Put simply, America is a big country. It spans an entire continent, and it features eco-systems as diverse as they are unique: from the verdant forests of New England to the austere deserts of the Southwest. For many RVer’s, this abundance is preciously why they decided to join the lifestyle. An RV road trip is the best way to experience the variety of American landscapes in all their glory.
To help you pick your next journey, we have a compiled a list of our 6 favorite epic road trips. Last week, we featured the Great River Road, the Trail of the Ancients, San Juan Skyway, and the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. This week, we return for Part 2 with three amazing drives on the East Coast.
This road trip combines two Scenic Byways that travel alongside the Blue Ridge Mountains. The first stretch, Skyline Drive, runs 105 miles through the mountains of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Driving speed is limited to 35 MPH, so travelers can drink in the scenery at a leisurely pace. The Byway features 75 scenic overlooks, which provide expansive views of the Shenandoah Valley and the Virginia Piedmont. Lucky visitors may even experience a “fog ocean,” where a blanket of fog hands over the valley adding a mystical atmosphere to the landscape (note fees apply for entrance).
At the end of the Skyline Drive, the route transitions into the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway continues south for 469 miles towards the Great Smoky Mountains. It is one of the most popular attractions run by the National Park System, and it offers majestic views of mountains, meadows, farms and valleys. Hiking opportunities are abundant, and major landmarks include the Humpback Rocks that once guided pioneers and North Carolina’s popular Mount Pisgah.
While relatively short, New Hampshire’s Kancamagus Highway offers some of the most spectacular fall foliage viewing on the East Coast. The 35-mile road twists through the heart of the White Mountain National Forest. Start your adventure in nearby North Conway to experience the rustic charm of a New England mountain town. Then head west down the “Kanc” to escape into unspoiled forest. Pull off at scenic overlooks to take in awe-inspiring views of the Presidential and Sandwich Mountain Ranges, or hike out to waterfalls like Rocky Gorge and Sabbaday Falls.
When the Kanc ends in Lincoln, NH, head north up Route 93 through Franconia Notch (once home to the Old Man in the Mountain), and connect to the Connecticut River Scenic Byway in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. The Byway travels south along the Connecticut River that separates Vermont and New Hampshire. As you make your way down along New England’s longest river, enjoy the quaint atmosphere of small, rural towns, farmland and forests. Hikers will not want to miss climbing Mount Ascutney for a bird’s eye view of the surrounding landscape. The route continues through the farms and hills of Western Massachusetts offering travelers a chance to enjoy fresh foods straight from the source.
Two sections of the coast-hugging Florida State Road A1A have been designated National Scenic Byways. The first stretch begins at Ponte Vedra Beach and extends south for 72 miles towards Flagler Beach. It provides a unique opportunity to explore the Florida’s subtropical coastline, which includes access to beaches, marshes and habitats for many endangered species. Highlights include the mangroves of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Reserve and the historic Colonial St. Augustine, which was the first European settlement in the US.
Further south, the Indian River Lagoon Scenic Byway is a loop between Cape Canaveral and Wabasso. It encompasses the Indian River Lagoon which includes several state parks and wildlife refuges. Visitors can enjoy the opportunity to explore protected environments featuring Florida’s unique flora and fauna. Adventurous travelers can venture even further down the coast past the southern tip of the state and onto the Florida Keys. This 106-mile highway travels across the Florida Keys that stretch into the Gulf of Mexico. The tropical island-hopping adventure is a one-of-a-kind experience that will be enjoyed by anyone who loves to explore.
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