Long Weekend: Take The Scenic Route

We’ll have none of that “Are we there yet?” nonsense.

llustration by Scott Garrett

Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway, Illinois
Cruise along the byway for stunning water views, unforgettable fall foliage, and diverse wildlife in the heart of the Prairie State. The 291-mile route winds through the Illinois River Valley region, rich with a history that unfolds at sites like the Dickson Mounds Museum and the Hennepin Canal. illinoisriverroad.org

Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route, Michigan
Two hours north of Traverse City is the Tunnel of Trees a narrow 20-mile stretch of road hemmed in by sugar maples and eastern hemlocks. Pull over just past Stutsmanville Road, for unobstructed views of Lake Michigan, then proceed to Legs Inn in Cross Village for a feast of whitefish and Polish beer. m119tunneloftrees.com

Highland Scenic Highway, West Virginia
Blast John Denver as you drive 43 miles of country roads that take you home—or at least through the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. It climbs to more than 4,500 feet and has four scenic overlooks to snap a quick selfie against the backdrop of the Monongahela National Forest. pocahontascountywv.com/highland-scenic-highway

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
What it is: 469 miles of untouched natural beauty, from Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains along the Tennessee-North Carolina border. Be prepared for your ears to pop: The windy road has elevations ranging from roughly 600 feet to more than 5,000. blueridgeparkway.org

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