America’s Scenic Byways — California

The “National Scenic Byway” program in the US is designed to highlight the nation’s roads which have special significance for historical and/or aesthetic reasons. At this time there are 150 roads in 46 of the 50 states which have earned this designation. Take a tour with me of some of America’s Scenic Byways and see what they have to offer.

The state of California boasts a number of roads which have been designated America’s Scenic Byways.

Death Valley Scenic Byway — This route comprises  approximately 80 miles of beautiful scenery as it traverses Death Valley National Park.

Zabriskie Point

The road passes through the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at 282 feet below sea level.


Route 1 — Big Sur Coast Highway –– This 72-mile section of the Pacific Coast Highway runs from Hearst Castle to the coastal city of Monterey. There are many interesting stops along the way.

Hearst Castle

Be sure to spend some time at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for one of the loveliest settings in California — McWay Falls spilling into a beautiful cove.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

The town of Carmel-by-the-Sea is adorable and features one of California’s original missions.

Carmel Mission

The terminus of the drive is the vibrant city of Monterey with its many interesting activities including 17-Mile Drive which features the rugged rocky coastline.

Lone Cypress

Route 1 — San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway — This 60-mile stretch of coastal road features the California coast at its best.

California Coast

Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway — This route connects Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park with several of Northern California’s famous volcanoes, such as Lassen Peak.

Lassen Peak

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