Florida is flourishing with natural beauty and breathtaking sites, from the enchanting white sand beaches to the vast wetlands and lush forests. To truly appreciate the abundant beauty of the Sunshine State, there’s no better way than to embark on a road trip along its breathtaking highways with your family. Here is a closer look at five of the most picturesque must-see drives in Florida, from the famous Seven Mile Bridge to the lesser-known Green Mountain Scenic Byway
1. US-1: From Key Largo to Key West
One of the most scenic routes you can take in Florida is US-1 from Key Largo to Key West. This 110-mile drive splits the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, you’ll cross over 42 bridges, including the famous Seven Mile Bridge.
If you look closely, you may even see dolphins graciously swimming alongside you or catch a manatee hanging out above the water. This famous bridge also allows easy access for pedestrians to walk, bike, rollerblade, and even fish.
Along the drive, pass through charming coastal towns like Islamorada and Marathon. Be sure to make time to stop and enjoy the many natural and cultural attractions, like the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the Florida Keys History and Discovery Center, and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.
Watch this video vlog of a road trip from Key Largo to Key West:
2. A1A: from Amelia Island to St. Augustine
Another scenic route to consider for your Florida road trip is A1A from Amelia Island to St. Augustine. On this 40-mile, you get to explore more of the beautiful Atlantic coastline. The drive begins at the historic town of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, where you can take a stroll along the picturesque harbor, explore the local cuisine in the historic district, or visit the Amelia Island Lighthouse, the state’s oldest lighthouse.
As you continue south, you’ll pass by several state parks and wildlife preserves, including the Fort Clinch State Park and the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. Take a minute to hike, bike, bird watch, or relax somewhere in the 73,000-acre preservation.
Along the way, you can also stop at quaint beach towns like Ponte Vedra Beach and Vilano Beach, and explore the historic sites and cultural attractions in America’s oldest city, St. Augustine. This city is full of historical museums that transport you back in time and reveals what life was like in Old Florida. This drive supplies so many opportunities to stop and smell the roses that life has to offer.
Watch this video to get a glimpse:
3. Tamiami Trail: From Miami to Naples
If seeing the Florida Everglades is on your bucket list, then the Tamiami Trail from Miami to Naples is the perfect route for you. This 165-mile drive crosses the largest wetland in the United States. Along the way, you can make stops at several national parks, like the Everglades National Park, for a chance to spot all sorts of wildlife, such as alligators, panthers, and dozens of species of birds.
This historic highway also passes through the Miccosukee Indian Village. You can stop here to learn about the history and culture of the Native American tribe that has lived in the area for centuries and even grab a bite of delicious gator nuggets. This village also offers an airboat tour to view the vast Everglades from a different perspective. As you approach Naples, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico.
Watch this video of a similar road trip to see if it’s for you:
4. Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway
The Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway is the perfect drive to relax with the windows down and the stereo on full blast. If you’re looking for a short drive with unbelievable views, this 3-mile road is perfect for you. The highway winds along the Gulf of Mexico coast and has stunning views of white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush greenery.
Additionally, It is a pedestrian-friendly highway that is safe for residents and visitors to walk or bike alongside you. The drive takes you past charming beachfront communities and historic landmarks, such as the Bridge Street Pier and Clock Tower, which add to the area’s charm and character.
Along the way, you can stop at unique local shops and restaurants, or have a family picnic, soak in the sun, and enjoy the serene surroundings. The Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway is a must-visit for anyone seeking a relaxing and scenic drive along Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Watch this awesome 4K video to get a glimpse of Bradenton Beaches:
5. Green Mountain Scenic Byway: From Winter Garden to Mt. Dora
The Green Mountain Scenic Byway is one of Florida’s lesser-known routes, but a must-see drive that takes you through the heart of Florida’s rolling hills and countryside. The 45-mile drive starts in the old and pleasant town of Winter Garden and makes its way alongside Lake Apopka. The byway is particularly stunning in the fall when the trees turn vibrant shades of orange and red, and in the spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom.
There are many local farms and markets to stop at to sample fresh produce and locally made crafts. Additionally, the byway is a popular route taken by cyclists and is the site of several internationally recognized triathlons that brings life to rural Florida. For those who enjoy the countryside, the Green Mountain Scenic Byway is a must-visit.
Watch this video to get a glimpse of these iconic places:
Road Trip Safety Tips
Safety always comes first. As you embark on your next Florida road trip and explore these scenic routes, you should follow traffic laws, wear your seatbelt, and stay alert on the road. It’s important to understand the risks involved on your road trip so you will be extra cautious. Shapiro | Delgado emphasize that 5 of the most dangerous roads are located in Florida, with the US-1 at the top of the list. Awareness of where car accidents occur and the types of situations that lead to car accidents can help you stay safe and make informed decisions while driving. By staying safe and being prepared, you can have a stress-free and enjoyable road trip in Florida.