DESTINATIONS: Five Great Florida Routes

Head south, stay warm and ride!

Just because it’s December doesn’t mean that you have to stop riding, well, at least if you live in the southeast (or southwest) of the United States. Florida isn’t exactly known for its curvy mountain roads, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some fun and scenic roads to explore in the Sunshine State. Here are five routes that are sure to at least deliver on one or more of your great-ride components.

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1) Green Mountain Scenic Byway:

Lake Apopka

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Just west of Orlando, this ride out of Winter Garden heads along Lake Apopka and the North Shore Restoration Area then north to Mount Dora and then back. If you want to go critter watching, check out the North Shore Restoration Area.

2) Longboat Key Loop:

Lots of water on this route!

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This island hop starts in Sarasota and heads up to the tip of Anna Maria Island via Longboat Key. Bridges, keys, and lots of water make it more scenic than exciting, but slow down and take it all in.  

3) The Ridge Scenic Byway:

Lake Hamilton

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Smack dead in the middle of the Sunshine State, this scenic route heads from Haines City south along US 17, passing tons of lakes and citrus groves. You never know you might have a Bubba or Malcolm Stewart sighting along the way.

4) Apalachicola National Forest Loop:

Check out Florida's panhandle

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Description: This loop heads east out of Apalachicola and then heads north into the National Forest of the same name, making a loop and heading back south through St Marks Wildlife Refuge and back to Apalachicola.

5) Pensacola Scenic Bluffs/399

Bays and Bridges

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Description: Get your water watching on this ride near Pensacola. Bay and ocean views galore. This loop runs north up Escambia Bay then to Milton and down to the 399 between the gulf and Santa Rosa Sound.

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

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