October 1, 2021

6 Scenic Drives for Beautiful Fall Foliage

Fall at Kebler Pass Colorado

As travel nurses and allied travelers, you’re used to cross-country treks. If you’re already on the road this fall, why not make the drive worthwhile and take the scenic route? From the East Coast to the West Coast, here’s a list of scenic drives that will take you down winding roads filled with jaw-dropping views as you drive from one healthcare travel assignment to the next. So, roll down the windows, feel the breeze, and get ready to be amazed by the explosion of fall colors.

New York’s High Peaks Scenic Byway

Aerial view of Adirondacks in the fall

Upstate New York is prime leaf-peeping territory. The High Peaks Scenic Byway is a 30-mile drive that leads you through the majestic Adirondack Mountains and by sparkling bodies of water like Chapel Pond, Johns Brook, Roaring Brook Falls, and the Cascade Lakes. Traveling RNs and allied professionals will love pulling over to take in the brilliant kaleidoscope of fall color sweeping the scene. Or, experience New York’s fall views up-close by planning a picnic, hiking through crunchy leaves, mountain biking, rock climbing, or canoeing at a stop near the High Peaks Scenic Byway.

View TNAA’s New York jobs for traveling RNs and allied professionals!

Georgia’s Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Explore Georgia (@exploregeorgia)

Georgia’s Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway starts near the Bavarian-inspired town of Helen, where they take Oktoberfest to a new level. After enjoying the seasonal festivities, take the 40-mile drive on the Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway. The road winds through the Chattahoochee National Forest, where you’ll witness the beginnings of the Appalachian Trail. You can take a slight detour from the byway to the state’s highest peak, Brasstown Bald, to breathe in the crisp air and witness the 360-degree view of autumn colors stretched out before you.

View TNAA’s Georgia travel nurse and allied jobs!

Ohio’s Hocking Hills Scenic Byway

Ohio’s Hocking Hills Scenic Byway is a 26-mile rolling drive that connects six sites in Hocking Hills State Park, just an hour outside of Columbus. A quick detour from the byway will take you to the first site, the Rockbridge State Nature Preserve that highlights the state’s largest natural bridge. Next, challenge yourself to a hike at Cantwell Cliffs or Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve – the fall foliage will be worth the trek. Throughout Hocking Hills State Park, you can also explore caves, like Old Man’s Cave or Ash Cave, and plenty of waterfalls.

View TNAA’s Ohio jobs for travel nurses and allied travelers!

The Great River Road 

The Mississippi River flows from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana, and it touches the border of 10 states along the way. The Great River Road is a wonderful drive to chase the fall foliage from the Northern U.S. to the Southern U.S. Some of the highlights of this 2,000-mile trip include Great River Bluffs State Park in Minnesota, Pikes Peak State Park in Iowa, Chain of Rocks Bridge connecting Illinois and Missouri, and much more. Soak in the scenes of autumn and enjoy the various cuisines and cultures that each state offers.

Colorado’s West Elk Loop

Fall at Kebler Pass Colorado

Colorado’s West Elk Loop takes you on a 205-mile drive through landscapes rich with fall hues. You’ll start in Carbondale, a Certified Colorado Creative District near Mt. Sopris. Then, make your way down to Redstone to see the Redstone Castle and the Redstone Coke Ovens Historic District. Get out to stretch your legs at the McClure Pass in the Rocky Mountains before heading to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Have an overnight stay in the charming mountain town of Crested Butte before continuing your drive toward Kebler Pass, where the golden leaves of Colorado’s aspen trees dance in the sun. As you head back to Carbondale, a short drive further north will bring you to Glenwood Springs, where you can rest your tired muscles in the mineral hot springs pool.

View TNAA’s Colorado travel nurse and allied jobs!

Washington’s Cascade Loop

Whether you choose to drive a little of the Cascade Loop or the whole thing, you’re in for a world of color. The Cascade Loop actually takes you on three independent byways. Stevens Pass Greenway takes you by the beautiful Tumwater Canyon. The North Cascades Scenic Byway features jagged mountains and beautiful lakes, though you might want to plan your drive early in the season since this portion of the road closes in mid-fall. The Whidbey Scenic Isle Way is an hour from Seattle and gives you a taste of island life.

View TNAA’s Washington jobs for travel nurses and allied travelers!

When you’re working as a healthcare traveler, your surroundings are ever-changing. Explore one of these scenic drives this year, and who knows which one you’ll drive down the next. Become a TNAA traveler and see where the road can take you.