My goal, as with most road trips, is to completely avoid interstate highways and find the most interesting roads (usually not appearing on maps).
This one day road trip started when I arrived at Orlando airport and Barbara at Avis gave me a free upgrade to a Mustang Convertible. I could not ask for anything more for $195 a week; yes, I found a rental car in Florida in February for under $200 a week (I am a smart traveler after all). And, BONUS, SiriusXM was free for the week.
Satellite radio, convertible, 80-90 degree days. Blissful!
Only one day in Southwest Florida because I was heading over to the southeast side of Florida for more Florida road trip fun.
Leaving MCO, I drove directly south to Boggy Creek Road (highway 530). When 530 splits, I went west, took surface streets, and landed in old town Kissimmee—where I found this:
This odd statue from the 1940s looked particularly magnificent during my visit with that blue sky and also spooky with those big black birds.
From Kissimmee, I followed 17 south, much as I did a few years ago on my Florida Hills road trip.
Well, now that it was early afternoon and I was warmed by the 85 degree temps for an hour (I left home that morning with snow on the ground), I was on the prowl for lunch. Two of my best BBQ experiences were in this area—ribs from a place called something like Fat Boyz in Mt. Dora and a pulled pork sandwich from James Browns in Avon Park.
So, BBQ was on my mind but I screeched to a stop when I spotted this taco trailer near Haines City.
Tacos for $1.50 and an ice cold Mexican soda. Sign me up for this lunch whenever possible!
After the quick and yummy lunch snack, I continued on 17 south, explored a few side roads where you can drive through citrus groves—no picking!
By leaving numbered roads (like 17) I find cool things, like unpaved red clay dirt roads.
At a quick pit stop in Sebring, I had to be careful where I parked.
I even got a chance to drive through Venus.
I was hoping to make it to the beach for sunset pictures but I spent too much time exploring the back roads. Oh, well.
The easy way to get from Naples to Ft. Lauderdale is I-75. I decided, of course, to take a much more scenic, and to me FUN, route.
Driving a series of surface streets and small roads with names like Oil Well Road and County Line Road, I was able to skirt along the northern edge of the western Everglades.
Traversing those small roads was a lot of fun and highly recommended. I ended up in Clewiston, where I hopped on highway 27 south to Alligator Alley (highway 84).
In this area, near Clewiston, are parks with opportunities to view Lake Okeechobee—second largest freshwater lake in the continental US.
I continued driving into southeast Florida where I had more adventures including Opa Locka: Funny Name, Cool Architecture.
See also 6 Sensational Miami Scenic Drives for Fun Florida Road Trips.
2 thoughts on “Southwest Florida Back Roads Road Trip”
Great post Charles. Have a great weekend!
Thank you, Jeff
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