Our country has a lot of scenic coastal drives: mountains, lakes, verdant hills, desert, and more. But if we’re really being honest, not much can top the thrill of rolling with your windows down on coastal drives with the shoreline so close, salty ocean spray fills your nostrils. With so much coast to choose from, however, it can be hard to narrow the road trips down. That’s why we did the grueling work of finding the top contenders in the nation for an oceanfront joyride. Worth noting: Our orientation guidelines can go either way, Santa Monica to Malibu or Malibu to Santa Monica are both fine by us. Read on, and plot your next adventure.
1. Schoodic National Scenic Byway in Ellsworth, ME
Heading to Acadia National Park? Don’t miss a chance to motor along this 20-mile route that weaves its way through tiny fishing towns, sheltered harbors, and craggy coastline. Slow down and appreciate the lobstering and clamming at various harbors along the way, with plenty of stellar haunts to dine at when hunger strikes (for comfort food, you can’t go wrong with the Itty-Bitty Diner). Rest up at The Winter Harbor Inn, which is pet-friendly and open year-round.
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