2. Blue Ridge Parkway — North Carolina and Virginia
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The National Scenic Byways Program recognizes 150 drives. A special minority are designated “All-American Roads.” That makes All-American Roads “the very best” of the roadways in the National Scenic Byways Program, says the nonprofit organization Scenic America.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one such road. Travel its 469 miles in autumn and you’ll be treated to far more than turning leaves, says the Federal Highway Administration:
“The Parkway provides spectacular mountain and valley vistas, quiet pastoral scenes, sparkling waterfalls and colorful flower and foliage displays as it extends through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina.”
The drive stretches southwestward from the center of Virginia, passing through the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Virginia and Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. It ends just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
For an extended trip, continue from there. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to 384 miles of roads with a leisurely average speed limit of 35 mph.