Exploring 11 Epic Motorcycle Routes in America

Freedom, adventure, and the open road have always been at the heart of the American Dream, and what better way to experience it than from the saddle of a motorcycle? There’s a sense of thrill and discovery that comes with traversing the nation’s highways and byways on two wheels, and the United States, with its diverse landscapes and epic scenic routes, provides the perfect playground for motorcycle enthusiasts.

Pacific Coast Highway, California

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The Pacific Coast Highway, also known as California State Route 1, offers an unparalleled blend of natural beauty and smooth, winding roads. It runs along most of the coastline of California, providing breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Notable stops along this 655-mile route include the redwood forests, Big Sur, and the coastal city of Monterey. This route is famed for its sunsets over the Pacific, making for a truly magical ride.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

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Winding through the Appalachian Highlands, the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most scenic routes in the eastern United States. The Parkway connects Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering diverse wildlife, stunning foliage, and over 200 overlooks. At 469 miles long, it boasts long sweeping bends and high peaks, making it an exhilarating ride for any biker.

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

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This 50-mile stretch through Glacier National Park is one of the most picturesque routes in America. The road crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass and offers stunning views of glaciated peaks, waterfalls, and vast wildflower meadows. Due to its high elevation and heavy snowfall, the road is only open seasonally.

Tail of the Dragon, North Carolina and Tennessee

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As one of the most famous routes for motorcycle enthusiasts, the Tail of the Dragon offers 318 curves in just 11 miles. The road, part of U.S. Route 129, winds through the scenic Great Smoky Mountains and near the Cherokee National Forest, providing an adrenaline-pumping ride and captivating natural beauty.

Route 66, Illinois to California

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No list would be complete without the iconic Route 66. Known as the Main Street of America, this legendary highway runs from Chicago to Santa Monica. Though it’s no longer an official U.S. Highway, much of the original route and its historic landmarks, such as the Cadillac Ranch in Texas, still exist today.

Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming

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Regarded as one of the most beautiful drives in the U.S., the Beartooth Highway offers breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and expansive forests. The 68-mile route, which climbs up to nearly 11,000 feet, is only open from May to October due to severe weather conditions.

Highway 101, Oregon

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Highway 101 hugs the coastline of Oregon, offering breathtaking views of rugged cliffs, lighthouses, and sand dunes. It includes the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and crosses numerous historic bridges. The varying landscapes make this 363-mile road a mesmerizing journey.

Hana Highway, Hawaii

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The 64.4-mile Hana Highway on Maui is renowned for its stunning tropical scenery. It boasts 59 bridges, 620 curves, and many waterfalls, offering an exotic and thrilling ride. It’s a slow route, so plan for a full day of lush landscapes, local fruit stands, and incredible views of the Pacific.

San Juan Skyway, Colorado

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Another Colorado gem, the San Juan Skyway is a 233-mile loop that offers diverse landscapes from the mountain town of Durango to the red rock desert of Dolores. The “Million Dollar Highway” section between Silverton and Ouray provides panoramic views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains.

Overseas Highway, Florida

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Part of U.S. Route 1, the Overseas Highway, connects Miami with Key West. The 113-mile route takes riders over 42 bridges, including the Seven Mile Bridge, which provides expansive views of the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico. The turquoise waters and tropical vibe make it a truly unique ride.

Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi to Tennessee

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The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile drive through exceptional scenery and 10,000 years of North American history. Used by Native Americans and early settlers, the Parkway takes riders from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. With no commercial traffic and a speed limit of 50 mph, it offers a relaxed and enjoyable ride through deep forests, blooming wildflowers, and significant historical sites.

This article originally appeared on MyCarMakesNoise.

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Author: Dave Johnston

Dave is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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