You came, you voted, and you chose the 10Best places to go cruising on a motorcycle. The winners in the 'Best Motorcycle Trip' contest category for 10Best Readers' Choice are as follows:
U.S. Highway 101
U.S. Highway 101, also known as the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, takes riders on a grand tour of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, showcasing "the diversity of the region’s ecosystem, from colorful ocean tide pools to a rare temperate rainforest to alpine meadows and ancient forests," says Dale Coyner. It's about 350 miles from Olympia to the Oregon border, at which point the scenic road continues on down the Pacific coast. Photo courtesy of Oksana Perkins/iStock
San Juan Mountain Skyway
The Colorado Rocky Mountains provide a stunning setting for a ride no matter what road you choose, but the 236-mile San Juan Mountain Skyway represents the crème de la crème, "the perfect collection of scenery, turns, and great places to check out along the way," says Bill Belei. This curcular path through Southwestern Colorado takes riders through the mountain towns of Durango, Silverton, Telluride and Ouray, ideal for turning a day trip into a long weekend. Photo courtesy of daveynin
Pacific Coast Highway
Motorcycle expert Bill Belei describes the Pacific Coast Highway as "THE quintessential American road trip," with jaw-dropping Pacific views to one side and the dramatic cliffs of the Central California coast to the other. The 123-mile stretch between Monterey and Morro Bay takes riders through Big Sur and past worthy stops like artistic Carmel-by-the-Sea, Hearst Castle and the must-photograph Bixby Bridge. Photo courtesy of Spondylolithesis/iStock
Three Sisters (Twisted Sisters)
One of the most popular rides in the Texas Hillcountry takes riders along Ranch Roads 335, 336 and 337, better known as the Three Sisters or Twisted Sisters. With scenery that motorcycle travel expert Bill Belei describes as "as good as it gets, along clear rivers, through very twisty mountain type curves amid real Texas Ranches," it's a perfect way to experience Texas at its friendliest and most beautiful. Photo courtesy of Centex Nomad/MotorcycleRoads.com
The Cherohla Skyway, located in western North Carolina and extending into remote Eastern Tennessee, isn't far from its more well known cousin – Tail of the Dragon at Deal's Gap. "Although its twists and turns are not as extreme as Deal’s Gap," explains motorcycle travel expert Bill Belei, "at 45 miles, it’s 4 times as long and therefore preferred by riders who like a longer ride with a less challenging path." Photo courtesy of Dzmitry (Dima) Parul
Blue Ridge Parkway
The iconic Blue Ridge Parkway wanders for 469 miles along the spine of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains, connecting Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina with Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. It's a long one - a destination unto itself - but luckily, it's lined with numerous access points and cool towns, like Asheville, Brevard and Blowing Rock to help break up the trip. "For many riders, a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway is their pinnacle motorcycle ride of their life," says Bill Belei. Photo courtesy of GreenStock/iStock
Tail of the Dragon at Deal's Gap
At only 11 miles, Tail of the Dragon at Deal's Gap is our shortest nominee, but it packs a big punch in terms of fun riding. Those 11 miles of U.S. Highway 129 include a whopping 318 curves as the road hugs the border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, mostly in Tennessee before it dips into North Carolina. Riders who want more can continue on to North Carolina State Route 28, also known as Moonshiner 28, for more twisties and mountain scenery. Photo courtesy of llahbocaj
Starting in the town of Red Lodge, Montana, hair-curling Beartooth Pass - one of the most popular stretches of pavement in the Rocky Mountains among motorcyclists - takes riders on a hair-curling 68-mile journey down into Wyoming and right to the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park. "Steep switchbacks and stunning vistas make it a motorcycling favorite," says our expert Dale Coyner. Photo courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism
Pig Trail Scenic Byway
According to our expert Bill Belei "the northwestern portion of Arkansas is a mother load of fantastic motorcycle roads, and the Pig Trail is at the top of the heap." This 19-mile stretch of Arkansas 23 passes through a curvy tunnel of foliage in the Boston and Ozark Mountains, and the charming Victorian town of Eureka Springs is closeby, with loads of restaurants, shops and accommodations. Photo courtesy of William/MotorcycleRoads.com
Hugging the coast of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, the Cabot Trail offers 187 miles of "stunning mountain and sea vistas, fishing villages and delightfully twisty pavement" says Dale Coyner. Off the bike, the island offers a rich Celtic heritage (complete with foot-tapping tunes) and an excellent series of hiking trails to explore. Photo courtesy of lightphoto/iStock
We'd like to thank our panel of experts, who created the original nominee list: longtime blogger Bill Belei, of MotorcycleRoads.com; author Dale Coyner, who also owns OpenRoadOutfitters.com; and motorcycle journalist and author Basem Wasef. All three gentlemen are avid riders, and we appreciate their help.
Congratulations to all these beautiful areas. The winners comprise a true bucket list for motorcycle owners.
Bill joined the military in 1986 and subsequent frequent moves allowed this motorcycle enthusiasts to explore different parts of the U.S. by bike. Belei quickly discovered, however, that all roads are not equal. Faced with the challenging task of constantly finding the best local motorcycle roads, Bill decided to start MotorcycleRoads.com in 1998, as a way for riders like himself to quickly and easily find quality motorcycle roads in whatever part of the country they happened to live in or be passing through.
Dale Coyner is a veteran motorcycle traveler and the author of 'Motorcycle Journeys Through North America' and 'The Essential Guide to Motorcycle Travel.' He also owns OpenRoadOutfitters.com, an online site specializing in motorcycle campers and other gear for two-wheel adventurers.
Basem Wasef is a motorcycle and automotive journalist with two coffee table books (Legendary Motorcycles and Legendary Race Cars) under his belt. A contributor to Men’s Journal, Popular Mechanics and Wired, among others, Basem has logged tens of thousands of miles in search of the perfect road. When he’s not traveling the world testing the latest two, three and four-wheeled vehicles, he enjoys calling Los Angeles home. Read more about him at BasemWasef.com.