Posted on by Beckworth & Co

A road trip can be as simple as taking an afternoon drive to see some fall color with music playing on the stereo and wind blowing on your hair. Or it could be slightly better. Explore the autumnal glory of neighboring states you may not have visited yet. This autumn, take advantage of cooler temperatures and beautiful foliage by planning a fall drive through some of the country's most scenic regions. Take in the changing colors of the trees, inhale the crisp autumn air, and taste local foods of these iconic roads in the United States.

Length: 2,448 miles.

Get your kicks on route 66! Yep, it’s the same highway they sing about since the 40s and it holds a special place in the Americana pop culture that evokes images of simpler times. We just couldn’t take this one off our list.

This legendary old road passes through eight states starting in Chicago Illinois and ending at Santa Monica in LA California. The highway was paved in 1926 and for decades was known as the “Main Street of America” because it wound through small towns across the Midwest and Southwest, lined by hundreds of cafés, motels, gas stations, and tourist attractions.

Today only 85% of the original highway are still drivable. Although Route 66 no longer exists as a U.S. Highway, the efforts of the communities along "America's Main Street" have kept it alive. Many organizations and associations are dedicated to promoting Route 66 and preserving it so that we can still drive on it today.

Length: 113 miles

Often referred to as the “Highway that Goes to Sea”, the Overseas Highway passes through 42 bridges jumping from key to key over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. 

During the drive, you’ll see the old Seven Mile Bridge, a 6.7-mile span that was built in 1916. You'll see the Seven Mile Bridge in action thrillers 2 Fast 2 Furious, Mission Impossible III, I Am Number Four, and James Bond movie Licence to Kill. The Florida Keys’ Seven Mile Bridge looks as impressive on film as it does in real life, and it's definitely one of the jewels to look for during your trip.

 

Length: 64 miles

US Highway 163 traverses the stunning Monument Valley with old west desert scenery and red rock spires that'll make you feel like you’re in a country-western movie. The red rock desert and spires of scenic Monument Valley have been the setting for countless movies and advertisements. This is the land of the Navajo, where the scenery and Native American culture have created a perfect setting for photography.

Take the drive toward Mexican Hat which is exactly 21 miles from Monument Valley roundabout and there's a dirt road that goes right up to the Mexican Hat rock formation so you can take whatever photos you like from both near and far. You might also want to stop by Forrest Gump Hill. Yep, this is where Forrest Gump stopped running in the film and the spot has been a tourist attraction ever since.

Length: 469 miles

America’s Favorite Drive is a slow-paced and relaxing drive that runs north and south from Asheville with plenty of long-range mountain views, spots for roadside picnics, breathtaking vistas, easy to difficult hiking trails, and a reprieve from commercialism. It's a 469-mile non-stop recreational motor road that is part of the U.S. National Park System and managed by the National Park Service.

The Parkway follows the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is often confused with Skyline Drive which is connected at the north end. You might as well hit both roads in one trip. And where you start your drive depends on which direction you're going.

Length: 105 miles

The Skyline Drive runs 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park and is the only public road through the Park. 

Fall is the most popular time to travel along Skyline Drive, with its colorful foliage from late September to mid-November. Though spring offers the most colorful wildflowers along the drive, as well as blooming azaleas and mountain laurel.

As you travel along Skyline Drive you will notice mileposts on the road that will help you find your way through the park and help you locate areas of interest.

Length: 655 miles

The legendary Pacific Coast Highway was first opened in the 1930s and remains a marvel of human effort that hugs over 600 miles of California’s rugged and beautiful coastlines. It is one of the most astoundingly scenic roads in the world that's meant to be driven on slowly while taking in the view of mountains, towering trees, expansive beaches, and endless sky. 

Driving from north to south, there’ll be nothing to obstruct your view of the ocean to your right. And if you have the option and the weather is ideal, rent a convertible. That way, you can smell the ocean and pine trees in the wind as it whistles by. It’s the best way to experience this trip, filled with secluded beaches, delicious seafood, and all the little stories along the way.

Length: 71 miles

The Green Mountain Byway is one of Vermont’s best-kept secrets. It's a scenic byway designated by the State of Vermont. This 71-mile road travels through the towns of Waterbury and Stowe between the spine of the northern Green Mountains to the west and the peaks of the Worcester Range to the east. The route encircles Vermont’s Green Mountains, including Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, and the famous mountain pass of Smugglers’ Notch.

People from around the world flock here, so plan ahead to see fall foliage in Vermont. The best option is to reserve lodgings in a mountain resort or sweet inn for a romantic getaway and stay.

Length: 235 miles

As the leaves start to change colors the San Juan Skyway is one of the most beautiful places in the world to experience fall colors and scenery. This 235-mile loop takes you through old mining towns, spectacular scenery, and exhilarating twists & turns. This loop of state-maintained highways through the San Juan Mountains can be done in your own car and at your own leisure, but be aware that various parts of this beautiful, scenic drive do feature steep drop-offs without guardrails.

Keep going past the small mining town of Silverton and you’ll reach the Million Dollar Highway. The Million Dollar Road makes up 25 miles of the San Juan Skyway. This stretch is known for its breathtaking views and lack of guardrails and shoulders.

Length: 35 miles

The Kancamagus Highway is a 34.5-mile scenic drive in Northern New Hampshire that is well known as one of the best Fall Foliage viewing areas in the country. It takes you through a path cut through the White Mountain National Forest with breathtaking views of the White Mountains, the Swift River, Sabbaday Falls, Lower Falls, and Rocky Gorge.

The drive along the Kancamagus Highway offers an escape from the modern-day world. There are no gas stations, no restaurants, hotels, or any other businesses. Those luxuries are left behind at both ends of the scenic byway but well within reach when needed.

More than 4,000 vehicles pass through at least a portion of this famous route. Allow plenty of time for your trip. Traffic can build up as there are so many attractions to see and many photo-op stops along the highway.

Length: 440 miles

The Cascade Loop is a scenic driving tour that takes you through diverse sections of the beautiful state of Washington. Cities and towns on the loop route include Everett, Snohomish, Leavenworth, Wenatchee, Chelan, Winthrop, Anacortes, and Coupeville.

The Cascade Loop scenic driving tour covers 440 miles. You can't do the whole loop in one day. While the entire loop is on improved highways, there are stretches where you won't make the same progress you experience on an Interstate freeway. To allow time to enjoy the many attractions and activities found along the Cascade Loop, we recommend a 4-5 night trip.

Plan everything before going on your fall road trip. Have your vehicle checked and maintained to make sure it doesn’t suddenly break down and get you stuck in the middle of nowhere. Bring along emergency kits, first aid, and other things you think you might need in case of an emergency. 

While on the road, always be aware of how much gas is left on your tank and be smart with your mileage. Fill up on gas whenever you can. You might find yourself miles away from the next station and it’s best to have more than enough to get there. Be alert and cautious while driving. You’re not on the trip to drive fast and blow by every scenic spot on the road. Always drive within the speed limit and make sure you know the speed limits on the roads you plan to drive on as they will vary depending on what state you’re on.