Are you wanting to have an unforgettable road trip in Florida but have no idea where to go? Florida has everything that you could possibly want in a road trip—sunshine, beaches, natural parks, wildlife, historical sites, delicious food, and drinks. With so much available, knowing how to narrow it down can feel impossible.
That’s why we have assembled a guide full of amazing road trip routes you can take through Florida. Whether you do only one or two of them or chain them all together, we know you’ll have a blast with these routes.
Route 1: Miami to Key West
The drive from Miami to Key West is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and scenic routes in Florida. Start your journey in Miami by making your way past the Southern Glades Wildlife and Environmental Area. Once you’ve reached the ocean, you’ll head down to the Florida Keys via the famous Overseas Highway. The route is approximately 160 miles long and takes about four hours to complete.
Along the way, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and picture-perfect landscapes. Make sure to stop at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and take a glass-bottomed boat tour to witness the stunning underwater world of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. You’ll also pass through the Seven Mile Bridge, one of the most photographed bridges in the world. Once you reach Key West, indulge in some fresh seafood and soak up the island’s laid-back vibe.
Route 2: Tampa to Naples
The next picturesque route in our list takes you from Tampa to Naples along the west coast of Florida. On the way to your destination, there are numerous beaches, parks, and natural attractions that you won’t want to miss. Start your trip in Tampa and head south to St. Petersburg, where you’ll find the Salvador Dalí Museum. Outside of Europe, you won’t find a larger collection of this artist’s astonishing masterpieces. Continue south to Sarasota and then to Venice, where you can explore the charming downtown and famous Venice Beach.
If you want to take a fun detour during your trip, you should stop at the Myakka River State Park. This area is a lush preserve known for its airboat tours, hiking trails, and wildlife spotting. Once you finally reach Naples, revel in the lap of luxury with its upscale shopping, dining, and stunning beaches.
Route 3: Jacksonville to Tallahassee
Too many people ignore the northern part of Florida. If you want to try something new, you shouldn’t overlook this route. By going from Jacksonville to Tallahassee, you can experience the vibrant culture and historical landmarks Florida has to offer. However, you’ll have to take the scenic route to truly experience it all. The straightest path between the two isn’t quite as interesting.
If you decide to check this route out, you’ll begin your journey in Jacksonville, one of Florida’s largest cities with plenty to see. If you want to experience some of the nature this area has to offer, you should stop by the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, a protected coastal wetland that’s great for hiking and bird-watching.
After that, you’ll head south to St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. St. Augustine is rich with history that dates back to the 16th century, so make sure to stop by Castillo de San Marcos, a Spanish fort that has stood for over 300 years. As you head west, you’ll continue to Gainesville, home to the University of Florida and the Florida Museum of Natural History, before eventually heading back north to Tallahassee, the state capital. Explore the city’s cultural landmarks, such as the Florida State Capitol, the Tallahassee Museum, and the Josephine F. Ford Sculpture Garden.
Route 4: Pensacola Beach to Apalachicola
If you want to check out another northern Florida road trip, the Pensacola Beach to Apalachicola trip takes you along the scenic Emerald Coast, featuring stunning beaches and natural parks. Start your journey in Pensacola Beach, known for its sugar-white sand and clear turquoise waters. If that’s not enough beach for you, you can stop at the Gulf Islands National Seashore, where you can also enjoy activities such as hiking, kayaking, and fishing.
After that, continue east to Panama City Beach, a lively resort town with an array of attractions, including Pier Park, Shipwreck Island Waterpark, and St. Andrews State Park. Further east, you’ll find Apalachicola, a charming historic town on the Gulf of Mexico home to boutique shops, art galleries, and some of the best seafood in Florida. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a sunset cruise and observe the beauty of this hidden gem.
Route 5: Orlando to Palm Beach
The final option in our ultimate guide to amazing road trip routes in Florida will take you from the theme park capital of the world to the state’s more upscale region. When starting any journey in Orlando, it’s nearly impossible not to stop by Disney and Universal for a few days. After that, though, you’ll want to start making your way south to Palm Beach. If you take the beautiful coastal route, you’ll have the opportunity to visit some of the most famous destinations in Florida, including the Daytona International Speedway and Kennedy Space Center.
Once you reach Palm Beach, indulge in the opulence of this luxurious destination. Stroll along Worth Avenue, known for its high-end shopping, or relax on the island’s tranquil beaches. Don’t forget to visit the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, a national historic landmark that tells the story of Florida’s Gilded Age.
How To Get to Your Destinations
Most people simply hop into their personal vehicles and get going for road trips. However, not enough of them even stop to consider if that’s the best option. While the family car may be familiar, it likely already has a lot of miles on it and might not have the kind of storage space you need to take a proper road trip.
That’s why you should look into rental options before your big adventure. Whether you need more space for people or storage, the Mercedes Sprinter is usually a great option. Most models can carry 12 or more people, with plenty of room for each of them to store their luggage. If you’re starting your trip in Miami, then we can be of assistance to you. We offer 12-passenger Sprinter van rentals in Miami and many other options, so take the time to figure out which of our rentals is best for your upcoming trip.