Looking for a beautiful winter road trip? Every state has some spectacular routes to travel, no matter the season. Whether it’s a trip to a winter wonderland, tourist destination in the off-season, or somewhere close to home — here are five of the most scenic winter drives in the country.
Arches National Park Scenic Drive, Utah
The Utah wilderness may not be the first place that comes to mind when planning a winter road trip … but Arches National Park is a spot you won’t forget. Compared to the touristy summer months, you can see the striking views without crowds. Lodging and dining are easier as well, and you won’t miss the stifling heat! Then top it all off with the 36-mile Arches National Park Scenic Drive to check out the iconic Delicate Arch.
Brown Driving Route, Indiana
Western Indiana’s Parke County is home to some spectacular historic covered bridges. Some were built in the 1800s and are still in use today! Come winter, the stark contrast of the red structures against the white snow and bare trees is a must-see. You can’t go wrong with any of several driving routes in the Covered Bridge Capital of the world. Check out the Brown Driving Route for a 24-mile-loop which crosses four of these covered bridges.
Old King’s Highway, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Tourists may flock to the Cape for summer vacation. But after Labor Day it clears out and makes for a perfect wintry road trip. Start “mid-Cape” in Hyannis and drive 50 miles along Old King’s Highway (Massachusetts State Highway 6A) to Provincetown. Though some places do close down during the winter months, there are still plenty of stops along the way. Shop for antiques, explore a lighthouse, or gobble up a lobster roll lunch.
Farm Heritage Road, West Virginia
If you find yourself in West Virginia this winter, treat yourself to a road trip on one of America’s Scenic Byways: Farm Heritage Road. This 60-mile route takes you through historic farms, buildings, and Appalachian communities that have been there since the late 1700s. Don’t miss the Old Rehoboth Church, built in 1786 and thought to be the oldest church west of the Allegheny Mountains.
Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway, Highway 395, California
Skirting the Eastern Sierra mountains, Highway 395 offers dazzling views in any direction. Start in Lee Vining, a quaint town considered to be the eastern gateway to Yosemite National Park. But rather than driving into the park, head northwest. Take a 30-mile detour off 395 and check out the ghost town of Bodie — it’s worth the trip. Once back on Highway 395, keep going into Bridgeport proper. Take a walking tour, soak in the Travertine Hot Springs, even plan a backcountry ski or Snowcat adventure! Bonus: if you happen to visit in early-December, stay up late to watch the Geminid meteor shower.
No matter where you’re driving, make sure you’re staying safe on the roads. Grab a co-pilot, buckle up, and enjoy!