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I have been lucky enough this year to have taken some pretty amazing road trips along some of the world’s most scenic coastal drives!  We drove the Great Ocean Road, Australia, this past January, and were mesmerized by the dazzling coastline, stunning waterfalls, iconic surf breaks and natural monuments along the way.  Our adrenalin was then pumping in February when we attempted to navigate the roads which wind around narrow cliff faces forming the Road to Hanna, on the island of Maui in Hawaii.  Both of these drives are world renowned, and tourists flock to both areas in their rental cars (hopefully having purchased car insurance especially if attempting the Road to Hanna!!).

The drive up the East Coast of Florida from Fort Pierce to St Augustine doesn’t have a name, and is not world renowned.  Tourists don’t flock in their rental cars and it’s not listed as a recommended or “must do” trip in any guides by the likes of National Geographic, Lonely Planet, or any  other similar trusted travel companies.  Google Maps doesn’t even suggest the route automatically, you have to alter it yourself.  This part of Florida has almost been forgotten about.  So imagine our surprise last week when we decided to deviate from our Google Map and take the coastal drive to St Augustine, discovering an amazing untouched and forgotten coastline, which rivals the likes of the Great Ocean Road and the Road to Hanna.


Our chosen Route

Start in Fort Pierce: (A) on the above map which I prepared earlier! Drive out from the mainland on the A1A North and discover secluded Avalon State Park (B).  With more than a mile of increasingly rare and undeveloped coastline, the beachfront is incredibly accessible and sees very few visitors.  The park is a habitat for many different species of wildlife and is home to threatened and endangered sea turtles such as the loggerhead, Atlantic green and leatherback which all nest on the beach during the spring and summer.  A testament to how few people actually visit the park, during our walk of the beach we came across a recently washed up sea-turtle.

It’s days like these, and discovering parks like these, that I live for.  The whole picture was stunning, the water was absolutely beautiful, there were proper waves like I’m used to in Australia, and the sand glistened with rare and colorful shells which had washed ashore.  We even managed to find a rare Lion’s Paw which was completely in one piece!  The area is incredibly therapeutic – the instant you step foot on the beach all of your worries and cares dissolve and you’re lost in an amazing sense of calm as the sun beats down and the waves from the Atlantic Ocean lap at your ankles.  People fly to secluded islands in the middle of the Caribbean for beaches like this, and we got the experience for free! (although it was $2 to park).

When I first visited Florida last year my first stop was to Miami and South Beach (Miami), because everyone and everything I had read just raved about the area.  I was honestly unimpressed, and it baffles me why built up, narrow, overdeveloped beaches like Miami Beach are more renowned than areas like this.  Miami beach has absolutely nothing on Avalon State Park.

The park has great facilities – proper bathroom and shower blocks, ample parking space, and great nature and hiking trails.  Also, sheltered picnic tables overlook the beach which makes for a great spot for lunch.


It’s rare to find a Lion’s Paw


The park is a habitat for many different species of wildlife and is home to threatened and endangered sea turtles. This guy unfortunately didn’t make it back to the ocean.


Avalon State Park


These are the days we live for!


Making my way along the secluded beachfront.


Avalon State Park.


Lion’s Paws are extremely rare!


Avalon State Park

Stay tuned…our East Coast Ocean road-trip continues tomorrow in Daytona Beach!  There’s a lot more excitement to come!


  1. Awesome! Makes me want to go and do a little coastal kayak fishing in that area! I’ve been hearing a lot from my friends about the Florida coast and this just makes me want to go more!

    You should visit the Texas coast too. There are places where the beach is a “named road” and you can drive for many miles down the beachside. The North Texas coast is a bit murky, but the south Texas coast is quite pretty, though the water isn’t as clear as Florida due to the inland sediment from the rivers. But it makes up for it in remote isolated beach time and fantastic views.

    One of the best stretches is from Port Aransas south to Corpus Christi and then on south from there on Padre Island – this combined stretch is nearly 100 miles. (Note: South Padre Island is drive-able too but is known as a party beach so be cautious about the time of year if you drive this beach. ;-)

    Trust me when I say that the best way to experience this is in a 4 wheel drive vehicle. An open top jeep is even better if it’s not too hot since you can enjoy the nearly constant beautiful breeze.

    Best time of year to make this run is during the late fall or early spring. Avoid spring break to avoid crowds unless you want to join in the frolic! lol

    You could start your journey off by staying at Goose Island State Park. It’s a beautiful spot where you can fish without a license from the lighted pier. The night fishing here is phenomenal in the spring and summer!

    Let us know if you make the trip!

    Thanks again for a great article! How far are you going to go? All the way up the East Coast? I’ve been on the Connecticut coast and the Maine coast. It’s beautiful up there too, though much different!


    • Hi Mike

      Thanks for stooping by! I can absolutely vouch for the Florida coast (though stick to the East side as the West is more of a gulf so it’s a lot calmer with less waves etc).

      Haven’t yet made it to the Texas coast, though it does sound amazing! I would love to be able to take the car onto the sand and just drive – what an adventure! We did that on Daytona Beach during this roadtrip, but it was more of a touristy thing, you drive the car onto the beach and park it. You don’t really have the opportunity to drive for miles alongside the ocean. And we had our Malibu as opposed to a 4WD, so I would absolutely rent an open top jeep or a 4WD for the experience. Great tip!

      Noted on sticking to the southern Texas coast. I’ve heard a lot about Padre Island actually, though we haven’t yet made it there. Will have to add that one to the roadtrip list too!

      We actually finished this roadtrip in 2013 (this is an older post we published but I’ve been sharing archived posts across social media for some more traction), and have since started traveling around Australia. We didn’t go all the way up the East Coast, though we did drive from Florida to Washington DC on another trip that year.

      Didn’t get as north as the Maine Coast though so I would love to head back. I’ve seen beautiful photos of I think it’s Acadia National Park from memory. Looks stunning. Too many destinations and not enough time!!

      Hoping for another US roadtrip next year, so will definitely take your recommendations on Texas down. Thankyou for the wonderful tips!

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