As you know, our state is pretty large, so this trip clocks in at more than 12 hours. Luckily, there are plenty of state parks and historic towns along the way that would make perfect places to stop for the night. This trip has so many incredible sights, it would be best to give yourself as much time as possible to take it all in.
Falling Waters State Park, State Park Rd, Chipley, FL 32428
We'll begin in the Panhandle, at Florida's most impressive natural waterfall, though it can vary from a trickle to a roar, depending on the amount of recent rainfall. Other activities available at the park include hiking, fishing, picnicking and camping, This area has a rich history as well, as a home to Native Americans, a Civil War-era gristmill powered by the waterfall, and even the site of one of Florida's first oil wells. While you're in Chipley, check out the Seacrest Wolf Preserve, too.
Florida Caverns State Park, 3345 Caverns Rd, Marianna, FL 32446
Next, we'll head over to Marianna for the only air-filled caves open for tours in Florida. Visitors will also enjoy hiking, biking, camping, and fishing on the Chipola River or Blue Hole Spring. This park is also often recognized for its well-kept campsites. Tours are offered Thursday through Monday only. The tours last 45 minutes and as far as difficulty, they can be moderately strenuous.
Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, 550 Wakulla Park Dr, Crawfordville, FL 32327
Our next stop is Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, home to one of the biggest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. Not only does the beautiful park contain a natural landmark surrounded by unique Florida wildlife and old-growth forests, it is also home to a 1937 lodge with a dining room that overlooks the spring. This park has something for everyone. The summer months are a popular time for swimming, snorkeling or relaxing on the river’s grassy shore. Visitors of all ages enjoy the The Wakulla Springs Lodge, boat tours and nature trails in every season. This would be a wonderful place to schedule a stay if you think you'll be ready to stop for the night.
Ichetucknee Springs State Park, 12087 Southwest U.S. 27, Fort White, FL 32038
Tubing down the Ichetucknee deserves a place on every Floridian's bucket list. Swimming, snorkeling, diving, canoeing and kayaking are other popular pastimes. There's no camping at this park, and it's open every day of the year from 8:00 a.m. until sundown.
Devil's Den, 5390 NE 180th Ave, Williston, FL 32696
Next, we'll drive to one of Florida's natural wonders, Devil's Den. Devil’s Den, a karst window (an open cave over a river) is one of the most unique and ethereal places in Florida for scuba diving or snorkeling.
Though it has become a popular tourist destination, America's oldest city has retained a lot of its historic authenticity and charm. Highlights include many museums, restaurants,spectacular architecture, and the oldest fort in the country. Pictured are the Castillo de San Marcos, Flagler College, The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, and a tour of San Sebastian Winery.
Big Talbot Island and Little Talbot Island
Our next stop is to a couple of hidden gems near Jacksonville. Undeveloped barrier islands like these are very rare, and their unique coastal landscapes will blow you away.
Amelia Island is the epitome of Florida charm. Pristine beaches, historic buildings, and cute and quirky shops and restaurants make the town of Fernandina Beach a very popular destination. You can also travel back in time with a guided tour at Fort Clinch State Park. Bring food for a picnic and don't forget to check out the impressive fishing pier.
This trip should provide you with plenty of amazing photographs and stories to last a lifetime.
How many of these places have you visited? What stops would you add to this trip? What’s your favorite Florida road trip? Please share your thoughts with us!