The sun glints on the horizon. The temperature is perfect. What do you do? Hop in your convertible and drive! As you cruise on the open road, the wind whips through your hair – could there be a more exhilarating experience? Yes, if you take that drive on any of these amazing scenic drives in the U.S.
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Hawaii’s Big Island
With the variety of landscapes on the Big Island, this part of Hawaii makes for some cool road tripping. This land that Kamehameha the Great conquered is considered by many to be the “first Hawaii.”
Beginning in Kailua-Kona, stop by the home of the first Christian church. The Mokuaikaua Church, rebuilt in 1837, is constructed of crushed coral and lava rock. Then travel from Kailua-Kona drive on the Palani Road to the reconstructed stone structures of Ahuena Heiau, the site of Kamehameha’s former headquarters.
Hawaii is known for Kona coffee, too, and you can learn about the history of coffee production at the Kona Coffee Living History Museum as you drive south on this scenic two-lane road in coffee country.
Get back to the natural beauty of the Big Island with a pair of stops in lava and volcano country. With a stop at the Punalu’u Bake Shop, drive on to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for majestic views.
California’s Pacific Coast Highway
The entire drive along the Pacific Coast Highway takes about five hours, give or take time for stops to survey the scenery.
The route is one of the most scenic and ideal highways for driving. Imagine yourself with the top down driving from Route 1 through to Highway 101, following the varying coastline from the beaches of southern California to the Pacific northwest.
Along the way, you may want to slow down long enough to visit San Simeon’s Hearst Castle, where you can experience breathtaking views from La Cuesta Encantada.
Italy’s Stelvio Pass
To describe this road as twisting and turning would be an understatement. Italy’s Stelvio Pass, located in Italy’s Eastern Alps, starts at Valtellina and ends at Merano. As the second highest mountain road in the Alps, the altitude of the road is around 1.7 miles above sea level.
Known for its extreme driving conditions, Stelvio Pass has 48 hairpin turns. With a mixture of narrow sections and extremely steep elevations, you’d better wear your seat belt and hang on to your hat as you cruise this highway.
The road is renowned for its degree of difficulty and the challenge it presents for drivers. Though the road is a white knuckle experience, the mountain vistas are spectacular.
Montana’s Going-to-the-Sun Road
The Pacific Coast Highway is a stark contrast to the 52-mile drive through Glacier National Park.
Open only from early June through mid-October, the Going-to-the-Sun Road’s name reflects its route, heading higher and higher into the mountains, toward the sun.
Be sure to slow down long enough to enjoy the view. The Going-to-the-Sun Road has many viewing spots, including 6,646-foot-high Logan Pass, and Jackson Glacier Overlook. If you have time to spare, you’ll find a place to rest yourself and your convertible at the many lodges and campgrounds along the route.
Alaska’s Seward Highway
Journey to the far north, and experience roads devoid of billboards, toll booths, or other signs of mankind. Seward Highway is on the Cook Inlet in south central Alaska. Begin in Anchorage and travel south to Seward.
You will miss the stunning vistas of the Seward Highway if you put the top up on your convertible, so grab a jacket and enjoy the ride. Avoid driving in the winter months, though, as avalanches are common.
Along Seward Highway, you’ll observe gorgeous vistas dotted with wildlife. Moose, bears, and goats are common sights as you travel the byway.
Don’t miss these once-in-a-lifetime drives. Grab a map, pack the convertible with a picnic basket, and drive on!