Florida Scenic Highway: Ormond Loop & Trail, North of Daytona Beach
By Dalia Colon
Where: This double-Ormond loop of roadways hugs Florida’s northeast Atlantic coast just north of Daytona Beach.
Length: Approximately 34 miles.
How to get around: Car or bicycle.
Best time to visit: Fall or spring, to participate in biannual guided trail walks, or December to March, to see North Atlantic Right Whales and their calves enjoying the warm Atlantic shore.
For more info: ormondscenicloopandtrail.com.
There are few road trips more gorgeous than a drive along Florida’s Atlantic Coast. The Scenic Ormond Loop & Trail is particularly pleasant, because it circles two rivers, barrier island dunes, state parks, historic dwellings and, of course, plenty of Florida beaches.
Bring your good camera to capture the expansive water views punctuated by dolphins jumping, turtles nesting and scrub vegetation.
A key stretch of the journey is Old Dixie Highway, a 9-mile stretch of road going through an oak canopy and into open marshes. A paddling trip through Tomoka State Park, once the site of the Timucuan Indian village of Nocoroco, is just one of many ways to slow down in this area just 8 miles north of speedy Daytona Beach.
Also make time to check out Ormond Beach, a family-friendly destination with plenty of shopping, cultural and dining options. Peach Valley Cafe are a great way to start the day; then unwind with a steak dinner at Stonewood Grill and Tavern.