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Explore five of America's most legendary routes

The Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire Route 112
The Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire Route 112
Theletterm1973 - Wikimedia Commons

With summer just around the corner, it's time to hit the open road again and explore some of America's most iconic drives. Discover routes that cut through backwoods, move along the coastlines, and string through mountain passes.

California State Route 1—Pacific Coast Highway — in Point Mugu State Park near Point Mugu, at the Santa Monica Mountains coast
Lars0001 - Wikimedia Commons

Blue Ridge Parkway
For the greater part of its 469-mile route, the Blue Ridge Parkway interchanges between magnificent scenery and rich forests to open meadows. Nothing could be further from the truth knowing that it runs on top of the Appalachian Mountains between Virginia's Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains of far western North Carolina. The road provides travelers with a restful journey to some amazing scenery. The Linn Cove Viaduct, which winds around the parkway's highest peak, provides travelers to some magnificent views of the region. Not to be missed is Grandfather Mountain, soaring high above Linn Cove. The 5,837-foot summit offers visitors to incredible views including the well-known Mile High Swinging Bridge.

Kancamagus National Scenic Byway, New Hampshire
New Hampshire has numerous miles of incredible routes, yet nothing compares to "The Kanc", a 26.5-mile drive along Route 112 stretches through the heart of the White Mountains. Situated between the picturesque towns of Conway and Lincoln, the route features one of the best drives in America. And best of all, it provides travelers to a peaceful drive through forests, over covered bridges and past colonial farmhouses. Situated just east of the peak is Sabbaday Falls, a popular tourist spot great for a picnic and stunning views of the waterfall.

Route 66
This 2,000-mile route has been featured in numerous movies and is one of America's most iconic routes. For those looking for a pleasant drive will find the route from the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River very rewarding. This stretch of the route ascends from the desert highlands and winds past old gold mines of the Black Mountains. Cool Springs Station in Kingman, Arizona is a must-see stop along the iconic route.

Pacific Coast Highway, California
California's famed Route 1 takes travelers to some extraordinary coastal communities along the Pacific Coast. Big Sur is one of the most popular regions along Route 1 connecting California's notable capital, Monterey. One of America's most iconic structures, the Hearst Castle is also located here. Some 100 miles of the Pacific Coast Highway slices through cliffs and rocks high above the Pacific Ocean.

Merritt Parkway, Connecticut
Despite the fact that years of roadwork have reduced a significant part of the Merritt's unique design, plenty of points of interest remain to make this one of America's most beautiful highways. With limited oversized vehicles allowed on the parkway, makes it a pleasure to drive on. While traveling on the Merritt Parkway, be sure to stop at Louis’ Lunch, in New Haven. The historic diner that is still family-owned claims to have served the world's first hamburgers more than 110 years ago.

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