Northwest Florida Road Trips and Scenic Drives

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ashley satanosky mWN686Fsbgs unsplash
ashley satanosky mWN686Fsbgs unsplash

If you’re looking for a destination to take your family for the weekend, you’ll want to head over to Northwest Florida. 

Here in this expanse of 4 counties laid out before us, there are so many things to do and see!

Today we’ll be focusing on the scenic drives and road trips in Northwest Florida. 

If you love exploring new places but don’t have time for a long vacation days away from home, then these are the road trips that will have enough adventure for an extended stay.

As you hunt for places to visit, keep an eye out for the friendly locals. 

They’ll be more than happy to point you toward hidden gems and fun things to do in their area.

With so many things to see and do nearby, one of the best ways to explore North Florida is by car. 

We’ll cover the different types of road trips that you can take here in Northwest Florida from coastal drives to river valley routes, providing tourist information on where these trips can take you and how long it will take.

In our area we have mountains, rivers, lakes, subtropical forests and beaches all within a few hours drive of each other.

We’ll start our tour with a drive along the St. Johns River that brings us to one of the most beautiful places in Florida and an old Florida town.

A good way to see Northwest Florida and see some of what makes it special is by starting your trip near Jacksonville or on the east coast and driving north.

Staying on this side of the river lays out an easy drive from Jacksonville up to Pensacola, stopping at various stops along the way for you to explore, marvel at nature and eat some great seafood.

Seabrook Island State Park 

One great place to visit if you need a quick getaway is Seabrook Island State Park [1] . 

This park is a little less than an hour from Jacksonville and has beautiful beaches, boardwalks, freshwater lakes for fishing and plenty of things to do.

To get a real taste of the area’s unique wildlife and the Gulf of Mexico, take a drive along the coast of Northwest Florida.

For a scenic drive that takes us out past Pensacola Beach and across the bay over to Port St. Joe you’ll want to head over to Fort Pickens National Seashore [2] . 

This national park has excellent views of the Gulf Coast, a museum and even a little fort that you can explore. 

From here you can see the famous Pensacola Lighthouse [3] that has stood vigil over the area for over 100 years.

If you want to get out on the water then head on down to Eglin Air Force Base 

 where they offer tours of their facilities and many outdoor adventures like kayaking, canoeing, camping and fishing at their recreation areas around the large lake near the base.

Stopping by Fort Walton Beach can also be an adventure. 

This friendly coastal town offers its visitors many things to do including charter boat fishing, Gulf Coast cuisine and world-class shopping.

If you’re ready to get away from the beach and some of the Florida heat, then head south along the Gulf Coast to Crystal River National Recreation Area . 

Here you’ll find many rivers and lakes perfect for hiking, camping and fishing.

And if you’re not ready for adventures in the great outdoors then have no fear. 

Pensacola Beach 

Take a trip to one of the many state parks sprinkled along this coast. 

Most of these parks offer things like swimming, fishing, boating and other outdoor activities. florida backroads travel

If you need a quick getaway from Jacksonville then it’s worth taking a road trip up I-10 to Pensacola Beach  . 

Here you’ll find miles of beautiful beaches, a boardwalk and many restaurants and hotels along the water.

If you’re in the mood for some live music then head over to Fort Morgan [7] . 

Here in this small town that sits on a peninsula jutting out into Mobile Bay you’ll find the Fort Morgan Music Festival, a free outdoor concert series that brings some of the best local and national acts to play for your enjoyment.

If all of your adventures have left you thirsty then head over to Fort Walton Beach where they offer up some of the area’s tastiest and most famous craft beers at their local brew pubs including Barley Mow Brewing Company [8] . 

Barley Mow was even named the best brewpub in Florida by craftbeer.com.

For some of the best seafood in Northwest Florida, head over to Pensacola and go to Bayou Bob’s [9] , 

a local family-owned restaurant that serves up just about any seafood dish you may be craving and they’re famous for their fresh Crab balls.

One of the tastiest things you can do when visiting Northwest Florida is take a drive up to the Destin area where all of their locally caught seafood is some of the freshest anywhere!

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