20 Florida Scenic Drives That Absolutely Must Take a Trip (2023)

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21. April 2016

VonOrlando weekly team

There are many ways to drive around the state, but don't beat yourself up by following the turnpike or I-4. Scenic Highways are there for a reason: get where you need to go while enjoying the best parts of Florida along the way.

Legends by Kim Slichter

(Video) 10 Most Scenic Drives in the U.S.

Scroll down to view images.

20 Florida Scenic Drives That Absolutely Must Take a Trip (1)

If Roger Daltrey drove that endless stretch of Florida's famous highway, he would surely sing about seeing for miles. This road takes you along the east coast of the state, from where you can see the beach in the distance almost continuously. However, if the sand and waves don't occupy your view, you'll find yourself in towns like St. Augustine.
Photo via Site A1A

20 Florida Scenic Drives That Absolutely Must Take a Trip (2)

(Video) Miami to Key West Road Trip: 17 Stops Along the Florida Keys Scenic Highway

big curve
Your experience here will depend entirely on what time of year you choose to sail, but whichever you choose, you're sure to be impressed by the nature you encounter. Spring presents you with blooming wildflowers and the melodies of songbirds. Summer is for swimming. Butterflies and bird migrations appear in the fall. Even winter has its natural advantages, as you can see eagles nesting and alligators sunbathing in Florida.
Photo via the Big Bend website

20 Florida Scenic Drives That Absolutely Must Take a Trip (3)

Scenic Highway 30A
We know, we know, the name isn't all that impressive, but the view certainly is. Avoid walking to all the typical beaches that people regularly talk about and instead drive and be sure to stop at the many that this highway hugging the Gulf of Mexico will take you to.
Foto via Website Florida Scenic Highway

20 Florida Scenic Drives That Absolutely Must Take a Trip (4)

Car not necessary for this, folks. This pedestrian and cycle path takes you parallel to the Gulf, where you may be lucky enough to see a manatee or two craning their adorable fat heads over the water. Between them and the bounty of bird watching opportunities, you'd better get out of your car to see it all.
Foto via Website Florida Scenic Highway

20 Florida Scenic Drives That Absolutely Must Take a Trip (5)

Courtney Campell
In its 80+ years of existence, this tour has become the preferred route for many people to get from Tampa to Clearwater, especially those wanting a glimpse of Old Tampa. Just under 10 miles away, Courtney Campbell lets you watch the waves break while palm tree after palm tree sways in the breeze.
Foto via Website Florida Scenic Highway

(Video) The 20 Most Beautiful Natural Sites In Florida

20 Florida Scenic Drives That Absolutely Must Take a Trip (6)

Florida Blackberry
The state's finest highways take you along the ocean, but this one takes you right through the Ocala National Forest, the Big Scrub, and a series of lively springs. If the name doesn't give you a clue, there's a high chance you'll see a Florida black bear along the way, so have your camera ready.
Foto via Website Florida Scenic Highway

20 Florida Scenic Drives That Absolutely Must Take a Trip (7)

green mountain
It's easy to forget that Florida actually has hills to its name, so driving past Green Mountain can come as a bit of a shock. In just 12 miles you can drive over many of Lake Wales Ridge's tallest hills, like Sugarloaf Mountain, known as Florida's highest point at 312 feet.
Photo via gm_pizza/Instagram


20 Florida Scenic Drives That Absolutely Must Take a Trip (8)

Indian river lagoon
This scenic road is divided into three sections - North, Central and South - so it wouldn't be a bad idea to split your exploration of this route. There are three national wildlife refuges and an insane amount of state and local parks where you'll see thousands of species of plants and animals, more than any other North American estuary. Surfers should bring their boards as you will pass Cocoa Beach.
Foto via Website Florida Scenic Highway

20 Florida Scenic Drives That Absolutely Must Take a Trip (9)

JC Penney Memorial
In the constant hustle and bustle of big city life, it's good to remember that small towns can still thrive, like Penney Farms, the town through which this scenic drive takes you. Park your car and ride the tram on this quaint pedestrian street, where you can tour historic 1920's buildings and museums, or just enjoy the shade provided by the oaks and magnolias.
Photo via J.C. PenneyMemorial/Facebook

20 Florida Scenic Drives That Absolutely Must Take a Trip (10)

Florida key
Capture the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico simultaneously with nothing but you, your car, a bridge and more water around you than anyone can imagine. There are also stops along the way to take care of state parks and museums in case you need to take a break.
Photo via antwahn_matas/Instagram

(Video) The Best Rural Small Towns in Florida

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What is the most scenic drive in Florida? ›

  1. The Overseas Highway. 6,963. ...
  2. Sanibel Causeway. 1,367. ...
  3. Ormond Scenic Loop & Trail. 613. ...
  4. Emerald Coast. Bodies of Water • Points of Interest & Landmarks. ...
  5. US Highway 98. Scenic Drives. ...
  6. Manatee Observation Deck. Observation Decks & Towers • Scenic Drives. ...
  7. Turner River Road. Nature & Wildlife Areas • Scenic Drives. ...
  8. Ridge Scenic Highway.

What is the best scenic route to drive? ›

19 Scenic Roads In The US Everyone Should Drive Down At Least...
  • Pacific Coast Highway — California. ...
  • The Overseas Highway — Florida. ...
  • US Route 163 — Arizona and Utah. ...
  • The Hana Highway — Hawaii. ...
  • Beartooth Highway — Montana and Wyoming. ...
  • Cascade Loop — Washington. ...
  • Kancamagus Highway — New Hampshire. ...
  • Parke County Drive — Indiana.
Sep 5, 2020

What is a good road trip to Florida? ›

16 Incredible Road Trips in Florida
  • Blue Spring State Park to Weeki Wachee Spring. ...
  • Miami to Key West. ...
  • Tampa to Jacksonville through Orlando. ...
  • Tampa to Naples. ...
  • Tallahassee to Pensacola. ...
  • Chipley to Rainbow Springs State Park. ...
  • Punta Gorda To Pine Island. ...
  • Canaveral National Seashore to Cocoa Beach.
Nov 1, 2022

Is there an app for scenic drives? ›

Ultimate Drives - Scenic Driving Roads App with the best drives in the US.

What is the number one vacation spot in Florida? ›

Orlando is the destination of choice for many people planning a vacation to Florida, and for good reason: There's Walt Disney World and Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Universal Studios, Universal's Islands of Adventure, Animal Kingdom, Discovery Cove, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Gatorland, and more.

What is the number 1 tourist destination in Florida? ›

What is this? Walt Disney World, located in Lake Buena Vista near Orlando, is the flagship of Disney's worldwide theme park empire and the most popular tourist attraction in Florida. It is also by far, the world's largest and most-visited theme park resort.

What is the cheapest month to go to Florida? ›

The cheapest times to visit

The cheapest months to fly to Florida are September, May (except for Memorial Day weekend) and early June before schools let out. You can find terrific values on hotels and activities in the fall (Sept.

What is the best month to go to Florida? ›

Visit during the summer and you can expect the weather to be hot and humid, with highs of around 92 F (33 C). The rainy season begins to kick-in in June and last through early October – this is the best time to visit Florida for lower prices and great deals.

What day of the week is best to drive to Florida? ›

If you decide to do this road trip, I highly recommend traveling on a Saturday or Sunday, when you won't run into normal rush hour traffic.

What is the best free driving app? ›

Top 10 Driving Apps That Are A Must For 2023
  1. Waze. Cost: Free. Available: IOS & Android. ...
  2. Smart Dash Cam. Cost: Free. Available: IOS & Android. ...
  3. Petrol Prices. Cost: Free. Available: IOS & Android. ...
  4. Just Park. Cost: Free. ...
  5. Find My Parked Car. Cost: Free. ...
  6. PlugShare. Cost: Free. ...
  7. MileIQ. Cost: Free. ...
  8. CityMapper. Cost: Free.

Is the scenic app free? ›

Take the scenic route

Plan, ride, track and share your adventures with the #1 rated motorbike navigation app. Scenic is free to download and always will be.

How do I get Google Maps to take a scenic route? ›

Take the scenic route

Tap the three-dot menu button in the top corner of the screen, then tap Route options. Among the choices: avoid highways, avoid tolls, and avoid ferries. You can enable one, two, or all three settings if you wish.

What is the #1 scenic drive in the USA? ›

1: Hana Highway (Hwy 360), Maui, Hawaii

For those who want to feel unbelievable happiness and inspiration to live, Hana Highway (Hwy 360) in Maui, Hawaii is the perfect place to take a scenic drive. It is a 64.4-mile (103.6 km) long highway, which connects Kahului with the small town, Hana.

Are there any scenic drives in Florida? ›

There are scenic highways, and then there are Florida's Scenic Highways. Florida has no shortage of beautiful drives, from the canopy roads of Tallahassee and Ocala's rambling horse country, to Miami's glittery cityscape and more than 825 miles of beaches.

What is the most beautiful drive in the United States? ›

10 of the most scenic drives in the USA
  • Going-To-The-Sun road – Glacier, Montana.
  • Skyline Drive – Shenadoah, Virginia.
  • California State Route 180 (King's Canyon Scenic Byway)
  • Cades Cove Loop.
  • The Overseas Highway: Miami to Key West.
  • North Cascades Scenic Byway.
  • Beartooth Highway – Southwest Montana.
Mar 10, 2021

What is the happiest place in Florida? ›

Cape Coral is the happiest city in Florida, but it isn't among the happiest in the nation, according to a new report from WalletHub.

Where is the cheapest place to vacation in Florida? ›

Top 8 Cheapest Florida Vacations
  1. Clearwater/St. Pete. ...
  2. Cocoa Beach. Also known as Space Coast, Cocoa Beach is just a few miles south of the famous Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. ...
  3. Gainesville. Okay, Florida Gators fan, I know you know Gainesville. ...
  4. Marathon. ...
  5. Ocala. ...
  6. Orlando. ...
  7. Pensacola. ...
  8. Sarasota.
Mar 31, 2022

What place in Florida has the most things to do? ›

Orlando[SEE MAP]

Orlando is theme-park city, having more theme parks than any place else in the world. There's Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, Universal Studios, SeaWorld and Gator Park, to name a few, all of which bring 51 million visitors a year to this central Florida city of 2 million people.

What city is at the very tip of Florida? ›

Key West, city, seat (1824) of Monroe county, southwestern Florida, the southernmost city within the continental United States. It lies about 100 miles (160 km) from the mainland on a sand and coral island about 4 miles (6.5 km) long and 1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide in the western Florida Keys.

What time of year is cheapest to go to Florida? ›

The cheapest time to go to Florida is during the late spring and early fall. Luckily, you'll experience mild weather and stay mostly dry during these shoulder seasons, extra perks that make your savings even more worthwhile. You may run the risk of a possible hurricane in the fall.

What day of the week is cheapest to fly to Florida? ›

What is the cheapest day to fly to Florida? The cheapest day to fly to Tampa International is currently Wednesday, March 1, 2023. The cheapest day to fly to Orlando Sanford is currently Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

What is the safest and cheapest city in Florida? ›

Cape Coral

Cape Coral is a city located in the southwestern part of the state. It's easily one of the most affordable places to live in Florida. It's also one of the safest cities in Florida, with one of the lowest crime rates in the state.

What is the least rainy month in Florida? ›

The driest month is December with 8 mm of rainfall and 30 perfect sunny days. The wettest month is June with 89 mm of rain over 7 days.

What are the two hottest months in Florida? ›

In Florida during July and August it is common for the daily temperature range to be between 73° F and 95° F.

What are the most rainy months in Florida? ›

The rainy season usually has three phases, according to the National Weather Service.
  • Phase One: Late May through June is when severe storms are most likely. ...
  • Phase Two: July through early September is when the rainy season peaks. ...
  • Phase Three: Mid-September through early October.
May 14, 2022

What is the deadliest month to drive? ›

Most Dangerous Season for Driving

There are more crashes between Memorial Day and Labor Day than during any other season. It's why "The 100 Deadliest Days" is a label that's stuck. In 2021, the label didn't go away: nearly 12,000 people died on the road during the summer, according to the NHTSA.

What city in Florida do you not need a car? ›


Augustine is one of the oldest cities in the country, which allows for it's walkability. The streets of the city's historic district are short and narrow — they didn't have cars back then — so your only choice is to walk.

What is the safest time of day to drive? ›

The best time of day to start a road trip and travel by car is early in the morning, before rush hour. You should plan to leave around 6:00 AM if you're only driving a short distance and even earlier for long trips. Starting in the mornings is safer due to less traffic and fewer accidents.

What is the most photographed road in Florida? ›

Magnolia Ave. One of the most photographed streets in the USA | Florida travel, St augustine florida, Someday over the rainbow.

What is the scenic drive along the Florida Gulf Coast? ›

Scenic Highway 30A is a 24 mile corridor that hugs the Gulf of Mexico coastline in Northwest Florida's Walton County. Along this breathtaking drive you will see sugar-white sand beaches and rare coastal dune lakes. Scenic Highway 30A is a tourist attraction of major proportions.


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