With summer vacation still here for many families and fall fast approaching, the next few months are the perfect time to take a drive through many of the Southeast’s iconic byways. Those looking for the best scenic drives in the Southeast U.S. have many options to choose from too, but a few stand out in particular.
The Blue Ridge Parkway
Winding around the tops of the Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina and continuing its way up through the Virginia Appalachians, the Blue Ridge Parkway is part highway, part national park. Don’t expect to go too fast on this road, but you would not want to either, given all the scenic beauty and captivating views it offers.
You can start your trip in Cherokee, North Carolina and continue as far north as you please. Be sure to make plenty of stops along the way, including a visit to the Craggy Gardens mountaintop and the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC. There are also plenty of hidden gems dotting the route worth exploring.
I-95 to St. Augustine
Savannah, GA and St. Augustine, FL are two places that mix fun-in-the-sun with Old World charm and plenty of family-friendly activities. Those in the Atlanta area can take the more scenic route by riding I-20 through the towns of Madison, Greensboro, Crawfordville and others for a healthy dose of Georgia history and a sample of small-town life. Once you reach Savannah — and stop for a delicious meal! — you can ride the beautiful Georgia coastline along I-95 until you reach the Jacksonville beaches area and St. Augustine.
South Carolina Highway 174
Nothing captures the romantic beauty of the classic South like a drive across South Carolina’s historic coastline. SC Hwy 174 can be accessed just a stone’s throw from Charleston, one of the most culture-rich cities to visit in the South. The route is lined with Spanish moss-draped trees and leads to Edisto Island, a nearly untouched landscape filled with beauty, wild horses and an incredible sense of peace.
Natchez Trace Parkway
This old route out of Nashville, TN preserves the character of U.S. rural highways before the interstate era. Access is restricted, and you can go many miles without passing a single exit. Billboards and other forms of advertising are also forbidden, so there will be few cars and nothing else standing between you and nature.
The full route travels all the way to Natchez, Mississippi, but even just a short stretch is worth the peaceful experience.
Unicoi Turnpike From Helen to Brasstown Bald
Helen is an oasis in the Georgia mountains that can allow you to mix nature-rich experiences with the fun of German cuisine and beer.
Save the suds for after your trip north along the Unicoi Turnpike, though, because this road is characterized by a meandering path through mountain passes, including a mind-blowing switchback. Small cars with great handling are perfect for this road, which takes you to Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia, before bringing you back to the comfort of German beer and bratwurst.
Come See AMP Along One of the Best Scenic Drives in the Southeast on Georgia Route 9 Through Dawsonville, Dahlonega
Another great trek through the Georgia mountains will have you feeling like the only soul on the road for many long stretches. Start in Cumming, then explore Silver City, Dawsonville and Dahlonega for an adventure in nature and among the many quaint shops, bed and breakfasts and historic attractions you will find.
In Dawsonville, make sure to stop at Atlanta Motorsports Park for the most exciting, unrestrained drive of your life. We offer an open road course and car track that is perfect for pushing your vehicle — and your driving skills — to the absolute limit. We also have an outdoor kart track that offers you and your companions a smile-inducing romp that has more elevation changes than any kart track on Earth.
Book your driving session today and fill up your calendar this summer with scenic drives both on the course and off the beaten path to discover a host of new, incredible experiences.