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Top USA Road Trips

Hit the open road in Alaska, Michigan and Utah with these top scenic drives.

Like the feeling of the open road? Taking a road trip can be a great way to see America and step away from your everyday life. I’ve picked out three particularly awesome road trips. These are driving adventures that combine great scenery with wildlife viewing, history and local culture, so pop in your favorite tunes and get ready to drive with my best US Road Trips.

Top Road Trip #1 Seward Highway, AK

The Seward Highway has been called one of America’s Most Scenic Drives. It stretches from Anchorage to Seward and passes by glacier fed lakes, snow capped mountains and dense evergreen forests. The scenery is truly spectacular, especially in the summer–– prime driving time and when the wild flowers are in full bloom.

Views from Seward Highway.... stunning!

Views from Seward Highway…. stunning!

The road from Seward to Anchorage is 127 miles, so while you could make it in under three hours, I recommend at least a half a day. That way you can travel at your own pace and make stops, perhaps to stretch your legs with a hike or spot wildlife, especially if those gymnastic Seward highway sheep are out scaling the mountainsides.

Top Road Trip #2 Highway 12, Utah

You might want to budget some extra time into your trip to Utah to enjoy a scenic drive. Utah’s a big state with a lot to see. Highway 12 is a must and one of the more scenic roads in the United States.

If you like national parks, you’ll definitely want to add Highway 12 to your road trip bucket list. Spanning more than 120 miles through rugged Southern Utah, this all American road serves up stunning and diverse landscapes, starting at Bryce Canyon National Park. You’ll definitely want to get out of your vehicle here to hike, horseback ride or just photograph Bryce’s striking rock formations, called hoodoos.

Riding to the Queen's Garden in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Riding to the Queen’s Garden in Bryce Canyon National Park.

After winding through red rocks, canyons, and over big Boulder Mountain, your trip ends by Capitol Reef National Park, a land roamed and settled by ancient Native Americans, Mormon pioneers and famous outlaws like Butch Cassidy. This is one cool road trip adventure.

Top Road Trip #3 Shipwreck Coast, MI

My final choice is a road trip from the Northern city of Sault Ste Marie along Michigan’s famed Shipwreck Coast, an 80 mile stretch along Lake Superior with a history of devastating shipwrecks.

Lighthouses are usually in hard to reach locations, which makes this Michigan road trip so special. You can actually drive to lighthouses that are open to the public, and the scenery along the coast is picturesque. Pay your respects to the sailors who’ve perished on the Great Lakes at the Mission Hill Cemetary and then stop at Point Iroquois Lighthouse with its beautiful rocky beach above Whitefish Bay.

Point Iroquois Lighthouse, situated on a beautiful rocky beach above Whitefish Bay

Point Iroquois Lighthouse, situated on a beautiful rocky beach above Whitefish Bay

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

You’ll want to stretch your legs with a hike at Tahquamenon Falls, a state park with 40 miles of hiking trails and the second largest waterfall east of the Mississippi. It’s also home to a pub and microbrewery, where I sampled blueberry beer.

Finally, check out The Whitefish Point Light Station, the oldest active light on Lake Superior. It’s located on one of the most beautiful and bone chilling beaches I’ve ever visited and is the site of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, where you can see the bell from the famed Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank in Lake Superior off Whitefish Point in 1975.

Check out our Michigan Travel Itinerary for more information on what to see and to in the Upper Peninsula and other great trips we recommend.

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Travels with Darley is a travel TV series broadcast on PBS stations and on digital networks, including the AOL On Network. Host Darley Newman of "Equitrekking" fame joins locals to showcase the top food, culture and adventure attractions in the USA and around the globe.

TravelswithDarley.com is the companion site with travel guides, videos and information so viewers can recreate the adventures seen on the series and beyond.

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