Your Guide to The Ride of Your Life
The U.S. is home to many historic highways, each rich with beautiful sights, compelling lookouts and unique stops that every self-respecting cruiser must awe over, at least once in their lifetime.
Here are a few of our favorites…
Completed in 1936, Beartooth Highway runs through portions of Montana and Wyoming. This up and down road trips sends travelers on an unforgettable journey. The 68-mile route features 20 peaks higher than 12,000 feet. Snow-capped mountain ranges, lush forests and mountain lakes are a feast for the eyes, as are wildlife sightings that may include an occasional grizzly or black bear.
Beartooth Highway borders the Shoshone, Custer and Gallatin National Forests. An entrance to Yellowstone National Park is also nearby.
Get your kicks on what is sometimes referred to as “The Mother Road.” Established in 1926, Route 66 runs for nearly 2,500 miles, stretching from Chicago to Southern California. Lined with greasy spoons, old-school motels and unique tourist draws, it takes drivers through eight states and three time zones of pure Americana.
You won’t find Route 66 on a map. It was decommissioned as on official highway in 1985, although today many portions are designated “Historic Route 66.”
Years ago, the Nevada portion of U.S. Highway 50 was dubbed the “Loneliest Road in America.” For the many who regard the idea of perfection as an open road meant to clear the senses and free the mind, the solitude of Highway 50 makes it the perfect cruise. And, the Nevada state tourism office now offers travelers “I Survived the Loneliest Road in America” certificates.
The “Loneliest Road” closely parallels the route of the historic Pony Express, which famously transported mail by horseback from the Midwest to the West Coast in the early 1860s.
PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY (PCH)
California dreaming begins with a coastline cruise along the state’s section of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Winding more than 600 miles along the California coast, the PCH gives way to the breathtaking ocean as it runs through glitzy Southern California, offering star-studded backdrops as you travel through the Central and Northern portions of the Golden State.
PCH runs through three states: California, Oregon and Washington.
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY
A nearly 500-mile scenic route through the Appalachian Mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway delivers humbling panoramic mountain views, including a high point of 6,053 feet at mile marker 431. Top attractions include Linville Falls, Mabry Mill and more than 200 scenic overlooks. No wonder it’s nicknamed “America’s Favorite Drive.”
Blue Ridge Parkway is for leisurely cruises, with a maximum speed of 45 mph on the route.
TUNNEL OF TREES (M-119)
Fall in the Midwest is at its finest on 21 miles of the M-119 Heritage Route in Northern Michigan. Dubbed the “Tunnel of Trees,” each side of the winding highway is lined with sturdy trees that drape the road with branches bursting in golden yellow, fiery red and deep orange hues during the autumn months.
M-119 also offers nearby coastal views along the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan, which sits just to the west of the tunnel.