The Greatest American Highways You Need to Drive
Posted on March 01, 2016
Whether you’re in California or New
Hampshire, some of the greatest roads in the world are in your backyard. Our
diverse landscapes lend themselves to majestic sceneries. Driving is much more
than traveling from point A to point B. It’s experiencing your surroundings in
an immersive way that truly connects you to the people and places associated
with the highway. Whether you prefer
ocean views or climbing volcanic summits, there are plenty of roads to suit
your preference. However, if you don’t have time to explore them all, here are
a few of the most breathtaking options.
constructed in 1926, historic route 66 is an American treasure. Its 2,500
mile span took Americans across the country. Route 66 saw most of its use
during the mass emigration from the Dust Bowl in the Midwest. As the interstate
system began to more efficiently connect the country in the late 1950s, older
highways became neglected and phased out. Now, only protected portions of route
66 remain, but they contain some of the greatest driving in the country.
This route off the beaten path offers architecture from a bygone period. It’s the best way to go back in time. Check out the beautiful architecture of the County Courthouse in Illinois. There are murals painted on the sides of many older building that give a glimpse into the cultural background of this historic highway. You may also see murals of Elvis in a bar, classic American cars cruising down the highway, a milkman delivering his wares, or the route’s tagline “Get your kicks. Route 66”. The highest density of murals is found on the “1,ooo Miles of Murals” section from Pontiac, IL, to Tucumcari, NM.
You can still enjoy this national treasure on a drive from Illinois to California. Make sure to make a stop at the Grand Canyon and Cadillac Ranch in Texas. With a depth of 1,600 meters, the Grand Canyon is one of the deepest valleys in the world. Its stunning features draw thousands of tourists each year. Cadillac Ranch is a fun stop for everyone. You can add your artistic touch to dozens of vintage Cadillacs buried nose first in the ground. When the desert sun sets, consider a break at the Route 66 Drive-in Theater in Carthage, Missouri.
has accelerated many aspects of our lives. From our daily commute to our
communication, everything is done at breakneck speeds. Take a trip down the
“Main Street of America” to catch a glimpse of America’s heyday. Just remember
to keep pace with the historic setting and cruise down the highway.
Pacific Coast Highway
From the greater Los Angeles area to
the San Francisco Bay Area, the Pacific Coast Highway artfully showcases the
best of the California coast. With some sections named National Scenic Byways,
the PCH’s breathtaking scenery will keep boredom at bay. Looking in one
direction you’ll see blue waves breaking upon the rocky shore. The other
direction will present imposing hills that stretch on for dozens of miles
through windy roads. One of these most notable sections passes through Big Sur.
Big Sur provides some of the most stunning hiking trails in the country. There
are even several caves and waterfalls to explore. As you continue north of Big
Sur, the vistas open up and the road meanders lazily along the coast.
Whether you love the ocean breezes or
sandy beaches every few miles, there’s something for everyone on the PCH. If
you have a convertible, don’t hesitate to drop the top and soak up the California
Road to Hana
you’re ever on the island of Maui in Hawaii, don’t pass up the opportunity to
experience one of the oldest and most exotic roads in the country.
When King Pi’ilani
began construction on the original Road to Hana in the 16th century,
he never anticipated its worldwide recognition. The original lava rock
pavement would be unfit for today’s vehicles and the vine ropes that locals
used to cross East Maui’s streams would be a major inconvenience for tourists. The
road was rebuilt from 1900 to 1926 to make it accessible to vehicles. It is now
robust enough to accommodate adventurous tourists from all over the world.
This 64.5 mile route
travels around the island and ends at the top of Mt. Haleakala. The 10,023 foot
peak is just as windy as it is breathtakingly beautiful. It should be
noted that the Road to Hana is not as tame as the Pacific Coast highway and a
4x4 vehicle is recommended. Hawaii gets tropical rainfall levels which can
produce muddy roads on some parts of the road.
The highway crosses
59 bridges and has over 600 turns. Most of these bridges run through lush
vegetation. Plan at least 2.5 hours to make the journey due to the abundance of
one lane sections and steep curves.
Looking for a highway in a tropical
climate without going overseas? Consider Florida! Route 1 from Key Largo to Key
West is one of the most exotic highways in the world. The opaque water allows
travelers to catch a glimpse of the local sea life and coral reefs. And once
you reach the middle of the bridge, being miles from land in either direction
is an invigorating experience in itself.
Most of this highway is built parallel to what was once
the Overseas Railroad. When the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 devastated the
railroad, its parent company could not afford to rebuild. They sold the
remaining segments to the state of Florida for a mere $640,000. The state of
Florida rebuilt the bridge to make it accessible to vehicles and even used the
original railroad tracks as guard rails which can be seen today.
Refurbished in the 1950s, Route 1 travels along the largest area of coral reefs
on the US mainland. Much of the majesty of the highway can be seen from the
iconic 7-mile bridge. This bridge connects the middle keys to the lower keys
and is surrounded by pristine turquoise waters.
Be Safe and Explore the Best of America
these incredible highways gives you a sense of freedom, but you can only truly
enjoy yourself with peace of mind. Take your mobile medical alert system from
Alert1 and rest assured that we’ll send help if you need it. If you were to
stumble and fall while looking at Waikani Falls at mile marker 19, the PAX would alert
emergency services and get you immediate help. From the West Coast to the
Midwest, there are plenty of historic and beautiful roads that will give you
newfound appreciation for this country.
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