1. Cades Cove – Great Smoky Mountains National ParkCades Cove is one of the most popular areas within the nation’s most-visited national park. This 11-mile loop is a lovely spot to view fall colors and see some of the park’s abundant wildlife, from bears to foxes to wild turkeys. Visitors can spend the better part of a day exploring the area’s historic structures and quietly strolling along trails and abandoned roads. It’s also an ideal choice for those who prefer to enjoy the postcard-perfect scenery by bicycle.
2. Summit Road to Cadillac Mountain – Acadia National ParkThe 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain is the highest point along the Atlantic Coast and one of the first places in the country where you can see the sunrise. The short but scenic Summit Road twists for 3.5 miles up the mountain with observation points along the way; the panoramic views at the top are one of the main attractions at the park. Keep in mind that the road is closed from December through April.
3. Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
This stunning 7.5-mile drive is named after a local lumberjack who loved the view from the bluffs so much that he helped build a road through the difficult terrain in the 1960’s so others could enjoy it, too. You can enjoy overlooks of several lakes, including a gorgeous vantage point over Lake Michigan. Explore one of the many forests full of sugar maple and beech trees, with plenty of spots along the way to enjoy a picnic, take a walk, or just linger in the sunshine.