When people talk about road trips in Florida, they almost never fail to mention the State Road A1A corridor. Running alongside the Intracoastal Waterway, this scenic route offers great opportunities for historical and technological exploration, encounters with endangered animals and birds, convenient access to beautiful beaches, and spectacular ocean views. You can visit many fascinating attractions along the famed A1A and the southern coast of Georgia by going on a road trip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Savannah, Georgia.
The year-round pleasant weather in Florida and South Georgia makes it possible for you to do this road trip in a convertible. Rent a convertible at the Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and experience an adventure of a lifetime with the refreshing Atlantic Ocean breeze blowing through your hair.
Drive time from Fort Lauderdale to Savannah: approximately 7 hours
Distance from Fort Lauderdale to Savannah: approximately 470 miles
Best car for this road trip: Luxury Car
Before you embark on your road trip, spend some time exploring popular attractions in Fort Lauderdale. This city is the ideal destination for beachgoers, outdoor enthusiasts, and nature lovers. Enjoy a cool swim in the water and a pleasant stroll on powdery sand at the world-renowned Fort Lauderdale Beach or take a gondola tour at the activity-filled Las Olas Beach. Escape the busy city and experience the tranquility of nature at the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, Sawgrass Recreation Park, or the Everglades Holiday Park.
Before you leave Fort Lauderdale, get into the right mood with oven-baked pancakes, a specialty omelet, or a hearty breakfast platter at the upscale O-B House on Himmarshee Street. For a simple and comforting meal, head down to La Crepe on North Federal Highway for authentic French crepes or sandwiches and freshly brewed coffee.
Downtown Fort Lauderdale is located a few miles north of Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport. You can use South Andrews Avenue or U.S. Route 1 to get there. When you're leaving the city, look for North Fort Lauderdale Boulevard along the shoreline and keep going north until it becomes A1A. Before you reach West Palm Beach, turn left onto U.S. Route 98, which will take you all the way to Lake Okeechobee. The driving distance from Fort Lauderdale to the lake is about 100 miles.
Nicknamed the “Big O,” Lake Okeechobee is often called “Florida's inland sea” because of its immense size. Encompassing 750 square miles, it's the second largest freshwater lake in the contiguous United States. Besides supporting a lucrative agricultural industry with its rich earth, the Lake Okeechobee area also provides an array of activities for outdoor enthusiasts.
If you wish to hike or bike, get on the 110-mile Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail, which runs atop a 35-foot dike and provides an elevated view of the magnificent lake and its surroundings. You can also take an airboat ride on the 152-mile Okeechobee Waterway or try to reel in the lake's legendary speckled perch and largemouth bass. While you're exploring the area, you may catch sight of alligators, manatees, bobcats, turkeys, wild hogs, deer, and many species of birds.
From Clewiston, head east on U.S. Route 27 until you reach the intersection with U.S. Route 80. Turn left and keep going until it becomes U.S. Route 98. This road will take you to the city of Okeechobee. Turn right onto U.S. Route 70 and continue on this route until it meets U.S. Route 1. Turn left and look for the North Causeway on your right. Get on this causeway and you're back on A1A. The distance from Lake Okeechobee to Cape Canaveral is about 120 miles.
Cape Canaveral is best known as the home of NASA's Kennedy Space Center. It provides an exclusive look at America's legendary space program. Tour the complex, view exhibits of important space events, watch 3-D IMAX films on space missions, go vertical on the Shuttle Launch Experience, and visit the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Besides touring the space center, you can also check out the 19th-century Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, experience one of the most stunning views in Florida from the Exploration Tower, shop and dine at The Cove in Port Canaveral, or have fun in the sun on the beautiful Cocoa Beach.
Coming out of Cape Canaveral, Route A1A disappears for about 20 miles and reappears at the Canaveral National Seashore. Take U.S. Route 1 to get to Daytona Beach. This drive takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Daytona Beach is synonymous with the thrilling sport of auto racing that takes place at its legendary Daytona International Speedway. Get on an open-air tram and tour the world's oldest motorsports speedway, ride with a professional driver at heart-pounding speeds, and drive a NASCAR stock car for 30 laps.
You can find many other interesting things to do in Daytona Beach. Bask in the sun and enjoy a leisurely walk on a lively boardwalk, sample chocolate at the Angell and Phelps chocolate factory, and tour the Museum of Arts & Sciences or the Stetson Mansion in DeLand, Florida.
After a day of exploring, check out Daytona Beach’s extensive variety of culinary experiences. If you want to splurge a little, indulge in a beautifully cooked filet mignon or the nouveau-style Steak a la Oscar at the Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse. For Italian food, make your way to Don Vito's Italian Restaurant, which serves delectable brick-oven pizza made from homemade dough and the freshest ingredients.
Go east on the International Speedway Boulevard until it meets the A1A. Turn left and keep going until you reach St. Augustine. It's a 61-mile drive, which should take you about an hour to complete.
St. Augustine is a must-visit destination for history buffs because it's the oldest city in the United States. Take a trolley tour and visit the St. Augustine History Museum to get an overview of the city's rich history. Check out the 16th-century Aviles Street, the oldest public street or take a tour of the 17th-century Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort. You can also visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse, the first maritime port.
After getting your fill of history, you can view quirky exhibits at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, relax on St. Augustine Beach, or see wild animals at the St. Augustine Wild Reserve.
Continue going north on the A1A until you reach Jacksonville Beach. Turn right onto U.S. Route 90 and drive into Jacksonville. The distance for this part of the road trip is about 40 miles.
Jacksonville offers a wonderful blend of new and old, as well as many activities for all types of travelers. If you're interested in history and culture, you can admire artwork at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, learn about life in the 19th century at the Kingsley Plantation, or watch a theatrical performance or concert at the Florida Theatre. For family-friendly entertainment, pay a visit to Adventure Landing, Fort George Island, Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, or the Museum of Science and History.
Looking for a good place to have lunch? Enjoy a delicious biscuit sandwich and other Southern dishes at the Maple Street Biscuit Co. or succulent barbecue at The Bearded Pig.
Route A1A ends at nearby Amelia Island. You'll have to use Interstate 95 to get to Savannah. The driving distance is about 140 miles, which should take about 2 hours.
Savannah, Georgia, is a charming city steeped in history. It's known for its antebellum architecture, cobblestone squares, manicured lawns, and horse-drawn carriages. Get transported back to the Old South by visiting historic sites such as the Mercer Williams House, Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, Forsyth Park, Wormsloe Historic Site, Bonaventure Cemetery, and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The best way to experience the city's rich historical heritage is to join a narrated walking or trolley tour.
You can make your road trip more memorable with a unique dining experience at Elizabeth on 37th. Known as Savannah's “fine dining grand dame,” this restaurant serves dishes created from handwritten recipes found at the Georgia Historical Society.
What is there to do in Fort Lauderdale for free?
If you're looking for something to do that won't cost money, you've got several options in Fort Lauderdale.
When should I visit Daytona Beach?
April and May are great months to visit Daytona Beach. You will avoid the spring break vacation rush and Speedweeks will be over, which is a month's worth of activities before the Daytona 500. Temperatures are also great during this time, with highs in the upper 70s and mid 80s.
What food is Georgia famous for?
Georgia is known for southern classics like fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, and pecan pie. Here, you'll find people snacking on pimento cheese or boiled peanuts. For dessert, feast on traditional pecan pie or peach cobbler and enjoy a glass of sweet tea.