Motorcycle Rides Central Florida

David Link

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Discover the best motorcycle rides in Central Florida with this collection of can't-miss routes through the heart of the state. Central Florida offers an intriguing mix of sandy beaches, swamps, lakes, pine forests and spring-fed rivers. The REVER staff has taken the guess work out of planning your next trip by scouting the best scenic motorcycle rides in Central Florida. We've selected routes that take you away from the crowded cities of the region to scenic coasts and old forests. Of course, the most popular bike events in this region are on the list as well. So gas up and get ready to see the best Central Florida has to offer.  

Tips For The Best Motorcycle Rides In Central Florida

Motorcycle routes in Central Florida will take you from the Atlantic coast through rolling hills and blue lakes to the gulf shore. You'll want to see as much as you can when you're in the area. It is easy to make the most of your trip with the REVER App. It's free to get started, and you'll be able to uncover the best motorcycle rides in Central Florida so you don't miss a thing. Even if you like to go your own way, you can track your rides and share them with your buddies for bragging rights. For the best experience, consider upgrading to REVER Pro. You'll gain access to a world of Pro Perks as well as features like weather alerts, turn by turn navigation, and Butler Maps recommendations. You can even keep friends and family updated on your location as you ride with LiveRIDE SMS alerts.

In addition to a reliable navigation app, you're going to need some critical gear to make your motorcycle routes in Central Florida as comfortable as possible. First off, it's no secret that Florida is hot and humid in the summer. Prepare for the heat by investing in breathable riding gear. At the same time, the daily heat builds thunderstorms that can drop heavy rain with little notice. You're absolutely going to need some lightweight rain gear to keep you dry when the skies open up. The good news is the lack of snow and ice in the South means you can ride all year long in Central Florida. The majority of Central Florida motorcycle rides are open to riders of all skill levels as well. But as always, do your research before you fire up your bike and head out.

Central Florida Attractions

Although it might not have the flashiness of South Florida and Miami, Central Florida has a ton to offer in the way of attractions. It is without a doubt one of the biggest vacation destinations in America and home to the most-famous theme park in the world – Walt Disney World.  Central Florida is also a fisherman's paradise with hundreds of local lakes to compliment the Atlantic and gulf coasts. Of course, no list of attractions is complete without mentioning Daytona Beach Bike Week. This motorcycle gathering is the second largest in the country behind Sturgis, and the experience of riding downtown Daytona and its sand beaches during the 10 day gathering is not to be missed.  

Daytona Beach From Ormond Beach To Port Orange

Cruise Daytona Beach, FL on the sand and tour one of the premier motorcycle destinations in this short cruise on the beach. Daytona Beach holds not one but two of the biggest bike events in the country each year. Bike Week lasts 10 days and is held in mid-March. Biketoberfest is the fall equivalent to Bike Week that begins in mid-October. Even if you're planning a trip outside those events, Daytona Beach motorcycle rides have a lot to offer all year. This ride begins north of Daytona in Ormond Beach, FL. North of Ormond Beach there are three state parks along the Halifax River if you want to check out the local scenery. When you're ready for the route, begin off Highway 40 near the A1A. Get ready for a unique riding experience as you pull out onto the beach. If you're riding down the beach areas, we need to cover a few local regulations first.

When you're ready to ride on the sand, motorcycle rides in Daytona Beach are one way. You can park perpendicular to the coastline where available. In order to preserve the local sea turtle population, seasonal hours are enforced at May 1st to Oct. 31st, 8am to 7pm, and Nov. 1st to April 30th, sunrise to sunset. The beach is subject to closure at any time due to extreme tides as well as a red tide event. Certain areas of the beach are closed to traffic, and you'll need to get back on the A1A to go around these areas. Even if the beach is closed to traffic, the A1A represents a great ride in the area. Be sure to study the full Volusia County regulations brochure before you go.

Continue along the beach heading south, and pull back onto the A1A when you reach no traffic areas. Once in downtown Daytona Beach, you'll want to stop by one of the three big biker bars on Main Street. The Bank & Blues Club is an old bank from the 1920s converted into a live blues and rock venue. The Full Moon Saloon is another live music venue nearby that holds frequent block parties. For a third option, Dirty Harry's Pub is a solid stop with a big outdoor patio. There are plenty of other biker-friendly places to check out in the area like Boot Hill Saloon, Main Street Station, and Froggy's Saloon. Be aware, motorcycle rides around Daytona Beach during Bike Week can be a bit hectic and parking is scant, especially around the second half of the festival, so plan accordingly. The ride ends in Halifax Estates, FL where the A1A crosses back into the mainland on the Dunlawton Bridge.

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The hard packed sands of Daytona Beach are perfect for cruising.
You can't cruise the full length of Daytona Beach. Some areas are closed to traffic. (source)
On a warm day, traffic may back up on the beach. (source)
In early March, bikers everywhere descend for Daytona Bike Week. (source)

Withlacoochee State Forest Loop

Discover one of Florida's hidden natural gems in the Withlacoochee State Forest Loop. This ride begins north of Tampa and Lutz, FL on Route 4 or the Land O' Lakes Boulevard. True to the name, there are hundreds of small lakes in the area. Head up north on Highway 41 through Gowers Corner towards Spring Hill, FL. Once in Spring Hill, consider a detour out to the gulf coast in Hernando Beach, FL for Trader Bay Seafood. You can order fresh shrimp or crab from this sea monger and then have them steamed or grilled on site for a true fresh from the sea experience. Back on the state forest loop, head east into Brooksville, FL, and then take Route 98 out of town. After you cross Interstate 75, Route 98 turns into Highway 50 as you enter the Withlacoochee State Forest.

The nearby state forest is the second-largest in the state, and its rural scenery provides a welcome break from the otherwise developed areas of Central Florida. There are even several abandoned communities in the area from the early 1900s including Clay Sink, Croom and Richloam. The forest gets its name from the Withlacoochee River that begins in the area. The forest features numerous hiking trails and a few camping opportunities as well. When you reach the eastern side of the forest, turn south at Groveland, FL to continue on Highway 33. Next up, take a right on Deen Still Road to head back west. You'll loop around the southern portion of the forest, and then look for a right turn to get back onto Route 98. Take a left onto Branchborough Road to cruise into Zephyrhills, FL. US pilots once trained for WWII combat in the area, and today there is a military history museum nearby. Make a stop in Zephyrhills for lunch or dinner at the Sunrise Eatery. Once you're finished eating, stay on Highway 54 and it will take you all the way back to where the loop started near Land O' Lakes.

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This loop crosses over the Withlacoochee River. (source)
Richloam is an old Florida ghost town, but the general store is still preserved. (source)
Take a detour out to Hernando Beach to grab some fresh seafood. (source)
Zephyrhills features a historic downtown district. (source)

Green Mountain Scenic Byway

Explore scenic lake country just west of Orlando in this two hour loop to Mount Dora, FL and back. Orlando motorcycle rides on the Green Mountain Scenic Byway will take you around several large lakes in the area. The route begins at the southern banks of Lake Apopka in Winter Garden, FL. Before you get underway, fuel up with some food in the area. At nearby Ocoee, FL, pull into Ellie Lou's Brews & BBQ for some quality brisket or pulled pork. Or if you're not hungry quite yet, hold out for more lauded BBQ in the area at Willie's in Montverde, FL. Head out of town on Plant Street, and then follow Highway 438 west as it crosses Florida's Turnpike. Stay on 438 and then take a slight right to head northwest on Old Highway 50. You'll once again cross under the turnpike as you ride north towards Montverde. The road becomes County Road 455, and you'll stay on this all the way to Howey Height to begin the Green Mountain Scenic Byway.

Once you arrive in Howey Height, take a right towards Astatula, FL. From there, you'll wind northeast along County Road 45, 448A, 448 and then Dora Drive. Cross between two smaller lakes until you ride along the banks of Lake Beauclair and Lake Dora. There are many parks in the area to stop and stretch your legs including Palm Island Park. Once you reach downtown Mount Dora, take Old US Highway 441 towards Tavares, FL. There is a great lunch spot to watch seaplanes take off over a basket of seafood at Puddle Jumpers in Tavares. There are more parks along the lake if you need a break as well. In late April, consider a short detour to Leesburg, FL to check out Leesburg Bikefest that pairs great with Orlando motorcycle rides.

When ready, jump on Highway 19 south towards Howey-in-the-Hills, FL. Once you arrive, stop to relax by the lakeside at J.B. Boondocks Bar & Grill in Howey-in-the-Hills. The newly restored Howie Mansion is also worth the detour to check out some grandiose 1920s architecture. South of Howie-in-the-Hills, take a left on County Road 455 to head back to Winter Garden and finish the loop.

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You'll cruise around scenic Lake Dora on this route.
The Green Mountain Byway is 45 miles long and takes you through scenic small towns. (source)
Sunset Park in Mt. Dora is a worthwhile pit stop if you need a break. (source)
Central Florida has many mid-sized lakes like Lake Dora. (source)

Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway

Cruise down the Sumter Heritage Byway and wind through the Central Florida countryside on this hour and a half point A to B ride. Once the site of the Seminole Wars, this route takes you through Sumter County. Begin in Mascotte, FL heading east on Highway 50. Take the scenic route up 478A to Webster, FL, and then head back west on 487 towards Saint Catherine, FL. At Croom, FL, take a right to head north on Route 301 towards Bushnell, FL. This city offers a couple solid lunch spots in Sonny's BBQ and the baseball-themed Big O's Home Plate. While you're there, take in some history at the Florida National Cemetery and the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park. The US Army was once defeated by the Seminole Tribe as they marched by this site.

Outside of Bushnell, continue along Route 301, and then make a short jog west onto Highway 475 north towards Lake Panasoffkee and swamp country. Both the Lake Panasoffkee and Jumper Creek Wildlife areas offer fishing and wildlife watching opportunities as well as swamp boat tours. At Interstate 75, turn left and cross I-75 to continue along Highway 470 to the lake. When you meet up with the Gulf To Lake Highway (44), take a left towards Inverness, FL. The town's Courthouse is the most recognizable feature, and it was even featured in Follow That Dream starring Elvis Presley. Finish up the ride in Inverness with wings at Pine Street Pub or steaks at Stumpknockers.

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Bushnell is the largest town along the Sumter Heritage Byway. (source)
Sumter Heritage Byway signs mark the route. (source)
Lake Panasoffkee is a large recreational area along the byway. (source)
You'll finish up the Sumter Heritage Byway in Inverness, FL. (source)

The Ridge Scenic Byway

Ride through the heart of Florida from Winter Haven to Frostproof in this short one hour ride. Florida is well known for its scenic routes, and the Ridge Scenic Byway was one of the earliest established in 1917. You'll begin this ride in Winter Haven, FL, and there are a couple of attractions to visit before you head out of town. The Fantasy Of Flight offers the world's largest collection of vintage aircraft, and the facility is constantly restoring and maintaining aircraft from the past. In January, Lakeland Pigfest brings together hundreds of experienced BBQ teams, and it is another solid reason to plan a ride in the area. Winter Haven also features a good collection of lunch spots like Ovation Bistro & Bar and Harry's Old Place.

The Ridge Scenic Byway, also known as Highway 17, will take you south through towns like Dundee, FL and Lake Wales, FL. In Lake Wales, be sure to check out the odd optical illusion that is Spook Hill. Lake Wales is also the sight of Bok Tower Gardens that features a 205 ft. singing tower that plays several times each day. Near the end of the ride, you'll arrive in Frostproof, FL. This uniquely-named town is situated between Reedy Lake and Lake Clinch. Frostbite Ice Cream & More offers a solid roadside option for food, or sit down for some seafood at The Crooked Bass to finish the trip.

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Cruise by several lakes on this route including Reedy Lake in Frostproof. (source)
The Ridge Scenic Byway takes you through historic areas like downtown Frostproof. (source)
Bok Tower Gardens is a popular stop along The Ridge Byway.
Spook Hill in Lake Wales is an interesting optical illusion you'll want to ride up. (source)

Ocala National Forest

Take a short cruise through the Ocala National Forest to Ormond Beach on this one hour plus point A to B ride. The Ocala, FL area offers a glimpse into the old Florida of the past, and it's an excellent place to start a ride. The Ocala National Forest is known for its large oak tress covered with Spanish moss, and the nearby Silver Springs is a destination all its own. This park dubbed “Florida's first tourist attraction” features the largest spring in America that runs into nearby crystal-clear streams that have to be seen to be believed. Silver Springs is an excellent stop for swimming, diving or snorkling. If you're hungry, visit the Bronx House for some New York style pizza before you head off. When you're ready to get going, the ride begins in northeast Ocala on Highway 40. You'll follow this highway through a myriad of lakes into the national forest. This area contains the largest collection of sand pine trees local to this area.

Once you cross over the St. John's River at Astor, FL, you can grab a bite or take a load off at the biker-friendly Williams Landing restaurant. Continue on through Barberville, FL to see more forests and rolling hills. Soon you'll arrive north of Daytona Beach at Ormond Beach. Finish up the ride with Mexican at Latinos Y Mas or a burger at The Mojo Grill. You can also pair this with our Ormond Beach To Port Orange ride that features a cruise on the sand down to Daytona Beach, FL.

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There are many chances to spot wildlife in the Ocala National Forest. (source)
If you hit a morning ride, you might be treated to foggy weather in the national forest. (source)
The Ocala National Forest surrounds you with scenic lakes, prairies and pine forests. (source)
Explore deep Florida forests with a ride through the Ocala National Forest.

Palm Bay Loop

Book an entire day for this four hour loop through the Space Coast and Palm Bay on this riverside to ocean side cruise. The ride begins just south of Oak Hill, FL on Route 1 near the start of the Indian River. This brackish (mixed salt and fresh water) river will be your guide for much of the ride. Head south through Titusville, FL, and grab some wings at The Heroes Grill, a locally-owned gem. Continue on through Cocoa, FL as you see Merritt Island off to the east. You'll pass through Melbourne and Palm Bay, FL on your way to Sebastian, FL. Once in Sebastian, try some Jamaican at Mo-Bay Grill, or watch the dolphins swim on a pier restaurant at Squid Lips Overwater Grill. Nearby Mo-Bay Grill, you can check out some shipwreck relics at Mel Fisher's Treasures.

Now it's time to hit the beach portion of this ride with a left over the bridge at Wabasso, FL. Take another left on the Florida A1A, and get ready to be treated with mile after mile of sand dunes and beach stops. You'll ride through Sebastian Inlet State Park that offers a nice break from the developed beach side condos and hotels on this route. If you're looking for less crowded beaches, this is the area to pull off as Cocoa Beach can be more crowded with tourists in the summer. Continue north by Patrick Air Force Base on your way to Cocoa Beach, FL. This popular beach town and surf destination offers plenty of great eats including Caribbean at The Tiny Turtle and surfer-inspired food at Long Doggers. Aside from the beaches, Ron Jon Surf Shop is an iconic stop down Atlantic Avenue. With a new pair of sandals or a tropical shirt in hand, continue heading north on Atlantic Avenue. Instead of heading towards Orlando, cross over the Bennett Causeway towards Kennedy Space Center.

The final part of this ride takes you through the historic area of Florida that launched people to the moon and countless other space expeditions. If you time your visit right, you can pull off to view one of the many SpaceX and other launches taking place periodically. Visit Kennedy Space Center Launches to see the upcoming schedule. Even if there isn't a launch scheduled, the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center offers rich history and giant rocket displays for those interested in space travel. Finish up the ride by driving to North Merritt Island and past the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility. You can finish the route by relaxing at Playalinda Beach, or continue up through Allenhurst, FL and back to Oak Hill to wrap up the loop.

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Cape Canaveral features regular rocket launches you can watch from the beach.
Palm Bay is a small inlet along the Indian River. (source)
Cocoa Beach Pier is 800 feet long and features a tiki bar at the tip. (source)
Merritt Island features many retractable canal bridges. (source)

Longboat Key Loop

Tour the white sand beaches of Longboat Key and journey to the point of Anna Maria Island in this hour and a half motorcycle ride in Tampa, FL. The route begins in Sarasota, FL, and in the spring you can catch a Baltimore Orioles game at Ed Smith Stadium. Near the start of the ride on Highway 789, head over to Bayfront Park for a unique waterfront and beach side eating experience at O'Leary's Tiki Bar & Grill. Or head a couple blocks in from the park to check out Owen's Fish Camp that features a killer patio. When you're ready to head out on this motorcycle route in Tampa, FL, ride east over the bridge towards Longboat Key, FL.

Longboat Key is the largest of the nearby barrier islands around Bradenton and Sarasota. The island features white sand beaches, busy marinas and plenty of coastal hotels. Pull off at Dry Dock Waterfront Grill for fresh grouper sandwiches and a view of Sarasota Bay, or keep riding down the island for several other top-rated restaurants. Eventually you'll come to Longboat Pass Bridge that takes you north into Bradenton Beach, FL. More great restaurants await in Bradenton Beach including Island Time Bar and Grill.  

Soon you'll reach Anna Maria Island, and ride to the northwestern tip known as Bean Point to check out more beaches and some great views of the gulf. If you haven't eaten yet, you can grab lunch on the pier at Rod and Reel Pier or the Anna Maria City Pier. When you're finished on the island, take Gulf Drive back south, and then hit a left on Manatee Avenue to ride over the mile-long Anna Maria Island Bridge. When you arrive in Bradenton, FL, turn right on 75th Street to head south. The road becomes El Conquistador Highway as it winds along the bay. Take another right at Route 41 towards the airport. Soon you'll arrive back in Sarasota to finish this motorcycle ride in Tampa.  

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The Longboat Pass Bridge connects Bradenton Beach with Longboat Key. (source)
Anna Maria Island extends out into the edge of Tampa Bay. (source)
The bridges on the barrier islands are occasionally raised for marine traffic. (source)
When you're in Longboat Key, make sure to park and check out the beach. (source)

Suncoast Scenic Parkway

Cruise the Suncoast Scenic Parkway from Tampa to Homosassa, FL is this wide open ride down a rural highway. The Suncoast Scenic Parkway dissects a large section of undeveloped Florida land dotted with small lakes and stands of native pines. The parkway is a toll road, so bring some change or your toll pass. But first, we start in Tampa near the Tampa International Airport. If you're hungry, make a short detour downtown for some top-rated Jamacian at Yah Mon. Al's Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que is also nearby in the Ybor City District. The Ybor District is famous for its cigar factories, so make a stop into a cigar shop if you're an aficionado. When you're ready for the ride, head back west on Interstate 275, and then take the exit north onto Highway 589. You'll pass by the airport as the road winds through the suburbs. You'll stay left towards Spring Hill, FL as the Suncoast Scenic Parkway begins. Along the way, you can consider a detour to check out the <a href=””>Cotee River Bikefest</a> in early October.

The hidden gem of this ride begins when you leave the metro area behind and cruise into rural pine forests. There are very few exits on this route until you get to Spring Hill. If you're ready for a break, exit at Highway 50 just north of Spring Hill and head west towards Weeki Wachee. You can take a load off and grab a crunchy fish rueben at Beckjack's Food Shack. Then ride over to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. This destination is famous for its blue waters perfect for kayaking, but the long running 60 year old live mermaid show is a campy experience like none other. Back on the route, jump on the Suncoast Scenic Parkway again until it ends at Ponce De Leon Boulevard to finish the point A to B ride. For one more distraction, take a right on Ponce De Leon and then a left on Citrus Way towards the Citrus Wildlife Management Area. Nearby Dames Cave offers a short hiking trail that culminates in two caves where you can cool off after a hot day of riding under the sun.

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There are many fishing piers that extend out into Tampa Bay.
The Suncoast Parkway ends near Homosassa, FL. (source)
The Ybor District in Tampa is known for its old cigar factories. (source)
Weeki Wachee, FL is famous for its crystal clear water. (source)

"You don't stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding."
― Anonymous

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