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Set out for All-American Roads

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Susan B. Barnes, Special for USA TODAY

7:46 a.m. ET June 19, 2017

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When it comes to summertime traditions in the U.S.A., road trips rank right up there with baseball games, days at the beach, barbecues and slices of apple pie.

Just how popular are road trips? According to AAA, more than one-third of Americans are planning to take a vacation of 50 miles or more away from home this year, and the old-school family road trip remains the most popular type of family vacation.

And some of the most popular road trip routes are found along the National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads. In 1991, the National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads programs began through an Act of Congress to “recognize, protect and promote America’s most outstanding roads.”

According to Scenic America, “National Scenic Byways designations recognize those roads across the country that exhibit one of more six core intrinsic qualities – scenic, natural, historic, recreational, archaeological, or cultural – contributing towards a unique travel experience.” What’s more, the very best of the National Scenic Byways are designated as All-American Roads, having met “the same criteria as a National Scenic Byway, but possess multiple intrinsic qualities that are of national significance and the byway must be considered a destination and reason for travel unto itself.”

Unfortunately, the National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads programs ended in 2012. However, and fortunately for all of us road trippers, these routes continue to be maintained on the local level for our our road tripping pleasure.

To find inspiration for your next road trip, browse through the gallery above. And for a list of all of America’s Byways, including All-American Roads and National Scenic Byways, please visit the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration website.

All-American Road names and statistics noted are derived from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration website.

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