Your Ultimate Guide to a Florida Road Trip


Florida has so much to see and do that it is one of the most traveled and visited states within America. It is a tourist wonderland filled with activities to suit any individual taste. Following are some of my favorite spots in Florida for fun, food, and of course, a little bit of fanfare. Consider these the next time you plan on visiting the Sunshine State. The list is numerated by city so you can plot your next trip easily on a map!


 florida road trip guide



This is perhaps the tourist capital of the state. Even though Orlando is tucked in the center of Florida away from the beaches, there are plenty of things to do. For starters, Walt Disney World calls Orlando home. Disney is one of my favorite places in the world and many of the rides are even wheelchair accessible. In addition, Universal Studios finds respite there too. Disney and Universal are both amazing and essentially lay at opposite ends of International Drive. And, since we are mentioning International Drive, make your way down that famed street to see numerous hotels, restaurants, and other things to do like putt-putt, bowling, shopping at the huge outlet mall, or watching movies. Kissimmee is nearby also and features an area called Old Town. It’s a throwback amusement park with some pretty surreal, kitschy attractions. They also do a cruise and on certain nights if classic cars are your thing you can get your fix there. While this city is full of theme parks and great shopping, you can still visit Orlando on a budget if you wish.


florida road trip guide

Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom



The most diverse cultural population calls Miami home. Be sure to visit Little Havana while you’re there. Great food and wonderful people are bound to be found in that district. However, hopefully you can speak some Spanish because finding a sign written in English is like finding a needle in a haystack. Either way though, you’ll still have a great time.

Beyond that, Miami plays home to Bayside Mall, which is an open air market featuring unique shopping, souvenirs, and a street show or two depending on the time of year. Most of the time, people grab a burger and sit on the bay watching the boats and tide roll in and out. It’s truly a fascinating place.

Also, be sure to take in a Miami Dolphins game while you are there. The old stadium was renovated by Donald Trump and is worth a visit even during the off-season.

And the food!!! Miami has amazing Cuban food. Simply ask a local where the best spot is and you will get a different answer every time. However, go to any of those places and you will not be disappointed.

florida road trip guide

Little Havana



Just put your GPS up for an afternoon and ride through the south portion of Florida until you hit the swamp. That is the Everglades, and if you are a nature lover, that is where you want to be. Plenty of gators and boa constrictors are to be found in this area so be careful. Yet, that’s a small price to pay to get up close and personal to one of nature’s most incredible ecosystems.


florida road trip guide

A gator in the Everglades


St. Augustine
The most striking thing about this city is the fact that it dates back to the earliest days of Florida, when it was simply known as the New World. Spanish and French explorers came through the area, searching for youth and gold. The Spanish eventually boxed out the French by fortifying the area, but they never found the fountain of youth. Take an accessible trolley tour through the ancient streets of St. Augustine, and get a history lesson along the way. Ask your trolley driver for the best restaurant to eat at and they will give you a list. St. Augustine is rich with history, culture, and home to its own brand of Florida cool.


florida road trip guide

You might even find the Fountain of Youth in St Augustine!


The Keys

It’s one long bridge ride to travel to all five Florida Keys, but well worth it. Your final stop will be Key West, home to Ernest Hemingway and a haunted doll known as Robert. This place is very unique, and of course laid-back. The Florida Keys are all about sand, sun, and surf. Be sure to visit the end of the rainbow as it is the southernmost part of the United States, and snap a few pics for Instagram or Facebook.


florida road trip guide

The Southernmost point in the U.S. is in Key West


Panama City

Panama City is a huge tourist destination for people living in the neighboring states above. The pure white sand beaches always come calling, and they have some seriously great food. My number one recommendation is Pineapple Willy’s. It’s a beachside restaurant that I’ve been to more than a dozen times and it’s always a blast. The drinks are good, the food is great, and the party atmosphere is the best! It has become an iconic landmark of sorts. Also, Panama City has some awesome powered beach wheelchairs for rent if you’re wanting a little fun in the sun.


florida road trip guide

Me in Panama City


Tampa Bay/Clearwater

These two are right across the bay from each other, with Tampa Bay being known as the lightning capital of the world. Of course, you can also take in a professional game. The Tampa Bay Rays are the native baseball team, and games are always exciting. Plus, who can beat a ballpark hotdog. Nothing tastes as good as that! If gambling is your thing, head to Tampa’s Hard Rock Casino afterwards and try to win some money.

For resorts and downtime, head over to Clearwater. The beaches are literally lined with great restaurants featuring open air decks to sip a cocktail or two while you watch the sunset. You can find more than your fair share of shopping there as well. Both of these are absolutely beautiful areas.


florida road trip guide

Watch the sunset in Clearwater



This location is off the radar, but is well worth a visit. If you want to see where normal people live and how they go about daily life, Stewart is your best bet. There are tons of places to eat along the intra-coastal waterway, with Wahoo’s being at the top of the list. It’s just a hop and a skip over the Hutchinson Island Bridge on the north side of the shore. The chef always comes up with unique creations, and they are known for having some unique cocktails as well. For lunch, find a spot at Too Jay’s deli. Some of the most amazing corn beef sandwiches on the planet live there. For other things to do, you could always head 45 minutes west to the largest lake in the state… Lake Okeechobee.


florida road trip guide

Sailfish Statue in Stuart, Florida



This list literally could go on and on with Florida highlights. Few places on earth are home to such beauty, temperate climates, and amazing beach life. The beach wasn’t mentioned much in this piece because in Florida, the beach is everywhere. Simply find a spot and throw a towel down. You will enjoy good company, and a nice tan afterwards.


Where is your favorite go-to place in Florida?