Given its coastal areas, rolling hills, lush forests, and rich history, the southern part of the U.S. has much to offer the road-bound traveler. For a scenic adventure in the car, check out these nationally recognized scenic byways.
If you appreciate the traditions of the Deep South and the relaxed atmosphere of a tropical island, you’ll enjoy Alabama’s Coastal Connection. This breathtaking drive along the Gulf Coast will provide you with the rare opportunity to see nesting sea turtles, the endangered Alabama beach mouse, herons, hummingbirds, and a number of other unique wildlife creatures.
Louisiana’s Creole Nature Trail boasts that it is “180 miles of oooh’s and ahh’s and wow’s!” The trail winds through Lake Charles’ coastal wetlands, wildlife refuges, and unrivaled marshland. If you love the outdoors and are ready to go fishing, bird watching, hunting, crabbing, or picnicking, you’ll love the Creole Nature Trail.
The A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway parallels Florida’s barrier islands and offers 72 miles of sweeping ocean views, historical monuments, nature trails, estuaries, and even a seaside park in Flagler County.
Up for some tart key lime pie? The Florida Keys Scenic Highway will give you a true taste of everything the Keys have to offer. Not only will you be framed by turquoise seas as you cruise along, you’ll also have the opportunity to experience the rich blend of Conch, Bahamian, and Cuban culture. You’ll taste it in the food, hear it in the music, and feel it in your hips as you dance to the steel drums or Salsa music!
A Drive Through History
If you’re looking for a shorter jaunt, Ashley River Road in South Carolina might be a good option. It’s one of the oldest roads in the state that is still in use and is both “picturesque and historic.” Large mossy trees branch over the roadway, transporting drivers and passengers to what feels like another world entirely.
At an epic length of 444-miles, the Natchez Trace Parkway is an unparalleled stretch of 10,000 years of North American history and natural scenery. It was used by famous figures like Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark duo, as well as Andrew Jackson. The Choctaw, Chicksaw, and Natchez tribes called this area home for some part of the year too. The trail is certainly a scenic drive from the comfort of your car, but it also offers hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping!
Now is the best time to start planning your southern summer road trip. Planning ahead could help you take advantage of hotel deals, as well as organize your work schedule ahead of time. You’ll also have time to review your car insurance coverage and prepare an emergency roadside kit.
To track your miles driven and general driving behaviors, try the DirectDrive App. With every drive that you log, you’ll better understand your driving habits and can immediately start improving them. Talk about a safer road trip! What’s more, you can compete with other drivers in your area and share your drives across Facebook and Twitter. Download the DirectDrive App today and give it a try!