When heading to the beach, the fun usually starts when you arrive at your destination. However, sometimes the stunning views along the road to the beach can mean that the journey itself is an enjoyable one thanks to the amazing sights you can take in along the way. Great ocean drives allow you to witness some stunning scenery of both sea and land while enjoying the freedom of the open road.
Below, are five of the best driving routes with views of the ocean:
Pacific Coast Highway – California
Heading along the Pacific Coast Highway in southern California will see you travelling a 123-mile route that affords breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
Starting from Monterey, the highway takes you through the Big Sur region of the state to Morro Bay and as it is a designated All-American Road, you can be sure of some stunning sights. Driving the entire motorway can be completed in a couple of hours, but you may want to take your time in order to see everything that the area has to offer.
After departing Monterey, you’ll arrive at Carmel Highlands. Take a diversion at Garrapata State Park (in photo above), and head to the beach to look for sea otters splashing around in the water. Continue northwards and you’ll soon arrive at Bixby Bridge; the single-span concrete bridge is one of the most-photographed features of the western coast of the US.
Among the other attractions on the route are the Little Sur River and Andrew Molera State Park, with the highway ending at Morro Rock, an extinct volcanic cone that is some 23 million years old.
Pirate Route – Jamaica
You’ll be able to take in the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean by going on Jamaica’s so-called Pirate Route. This 380-mile trip sees you start from Port Royal, winding your way clockwise through the country along the A1 and A2 roads.
As you drive, you’ll see beached freighter ships and come across a number of historic forts that protected Jamaica’s coastal towns from pirates during the 17th and 18th centuries. Eventually, you’ll arrive in Kingston, the Jamaican capital, where you can see the remains of a 19th century courthouse.
Along this route, you can stop of in Negril which is home to the Seven Mile Beach (in photo). The beach is absolutely stunning with golden sand, crystal clear blue water and plenty of things to do.
Atlantic Highway – Devon and Cornwall
In the UK, there is a great drive along the coast of Devon and Cornwall. The section of the A39 which runs from Barnstaple to Newquay is known as the Atlantic Highway and you’ll come across a great number of places to stop off as you drive.
Take a quick diversion at the A399 and pay a visit to Exmoor Zoo, where you can see creatures ranging from penguins and kangaroos to meerkats and cheetahs.
You’ll also be able to take in Tintagel. According to local legend, the village is the birthplace of King Arthur and you may be able to learn more about the iconic figure by visiting Tintagel Castle.
Your 135-mile road trip ends at Newquay (in photo), a resort that is popular with both families and young people. Here, you can go surfing at the renowned Fistral Beach and visit the Blue Reef Aquarium.
Pacific Highway – Australia
Visit Australia for a road-trip and you’ll be able to travel along the Pacific Highway from Sydney up to Brisbane.
This 596-mile road also affords you views of the Pacific Ocean and you’ll be able to take in a number of bustling destinations on your way, including Port Macquarie (in photo) which is a popular spot for surfing. The beaches in the area are unspoiled and reasonably quiet. In total, the Greater Port Macquarie is home to 18 beaches, 6 of which are patrolled by lifeguards, 8 of which are dog friendly and pretty much all of which are suitable for swimming and surfing.
The Pacific Highway forms part of Australia’s highway one, which links all the country’s major cities, and at the end you’ll come to Brisbane. Upon arriving at the Queensland state capital, you can visit attractions such as Brisbane City Hall, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art and Roma Street Parkland.
Seward Highway – Alaska
Up in Alaska, the Seward Highway (in photo) will offer you a very different US coastal driving experience. While the views may not be of the beaches you’re used to in terms of golden sand and sunny weather, this coastal road will allow you great views of the ocean and stop off points which allow you right onto the coast.
While you’ll still be able to see the Pacific coast for large parts of your trip, it’ll be ice fields and fjords rather than golden beaches that you’ll be taking in from your car.
Starting in Anchorage, the state’s largest city, the 127-mile road takes you southward to the harbor town of Seward. Stop by Chugach State Park, the third-largest state park in the country, where you can go horseback riding and cycling in the summer and enjoy snowmobiling and skiing in the winter. Upon reaching Seward, you can take a charter boat ride along the waterfront and dine at a number of restaurants that specialize in fresh seafood.
Photo credit: Provided courtesy of the author
Author bio: Written by the Travel Supermarket car hire team