coastal road trips USA

Top Coastal Road Trips in the USA: Scenic Drives You Can’t Miss!

The USA, with its vast and diverse landscapes, offers some of the world’s most iconic road trips. But there’s something uniquely captivating about its coastal drives. The blend of the roaring ocean, the gentle breeze, and the scenic routes make coastal road trips in the USA a must-do for every travel enthusiast. So, pack your bags, fuel up your car, and let’s embark on a journey through the best coastal road trips the USA has to offer.

1. Pacific Coast Highway, California

coastal road trips in USA
Pacific Coast Highway at Sunset via Getty Images

Often referred to as the crown jewel of American road trips, the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) stretches over 600 miles from San Diego to San Francisco. As you drive, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, dramatic cliffs, and iconic landmarks like the Bixby Creek Bridge. Don’t forget to stop at Big Sur, a rugged stretch of coastline that’s a haven for artists, writers, and nature lovers.

2. Overseas Highway, Florida

Envision cruising along a path enveloped by the deep blue Atlantic waters on either side. This is the essence of the Overseas Highway, a top pick for coastal road trips in the USA. Stretching 113 miles, it links the Florida mainland to Key West. The Seven Mile Bridge, among the world’s longest, stands out on this journey. With numerous places to snorkel, dive, and unwind, this route offers a blend of thrill and tranquility.

3. Oregon Coast Highway, Oregon

Aerial shot of Cannon Beach, a gorgeous sandy beach on the northern Oregon Coast via Getty Images

Traversing the state’s western boundary, the Oregon Coast Highway is a highlight among coastal road trips in the USA. From Cannon Beach’s golden sands to Cape Kiwanda’s majestic rock structures, picturesque scenes abound. Along the route, you’ll encounter charming seaside villages, each boasting its distinct allure and legacy.

4. Outer Banks Scenic Byway, North Carolina

The Outer Banks, renowned as one of the best coastal road trips in the USA, are a series of barrier islands nestled off North Carolina’s coast. This road tripper’s paradise, the Scenic Byway, stretches over 138 miles, showcasing the majestic Atlantic Ocean and tranquil Pamlico Sound. As you journey, you’ll be mesmerized by age-old lighthouses, free-roaming wild horses, and untouched sandy shores. This route epitomizes the tranquil allure of the East Coast, making every mile a memory to cherish.

5. Route 1, Maine

For enthusiasts of coastal road trips in the USA, Maine’s Route 1 embodies the allure of New England. Beginning in Kittery and culminating in Lubec, the journey unveils quaint fishing hamlets, lush woodlands, and rugged shores. Along the route, delectable lobster shacks await seafood aficionados. Time your adventure perfectly, and you could witness Maine’s renowned autumnal hues. This drive truly encapsulates the spirit of American coastal adventures.

Tips for a Memorable Coastal Road Trip:

Plan Ahead: While spontaneity is the essence of road trips, it’s essential to have a rough itinerary. This ensures you don’t miss out on any must-visit spots.

Safety First: Ensure your vehicle is in top condition. Check the weather forecasts, especially if you’re traveling during the off-season.

Take Your Time: The beauty of a road trip lies in the journey, not just the destination. Stop often, explore the hidden gems, and soak in the beauty around you.

Coastal road trips in the USA offer an unparalleled experience. The blend of natural beauty, historic landmarks, and the thrill of the open road makes for an unforgettable journey. Whether you’re a seasoned road tripper or a first-timer, these drives promise memories that will last a lifetime. So, roll down those windows, feel the ocean breeze, and set off on an adventure like no other.

You can also read 7 Must-Experience Road Trips from Houston, Texas.

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