Most Scenic Drives in America, Pixel Art Style
Whether you’re headed to the West Coast to see the big, blue Pacific, to New England to drift through the fall foliage, or to cruise through the rural Americana of the Midwest, there’s a must-see road along the way.
We brought some of the most scenic drives in America to life in the pixel art style of old arcade racing games (think Out Run).
Ready to go on a road trip across America from the comfort of your seat (or if you’re already ready to hit the road, the seat of a snazzy rental car)? Let’s go…
1. Olympic Peninsula Loop
Washington State’s wonderful circuit drive
With its towering trees and haunting light, you’re in Twin Peaks country when you drive through the diverse landscapes of the Olympic Peninsula. Rainforest, mossy ground, and deep, clear-watered Lake Crescent make for air you can really breathe and offers a glimpse of an America that remained unmapped until the beginning of the 20th century.
2. Historic Columbia Highway
Oregon’s most beautiful road
Driving in Oregon is marvelous. The underground springs of Larch Mountain gather weight and power as they crash towards Multnomah Falls and tumble over the 611-foot waterfall to the verdant woodland below. And you can see it all as you turn off Interstate 84 for a refreshment break at the Lodge. Visit in the fall to take in some of the most vibrant oranges and yellows you’ll find in America’s nature.
Travel tip: You’ll want to rent a car at Portland’s airport if you’re coming from out of town. And if you’re planning on taking a longer road trip, you should definitely explore highway 126 between Bend and Eugene, an quintessential Oregon drive.
3. Big Sur (Pacific Coast Highway)
The ‘Big Country of the South,’ population 1000, alternates between the coastal light of the Pacific Ocean and the creeping shadows of 5,000-foot tall mountains. Highway 1, California’s longest highway, is a winding but highly scenic drive. Wildflowers cling to the earth in the ocean breeze, and you can put your outside life on hold as cell phone reception is calmingly minimal on a vacation to Big Sur.
- Travel tip: The coastal redwoods of the Muir Woods National Monument are a wonderful experience. Why not take a slight detour to observe the deer and chipmunks playing in the forest? (This circuit is definitely one of the best things to do in California.)
4. Million Dollar Highway
Road tripping through Colorado’s natural heritage
The road from Durango to Ouray is part of the 236-mile San Juan Skyway between old mining towns that retain a sense of our pioneering forebears. Hairpin turns and steep drops call for caution on one of America’s best scenic drives. But you can get your kicks riding a jeep over the back roads or trekking the 15,000-foot Mount Sneffels. As Kris Kristofferson sang in Two-Lane Blacktop, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…”
- Travel tip: If you’re flying in from out of town, pick up a rental car in Grand Junction and make your way south, passing through Ouray first. Just remember that if you’re planning on visiting ski-famous Telluride, head west from Ridgway instead.
Arizona’s most magnificent roadway
James Stewart once rode these perilous plains in westerns such as 1950’s Broken Arrow. But today, the cool, panoramic scene of the Sedona to Flagstaff highway is a salve for body and soul. Wildlife, foliage, and epic formations of red rock will give you cause to reflect and reconnect to the great outdoors. And the natural springs of Oak Creek are whispered to have healing properties.
- Travel tip: Park up at the Slide Rock State Park for another kind of journey: a natural, 30-foot-long water slide. This is a refreshing stop to be sure, especially on a sweltering road trip across Arizona.
The most scenic drives in the USA, all in one video
Whether your arcade racing game is Out Run or Road Rash, or you’re just charmed by the pocket-sized beauty of 8-bit pixel art, these animations are sure to have you hankering for the real thing.
Car, truck, motorcycle or scooter–choose your vehicle, maybe bundle it with a hotel, and enjoy. America’s greatest road trips are waiting for you, filled with scenic drives to set you free… Why not go for a spin?
- Cook, J. (2017). Driving the Historic Columbia River Highway. traveloregon.com
- Expedia (2018). Shenandoah National Park. expedia.com
- French, P. (2012). Two-Lane Blacktop. Theguardian.com
- Green, S. (2017). An Insider’s Guide to the Million Dollar Highway. rootsrated.com
- Jensen, J. (2017). Driving Big Sur on the Pacific Coast Highway. roadtripusa.com
- Lerkin (2014). Ryan Gosling (Drive, 2011) A Real Hero. youtube.com
- MyScenicDrives. Olympic Peninsula Loop. myscenicdrives.com
- Schulte, L. (2018). Multnomah Falls. oregon.com
- Schlichting, H. (2016). A Drive to Die For: Highway 89A Sedona to Flagstaff. roadtripsforfamilies.com
- Washington State Department of Enterprises (2018). Tours. des.wa.gov