Map Out Your Next Road Trip to the Sunshine State
Tallahassee, FL – (September 1, 2020) – As we wait for the day when we can once again hit the open road and follow in the footsteps of so many Canadian travellers with a drive down to the Sunshine State, there is no better time to start mapping out your next road trip!
THE NORTHWEST COAST
With its bright, white sands and clear, emerald-hued waters, it’s no wonder Florida’s Northwest coast is a popular destination for Canadians road trippers. Destin-Fort Walton Beach, and its surrounding area, offers countless diversions, from golf and hiking trails, to catamaran cruises and fishing excursions and more.
Stretch your legs with a visit to Henderson Beach State Park, located right off the Emerald Coast Parkway.
This 200-acre gem is also home to a winding nature trail that provides a rare view of some of the last remaining endangered coastal scrub communities in the Florida Panhandle. For those travelling by RV, stay a night (or more!) at the Destin West RV Resort, and when it is time to restock, the Destin Commons is the ultimate destination to browse specialty boutiques, restaurants, and well-known brands.
From here, you can drive along US-98 E to visit Panama City Beach, Apalachicola and picturesque St. George Island.
From the state capital of Tallahassee in the north, to the rockets, sand and surf of the Space Coast on the east, to the culture and non-stop fun-in-the-sun of Tampa on the west, and of course the land of theme parks right in the middle, the large swath of land that makes up Central Florida offers no shortage of fun for those exploring by car.
If you are coming across from the northwest, you can hop on the Big Bend Scenic Byway Coastal Trail, which will take you into Tallahassee, a genteel town, with rolling hills, oak-canopied roads, and lots of Southern hospitality. Home to Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Florida’s Legislature, this city is home to a wide array of museums, art galleries, parks, and trails (mountain bikers take note!).
Traveling south on US-19 S/US-98 S, you’ll pass through Crystal River (where a stop to swim with the manatees is a must-do!), Ocala-Marion Country – home to the iconic Silver Springs State Park, New Port Richey (an area known as the Sports Coast), St. Petersburg and, just over the bridge to the east, Tampa. Known as the “heart of Florida’s Gulf Coast,” Tampa offers blue skies and sunshine, a sparkling waterfront, world-class chefs, family fun, and a century of Cuban culture.
THE NORTHEAST COAST
For those driving down via the Eastern seaboard, as you cross into Florida, just east from the I-95 you’ll encounter pretty and picturesque Amelia Island. With its 20 kilometres of beautiful beaches, abundant native wildlife, and pristine waters, this barrier island has long been a beloved destination for visitors. Enjoy a charming and historic downtown, the natural wonders and fascinating history at Fort Clinch State Park, world-class golf, fabulous cuisine… you can even go horseback riding on the beach.
Just a bit further south, St. Augustine beckons. Old World charm, a rich history, flavourful dining, arts and culture galore – you will never be at a loss of things to see and do. Discover attractions like the St. Augustine Lighthouse. Dive into history at the Fountain of Youth and Castillo de San Marcos. Visit beautiful beaches, go fishing or golfing, and so much more.
From here, why not head off the beaten path by heading inland via the I-75 until you reach Columbia County? Starting in Lake City, the county’s largest town, discover an area that comes complete with great restaurants, alligator sightings, waterfall hikes, and much more… without the crowds.
From coast to coast to coast, you can start in Fort Myers on the east coast, follow the I-75 down to Naples, continue across “Alligator Alley” through Big Cypress National Preserve over to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, and culminating in the Florida Keys.
Of course, there is no shortage of things to see and do here, it just depends on what type of experience you are craving. For adventure seekers looking for a wilderness escape, head your car or RV in the direction of Everglades National Park, about an hour’s drive southwest from Miami via US-41 and FL-836. The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, a World Heritage Site, and an International Biosphere Reserve, visitors can spend a day or a week or more! There are two drive-in campgrounds that accommodate tents and RVs, and a number of sites available in various locations in the park that you can reach by foot or water. Bike, boat, camp, kayak, hike and so much more! To experience the park virtually and plan your visit, click here.
On the Atlantic side, heading north on the I-95 from Fort Lauderdale, takes you to West Palm Beach and up into Martin County (located between Jupiter and Port St. Lucie). Offering world-class amenities and exciting attractions, visitors are invited to explore the more than 35 kilometres of uncrowded beaches and more than 100,000 sprawling acres of parks and conservation lands. Cruise along the historic Martin Grade Scenic Highway and take in all this county has to offer, framed by century-old oak trees.
For more road trip inspiration, click here. Images available upon request.
Senior Public Relations Manager
416-935-1896 ext. 248
About VISIT FLORIDA
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 124.7 million visitors in 2018. Based on the latest economic impact study, Florida visitors contributed $85.9 billion to Florida's economy and supported 1.5 million Florida jobs in 2017. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA, the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida, $2.15 in tax revenue is generated. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 13,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with Busch Gardens Tampa, Disney Destinations, The Hertz Corporation, Hilton, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Simon Shopping Destinations and Universal Orlando Resort.
To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, follow us on our industry social media channels: Facebook and Twitter @FloridaTourism
About Vox International
VoX International is a Canadian-owned destination marketing firm based in Toronto, Canada with offices in Vancouver and Montreal, providing Canadian representation nationally. VoX is a full-service sales, marketing, event planning and public relations agency led by a team of high profile, knowledgeable travel industry executives. Recognized as a marketplace leader, VoX offers a wide range of support within the North American meeting, incentive, events, and hospitality and leisure tourism sectors. VoX’s passion for providing personal, innovative and results driven solutions are key factors for driving the company’s reputation for success.