Add These Three Coastal Drives to Your Bucket List

Few experiences in this world evoke feelings of freedom and joy as much as a long drive along a stretch of beautiful coastline. Thankfully, our fabulous world is made up mostly of water, which means there are plenty of gorgeous oceanfront drives to choose from. Here we’ll spotlight three of the best to put on your bucket list: the Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland, the Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway, and the Pacific Coast Highway in the United States.

The Causeway Coastal Route

The first rule for identifying the best coastal routes for your list is to leave your pre-conceived geographical notions outside of the vehicle. Many areas that may escape the hottest lists for tourist destinations may still boast amazing coastlines. Northern Ireland is one such example. 

The Giant’s Causeway Road is another name for the Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland that winds from Belfast to Derry-Londonderry. It’s nearly 124 miles long so don’t hesitate to snatch up that new Subaru for sale that you’ve been eyeing, pack it full of travel snacks, and purchase the best camera that money can buy. To capture these sunsets, you’ll want a better lens than your smartphone has to offer.

In addition to the natural beauty of the drive, you’ll also encounter a wealth of tourist attractions as well as authentic local villages. Don’t hesitate to explore this ancient route considered one of the world’s best.

The Atlantic Ocean Road

While the name may seem a bit generic, there is nothing ordinary about the five-mile Atlantic Ocean Road along Norway’s western coastline. Relative to Northern Ireland’s natural, historic route, this road is quite new and very much a product of modern engineering.

Completed in 1989, the route includes eight bridges linking Fjord towns and is anything but a leisurely drive. In fact, the road can be dangerous if drivers refuse to respect its twisting, roller coaster-like curves. But if you’re willing to brave this modern marvel of a highway, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the Atlantic.

The Pacific Coast Highway

If you live in the United States, and even if you don’t, you’re likely familiar with the lore of the California sunset. For many, no sunset in the world compares. If you need to judge this for yourself, consider driving down the Pacific Coast Highway portion of State Route 1. This twisty route reveals some of the most scenic coastline views in the world.

Travel light and stop along the way to sample the local fare. To catch the best sunsets, make the journey in July and August when the sun sets later. And if you can’t get enough, don’t worry. The Pacific Coast Highway is just a section of the longer Pan-America Highway that spans the Americas.

Don’t Stop After Three

We’ve encouraged you to add these three amazing drives to your bucket list, but our final suggestion is to continue incorporating beautiful coastal drives into your travel plans. Few experiences evoke wonder like witnessing a Pacific sunset or feeling the spray of the Atlantic on your face. So plan your route, pack the car, and head to the coast any chance you get.

ILR Author Bio
About the author

Jay Patton is a serial traveler and adventure seeker, based in Portland, Oregon. He enjoys hiking, running, and traveling the world, and is always on the lookout for the next big adventure.