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.
This 80-mile shot through Big Cypress Swamp is called Alligator Alley: Gators loll in the canals beside the road (and sometimes on its shoulder). But the superstars of the wild around here are the endangered Florida panthers. Just 100 to 160 roam free, according to Defenders of Wildlife.
Things to Do Along the Way
Hit the boards
The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, just northeast of Naples (15 miles east of Exit 111), features a 2.25-mile boardwalk. Keep an eye out for the occasional bald eagle.
Skip the beach
The road stops short of Fort Lauderdale at Weston (Exit 15), where among the cookie-cutter homes, at Peace Mound Park (1300 Three Villages Road), there’s an 800-year-old Native American burial mound.
Stretch Your Legs at: Mile Marker 63
In the heart of Big Cypress National Preserve, pull over to picnic along the Florida National Scenic Trail. Note: If a gator snaps at your sandwich, we have no good advice. — Photo by Robert Baldwin