BAR Photography

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

George Washington Memorial Parkway, Maryland and Virginia

3 of 23

The Route: 25 miles.

This green parkway reveals one floral show after another—591 wildflower species, from large-flowered valerians to Virginia bluebells—as you drive from the Great Falls of the Potomac through D.C. and south to Mount Vernon. The most famous are the cherry trees that bloom around the Tidal Basin in D.C.

Where to Stop: Hike the many trails that crisscross the 700-acre Turkey Run Park (just seven miles north of D.C.), which is carpeted in bluebells come late April.

America's Best Spring Drives

George Washington Memorial Parkway, Maryland and Virginia

The Route: 25 miles.

This green parkway reveals one floral show after another—591 wildflower species, from large-flowered valerians to Virginia bluebells—as you drive from the Great Falls of the Potomac through D.C. and south to Mount Vernon. The most famous are the cherry trees that bloom around the Tidal Basin in D.C.

Where to Stop: Hike the many trails that crisscross the 700-acre Turkey Run Park (just seven miles north of D.C.), which is carpeted in bluebells come late April.

BAR Photography

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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