It wouldn’t even take half the day to drive from Jacksonville to Miami along the Atlantic coast of Florida, but it would take much longer to experience everything along the way. Driving south along the 1 takes travelers through the exciting stops in Fort Clinch State Park, historic St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, the Kennedy Space Center, and Miami.
• Fort Clinch State Park is located on the northernmost tip of Florida, right along the border with Georgia, and it is a great place to start a coastal road trip. The main attraction at Fort Clinch is, of course, a fort from the Civil war era. The park features tours of the fort and historical reenactments in addition to swimming, fishing, hiking, and other beloved camping activities. Fort Clinch State Park features oceanfront camping and is connected to the Great Florida Birding Trail.
• Saint Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city in the continental US. Founded in 1565 by a Spanish admiral, it was the capital of Spanish Florida for 200 years. That history is still visible in Saint Augustine today. The city is full of historical buildings and features a sightseeing train tour, which is a great way to get through all the one-way streets. In addition to trains and trams, tourists in Saint Augustine can also see the sites via boat on a scenic cruise.
• Daytona Beach is probably Florida’s most well-known beach. It features 23 miles of sandy shores and is definitely a family-friendly destination. The beach itself is great for swimming, riding bikes, jogging, or just relaxing. There is also Daytona USA, located just outside of the Daytona International Speedway, which is a family attraction with hands-on speedway-related activities. Daytona is also home the Museum of Arts and Sciences, a great nightlife scene, shopping, and nature-centric activities like fishing.
• The Kennedy Space Center was built in 1967 and sees over 1.5 million visitors every year who want to experience America’s space program. The Space Center features lots of exhibits and tours for visitors of all ages. The Space Shuttle Plaza has a replica rocket, the Shuttle Launch Experience is a simulation of flying on a space shuttle, tours operate throughout the space center, and people can also visit the IMAX theater and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. This is a great attraction for science and history enthusiasts.
• Miami, like any major city, is bursting with activities for people with all kinds of interests. Visitors can experience science and nature at the Miami Seaquariam, the Zoo, the Miami Science Museum, or Bayfront Park. Miami is also next to Everglades National Park, which is one of the most unique parks in the US. Miami also offers interesting attractions like the monkey Jungle, the Coral Castle, and Vizcaya.
Angie Picardo is a writer at Nerdwallet’s travel blog, TravelNerd, where you can find advice on retirement planning.