Spring on the Road

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Enjoy some scenic roads

Road trips have been part of popular culture for decades. Featured prominently in movies and books such as "On the Road," "Rain Man" and "Easy Rider," road trips with friends or family tend to leave indelible marks.

Remarkable road trips are made more so by the company shared along the way and the scenic and historical roadways traversed to reach a destination. Travelers embarking on road trips in Canada or the United States should consider including some of the following roadways in their travel plans.

• Haines Highway: If your adventures take you through Alaska, there is plenty of legendary scenery to take in. The backdrop along the Haines Highway is sensational, but this stretch of roadway also offers views of the largest congregations of bald eagles in the world. It has been dubbed "The Valley of the Eagles."

• Route 66: Now known as "Historic Route 66," this famed road stretches from Los Angeles to Chicago, cutting a path through a vast portion of America's heartland. Some say driving along 66 is an adventure in American history and that the road embodies the best of the United States.

• Pacific Coast Highway: While not the fastest way to travel, this winding road that hugs the California coast owes its popularity to stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. It's difficult to avoid being swept up by the breathtaking views of rock formations, waves and cliffs.

• Highway 99: Referred to as the Sea to the Sky Highway, this roadway in British Columbia begins outside of Vancouver and rises up into the mountains. This road trip is full of various climate zones, mountains, lakes and rivers. The 700-meter rock face of "The Chief" also is a popular draw.

• Columbia River Highway: The first paved road in the northwestern United States, Columbia River Highway also is the first scenic highway in America. It is renowned for being a portion of the original Oregon Trail, and its 70 miles offers spectacular views year-round.

• Overseas Highway: This impressive roadway extends more than 100 miles from Key Largo to Key West, Florida, linking all of the islands that comprise the Florida Keys. The Overseas Highway includes a seven-mile bridge across the water.

• Highway 12: This route in Utah offers impressive views of natural features. Attractions include the Bryce Canyon, Red Canyon and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

• Loess Hills Trail: Loesses, which are hills formed from silt, give land alongside this trail in Iowa interesting topography and varied flora. Fall foliage here has been formally qualified as a National Natural Landmark.

• Highways 44 and 240: These routes in South Dakota take travelers through the area known as the Badlands, giving adventurers a glimpse of the American West. Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial are other attractions to take in while in the area.

North America is filled with many scenic roadways perfect for road trips, which remain one of the best ways to explore and experience the United States and Canada.