Florida is the perfect destination for a driving holiday in the USA and by travelling along the Sunshine State’s highways you will be able to enjoy the freedom of the open road. Book some car hire in advance before you jet off, to avoid the crazy prices in the airport terminals, gather your suitcases and off you go!
Starting from the western part of the state and ending in Key West in the south, you can take in a number of stunning attractions, including captivating views of Escambia Bay, the highest point of the Florida coastline. To get here you will need to be on the Pensacola Scenic Bluffs Highway section of Highway 90. At just 11 miles, this stretch of road will not take very long to drive but there will be plenty to pique your interest along the way. Beautiful oak trees and magnolias can be seen from the window of your car and as your drive over the bridge spanning the Bayou Texar stretch of water, you will ascend slowly until the stunning bay is at your feet.
From here, head along the Green Mountain Scenic Byway. This also contains a number of rolling peaks and you will really be able to see how the landscape around you changes as you climb and descend the hills.
One particular geographical landmark is Sugarloaf Mountain. Standing at 312 feet, this is the highest point in peninsular Florida so if you feel like stretching your legs, why not try climbing it? Once you’re back in the car, follow the road along the western and southern shores of Lake Apopka. Some great vistas of central Florida, including the Orlando skyline, can be seen as you drive along here.
Make your way to the 328-mile A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway, where you will be able to see notable attractions such as the Kennedy Space Center.
This NASA institution is located along the stretch of the byway known as the ‘space coast’ and can provide you with an insight into the United States’ numerous astronomical missions over the years.
You can find out more about the Apollo series of expeditions to the moon in the 1960s and 70s, as well as learn more about NASA’s current work. To get an idea of what it’s like to be an astronaut, go on the simulator, which recreates the sights, sounds and sensations of an actual space shuttle launch!
As you drive along the highway, stop by the historic city of St Augustine. Founded in 1565, it is the oldest continuously-occupied city in the United States. Spanish colonial buildings that date back hundreds of years can still be seen to this day, while a trip to the St Augustine Alligator Farm gives you the chance to look at a range of wildlife, including monkeys and komodo dragons.
Continue heading south and you will eventually come on to the Florida Keys Scenic Highway.
This route stretches for over 106 miles and ends in Key West – the southernmost point in the United States. As you pass over the highway, taking in the Florida Keys set of islands – you will be surrounded by ocean views, you could even glimpse dolphins frolicking in the sea.
Situated close to the highway is the Everglades National Park. At 1.5 million acres in the size, this is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and is home to creatures such as crocodiles, alligators, corn snakes and white-tailed deer. The park has UNESCO World Heritage status and during your visit you can go kayaking and freshwater fishing.
As the highway terminates at Key West, your driving experience will be over – but the fun has not ended just yet. The town is not only well known for being the most southerly part of the United States but is famous for its literary connections.
Tennessee Williams is just one of the prominent authors to have spent time in here, while it is also the place where Ernest Hemingway wrote his classic novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. You can visit the house where Hemingway lived at for several years, before visiting the Key West Shipwreck Museum.
With so many fantastic attractions to explore, you may find yourself going on driving holidays in Florida for many years to come.
Note: this post was brought to you in partnership with Travel Supermarket.