Chat to any savvy traveller about the many dimensions that the Sunshine State has to offer and you’ll be rewarded with a wealth of different regions, experiences and activities to pursue
Whether hitting the dusty trail on a road trip, exploring the many islands that dot its coast or taking in a constellation of its cities, there’s much more to Florida than its popular gateways.
The United States is easily one of the countries best set up for multi-destination road trips and Florida is no exception.
Say that you’d like to explore with your family: there are an abundance of quick and easy, family-friendly experiences ranging from the Murder Mystery Dinner Train in Fort Myers to Florida’s Natural Grove House in Lake Wales.
Looking to take the road less travelled? Head to Eustis, where Highway 19 runs through the Ocala National Forest past natural springs and hiking trails; take Highway 27 through wonderful small towns like Lake Placid and Sebring; or head to Tallahassee to see the region’s spectacular canopy roads, where treetops create natural tunnels through the woodland.
For those that prefer the classics, you can’t go wrong with the A1A between St Augustine and Daytona Beach, which boasts unforgettable views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Everglades National Park
The Everglades, situated at the southern extremity of the Florida peninsula, is easily one of America’s most unique National Parks.
Boasting more than 2,300 square miles of protected land, it’s the largest tropical wilderness in the US and the third-largest National Park.
Animal lovers can keep their eyes peeled for rare species including the Florida panther, the American crocodile, and the West Indian manatee, along with 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles.
There’s plenty of character to boot, from the Smallwood Store on the island of Chokoloskee to the Fakahatchee Strand and Corkscrew Swamp.
Florida also has bragging rights to some of the coolest State Parks in the country.
Let’s take a look at Dry Tortugas, one of the few parks to be accessible only by boat or seaplane, over 70 miles off the coast of Key West.
The series of islands is hemmed in by bright blue waters teeming with turquoise fish, as well as the historic Fort Jefferson, constructed back in the 19th century.
Closer to land, there are 175 other State Parks, trails and historic sites spread across Florida, with nearly 800,000 acres, 100 miles of beaches and 1,500 miles of trails.
Anyone looking to add a bit of seasoning to their holiday with a spicy day trip will be well served in Florida. Staying in Tallahassee?
The Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park makes for a fantastic day of gentle hiking through some truly stunning scenic backdrops.
Sunning yourself in Sarasota? Anna Maria Island is right around the corner, featuring seven miles of pristine beaches as well as an array of attractive shops, galleries and restaurants.
If you’re looking to stretch your legs and explore, Florida is brimming with beautiful day trips a stone’s throw from some of its best-known destinations.
Those who enjoy seeing America with a steering wheel in their hand and pedals beneath their feet will be pleased by Florida, which boasts some of the most scenic highways in the lower 48 states.
For a masterclass in overwater infrastructure, the Overseas Highway stretches 113 miles from Key Largo to Key West and over the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Elsewhere, there are 1,524 more miles of Florida Scenic Highways to explore: Big Bend in the Panhandle takes in salt marshes and sand dunes, while the Tamiami Trail offers views of Sarasota Bay, Manatee River, the Myakka Wild & Scenic River and more.
Discover northwest Florida
Northwestern Florida is often referred to as the Panhandle, and is one of the more unfrequented, undiscovered regions in the state.
Those who prefer to get away from the tourist squeeze will enjoy this area, particularly its never-ending white-sand beaches where you can go hours without seeing another soul.
Stretching roughly 200 miles from Pensacola to Apalachicola, it’s as charming as it is picturesque.
Find more inspiration at visitflorida.com