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Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips. 

For those of us who love a good scenic drive, we’re in luck. The National Scenic Byways Program recently announced 15 new All-American Roads and 34 National Scenic Byways in the U.S. These are the first additions—each designated by notable qualities like culture, scenery, history, and recreation—to the program since 2009. Don’t worry about which ones to drive first, though. We’ve already done the legwork to highlight 6 of the best new All-American Roads and National Scenic Byways to travel this summer.

RELATED: 9 great road trip apps you need to download now

Cascade Loop: Washington

North Cascades National Park

Drive east to west on the 440-mile Cascade Loop for the most spectacular views. It’ll take you from the Puget Sound to the Columbia River Valley, up over the dramatic North Cascades, down into the fresh produce fields of the Skagit Valley, then back to Puget Sound. Stop in Bavarian-rooted Leavenworth for bratwurst and schnitzel, paddle a kayak on Lake Chelan, go horseback riding near the Wild West town of Winthrop, soak up the turquoise brilliance of Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park, and ride cruisers for “Tea and Tour” at Willowbrook Manor. The last 55 miles send you down dazzling Whidbey Island to a ferry ride back to the mainland.

Find a great hotel near Puget Sound here.

A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway: Florida

St. Augustine, Florida

Whether you drive this 72-mile stretch of All-American two-lane byway along Florida’s East Coast in 90 minutes or a week, that’s up to you. Either way, expect unobstructed ocean views, stunning beaches, nature trails, national monuments, and plenty of coastal charm. You can learn to surf with St. Augustine Surf School, then walk the city’s historic downtown, which dates back to 1565 and is America’s oldest European settlement (take that, Plymouth Rock). The locals have driven on the beach at Crescent Beach Park since the ’50s and so can you. Breakfast and lunch are served up steps from the surf at Java Joint in Palm Coast. Enjoy kayak, canoe, and bike rentals along the boardwalk at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area.

Find a fantastic place to stay in St. Augustine here.

Great River Road National Scenic Byway: Minnesota to Louisiana

The Mississippi River

You can break this byway into sections, or you can cruise the entire length of one of America’s greatest roads in one shot. The Great River Road is an epic 10-state, 3,000-mile journey that follows the Mighty Mississippi from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, passing through hundreds of river towns and one-of-a-kind music, food, and cultural experiences along the way. The pie at Stockholm Pie & General Store in Wisconsin is legendary. Kayak the Wolf River near Memphis. Tap your foot to the blues in Clarksdale, Mississippi. When you reach New Orleans, it’s all about jazz and beignets right on the river’s edge.

Find the perfect place to stay in New Orleans here.

ALSO: Be sure to earn travel roads on your hotel stays—join Orbitz Rewards for free today!

Bold Coast Scenic Byway: Maine

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse

They say the far-flung corner of Eastern Maine’s “salt air and solitude rejuvenate the soul, and people live in rhythm with the shifting of the tides.” The only way to find out for yourself is to cruise the Bold Coast Scenic Byway. It’s only 125 miles long, from Lubec to Milbridge, yet the opportunities linking travelers with the culture, communities, and stunning views seem endless. Sunrise at the red and white candy-striped West Quoddy Head Lighthouse should start your day right. Hike Roque Bluffs State Park for glimpses of Bald Eagles and other wildlife. Robertson Sea Tours offers an offshore adventure cruise. The seafood and pies at Helen’s Restaurant or The Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant in Machias are a must. There’s also plenty of wild blueberry barrens, coastal forests, and active fishing harbors to explore, too.

Find a hotel near Millbridge right here.

Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byway: Colorado

Lake San Cristobal

The 120-mile drive on the Silver Thread, from Gunnison to South Fork, is legendary for its scenery and outdoor activities. You can drive it in 3-4 hours, but like many road trippers, you’ll probably spend a day or two exploring from a basecamp in historic Lake City. If you choose the latter, summit one of 5 nearby “14ers” first, then cool off at San Juan Soda Company. On your way out of town, grab pictures of Lake San Cristobal—the state’s second-largest natural lake—before ascending Slumgullion Pass to reach 11,530 feet. Next, North Clear Creek Falls is a must-see. Once you reach the cool mountain town of Creede, Rio Grande Angler is your go-to fly-fishing outfitter. Keep your eyes peeled for elk and bighorn sheep, as well as golden and Bald Eagles, during your approach to South Fork.

Book your South Fork hotel right here. 

Chesapeake Country National Scenic Byway: Maryland

Chesapeake Bay

Totaling 419 miles, Maryland’s newly anointed Eastern Shore All-American Road, the Chesapeake Country National Scenic Byway, meanders down country roads where pristine waterways, historic waterfront villages, and some of the nation’s best seafood await. Leave Chesapeake City and head south through stunning scenery. Visit Crow Farm Vineyard and Winery in Kennedyville or cruise on to reach Chestertown. Eating at Uncle Charlie’s Bistro is worth the stop alone. Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in Grasonville has prime kayaking and hiking trails. Farther south, go charter fishing on Tilghman Island. Cambridge’s historic downtown has an active arts scene. When you reach Whitehaven, a small rural village, enjoy a ride on the oldest continuously operating ferries in U.S. history. End your journey by relaxing in Crisfield, famous for its serene water trails and local seafood.

Look for Crisfield hotel deals here.

Tagged: Colorado, Florida, Memphis, Midwest, Minnesota, New England

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