Scenic Sunday drives through the countryside were quite common back in the day. Pack the family into the car and head for big nature — maybe a massive forest on rolling hills or a stretch of remote beach along A1A. Make stops along the way at particularly beautiful spots. Have a picnic, maybe.
Of course, gas prices went through the roof and Sunday drives quickly lost their appeal. With today’s gas prices at lows we haven’t seen in ages and cars getting far better gas mileage, this seems like a great time to get back in the habit.
Lucky for you, Florida has thousands of miles of scenic roadways that meander throughout the state. The longest system of such roads spans 2,000 miles and offers 515 recommended sites along the way! This is The Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail (GFBWT). Wherever you are in Florida, there’s a section of this amazing trail not far away. Check it out…you’ll be glad you did.
Next up is Florida Scenic Highways, which is partially funded by the National Scenic Byways Program. The interactive map in the link breaks up Florida into 4 regions. Each region offers information on designated scenic drives within that region. Again, these beautiful drives are located throughout Florida.
Florida also has 3 National Forests with hundreds of miles of scenic roads. The USDA Forest Service (National Forests in Florida) offers downloadable Motor Vehicle Use Maps for these roads: Apalachicola NF; Ocala NF; Osceola NF. Please note: Some roads may not be suitable for all vehicles. It’s best to check with the ranger station before you explore too deep into the wilderness on unknown roads…soft sand and flooding may be common or you may not have the clearance needed with the family minivan.
So go ahead and enjoy some Sunday drives — on any day of the week — while gas prices are low. Maybe you’ll find a few places you’d like to return to for hiking, biking, camping, paddling, horseback riding, or whatever else you enjoy in Florida’s great outdoors. Looking for other things to do? Check out our Bucket List and Where-to-Go.