Florida Road Trips

The Most Scenic Drives in Florida

If you were to design a state from scratch simply to drive through and explore, this would be it: Florida road trips have everything you could wish for. This long Southern state is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Of Mexico and has endless stunning sandy beaches.

Add in buzzing cities like Miami and Orlando, the vast national parks and the scenic drives down the Keys, and you have everything you could wish for. It is no surprise that so many people choose to vacation here and drive around the state rather than stay in one place. There is so much to see and so much ground to cover, that a driving vacation is exactly what is called for.

Pack up the bags, grab your friends and family to join in and get ready to enjoy the Sunshine State.

The Best Florida Road Trips

1. Miami to Key West

Driving along the Florida Keys Highway is a bucket-list road trip. Stretching on for 110 miles along 43 keys, the scenic highway also known as the southernmost leg of U.S. 1, has been called a “magic carpet” as it connects one gem of an island after another.

Distance: 159 miles

Route highlights: Marathon Key, Seven Mile Bridge, Key Lime Pie Company

When to do it: Year-round

Florida Scenic Highway: Keys Highway, from Miami to Key West ...

2. Everglades National Park

Driving though the Everglades never fails to impress, especially if you’re a nature lover. En route to the Everglades, stop at Everglades Alligator Farm, for a 30-minute airboat ride and a visit with ‘gators. You’ll then swing onto the 38-mile road that passes the Royal Palm Area, trailheads and observation points on its way to the Flamingo Visitor Center.

Distance: 38 miles

Route highlights: The pinelands, Pa-Hay-Okee Overlook, Paurotis Pond and Flamingo Visitor Center

When to do it: December-April

How to Explore the Florida Everglades | VISIT FLORIDA

3. Palm Beach to Daytona Beach

The island of Palm Beach is home to legendary resorts, exquisite mansions and historic landmarks. Spend a few days here before hitting the highway to Daytona Beach and and its famous wide beaches (that you can drive on!) surfing and Daytona Beach Pier with a Ferris wheel and other boardwalk fun.

Distance: 200 miles

Route highlights: Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Canaveral National Seashore

When to do it: October-May (Although you may want to avoid Spring Break)

Frequently Asked Questions | FAQs | Westgate Cocoa Beach Resort

4. Green Mountain Byway, Mount Dora to Winter Garden

The Green Mountain Scenic Byway is located in the center of the state close to Orlando, but feels far away from the bustle of city life. The roads are covered with moss-cloaked oaks along the Green Mountain Scenic Byway on the western and southern edge of Lake Apopka.

Distance: 19 miles

Route highlights: Sugarloaf Ridge; Lake Apopka.

When to do it: Year-round

5. Tallahassee to DeFuniak Springs

It’s only miles north of Interstate 10, but rural Highway 90 seems worlds away. Experience the soul of the South as you drive along the gently curving road that travels past the state capitol of Tallahassee through such antebellum towns as Quincy, Chattahoochee, Marianna and Chipley.

Explore caverns and natural springs, take time for a loop around perfectly circular Lake DeFuniak and cheers to the end of the route at the Chautauqua Winery.

Distance: 120.8 miles

Route highlights: Lake Talquin State Forest, Angus Gholson Nature Park, Apalachicola River

When to do it: Year-round

Noble Winery, Westfield, NY | Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau

6. Arcadia to Sanibel Island

Catch the summer sun on this 200-mile trip east from Arcadia to Lake Okeechobee. Cruise along old Highway 441 and discover historic Old Florida towns such as Pahokee, Belle Glade and Clewiston. Follow remote roads west in time to catch the sunset from the isles of Sanibel and Captiva.

Distance: 80 miles

Route highlights: Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park, Fort Myers, Punta Rassa

When to do it: December to April

7. Jacksonville to Palatka

This scenic drive is an easy day trip from Jacksonville, where you’ll finish the route in Palatka, a historic Northeast Florida city. Enjoy camping, canoeing, kayaking the area’s eight blueway trails, playing golf, touring historic homes and churches built in the 1800s, hiking or bicycling, and visiting birding sites listed in the Great Florida Birding Trail.

Distance: 60 miles

Route highlights: Fleming Island, Ravine Gardens State Park, and Palatka Mural Tour

When to do it: Year-round

Palatka Florida - Things to Do & Attractions in Palatka FL

If you are spending time in the state check out the best things to see, do, eat and drink here.