Traveling The Scenic Route over the past year has been, quite literally, a long road. As part of our twelve-month celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the National Scenic Byways program, we’ve brought you stories of some of the longest of these extraordinary routes, from the 584-mile Pacific Coast Scenic Byway to the 717-mile Louisiana section of the Great River Road.
In looking through the National Scenic Byways program’s website in search of our next destination the other day, though, it occurred to me that there was something I’d overlooked mentioning these past few months. Namely the many short byways on the list, most of which you could travel in less time than you spent reading the latest issue of Trailer Life magazine.
As an attempt to make amends, here’s a list of some of my favorite short scenic byways. While each is less than 30 miles, they all make up for their lack of length with the long-lasting memories they have to offer:
Las Vegas Boulevard Scenic Byway — 3.4 miles
Of all the ridiculously over-the-top spectacle that is Las Vegas, this short byway is worth seeking out for its historical interest, with everything from a vintage neon museum to a nature preserve to a historic fort dating back to the 1850s.
Edisto Island National Scenic Byway — 17 miles
Experience life in the slow lane on this South Carolina byway that travels through the peaceful salt marshes and farm fields, past produce stands filled with the makings of a leisurely picnic, before depositing you (and your picnic basket) on the sandy shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
Colonial Parkway — 23 miles
This Virginia byway takes you through pivotal moments of the American saga as you travel from historic Jamestown to Colonial Williamsburg and on to the site of the Battle of Yorktown.
Woodward Avenue Automotive Heritage Trail — 27 miles
Pay tribute to the automobile and all the changes it has wrought (think the world’s first traffic light) on Detroit’s Automotive Heritage Trail. While there’s plenty to see and do here year-round, come during August’s Woodward Dream Cruise for a chance to ogle more hot rods and classic cars than you’ve ever seen on one street.