Courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Views out the car window look brightest in spring, when the landscape bursts with wildflowers. See for yourself on America’s best spring drives.

Crowley’s Ridge Parkway, Arkansas and Missouri

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The Route: 198 miles.

April brings flowering dogwoods, redbuds, and daffodils to this parkway that cuts through northeast Arkansas and extends up into Missouri. As an erosional remnant of the last glaciation, Crowley’s Ridge is one of North America’s most unique landforms and supports a number of rare species, from netted chain fern to black chokeberry. It’s also convenient for detouring into protected nature reserves like the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests.

Where to Stop: Civil War buffs can appreciate the sesquicentennial at Chalk Bluff Battlefield Park, the site of a major battle where Confederate forces claimed tactical victory.

America's Best Spring Drives

Crowley’s Ridge Parkway, Arkansas and Missouri

The Route: 198 miles.

April brings flowering dogwoods, redbuds, and daffodils to this parkway that cuts through northeast Arkansas and extends up into Missouri. As an erosional remnant of the last glaciation, Crowley’s Ridge is one of North America’s most unique landforms and supports a number of rare species, from netted chain fern to black chokeberry. It’s also convenient for detouring into protected nature reserves like the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests.

Where to Stop: Civil War buffs can appreciate the sesquicentennial at Chalk Bluff Battlefield Park, the site of a major battle where Confederate forces claimed tactical victory.

Courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

America's Best Spring Drives

Remember when Dorothy dozes off among scarlet poppies in The Wizard of Oz? Well, those vivid flowers weren’t just a figment of Hollywood magic. Similar poppies set California’s Antelope Valley ablaze in spring, luring road-trippers from L.A. and beyond.

The arrival of spring inspires us to break out from winter’s hibernation and embrace the fresh outdoors. A road trip naturally satisfies that spontaneous travel urge, and we’ve mapped America’s best spring drives—routes that bring you up-close to nature’s finest floral displays, from a California poppy tour to Texas Hill Country’s bluebonnets.

Of course, flowers in bloom aren’t the only draw for these American road trips, many of which meander by woodlands, lakes, small quaint towns, even historic mansions and museums. Consider Colorado’s 232-mile San Juan Skyway, which takes visitors up melting snowcapped mountains, past natural hot springs, and through restored ghost towns. It’s an officially designated American Byway, one of nine we’ve featured, among them, Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway in South Carolina.

Road trips are an American pastime, and you don’t need to travel far to enjoy some of spring’s loveliest drives—these routes start at 25 miles—and free smartphone apps like GasBuddy can point you to the cheapest nearby fuel options. Some of T+L’s other favorite gas-saving tips include: pack light (less weight in your vehicle means better gas mileage); charge it (many credit cards give cash back on gas purchases); and drive steady (conserve fuel by going easy on the pedals).

No matter what route you travel and no matter how many detours you take, spring into action this season by road-tripping through America’s most awe-inspiring floral landscapes.

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