World’s Most Scenic Road Trips: Coastal Drives to Remember

Embark on a journey through some of the world's most breathtaking coastal road trips. This blog aims to inspire the traveler’s spirit with routes that offer stunning ocean views, charming seaside towns, and unexpected natural wonders. From the Amalfi Coast in Italy to the Pacific Coast Highway in California, each featured drive promises a memorable experience for those looking to explore the horizon.


1/5/20246 min read

Are you dreaming of hitting the open road, wind in your hair, and the breathtaking beauty of the world's most scenic coastal drives stretching out before you? Look no further! In this article, we'll take you on an unforgettable journey along some of the most stunning coastal roads around the globe. So buckle up and get ready to embark on a road trip of a lifetime!

The Allure of Coastal Road Trips

There's just something magical about cruising along a coastal highway. The salty breeze, crashing waves, and majestic clifftop views create an irresistible allure. Whether you're a seasoned road warrior or a novice adventurer, coastal road trips offer a unique blend of relaxation and excitement. So why not set out on an adventure that combines the freedom of the open road with the breathtaking beauty of the coastline?

Imagine yourself behind the wheel, the wind in your hair as you embark on a journey along the coast. As you drive along, the rhythmic sound of the waves crashing against the shore lulls you into a state of tranquility. The coastal scenery unfolds before your eyes, revealing stunning vistas that seem straight out of a postcard.

The Unique Charm of Seaside Highways

Seaside highways hold a special place in the hearts of road trip enthusiasts. The juxtaposition of the open sea and winding roads creates an enchanting spectacle. From the iconic Route 66 in the United States to the breathtaking Great Ocean Road in Australia, each coastal route has its own charm and beckons for exploration.

Take, for example, the legendary Route 66. This historic highway stretches over 2,400 miles, from Chicago to Santa Monica, and offers a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the United States. As you drive along this iconic route, you'll pass through charming coastal towns, bustling cities, and vast stretches of untouched wilderness. The ever-changing scenery keeps you engaged and eager to see what lies around the next bend.

Benefits of Road Trips Along the Coast

Coastal road trips offer a myriad of benefits. Besides the captivating vistas, you'll have the freedom to stop and explore charming seaside towns, indulge in fresh seafood, and bask in the sun on pristine beaches. Additionally, these drives often take you through stunning national parks and nature reserves, where you can stretch your legs and immerse yourself in unspoiled wilderness.

Picture yourself pulling over at a quaint seaside town, where colorful cottages line the streets and the smell of freshly caught fish fills the air. You stroll along the waterfront, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin and the sand between your toes. The sound of seagulls overhead and the laughter of children playing in the distance create a sense of joy and contentment.

As you continue your coastal journey, you find yourself entering a national park. Towering cliffs rise on one side, while the vast expanse of the ocean stretches out on the other. You park your car and embark on a hike, immersing yourself in the beauty of nature. The trail leads you to a hidden cove, where turquoise waters lap against the shore and colorful marine life dances beneath the surface.

Coastal road trips are not just about the destination; they are about the journey itself. The freedom to explore at your own pace, the thrill of discovering hidden gems along the way, and the sense of adventure that fills the air make these trips truly unforgettable.

North America's Breathtaking Coastal Drives

North America boasts some of the most awe-inspiring coastal drives in the world. Let's start with the Pacific Coast Highway, a 1,000-mile route stretching along the stunning coastline of California.

Driving along the Pacific Coast Highway is a truly unforgettable experience. As you cruise down this iconic route, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean on one side and picturesque coastal landscapes on the other. The highway takes you through a variety of landscapes, from sandy beaches to towering cliffs, providing endless opportunities for scenic stops and photo ops.

One of the highlights of the Pacific Coast Highway is the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge. This architectural marvel spans across a deep canyon and offers panoramic views of the rugged coastline. It's a popular spot for photographers and a must-visit for anyone traveling along this route.

Continuing on, you'll come across the charming seaside town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Known for its European-inspired architecture and pristine beaches, Carmel is a haven for artists and nature lovers alike. Take a stroll along the white sandy shores, explore the quaint art galleries, or indulge in some delicious seafood at one of the town's many renowned restaurants.

As you venture further north, you'll enter the enchanting region of Big Sur. This stretch of coastline is famous for its dramatic cliffs, rugged mountains, and pristine forests. The views here are simply breathtaking, with the Pacific Ocean crashing against the cliffs below. Take your time to explore the numerous hiking trails, visit the iconic McWay Falls, or simply soak in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Pacific Coast Highway, USA

Heading up north, the Pacific Coast Highway leads you to the rugged coastline of Oregon and Washington, where breathtaking views of crashing waves and dramatic cliffs await.

As you continue your journey along the Pacific Coast Highway, you'll be greeted by the rugged beauty of the Oregon coast. This stretch of coastline is known for its wild and untamed landscapes, with towering cliffs, hidden coves, and pristine beaches. Make sure to stop at Cannon Beach, home to the iconic Haystack Rock. This massive sea stack rises dramatically from the ocean, creating a truly mesmerizing sight.

Further north, you'll reach the vibrant city of Seattle. Known for its thriving music scene, stunning skyline, and rich cultural heritage, Seattle offers a unique blend of urban excitement and natural beauty. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the famous Pike Place Market, where you can savor fresh seafood, explore local crafts, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of this iconic landmark.

Cabot Trail, Canada

On the eastern coast of Canada lies the Cabot Trail, a scenic drive through the Cape Breton Highlands.

The Cabot Trail is a true gem of the Canadian Maritimes. This 185-mile loop takes you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Nova Scotia. As you wind your way around the rugged coastline, you'll be treated to stunning vistas of towering cliffs, rolling mountains, and the sparkling blue waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Along the Cabot Trail, make sure to stop at Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This pristine wilderness area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a multitude of hiking trails, wildlife viewing opportunities, and breathtaking lookouts. Keep an eye out for moose, bald eagles, and whales as you explore this natural paradise.

As you drive along the Cabot Trail, you'll also have the chance to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the region. Visit charming fishing villages, where you can sample fresh seafood and learn about the traditional way of life. Experience the vibrant Celtic music scene, which is deeply rooted in the local culture, and discover the warm hospitality of the people who call this place home.

Europe's Unforgettable Seaside Journeys

Europe is no stranger to spectacular coastal drives. One such journey that will leave you breathless is the Amalfi Coast in Italy. This stretch of road hugs the dramatic cliffs of the Sorrentine Peninsula, offering unparalleled views of colorful villages, turquoise waters, and lush mountainside.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Base yourself in the charming town of Sorrento and embark on a road trip along the winding coastal roads. Visit the iconic towns of Positano and Amalfi, indulge in mouthwatering Italian cuisine, or take a boat tour to the picturesque island of Capri.

Atlantic Road, Norway

In Norway, the Atlantic Road weaves its way through an archipelago, connecting small islands with a series of stunning bridges. The drive is a breathtaking experience, with the wild Norwegian Sea crashing against the rugged coastline. Keep an eye out for seals and whales as you traverse this mesmerizing route.

Australia's Iconic Coastal Road Trips

Australia is a road tripper's paradise, with its vast landscapes and stunning coastal scenery. The Great Ocean Road in Victoria is a must-do for any adventurer. This iconic drive stretches along the southern coast, offering jaw-dropping views of towering limestone cliffs and the famous Twelve Apostles.

Great Ocean Road, Australia

Take your time to explore charming seaside towns like Torquay and Lorne, try your hand at surfing, and venture into the lush rainforests of Great Otway National Park. Marvel at the rugged beauty of the Shipwreck Coast and watch the sunset paint the sky with vibrant hues.

Tasmania's East Coast

For a road trip off the beaten path, head to the East Coast of Tasmania, an oasis of pristine beaches, stunning national parks, and charming coastal towns. Drive through Freycinet National Park and witness the mesmerizing beauty of Wineglass Bay, or visit the Bay of Fires with its famous orange-hued rocks.

Africa's Exotic Coastal Adventures

Africa offers a unique blend of culture, wildlife, and stunning coastal landscapes. South Africa's Garden Route is a road trip that should be on every traveler's bucket list. This diverse journey takes you through dense forests, shimmering lakes, and magnificent coastlines.

Garden Route, South Africa

Start your adventure in Cape Town and wind your way through charming coastal towns such as Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Explore the lush forests of Tsitsikamma National Park and embark on a thrilling safari in Addo Elephant National Park. The Garden Route will leave you spellbound with its natural beauty.

Chapman’s Peak Drive, South Africa

Take a detour from the Garden Route and experience the breathtaking Chapman’s Peak Drive. This iconic road hugs the cliffs of the Cape Peninsula, offering unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean and the dramatic landscapes of Table Mountain National Park.

Now that you've embarked on this virtual journey along the world's most scenic coastal roads, it's time to start planning your own adventure. Whether you choose to explore the iconic Pacific Coast Highway in the USA, the stunning Amalfi Coast in Italy, or the diverse landscapes of South Africa's Garden Route, each road trip promises breathtaking beauty and unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, rent a car, and get ready to embark on a coastal drive to remember!