By Dalia Colon

There are scenic highways, and then there are Florida's Scenic Highways.

Florida has no shortage of beautiful drives, from the canopy roads of Tallahassee and Ocala’s rambling horse country, to Miami’s glittery cityscape and more than 825 miles of beaches.

But only 26 of Florida’s roadways can claim to be Scenic with a capital “S.” These roads are more than just a pretty face.

“There are six types of resources that can determine eligibility for a scenic highway,” said Wanda Maloney, coordinator of the Florida Scenic Highways program. An official scenic highway or byway (there’s no difference), as crowned by the Florida Department of Transportation, must have at least one of these qualities:

  • Scenic (obviously)
  • Historic
  • Cultural
  • Archaeological
  • Recreational
  • Natural

For instance, an untouched river is a natural resource. A river lined with boat docks is a recreational resource. Of course, any road labeled “scenic” had better be easy on the eyes. And Florida’s Scenic Highways don’t disappoint.

“People want to get off the beaten path,” Maloney said. “They don’t want to see the interstate; they want to see the real Florida where people live and work.”

This real Florida includes stories of Native Americans and astronauts, palm trees and potato chips.

All with a stunning view.

Scenic Lemon Bay/Myakka

- Luis Santana for VISIT FLORIDA

Scenic Big Bend

- Colin Hackley for VISIT FLORIDA

The A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway crosses Matanzas Inlet in southern St. Johns County as the setting sun casts its colors on the clouds.

- Daron Dean for VISIT FLORIDA



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