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America's best short distance road trips

Here are eight amazing shorter road trips that showcase some of the best scenery and wide-open spaces that the US has to offer.

 

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Las Vegas to Idaho

The stark landscape of the northern Mojave, quiet ranch towns, the scented scrub and snowy peaks of the Great Basin, the impressive Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls.

Courtesy Fietsbel via Wiki Commons

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Maine Way Up North

Long ago superseded by more direct and efficient roads, this section of Maine asphalt is almost an afterthought, particularly if you stick to U.S. 1A, which bypasses the largest population center along the way, Presque Isle.

Maine Office of Tourism

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Old South to New South

On a typical day along the Natchez Trace Parkway, you'll barely encounter a soul. Just thick forests, open fields and, in spring, plenty of blossoming things.

National Park Service/Marc Muench

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River to River in the Northwest

Hop on U.S. 12 at the Columbia River, where it hooks a left up and away from the state line with Oregon; the highway winds through farmlands and vineyards and into the appealing city of Walla Walla, still connected to the outside world only by two-lane highways.

Idaho Transportation Department

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The River Road in West Texas

Running almost entirely through state park lands in the Big Bend region of West Texas, this winding and scenic road follows a particularly pretty stretch of the Rio Grande, marking a particularly empty – and largely unguarded, let alone marked – stretch of the United States-Mexico border.

Reuters

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West of the Divide in the Dakotas

Too many people approach The Dakotas from east or west, treating it as something to get through on their way to elsewhere. Stick around and explore the remote western side of both North and South with a route that leads you through some of the most appealing scenery between the Appalachians and the Rockies.

South Dakota Department of Tourism

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The Other New York

Lake Ontario Parkway, stands today, largely empty at any given time, a wide open pathway that's unbeatable on a sunny summer day as a way to experience the mellow beauty – forests, meadows, orchards and vineyards – of the part of New York that belongs to the Great Lakes region.

Courtesy Aip3745 via Wiki Commons

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Leaving San Diego

Southern California has a reputation for sprawl, but if you head just ten miles east on Highway 94 out of downtown San Diego, the suburbs quickly give way to splendid scenery, rugged peaks, green valleys and tiny towns that show no sign of being aware that we're in the 21st century now.

 

iStock

America's best short distance road trips

Here are eight amazing shorter road trips that showcase some of the best scenery and wide-open spaces that the US has to offer.

 

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