Road trip time!
Americans have been taking to the country’s vast network of highways looking for peace and solitude for decades. A road trip is practically a right of passage these days! But not all paths are created equal, and nothing can ruin a road trip faster than a traffic jam. Luckily, GPS company Geotab has released a list of the quietest, most scenic routes in America so you can limit road rage, and maximize bliss.
Using national road traffic data from the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Highway Policy Information, Geotab examined traffic across U.S. highways to identify the least-traveled route in each state. From there, Geotab tapped renowned nature photographer, James “Q” Martin, to help determine the ranking of the most scenic, quiet routes.
The result is stunning analysis of the country’s most beautiful roads, two of which (we’re thrilled to announce!) happen to be located in the South.
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With 414 miles across snow-covered mountains, Alaska’s sprawling James W. Dalton Highway takes the top spot. “We’re talking 240 miles between services and only a handful of small towns along the way,” Martin writes of the decidedly remote stretch of asphalt.
Utah’s iconic US Route 50 and Maine’s tree-lined US Route 201 claimed the second and third spots, respectively.
Virginia’s State Route 90003, which spans 23 miles between Yorktown and Jamestown, was given the sixth spot on the distinguished list. “Better known as the Colonial Parkway, this nationally historic, scenic byway is bordered by trees and dotted with colonial-style red brick bridges and tunnels,” Martin writes. “Make a stop at the James River and York River at each end for the panoramic views, especially in the fall.”
The only other Southern roadway on the list is the Louisiana portion of US Route 65, which runs between Clayton, Concordia Parish, and the Arkansas state line north of Gassoway. “This stretch of highway is part of the Great River Road,” Martin explains. “The Louisiana section of this scenic, state-crossing drive, tracks alongside the Mississippi River, into Arkansas and beyond; passing the strikingly clear waters of Lake Bruin along the way.” He recommends stopping to watch the tugboats on the Mississippi River and making a visit to Lake Bruin State Park in St. Joseph.
Don’t mind if we do!
Itching to hit the road? See which route in your state made the list here.