For many people, a relaxing car drive is a great way to reduce stress and revitalize the spirit.
Driving Really Can Be Relaxing
Unlike driving to the office in rush-hour traffic or car pooling the kids to soccer practice, a relaxing drive can calm your mind and leave you feeling refreshed, as if you took a mini vacation. Magnificent mountains, bucolic country scenery and mesmerizing seascapes are only a few of the spectacular views awaiting you as you explore country roads and drive the highways and byways experiencing the scenic wonders of nature.
Scenic Drives Throughout the United States
Throughout the United States, each state has its own unique beauty and natural wonders. Breathtaking scenery, intriguing landscapes, historical places and picturesque towns make your drive a relaxing, memorable time. Exploring areas that are new to you, or visiting old favorites, are wonderful ways to unwind. The following roadways are considered some of the most scenic in the United States.
Eastern United States
- The Blue Ridge Parkway which runs from North Carolina and Virginia over the Appalachian Mountains.
- Routes 17, 99 and 520 are a wonderful way to explore the scenic East Coast. An especially beautiful area is Georgia's Sea Islands including:
- Saint Simons
- Little Saint Simons
- Sea Island
- Jekyll Island
- Route 100 in Vermont has spectacular viewing of the changing colors of the fall foliage, but is beautiful all year round.
Central United States
- The Custer Scenic Byway of South Dakota runs through the Black Hills.
- Minnesota's North Shore Drive runs along the shore of Lake Superior on one side and the Sawtooth Mountains on the other.
- The Black Bayou Drive in Louisiana runs through moss laden live oak trees, sugarcane fields and swamp country. Part of the byway is a section of the Old Spanish Trail from the 1800s.
Western United States
- Highway 1 is a scenic wonderland as it follows the California coast from Morro Bay to Monterey.
- The Beartooth Highway offers majestic mountain views in Wyoming and Montana.
- Utah's Zion National Park Scenic Byway features rock formations and shapes richly colored by manganese and iron.
Online Resources for Finding Relaxing Car Drives in Your Area
The Internet has many excellent websites dedicated to sharing information on relaxing scenic roadways.
- Find the byways and backways of any area of the United States at Byways.
- The Blue Ridge Highlander offers directions and descriptions of 19 scenic road trips through the mountains.
- There are many scenic drive suggestions from Yahoo Travel.
- Choose the state from the list at Scenic Drives USA to find suggested scenic drives and back roads.
- The top ten scenic drives in the United States chosen by Sherman's Travel.
Tips for Taking a Short Relaxing Car Drive
When you do not have a lot of time, or gas prices are keeping you close to home, you can still take a short drive to relieve the stress of everyday life.
- Travel roads that are off the beaten path
- Explore winding country roads
- Look for interesting, unusual or historic sites during your drive
- Have a relaxing lunch or dinner in a place you have never been
- Explore the quaint shops of an unknown town
- Find an area to park safely and walk along the beach, through a pine forest or a meadow full of wild flowers
- Stop at a country farm stand and give yourself an extra treat by purchasing local fruit and vegetables with their delicious home-grown taste
Whether you are planning a day trip, an extended driving vacation or only have a few hours of leisure time, enjoying a relaxing car drive will leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to face the stress of daily life.