32 unique road landscapes seen across the US

Montana - ranch

Sorry for the Buzzfeed-like title, but I wanted to start this series of posts in a striking way. As Mathilde is in her Jomo time, I’m taking control of the blog to share some of my favorite pictures. I wanted to re-explore all the images that we’ve made ​​since we live in the United States. I chose as a first theme: landscapes with a road. It should have been a Top 10, but I got carried away… All aboard!

Since we fell in love with road tripping in the US, our trips have become long journeys in search of the next national park or geological wonder we want to discover. But these checkpoints are not an end in itself, the road itself is worth the trip. The first image of this post (above) is a perfect example: lost in the middle of nowhere, the road goes through the plains of Montana, bordered by mountains, and where one could think he’s a cowboy with his ranch and horses. Throughout this article, we drive from the mountains to the sea, on the plains or in cities! For animal lovers: special selection of photos at the end.


Mountain roads: dizziness and stiff neck

Glacier National Park

Bottom section of the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park (Montana). In the distance we can see from left to right the Garden Wall, Mount Gould, and Haystack Butte.

Olympic National Park - To the hurricane ridge

On the way to Hurricane Ridge, an amazing place to watch the misty mountains of Olympic National Park in Washington State .

Cascade National Park

Cascade National Park (Washington). The road turns and goes down the slope along the path carved by a glacier. In all immodesty, I think this picture is really nice. I contacted Ravensburger to make a puzzle. I am also speaking with Geo.

Glacier National Park - Going to the Sun

The dizzying part of the Going to the Sun in Glacier National Park. Memorable! We went through it several times, but the sunset is undoubtedly the best time to appreciate the shapes and colors.

Teton National Park

We didn’t have time to explore Grand Teton National Park, but the mountain peaks along the road (and who gave the name of the park) are magnificent.

Acadia National Park - Cadillac Mountain

Our local favorite, Acadia park in northern New England. The climb to the top of the (small) Cadillac mountain for the sunset is an unforgettable sight! Especially when you think about the good lobster that awaits you down in the valley …


Pacific surf, turquoise water of Florida or quaint East Coast

Florida Keys - Seven Mile Bridge

Moonlight over the Seven Mile Bridge. This bridge was built in the early twentieth century to connect the keys to replace the railway.

Martha's Vineyard

Despite the cars sharing the road with us, the bike ride through Martha’s Vineyard was a great experience. Beautiful Landscapes with meadows and boats on the ocean.

Rhode Island - Little Compton

Quiet afternoon at the small beach of Little Compton , Rhode Island. Here lawns are neatly trimmed, houses are white and the ocean is rather chilly.

Big Sur - bridge

The dramatic coast of Big Sur. It’s a great show with suspension bridges, large rocks and waves of the Pacific! Taking this photo was perilous.

San Francisco - Alcatraz

Road along San Francisco bay. In the distance and hidden by the fog, the famous Alcatraz prison . From here, it seems not so difficult to swim there. But beware of the freezing water of the Pacific coast!

Florida Keys - Bridge

A section of the old railroad that connected the Florida Keys. It is now a pedestrian and bike path parallel to the major highway linking the islands together.

San Diego - Sunset

Ah … The sunsets of San Diego over the Pacific have amazed us. Everything is there: light, color and waves! On the picture, a small bridge along the Torrey Pines State Beach. We went surfing every morning and then did yoga on the beach eating kale chips … Just kidding.


Between sea and mountains, desert, frozen or green plains

Death Valley National Park

Time of loneliness and extreme conditions … The Death Valley is wedged between several mountain ranges that block the clouds and rain. NB: the car is not broken.

Massachusetts - Ipswitch

Massachusetts countryside is much more serene and green. We loved the bike ride around Ipswich (north of Boston), even if we discovered at the same time the terrible black flies, aka biting flies! Again, a picture for which I risked my life.

Nouveau Mexique - Back-country road

Backcountry road of New Mexico. I’m not sure that our rental car enjoyed the expedition as much as we did. We understood that the prohibition to shoot on the road signs was not a joke: Some were riddled with bullets along this road!

Yellowstone National Park - Geyser

Yellowstone National Park is like a nature theme park. It smokes, it explodes in all directions. But nature takes its course, the forest grows around the geysers, bisons roam in vast herds and sunsets that blend with thermal fogs are amazing. This summer, geothermal activity was so strong that some roads began to melt …

Montana - River and truck

Montana, again and again … You need a lot of hay to feed the animals. But here people never do things small, hence the huge truck that is about to crush Mathilde into pieces. Luckily she threw herself heroically in the ditch. True story, according to the scenario I imagined finding this photo.

Vermont - Frozen plain

Death Valley makes you sweat? Imagine this frozen plain of Vermont, it’s 10 degrees F outside and there is a strong wind that pierces your clothes. Welcome to New England during the winter. Fortunately there is always a small coffee shop around to enjoy a hot latte, or a farm to taste some local cheddar!


Roads through towns

Left, the very photogenic Brooklyn Bridge overlooking the Freedom Tower, which replaces the Twin Towers. On the right, the Empire State Building, one of the symbols of the city. We plan to stay again in New York very soon.

San Francisco

Typical street of San Francisco, with its hills covered with small houses. Subsidiary question: look for the American flag.

Nouvelle Orleans - Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street in New Orleans is correctly named. To celebrate and enjoy decadence, this is truly a place to visit! We enjoyed the special atmosphere of the city (although not specially this street) thanks to the music anywhere, the tropical heat, ancient history, and all religious beliefs and voodoo! Thank you scientific conferences to show us the country.

Boston - Boylston Street

Boylston Street in Boston was in the headlines following the attacks during the weekend of the marathon. It was a sad day especially since the city is celebrating this race. 26 miles of non-stop cheering.

Seattle - drawbridge

We loved the city of Seattle, and its location at the edge of the ocean has played in its favor. The coastline is deeply indented with many islands to visit and water that cuts the city in neighborhood. Here a drawbridge raised to allow an old sailboat to pass.

Albuquerque - Road 66

During our visit to Albuquerque, we crossed a small section of the road 66. How can we not mention this legendary road in this post! I confess that I do not have an incredible memory of that place. But it definitely has a special atmosphere, with many motels along the road (some, like the one on the picture, are quite old). It makes you want to know more about the history of this road, and also to explore other sections, more wild and isolated.


Danger ! The other wanderers of the road

Yosemite National Park - Bear

You should not forget that in most national parks protected animals are numerous. That’s their homes! So you really have to be careful, especially when driving in the dark. During our last visit to Acadia, a deer jumped in front of the car just before us, and the driver could not stop. Watch your speed!

Montana - Bison Park

It is in the great prairies of Montana that bisons grow! We really enjoyed the surprise visit of National Bison Range , although it felt very uncomfortable when one of the “bison leaders” (as we called them) which was higher than our small car looked at us with a very suspicious look. Bison are like cows, they look stupid and you can’t figure out what they think! But they’re big and strong, so respect!

Montana - Bison Park

One of the bison leaders hesitates to let us pass. Or maybe he just forgot what he was doing. So he waits there. For a long time. (Sorry for the poor quality of the image taken from a video).

Montana - Bison Park - Antelope

I did not know there were antelopes in the USA! This one was walking around National Bison Range. We wanted to be friend, but there was some disagreement in its blank stare.

Glacier National Park - bighorn sheeps

The problem with tourists is that they don’t always clean nicely their wastes. So some animals figured that out and by the end of the day come on the parkings to find things to eat. That night, in Glacier National Park, a small group of magnificent bighorn sheeps ventured on the road in search of a snack. They came very close to us, it was pretty impressive, but also sad to see how little wild they were in such a vast national park.


Bonus: Souvenir from the vacation in France


During our tumultuous stay in France last Christmas, we had the opportunity to take a mini French-style road trip. I particularly liked the central regions we crossed when we came back from southeast of France to Paris (with a stop in the lovely town of Bourges).


Have you had a chance to enjoy some of these roads? What are your best memories? My list is likely to expand after our next road trip in late August. More mountains and canyons! 

Do you like these 32 photos? Share with 32 of your friends!


Manu, photographer and tech guy of the blog. Also doing research in neurosciences during the weekdays.

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  • Reply Aug 8 2014


    Superbe post qui fait voyager, rêver & donne envie de retourner aux USA !!!!

  • Reply Aug 8 2014


    Superbes, amazing ! Merci pour ces 32 photos qui m’ont fait rever dés
    Mon reveil. Et voilà, encore plusieurs ID et envies de repartir en voyage.
    Je vis a chicago depuis 18 mois et nous avons deja fat aussii quelques road trio
    C’est fabuleux. Deja parcourues, les routes au milieu des badland,
    De la death vallée, de l’utah, et sans oublier une portion de la route 66
    Merci de partager vos experiences, je suis votreblog depuis
    Longtemps et j’adore. Je vais partager tes 32 photos avec 32 amies
    Bonne continuation, et bon futur road trip

    • Reply Aug 18 2014


      Merci ! On a pas encore visité Chicago (et les routes qui traversent la ville). J’espère qu’on aura l’occasion cet automne ou au prochain printemps !

  • Reply Aug 8 2014


    Super photos et bonne idée de les avoir trier par thème !!! Elles donnent tellement envie de partir visiter tous ces coins !!!

  • Reply Aug 8 2014


    Salut “homme de l’ombre”,
    C’est à la recherche d’infos en tout genre sur les postdoc en neurosciences que j’ai découvert ce blog par hasard il y a quelques mois. Puis je me suis laissée embarquée par son côté expat/voyages/quotidien aux états-unis en oubliant complètement l’objet de ma recherche initiale…. Je prends depuis beaucoup de plaisir à suivre ce blog, en y consacrant un temps inversement proportionnel à ma quantité de boulot…. Ce qui explique ma lecture attentive de cet article posté le 7 août….. Je trouve ça en tout cas très cool de voir qu’un chercheur en neurosciences (même accessoirement) puisse poster ce genre d’articles (#préjugéschercheurUSA)….

    Félicitations pour ce blog !

    Quand même pour rester dans le thème de l’article, mon meilleur souvenir de route aux USA : la route qui longe le bras d’océan qui entre dans les terres à Bodega Bay à la tombée de la nuit, combinaison de couleurs et de brume, pour rentrer à valley ford. Ambiance mystérieuse, pas étonnant que ce lieu ait inspiré Hitchcock.

    • Reply Aug 18 2014


      Ahah, je dois avouer que ma productivité scientifique en prend aussi un coup quand je me mets à faire un article pour le blog…

  • Reply Aug 8 2014


    C’est fou comme un pays peut offrir autant de paysages si variés mais toujours si impressionnants & beaux (je sais beaucoup de pays sont dans la même situation, mais voir les photos s’enchaîner, on réalise vraiment!)
    (& les bisons .. <3)

  • Reply Aug 8 2014


    Les photos sont superbes et ne donnent qu’une envie: reprendre la route!
    Moi aussi j’ai un gros coup de coeur pour les routes d’Acadia. Mais c’est la Highway 1 près de Big Sur qui reste vraiment gravée dans ma mémoire.

  • Reply Aug 8 2014


    Je suis tombée sur ce blog en recherchant des infos sur l’expatriation puisque mon mari recherche un post doc aux USA… et franchement ce blog est une mine d’infos ! et surtout nous donne l’envie de s’installer particulièrement dans la région de Boston et en profiter pour faire des road trip !
    Merci donc à vous 2, pour nous faire partager tout ça !

  • Super ton article Manu ! J’ai envie de partir en vacances maintenant ! Mathilde, fais gaffe il va y prendre gout et il va squatter ton blog toute l’année :) Bisous à vous 2 !

    • Reply Aug 18 2014


      Trop tard, j’ai changé l’adresse. C’est maanuu.com maintenant ! Pas de voyage pour vous cet été ?

  • Reply Aug 10 2014


    The opening shot of the Montana ranch is fantastic. Captures the feel of that particular sense of space in the American West. Wonderful to look at all these photos in a chain – it produces the “feel” of being on a road trip. Thanks Manu!

  • Reply Aug 10 2014


    Super article :) Je pars moi-même à New-York en septembre, puis en Californie ! J’espère voir le maximum de paysage pendant cette année donc ton article va être une vraie source d’inspiration ! A bientôt

  • Superbes photos! Ca donne vraiment envie. Faut que j’arrive a convaincre mon homme de se lancer dans les road-trips

  • Reply Aug 12 2014

    La Rimule

    Superbes tes photos ! Nous aussi on est fans de “road-trips” (les enfants… un peu moins !). On garde de tes beaux souvenirs liés à des voyages en voiture, un peu à l’aventure… en Écosse ou en Bulgarie par exemple.

  • Reply Aug 18 2014


    Magnifique ! Les photos des routes de montagne sont splendides !!
    J’espère faire la même sur le chemin de fer dans les Keys lors d’une prochaine aventure…

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