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  • King Neptune statue in Virginia Beach, Virginia
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    Starting Point: Virginia Beach, Virginia

  • Just before dawn at Bodie Island lighthouse along North Carolina's Outer Banks
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    Coastal Adventure in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

  • Historic homes on The Battery in Charleston, South Carolina
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    Old World Charm in Charleston, South Carolina

  • Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia
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    Southern Hospitality in Savannah, Georgia

  • City hall and Alcazar Courtyard in St. Augustine, Florida
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    Out and About in Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida

  • Colorful nightlife of South Beach in Miami, Florida
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    Only in Miami

  • The southernmost point in continental USA located in Key West, Florida
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    Caribbean Vibes in Key West

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina
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Southern Atlantic Coast

  • Route distance:
    2096km
  • Suggested Time:
    1-2 weeks

Cruise south to soak up coastal charm, sun and top sights

This splendid Southern Atlantic Coast Drive is a 1,800-kilometer trek starting in Virginia Beach, Virginia and ending in Key West, Florida, the southernmost point of the continental USA. The two-lane highway you'll follow shuffles between historical cities and charming beach towns, with long stretches of pristine coastal wilderness in between. What to bring: Beach gear, a cooler of cold drinks and a laid-back attitude.

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King Neptune statue in Virginia Beach, Virginia
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Starting Point: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Start your trip by flying into Norfolk International Airport and picking up a rental car. A quick half-hour drive will take you to the well-known Virginia Beach, a coastal city right in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. There’s plenty to do both on- and offshore here. Adventurers can spend the days hiking, paddle boarding and kayaking, while foodies can sample craft beers, take tours of the city’s oyster farms or sample local wine.
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139 km
2 hours by car
02
Just before dawn at Bodie Island lighthouse along North Carolina's Outer Banks
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Coastal Adventure in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

Continue on to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the state’s picturesque Kitty Hawk. History buffs will appreciate Kitty Hawk’s close connection to the pioneering Wright brothers, famous for conducting the first successful flight of a power-driven airplane. Beaches are the focal point here, so be prepared to get out on the water. Wildlife enthusiasts can hop on a tour to look for bottlenose dolphins, while those seeking to stay closer to shore can rent kayaks, or sample fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants.

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740 km
7 hours by car
03
Historic homes on The Battery in Charleston, South Carolina
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Old World Charm in Charleston, South Carolina

Once you’ve had your fill of the beach, head south to sample the distinctive southern charm of Charleston, South Carolina. The city’s cobblestone streets and antebellum architecture contribute to the old-world feel that makes this a favorite stop. By day, stroll around the elegant French Quarter or take in views along the waterfront. Unwind at night with fresh, local seafood and signature southern cuisine.

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173 km
2 hours by car
04
Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia
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Southern Hospitality in Savannah, Georgia

Continue heading south to land in the famously welcoming Savannah, Georgia. A steeped in history, it also offers visitors local cuisine, coastal adventures and stunning architecture. Take a walk in Forsyth Park during the day to snap photos of fountains among the city’s Spanish-moss laden oak trees, or stop at one of the many specialty shops to pick up a souvenir. Once the sun goes down, test your bravery by taking a walking ghost tour!

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224 km
2 hours by car
05
City hall and Alcazar Courtyard in St. Augustine, Florida
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Out and About in Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida

You’re nearing your final stop, but before the trip is over, make a point to spend a night in Jacksonville, Florida. If you’re a fan of the outdoors, you’ll find plenty to do here – Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the United States and is an ideal gateway to the area’s beaches. Visitors should take advantage of abundant opportunities for golfing, boating, biking or just soaking up the sun along the kilometers of coastline. Make a side trip to the charming, historic city of St. Augustine founded in 1565 by Spanish conquistadors.

556 km
5 hours by car
06
Colorful nightlife of South Beach in Miami, Florida
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Only in Miami

Continue southward down the east coast of Florida until you find Miami, a lively international hub. You’ll have to pick and choose your activities here, as there’s plenty to see and do among the city’s colorful art deco buildings and white-sand beaches. Spend the day tanning on the beach or sampling Cuban culture in Little Havana. If there’s time, escape the city and tour the region’s famous Everglades. At night, hit the town by indulging in a meal at one of the celebrity-owned restaurants before getting swept up in the active Miami nightlife.

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264 km
3 hours by car
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The southernmost point in continental USA located in Key West, Florida
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Caribbean Vibes in Key West

The last leg of your journey takes you to the artsy Key West, known for tropical heat, palm-lined streets and its distinctive conch houses. Here, history buffs can tour author Ernest Hemingway’s home or take a look at treasure recovered from sunken Spanish galleons. To unwind, browse the island’s eclectic galleries, feast on fresh seafood and sip on margaritas at an open-air bar. For a final send off, be sure to close your trip with a sunset celebration at Mallory Square.

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