A National Scenic Byway is a road recognized by the United States Department of Transportation for one of the six "intrinsic qualities": archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and/or scenic. The program was established by Congress in 1991 to preserve and protect the nation's scenic but often less-traveled roads and promote tourism and economic development. The National Scenic Byways Program (NSBP) is administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
The most scenic byways are designated All-American Roads, which must meet two out of the six intrinsic qualities. The designation means they have features that do not exist elsewhere in the United States and are unique and important enough to be tourist destinations unto themselves. As of November 2010, there are 120 National Scenic Byways and 31 All-American Roads, located in 46 states
From the San Luis Obispo city limits to north, State Route 1 is designated as the SLO North Coast Scenic Byway and received All-American Road status in August 2003.