3. Blue Ridge Parkway, Rockfish Gap, VA to Smokey Mountain National Park, NC
When you talk about American mountain ranges, people's minds immediately drift to the Rockies, but the majestic Appalachians are worth a look as well. The rolling hills and lush greenery of the Blue Ridge Parkway provide a beautiful gateway to the American South. Not only are there calming, lovely views and ample camping, but there are also some amazing tourist traps. You'll never forget rolling into Piegeon Forge, TN outside of the Smokies, a tacky tourist town that looks like a cross between Reno, Nevada and a log cabin. Also, be sure to check out the Dinosaur Kingdom in Natural Bridge, VA, a open-air "museum" dedicated to an alternate history where dinosaurs helped the Confederacy win the Civil War. There's also a Stone Henge replica made of foam, appropriately called "Foam Henge." For equal doses of natural beauty and ridiculous Americana, a trip through the Shenendoahs and the Smokies can't be beat.