If life really is a highway, we want to take the scenic route. From Alaska to Australia, buckle up, bring the top down, and get ready to hit the road on these 10 stunning drives where the journey truly is the destination.
1. Highway 1, California
Hugging the coastline, the 655-mile-long stretch of California Route is by far the most pleasant way to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Take the top down if you can, and leave plenty of time for stops at beach towns, wineries, and rugged parks along the way.
2. The Amalfi Coast, Italy
Italy's most scenic stretch of coastline, the Costiera Amalfitana, or Amalfi Coast, is a 30-mile long feast of verdant hills, sheer cliffs and pretty pastel-colored villages. Begin in the charming port town of Salerno then wind your way, slowly, all the way down to Positano where pastel-hued houses appear to tumble down to the sea and the streets are lined with fashionable boutiques, excellent restaurants, and luxe hotels.
3. Ring Road, Iceland
Driving out of the capital city, Reykjavík, you quickly enter a landscape that appears to have been plucked from an entirely different planet of lava fields, shimmering glaciers, and an untamed coastline. The 828-mile route encircles the country and is usually completed in around 10 days — though it merits much longer.
4. Atlantic Road, Norway
What it lacks in length (at only five miles), Norway's stunning Atlantic Road more than makes up for in breathtaking views. Eight slightly terrifying bridges hug the wild coastline and connect Averøy, rollercoaster like, with the mainland via several small islands.
5. Great Ocean Road, Australia
The 151-mile long stretch between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford was constructed by returned World War I veterans in tribute to their fallen comrades. The road takes you past great surfing and whale-spotting spots, but the most famous stop off is the craggy limestone formations known as the Twelve Apostles: truly a sight to behold as they come into view.
6. The Road to Hana, Hawaii
Twisting 52 miles along Maui's rugged eastern coast, the Road to Hana merits a full day of leisurely travel that allows for ample opportunities to stop along the way. Expect black sand beaches, cascading waterfalls and verdant parks before arriving in the peaceful, undeveloped town of Hana.
7. Route 66, U.S.A.
Running 2,400 miles across America, taking in eight states from Illinois to California, driving Route 66 is as all things Americana as you can get: from midcentury neon bright motel signs to kitschy diners, funky rest stops, wigwam hotels, and wide open road. Fun fact: Albuquerque is the only place where historic Route 66 crosses modern Route 66.
8. Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland
From Belfast to Londonderry, where it links up with the Wild Atlantic Way, the Causeway Coastal Route takes you along rugged coastline, quiet fishing villages, the Bushmills whiskey distillery and the mythic Giant's Causeway known for its 40,000 striking basalt columns. Game of Thrones fans can also visit key locations featured in the show.
9. Garden Route, South Africa
Stretching 150 miles along the coastline between Mossel Bay and Tsitsikamma, the Garden Route is popularly is flanked by secluded valleys, rainforest, rocky coastline, and charming coastal villages. Sights along the way include the underground wonderland of Cango Caves, Bloukran's Bridge (home to one of the world's highest bungee jumps) and Knysna Elephant Park, and you may also be able to spot whales from June to November.
10. Alaska Highway, U.S.A. and Canada
Traveling the 1,387 miles of the Alaska Highway, from Dawson Creek, BC to Delta Junction, Alaska, takes you not only from Canada to the United States, but also along one of the world's last great frontiers and most jaw-dropping scenery. Expect glaciers, waterfalls, moose, caribou, and quirky small towns along the way.
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