The Pacific Coast often hogs all the glory, but don't overlook the subtler charms of the Atlantic. One of the best places to explore on two wheels is one you might least expect: New Jersey. Route 9 parallels the coast, giving riders a great sampler of the Garden State — urban, suburban, and rural — along the way. "I look for rides that are varied, have points of interest, and challenge my riding skills. Route 9 fits the bill," says Howard Karp, a longtime New Jersey resident, riding instructor and owner of three motorcycles. "The road continually changes, demanding the rider to adapt." He says a particularly good time to check out the route is during Wildwood's Roar to the Shore Motorcycle Rally, slated this year for September.
Can't-miss stop: Route 9 ends in southern New Jersey in one of the state's most famous beach towns, Cape May. Make time to poke around the shops and grand homes, among the nation's best collection of Victorian architecture. Up for more riding? Hop on the ferry to Lewes, Delaware, and continue your ride down the coast.