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Discover the Hidden Gems of Central Florida: Off-the-Beaten-Path Road Trips

When you think of Central Florida, the first images that come to mind might involve theme parks, bustling cities, and crowded tourist attractions. As native Floridian auto repair shop owners we know there's another side to Florida that’s waiting to be explored—one that takes you off the beaten path and reveals the true beauty of the region.

Check out our four of our favorite Central Florida road trips!

Image of a human hand holding a sticker in the shape of the state of Florida with a Floridian design.

Coastal Roads

Picture yourself cruising along scenic coastal roads, the salty breeze tousling your hair as you soak in breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Central Florida boasts some lesser-known coastal routes that are perfect for a leisurely drive. From A1A in Flagler Beach to the Canaveral National Seashore, these roads lead you to pristine beaches, charming beach towns, and hidden coves. Pack a picnic, roll down the windows, and let the ocean be your soundtrack.

Coastal Road Trip Suggestion

Highway 1

Trace the Atlantic Coast on this road trip. Starting in Fernandina Beach, follow Highway 1 southward, passing through charming towns like Amelia Island, St. Augustine, and Ormond Beach with historic sites and sea views. Head all the way to Miami if you have the time!

Photo of springs at Wekiwa Springs State Park.

Florida State Parks

Beyond the glitz and glamour lies a network of state parks that beckon nature enthusiasts. Pay a visit to Blue Spring State Park, where manatees gather in crystal-clear waters during the winter months. Or explore the ancient cypress swamps of Wekiwa Springs State Park, where kayaking and wildlife spotting are the order of the day. Florida State Parks offer a chance to reconnect with nature, away from the hustle and bustle.

Florida State Park Road Trip Suggestion

Wekiwa Springs State Park, Blue Spring State Park, Silver Springs State Park

A shorter road trip that's closer to home and will put a Spring in your step! Take a long weekend and hit up each refreshing spot. When you arrive, trade in your set of wheels for a kayak.

Aerial photo of the charming riverfront in Historic Downtown Sanford, Florida.

Historic Towns

Central Florida is dotted with historic towns that transport you to a bygone era. Deland, with its charming Main Street and Victorian architecture, invites you to stroll and explore. Mount Dora, nestled on the shores of Lake Dora, boasts antique shops, art galleries, and cozy cafés. And don't forget our very own hometown of Sanford with a vibrant historic district. Take a detour from the main highways, and you’ll find these hidden treasures waiting to share their stories.

Historic Towns Road Trip Suggestion

Sanford to Sanford Loop via Deland, Ocala National Forest, Micanopy, and Cedar Key

Hit up these old Florida gems with a peaceful drive through the Ocala National Forest. Cedar Key, a charming town in Florida, has earned recognition as one of the 10 coolest towns in America. Many people draw parallels between Cedar Key and Key West from decades ago.

Photo of the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean.

Chase the Florida Sunshine

Because Florida is a peninsula, you can witness the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast and then, drumroll, catch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico on the west coast—all in a single day!

Chase the Sunshine Road Trip Suggestion

Cocoa Beach to Clearwater Beach

Start your adventure by spending a day at the Kennedy Space Center where you can learn more about our galaxy and the star we revolve around. The next morning, watch the sunrise on Cocoa Beach and meander your way towards Clearwater with an opportunity to stop by the Lakeland Highland Scrub. This lesser-known gem invites you to explore its unique ecosystem. Hike through sandy ridges, encounter rare plants, and listen to the rustle of scrub jays. It’s like stepping into a secret wilderness. End your day by watching the sun set over the turquoise waters of Clearwater Beach.

We hope these ideas spark some wanderlust and help you uncover some hidden gems right in our own backyard - perhaps you'll create your own ideal Florida road trips list! And don't forget to book an appointment with Harrell & Beverly to check out your vehicle before heading out to ensure your safety and that you won't encounter any pesky breakdowns along the way.


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