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Top 5 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides

Top 5 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides

With so many incredible roads and breathtaking landscapes to explore, North America is a motorcyclist's paradise. From coast to coast, there are countless opportunities for unforgettable adventure rides that will leave you breathless. So, it's time to dust off your bucket lists and prepare for the ride of a lifetime, as RideNow presents the top five epic adventure rides in North America, featuring places like New Hampshire, California, and more. Get ready to experience some of the most awe-inspiring scenery and thrilling roads that this great continent has to offer.


5 Best Bucket List Motorcycle Rides


Blue Ridge Parkway

It was a toss-up between this and the infamous Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee for this list, but ultimately the Blue Ridge Parkway prevailed.

The BRP is a 469-mile ribbon of tarmac that stretches from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, all the way to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

The Parkway gets its name from the mountain chain it follows called the Blue Ridge that’s part of the Appalachian Mountains. When work on the Parkway began in 1935, it was originally slated to be called the Appalachian Scenic Highway but was given its current name by the time work finished in 1966.

The BRP is known for its spectacular views and long, winding curves that flit in and out of tunnels and across the natural contours of the surrounding mountains. Sprinkled all along the Parkway’s miles are countless historic sites, hiking trails, and enough scenic overlooks to satisfy even the most seasoned rider.

There’s no question that riding the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of those lifetime dream trips. I know it’s been at the top of my list for years!


Scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway with stunning mountain views


Cabot Trail

The second entry on our list takes us out of the continental United States and up to Nova Scotia, Canada.

The Cabot Trail is 185 miles long and traverses the northernmost part of Cape Breton Island. It winds through Cape Breton National Highlands Park, past sleepy little towns, and incredible natural beauty.

Several years ago, my family and I took a road trip up to Cape Breton Island and the Cabot Trail, and I’ve never forgotten how breathtaking this entire road is.

Like the Blue Ridge Parkway, it is a gloriously flowing river of road that follows the curvature of the land and provides some of the most spectacular ocean views anywhere in the world.

Don’t believe me? Do a quick Google search for images of the Cabot Trail and see for yourself.

There is also a dedicated motorcycling community associated with the Trail that provides road trip suggestions, pit stop recommendations, and advice for places to stay and what to see.

I may have already been on the Trail once, but you can bet I’ll be going back. Only this time, it’ll be on two wheels.


Pacific Coast Highway

If you could only make one west coast road trip, it would have to be California’s State Route 1, often referred to as the Pacific Coast Highway.

At 655 miles long, it’s a ride that will take some planning to make sure it’s done properly, but it’ll be worth every second. I promise.

The PCH runs from Mendocino County north of San Francisco to Dana Point in Orange County. It touches nearly every highlight of the California coast – San Francisco, LA, SoCal, Monterey Bay, and Big Sur. It’s all here on a single, fantastic road.

I spent a summer in Newport Beach when I was in college and drove much of the southern end of the PCH and it’s been on my list to get back to it on a motorcycle ever since.

It’s both an interesting road on its own being so close to the ocean and a showcase of some of the most spectacular views you’ll ever encounter. And, because of its sheer length, it also provides access to some of California’s most famous destinations, its best food, and memorable cities.


Experience the breathtaking Pacific Coast Highway on a thrilling motorcycle ride


Coastal Route 1

From the West Coast and State Route 1, we travel several thousand miles east to New England and the famous Coastal Route 1.

Like the PCH, Coastal Route 1 winds along stunning ocean views and unique destinations, only this time, it’s against the backdrop of the Atlantic.

CR1 is another beast of a ride – 526 miles end-to-end. It starts in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and reaches all the way up to the Canadian border in Fort Kent, Maine.

The initial portion of the route follows the rocky Maine and New Hampshire coastline. There you’ll find shipyards, historic homes, and some of the best lobster anywhere.

As a native of New Hampshire, I can vouch for CR1 making it onto this esteemed list.

While this part of the country is essentially off limits for motorcycling in the winter months, the spring/summer/fall are an entirely different story when it’s practically heaven on earth.

While it’s no California coast, Coastal Route 1 is still winding and wonderful and a pleasure to ride.


Beartooth Highway

Now, we head back West and the famous Beartooth Highway that snakes through parts of Montana and Wyoming.

Unlike the other rides on this list, the Beartooth Highway is short – it’s only 68 miles. But what it lacks in length, it more than makes up for in ridiculous views of some of the wildest lands in the entire country.

Technically, the Beartooth Highway is a small piece of the larger Route 212.

The highlight of the entire road – dubbed ‘the most beautiful drive in America’ by CBS’s Charles Kuralt – has to be where it crosses over the Beartooth pass at a whopping 10,947 feet above sea level.

Let’s just say views don’t get much better than this. Sections of the road and the majestic mountains in the background look like they came straight out of the Swiss or Italian Alps.

As you might expect, the Highway’s elevation and location mean it sees some intense weather. Because of that, travel on it is only permitted from May through October each year.

Another interesting feature of the road is that one end of it leads right to the northeast entrance of Yellowstone Park.

There is a seemingly endless supply of motorcycling gems out West, and the Beartooth Highway might just be the crown jewel.


Ride through the stunning Beartooth Highway on a scenic motorcycle adventure

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