Florida’s Backroads – Rt. 98 Great Florida Road Trip

The Backroads of Florida - Great Road Trips

Yes, we know gas is expensive. Most cars average 20 miles to the gallon or better. If you take a 150-mile road trip, 300 miles total, you will spend about $80 in a six-hour road trip in Florida. Pack a picnic lunch and have a fun day for two people (or more) for under $100. 

To put a Florida road trip in perspective, an all-day ticket to Disney World for two will cost $218 for basic admission. You don’t want to know the cost of your lunch!

The backroads of Florida can be as interesting as Mickey and friends. We guarantee sights you have never seen, history you have only read about and views worthy of the most experienced photographer.

Follow along on one of our favorite backroad day trips in the state of Florida.

Rt. 98 from Perry Florida to Apalachicola

Rt. 98 angles through Florida from West Palm Beach to Mobile, Alabama. It meanders along the Gulf coast in the panhandle.
 
The section we are highlighting goes from dense forests to the Gulf waters lapping at the side of the road. You travel through Florida “cracker” country to one of the most famous oyster beds in the country.
 

The First Leg of Your Florida Day Trip

 
perry to Panacea Florida

From dense forest to waterfront, a changing landscape.

The first leg of your day trip is from Perry to Panacea, Florida. We will take you through some of the most spectacular forests anywhere.  Most are protected lands – both federal and state preserves.
 
If you want to be adventurous, you can take a detour out of the Saint Marks Wildlife Preserve south to the village of  St. Marks where you will find San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park.
 
St. Marks Lighthouse

St. Marks Lighthouse in St. Marks city.

By the time you get to Panacea, you will be seeing Gulf front homes, fishing resorts and waterfront restaurants. The friendly people, places and views are not like anywhere else in Florida.
 
As you leave Panacea, the road and waterfront parallel each other. In many spots, there is evidence of hurricane waters that washed out parts of the road. Repairs have been necessary several times over the years.
 

Many Possible Stops Along Second Leg

 
Panacea Florida to Apalachicola Florida

A road that fronts the Gulf offers many detour opportunities.

The second leg of your backroads Florida day trip has many opportunities for stops and detours. You may detour south from Panacea to Alligator Point, an island in the Gulf filled with beach homes and cottages.
 

You may want to consider the story behind Tate’s Hell State Forest you will be passing through. We suggest you learn how this state preserve got its name – we won’t spoil it here, but it’s a great story.

Another option is when you reach Eastpoint, Florida, you can take the bridge to St. George island. We have written about this popular island on several occasions. If fact, the beach at St. George Island is one of the top ten beaches in Florida.

 
Apalachicola, Florida

Apalachicola, Florida

One of the most famous fishing villages in the world is Apalachicola. At one time, most of Florida’s oyster harvesting came from these waters around Apalachicola. Due to declining water quality, the oyster population disappeared and the oystermen are struggling to come back.
 
Apalachicola has gone through a revival from economic devastation to roaring back as a quaint historical city. The shops are unique. The restaurants are back to serving their traditional dishes and there is even a reported haunted hotel to stay in! Read more about Apalachicola here.
Oysters we decimated at Up the Creek Oysters - a restaurant in Apalachicola.

Oysters we decimated at Up the Creek Oysters – a restaurant in Apalachicola.

 
That’s a pretty full Florida day trip. Add a couple of the recommended stops and you can turn this into an overnight weekend trip.
 
Have fun and watch for our next backroad Florida trip.
 
 
Check Out Another Florida Backroad Trip – Loop Road – The Real Alligator Alley

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