Embark on an unforgettable adventure and escape from reality into some of Florida’s most stunning landscapes. Learn about five amazing road trips here!
Florida has abundant natural beauty and beautiful landscapes, ranging from the enchanting beaches of white sand to the enormous wetlands and lush forests that cover the state. There is no better way to properly appreciate the immense beauty of the Sunshine State than to pack up the kids and go out on an adventure with your loved ones around the Sunshine State’s breathtaking roadways. From the well-known Seven Mile Bridge to the less prominent Green Mountain Scenic Byway, this article looks more in-depth at five of Florida’s most stunning drives you must experience.
1. US-1: From Key Largo to Key West
The journey from Key Largo to Key West on US-1 is considered one of the state’s most beautiful drives. This 110-mile route separates the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You’ll go over 42 bridges on your way to your destination, one of which is the well-known Seven Mile Bridge. This famous bridge makes walking, riding bikes, rollerblading, and even fishing easy. If you look carefully, you might see dolphins swimming alongside you or catch a manatee hanging out over the water. Both of these sights are possible if you pay attention.
During the route, you’ll pass through several quaint coastal villages, such as Marathon and Islamorada. Make it a point to schedule some time in your itinerary to explore the area’s many historical and environmental sites, such as the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the Florida Keys History and Exploration Center, and the Ernest Hemingway House and Museum.
2. A1A: from Amelia Island to St. Augustine
Consider taking the A1A from Amelia Island down to St. Augustine as another option for a lovely drive in Florida. The journey starts at the historic town of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Here, you may stroll along the harbor, sample regional food in the historic area, or go to the Amelia Island Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in the state. You can see even more of the breathtaking Atlantic coastline as you travel 40 miles.
As you travel further south, you will encounter several state parks and wildlife preserves, such as the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve and Fort Clinch State Park. Take some time to explore the 73,000-acre preserve on foot or by bike, go bird watching, or kick back and relax.
Along the journey, you can stop at small beach villages such as Ponte Vedra Beach and Vilano Beach, as well as visit the historic buildings and cultural attractions in St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. This city is packed with historical museums that will take you back in time and give you an insight into what life was like in Old Florida. This route affords many chances to pause and appreciate the beauty of life, such as stopping to smell the roses.
3. Tamiami Trail: From Miami to Naples
If visiting the Everglades in Florida is on your bucket list, you should take the Tamiami Trail from Miami to Naples. This route of around 165 miles takes drivers across the largest marsh in the whole United States. Along the journey, you will have the opportunity to stop at several national parks, such as Everglades National Park, where you can spot a wide variety of animals, including hundreds of different types of birds, alligators, and even panthers.
The Miccosukee Indian Village is traversed by this historic route as it travels across the area. You can make a pit stop here to eat some tasty alligator nuggets and find out more about the history and culture of the Native American tribe that has resided in this area for centuries. This community also provides airboat tours, which allow visitors to see the expansive Everglades from a different vantage point. When you get closer to Naples, you will be rewarded with breathtaking Gulf of Mexico coastline vistas.
4. Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway
The Bradenton Beach Scenic Drive is the kind of journey ideal for kicking back and unwinding with the windows down, and the music cranked up to eleven. This three-mile road is perfect for a quick drive and offers breathtaking scenery at every turn. The road winds along the Gulf of Mexico’s coast, giving drivers amazing views of the area’s beautiful beaches, clear blue water, and lush greenery.
In addition, it is a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly roadway, so locals and tourists are welcome to stroll or ride their bikes beside you without fear of danger. Throughout the route, you will pass by quaint beachfront neighborhoods and historic buildings like the Bridge Street Pier and Clock Tower, which contribute to the allure and personality of the surrounding area.
Have a picnic with your family, bask in the sunshine, and take in the calming atmosphere while you stop at some of the locality’s one-of-a-kind businesses and eateries. A trip down the Gulf Coast of Florida on the Bradenton Beach Scenic Drive is an absolute must for anyone looking for a calm and beautiful way to travel.
5. Green Mountain Scenic Byway: From Winter Garden to Mt. Dora
The Green Mountain Scenic Byway is one of the lesser-known routes in Florida, yet it is an absolute must-see journey that takes you through the heart of rolling hills and farmland in Florida. The picturesque and historic town of Winter Garden is the starting point for the 45-mile drive that follows Lake Apopka’s shoreline. The byway is exceptionally breathtaking in the fall when the leaves on the trees change to vivid shades of orange and red, and in the spring, when the wildflowers are in full bloom and the byway is adorned with their vibrant colors.
The Green Mountain Scenic Byway is an absolute must-see for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors. Stopping by one of the many local farms or markets is a great way to experience freshly grown vegetables and the wares created in the area. In addition, the byway is a well-traveled path for cyclists. It serves as the venue for many internationally renowned triathlons, both of which breathe new life into rural areas of Florida.
Road Trip Safety
Did you know Florida is home to five of the United States’ most treacherous highways, with US-1 at the top? You need to know everything there is to know about the risks of your upcoming road trip so that you can take the proper precautions. To stay safe on your next road trip, follow Florida’s traffic laws, always wear your seatbelt, and stay alert while driving. Always put safety first in any situation.
Here’s to a stress-free and fun road trip in Florida; keep safe and be prepared for whatever comes your way.