Top 10 Beach Road Trips in the U.S. That Will Make You Hold Your Breath

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Grab your shades, swimsuit, and sunscreen. It’s time for a trip to the beach! One of the benefits of being a licensed driver is the ability to take a quick road trip to the nearest shore any time you want. Need some inspiration? Here’s a list of the top 10 shoreline drives in the U.S.:

Top 10 Beach Road Trips in the U.S.

  1. 1

    What’s the ultimate American beach road trip? The Big Island of Hawaii. Sure, this is only a dream for most drivers, but if you ever get the opportunity to visit the fiftieth state, don’t miss the chance to explore the island by car. Rental car companies abound in Honolulu. Rent a convertible and get ready for the drive of a lifetime! You’ll pass by unimaginable coastlines, through clusters of ritzy resorts, and over lava fields.

    Hawaii
    Ancient Polynesian style tiki wooden carvings along the beach in Ki’i Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Park

  2. 2

    California’s Highway One is six hundred and fifty miles of some of the country’s most spectacular coastline. You’ll drive though beach cities such as Santa Monica, Malibu, Monterey, San Francisco, and Long Beach. This coastal route is trademarked as an all- American experience and is atop many drivers’ wish lists.

    big sur
    Bixby Creek Bridge, in Big Sur, California

  3. 3

    The Jersey Shore may not offer palm trees, but this stretch of coastline is one of the best weekend road trips in the northeastern United States. The one hundred and twenty-seven mile stretch from Atlantic City to Cape May is the perfect route to drive on a sunny afternoon. Sandy beaches, lighthouses, casino lights, and historic Victorian houses will pass by your window as you travel down the Jersey Shore.

    Jersey Shore
    Sunset over a jetty and the USS Atlantus Shipwreck at Sunset Beach, Cape May

  4. 4

    Florida’s Overseas Highway isn’t technically a beach route…because you’re actually riding on top of the ocean! Forty-two bridges in a little over one hundred miles take motorists from the tip of mainland Florida to the southernmost point in the U.S., the tiny island of Key West. This stretch of roadway can be traversed in about three and a half hours, but you’ll want to take several stops at the restaurants, shops, and scenic views along this amazing route.

    Florida Highway
    Florida Key’s Historic Overseas Highway And 7 Mile Bridge

  5. 5

    Ocean Drive in South Beach Miami is famous for Art Deco hotels, neon lights, and some of the best beach views of any road in the U.S. Cruise up and down Ocean Drive to spot hot bodies, glimpse amazing blue water, and take in the Latin essence of this exciting city.

    Miami
    Miami Beach, Florida hotels and restaurants at sunset on Ocean Drive

  6. 6

    The forty mile drive through Cape Cod National Seashore takes drivers through beaches, marshes, cranberry bogs, dunes, and scrub forests. As you meander past lighthouses and the beach homes of the rich and famous, don’t fail to extend your road trip to the Cape to include this piece of land preserved for your enjoyment.

    Cape Cod
    Cape Cod Provincetown beach in Massachusetts

  7. 7

    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is the perfect road trip for a getaway with friends and family. Ocean Boulevard stretches long the coast of this fun beach town and offers motorists views of the beautiful Atlantic.

    Myrtle Beach
    A view of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

  8. 8

    Take a cruise through the beaches of Los Angeles. If the entire Pacific Coast Highway is a little too much for you, this stretch of seaside roadway is sure to satisfy your desire to cruise the coast of California. Point Mugu State Park, Leo Carillo State Beach, Malibu, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Long Beach, Venice Beach, and Laguna Beach are a sampling of the famous beaches you’ll pass along this route.

    santa monica
    View of Pacific Coast Highway at Santa Monica beach

  9. 9

    The drive from Gulf Shores, Alabama to Panama City Beach, Florida offers motorists a taste of the powdery beaches of the Gulf Coast. This route travels through several popular beach towns including Orange Beach, Pensacola, Santa Rosa Island, Fort Walton, and Destin. Don’t fail to stop at the famous Florabama, an institution that has survived major hurricanes to denote the crossing between Alabama and Florida.

    Panama city
    Beautiful white powder sand beaches of Panama City

  10. q

    Park Loop Road in Maine’s Acadia National Park is a twenty-seven mile route that takes drivers along the rocky coast of this northern state. This beach drive can be quite chilly, but the sublime views of cliffs, tidal pools, and the vast Atlantic Ocean are truly magnificent. Be aware that this route is not open during winter months.

    Maine
    Thunder hole in Acadia National Park at Maine

Take advantage of your ability to drive and go explore one of these amazing beach routes.

A road trip to any of these destinations is sure to be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. Drive safe, take your time, and enjoy these American coastal roadways!

Andrei Zakhareuski, Driving-Tests.org Founder
Andrei is a driver with 11+ years of experience and the founder of Driving-Tests.org.

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