Man has long been obsessed with fast-moving objects: fire, the wheel, dinosaurs and the automobile. Philosophers may cringe, but man and his car have slowly evolved into modern society’s new therapy room—acting as our psychiatrist, friend, and our escape. And where better to escape to than an empty road that can take you anywhere. We take a look at some of the most fascinating roads in America, based on reader studies from AutoWeek and Reader’s Digest.
Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana: Recall that opening shot of an empty country road in The Shining before things turned gruesomely wrong? This colorfully named road is the location in question. Built in 1932, the 50-mile Montana landmark spans the vastness of the majestic Glacier National Park through the mile-high Logan Pass. The path rolls you through glacial lakes, green valleys and cedar forests. After driving this route, you’ll understand that Montana is called Big Sky Country for a reason. If only Jack Nicholson stopped and took in the majestic view, things might have ended very differently.
I-90, South Dakota: Vibrant wildflowers dot the edges of the South Dakota thoroughfare
through the Great Plains. The road tumbles open to spectacular scenes of Mount Rushmore
and the Black Hills. The Missouri River, the longest river in the United States, spills out over the roadway with a spectacular scene of water, sky and nothingness. So pack a fishing pole, because you’ll be able to catch buckets of walleye along the way.
Route 30, southern Pennsylvania: Navigating drivers laterally through the keystone state, Route 30 captures both the history and natural beauty of the country. The road provides an excellent view of Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s renowned work of architecture as well as the historic grounds of Gettysburg. In addition, there’s no dearth of rustic barns and grazing buffalo, if you’re into that kind of thing. The Lincoln highway, as it’s also known, is one of the oldest roads in the United States.
White Rim Road, Utah: Renowned Swiss writer Max Frisch once said, “I’ve often wondered what people mean when they talk about an experience.” Perhaps he was talking about experiencing a hundred miles of raw, visceral erosion. That’s what you’ll get if you drive through Utah’s White Rim Road, located through Canyonlands National Park. Drivers skid along acres of white rim sandstone, which is said to have the spot of an ocean shore around 300 million years ago.
Overseas Highway, Florida Keys: If you’re ever feeling biblical, you too can walk on water. Formally known as U.S. Route 1, the highway carries stretches drivers over miles of glistening water from Miami to Key West. Built in 1912 on old railroad rails, the roadway is a modern-day oasis: a locus of ancient man-made steel and crystal-blue marine. It’s said that you can travel from the 127-mile roadway in four hours, but what’s the rush when there’s so much to see? As Susan Orlean once wrote about the state, “Florida was to Americans what America had always been to the rest of the world—a fresh, free, unspoiled start.”
Now it’s your turn. Comment below and let us know about your favorite roads to drive on.