American roads are a true paradise for lovers of beautiful landscapes. An invitation to visit our southern neighbors by car or motorbike…
Road to Hana, Hawaii
Hawaii‘s most famous Road to Hana isn’t just scenic or remarkable. With its 54 bridges and more than 600 hairpin bends, it will introduce you to a radically different world, far from your bungalow with swimming pool.
From the sunny beach of Maui to the tropical forest passing by imposing waterfalls and forests of bamboo or rainbow eucalyptus, skirting the seven sacred pools. The road leads to Hana, a city proud of its isolation and population. A green, rainy Hawaii like you’ve probably never seen.
Route 1, Florida Keys
This two-lane road (often known as the “Florida Overseas Highway”) that skirts a beautiful coral archipelago connects Miami to the remote city of Key West, which vibrates to the tropical rhythm and is only 135 kilometers (90 miles) away. ) from Havana.
The further you go over these bridges (some of which are over 11 kilometers long), the bluer the water becomes, the whiter the sands, and the smaller and more exotic the islands. Stop to snorkel in beautiful Bahia Honda Park, but be sure to arrive in Key West in time for a nightcap at Sloppy Joe’s, Ernest Hemingway’s favorite bar.
Pacific Coast Highway, California
California State Route 1 runs from Los Angeles along some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, all the way to the wild lands north of San Francisco. While the two towns at the ends of this route are worth exploring, the most spectacular parts are undoubtedly in the middle.
Around Big Sur (which refers to a stretch of California’s coast between Carmel and San Simeon), the highway hugs coastal cliffs, crosses dizzying bridges, and crosses redwood forests. A little further north you will pass the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course and the beautiful beaches of Monterey Bay.
Skyline Drive, Virginia
Very few roads in the world run along the crest line of a mountain range, and that’s why Virginia’s Skyline Drive, which winds through Shenandoah National Park, is so famous.
Built in the 1930s – as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s Depression-era New Deal – this road has been designated a National Historic Landmark and National Scenic Byway. The 169-kilometre-long scenic route rises through a series of switchbacks before winding through a rolling landscape, all offering motorists stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the wide valley of Shenandoah from some 75 viewpoints along the roadside.
Natchez Trace Parkway
This scenic drive follows more than 700 miles of the Natchez Trail, a walking trail that historically connected the ports of the Mississippi River to the more populated lands farther east and north.
The Natchez Trace Parkway has only a limited number of access points between its starting point in Nashville, Tennessee, and its end point in Natchez, Mississippi. Administered by the National Park Service, there are no billboards. Great efforts have been made to preserve the peace and beauty of the course. It’s like stepping back in time, especially when you arrive in Natchez, home to perhaps the finest collection of (pre-Civil War) homes in the entire southern United States.
U.S. Route 6, Massachusetts
This beautiful sea route through Cape Cod – land of dunes where the Kennedy Compound is located – is a fantastic place to take a drive. US Route 6 follows the curious Cape Loop route and takes motorists to villages like Barnstable – a beautiful town established in the 17th century and still boasting pretty historic houses and a peaceful harbour.
It then stretches to dunes and beaches, passing through the Cape Cod National Seashore, ending in Provincetown, a tourist mecca bathed in the waters of Cape Point on three sides.
Interstate 75, from Michigan to Florida
Panoramic? It is a question of perspective. The millions of motorists who travel the 2800 kilometers of “I-75”, as it is known each year, have a love-hate relationship with this black ribbon of four-lane asphalt that stretches from the farthest reaches of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the swamps of southern Florida.
On the one hand, it is the favorite road of Quebecers who are going to spend their holidays in Disney country or under the palm trees. On the other, it is a demonstration of American commercialism in its most outrageous and ostentatious form, with its giant billboards and imposing gas station signs. It’s both a highway and a circus – and it’s certainly worth the ride, at least in part.
Independence Pass, Colorado
This stretch of National Route 82, which climbs more than 3,600 meters (12,000 feet) above sea level, is breathtaking (and not just because of the thin air).
Independence Pass is one of the highest passes in the American Rockies. It crosses the Continental Divide and connects two charming Colorado communities: the village of Twin Lakes and Aspen, an internationally renowned ski resort.
Motorists can linger at the summit from where they can admire the alpine tundra above the tree line and the snow-capped eminence of Mount Elbert, Colorado’s highest peak.
Route 441, from Tennessee to North Carolina
How many roads can claim to take you from tourist madness to bliss and back again in a matter of hours? Connecting Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Cherokee, North Carolina, two cities that host many of the nine million visitors who explore the region each year, Highway 441 passes through the very heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
In this magnificent site where you can admire a series of undulating peaks, the road climbs to the highest ridge of the park – which also serves as the state border – before plunging to the other side in a succession perilous switchbacks. Take the time to stop and take in one of the stunning views along the roadside.
Great River Road, Minnesota to Louisiana
Following the route of the Mississippi, America’s mightiest river, this road, made up of a series of interconnected state highways and local roads, stretches over 3,200 kilometers.
Crossing Wisconsin and Minnesota, in the heart of the Midwest, it stretches to the deep south and the bayous of Louisiana. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled to the land of Hucklberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, to the very heart of America. Photos : SHUTTERSTOCK