• Jul 24th 2006 at 4:04PM
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You might think that Europe has the market cornered on scenic drives, what with its old world charm, looming castles, rolling vineyards and ancient ruins.

The folks at MSN Travel, however, think that the United States has some pretty drives as well, and in honor of the days being ripe for road trips, they've narrowed the list down to their top 10 faves.

Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina starts the list off with nature at its best, Highway 1 in California is thrown in there as an obvious choice, and the drive through Sonoma and Napa Valley could give the French countryside a run for its money.

But what about the roads less traveled? Not to disappoint, the article includes drives like Seward Valley through Resurrectoin Bay to Anchorage in Alaska, as well as Going to the Sun Road through Montana's Glacier National Park.

[Source: MSN Travel]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      The fact that the US features both Going-to-the-Sun Road and US-50 through Nevada makes me doubt that Europe can offer anything in quite the same caliber. I'll reserve judgment, though, until I get a chance to drive over there, but I would hope Europeans would do the same for our scenic roads.

      Seriously, driving through Glacier is life changing. I've done it twice, both early Sunday mornings later in the season, and it was among the most beautiful things I'd ever experienced. I'm sure the alps are lovely, but this is the American West at its best.

      In complete contrast is US-50 across Nevada from Utah. From Notch Peak, a sheer 4500' drop into the barren and stark Tule Valley, through the most empty and alien part of the country (on fresh asphalt, when I drove it last) it's one of the most compelling places on earth, and a bad place to run out of gas. Gotta agree with the previous poster; take a fast car. You'll see 50 miles in both directions, and you'll be the only one on the road.

      Also, I could spend (and have spent) days driving in Utah, but any western state has completely unknown treasures of roads. You can follow the Salmon River up through Idaho, and then past the Bitterroot range in Montana, or take any of the roads in the Four Corners and be staggered by the huge spaces and monoliths. Take Highway 40 across Colorado, or 89 through Star Valley, Wyoming - really, I could gush forever, but you can't beat the American West for scenic driving.
      • 9 Years Ago
      If majestic is your thing, and you have a turbo (most turbos are great at altitude; esp Saabs) try the Banff - Jasper Highway, rated as world class.

      Then, you can go to the Royal Tyrrell Museum with your small children if they are still facinated by dinosaurs. the RT is Canada's only 5-star attraction.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The Valley of Fire in Nevada, outside of Las Vegas (and the loop out from Vegas and back around Lake Mead, and out to Hoover Dam if you want) is terrific. Probably similar scenery to a couple other drives they mention there, but still very nice. Last time I was in Vegas, I rented a Z4 and took it out for the day. might have to go back for an Elise.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Driven many a mile on the blue ridge pwky,however it is too becoming way over crowed with tourist. So please keep from mentioning it so i can enjoy it more!
      • 9 Years Ago
      You must be kidding me. All national pride aside, this is no comparison to europe. and i mean it. No comparison.

      There are roads in Europe that'd make you piss your pants.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Angeles Crest in the mountains of Southern California (from la canada to palmdale) is one of the greatest routes of all time! 55 miles of super sharp curves and a 9 mile straightaway in one stretch.
      • 9 Years Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'm lucky enough to live near some incredible mountain roads in NC. I hit the Blue Ridge Parkway in my BMW and a few others this summer:

      Blue Ridge Parkway: http://flickr.com/photos/marcjames/sets/72157594201615529/

      Tail of the Dragon: http://flickr.com/photos/marcjames/sets/72157594154573906/

      Automative nirvana!
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'm sure we all have our own favorite local back roads we like to cruise down... you know those curvy roads the cops hardly ever venture down. Personally I love the Blueridge pkwy but damn after a while its just not worth it to take 3 extra hours on a trip.
      • 9 Years Ago
      My faves in Washington State, ranging from 1/2 hour jaunt to 8-hour road trip:
      Hwy 101 around Olympic Peninsula, and SR112 out to Cafe Flattery http://www.experiencewashington.com/Byways/Byway.aspx?bwid=12
      Cascade Loop http://www.experiencewashington.com/Byways/Byway.aspx?bwid=8
      Chuckanut Drive http://www.experiencewashington.com/Byways/Byway.aspx?bwid=2
      • 9 Years Ago
      Can't argue with the list! Anyone of them would compete well with any of the Europe's greats. For pure driving exhiliration, few can match Tail of The Dragon, 318 curves in 11 miles!!!(http://www.tailofthedragon.com)
      Except of course, it is now so crowded on weekends with all the motorclubs' activities. Just headoverto the nearby Cherohala Skyway.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I've driven both. Europe has the USA beat hands down for travel. The countryside is cleaner, prettier and far less built-up in Europe. Additionally, speed limits really don't exist on the Autostrada, French toll roads and Autobahn. I'd rather take a 600 mile drive through europe in 4-5 hours than endure the same thing in the USA.
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