Fill Up The Tank and Go For A Drive
Florida Native Wildflower Drive State Road 65
This 25-mile scenic route through the Apalachicola National Forest connects the towns of Hosford, Telogia, and Sumatra. Sitting in the midst of a national “hotspot” for biological diversity, the route has been recognized by the Florida Wildflower Foundation and acknowledged by enthusiasts as “the best place in Florida to view native wildflowers.” The drive is featured in the Florida Wildflower Publication, Native Wildflowers in Florida’s Eastern Panhandle. Common spring bloomers include the Rose Pitcher Plant, Parrot Pitcher Plant, Candyroot, Spring Helenium, Colic Root, Lanceleaf Coreopsis, Dewthread Sundew, and Daisy Fleabane. Common fall bloomers are the False Foxglove, Rayless Goldenrod, Hairy Chaffhead, Bristleleaf Chaffhead, Flattop Goldenrod, Narrowleaf Sunflower, Blazing Star, and White Rosegentian. In addition to their roadside beauty and economic impact from tourism, these natives provide invaluable services to pollinators, especially migratory butterflies and honeybees.
Scenic Highway 30-A
Scenic 30-A is something an architecture lover will adore the 16 unique planned neighborhoods on Highway 30A. It connects with Highway 98 just west of Panama City Beach. Slow speed limits enable the eye to gawk at picket fences, faux Spanish building, manicured lawns and houses from another world. Follow 30A until it reconnects with Highway 98 and breathing returns to normal. It is 18.5-miles, plus 9.4 miles of connector roads—83 and 283—from the Gulf of Mexico to US 98. This route connects four state parks, 27 miles of greenway trails, 11 rare coastal dune lakes, and 16 beach communities.
Florida’s Big Bend National Scenic Byway
This Florida and nationally designated 220-mile scenic drive travels through coastal and forest portions of Leon, Wakulla, and Franklin Counties. In Franklin County proximately 22 miles wonder along Coastal Highway US 98 and Forest Route 65.
River Road on Lake Seminole
Views in this neck of the woods are filled with cotton and peanut fields, ponds and Lake Seminole. Take Highway 71 from Marianna to the Greenwood where nine antebellum homes stand. Hang a right on County Road 69 to Two Egg. Spot some of the largest oak trees around. There, take 69A and follow it to River Road. Admire the ponds and the sloughs where ducks live among the alligators and egrets stop for a rest.
Take Highway 79 north out of Bonifay in Holmes County and stop by the one-room log cabin. The road is more or less empty until it intersects with County Road 2. Hang a left and enjoy the solitude until encountering the Keith Cabin, at the intersection of County Road 179. Take the winding 79 back to Bonifay and then brag about going to a part of Northwest Florida that few have appreciated.