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The Space Coast and Atlantic Beaches

289.9 miles: 7 hours, 59 minutes

Get to know the real Florida on this trip. Leave Disney World behind and head for the coast, passing through areas of scrub pines and palmettos. The sparkling Atlantic will be your companion on most of the drive, plus some reserves and parks. Stop at some of the state’s historic spots and explore the places that helped put Florida on the map.


Orlando to Cocoa Beach

69.0 miles: 1 hours, 19 minutes


Suburban sprawl melts away as you head east through a natural landscape of pine trees and scrub palmetto. Around the St. Johns River it gets marshy, so look closely—you might spot a gator. Driving along the Space Coast, the Atlantic spreads seemingly forever. And amid all the timeless surf and sand is the prestigious backdrop of America’s space explorations.


Cocoa Beach to Daytona Beach

108.0 miles: 2 hours, 48 minutes

flickr/Jeff Jackowski

Just north of Cocoa Beach is the Kennedy Space Center, a must-see stop and the final home of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Once in Daytona you’ll get the full feel of the World’s Most Famous Beach—from tourist shops selling T-shirts, flip flops and towels to laidback eateries serving up cold beer and fried seafood.


Daytona Beach to St. Augustine

54.9 miles: 1 hours, 39 minutes

flickr/Evangelio Gonzalez

Roll the windows down and enjoy the salty ocean air as you head toward where it all began. St. Augustine is the oldest city in the state—the country, in fact. Founded in 1565 by the Spanish, it’s full of small museums and kitschy sights. With a range of local eateries and historic houses turned into B&Bs, this is a great place to spend the night.


St. Augustine to Amelia Island

64.0 miles: 2 hours, 11 minutes


Leave St. Augustine’s historic charm behind for a drive through the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, a peaceful coastal habitat. Once at Amelia Island, southernmost of the barrier Sea Islands, you’ll find a trove of natural beauty—beaches, dunes and wildlife.


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