Tennessee, Johnson City to Gatlinburg
So dang gorgeous, these 90 miles of rural Tennessee might inspire you to grab a banjo and strum an Appalachian love song.
Take U.S. Route 11E toward Davy Crockett’s birthplace (Everyone: “Born on a mountaintop…”). At Greenville, where two
homes of Andrew Johnson anchor a presidential historic site, veer onto U.S. Route 321, skirting the majestic Great Smoky
Mountains National Park. Next day, depending on your preference, visit the park or, for mountains of a different kind, nearby Dollywood.
Florida, Overseas Highway
Only car-crazy America would link a 105-mile long chain of islands — from Key Largo, just south of Miami, west to Key West —
with a highway, U.S. Route 1. “You’re on either a bridge or a causeway, surrounded by shimmering water,” says Janet Groene,
author of Great Eastern RV Trips. “It’s a lovely, lovely drive.” Two tips: Crowds are smaller during spring and early summer, and
catch the sunset at Key West’s Mallory Square Dock.
South Dakota, Pierre to Mount Rushmore
Mythic Mount Rushmore does not disappoint, even after driving more than 200 miles across jaw-dropping cool scenery.
From Pierre, follow U.S. Route 83 across the Missouri River and striking grasslands to Interstate 90, going west. The good stuff isn’t
visible from the interstate, so be sure to turn off at Murdo for buffalo burgers, Badlands National Park for dusty canyons and Rapid City
for dead presidents carved into the Black Hills.
California, Monterey to Morro Bay
Like you needed reminding that state Route 1 along California’s central coast ranks as one of America’s — heck, the planet’s —
best road trips. South of Monterey begins 125 miles of windy highway within incredible scenery, most amazing at Big Sur,
where the Santa Lucia Range slopes steeply into the Pacific. By the time you hit San Simeon, the Hearst Castle’s architectural
wonders will barely register against what Mother Nature just showed you.
Finally, regardless of your road trip, travel pros urge folks to plan their routes in advance and to pack a map, not just directions
spat out by a Web site. Don’t be one of those that thinks they know it all and can’t get lost. Many a great weekend trip has been ruined
by such poor planning. For the best maps available go to DrivingDirectionsAndMaps.com