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Destinations

The Greatest Highway Journeys in Florida

Should you’re dreaming about heading to Florida for a little bit trip, you’re not alone. With a file breaking 120+ million vacationers visiting Florida again in 2018, there’s little doubt Florida is one in all North America’s hottest locations.

Between the world class amusement parks, the miles and miles of beautiful white sand seashores, the lushness of the Everglades, the relaxed vibes of the Keys, the nightlife of Miami and the unmistakable magnificence within the Florida Panhandle you’ll be able to guess that for those who can’t discover what you’re on the lookout for in Florida, you’re merely not making an attempt arduous sufficient.

Whereas heading to 1 space in Florida generally is a enjoyable journey, no actual Florida trip is full with out taking at the very least 1 street journey. Whilst you can drive from down south in Miami up via Orlando and over to Pensacola in below 10 hours, even whereas passing via a few of Florida’s largest cities, one of the best street journeys in Florida take only some hours at finest from the most important cities.

That mentioned, whilst you can lease the whole lot from a scooter to a Lamborghini whereas in Florida, for those who actually wish to get away from the crowds, you may as well lease a camper in Orlando and take your time visiting a few of Florida’s hidden gems.

Greatest Highway Journeys Round Miami, Florida

Whereas Miami has a ton to supply from lovely seashores to superb nightlife (together with latin salsa dancing, Cuban impressed dishes and extra well-known folks displaying up round city than any metropolis outdoors California), generally you want a couple of days to chill out.

There are 2 fast day journeys that come to thoughts when primarily based in Miami. The Florida Keys and the Florida Everglades. Every might be carried out in a day however each need to be a part of one of the best street journeys in Florida.

Highway Journey to the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys is one in all Florida’s most chill locations with among the longest bridges within the nation linking dozens of small sandy islands often known as keys. Heading out to the Keys for the day (as they’re affectionately recognized) is a well-liked Florida day journey from Miami and even Fort Lauderdale.

Heading south, and fewer than an hour away from Miami, is the primary (and sometimes ultimate) cease, the biggest key/island within the archipelago, Key Largo. In Key Largo you’ll be able to go scuba diving or take a snorkel tour on the first underwater park in the US, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which includes a part of the Florida Reef, the one dwelling coral barrier reef within the continental United States. You may also lease kayaks and take a look at the park at your personal tempo or faux you’re Bogart and Hepburn and take the African Queen Canal Cruise.

Should you select to proceed your 2 hour, 100 mile drive down the Florida Keys you’ll encounter many cute parks and small cities, extra bridges than you’ll ever see once more after which, lastly, Key West. Key West is the southernmost metropolis within the contiguous United States and is simply 95 miles from Cuba. You’ll discover loads of relaxed vibes, nice diving, Cuban impressed delicacies and houses from Hemingway to Truman in addition to a rum distillery and loads of locations promoting the ever present key-lime pies (so named after the archipelago). There are additionally dozens of Mattress and Breakfasts in Key West in addition to a number of campgrounds for those who resolve to remain in a single day.

Highway Journey to the Florida Everglades

The Florida Everglades are dwelling to the whole lot from Alligators to panthers and are an amazing juxtaposition to about all issues Miami. That includes thrilling airboat tour rides within the swamps to superior mile lengthy boardwalks excessive over the various terrain, the Everglades are in contrast to nearly wherever else you’ll discover and make an amazing day lengthy street journey.

Since Miami and Fort Lauderdale are simply on the outskirts of the Everglades Nationwide Park, they’re a well-liked place to begin for an Everglades tour. Some folks discover that Key Largo may also make an amazing entryway to the Florida Everglades so for those who’re straight off the heels of your Florida Keys street journey, Key Largo could possibly be an amazing stopping level for the evening.

Micki and the kids in the Everglades Florida
Micki and the youngsters within the Everglades

Whilst you can drive over to any variety of Everglades airboat tour operators that present excursions aboard fast paced airboats (they’re a ton of enjoyable), we advise that both earlier than or after your tour you head to the Ernest F. Coe Customer Middle earlier than coming into the Everglades Nationwide Park correct and persevering with your journey south to the Flamingo Customer Middle. There you’ll be able to take a ranger lead tour of the Everglades and you may as well cease by the numerous boardwalks and mountain climbing trails like we’ve carried out quite a few occasions in your drive again as much as Miami. The Anhinga Path is usually rated as one of the best of those and shouldn’t be missed.

Alligators Lounging in the Everglades
Alligators Lounging within the Everglades

Greatest Highway Journeys round Orlando, Florida

Whereas theme parks and outlet malls dominate the panorama round Orlando and Kissimmee, after a couple of days of coping with the crowds you’ll wish to escape to someplace quieter and with fewer traces. Since Orlando is pretty central, you’ll be able to actually go in any course for a Florida street journey to see totally different surroundings.

Our suggestions for day lengthy street journeys from Orlando features a journey to Daytona Seashore in addition to Cape Canaveral and St. Augustine. So whether or not you’re feeling nostalgic, area loopy or simply want a day on the seashore this part has you lined.

Highway Journey to Cape Canaveral

NASA and area rockets. For some those who’s all I must say to have them asking the place and when can they go there. For the remainder of us, NASA’s Cape Canaveral heart has been launching rockets into area for over 70 years now and consists of some historic launches together with the primary rocket into area in addition to the launch of the primary US astronaut into area.

Lower than an hour away due east from central Orlando, the Kennedy Area Middle Customer Complicated on the grounds of the Kennedy Area Middle and adjoining to the Cape Canaveral Area Power Station are price a go to for those who’re excited by seeing some precise rockets which have truly been into outer area. It’s additionally an amazing place to convey any youngsters (younger or 99+) to dwell their aim of changing into an astronaut. In addition to the NASA customer website, there’s a beautiful lighthouse in Cape Canaveral that you would be able to hike to.

Highway Journey to Daytona Seashore

After hours spent in lineups and days spent dropping cash prefer it’s on hearth, you deserve some seashore time. Probably the most well-known seashores inside a hour of Orlando occurs to be Daytona Seashore. Sure, that Daytona Seashore.

Simply as well-known for it’s Daytona 500 NASCAR raceway as it’s for it’s yearly Spring Break school celebration standing, Daytona Seashore can get a little bit busy and even a little bit rowdy a couple of occasions annually. Exterior of these days although, it’s truly a pleasant seashore city and a great way to get some recent air and sunshine.

Situated simply an hours drive northeast of Orlando through Freeway 4, Daytona Seashore is a simple suggestion for most individuals. It will also be an amazing vacation spot for those who occur to be a spring breaker or love NASCAR, simply be sure you time your journey to coincide with both of these timeframes and for those who’re not, do your self a favor and keep away from heading there then.

Highway Journey to St. Augustine

Whereas not as cool as an area heart and never as enjoyable as a day on the seashore for some, town of St. Augustine nonetheless has a great deal of attraction. St. Augustine is simply north of Daytona Seashore and is a hefty 2.5 hour drive northeast of Orlando. Whereas it’s truly nearer to Jacksonville (40 miles vs 100 miles), chances are high higher you’re coming from Orlando anyway.

Referred to as America’s oldest metropolis, St. Augustine’s unique fort was in-built 1672 by the Spanish to guard town from water raids. Castillo de San Marcos is a large fort and homes tons of previous artifacts and sometimes has historic re-enactments. The crowning glory of the previous citadel is the every day firing of the cannonballs the place they use genuine canons to recreate what it was like again within the day. You may also stroll alongside the strong citadel partitions and seize a glimpse of a bygone period.

St. Augustine correct is a beautiful metropolis full with charming cobblestone roads, quaint eating places and cafes in addition to quite a few historic landmarks round city.

Greatest Highway Journeys Round Tampa Florida

If you end up in Tampa Florida and are on the lookout for a street journey you have got some nice choices. Go northeast for an hour and also you’ll end up in Orlando, dwelling to among the largest and finest theme parks on the planet together with Disney World and Common Studios (together with our households favourite place, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter).

Northwest of Tampa you have got Crystal River, dwelling of manatees and mermaids whereas southwest will get you to idyllic St. Petersburg and due south the place you’ll discover the beautiful sand seashores close to Sarasota.

Highway Journey to Crystal River

Dreaming of sea sponges, mermaids and manatees? This little street journey has all three, a little bit nature and a few lovely shoreline as nicely.

Heading west of Tampa will convey you to Clearwater and its surrounding areas. When you hit the coast you’ll be able to benefit from the charms of Dunedin and Palm Harbor nonetheless for those who proceed north on freeway 19 you’ll ultimately hit Tarpon Springs. It’s well-known for its Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks the place you’ll be able to stroll among the many boats and take a look at the mountains of sea sponges that litter the docks.

After you try the sponges, it’s time to get again within the car and proceed following US-19 freeway north till you get to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, dwelling of the world well-known Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid Present. This basic old skool Florida mermaid present has been operating for over 70 years! Sitting within the submerged 400 plus seating amphitheater is a real throwback to Florida’s roots and the underwater mermaid present is price each penny. There’s additionally over 500 acres of state park to discover right here coupled with choices like snorkeling, canoeing or kayaking within the crystal clear waters and even hitting up the native waterpark, Buccaneer Bay.

After a while right here, we will proceed working our manner north till we hit the quiet calmness of Crystal River. Located round Kings Bay and spring fed by a cluster of fifty+ springs, the clear water round Crystal River stays at a continuing 72°F or 22°C temperature yr spherical.

This inviting water attracts the West Indian Manatee (often known as the North American manatee or sea cow) which occurs to be the biggest surviving member of the manatee household. Residence to among the largest yr spherical collections of untamed manatees within the US, you’re positive to see some alongside one of many many paths across the metropolis or on the Three Sisters Springs boardwalk within the winter months when you will notice extra manatees within the water (round 300 from November to March) nonetheless there are nonetheless roughly 60 that reside within the waters round Crystal River yr spherical.

Should you’re there within the hotter months you’ll be able to elect to take a guided tour or lease a kayak or boat to go search them out your self however please keep in mind that manatees are a protected species so please maintain your distance. The return journey again to Tampa ought to take round 1.5 hours (80 miles) so plan your day correctly to incorporate at the very least 1 ice cream cease.

Highway journey to St. Petersburg

Should you’re craving a quieter metropolis than the busyness of Tampa with a nod to the humanities, St. Petersburg is perhaps your ticket to happiness. Set alongside the coast round a half hour southwest of Tampa, town boasts 10 museums (together with the Salvador Dalí Museum) plus a great deal of lovely parks and seashores. It additionally homes the Mahaffey Theater, dwelling of the Florida Orchestra.

Highway journey to Sarasota

Due south of each St. Petersburg and Tampa, Sarasota is dwelling to among the nicest sand seashores on the planet. Siesta Seashore particularly has topped finest seashore within the USA a number of occasions and is usually included within the prime 25 seashores of the world lists so it’s no shock we included it right here.

So, when solely 60 miles or 60 minutes of journey time is what’s separating you from one of many nicest seashores on the planet, the place do you go? That’s proper Sarasota. The sand at Siesta Seashore is almost 100% quartz-crystal sand and is so pure it by no means will get scorching. Contemplating Florida can get fairly heat in the summertime, that and clear water are an amazing combo.

Greatest Highway Journeys Round Pensacola Florida

Whether or not you’re there for the seashores or the water, you’ll love the areas round Pensacola Florida. Because the westernmost metropolis within the Florida Panhandle, Pensacola is definitely only some hours from New Orleans, is minutes from Alabama and is taken into account a pleasant place to go to by each one that goes there.

Nevertheless, if we head east of Pensacola, we not solely have among the nicest water in Florida but in addition one of many largest populations of bottle-nose dolphins on the planet.

Highway Journey to Destin

Whereas Miami Seashore has the gorgeous folks, Sarasota the positive sand and Daytona Seashore the wild events, everybody who’s been there is aware of Destin has among the nicest water in Florida. Referred to as the Emerald coast, this area of Florida has good purpose to boast about it’s beautiful waters.

Solely an hour from Pensacola lies Destin Florida. Identified for its clear emerald waters, Destin is exclusive for it’s sunken seashore nicknamed Crab Island. Folks flock to this protected stretch of water that averages only some toes deep and even arrange floating retailers, eating places and playgrounds. The water is so calm right here you’ll be able to lease a pontoon boat for the day and drop anchor or, for those who’re feeling actually celebration like, lease a floating Tiki Bar full with your personal private bartender and captain.

Highway Journey to St. Andrew State Park

No journey to Destin could be full with out additionally taking a drive out to St. Andrew State Park on the steps of Panama Metropolis. Situated one other hour previous Destin and a couple of hours (110 miles) from Pensacola correct lies one of the crucial visited parks in all of Florida. What makes St. Andrew State Park distinctive is that it homes St. Andrew’s Bay which in flip homes the biggest inhabitants of bottle-nose dolphins on the planet.

While you’re just about assured to identify a dolphin right here by yourself, probably the greatest methods to see them up shut is to take the ferry boat to the favored Shell Island. There are not any facilities on Shell Island nevertheless it makes an amazing day to get away from all of it and to see pods of dolphins first hand.

The Greatest Highway Journeys in Florida

Whether or not you’re visiting busy Orlando, hectic Tampa or decadent Miami, the reality is that Florida actually has one thing for everybody. Should you’re caught in a big heart and seeking to get away from the crowds, there’s at all times a pleasant street journey you’ll be able to take to clear your head and both get again to nature or someplace totally different sufficient to make your journey memorable. Lovely seashores, previous forts, swamps, rockets and dolphins are solely among the issues you’ll be able to see and expertise whilst you’re in Florida.

Tell us if we missed your favourite Floridian street journey and we’ll attempt to embrace it on our subsequent Florida put up. Protected travels.

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