Eureka Springs, Arkansas
From Car and Driver Magazine:
Highway 7 is one of the best-kept secrets in the country. Once anointed one of America's ten most beautiful roads by National Geographic, it is tucked into the folds of the Ozark National Forest and the Ouachita Mountains. Its best stretches link Harrison up north, which calls itself the "Crossroads of the Ozarks," and Arkadelphia, south of the newlywed and spa haven of Hot Springs. Along the way the road twists through miles of hardwood forests, across pristine streams such as the Buffalo National River, near state parks and wildflower meadows, by dramatic rock formations and high bluffs, over mountain tops and down into valleys still unspoiled. An especially splendid tract is the Ozark Highlands to Rotary Ann Overlook, with an awesome view of forests and mountains. Around every bend lies adventure-everything from hiking, camping, trout fishing, canoeing and caving to simply dawdling over fresh-baked pie and hot coffee at the Booger Hollow (population 7, counting the coon dog) Trading Post & Chuck Wagon Cafe. You might even get to observe a cutthroat game of checkers. The bonus beauties of 7 are its shortages of both traffic (particularly in spring and fall) and interruption (30-mile legs without settlements) and a length of 200 miles. This is a road mixing elemental and advanced challenges in well-balanced proportions. Avoid it like the plague in icy weather, but make a beeline for it any other time. Guaranteed to knock your socks off and turn you into a seriously addicted repeat offender.