A Road Trip To Remember: The 10 Most Scenic Drives For Your Spring Vacation In The U.S. (2023)

By Felix Ngeso

Whether you prefer soaking up the views of majestic mountains, blooming flowers, or wildlife, these scenic US drives will leave you spellbound.

A Road Trip To Remember: The 10 Most Scenic Drives For Your Spring Vacation In The U.S. (1)

Scenic road from Yellowstone National Park to Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

As winter turns into a distant memory, outdoor lovers seek riveting escapades that aren’t restricted to wearing warm clothing and watching movies in heated homes. With the weather warming up, taking a memorable road trip, whether on one of the most scenic spring drive routes in California to the west or the most beautiful roads on the East Coast for a road trip is one of the best ways to usher the changing of the seasons in style.

However, picturesque drives aren’t limited to the coasts. The United States has unlimited road trip options, where travelers take away cabin fever. These ten scenic road trips in the US, where wildlife is abundant and flowers burst with dazzling colors, promise an unforgettable spring ride.

10 New Orleans To Baton Rouge, Louisiana

New Orleans's magical Garden District is visually stunning. Plus, the colorful architecture in NOLA is just as much a tourist draw. However, there's far more to this top tourist spot in Louisiana. After experiencing spring festivals in New Orleans, travelers can take an exhilarating 81.2-mile road trip to Baton Rouge via I-10 W from Poydras St. This route is dotted with historic plantations open to the public and swamps worth exploring.

One such plantation is the Houmas House and Gardens, boasting a Greek Revival mansion and a garden that explodes with color and fragrance every spring. The sitting areas around the property allow guests to immerse themselves in calming sights, sounds, and smells of nature, creating a sense of tranquility.

  • Distance from Houmas House and Gardens to Baton Rouge: 30.0 miles via I-10 W
  • Scenic Stops: Fontainebleau State Park, Lake Pontchartrain, Destrehan Plantation, Cajun Pride Swamp Tours

9 Hana Highway, Hawaii

Extending along the northern Maui coast and rounding about 600 hairpin curves, the Hana Highway (also known as the Road to Hana) is one of the best road trips in Hawaii, especially in spring. Despite the intense drive taking around four hours, the spectacular lush rainforests, tropical blooms, and expansive ocean views make the trip worthwhile. If travelers don't fancy driving the route themselves, they can instead take a guided Road to Hana tour, which takes participants to top stops along the way without the hassle of having to navigate the highway themselves.

At mile marker 10, adventurers pull over to visit the 26-acre Garden of Eden Arboretum. Visitors walk along 2.5 miles of paved trails to revel in the beauty of the breathtaking waterfall, ocean, and valley views. But the roaming peacocks add an exciting touch to this adventure.

  • Distance: 52 miles
  • Scenic Stops: Ke’Anae Peninsula, Upper Waikani Falls, Hana Lava Tube, Waianapanapa State Park

Related: 10 Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Canada This Spring

8 Columbia River Scenic Highway, Oregon

Built for the gorgeous scenery, the Columbia River Highway begins in Troutdale at the east edge of Portland and ends at The Dalles. The highway follows the Columba River Gorge as it passes by Mount Hood and the famous Multnomah Falls, among other waterfalls.

Adventurers wind their way down past numerous waterfalls, which lure them out of the car for short hikes that reward them with spectacular views. But the Multnomah Falls leaves travelers in awe as it plummets from a 650 feet height.

  • Distance from Columbia River Scenic Highway to Mount Hood: 43.1 miles
  • Scenic Stops: Benson State Recreation Area, Ainsworth State Park, Eagle Creek
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7 Skyline Drive Through Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

The Skyline Drive takes explorers through the Shenandoah National Park featuring wildflower fields, eye-catching views, enchanting waterfalls, and wooded hollows. The scenic overlooks add buzzing excitement as travelers marvel at the beauty of Mother Nature.

The Range View Overlook at mile 17.1 offers panoramic views of the Blue Ridge and Stony Man Mountains. At milepost 81.2, the Big Run Overlook rewards tourists with views of Rockytop Ridge on one side and the quartz-outcropped Rocky Mountain on a clear day on the other.

  • Distance through the park: 105 miles
  • Scenic Stops: Crimora Lake Overlook, Spitler Knoll Overlook, Hogback Overlook, Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center

Check out a detailed guide explaining how to navigate the Skyline Drive, along with other handy tips.

Related:Blue Ridge Parkway Vs. Skyline Drive: Which Is More Scenic?

6 Grand Canyon To The Arches, Arizona & Utah

The Grand Canyon to the Arches road trip suits travelers looking for a long adventure as they explore the Southwest. One of the best road trips in the United States, this trip features six national parks and begins at the Grand Canyon, Arizona, where adventurers drive the Hermit Road for mind-blowing views. Along the way, drivers can also visit the famous Bryce National Park, Utah, which offers fantastic camping sites, while the Capitol Reef National Park over-delivers with its rugged canyons and picture-perfect arches.

The trip ends at a high notch in the Arches National Park as explorers discover the red rock formations and photograph the Milky Way from the Balanced Rock and Garden of Eden Viewpoint.

  • Distance through the parks: About 860 miles
  • Scenic Stops: Zion National Park, Grand Canyon North Rim

While its otherworldly rock formations are its primary draw, Arches National Park is famous for many other things, too.

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5 Skagit Valley Tulip Fields, Washington

Nothing beats the dazzling views travelers enjoy as they drive through the Pacific Northwest in spring for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. The tulips blanket the landscape as the Cascade Mountains add a dramatic touch in the background.

Bright and cheery yellow daffodils in La Conner begin this unforgettable trip before multicolored tulips become the stars of the floral show. Photography enthusiasts head to Tulip Town for an Instagram-worthy selfie at the faded barn door, which frames the vibrant fields.

  • Distance from Seattle to Skagit Valley: 71.7 miles
  • Scenic Stops: Deception Pass State Park

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4 Rapid City To Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Also known as the City of the Presidents, Rapid City is the gateway to the rugged, beautiful, and adventure-filled Badlands National Park, which offers tons of exciting activities. Geologic formations, rich fossil beds, abundant wildlife, and magnificent mountains dominate the park’s landscape.

Travelers drive through the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, home to various birds, jackrabbits, and prairie dogs. The Grasslands also boast 50 species of grass, with pasqueflower and prairie turnip wildflowers blooming in spring. Adventurers also drive through the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway that pleases the eyes with spires and buttes.

  • Distance from Rapid City to Badlands National Park: 62.1 miles
  • Scenic Stops: Pinnacles Overlook, Ben Reifel Visitor Center

3 Grand Teton National Park To Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

The short distance between Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, where travelers can enjoy wildlife tours, makes it possible for people to visit both parks. A Grand Teton spring means the seasonal migration of moose, elk, and deer as the valleys and forests brighten with blooming wildflowers. The visitor centers educate about the park’s wildlife and environmental history.

Explorers head to Yellowstone National Park Grant Village Visitor Center after passing by cascading waterfalls. Some wildlife in the park includes bears, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, bison, and coyotes.

  • Distance from Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park: 44.3 miles
  • Scenic stops: John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, Old Faithful Visitor Center, Montana Glacier National Park

Related:Spring Break Adventure: 10 Outdoor Activities And Excursions For Thrill-Seekers

2 Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree's Samuelson's rocks, bristled Joshua trees, desert landscapes, and extraterrestrial rocky formations make this national park an outdoor adventurer’s dream. It takes visitors about four to five hours to tackle the journey through the park as they make exploring detours.

Armed with a map from the Visitor Center, tourists go through the Colorado desert and see the red-blossomed ocotillo. A stroll in the Chola Cactus Garden gives a closer look at the teddy bear cholla, hedgehog cactus, beavertail cactus, and desert starvine.

  • Distance: 70 miles through the park
  • Scenic Stops: Keys View

This park is breathtakingly beautiful, but there are some very specific don'ts to adhere to while exploring Joshua Tree National Park to ensure an enjoyable, safe visit.

1 Willow City Loop, Texas Hill Country

The Willow City Loop allows nature lovers to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and into a fairytale-like world of colorful wildflowers. This scenic 13-mile loop drive is one of the popular spring attractions in Fredericksburg and makes a scenic 1.5-hour drive from Austin or San Antonio.

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The loop meanders through rolling rocky hills and creek bottoms covered with the famous bluebonnets, Mexican poppies, Indian paintbrushes, coreopsis, sunflowers, and daisies. However, travelers should avoid trespassing the privately owned land along the loop.

  • Distance from Austin: 78.5 miles
  • Scenic Stops: Willow City School, The Boot Fence, Wildseed Farms


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