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5 Essential Scenic Motorcycle Vacation Destinations
There's nothing quite like going on a motorcycle road trip. It provides an increased sense of excitement, freedom, and adventure that driving in a car never could. The twists and turns of the road, the natural beauty of our country, and the wide-open road are best experienced from a motorcycle. These are five of the best scenic motorcycle vacation spots in the United States.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway will take you through North Carolina and Virginia. The northern section of the road passes through the Virginia countryside and a few Civil War battle sites. As you drive south, you will enter the Great Smoky Mountains. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and the sweeping curves of the road. The best views on this route are found in Asheville, North Carolina. The full ride is 469 miles, so be sure to set aside at least two days for the full ride. If you want to extend your journey, take the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park.
Tail of the Dragon
Yes, this road is as awesome as its name makes it sound. This road is well-known for its adrenaline-pumping twists and has even been featured in TV shows and car commercials. With 318 tight turns in just 11 miles, the legendary U.S. 129 truly lives up to its acclaim. The road is located at Deal’s Gap along the border of North Carolina and Tennessee.
Natchez Trace Parkway
Prior to being built in the 1930s, the Natchez Trace Parkway was a migratory route for buffalo, and later on, Native Americans. This parkway stretches 444 miles through Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. Along the road, you’ll see everything from ghost towns to Civil War battle sites to parts of the original Natchez Trace Indian Trail. Because of its historic, cultural, and scenic charm, this road has been named a National Scenic Byway. When driving passed swamps and farmland, you’ll be glad you didn’t skip this picturesque byway.
Pacific Coast Highway
Though the entire Pacific Coast Highway is beautiful, perhaps the most stunning stretch is the Big Sur section, which goes from Carmel, California to Morro Bay. This 120-mile section of the California coast highway will bring you to see seal covered beaches, crashing waves, tall redwood forests, and enough curves to keep you entertained from start to finish. If you're looking for a longer trip, consider driving the whole Pacific Coast Highway which extends along the west coast from Malibu, CA, up to Oregon, and beyond. When planning your trip, try to avoid weekends in the summer as this is when the road will be most crowded.
Looking for a serious thrill ride? You won’t want to miss the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana. The road itself is only 50 miles long, but with hills, valleys, twists, and turns, you're in for the ride of a lifetime. It goes through Glacier National Park where you’ll be able to see Lake McDonald and drive up the 6,646-foot summit at Logan Pass. This road is remote and only accessible during the summer so be sure to plan accordingly.