go on scenic road trips they often only think of the scenery. But there is more to a good drive than just having nice things to look at. You also want to think about all the things you would normally want on a road trip. Access to bathroom facilities, food, lodging, gasoline. You want to make it easy and comfortable to be in the car and that takes some support along the way.

So while you are planning for your road trip try and get a sense of the services you will have access too. If it is too remote it might be more trouble than the scenery is worth.


If I can offer one recommendation, The Pacific Coast Highway up California's Pacific coast is amazing. I have made the drive twice. Once when I was about 22 in the early 70s and again as a family road trip about 15 years ago. Both times were magical. One of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

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    • When taking the best scenic driving routes, enjoy the experience.
      By: ALCE
      When taking the best scenic driving routes, enjoy the experience.