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Top 5 Scenic Drives for Campervan Travelers in the US

One of the greatest things about van life? Your house is on wheels! This means you can get up and go whenever you want, wherever you want, and there are some pretty incredible things to see out there. In some cases, you don’t even have to leave your van to see them. Enter scenic drives for campervan travelers.

You see, this amazing country of ours is chock-full of incredible scenic drives, and seeing these amazing stretches of road via campervan is definitely the way to go. Fully outfitted vans are much more comfortable than cars but far more nimble than the average RV. This means you can enjoy the best of both worlds as you cruise down America’s most beautiful roads and take in the amazing sights. 

Not sure which are the best scenic drives for campervans? We hear you; there are lots to choose from. Below are our top 5 picks. Choose from this list, and you really can’t go wrong.  

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Pacific Coast Highway: one of the best scenic drivers for campervan travelers
Image source: Pixabay

Pacific Coast Highway, California

Also known as State Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway runs north and south all along the California coastline. From foggy mornings in San Francisco to sunny days in San Diego, this highway runs right through all kinds of gorgeous places. If you love the ocean, you’re going to love this amazing stretch of road.

Just be aware that there is a lot to do along the Pacific Coast Highway, so you will want to allow plenty of time!

Key Stops and Attractions

Not sure where to stop along the Pacific Coast Highway? As a general rule, try to stop in all the major cities and towns to experience their incredible diversity. Big Sur is also an incredibly important stop!

These are our top picks for places to check out along the route:

One section of the the gorgeous Going-to-the-Sun Road
Image source: Pixabay

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Montana

Located in gorgeous Glacier National Park, the 51-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road is a must-see for all wanderers and nomads out there. This road is absolutely stunning and really must be seen to be fully appreciated. During your drive, you will witness waterfalls, sweeping views, impressive glaciers, and likely some wild animals. 

Note that this road is only open during the summer months, and you will need a reservation to drive it. 

Key Stops and Attractions

Knowing where to stop on this incredible road can be tricky. We recommend stopping any time you see something that catches your eye, but if you prefer to have a game plan going in, consider the following stops:

  • Apgar Visitor Center
  • Lake McDonald
  • McDonald Falls
  • Sacred Dancing Cascades
  • Trail of the Cedars
  • Avalanche Lake Trail
  • The Loop
  • Bird Woman Falls
  • Haystack Falls
  • The Weeping Wall
  • Big Bend
  • Triple Arches
  • Oberlin Bend Overlook
  • Logan Pass Visitor Center
  • Lunch Creek
  • Siyeh Bend
  • Hidden Lake Overlook Trail
  • Jackson Glacier Overlook
  • St. Mary and Virginia Falls
  • Sunrift Gorge
  • Sun Point Nature Trail
  • Wild Goose Island Overlook
  • St. Mary Visitor Center

Need to narrow things down even more? Try to get in at least one visitor center, Lake McDonald, a couple of waterfalls, one hike, and Jackson Glacier Overlook for a well-rounded visit. 

A bend in the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the best scenic drives for campervan travelers
Image source: Pixabay

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

Designated both a National Parkway and an All-American Road, the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway runs through North Carolina and Virginia, linking Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Shenandoah National Park. It is a drive full of incredible scenic beauty that is hard to beat, especially on this side of the country.

This is an ideal drive if you’re looking for mountain views, quaint towns, and plenty of incredible hiking trails. 

Key Stops and Attractions

There are tons of amazing natural areas and adorable little towns scattered along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Below are our top picks for places to stop along the way. Use this list as a starting point when planning your trip:

  • Shenandoah National Park
  • Natural Bridge
  • Apple Orchard Mountain
  • Peaks of Otter
  • Mabry Mill
  • Fancy Gap
  • Blue Ridge Music Center
  • The Blowing Rock
  • Rough Ridge
  • Linville Falls
  • The Orchard at Altapass
  • Little Switzerland
  • Mount Mitchell
  • Craggy Gardens
  • Folk Art Center
  • Chimney Rock State Park
  • Biltmore Estate
  • Sliding Rock
  • Looking Glass Rock Overlook & Skinny Dip Falls
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Yes, this is a long list, but this is also a long stretch of road we’re talking about. If you don’t think you can squeeze it all in, we recommend picking a shorter stretch of road and seeing everything there is to see along that stretch. You can always come back for the rest later!

RV on the Million Dollar Highway
Image source: Unsplash

Million Dollar Highway, Colorado

Another fantastic drive through mountains, Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway is chock-full of…well, million dollar views.

Surprisingly though, that isn’t how this highway got its name. Instead, it was named for its cost, which was reportedly a million dollars a mile. We think it was worth every penny, though, and we think you will as well as you wind your way through the beautiful San Juan Mountains. Yep, this is definitely one of the best scenic drives for campervan travelers.

Key Stops and Attractions

There are fewer places to stop along the Million Dollar Highway than along many of the other scenic highways out there. Still, there are certain spots you won’t want to miss. Try to hit all of the spots listed below in order to get the full experience:

  • Durango
  • Trimble Hot Springs
  • Engineer Mountain
  • Molas Lake
  • Silverton 
  • Idarado Mine
  • Crystal Lake
  • Ouray
Bahia Honda State Park along the Overseas Highway
Image source: Unsplash

Overseas Highway, Florida

Another option for ocean lovers, the Overseas Highway is unique because it literally takes you overseas. This 113-mile stretch runs all the way through the Florida Keys down to Key West. A road trip along this highway is the perfect way to escape the winter cold and enjoy an amazing tropical escape complete with sunshine, beaches, and even iguanas. Actually, we’d say this is one of the best scenic drives for campervan travelers, no matter the weather.

Key Stops and Attractions

Because the Overseas Highway cuts through all of the Florida Keys, there are actually tons of awesome things to do along the way. The stops listed below are the must-dos in our book, but we highly recommend adding some food and drink stops to the list in order to get the most out of your time in the Keys!

  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
  • History of Diving Museum
  • Long Key State Park
  • Curry Hammock State Park
  • Seven Mile Bridge
  • Bahia Honda State Park
  • National Key Deer Refuge
  • Key West – Southernmost Point, Mallory Square,  Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Are You Ready to Hit the Road?

As you can see, there are tons of amazing scenic drives for campervans scattered all across the US. These are our favorites, but really they are just the tip of the iceberg. Why not explore one or two of these drives and then venture off the beaten path to see what other amazing drives you and your van might discover?

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