• Aug 21, 2009


To anyone who says that nature lovers can't be driving enthusiasts, National Geographic has something to tell you, but it isn't "take a hike" – it's "take a drive." The society's Traveler magazine has just released a new list of their favorite driving roads in the world, and the rundown has itching to trade the information superhighway for the plain ol' highway.

Naturally, the National Geographic Traveler "Drives of a Lifetime" list is comprised mostly of roads in the United States, from California's Pacific Coast Highway to New York's Hudson River Valley and everywhere in between. But if you feel like venturing a little further north, Traveler's highlighted some choice routes through the Canadian Rockies all the way to the Cabot Trail in the Maritime provinces, and they've thrown in some island and European destinations for good measure.

So pack the car, use up that vacation time and follow the link to check out the full list. Outraged that you're favorite scenic switchback didn't make the list? Add your submissions in the comments section below.

[Source: National Geographic]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Drove a Chevrolet Cobalt around the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Pics here: (http://goodcarbadcar.blogspot.com/2008/08/chevrolet-cobalt-part-1.html)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I did the Cabot Trail a few years ago. The scenery was amazing. There were way too many RVs to enjoy the steep hills and curves.

      I did however, follow this dirt track a few away from the coast line for a few kilometres! That was amazing (but not really suited for my car of the day, a Tercel).

      Also, the region of Charlevoix in Québec has amazing roads and scenery along the St-Lawrence river.http://www.tourisme-charlevoix.com/fr/menu_principal/la_region/apercu_de_la_region/secteur_du_fleuve.php
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wrote too soon!

      My favourite road is the road that lead to my grandmother's house between Louiseville and St-Paulin in Québec. The roads are narrow, there are lots of curves and dips that get your stomach in a knot and the locals drive fast.

      http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=louiseville,+qc&daddr=46.366594,-72.965012+to:Rang+De+l'Isle&hl=fr&geocode=%3B%3BFeKxwwId1AKm-w&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=12&via=1&sll=46.338632,-72.956772&sspn=0.180616,0.271568&ie=UTF8&z=12

      Actually, most roads in that area are great! and it is an area of Québec not too frequented (despite its proximity to Montreal.
      http://www.lecheminduroy.com/en/index.php
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's obvious that this list has not much to do with the "World's Greatest Scenic Roads". They could have just named it "North Americas..." and replace the 3 listed in Europe. I have traveled on roads around the globe from Europe, Asia, Australia to North and South America hand can tell you there are many other roads that would beat most of the 10 listed hands down.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good, they don't know about my favorites =). Don't need the rest of you crowding them up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just got back from the Santa Barbara loop this weekend, it is a great drive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Amalfri Coast Simply Amazing! But then again, most of the roads in Northern Italy are beautiful, fun to drive and well maintained.
      Highway 1 above Merced past the Redwood Curtain has several off-shoots called "Scenic Roads" that are mind blowing. The 299 between Redding and Humboldt is fantastic too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It really is amazing how many roads there are on the North Coast that might make a list like this... a real fest of "oohs" and "aaaahs".

        Have to say, kind of laughed when I read "Highway 1 above Merced"; As a Midwesterner with significant seat time in California, I take that to be equivalent to "Mid Atlantic coastline, south of Detroit". I know what you meant but most of my fellow residents here are more likely to think that Monterey is north of San Francisco than they are to catch just how far off of the coastline Merced is (and, therefore, far from Highway 1). http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Merced&state=CA
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice list.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Two most astonishing drives in North America:

      Blue Ridge Parkway into Route 322 (East of Mississippi), and

      Pacific Coast Highway. Highway 1. California. (West of Mississippi)


      Honorable mention to the Trans-Can through the Canadian Rockies, though that's often disrupted by mountain goats who seem to enjoy making people in steel cans on wheels... wait.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They left out the Blue Ridge Parkway, are you f*#king kidding me?!? They almost redeem themselves by including the Cherohala. Almost.
        • 5 Years Ago
        i live in Virginia and used to drive my C5 on the Blue Ridge great drive!!!
      Josh
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not sure if it was mentioned, but the Blue Ridge Parkway should be on that list.
      • 5 Years Ago
      my submission is an entire film about great driving roads. Here ya go:

      http://greatestroadinca.blogspot.com/
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