Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Top scenic roadways include N.C. 12 on Outer Banks

Country magazine, a leisure travel publication that  specializes in drive vacations in America, released its 2014 list of "The Nation's Best Scenic Roads."

First on the annual top 10 is Outer Banks National Scenic Byway. Besides being pure eye candy, it's also the only highway on the list that's on a seacoast and the only one that's not overly far from civilization.

Here's the road roundup:

1. U.S. 12, Outer Banks National Scenic Byway. It begins in Nags Head and heads south along the Outer Banks to Ocracoke Island (shown above) and continues via ferry to Cedar Island. ( It also includes a ferry ride between Hatteras and Ocracoke islands).

2. Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway. It's U.S. 395 and follows the mountain range and deserts in eastern California from Topaz Lake, near the Nevada border, south to the China Lake area east of Bakersfield, Calif.

3. Monument Valley Scenic Drive. The Monument Valley area, in northeast Arizona and southeast Utah, is where westerns have been filmed for many decades.

4. Mount Hood Scenic Byway. It's the rugged northern edge of Oregon.

5. Kancamagus Scenic Byway. It's cut through the White Mountain National Forest, in New Hampshire.

6. Mich. 41, Keweenaw Peninsula. It's the rugged northern spur of Upper Michigan and extends into Lake Superior.

7. U.S. 195: "Heart of the Palouse." You'll find U.S. 195 on the eastern edge of Washington State, from Spokane south to the Snake River area.

8. Mount Evans ScenicByway. The "Road into the Sky" is the Colorado mountains.

 9. Grand Teton Loop. Another high-ground drive. This one's in Grand Teton National Park, south of Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming.

10. Badlands Loop Road. It goes through part of Badlands National Park, in South Dakota.

Looking for more ideas? Check the website for My Scenic Drives.