Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2019.
This summer, four in 10 Americans expect their first trip to involve driving within 100 miles or so of their homes. We’ve pulled together our picks of the best coastal road trips, from the Florida Keys to Maui.
Highway 1, Big Sur, California
Arguably the jewel in the crown of American highways, this iconic drive offers breathtaking coast and ocean views and the chance to spot condors, whales and elephant seals. seemonterey.com
Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii
This 64-mile “Garden of Eden” wonder connects Kahului with historic Hana, but be warned: the road is very winding and narrow in places and passes over 59 bridges, many only one lane wide. Not for the faint of heart. hawaiitourismauthority.org
Overseas Highway Florida Keys
Definitely one for the bucket list: the southernmost section of U.S. Route 1 is a unique highway stretching 113 miles from Miami to Key West with 42 bridges connecting countless coral islets. fla-keys.com
Route 1A, New Hampshire
Known locally as Ocean Boulevard, this is one of New England’s most beautiful drives stretching from Seabrook and alongside the beaches of Hampton and Rye to downtown Portsmouth. visitnh.gov
Highway 12, North Carolina
The only north-south highway linking the magnificent Outer Banks to the U.S. mainland, Highway 12 delivers a bounty of coastal experiences along this spectacular chain of windswept barrier islands. outerbanks.org