While driving on this route, you will be surrounded on all sides by the gorgeous Caribbean Sea.
The views are amazing and it feels like you are gliding above the water. Most people make a road trip to the Florida Keys while on holiday to visit the many beaches, go diving, and sample some local delicacies like key lime pie. Though the road through the Florida Keys is long, the Keys themselves are not large by any means. Admittedly, most attractions are small here — the beaches are certainly compact — and are fairly limited actually. There are a few things to do in the Florida Keys that are noteworthy. Strewn throughout the keys are several excellent parks that offer quintessential Caribbean scenery.
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The Florida 1A1 does not go this far into the ocean — it ends at Key West — so the park is only accessible by boat. Set amongst the shoals of Caribbean coral, the fort itself is extremely impressive if not for its scope then for its gorgeous natural surroundings.
The Everglades are the most visited national park in Florida and arguably one of the most important natural sanctuaries in the USA. Among the shallow waters, the labyrinthian cypress groves, and the towering pines are some of the most precarious wildlife species in the South, including the Florida panther, manatees, and the American crocodile, to name a few. The Everglades are an extremely vital part of the surrounding ecosystems and provide crucial support the wildlife and humans as well.
The habitability of much of Southern Florida depends on the Everglades so much so that it became a protected national park and the source of great rehabilitation. A road trip through the Everglades will be a very enlightening if not exhilarating experience. The landscape here is powerful and exploring it is certainly one of the most unique things to do in Florida. Be aware there is only one gas pump at the very end of The Everglades are most often experienced via an airboat — those weird looking watercrafts with giant propellers. Booking a tour with one of these will grant you plenty of opportunities to see wildlife.
The Everglades also hosts a number of hiking and bike trails. The dry season is the best time to do both as the trails will be clear and the water will be low enough to spot local wildlife. Book Your Everglades Lodge Here. In a state where every city feels either like a resort or an amusement park, Tampa Bay may be the only place that actually feels like a city.
Tampa Bay is one of the most important economic sectors in the state, being a crucial center for technology, shipping, research, and manufacturing. Tampa Bay is arguably grittier if not more authentic city than Miami or Fort Lauderdale, which can feel somewhat simulated at times. That being said, Tampa Bay is still a Floridian city, which means that the sun keeps on shining statistically more than Miami, actually and the beaches are never too far away. For these reasons, Tampa Bay is one of the best cities to visit in Florida.
Tampa Bay is a huge metropolitan area composed of several smaller cities. Petersburg , and Clearwater. Tampa is considered the hub of the three.
As a whole, the Tampa Bay area is one of the best and cheapest places to visit in Florida as well. Tampa has several districts worth visiting. Most fun to visit is Ybor City , which is the historic immigrant quarter. Across the bay is St. Petersburg, which is like a smaller version of Tampa. Like Tampa, there are several fascinating museums in St.
Pete has a thriving nightlife! Finally, Clearwater has the best beaches in the area.here
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Clearwater Beach is considered the best city beach but local state parks like Sand Key, Caladesi Island, and Honeymoon Islands are fierce competitors. Book Your Tampa Lodge Here. These complexes are absolutely enormous and are practically self-contained cities unto themselves, complete with private lodgings, restaurants, and public transport.
Outside of the amusement parks, Orlando itself is a garden-city that hosts some of the most impressive botanic gardens and parks in the state. Places like Harry P. Leu Gardens, Mead Botanical Garden, and the Historic Bok Sanctuary offer an impressive variety of flowers and flora from all over the world. Orlando is also surrounded by countless lakes. Lake Eola , near the center of Orlando, is one of the centerpieces of the city.
Lake Tohopekaliga and Lake Kissimmee are also very bucolic places that offer good wildlife viewing opportunities — in particular, bald eagles are commonly spotted. North of Orlando, there are several freshwater springs.
Epic Florida Road Trip Guide for 12222
These springs often have crystal-clear water — a phenomenon that Central Florida is famous for — and are great places for swimming. In the cooler winter months, Blue Springs sometimes receives visiting manatees as well. Rainbow Springs is a bit further west and is actually a great road trip from Tampa as well. Book Your Kissimmee Lodge Here. The best surfing in Florida is also found on this part of the coast. Rockets are still launched at Kennedy but, these days, mostly carry cargo. You can visit the Kennedy Space Center in person, and check for upcoming launches here.
On to the beaches though!
Directly north of Kennedy is the Canaveral National Seashore , which is one of the longest stretches of undeveloped beach in Florida. Beyond this is Daytona Beach , home to the Daytona Races. Moving on north we arrive in St. Augustine , which is most notable for its Spanish heritage. This anachronistic town is a relic from Spanish colonialism and is full historical architecture.
A Place of Pride and Politics
The Castillo de San Marcos is the most impressive colonial site. Finally, we arrive in the largest city on the Atlantic Coast of Florida: Jacksonville. Jacksonville is a sprawling metropolis but still slightly smaller than Miami in terms of population. The city does have a number of museums and historical landmarks, but most people visit for the beach what else? Jacksonville Beach is a lovely city beach but pales in comparison to the nearby Amelia Island , which is one of the most desirable vacation spots in the USA.
Best of all, you can find some very affordable lodges here, making it one of the best cheap places to visit in Florida too.
Simple florida map
This area includes the larger coastal cities of Pensacola, Panama City, and Destin. Between these cities are some absolutely spectacular beaches that are relatively untouched compared to overrun coastline around Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The Emerald Coast attracts families from all over the South, who want to make their own road trip to Florida. Those who really want to go into the Heart of Darkness that is Florida should head to the Forgotten Coast. The local towns found here are among the least visited communities in Florida.
Consider going on an adventure here if the rest of the state feels boring to you. As the administrative center of the state, the city has several historical museums that exhibit everything from colonization to WWII to natural phenomenon. Aside from being the capital, Tallahassee is also a college town, hosting the immensely popular Florida State University , which means that this town can get pretty wild on weekends and game days.