Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina
It's not possible to write about the best drives in the country and not include the Blue Ridge Parkway, or what some refer to as "America's Favorite Drive." Following the Appalachian mountain chain, the drive covers 469 miles and starts in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and ends in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. During the fall, the area's 100 different species of trees set the mountains ablaze in autumn's rich colors.
Not to be missed: The Mabry Mill, where guests can see craft demonstrations including apple-butter making on Sundays in October. For those traveling longer than a day trip, fall foliage vacation packages are available.
Before you go, check to see when the colors are at peak.
(Photo: iStockphoto/John Upchurch)