Three Scenic Highways, One Great Ride

    By VISIT FLORIDA staff

    Travel Florida's east coast on the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway.

    One of the most historic, relaxing, and beautiful parts of Florida can be found along the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway on the northeast coast of the Sunshine State. This National Scenic Byway is made up of three individual state scenic highways; Scenic and Historic A1A, A1A River and Sea Trail, and A1A Ocean Shore.

    A great beginning point for the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway is Ponte Vedra Beach, found at the northern end of the Scenic Byway. Ponte Vedra Beach is a beautiful location with wonderful beaches, world-class tennis and golf, oceanside resorts, and private retreats where the stresses of life are washed out to sea. If golf or tennis is on your mind, then Ponte Vedra Beach is a must-visit. Other recreational activities include deep-sea fishing, nature walks, paddling and biking. Some of the finest dining and shopping in Northeast Florida are also available throughout the area.

    Drive 30 miles south on S.R. A1A to St. Augustine, the nation's oldest continuously-occupied city. Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is more than a quaint, historic, family-friendly, coastal town - it is a postcard coming to life. The streets abound with cafés, stores, museums, art galleries and parks. Rejuvenate yourself at Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth. Relive the past at the Old Florida Museum,  St. Augustine's "hands-on" museum.

    Further south, the Scenic & Historic A1A segment offers travelers miles of pristine coastline, large ocean sand dunes blanketed with native wildflowers and sea oats, and majestic moss-draped live oak canopies. Just 20 miles south of St. Augustine on S.R. A1A, stop to explore the gardens and picturesque coquina rock beach at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park. The park offers picnicking, fishing, nature trails and a visitor center. While driving from Marineland to Flagler Beach (15 miles) along the A1A River and Sea Trail portion of this scenic highway, you will experience unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean, discovering a world of tranquility and beauty. Within the city limits of Flagler Beach and Beverly Beach, on the A1A Ocean Shore portion of the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway, you may spot a fisherman reeling in his catch on the famous Flagler Beach pier, or surfers riding some of the best waves along Florida's eastern coast. The Flagler Beach pier is an 806-foot pier and boardwalk where you can watch dolphins and whales when they're in the area.