This past weekend I took a road trip to the Smokey Mountains with a few friends. The plan was to visit Dollywood first, and then take an easy, relaxing hike up to Grotto Falls. We never made it to Dollywood because of the rain, and the easy hike we planned ended up being nearly seven hours long.

As we began our journey to the waterfall, I noticed the asphalt path leading to the trail. I couldn’t help but think that should have been concrete. Maybe I’m just bias. I wish I would have done some research before going on the trip. I would have known to go see the 45-foot-tall, 375-foot-long concrete observation tower at the peak of the Clingmans Dome Trail. Or, I would have made it a point to drive across Bridge 2 of the Foothills Parkway, which received the 2014 Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Award for Best Bridge with a span of more than 150 feet. I guess I’m just going to have to take another trip to the Smokies.

But it wasn’t all asphalt. I didn’t come to appreciate the sheer magnitude of the views until we reached the peak of our destination at almost 4,000 feet. It took my breath away, both literally and figuratively!

I hope to take a few road trips this year. What are some of your favorite destinations with a concrete must see?