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1st Known SKY RedLine Owner!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thought i'd pass this along.

Americans have always had a love affair with their cars—here are 10 gorgeous drives that will inspire even the most hardcore homebodies into hitting the open road for a scenic trip.

1. Blue Ridge Parkway
Stretching some 469 miles along the Southern Appalachian Mountains and linking two eastern national parks—Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains—the Blue Ridge Parkway has often been referred to as "America's Favorite Drive." It's certainly the country's first rural parkway—parts of it date back to 1930s (when construction began as a make-work project during the Depression)—and the longest, with breathtaking scenery and dozens of recreational opportunities to distract you when you need to stretch your legs. Though some may argue that autumn is the best season to drive this stretch, as the brilliant fall foliage is in full effect, May is also a superb time to head this way, to witness the profusion of wildflowers in bloom along the elevated mountainsides. Also included in this scenic route is the impressive Skyline Drive, a 105-mile swath of road that cuts through Shenandoah National Park. Of course, no nature drive of this sort would be quite complete without wildlife sightings: Keep an eye out for resident whitetail deer and black bears.

2. Hana Highway
It's no wonder the spirit of aloha 'aina (love of the land) is the bedrock of Hawaiian tradition. A drive on Maui's beloved Hana Highway (also called "the road to Hana") offers such an awe-inspiring display of natural beauty that you'll soon revel in the same sentiment. This serpentine trek starts off in Paia, famous for its surfer-swept shores, and zigzags east along the coast for more than 50 miles, all the while embracing 600 hairpin curves, 54 one-lane bridges, and some of the island's most spectacular sights. Indeed, Keanae Arboretum (an exotic botanical garden), Waikani Falls (a trio of crashing chutes), Ka'eleku Caverns (an ancient cavern system created from a lava flow thousands of years ago), and Waianapanapa State Park (home to a famous black-sand beach and fresh-water caves) are all in close proximity. Your excursion will land you in the sleepy coastal village of Hana where you can take up shack and relish the quiet countryside and local culture or, continue a tad further to Haleakala National Park where you can cool your jets in Oheo Gulch (aka the Seven Sacred Pools). Keep your windows down as you go and breathe in the sweet air infused with eucalyptus and ginger. To get the most out of the drive, pick up a "The Hana Road Self-Guided Drive" CD from the Shell gas station on Route 380 in Kahului; it narrates the journey and highlights all of the must-sees.

3. Highway 1
California's State Route 1 (aka Highway 1) skirts the Golden State's glorious Pacific coastline from "So Cal" near San Luis Obispo northwest to the forests of Monterey. While the twists and curves, and occasional precariously-perched cliff-top road, may prove challenging at times (one section has been ominously dubbed Devil's Slide thanks to landslides and erosion that have occasionally made the road impassable), the magnificent vistas of ocean waves breaking on rocky sea-sculpted shores, windswept beaches dotted by frolicking otters or sea lions, and magnificent forests presiding above it all can rouse even the wariest of drivers behind the wheel. Forays into charming little coastal towns, like Carmel-by-the-Sea and Laguna Beach, as well as into the trilogy of Californian cultural centers at Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, are met by attractions ranging from historic missions to magnificent mansions (don't miss San Simeon's mountaintop Hearst Castle). There are also endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, particularly around the Big Sur area, where you can hike through redwood forests, comb the beaches for shells and jade, and camp under the stars.

4. Highway 12
Windswept red-rock canyons, towering sandstone formations, pristine lakes, and pine-studded mountain ranges combine for an altogether over-the-top sensory experience in Southern Utah. The setting for several stunning national parks, this remarkable road connects those at Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef, and offers unique beauty and seemingly limitless recreational opportunities on a stretch of land between the two parks' boundaries. Utah Highway 12, also known as Highway 12 Scenic Byway, is one of only 27 nationally designated All-American Roads—the highest honor a road can get for attractive scenery. This spectacular route travels away from Bryce Canyon, through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and over the forested Boulder Mountain and the Dixie National Forest, before winding down near the entrance to Capitol Reef. The scenery is unforgettable along the entire length of the road—especially during the brilliant red-rock sunsets that provide a glorious grand finale to a day's driving adventure here.

5. Going-to-the-Sun Road
This spectacular 52-mile drive is the best way to see the dramatic remnants and rugged path left by gargantuan glaciers in Montana's striking Glacier National Park. Only open from early-June to mid-October (or until first snowfall), the Going-to-the-Sun Road, aptly named for its ever-escalating sky-high stretch with switchbacks up and over the magnificent Continental Divide, traverses Glacier National Park from West Glacier to St. Mary and covers untapped wilderness, rugged mountains, glistening lakes, deep river gorges, glacial canyons, and the long Garden Wall. This sharp ridge forms the Continental Divide, the only place in the country where water flows to the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and Hudson Bay. The road offers multiple lookout points, among them the 6646-foot-high Logan Pass, which ranks as one of the Divide's most impressive vantage points, and Jackson Glacier Overlook, 2 miles beyond Siyeh Bend, where remnants of the mammoth ice formations that carved the park's harsh terrain and contoured its valleys can still be seen. Indeed, the many jaw-dropping views and hiking opportunities along the way will have you making frequent stops to get out and explore; a few backcountry lodges, chalets and campgrounds are available too, should you decide to prolong your trip by spending the night.

6. Million Dollar Highway
Despite varying explanations as to the origin of its name (one claims it cost $1 million a mile to build in 1924; another says it contains $1 million in gold ore), there's no disputing the fact that the 75-mile stretch of scenic highway known as Million Dollar Highway is a breathtaking journey through the majestic mountain passes of western Colorado. Crossing part of the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway, and following route US 550 between the old mining towns of Silverton and Ouray, the route's twists and turns wend high above the Red Mountain Pass—an 11,018-foot-high collapsed volcano whose lava flow was found to contain gold in 1860—and past the deep Uncompahgre Gorge, into which flow several waterfalls. As you continue to slice through the mountainside, winding along hairpin switchbacks (which tend to lack guardrails) and following old stagecoach paths, this route bears witness to the area's now-defunct mining operations; you can even stop in Silverton to admire the town's historic Victorian style buildings, some of which date back to 1874. That said, the real beauty of this trip is its elevated "million dollar" sights: Stunning views of the never-ending country-side, landscapes of springtime wildflowers, and vast terrain where elk, mountain goats, black bears, and deer roam freely—truly the picture-postcard image of the great American outdoors.

7. Red Rock Scenic Byway
If you're looking for a sublime experience and are a lover of the great outdoors, Mother Nature has blessed you with Sedona. Known for its massive, monolithic, red-rock formations that seemingly change shape and color with every passing ray of sunlight, Sedona's almost otherworldly scenery has long beckoned visitors to stand in awe of its grandeur. State Route 179, a 7.5-mile sliver of road designated Red Rock Scenic Road, serves as an excellent introduction to some of the area's most superb natural splendors and amazing vistas. Plan on devoting at least a full morning to driving along it and ogling at the striking red rocks, many of which have been named for their resemblance to man-made objects (such as Bell, Courthouse, Cathedral, or Castle Rocks), and lush greenery that stretches for as far as the eye can see. Should a particular rock formation strike your fancy, it's easy enough to hop out of the car to hike or bike to its base.

8. Seward Highway
The Seward Highway serves as the asphalt thread linking metropolitan Anchorage to Alaska's agreeable little portside town of Seward on magnificent Resurrection Bay. Fittingly, for a road that connects such contrasting locales, the 127-mile stretch cuts through equally diverse landscapes—from glistening glaciers to alpine meadows, and jagged peaks to majestic fjords. Many miles of the route hug the base of the rugged Chugach Mountains and the shore of Turnagain Arm, winding past waterfalls, wildflowers, and wildlife; keep your eyes peeled for grazing sheep and mountain goats in the cliff tops, and beluga whales racing through the frigid waters below. Designated an All-American Road by the US Department of Transportation, this journey through the dramatic wilds of Alaska also provides access to terrific fishing spots and campgrounds, and simply great outdoor adventures.

9. Sonoma/Napa Valleys
Although we don't condone drinking and driving, there's no better way to get a taste of Northern California's pastoral wine country than by driving through the Sonoma and Napa valleys. A 132-mile-long drive starts in Santa Rosa, just north of San Francisco, and follows three highways (Sonoma Hwy, St. Helena Hwy, and Redwood Hwy) through breathtaking acres of sprawling vineyards, forested hills, oak woodlands, several state parks—including beautiful Clear Lake State Park—as well as a handful of historic sites. Our preferred itinerary heads down and around Sonoma and Napa, then loops up to St. Helena, Calistoga, Middleton, and Cobb, before culminating in Hopland. Some of the highlights include the ghost-town of Silverado (made famous by writer Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote about his honeymoon there); the expansive ranch belonging to author Jack London; the charming colonial town of Sonoma; and the famed Hopland Brewery, a microbrewery serving up frosty local beer (a nice change from all that wine). And while most don't associate road trips with romance, the darling B&Bs, cozy eateries, and wineries galore you'll pass en-route are sure to leave you smitten. Moreover, while this scenic drive is worth doing at any time of year, we particularly recommend hitting the road in autumn, when the annual harvest season welcomes festivals, street fairs, traditional grape stomps and more.

10. U.S. Route 1
Traversing some of the oldest roads in the country, U.S. Route 1 takes you on a historic journey through New England, covering five states (namely, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine) and encompassing a bevy of sights, coastal villages, state parks, and notable cities. We recommend starting in Connecticut and driving all the way up to the coast of Maine, following the highway up to Providence, where the city's colonial history is displayed in numerous museums and historical sites (particularly so Roger Williams Park, where Williams landed and founded his colony). Route 1 then goes straight through the heart of Boston, winding through charming Cape Anne, past seaside towns, historic Salem, and along the beaches of New Hampshire. In Portsmouth, check out the stately homes and mansions, some of which date from the late 1600s, and take a Portsmouth cemetery tour for a review of New England history. Along the highway in Maine, you can stop at the outlets in Kittery, the beach towns of York, Ogunquit, and Old Orchard Beach, and the historic maritime city of Portland, settled shortly after the Pilgrims first landed. Further up the Maine coast you'll find spectacular water views; Roosevelt Campobello International Park (the onetime summer home of FDR); and Reversing Falls Park, home to a narrow channel where the tide is so fast, it creates a sort of whirlpool effect. Of course, this jaunt is best in fall when a carpet of russet and gold foliage blankets the rolling hillsides.


This article was compiled by the editorial staff at ShermansTravel, including editorial director Arabella Bowen.
 

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Great post!!:thumbs: I'd love to someday make all those drives in the Sky. At least two are in my immediate area and as soon as my baby arrives....plans will be made.:driving:

Thank you!!
 

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I done 5 of the 10

I have been fortunate enough to have driven (or road) over five of the roads/routes and the author will get no argument from me. maybe before I cash in I can make the other five.....hopefully in my Sky.
 

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Yea, but these are all places to go driving by rocks. Who's going to drool :drool: over you and the car. I want to drive past beautiful people.

South Beach
Santa Monica Blvd.
Etc.
Maybe we can list others
 

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Parthanon said:
Yea, but these are all places to go driving by rocks. Who's going to drool :drool: over you and the car. I want to drive past beautiful people.

South Beach
Santa Monica Blvd.
Etc.
Maybe we can list others
hwy A1A in Florida
ocean blvd, Myrtle Beach
ON THE BEACH at Daytona Fla.
Pigeon Forge Tennesse
Downtown Gatlinburg Tennessee

All good places to go to be seen...
 

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I have also driven 2 of those. Highway 1 or PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) has been my therapy to "beat the heat" the last couple of weekend. I've managed to hit almost 5,000 miles in just 3 months and I don't usually drive to work!

Thanks for the post, it gives me other drives to look forward to in the future.
 

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Pitcom said:
1. Blue Ridge Parkway
Stretching some 469 miles along the Southern Appalachian Mountains and linking two eastern national parks—Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains—the Blue Ridge Parkway has often been referred to as "America's Favorite Drive." It's certainly the country's first rural parkway—parts of it date back to 1930s (when construction began as a make-work project during the Depression)—and the longest, with breathtaking scenery and dozens of recreational opportunities to distract you when you need to stretch your legs. Though some may argue that autumn is the best season to drive this stretch, as the brilliant fall foliage is in full effect, May is also a superb time to head this way, to witness the profusion of wildflowers in bloom along the elevated mountainsides. Also included in this scenic route is the impressive Skyline Drive, a 105-mile swath of road that cuts through Shenandoah National Park. Of course, no nature drive of this sort would be quite complete without wildlife sightings: Keep an eye out for resident whitetail deer and black bears.

Just a footnote here...the 105-mile Skyline Drive is not part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, as this article has stated. It does indeed connect to the BRP, but the mileage is considered to be seperate from the total 469 miles of the BRP. So the correct total mileage for both the Skyline and BRP would be 574 miles. Just wanted to clarify that. :D I recently completed these two roads on my motorcycle, and they are definitely SKY-worthy. :thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Can't say I've ever driven on those roads myself. Once i get my rl, i plan on taking a nice tour of the pa mountain roads. Think it'd be fun to get to know my state a bit better.
 
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