back to articles | May 31, 2022 | Greg Thibodeau

Categories: Useful Automotive Information

8 Coastal Highways You Need to Add to Your Bucket List

The world can be a beautiful place and you don’t always need to get out of your vehicle to see it. These coastal highway drives will take your breath away near home and abroad.


The world can be a beautiful place and you don’t always need to get out of your vehicle to see it. Stunning coastlines offer some of the best views in the world and anyone who enjoys a good drive would be wise to add our favorites to their bucket list. These coastal highway drives will take your breath away near home and abroad.

1. Overseas Highway, Florida, USA

Take the Overseas Highway and go island hopping without leaving the car. This road connects mainland Florida at Miami with Key West. For 160 miles the Overseas Highway traverses on land while other sections sprawl above the water stringing islands together like beads.

Few can rival this highway for 360 degree views of the water. Sunsets are unobstructed and absolutely breathtaking here. But this road is a marvel of engineering too and it’s easy to appreciate its unique beauty and charm.

2. Pacific Coast Highway, California, USA

The Pacific Coast Highway is part of State Route 1 and it is perhaps the most iconic coastal road that the country has to offer. The California section from San Francisco to Los Angeles is particularly beautiful, twisting and turning along the stunning coastline. It’s the perfect place to watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.

This coastal highway drive is perhaps not for the faint of heart as there aren’t always guardrails and there are plenty of hairpin turns and steep drop offs. The narrow shoulder doesn’t leave much room for error. Take your time and be alert on this drive and pull over to properly soak in the scenery.

3. Hana Highway, Hawaii, USA

Leave the mail and behind and head to Maui for this coastal highway drive. The Hana Highway runs for 52 miles but the most spectacular sections are the 38 miles between Pauwela and Hana. Waterfalls, bridges, hibiscus covered cliffs, and stunning ocean views await you there.

This highway requires a seasoned driver as this is considered one of the most dangerous roads. Tight turns, single lane bridges, sheer drop offs, and switchbacks make this a challenging drive. You will need to be cautious and alert on the twists and turns hugging the coastline but the picture perfect views will be worth it.

4. Great Ocean Road, Australia

The Great Ocean Road is Australia’s highway B100 which stretches along the southern coast between Rogquay and Allansford. Almost all of the 151 miles provide epic views of the Pacific Ocean. Driving along this road you can see incredible limestone formations as well as world class beaches.

Built between 1919 and 1932 by approximately 3000 returned soldiers, The Great Ocean Road was dedicated to those who lost their lives in service during WWI. It is the largest war memorial in the world. Fatigued motorists can pull over, stretch their legs, and leisurely enjoy some of the 65 miles of walking trails that follow the coastline between Apollo Bay and the 12 Apostles.

5. Cabot Trail, Canada

The Cabot Trail is a loop around Cape Breton island at the northern tip of Nova Scotia. It is 185 miles of coastal road immersed in natural beauty and a vibrant culture. The area is rich in Gaelic and Acadian heritage and the small roadside towns make the most charming rest stops along the way.

Autumn is a prime time for this coastal highway drive. The trees of the Cape Breton Highlands put on a great show at this time of year. Another show worth pulling over for are the whales that frequent the area around the island during the late summer and autumn months.

6. Makran Coastal Highway, Pakistan

For those who are adventurous the Makran Coastal Highway, or N10, might be the coastal highway drive for you. Running along the Arabian Sea coast, this scenic road provides epic views of the water. While the road is paved, the landscape is rugged with breathtaking rock formations.

The Makran Coastal Highway is exciting and beautiful, but it is often very exposed and sometimes dangerous. It spans more than 370 miles with plenty of twists and turns. There are vast stretches between pit stops and the road can be quite hazardous after dark so good planning is important before you hit the road.

7. Ruta 1, Chile

You know the views will be spectacular when the road you’re driving is sandwiched between a desert and the Pacific Ocean. Chile’s Ruta 1 is more than 300 miles worth of stunning views in every direction. It’s a tourist paradise with a perfect road surface and little traffic, especially as you get closer to the southern end.

As far as coastal highway drives go, Ruta 1 has some pretty incredible ocean views and unbelievable sunsets. But if you can pull your eyes away, you can spot some amazing things to look at. The landscape includes desert, salt flats, volcanoes, sand dunes, and mountains streaked with pink. You can also find geysers, and hot springs along the way.

8. Over-Water Highway, China

The Over-Water Highway isn’t actually a coastal road at all. It doesn’t follow a coastline but it does sit right above a river. Near to half of this 7 mile highway is a bridge constructed over the water as it hugs the curves of a river valley snaking its way through the mountains.

This scenic drive offers picture perfect views over the water in an idyllic setting of forest covered mountains. The preservation of these forests are the very reason why this highway was built over the water. The road itself has a charm and beauty and it’s easy to appreciate the engineering that went into the Over-Water Highway.

Wherever the road may take you, be prepared. Nothing can ruin a good drive like the wrong vehicle. If your car is holding you back, myAutoloan can help. Find out what we can do to help you get into that new car you’ve been dreaming of.