6 Great Back Road Drives
By Gary McKechnie
A good road trip is one of the most wonderful things you can do because it satisfies so many needs.
Every moment you're out of the routine you're discovering something new. Whether it’s an old home on the side of the road, a diner you never knew existed, an orange grove that is perfumed by blossoms, a natural attraction, or a well-timed sunset, when you’re on the road you're really alive.
There are dozens of blogs and articles tagged with ‘driving tours’ at www.visitflorida.com, and I’m sure you have some favorites of your own. On my Q&A page which is usually seen by new visitors, and not locals (which is why I’m sharing it here) I point out a few of my favorites, which include:
Route 399 southeast of downtown Pensacola, which is a 15-mile seaside drive along the Gulf Islands National Seashore.
I love Highway 98, which hugs the Gulf Coast past Fort Walton Beach and Destin before Highway 30A follows the water all the way to Panama City Beach.
Interstate 10 is a big road – the one that took the traffic from lovely Highway 90 and left it free and clear as you discover the quiet towns and hills of Western Florida.
Few places on earth rival the beauty of Florida’s Atlantic Coast, and few roads are as dependable as A1A between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach. It's low and level and with lovely views of the Atlantic Ocean.
North of Eustis, Highway 19 kicks off a run through the Ocala National Forest to take you to its natural springs and hiking trails.
South of Haines City, Highway 27 is a great road to take when you’re heading south because it slips past wonderful small towns like Lake Placid, Sebring and Lake Wales. True Old Florida towns.
Even if gas is expensive, you should invest in nice, long road trip. It’s an investment that will more than repay you.