Think “interstate highway” and you’re likely to think “ hours of monotony punctuated by the occasional Stuckey’s.” But America’s ribbons of open road tie together some truly dazzling roadside scenery. Here are seven stunning drives that don’t require you to risk life and limb on hairpin turns.
It’s the waterfalls that give this length of interstate its appeal. As the Columbia River carved through the region, a high cliff formed on its southern wall, resulting in 28 scenic cascades, most just a short walk from the highway.
Things to Do Along the Way
Meet a dead end
Rising like a ship out of the river 11 miles west of The Dalles, Memaloose Island was called Sepulchar Island by explorers Lewis and Clark because of its Native American burial grounds.
At 611 feet, Multnomah Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the United States. It’s just a few feet off the highway, at a pullout about 31 miles east of Portland. Get there early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Stretch Your Legs at: Exit 25
If you dare: Rooster Rock State Park has a public clothing-optional beach. — Photo by Purestock/Getty Images