If you’re planning a cross-country American road trip the chances are you’ll end up in Florida at some point. And once you get there you’ll find there’s a tonne of things to do on a Florida road trip!
Whilst Florida wasn’t my favourite State during our road trip, I still had a great time there and I’m definitely glad we spent a few weeks exploring. I think the aspect I didn’t warm to about Florida was that it just didn’t really feel like America. It could’ve been anywhere really. The States I liked the most were the ones that felt very different and unique.
We spent just over two weeks in Florida. in that time we drove right from the north of the State down to the very tip and then up to the north western part of Florida before heading off to New Orleans.
Here are some my favourite things we did and the best things to do on a Florida road trip.
See a rocket launch
Without a doubt one of the coolest things we did on our road trip in Florida was seeing a rocket launch! I don’t know much about space (thinking about it kind of makes my head heard with endless questions), but watching a rocket launch was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
Thom had been watching the launch date for a few weeks before we arrived in Florida and the timing worked out perfectly for us.
We headed to the Kennedy Space Centre (which I think is a bit over priced usually, but worth it if you’re there on launch day) and then over to Banana Creek to watch the launch.
Go hunting for shark teeth
As we travelled down the west coast of Florida we stopped off at a few beaches that Thom had visited before on a family holiday. He remembered finding lots of shark teeth along the shore line and wanted to show me.
We found a good handful of tiny black shark teeth in a matter of minutes. There were also plenty of people out doing the same thing. Some even had fancy tools to help them sift through the broken shells and silt and find the teeth.
And, when you get tired of hunting for shark teeth, just relax on the beach!
Find alligators in the Everglades
When we first starting looking into visiting the Everglades National Park we were quite keen on kayaking. However when we researching companies they were all booked up! We decided to go it alone and explore the Everglades without a guide and I honestly don’t think it could’ve been any better!
We saw SO many alligators, birds, fish, turtles. It was incredible and we still talk about it now. Definitely add a self-guided Everglades tour to your list of things to do on a Florida road trip.
Stroll the beach in Miami
We didn’t spend a huge amount of time in Miami (we had a space shuttle launch to get to!), but we did spend most of a day exploring. I’m sure there’s plenty to see and do if you had a bit more time.
Our first stop was the beach. The colourful lifeguard look outs and rows of umbrellas were just as I’d imagined the beaches in America.
After the beach we headed over to Little Havana and had some delicious ice cream at Azucar Ice Cream company.
Float down the river in Ichetucknee Springs
This was such a fun way to spend the morning and cost so little! On top of that it’s one of the best ways to keep cool in Florida’s stifling heat.
I’d heard there were supposed to be Manatees in the water. Even though I didn’t see any we still saw some turtles and had a fantastic morning floating along the water.
Drive HWY 1
The drive down Florida’s Highway 1 is often said to be one of the most scenic drives in the whole of America. It’s hard to disagree with that statement when you drive it.
Once you leave mainland America you’re driving down the road with clear turquoise waters to either side of you, the occasional lizard crossing the road, and palm trees everywhere. It’s pretty spectacular.
Watch the sunset in Key West
Pretty much everyone in Key West heads to the same spot for the sunset. That means there are huuuge crowds. However you can avoid the crowds and still get a great view of the sunset if you head to the west of Mallory Square nearer where the boats are tied up.
Cool off at Alexander Springs
We slept in the Ocala forest one night during our Florida road trip and decided to head to Alexander Springs the next day for some relaxing.
The water here was incredibly clear – way clearer than I’d expected! There were people scuba diving and you could take a walk around the springs too.
Go early as it gets super busy!
And a few extra things we didn’t do, but which would be fun to add to your list of things to do on a Florida road trip
- Visit the theme parks in Orlando
- Visit Dry Tortugas
- Relax on Clearwater Beach
- Watch the speedway at Daytona Beach