You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Destination unknown: 7 Florida backroad road trips you need this summer


Start the engine. Pull back the sunroof.  Throw on the shades. Because if you like Palm Beach County’s scenic drives, you will love Florida’s backroads. And you should experience at least one before the summer ends. 

Remember: Road-tripping is less about the destination and more about the journey. This is why Visit Florida’s list of backroads is on point. No shortcuts, no highways. 

Some quick tips before getting into the list: 

RELATED: Best scenic drives in Palm Beach County

Now you’re ready. Roll down the windows, feel the sun on your cheeks and place your bare feet on the dashboard. We’re going on for a ride.


PALM BEACH TO WELLINGTON TO LAKE OKEECHOBEE

Let’s start off from Palm Beach. Drive south along the Atlantic on Ocean Boulevard until you get to the Clock Tower. This is an Instagram-worthy stop that’s close to several others.

A post shared by Kimberley (@kimberblair) on

Continue south until you get to Southern Boulevard. Swing a right — that is, drive west. You’ll love all the open spaces as you near Wellington. Watch for horses and horse-loving people because they’re everywhere.

Related: Badass Polo women in Wellington you need to know

Stay on Southern. It eventually turns into US 441 South. Cruise all the way to Belle Glade Road. You’re headed toward Lake Okeechobee at this point, so stay on Belle Glade Road until you get there. Now, drive around that bad boy. You’ll come across railroad tracks, a few spots to stop, reflect or laugh and play. Naturally, you’ll take pictures of the water, and you might even find some gators. See the road trip these guys did around the lake:


PENSACOLA TO PANAMA CITY BEACH

South of historic downtown Pensacola, take the furthest road out to the ocean from the city, State Road 399. This is a 15-mile journey through the Gulf Islands National Seashore. It’s basically a white sand dessert with gorgeous beaches and a road. You’ll feel as free as a bird. Get on Highway 98 through Fort Walton Beach and Destin.

Want to camp? Everyone raves about Fort Pickens Campground. 

RELATED: 5 Florida camping sites next to clear natural springs

Spin down to Highway 30A to find sanctuary at Grayton Beach State Park. Are you getting antsy? Just a few more minutes until you get to relax and sink in your toes at Panama City Beach.


ST. AUGUSTINE TO DAYTONA BEACH

While this road trip isn’t that long — at only about 50 miles — it’s an easy drive with plenty to see. Take A1A Southbound along the ocean and pullover at historic sites like Fort Matanzas and Marineland Dolphin Adventure.

Stop at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park and witness one of the largest outcroppings of coquina rock in the Atlantic Ocean. The boulder-strewn beach is photo-shoot heaven.  One last stop: Flagler Beach Pier before rolling on to Ormond Beach. Voila!


TALLAHASSEE TO DEFUNIAK SPRINGS

Sure, you could take I-10 East and get there in less than 2 hours, but this isn’t an efficient list of trips. It’s a scenic one. Parallel to the Interstate, on the north side is rural Highway 90. Feel the South’s charm while driving through farms, forests and open land. The curving road takes you through small southern towns, each with ‘mom and pop’ shops and restaurants. 

#defuniaksprings #florida #headedhome #nofilter

A post shared by Tuna Samich (@tunasamiches) on

After your small town expedition, head over to explore caverns and natural springs. Lake DeFuniak is perfectly circular and worth a dip. Toast your getaway’s end at the Chautauqua Winery. Cheers!

RELATED: Here’s the ultimate road trip, a route that takes you across every state in the country


ARCADIA TO OKEECHOBEE TO SANIBEL-CAPTIVA

You better have unlimited data because your Spotify playlist will go on for hours. Don’t believe me? This backroad road tip is more than 200 miles. Discover historic Florida towns such as Pahokee, Belle Glade and Clewiston. Expect lonely roads, old architecture and quietness. Listen to music, clear your mind and keep driving. Head to the west side of the lake to catch the sunset from the isles of Sanibel and Captiva.

Pahokee Florida #pahokee #Florida #lake #okeechobee

A post shared by Sunsets after Sunrises (@sunsetsaftersunrises) on


DAYTONA BEACH TO MOUNT DORA

Start at the Atlantic Ocean by Daytona Beach and head west to clear waters. Yup, in the heart of Central Florida you’ll find the most stunning Natural Springs. Get on Highway 40 and explore the towns of Barberville and Astor. See the St. Johns River and lookout for manatees. 

Veer off on CR 445 past natural Florida pines until you reach Alexander Springs. 

RELATED: 5 amazing Florida natural springs that are clearer than your pool

Don’t be afraid to explore the many springs at Ocala National Forest before you head to charming, hidden town of Mount Dora. Oh, and if you get hungry after leaving the woods, keep your eyes peeled for Mason Jar, a restaurant known for its sizeable portions of good ol’, down-home cookin’.

RELATED: Road-tripping with toddlers on board? These 5 tips will help you survive


MIAMI TO KEY WEST

Take this interesting back road through the mangroves from Miami Beach to the Florida Keys. You’ve probably never heard of County Road 905. That’s because it veers away from the highway and onto its own path. You’ll start inland, and the go over the ocean and onto Key Largo Hammock State Botanical Site. 

After you’ve explore it, drive south until Key Largo reconnects with U.S. 1.  You can’t be around this much water and not have a desire to dive right in. Snorkeling, anyone? John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the place for you. Feeling like going to the southernmost point in the continental USA? Drive all the way south to Key West and find the sign— it’s only 90 miles from Cuba. 

Great day snorkeling out on the Florida reef and checking out Key West. #usa17 #keywest🌴 #southernmostpoint #reef

A post shared by John Pownall (@john_pownall83) on


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

A literary tour of Italy’s libraries

Italy’s libraries, many of which were once reserved for the elite, see the confluence of grand architecture, scholarly influence and deep historical significance. To travelers they offer a microcosm of Italy’s charms, and to readers, a setting of intense beauty and meaning.  Here, two books that use the library as a backdrop, and one...
Grab your stretchy pants for the Michelin Star-Spangled Road Trip across America
Grab your stretchy pants for the Michelin Star-Spangled Road Trip across America

If your flavor of road-trip food leans more toward grilled foie gras wontons than Panda Express chow mein, then start packing your suit jacket and stretchy pants. Verve Search, a content marketing company in London, has mapped out a celestial culinary adventure: the shortest possible route to all 159 Michelin-starred restaurants in the United States...
In Lima, a Peruvian-Japanese hybrid does fusion right
In Lima, a Peruvian-Japanese hybrid does fusion right

Is Dondoh a Peruvian robatayaki (Japanese barbecue restaurant) or a Japanese parrilla (Latin steakhouse)? Does it matter when the food is this good?  With Nikkei restaurants — specialists in the melding of Peruvian and Japanese ingredients and techniques over the past century — becoming an increasingly integral piece of Lima&rsquo...
Eau Claire is one of Wisconsin’s most underrated getaways

Eau Claire is the best city in Wisconsin you haven’t been to.  Maybe you have, if you went to college there or had a friend who did. Or maybe you’re a native who’s already in on the secret of the Chippewa Valley.   But if you’re like me and overlooked the small city in west-central Wisconsin, you’re missing...
The hidden treasures in Italian libraries
The hidden treasures in Italian libraries

In the madness of late spring at San Marco Square in Venice, amid the hordes pouring in from land and sea, hard by the hissing espresso machines and sizzling panini presses of overpriced cafes, I found the still point of the turning world.  I found it in the library.   It was 10 in the morning and I was standing, alone and enthralled...
More Stories