Guest post by Kim Harrington
An east coast Florida road trip is a great way to experience the best of the Sunshine state!
Not only are the gridded highways and interstates road trip-perfect, but there are head-turning attractions all along the way. All you need is a week of free time, an idea of what you want to see, and you’re ready to hit the road.
Here is a fail-proof, week-long itinerary down the gorgeous east coast.
Florida Road Trip Day 1: Jacksonville
Start at the top and work your way down. Jacksonville blends the best of Florida in one metropolis. There’s much to see and do from beautiful beaches and a buzzing social scene to a plethora of interesting museums.
Begin your trip with a crash course about the local environment and natural ecosystems. The Museum of Science & History is a favorite spot for everyone, especially families.
You won’t be short of options when looking for places to eat and stay. Wander downtown and choose a tempting menu. There’s everything from up-scale seafood restaurants to easy-going Tex-Mex hangouts.
Then, take in a little culture at the TH Center with your favorite off-Broadway show in Jax. After your entertainment, plan to get pampered at one of the many resorts or beach-front residences.
Four Points by Sheraton Jacksonville Beachfront is a popular choice for a place to stay that has family suites.
Florida Road Trip Day 2 – Cocoa Beach
Florida’s shining glory is its coast. Cruise down Route 1 for a scenic way to get to Cocoa Beach, a perfect spot for relaxing by the sea.
Seafood shacks line Cocoa Beach Causeway. Pick one that calls to you and dig in. Florida’s Seafood Bar and Grill is a favorite where general prices range from $7-$12. The privileged seaside location doesn’t hurt either.
And no trip to the Cocoa Beach is complete without a visit to the iconic Ron Jon Surf Shop.
Florida Road Trip Day 3 – Fort Lauderdale
You’ll find yourself in Fort Lauderdale in under 3 hours by taking the Interstate I-95-S. First things first – check into your hotel.
The private beach at Beachcombers Resort and Villas in neighboring Pompano Beach makes it a tempting place to stay, or you can choose more home-style comforts at The Villas Las Olas Hotel ‘Apart.
Fort Lauderdale epitomizes the style of southern Florida at more palatable prices than Miami. Peruse the boutique shops in Las Olas or tempt Lady Luck at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino.
Even if you’re not a gambler, the Seminole Hard Rock’s stylish grounds are perfect for a romantic night out with a plethora of bars and dining options and music venues.
Florida Road Trip Day 4 – Miami
It’s finally time to move toward Miami, but there’s only a day to see and do as much as possible. Don’t worry because this guide has you covered.
Reaching Miami from Fort Lauderdale will only take you about 45 minutes. Greet the day in Ocean Drive with a coffee from The Front Porch Cafe or Craft Cafe. Once fueled up, visit a museum, like Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. The entrance fee is $22 per adult, $15 per teenager, and $10 per child.
Once night time hits, experience the best of Miami cuisine and beverage scene in one place by making your way to the new Time Out Market on South Beach.
Florida Days 5 & 6: Florida Keys
Day 5 – Before waving goodbye to Miami, stop at Jimmy’s Eastside Diner at Biscayne Blvd for an old-school breakfast. A complete meal of eggs, toast, and home fries will cost around $7.45, yet the menu doesn’t end there.
There will be enough time to digest on the way to Key Largo, and you’ll be ready to go snorkeling upon arrival. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is Amerca’s first undersea park, and a beautiful spot to spend a day swimming, picnicking, and fishing (all in park-designated areas). Visitors can also rent kayaks and canoes by the hour.
Day 6 – You can’t make it to Key Largo and not continue to Key West. Enjoy a scenic two-hour morning drive, and be an early visitor at The Ernest Hemingway House. This is a must-see stop for cat-lovers as much as literary buffs since The Ernest Hemingway House is now the residence to more than 40 cats.
Wandering Key West on foot will help you take in each detail, from Duval Street’s style to the tropical plants. Bar-hopping (or cafe-hopping) along the way will sweeten the deal. Of course, you can follow the lead of locals and see more of the island on a bicycle.
Let the sunset on this amazing experience with an iconic Key West sunset.
I hope this post gave you some ideas for an east coast Florida road trip! Any questions? Please leave a comment below.