Dive into the world of coastal motorcycle routes, where the thrill of the ride meets the serenity of the sea. From the iconic Pacific Coast Highway to the picturesque Tunnel of Trees Road, embark on an epic adventure that promises cliffside rides, seaside towns, and memories to last a lifetime. Whether you're a seasoned rider or a newbie, these routes are a must on your motorcycle bucket list.
The open road, the roar of the engine, and the scent of the salty sea air - there's nothing quite like a coastal motorcycle ride. The US boasts some of the world's most scenic routes, offering riders a unique blend of exhilarating roads and breathtaking oceanic vistas. Whether you're looking for a short seaside adventure or a long-haul beachfront cruising, there's a route tailored just for you. Let's explore some of the best coastal motorcycle routes that promise an unforgettable journey.
Pacific Coast Highway, California
Often hailed as the crown jewel of coastal routes, the Pacific Coast Highway offers riders unparalleled views of cliffs, mountains, and the mesmerizing Big Sur. The road stretches along the Pacific Ocean, ensuring a ride filled with oceanic landscapes and local highlights. And while you're cruising down this iconic highway, ensure you have the right gear. Check out Microdot's DOT-approved helmets for a blend of safety and style.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia – Deals Gap, North Carolina
Venturing through the Appalachian Mountains, this scenic route is a dream for riders seeking cliffside rides and coastal landmarks. With landmarks like Skyline Drive and the infamous Tail of the Dragon, it's an epic adventure waiting to be explored. For those looking to delve deeper into mountain routes, this guide offers some top picks.
No list would be complete without mentioning the iconic Route 66. Known for its historic and nostalgic elements, this route offers a unique blend of seaside towns and beachfront rides. While it may not be strictly coastal, the charm and history it brings to the table are undeniable. For a detailed look into historic routes, here's a piece that takes you on a ride through history.
Natchez Trace Parkway
Meandering across green rolling hills and hardwood forests, this historic route promises a serene ride. It's a perfect blend of nature and nostalgia, making it a favorite among many riders.
Tunnel of Trees Road, Michigan
As the name suggests, this picturesque route is known for its dense tree canopy. It offers riders a unique experience, where the road seems to be enveloped by nature itself. It's a must-visit for those seeking a blend of forested paths and oceanic vistas.
San Juan Skyway, Colorado
While not strictly coastal, the San Juan Skyway offers views of mountains, valleys, and gorges that are hard to resist. It's a testament to the diverse landscapes the US has to offer. And speaking of diverse landscapes, if you're looking to venture beyond the pavement, this off-road motorcycling guide is a must-read.
Gear Up for the Ride
Before you set out on these exhilarating roads, it's essential to gear up. Helmets are a rider's best friend, and choosing the right one can enhance your riding experience. If you're unsure about which helmet suits you best, take this quiz to find the perfect beanie helmet for your journey.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Carved out by the Colorado river, the Grand Canyon is not just a natural wonder but also a rider's paradise. The vastness of the canyon, combined with the thrill of the ride, offers an unparalleled experience. As you cruise along the canyon's edge, the sheer drop and the panoramic views are sure to take your breath away.
Yosemite National Park, California
Renowned for its waterfalls, giant sequoia trees, and landmarks like El Capitan, Yosemite is a haven for nature lovers. The park's roads offer cliffside views, seaside adventures, and a chance to immerse oneself in the beauty of nature. And while you're there, ensure your ride is as smooth as possible with Microdot's SOA-inspired DOT beanie.
Death Valley, California
Known as the hottest place on earth, Death Valley offers a unique riding experience. The desert landscape, with its vast sand dunes and rocky terrains, promises an epic adventure. But remember, always stay hydrated and ensure your motorcycle is in top condition for this challenging ride.
Hoover Dam, Nevada
An engineering marvel in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, the Hoover Dam is a testament to human ingenuity. Riding along the dam offers a blend of scenic routes and a glimpse into the marvels of engineering. The dam, with its massive structure and the glistening water, is a sight to behold.
Las Vegas Strip, Nevada
Perfect for nighttime cruising, the Las Vegas Strip is vibrant, lively, and full of energy. While it's not a traditional coastal route, the neon lights, bustling crowds, and the spirit of Vegas make it a must-visit. And if you're looking to add some style to your nighttime rides, check out Microdot's flat black beanie helmet.
Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina
Home to the infamous Tail of the Dragon with its 318 curves over 11 miles, the Great Smoky Mountains are a rider's dream. The dense forests, mist-covered mountains, and the thrill of the ride make it one of the most sought-after routes. For more on what to carry on such rides, here's a guide on motorcycle touring essentials.
While these routes promise an unforgettable journey, safety should always be a priority. Ensure your helmet is DOT-approved and fits snugly. If you're in the market for a new helmet, Microdot's reversible beanie helmet is a popular choice among riders.
Bryce Canyon, Utah
Known for its large concentration of hoodoos (irregular columns of rock), Bryce Canyon is a geological wonder. The crimson hues of the rocks, set against the azure sky, create a surreal landscape. Riding through the canyon, with its maze of red rock pillars, is an experience that resonates with the essence of an epic adventure.
Three Sisters (Twisted Sisters), Texas
A route that promises canyon views and rolling hills scenery, the Three Sisters is a testament to Texas's diverse landscapes. The winding roads, with their sharp turns and elevations, offer riders a challenge that's both thrilling and rewarding. And while you're navigating these challenging terrains, ensure you're equipped with the best. Microdot's SOA-inspired DOT beanie in flat black is a favorite among many riders.
Grand Staircase Escalante Road, Colorado to Utah
A journey that takes riders through diverse landscapes, the Grand Staircase Escalante Road is a visual treat. From dense forests to arid deserts, the route offers a glimpse into the varied terrains of the American landscape. It's a ride that promises oceanic vistas, cliffside roads, and memories to cherish.
Pikes Peak, Colorado
Famous for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, this mountain road is not for the faint-hearted. The sharp turns, steep inclines, and the sheer drop on one side make it a challenging ride. But the panoramic views from the summit, with the world spread out below, make it all worth it.
Tunnel of Trees Road, Michigan
A route that offers a serene escape, the Tunnel of Trees Road is known for its dense tree canopy. Riding through the tunnel, with the sunlight filtering through the leaves, is a magical experience. It's a journey that promises seaside towns, beachfront rides, and a connection with nature.
Motorcycle Challenges and REVER Communities
For those seeking an added thrill, joining REVER communities can be a great way to take on motorcycle challenges. These communities offer riders a platform to connect, share their experiences, and embark on group rides. And if you're looking for routes that take you off the beaten path, Microdot's guide on off-road motorcycling adventures is a must-read.
From the iconic Pacific Coast Highway to the lesser-known gems, America's coastal motorcycle routes promise a journey of discovery. It's not just about the ride; it's about the stories, the experiences, and the memories that last a lifetime. So, gear up, hit the road, and let the adventure begin. And always remember, no matter where the road takes you, ride safe and enjoy the journey.
FAQs: Best Coastal Motorcycle Routes
1. What is the best time of year to ride the Pacific Coast Highway?
The ideal time to ride the Pacific Coast Highway is during the spring and fall months. During these periods, the weather is pleasant, and the road is less crowded, offering a smooth riding experience.
2. Are there any specific safety precautions to take while riding coastal routes?
Yes, always check the weather forecast, especially for routes like the Pacific Coast Highway where fog can be a concern. Additionally, be cautious of wet roads, strong coastal winds, and always wear appropriate gear, including a DOT-approved helmet.
3. How long does it typically take to ride the entire Route 66?
While the duration can vary based on stops and speed, on average, it takes about two to three weeks to ride the entire length of Route 66, covering all its major attractions.
4. Are there any motorcycle-friendly accommodations along these routes?
Absolutely! Many of these popular routes have accommodations that cater specifically to motorcyclists, offering amenities like bike parking, maintenance tools, and rider-friendly meal options.
5. Do I need any special permits to ride through national parks like Yosemite or the Grand Canyon?
Yes, most national parks require an entrance fee. It's advisable to check the specific park's website for details on permits, fees, and any seasonal restrictions.
6. How do I prepare my motorcycle for long coastal routes?
Ensure your motorcycle is in top condition. Check the brakes, tires, lights, and fluids. Also, consider equipping your bike with saddlebags for storage and a comfortable seat for long rides.
7. Are there guided motorcycle tours available for these coastal routes?
Yes, several companies offer guided motorcycle tours for popular routes like the Pacific Coast Highway and Route 66. These tours often include accommodations, a guide, and sometimes even motorcycle rentals.
8. What should I pack for a coastal motorcycle road trip?
Pack essentials like a first-aid kit, water, snacks, a map or GPS, a toolkit, spare parts, rain gear, and sun protection. Don't forget personal documents and any necessary permits.
9. Can I find gas stations easily along these coastal routes?
While major routes like the Pacific Coast Highway have frequent gas stations, it's always a good idea to plan your stops, especially when riding through more remote areas.
10. Are there any mobile apps recommended for navigating these coastal motorcycle routes?
Yes, apps like REVER and Scenic are popular among motorcyclists for route planning, navigation, and discovering new rides. They often include user reviews, which can be helpful in planning your journey.