As the leaves really begin to change over the next few weeks, it's going to be a great time for an Illinois road trip to see the foliage on some of the most scenic drives in America.

Most Scenic Drives in the Midwest

No matter where you are in the heart of America, there's beautiful scenery and unique experiences around every corner in the Midwest from the highways to the backroads.

READ MORE: Why Are Leaves in Illinois Changing Earlier Than Ever?

According to Thrillist, here are some of the most scenic drives to take across the Midwest.


In Indiana, the drive along the Barn Quilt Trail will take you through Amish country where there will be lots of farmland, but you'll also experience a "number of spots selling colorful homemade blankets, fresh farm goods, and more."


If you're in Iowa there's a scenic drive that's 144 miles long where you see "high limestone bluffs, dense hardwood forests, and verdant river valleys." The Driftless Area Scenic Byway is located in the northeastern corner of Iowa in "the distinctive landscape of Allamakee and Winneshiek Counties."


There are more than 3,200 miles of shoreline in Michigan and along Lake Superior there's a stretch of road where you discover "40 miles of cliff faces that look like the world's biggest toddler went to town with a paintbrush, resulting in streaks of brilliant color that pop more and more the closer you get."

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has been created from "naturally sculptured into a variety of shallow caves, arches, and formations resembling castle turrets and human profiles."


In this "northern Minnesota wonderland" the drive along Highway 61 / The North Shore is "a rat-a-tat tour of the state’s most stunning sights," according to Thrillist.

Plan to make it a multi-day adventure: You’ll absolutely want to explore the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Grand Marais. Plus, the North Shore is overflowing with great breweries, which all but demand frequent—and overnight—stop-offs to enjoy.


The most scenic drive in the Dairy State is a "250-mile journey that’ll take you past 33 idyllic river-mountain towns, making for one of the best road trips this side of—and literally alongside—the Mississippi."

Great River Road on Wisconsin State Highway 35 will take you "by cideries and wineries, local diners and inns, boats bobbing on steady water, lookout points across calming" and will take you through many villages and small towns.


The most scenic drive in the Land of Lincoln is a journey between the Illinois and the Mississippi River. The Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway is 33 miles long and is only a portion of the Great River Road which is "a route that winds along the Mississippi and traverses 10 states including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and beyond."

CLICK HERE to see the 50 Most Scenic Drives in America

See the Must-Drive Roads in Every State

Gallery Credit: Sarah Jones

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Gallery Credit: Kery Wiginton

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