Readers’ Choice: Favorite Scenic Southern Roadways

G&G readers share the picturesque paths they take over the river and through the woods, and maybe even to grandmother’s house

photo: Jody Burtner

Views from the Blue Ridge Parkway, courtesy of reader Jody Burtner.

In a recent Talk of the South newsletter, we asked readers, What’s your favorite stretch of Southern road to drive? Here are a few of the many responses:

Old Frankfort Pike in Woodford County, Kentucky, is horse country at its finest. Tall trees, stone fences, and acres of bluegrass dotted with old homes lovingly looked after. —Patty P.

From Savannah, Georgia, to Beaufort, South Carolina, along Highway 17 North and SC-170 East. Start around 6 p.m. on a steamy summer night, with all windows down. Take in the Spanish moss, the salty-tangy air, the pink and ruby light of the summer sky, the warm waves of heat, and bridges crossing over many marshes. Simply sublime. —LeeAnn D.

North Carolina Highway 12 connecting Hatteras Island to Corolla. It’s quite beautiful with the sound on one side and the dunes and ocean on the other…almost otherworldly. —Debbie H.

The Natchez Trace Parkway with its scenic winding roads, lack of traffic and billboards, and historical stops every couple of miles. Whether you are finishing your trip from Natchez or starting in Nashville, stopping for a plate full of biscuits at the Loveless Cafe is a must. —Jeff F.

It used to be U.S. 441, taking the back way to Athens after playing Florida at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville. This little two-lane road would have a convoy of cars running like a pack of animals being chased by lions so no one ever was pulled over unless someone, like a weak wildebeest, got separated from the pack. —Lance M.

The Blue Ridge Parkway from Balsam, North Carolina, to Cherokee, North Carolina. —Jody B.

photo: Jody Burtner

Tennessee State Route 82 from Lynchburg, Tennessee, to Shelbyville, Tennessee. It is sixteen miles of farmland, with gorgeous views of hills and curves. You’ll motor through Flat Creek about halfway. I swear you will want to move here. —Lynne T.

Virginia’s picturesque State Route 5 winds through historic countryside, tracing the meandering path of the James River from Richmond to Williamsburg. —Nic B.

U.S. Highway 1 from Key Largo to Key West, with Florida 30A from Rosemary Beach to Santa Rosa Beach coming in a close second—driving in a vintage convertible with shag-worthy beach music playing from an eight-track tape deck. —Don O.

Bohicket Road on Johns Island, South Carolina. Prior to Hurricane Hugo, the road was (seemingly) five to ten degrees cooler because of the canopy of live oak trees. Nearly twenty-five years later, it’s almost back to normal. —Tom M.

The Overseas Highway from Homestead, Florida, to the end of the road on Whitehead Street in Key West. You get to see everything—traffic congestion, the Atlantic and Gulf at the same time, good beaches, tourist trap shops, beach bars, modern resorts, Old Florida mom-and-pop motels, and fantastic seafood. —Frank P.

We love our beach road: I-90 along the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast. —Dee F.

The tropical, 6½ mile canopy road from Englewood, Florida, to Manasota Key is sublime and subdued. Sea grape, palm, and oak trees open up to Gulf vistas and glimpses of Lemon Bay. A hint of Florida’s past. —Jere B.

Early morning on South Carolina Highway 174 as you arrive on Edisto Island and begin the journey through the magnificent canopy of live oaks and Spanish moss en route to the Atlantic. —Michael B.

photo: Jody Burtner

U.S. Route 250 West to Highland County, Virginia. It’s an absolutely beautiful two-lane road winding through the mountains. The view from the top of Shenandoah Mountain is amazing. —Kathleen M.

Highway 30A between Sandestin and Seaside. —Vickey M.

Georgia-Florida Parkway (Georgia 300) from Cordele to the Florida line past Thomasville. We love this drive to see family in Florida. We stop at Striplings for road snacks and enjoy the slower pace and all of the pecan groves and live oaks. It’s the best part of the trip from Atlanta. —Gretchen H.

U.S. 331 in Alabama from Luverne to Opp means we’re getting close to the beach, so it’s time to pick up some boiled peanuts and fresh peaches.  —Rob S.

I love State Route 17 that runs south toward East Coast beaches. The route takes one through small towns that feature roadside stands, beautiful scenery, and a slower way of life. —Vicki K.

U.S. 98 from Fairhope, Alabama to Alligator Point, Florida —Virgil J.

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