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7 drives across USA to see fall foliage   Travel by Car/Bus/Trains

Started Sep-25 by Feisty Old Broad Shorty (TOILETHEA1); 109 views.

7 scenic drives across the United States for your fall foliage fix

(CNN) — The United States is a car-obsessed nation, and a road trip feels like a natural right to many.
With gas prices slipping from their dizzying early summer heights and other folks wary of taking their chances with the air travel system, the fall road trip possibilities look pretty darn good this year.
In no particular order, here are seven fantastic scenic drives scattered around the continental United States where you can enjoy autumn color and more. Some are well-known; others are a bit under the radar.

Blue Ridge Parkway: Virginia and North Carolina

This sumptuous, curving road threads its way through the Blue Ridge Mountains. It starts in Virginia and continues southwest into North Carolina, and the total length is 469 miles (755 kilometers).
• It's free to use and open 24 hours a day unless portions are closed by things such as weather or landslides.
• It's free of all commercial clutter -- no billboards and businesses in sight. Just cars, the road and nature.
• You don't have to tackle the whole thing unless you want a really big trip; just carve out a portion and drive that.
In Virginia, the automotive and travel club AAA suggests that you pull off and enjoy Mabry Mill at milepost 176, where Ed Mabry and his wife, Lizzy, ground corn and sawed lumber for three decades. Also check out the Blue Ridge Music Center at milepost 213.
In North Carolina, see what life was like for the Cherokee at Oconaluftee Indian Village at milepost 469.1 or explore the tallest peak east of the Mississippi at Mount Mitchell State Park.

Peak to Peak Scenic Byway: Colorado

For eye-poppin' and ear-poppin' scenery, it's hard to go wrong in the high altitudes of the Centennial State. It has 26 scenic byways, and half of those have national designation.
Still, you can only take one at a time. Why not start with Peak to Peak Scenic Byway? Its 55 miles (89 kilometers) of roadway showcases memorable views of the Continental Divide, and it's all less than an hour from urban hubs Denver or Boulder.
And you might end up spending more time out of your vehicle than in it at a string of natural sites along the way:
• Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests: See an enticing mix of woodlands and grasslands.
• Rocky Mountain National Park: Take in meadows, lakes and more on 300 miles of hiking trails -- and maybe spot a moose or bear at a distance.
• Golden Gate Canyon State Park: State parks can often make a good alternative when national parks are too crowded.